Tuesday 2 May 2023

Book ~ "Mommy Don’t - From Mother to Murderer: The True Story of Penny and Karissa Boudreau" (2023) Sherri Aikenhead

From Goodreads ~ On January 29, 2008, just days after a bitter winter storm, Nova Scotians watched with breaking hearts as a young mother in the small town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, pleaded on the supper-hour news for help finding her missing twelve-year-old daughter. For thirteen days, the country held its breath as the search for Karissa Boudreau continued. When finally frozen toes were found poking out of a snowbank, police confirmed Karissa was dead. 

Shock quickly turned to anger when Karissa’s mother, Penny Boudreau, was arrested for the murder of her only child. A year later, Penny sat in the prisoner’s box in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The moment seasoned journalist Sherri Aikenhead heard Penny confess to the killing, she knew she would write this story. 

Aikenhead scoured official Bridgewater Police records, RCMP investigative records, court records and Penny Boudreau’s Parole Board of Canada decisions to recreate what happened fifteen years ago. Through interviews with Karissa’s circle of family and friends, and including a first-hand account from a key undercover agent who reveals how the Mr. Big operation extracted Penny’s confession, Aikenhead skillfully builds a powerful and intimate narrative of what really happened to “Bridgewater’s daughter.” 

With fifteen black-and-white photos, some provided by Karissa’s family members, Mommy Don’t takes readers on a heart-pounding journey into the unfathomable question: how could a mother murder her own daughter?

I'm originally from Nova Scotia so that's why this book caught my eye.

Twelve-year-old Karissa had recently moved in with her mother, Penny, and her mother's boyfriend, Vernon, after living with her father, Paul. Karissa didn't like living there and was acting like any twelve-year-old would. Penny had had enough and took her for a drive to have a heart-to-heart chat. Penny stopped in the grocery store to pick up some things and while she was there, Karissa took off. Because there was a snowstorm happening and Karissa wasn't dressed for the weather, Penny drove around looking for her. She eventually called the police to report her daughter missing.

But that's not happened. Penny was scared she was going to lose Vernon because of all the bickering so she murdered her own daughter to keep her man. So sad.

I hadn't heard about this case and it was interesting to read about it. I liked the writing style and the author obviously did a lot of research. It wasn't a happy story and it's crazy that Penny, despite pleading guilty to second degree murder in 2009, is already allowed out on supervised outings.

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