This past week, my co-author Stacey M. Kananen‘s life has been splashed all over the airwaves and internet (admittedly, I’ve been doing some of that splashing). See, Stacey was horribly abused as a child and then, as an adult, accused of murdering both of her parents. When she was found not guilty, she asked me to co-author her life story so she can tell what happened from her perspective.
Up until then, the only story that the public knew was what the media and the prosecuting attorney were telling them, and they were making her sound like a murderer who got away with heinous crimes.
On March 3 (and subsequent rerun dates), a portion of that story was told on the Investigation Discovery series, Catch My Killer (episode title: The Dearly Departed–watch: Catch My Killer promo video).
While the show was mostly accurate (only a couple wince-inducing inaccuracies and one flat-out lie from a “witness,” but that’s to be expected when someone who wasn’t there is telling a story), they could only tell so much of the story in the allotted time frame of sixty minutes. Her trial was only mentioned in the final couple minutes, and a lot of important details were left out. But, again, they only had one hour to tell a very complex story.
But that’s where the book comes in. Fear of Our Father tells the whole story, from her childhood to the aftermath of her trial. It clears up any questions left dangling by the TV show’s brevity. It explains why she’s so passionate about starting up her own advocacy program. Yes, there are many programs out there, most started up by people who’ve lived through similar abuse like Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart. They all have their own take on what could work, and so does Stacey.
What impresses me most about Stacey is that she has come to terms with the fact that her incredibly private story is now out there for all the world to see and comment on. While her trial aired on In Session, viewers posted horrible things about her and her family, many forgetting that they were watching the suffering of real people, not characters in a movie. This book is Stacey M. Kananen taking charge of her life, for the very first time.
The Tampa Bay Times printed a very good article last week, and I’m very happy for Stacey that she is finally getting to tell her story. Here’s hoping that this is just the beginning of a successful new journey for her.