Few true crime authors are as reliable as Kathryn Casey and only her name on the cover could convince me to read a book in which the disposal of the corpse involves the liberal use of cutlery. Where a lesser writer would focus on the heinous crime, Casey shows the descent of victim Jennifer Cave and killer Colton Pitonyak into hell courtesy of drugs. In a way the amount of hard drugs these two seemingly normal kids were doing by their freshman year is more shocking that the murder. Casey does an especially good job of showing how a “nice girl” like Jennifer Cave drifted into self-destruction.
Nice is not a word anyone will ever apply to Pitonyak or Hall. Having transformed himself into the drug king of the University of Texas via his own consumption and drug dealing, Colton looked for more ways to model himself on Scarface. Because that movie ended so well for Tony Montana and his little friend. Naturally this amounts to Colton going around telling other economically insulated white boys about his time in county jail, his gangsta ways, and his favorite rap song of the moment. Just when Colton couldn’t seem to be any more of an idiot he hooks up with the true monster of the book, Laura Hall. Pitonyak was a drug addled mess living a fantasy, Laura Hall is a beast who thought that helping her boyfriend dispose of a body was romantic. It’s one thing to do it, it’s something else to brag about it. On Facebook.
There is one thing wrong with this book. The obligatory salacious subtitle is lamer than usual. Colton Pitonyak and Jennifer Cave stopped being altar boy and cheerleader, respectively, by middle school so describing them thus makes as much sense as “the girl who wanted to be a teacher and the boy who wanted to be a fireman when they grew up”. Could Harper Collins just switch to decaf before they publish their next true crime?
Other than the subtitle, however, this book is pure ambrosia for true crime fans. Kathryn Casey’s books just keep getting better. Highly recommended.