Thursday, January 22, 2009

True Crime: Family Affairs

(Andy Hoffman, Pocket Books, 1992)
Yet another true crime book about a Mother-from-Hell.
In the pleasant suburbia of Overland Park, relatively close to Kansas City, ice princess Sueanne Hobson, recently married to milquetoast and widowed Ed Hobson, finds Chris Hobson, the 13-year-old son of her second husband, to be such a disturbance to her dreams of the perfect house & home that she has James Crumm Jr., her partially estranged 17-year-old son from her first marriage, and his buddy Paul, knock Chris off. One evening a stoned James and Paul do so by taking the nerve-addling and aggravating adolescent innocent miles out into the countryside where, near a stream and close to a variety of abandoned houses, they first force Chris to dig his own grave and then shoot him dead. Despite Paul’s bragging to friends about how he had killed the "jerk," in all likelihood the police would not have been able to solve the crime and bring anyone before a jury had not two country bumpkins gone fishing and accidentally found the badly buried corpse.
Sueanne comes across as a conniving, cold-hearted bitch incapable of feeling compassion or guilt, but this sickening, cold-hearted and pointless crime that ruined the lives of everyone closely involved is so unbelievably senseless that it is almost impossible to believe that she (or anyone else) would stoop to it. As for Ed, for whom one’s pity slowly turns to disgust as he consistently compounds one stupidity upon the other, either he is indeed a brainless wimp of the first degree or Sueanne really learned a lot at the mind control group she regularly attended. Next to the dead boy, the person who incites the most sympathy is his step-brother killer James; though admittedly guilty of the killing, he comes across as another weak-willed, pliable lost soul, a victim of an unhappy and harsh childhood who, in the hope of gaining his mother’s respect and love, does the unthinkable. Were it not for the damning statement of Sueanne’s daughter Suzanne, first given and then recanted and then — three years after the court conviction — again admitted to, Sueanne’s motive is so unbelievably petty that one could forever doubt that she really instigated the murder. Read this book and be happy that you have the mother you have.
Update: Over the years after this book was published, Mr. Milquetoast initially disappeared from the public eye. But in 2003, his unbelievable and un-understandable actions once again put him in the spotlight. Following the death of his son and the conviction of his loving wife, Ed "Spineless" Hobson joined the Kansas City chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, a support group that also actively works at keeping convicted murderers like Sueanne in jail by blocking their parole. By the late 90s, Hobson’s active participation had led to the position of co-leader of the group, which is when he dropped the bombshell that he still loved his (now) ex-wife and would once again (!!!) actively offer his support to get her paroled when she was to come up again later that year. (Nonetheless, he was both pissed about and against the parole of Suanne’s son James who, after years of being a model prisoner, was released in 1997 and has since been living an up-standing life as an electrician in Texas.) In any event, Sueanne still sits in jail, having been turned down for parole for the seventh time in 2006.

Images (from the web):
Top: The good book itself.
Bottom: The mother from hell herself,
Sueanne Hobson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Update: She made parole. They actually let her out.

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