MURDER IN PLEASANTON: Tina Faelz and the Search for Justice by Joshua Suchon

murderinpleasantonPUBLISHER: Arcadia Publishing, 9/2015
GENRE: Nonfiction/True Crime
SETTING: California, 1984-2000's
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: A

FROM PUBLISHER: In April 1984, Foothill High freshman Tina Faelz took a shortcut on her walk home. About an hour later, she was found in a ditch, brutally stabbed to death. The murder shook the quiet East Bay suburb of Pleasanton and left investigators baffled. With no witnesses or leads, the case went cold and remained so for nearly thirty years. In 2011, the investigation finally got a break. Improved forensics recovered DNA from a drop of blood found at the scene matching Tina's classmate, Steven Carlson.

Through dusty police files, personal interviews, letters and firsthand accounts, journalist Joshua Suchon revisits his childhood home to uncover the story of a disturbing crime and the controversial sentencing that brought long-awaited answers to a city tormented by questions.

MY THOUGHTS: This is such a sad story. Tina was picked on at school and on the bus by a few girls but Tina was also a bit troubled herself, it seems, since she wasn't the nicest to everyone. I can't help but wonder if she was mean to some because she was being picked on herself. And at least one of the girls who picked on Tina feels horrible to this day for her own behavior back then.

This book was well written in most areas. Tina's mother, brother, stepfather, and best friend were interviewed. The author needed to explore Steve's early childhood. There was something seriously wrong with that family. Steve was already a rapist/pervert before he murdered Tina when he was just sixteen and his slightly older sister, Tanya, was bulimic. She was interviewed and apparently wasn't asked anything about what she thinks may have caused both of them to have problems. The author said they were neglected by parents who liked to party and that's about it. I want to know if either of them were abused in some way by someone.

I learned of this case in September by watching a new episode of I.D.'s On the Case With Paula Zahn. Tina's episode was called Shortcut to Murder.

There's a Facebook page with lots of photos of Tina.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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