Murder by Family: The Incredible True Story of a Son's Treachery and a Father's Forgiveness

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This is the tragic story of Kent Whitaker's heart-wrenching journey toward forgiveness and faith after the brutal murder of his wife and one of his sons.

Straight from the headlines comes an incredible true story of a son's treachery. For the first time, readers are offered inside access to the emotional drama that went on behind the scenes. At the core is the remarkable healing power of forgiveness, demonstrated by Kent Whitaker, which shows how the survivors of such atrocious events can still forgive those who have permanently damaged their lives.

One evening, the Whitaker family returned home after dinner, celebrating a son's impending graduation from college. On opening the front door, they faced a gunman lying in wait. The gunman opened fire, instantly killing the younger sonand Kent's wife, leaving Kent and his older son lying wounded until police and ambulances arrived. While recovering in the hospital, Kent resolved in his heart to forgive whoever was responsible for the deaths of his wife and son.

Over the next few weeks, it was discovered that the whole murder plot had been orchestrated by the surviving son -- whom Kent had unknowingly forgiven. After a trial that resulted in a death sentence for his son, Kent emerged from this harrowing ordeal to share their astonishing journey toward forgiveness and redemption.

Customer Reviews:

  • Astounding story of a father's love and forgiveness
    Murder by Family by Kent Whitaker is an unbelievable story of betrayal and forgiveness. What would you do if someone killed your spouse and child, shooting you as well? Could you forgive? Could you do it if you found out that it was your other child? Kent Whitaker faced just that dilemma. Returning home one night after celebrating his eldest son Bart's graduation from college, his life changed forever. He heard a shot when younger son Kevin walked into the house, another as his wife stepped forward, and as she fell, he saw a figure wearing a face mask, before Kent was hit in the shoulder from another shot. When a fourth shot rang out, Kent thought that Bart must have been shot as well, and as he lay in wracking pain and bleeding out, believed that his entire family had been killed. While lying in the hospital, Kent felt God's peace come over him, and he forgave the shooter and murderer of his wife and Kevin, but as the police quickly focused in on Bart as their number one suspect, that forgiveness was tested. Kent compares his suffering to that of King David with the betrayal of son Absalom; even though his son tried to have him killed, he did all he could to model God's unconditional love and forgiveness. Kent's story is absolutely amazing and could only be told by someone with enormous faith. I've read some poor reviews of this book, and I don't think that those reviewers can comprehend the power of faith. Kent doesn't excuse Bart's actions and faces all of the consequences of the shooting, however, I do think that he spent too much time trying to explain the inexplicable. It's a powerful story of a father's love....more info
  • Very good to read
    I enjoyed this book very much. Found it hard to put down. Emotional, well written....more info
  • Disgusting Self Deception
    This was a most disturbing book to read. The subject matter itself was not what was so disturbing-sociopaths are a reality. This father/author is so pathologically steeped in his religious preoccupation as to render anything he has to say as rediculous, inane, and symptomatic of delusional thinking. Excessive religiosity is never healthy and most often is reflective of significant problems in accepting and dealing with abject reality. This is true in this instance, to the extreme!! If you are interested in a good example of this personality type, this book is for you....more info
  • worth reading
    I enjoyed reading this book. It was well written even though the subject was horrific. I love to the it was detailed. For those of us who believe in forgiveness being the very key to christianity this is a must read....more info
  • Self absorbed cliche all over again
    I agree with some of the previous reviews here. I happened to pick up this book at a bookstore and sat down to skim through it one day. It is quite a puzzling read, as it seems there is much information left out that you would think must be part of the big picture. There were excuses and lack of thorough explanation as to how Bart's parents could have missed all the clues. I did watch the Kent Whitaker interview on Oprah...and was almost relieved when reading the comments on her website after the show. It seems many, many people could read between the lines as well. In my opinion, the book Kent Whitaker has written is actually a stale cliche, very prominent in the religious circles I'm assuming he moves in. Generally,these people think they are "christians"...but they are part of an almost cultic sub-culture that has little to do with real Christianity. Who knows, his original experience of instant "forgiveness" in the hospital could have been simply another form of denial. ...more info
  • speechdeb
    This is a well written story, spoken from the heart of the father. I read a lot of true stories--both crime and biographical. This one contains both elements & is inspirational as well. It shows that people have a lot of potential--most of us just don't use it....more info
  • Leaves you with many unanswered questions
    I confess that I read this book with a desire to understand what made Bart--the son of the author and the one who conceived the plan to kill his family--work. Rather, I found this was a book more about the spiritual journey of the father. I cannot imagine writing a book like this and I confess to feeling bad about giving the book only two stars. Still, like other reviewers, I wanted to know about Bart's childhood and more about what made him tick. One chapter does talk about what lies under the mask, and while this was revealing, the book does not explore the genesis of Bart's detachment from self.

    If you are seeking to understand how a father can forgive, I recommend this book as Mr. Whittaker talks in detail of how God sovereignly allowed different circumstances and events to happen as they did and how He used them to show Mr. Whittaker that He is in charge and although we may not understand, He is all about His own glory. Mr. Whittaker also is very candid about his own anger and confusion and clearly states that some of this anger was based on not knowing all that the police knew.

    If you are looking to understand the mind of a killer, you only get one chapter in the book to illumine that question. ...more info


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