Follow Here To Purchase The Killing Jar - Based on a True Story

Authors: Gloria Nixon-John and Robert “Skip” Noelker

ISBN: 9780982697146

Publisher: Neverland Publishing Company

Abuse has many faces more frightening than that of Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. Picture a child who is denied of deprived food and looks emaciated. Picture a child denied proper and clean clothing, verbally abused and raised by a mother who is a religious fanatic only concerned with her own needs. Picture a straight A student whose demeanor, attitude and personal appearance take on a radical change.

Imagine a young man hoping to find a moment’s solace with a close friend drinking whiskey and smoking pot to stave off hunger. Many children endure different types of abuse but the children in this book seemed to battle it every moment of every day. This is my review of the Killing Jar based on the real life story of Todd Ice.

The character in this book is Ted Lynch and the story related by the authors will make you wonder why anyone would ignore the signs of abuse that were right in front of them. The story unfolds in the church as the family meets the good pastor and you hear Ted’s thoughts as he thinks the pastor knows of his misdeeds and misconduct. He fears him at first sight.

Thinking he can read his mind and his impure thoughts and that he is not worthy of God’s love. The author’s then include information about his sister Renee and her hospitalization and her emotional problems caused by her mother. Aware of the poor conditions and lack of food provided to these children the social worker assigned to her case attempts to get her some help. But, it is too late for Ted as the authors recount an incident with a bearded man and next we learn he is being arrested for murder. Fifteen-year-old Ted Lynch murdered his seven year old neighbor Debbie Knowles. Now, he has everyone’s attention.

When the social worker and the court looked at Ted they saw a shell of a young man blaming his behavior on his upbringing. Dr. Newport or Chip did the analysis and it is his voice you hear describing Ted. The courtroom scene is quite compelling as you listen to the rather disjointed testimony given by Ted’s mother. The psychological evaluation of Ted’s behavior and intelligence are included for the reader to determine whether Ted is aware that he even committed a crime.

While riding in the back of the police car Ted’s thoughts are heard as he wonders why anyone thinks he killed Debbie. With a corrupt judge overseeing the case, an inexperienced attorney and no one other than Chip to plead his case the end result for Ted is incarceration and the death sentence. Just reading the transcript of the trial and the different testimonies given by the witnesses the reader knows that his young man had no chance. The authors describe his first minutes at Bardi Castle and what his life will be like. Ted loves to read and his poetry expresses his inner most feelings and the way he relates to the world. Imagine feeling like an ice-locked tree or hoping to fly up in the sky and soar like a bird.

Letters written to his mother are quite revealing. Intelligent, has a love of reading and just wants to feel accepted, loved by his family and understood Ted finds more compassion and understanding from the inmates on death row then he did from his family at home. Enter The McKnights, who hope to get him a new trial and off of death row. Nine years in the State Penitentiary. Friends with those on death row and his inner thoughts revealed in his poems as the reader enters the world of Ted Lynch, the prison cell he lives in and the interactions he has with his fellow inmates. Expressing his thoughts, desires and feelings about himself you can decide for yourself whether he is sane or not just by reading his poems, his letters and his thoughts. Ted is delusional. Ted gets a new trial and the death penalty is reversed.

Listen to his words and read the transcripts from the trials and you decide where he belongs. Is he insane? Will they prove it before it’s too late? A small town community that turns a blind eye to this young man, his life, his struggles and abusive life. 

The authors present the information and the trial transcripts and ask the reader to consider many questions at the end when you read the epilogue and decide whether justice really prevailed for Ted. Read the poems and the letters that he wrote and decide if the end justified the means and if Ted voice was ever heard. The authors really bring to light so many issues that many ignore today. Abuse rears its head in so many different ways. We need to pay closer attention. 

Follow Here To Purchase The Killing Jar - Based on a True Story