On a cool Pensacola night in January 1991, just a few minutes before midnight, three teenagers pulled up to the Trout Auto Parts store. Patrick Bonifay, his body coursing with adrenaline, entered the store clad in a ski mask carrying a loaded gun, intent on carrying out a poorly laid plan. Little did he know that it was his life - as well as the lives of his companions - that was about to be forever changed.
Bonifay, Clifford Barth, and Eddie Fordham were hired to kill Daniel Wells by Robin Archer, who blamed Wells for losing his job nine months prior. The plan was orchestrated by the then-27-year-old Archer, who allegedly promised his 17-year-old nephew, Patrick, a suitcase full of money after the job was done. But Wells had called in sick that night, and an innocent man was covering his shift.
In this shocking and thought-provoking volume, Jeff Kunerth recounts the events of that fateful night, the swift investigation of the murder, the trials and sentencing of the teens, and their subsequent lives within the Florida court and penal systems. Kunerth uses the story of the Trout Auto Parts murder and the lives of these boys to explore varying aspects of troubled adolescence, impulsive actions lasting but moments, and the national trend of trying juveniles as adults in court.
They were boys every teenager can identify with and circumstances every parent fears. Their story provides a disturbing, sad, and compelling inside look at the dynamics of individuals - not yet adults, but no longer children - who commit senseless, impulsive crimes.
Trout is that rare book that continues to haunt you long after you've finished reading it.
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Despite formula true crime books, "Trout" has a tremendously complicated story to tell, yet in in a highly intelligent narrative of extremely complex people, judicial and Supreme Court decisions, neurological studies, and a religious conversion in which the reader heartily hopes for but proves to be a bandaid on a gaping wound that will never heal. The true kicker comes in the last 5 minutes of this book. It is a conclusion, a theory is proposed by one of the convicted, in 1991, which makes perfect, logical sense and brings "Trout" to a throughly satisfying conclusion.
Being a loyal Ann Rule fan, I would compare "Trout" to "The Stranger Beside Me" in the unabridged Part 3 book wherein Ms. Rule must come to terms and to honesty with herself in an Epiphany of who she thought she was, who she hoped Ted Bundy was, in reality, all just a small pile of ashes relative to a mountain of many beautiful, young women destroyed by a total narcissist.
Bob Malos portrayal of Peter is convincing at every turn -- a confused, conflicted teen embarking on murder; an introspective young man; approaching middle age in what appears to be a sincere religious conversion, then back again to a totally messed-up teenager mind-set and his ridiculous plans of fame, fortune and a reality TV program that is just madness.
"Ah ha!" "Eureka!" When the last puzzle piece fits into place, it is the same total satisfaction that your fingers feel as that last piece snaps flat on the table. It is contained in the last 5 minutes of the book. Revealing it here would make no sense having not heard all of the book. I actually smiled.
If you are an ardent reader of personal crime stories like me, GET THIS BOOK! The literary construction is flawless, and the mind-blowing conclusion is perfect.
- Merrie "I MADE A HUGH ERROR IN PARAGRAPH 3. IT'S PATRICK, NOT PETER. MEA CULPA!!!"
WOW! Great book!
I will listen to Trout again. The story still sits with me days later. Its like I hope somehow the story would end differently... it however, like most non fiction doesn't. The book is so well written. 5 stars!!
You feel like your there at Trout auto- in the building. I can't explain it.
Please read! Worth buying for sure.