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Shannon Adamcik

LEWISTON, Idaho, United States

The United States is the only country in the world that will charge a juvenile as an
adult and sentence them to life without parole. As the mother of one such child, I
know exactly what happens when a juvenile is placed in adult court where they
cannot defend themselves. They are immediately cut off from all human contact,
locked in isolation, and railroaded through a justice system they simply cannot
comprehend. Consequently, many of these juveniles are sentenced too much
longer and harsher terms than their adult counterparts. I’ve personally lived through
this, and I was compelled to write about it. My experience as a mother, up until my
son was arrested, was blessed. My husband and I had three beautiful children.
They were healthy, smart, responsible, caring people. They did not fall into the
traps of drugs or alcohol. They were good students. They had good friends. My
husband and I knew we were fortunate and we were thankful. But we never dreamt
that something could happen that would change our lives forever… One night in
September 2006 did. Approximately eight weeks earlier, our eldest son, Torey, 16,
had made a new friend; one we later learned was deeply disturbed. His name was
Brian Draper, and he had spent years fantasizing about violence. When Torey met
him, Brian was basically a walking time bomb. Our family was plunged into a
nightmare beyond imagination. I've always been a writer, so the idea of writing this
book came naturally to me. I began for the simple reason that I had lived through
this horrendous ordeal and I ached for someone to confide in. But reliving the most
painful part of my life was extraordinarily difficult. Ultimately the only reason that I
was able to persevere was my deep belief that the story was important and needed
to be told. That is still true. This is a true story and no one can tell it better than the
people who lived it. A crime reporter can look at the details of a case, but they
cannot tell you how it feels to live through it. I can and I did. I used the pre-trial and
trial transcripts, copies of the police reports, the autopsy and DNA reports, and
DVD recordings of all of the other evidence in this case. I've done copious research.
But more importantly, I take readers step-by-step through what it feels like when
your 16-year-old son is accused of first-degree murder; all the odds are stacked
against him; and his defense is in the hands of attorneys you can’t fully trust to
come through for you.

Interests: True crime, American legal system

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: No

 

Published works:

Nonfiction

  • The Guilty Innocent