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A Book Everyone Should Read
Books on GoodReads
• I recently discovered a book on GoodReads
that I wanted to tell you about. The book is
called The Sec...
A Shocking Secret
• It turns out there was a secret. Suzanne’s
grandfather, an Orthodox Jew, murdered his
teenage daughter...
Sally
• Sally showed signs of what we now
understand as schizophrenia. In the 1930’s
there was no treatment for the mental...
Why You Should Read This Book
• This is a very quick read and it’s an important story for
the following reason. Everyone k...
Why Suzanne Wrote Sally’s Story
• Suzanne found that the act of writing her family’s
tragic story was therapeutic. She act...
Think About The Secrets You’re
Keeping
• This book forces the reader to think about
secrets that we might be keeping. Talk...
Excerpt
• “At that moment, my worst suspicions were
confirmed. There was a lot more to this story
than I would probably ev...
Check out the book on Amazon
• http://amzn.com/09885
63908
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The Secrets They Kept: The True Story of a Mercy Killing that Shocked a Town and Shamed a Family

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Every family has its secrets. In 1937, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, an anguished father made the momentous decision to end his mentally ill daughter’s life rather than commit her to an insane asylum. After signing a joint suicide pact to die together, the father first killed the girl and then attempted to take his own life. Forever known as Cheyenne’s “mercy slayer,” the man survived to face the consequences of his unimaginable crime. Yet the question remains: What power on earth would compel a father to murder his own child? Now, after more than seven decades of silence, events surrounding this long-ago tragedy are at last being told. Author Suzanne Handler shares with readers the secrets of her family’s dark past. You will be moved by this extraordinary story of murder, mental illness, and the impact of secrets on families.

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The Secrets They Kept: The True Story of a Mercy Killing that Shocked a Town and Shamed a Family

  1. 1. A Book Everyone Should Read
  2. 2. Books on GoodReads • I recently discovered a book on GoodReads that I wanted to tell you about. The book is called The Secrets They Kept: The True Story of a Mercy Killing that Shocked a Town and Shamed a Family. The author, Suzanne Handler, always sensed something was “off” with her family. Her mother had always been emotional distant and Suzanne sensed she was hiding something.
  3. 3. A Shocking Secret • It turns out there was a secret. Suzanne’s grandfather, an Orthodox Jew, murdered his teenage daughter instead of having her committed to a mental institution. The teenage girls name was Sally and would have been Suzanne’s aunt.
  4. 4. Sally • Sally showed signs of what we now understand as schizophrenia. In the 1930’s there was no treatment for the mentally ill. There was no recovery or hope of one day being released to rejoin her family. Suzanne told me that these old mental asylums use to have graveyards out back. That should tell you enough.
  5. 5. Why You Should Read This Book • This is a very quick read and it’s an important story for the following reason. Everyone knows someone who is affected by mental illness. Even if it’s not you personally, trust me, it hits much closer to home than you may think. • In the Jewish community we assume those things don’t happen to us and therefor we don’t talk about it. This is a huge mistake. I think Jews especially take on the feelings of shame and guilt when we’re forced to keep secrets about loved ones and issues of mental health. That shame and guilt can eat away at you and make your quality of life miserable.
  6. 6. Why Suzanne Wrote Sally’s Story • Suzanne found that the act of writing her family’s tragic story was therapeutic. She actually felt better after writing this sad story even though she couldn’t go back in time and alter anything about it. I spoke to Suzanne about what she would like to get out of this book and she said, “I hope that, after reading The Secrets They Kept, others will be inspired to look for, and hopefully acknowledge, those individuals who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their families and erased from memory.”
  7. 7. Think About The Secrets You’re Keeping • This book forces the reader to think about secrets that we might be keeping. Talking about secrets can reduce the shame and anxiety we feel and immediately improve our quality of life. The book certainty leaves you with more questions than answers and I think it raises some important questions that will leave you thinking for days.
  8. 8. Excerpt • “At that moment, my worst suspicions were confirmed. There was a lot more to this story than I would probably ever know or comprehend. It was clear my mother and her siblings had forged an unwritten agreement to never tell their own children, including me, that there had been another sibling in the family, and that our much- admired grandfather had ended her young life under circumstances so bizarre as to completely baffle the mind.”
  9. 9. Check out the book on Amazon • http://amzn.com/09885 63908

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