Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Within hours of giving birth to her sixth child, Mary Kay Letourneau had her baby daughter whisked from her arms. She was then shackled and returned to her jail cell. Just years ago, the pretty, personable Seattle schoolteacher was living a life many would envy.She had a handsome husband, four beautiful children, and a beloved following of students. Then she was accused of child rape, and her whole world turned upside down. Rapist Or Victim? How did a 34-year-old married teacher fall in love with one of her sixth-grade students? Was it a complete lapse of judgment, or as she contends,the meeting of two soulmates? Were the two planning to run away together before police caught them in a parked car? Did the couple have illicit sex in every room of the Letourneau house, as the teenager told the tabloids? This book is about the case that shocked the world and rocked the headlines,about the lonely life of Mary Kay Letourneau and the young object of her obsession, the boy who fathered two of her children. You may think you know the story of Mary Kay Letourneau,but you don't know the whole story until you've read If Loving You Is Wrong.This book includes interviews with Mary Kay Letourneau.
Gregg Olsen is one of the best true crime writers out there and I especially enjoy reading his books.So I decided it was time to do a review on one of his books which I have in my "true crime" library so he can also have a spot on my blog.
First of all this case was so widely publicized and so many books have been written about Mary Kay Letourneau and her strange life.This book easily combines all the information and produces some new content as well including the interviews with Mary Kay Letourneau.I bought this version because I like Gregg Olsen and have great trust in his work and also because I desperately wanted to read the interviews.I just wanted to try and get a clue on how a grown up woman can possibly find anything interesting in having a relationship with a boy.I do realise that there are other people out there who have committed crimes involving relationships with children but this one was according to Mary Kay Letourneau based on "love".She did not physically "hurt" this child or have any intention of doing that.The amazing thing to me is that as an educated woman she seemed to have no idea that she was hurting this young boy in other ways and I believe,ruining his life.How do you fall pregnant with a 12 year old boy's child and not know that you are making a decision which will affect his entire life?
This book explores the early life of Mary Kay Letourneau including the affair that her senator father indulged in for many years resulting in children as well.I think her mother's acceptance of this long term affair perhaps did some damage on Mary Kay's psyche.Gregg Olsen also provides information on the early life of the young lover Vili Fualaau.All I could work out and this theory seems to be accepted generally is that Mary Kay suffered some type of arrested development whereby she stopped maturing and rather stayed a teenager if not in looks but in her mind and actions.
I really enjoyed this book and Gregg Olsen never writes with any bias.The facts are told as they stand and it is up to the reader to come to their own conclusions.Mine resulted in complete irritation with this woman and her child like silliness.I had no sympathy and still have no sympathy for her ridiculous behavior.Again I call it ridiculous behavior but if it had been a man convicted of this crime I am sure that I would be calling him worse names.I think the world still has a long way to go before we view abuse by females perpetrated on young boys in the same light as male perpetrators' abuse of young girls.Essentially both cases are as horrible but I have a hard time being convinced.I need to work on that.
Looking through the book now to help jog my memory has actually made me decide to read it again.If I come up with more thoughts on this book I will definitely come back and update but I do remember clearly enjoying the way it was written and being very impressed with what must have been months if not years of research on the part of Gregg Olsen.
If you would like to know more about this book then South African readers can access via Kalahari Books or if you would like to see other readers' reviews then the Amazon link below will provide lots more information.
If Loving You is Wrong
I read this book in November 2007 and it has 8 pages of photographs.You can almost see the child staring back at you in the photos of Mary Kay Letourneau.And I have no idea what true crime genre to label this under so I am going to add a new one called "child exploitation" although I do not know how appropriate this is considering Mary Kay and Vili got married on May 20,2005.Read more here.Mary Kay Letourneau was released on parole in August of 2004. She will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life unless a judge makes a ruling otherwise.And more recent news here where she expresses some remorse at not having waited until Vili was 18 before starting a relationship with him.