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The Ivy is thrilled to welcome Mikita Brottman for a reading and conversation about her new book Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder. Mikita will be in conversation with Baltimore Sun journalist, Justin Fenton. His debut, We Own This City, came out in February of this year. This event will take place on Zoom.
On February 21, 1992, 22-year-old Brian Bechtold walked into a police station in Port St. Joe, Florida and confessed that he’d shot and killed his parents in their family home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He said he’d been possessed by the devil. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and ruled “not criminally responsible” for the murders on grounds of insanity.
But after the trial, where do the "criminally insane" go? Brottman reveals Brian's inner life leading up to the murder, as well as his complicated afterlife in a maximum security psychiatric hospital, where he is neither imprisoned nor free. During his 27 years at the hospital, Brian has tried to escape and been shot by police, and has witnessed three patient-on-patient murders. He’s experienced the drugging of patients beyond recognition, a sadistic system of rewards and punishments, and the short-lived reign of a crazed psychiatrist-turned-stalker.
In the tradition of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Couple Found Slain is an insider’s account of life in the underworld of forensic psych wards in America and the forgotten lives of those held there, often indefinitely.
Mikita Brottman, PhD, is an Oxford-educated scholar and psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, including An Unexplained Death, The Great Grisby, and The Maximum Security Book Club. She is a professor of humanities at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
A crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Justin Fenton was part of the Pulitzer Prize finalist staff recognized for their coverage of the Baltimore riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray. His debut, We Own This City, is an astounding, riveting feat of reportage about a rogue police unit, the city they held hostage, and the ongoing struggle between American law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve.
TIME & DATE
Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 7:00pm