Last Book Read

Prompt: Tell us about the last book you read (Why did you choose it? Would you recommend it?). To go further, write a post based on its subject matter.

My Response:

The last book I read was Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender by Steve Miller. Actually, I read it twice. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the story of Sarah Pender, a young woman who was charged (with her boyfriend at the time) of murdering her two roommates.

The blame went back and forth between Sarah and her boyfriend for the murders. He even went so far as to have a friend of his forge Sarah’s handwriting and write him a letter confessing to the crimes. The letter was later found not to have Sarah’s fingerprints on it. Sarah had, however, purchased the murder weapon.

Sarah was convicted and sentenced to 110 years in prison for acting as an accomplice to the crimes. After filing several appeals and getting them denied, she broke out of prison (8 years into her sentence) with the help of some friends, ex-cons, and even a security guard at the prison.

She had used and manipulated them all to aid in her escape. She was finally caught a few months later and was returned to jail, and the friends who helped her received prison time for aiding a convicted felon. One ex-con was sentenced to 7 years, and the prison security guard was sentenced to 8 years.

I think I find this story interesting because of Sarah Pender. She was a smart person who had somehow gotten her whole life turned upside down. She maintains she is innocent but no one really knows if she was the mastermind behind the murders.

She wanted the roommates out of her home because they were selling drugs and stealing her money, and causing problems all around. I’ve tried to make up my own mind about whether or not she was behind the killings, but the book doesn’t reveal much in the mystery. It only becomes more mysterious and strange.

Sarah was featured on America’s Most Wanted while she was out on the lam. She was in the top 15 of that list, and the only woman featured on the list. She was able to outsmart the U.S. Marshall, buying phones for one time calls to her friends that could not be traced.

She evaded capture for 136 days. During that time, she met a wealthy businessman who helped her get a job (under the table) and set her up in an apartment and paid for her expenses in exchange for sex.

Before the murder conviction, she was working a serious, Monday through Friday, 8-5 office job and saving money to return to college where she wanted to major in physics. She managed to charm everyone around her.

And some say she made others commit crimes for her by some amazing control she was able to exert over people. One attorney in the book refers to her as ‘the female Charles Manson’ because of the way she was able to seduce, control and use people in order to get them to do what she wanted.

Sarah is now in solitary confinement and will not be released until she is 75 years old. The show Snapped did a feature episode on her, but focused more on the crime details than on her time after escaping prison.

Sarah is a strange character, showing emotion when feeling sorry for herself at the end, but showing no real remorse about the deaths of her roommates (in the interview portion of the Snapped episode).

She writes a letter (mentioned in the book) to someone and states that ‘killing people is no big deal, people die all the time.’ So I have to wonder if she honestly realized what she was writing, or if she really was unstable or evil beneath the surface.

Sarah presents herself as sweet and innocent, but that’s also how she likely lured people into her traps and got them to go along with her plans and do her bidding, even at the risk of themselves and their own freedom.

I think feeling as socially inept as I often do, I find it so interesting that a young woman could have so much control over others, know how to quickly gain love and trust and friendship, and absolute loyalty from people she meets and befriends. I would definitely recommend this book.

I chose to read this book after watching the movie that was based on the Sarah Pender story, called She Made Them Do It. It aired recently on Lifetime. See official page- http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/she-made-them-do-it

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March 19, 2014. Tags: , , . books, writing.

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