Sunday, March 1, 2009

Such Good Boys by Tina Dirmann

Raised in the suburb of Riverside, California, twenty-year-old college student Jason Bautista endured for years his emotionally disturbed mother' s verbal and psychological abuse. She even locked him out of the house, tied him up with electrical cord, and on one occasion, gave him a beating that sent him to the emergency room. His fifteen-year-old half brother Matthew Montejo also was a victim to Jane Bautista' s dark mood swings and erratic behavior, but for some reason, Jason received the brunt of the abuse-- until he decided he' d had enough...

On the night of January 14, 2003, Jason strangled his mother. To keep authorities from identifying her body, he chopped off her head and hands, an idea he claimed he got from watching an episode of the hit TV series The Sopranos. Matthew would later testify in court that he sat in another room in the house with the TV volume turned up while Jason murdered their mother. He also testified that he drove around with Jason to find a place to dump Jane' s torso.

The morning following the murder, Matthew went to school, and Jason returned to his classes at Cal State San Bernardino. When authorities zeroed in on them, Jason lied and said that Jane had run off with a boyfriend she' d met on the Internet. But when police confronted the boys with overwhelming evidence, Jason confessed all. Now the nightmare was only just beginning for him...

This book will make you believe in the saying "you reap what you sow" and as a mother this book has put some more doubts and worries into my mind as to whether I am raising my children properly.This is what I love about true crime books.Because the stories are real life stories,true crime books provide an insight into what can go wrong,what you can do to avoid certain situations and much much more.True crime authors have to be especially gifted at writing these books as the climax of a true crime story has already happened.You know before you start reading who murdered who.These true crime authors do not have the advantage of keeping their readers enthralled with the prospect of finding out what happens in the end.So they have to be really talented to keep you reading and in my opinion most of them are.But not just anyone can become a true crime writer.

Tina Dirmann tells this story exactly like it is.There are no added frills.It is straight forward and factual and I personally love this style of writing.This books starts with a very brief chapter on how the body is discovered and then goes back in time to detail the events in the two boys' lives until they eventually murder their mother.

I do not believe in physical punishment of children so it follows then that I absolutely hate any form of abuse against children so I was unable to muster any sympathy for the murder victim.

I do believe that more should have been done by neighbors and friends.A little bit of interference could have gone a long way to changing the outcome of this story.Many people are reluctant to report abuse as they feel they are involving themselves in matters that are internal and private to another family.

As a mother I would like my neighbors to report any abuse they might see in my home.What if I have a mental disease and cannot see what I am doing wrong? As a mother I would want my childrens' needs to come first and for them to be protected.

The murder victim was definitely suffering from some kind of mental breakdown and in that state of mind was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong.The people close to the family should have done something.

To sum up the book,it is well written but any mother will feel an emotional tug at her heart when reading this book.You will be faced once more by the enormous responsiblities laid at our door once we become a parent and hopefully in most cases we can congratulate ourselves on maybe not a perfect job in raising our children but in the fact that we are doing our very best and hopefully that this very best is good enough for our kids.

Amazon Books-USA and Canada

Amazon Books-UK and Europe

I read this book in September 2007
Book has 245 pages and 8 pages of photographs.Included are photos of the victim and her two sons.


  1. I have to say that I do not feel sorry for this mother. But also, their was no reason for her son to murder her. I don't understand why kids don't see that if they are being abused that they can go to the police, that is what they are their for.
    It is sad for me to say that I have no sympathy for the mother because of what she did, but their is no reason for her to have been doing that.

    Great review, as always. :)

  2. After reading this book, I was still left with an overwhelming sadness for both Jane and her sons. How very tragic, in that this all could have been avoided. Jane certainly did not have to die in such a horrible manner and her boys could have lead a more stable and normal life, only if family, friends, neighbors or anyone had taken the steps to become involved in their lives. It is just so very sad that these things are allowed to happen and no one gets involved until it is too late. I did feel deeply for Jane and her boys. This is a sickness which she had just like cancer or heart disease. She could have been medicated or had psychotherapy or some kind of counseling, but it did not happen for her. Poor Jason and Matt and what an awful life they endured. Hopefully Matt can have some peace of mind with his Dad and new family. I am not sure what will happen to Jason in prison all his life and virtually no support system on the outside. He does seem to have a strong character in that he did not turn to drugs or alcohol which is really amazing under the circumstances. It is rather disappointing that Orange County prosecutors were out for blood and all they cared about was making an arrest and conviction. No concern at all that these boys were lost and confused with no form of adult guidance. Again how very sad!!!!


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