Reviews

Nov 16, 2016 K. rated it it was amazing

McGettigan’s book chronicles the time she and her husband, John, spent caring for Sophie, a local woman in her 80s who was homeless at the time that John literally bumped into her on the street. He recognized her from around town and offered her a place to sleep on his couch at home.

What started as a short-term offer for help turned into weeks, months and years of living under the same roof. Doreen shares the vicissitudes of caring for someone who has profound need who also had personal habits McGettigan’s book chronicles the time she and her husband, John, spent caring for Sophie, a local woman in her 80s who was homeless at the time that John literally bumped into her on the street. He recognized her from around town and offered her a place to sleep on his couch at home.

What started as a short-term offer for help turned into weeks, months and years of living under the same roof. Doreen shares the vicissitudes of caring for someone who has profound need who also had personal habits that were difficult to accept. The book also steps back from time to time to address the problem of homelessness at large and the difficulty of negotiating through various social services.

I spent some time myself in the last two years serving as a lay minister to women in my local congregation in Kansas. We had many women in our congregation who had few resources as they moved into their late adulthood. Like Sophie, many older women are out of the public eye and suffer from lack of adequate shelter, food, and health care. It’s a sobering topic, and McGettigan’s book helps humanize what is all too often a statistic for people–if they think about older, impoverished women at all.

Jul 13, 2016 Madge rated it really liked it
An interesting story about a husband and wife who take in a homeless woman. 2 years of trying to help this woman get services and find a permanent home at 80 years of age. Mixed in are statistics about the homeless and most slip through the cracks and how hard it is to treat and help.
Feb 22, 2016 Mary Aalgaard rated it really liked it
The Stranger in My Recliner is an important book. It opens our eyes to what homeless people must go through. It shows us a real person in a terrible situation. And, it shows us what two people with kind hearts can do for someone, make a difference in just one life, a precious life. God bless you, Doreen and John. Thank you for sharing your story and Sophie’s story. May this book help to make a change in our world.
Nov 29, 2016 Adela Crandell Durkee rated it really liked it

Doreen McGettigan is a Good Samaritan in every sense of the word. She not only helped the elderly homeless woman, Sophie, she housed her, clothed her, fed her, and saw to her every need. It was not always easy, and McGetttigan tells the truth about her fear and sometimes disgust. Yet, she grew to love Sophie and mourns her loss.

McGettigan’s simple question, “What would you do?” challenges us to not only look at the homeless as our brothers and sisters, but to take action to relieve their sufferi Doreen McGettigan is a Good Samaritan in every sense of the word. She not only helped the elderly homeless woman, Sophie, she housed her, clothed her, fed her, and saw to her every need. It was not always easy, and McGetttigan tells the truth about her fear and sometimes disgust. Yet, she grew to love Sophie and mourns her loss.

McGettigan’s simple question, “What would you do?” challenges us to not only look at the homeless as our brothers and sisters, but to take action to relieve their suffering.

Jan 21, 2016 Don George rated it really liked it
Doreen McGettigan’s second book is not for the faint of heart. Her journey with Sophie, a homeless woman whom she and her husband John welcome into their home, is emotional, riveting and introspective. It’s very personal, perhaps too personal at times. But Sophie’s Story, to do it justice, needed to be that personal.
Have you cared for a parent with terminal disease in the end stages of their life? How about a child with severe developmental challenges? Have you provided daily care for a mentally
Doreen McGettigan’s second book is not for the faint of heart. Her journey with Sophie, a homeless woman whom she and her husband John welcome into their home, is emotional, riveting and introspective. It’s very personal, perhaps too personal at times. But Sophie’s Story, to do it justice, needed to be that personal.
Have you cared for a parent with terminal disease in the end stages of their life? How about a child with severe developmental challenges? Have you provided daily care for a mentally, emotionally or physically challenged person?
Imagine, if you can, in body and soul, a lonely 82 year old woman, a total stranger, abandoned and living on the streets of your local community. Imagine that person with all of those afflictions. If you so dare to imagine, you have barely a snippet of Sophie. Her story is far more complex.
A few friends attempted, best as they could, to help Sophie. John, whom Sophie helped twenty years earlier, stumbled upon her downtrodden self and immediately felt a duty of obligation to provide something more. And Doreen, being the “caretaker” that she is, rose to the occasion. It was their divine calling.
The reader can’t help but ask, “What would I do?” For anyone who has cared for a person, a loved one, a friend with debilitating circumstances, you know the challenges and strain. This book will give comfort, knowing that others have similar experiences, emotional reactions, and thoughts.
If you’ve not had these experiences, consider yourself lucky, and know that eventually you should. Should? Why should? Simply, as Doreen asserts, we as families should have a sense of decency, a sense of commitment and a sense of responsibility to our family and friends in need. Sophie had none of that from her own family. And the government programs, seriously flawed, let her down too.
Doreens’ captivating story telling makes “Stranger” an easy and satisfying, albeit disturbing read. At times, the flow seems disjointed, but it works in the context of Doreen’s, John’s and Sophie’s gut wrenching relationships with each other, with others, and with the world at large.
Yes, I am being elusive about those details. Why? Because I could never do them justice the way Doreen tells the story. Read it. You be the judge. And take Sophie’s Challenge when done.
Jan 26, 2016 Cindy Falteich rated it it was amazing

The intricate narrative of how a homeless stranger came to be a roommate, how it affected their lives and how it set the author on her own journey of discovery, give the reader an intimate look at the face of aging, families and, of course, the worst case scenario. Fully researched yet personally poignant, “The Stranger in My Recliner” opens your heart to one woman’s descent into homelessness and the complicated spiral of services that failed.

In the end, it’s evident that the state of mental hea The intricate narrative of how a homeless stranger came to be a roommate, how it affected their lives and how it set the author on her own journey of discovery, give the reader an intimate look at the face of aging, families and, of course, the worst case scenario. Fully researched yet personally poignant, “The Stranger in My Recliner” opens your heart to one woman’s descent into homelessness and the complicated spiral of services that failed.

In the end, it’s evident that the state of mental health services sometimes leaves only two options for caregivers and their struggling family members: wash their hands of it or live with them tied. The red tape surrounding services for mental illness can also prevent those afflicted from getting effective help, even when the best intent is at heart. The author makes it evident that for every person on the street with no where to call home, there’s a story.

I commend her for taking responsibility. It was the ultimate act of kindness. Great story!

Jan 26, 2016 Vickie rated it it was amazing

Doreen McGettigan’s book, The Stranger in My Recliner, is an aptly titled book chronicling her and her husband’s decision to take in an elderly homeless lady.

Doreen pulls no punches as she takes a hard look at how the situation affected her and her family. She takes a painful and honest look at the myriad of emotions that came with trying to help Sophie: everything from pity to frustration to joy. You can tell that Doreen cares. She never flinches when it comes to asking hard questions either. S Doreen McGettigan’s book, The Stranger in My Recliner, is an aptly titled book chronicling her and her husband’s decision to take in an elderly homeless lady.

Doreen pulls no punches as she takes a hard look at how the situation affected her and her family. She takes a painful and honest look at the myriad of emotions that came with trying to help Sophie: everything from pity to frustration to joy. You can tell that Doreen cares. She never flinches when it comes to asking hard questions either. She asks the reader what they would do if they were to come across Sophie. What can we do as a society? How can we do a better job when it comes to taking care of our homeless and our elderly?

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in fixing a system that is broken. For anyone who wants to help the homeless or the elderly or both. This book does a good job of putting the reader into that situation and showing them how it feels to have that responsibility and to have to maneuver through a system that is busted at the same time. This book challenges us to do better as individuals and as a society. This book challenges us to be part of the solution: to make the world a better place for the homeless and the elderly.

In the interest of full disclosure I was sent a review copy of the book.

Homeless People Deserve Our Love and Care By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

The publisher/author sent me a copy for an honest review

A Stranger in My Recliner: My Review

It’s below freezing outside and you are wandering the streets because you have no place to go and no one that care about you or will take you in. The system of services cannot find you because you do not have an address so where are they going to send your checks? Wandering the streets you have one favorite hangout, McDonalds where you and some of your other friends stay until closing time when you have to find a place to sleep outside where you won’t get mugged or injured. But, people walk by you seeing you sitting on the sidewalk, covered with newspapers or a thread-born coat just stares at you and walk the other way. You eyes are clear; your face is alert yet many think you are not mentally stable. No one knows your story nor do they care to know it. What happens to so many of these people that are homeless and do not want to go to shelters, whose families just up and left them to fend for themselves and one special lady named Sophie who became the Stranger in John and Doreen’s recliner. This is a true story of compassion, understanding, love and hope for one 80-year-old woman. As you hear Doreen, our narrator telling the story you will cry, scream, laugh and wonder just what these agencies that are supposed to help are doing and why they don’t seem to quite get it. With all of her heart, with all of her resentment at times and fears, what happens with Sophie will warm your heart, fill your eyes with tears and bring a special smile to your face and love for both John and Doreen. As John was driving home one day and found Sophie sitting on the sidewalk outside and called Doreen asking to bring her home. What would you do if you were Doreen? How can you open your home and heart to a complete stranger? This is a story that everyone needs to read.

The voices heard are Sophie’s and Doreen’s as the emotions vary yet are the same. Each frustrated and angry over their situations and Doreen helpless at times not knowing how to make this stranger feel comfortable and safe. Doreen’s fears, upsets and emotional upheavals are apparent when she asks Sophie to join her and her family on trips that would lighten her burden and make her part of their lives. Her children and grandchildren are accepting to a point but Sophie’s fears and the remembrances of her own children that cast her aside cause a barrier to come up and she can’t seem to let it down. The author’s research is quite extensive into the homeless, the bureaucratic agencies and their lack of support of help.

John is supportive and there for her but basically it is all on Doreen. Even getting two precious dogs and asking Sophie to care for them while she is away put a strain on her during their vacation. Sophie’s anger seemed bottled up and when asked to provide medical documents or anything else the amount of time she took was insurmountable. When Doreen finally went through her ratty bag what she found was information to help her sort out some of her family and medical issues and taking her shopping and in her car other landmarks became apparent. Sophie is definitely ill and needs a doctor but does she have something terminal or are her outbursts and memory problems Dementia/Alzheimer’s? As the story progresses the author includes pictures of Sophie, memories that she had, a photo of where John found her and some pictures of Doreen’s grandchildren that she identified with and more. Added in we learn about her children, her marriages, the abuse she went through and other people in her life wondering what is reality and what if not.
Doreen sites many laws, statues and different places that she researched and visited to learn more about the rights of the homeless and mentally ill that readers need to read for themselves to understand the gravity of the situation and how far she went to learn more about the system and why is often fails so many. Do you realize that if someone is mentally ill and feels they are not they cannot be committed? She cared for Sophie and learning more about her family makes you wonder what kind of fiber they were made of. She also shared with Doreen about the life living in the woods, the people that beat her up and her trip to her primary doctor who missed something grave. Taking her to live in Fair Acres was one of the hardest decisions she and John had to make but much safer and better for Sophie as it was taking its toll on both of them. Added in we learn about the new cases the author was given and the deplorable conditions some patients lived in because of lack of care.

There are many resources that are listed and the volume of information is vast as we learn more about Sophie’s life, and Doreen contacting her son Billy and her two friends Lisa and Bob. Both Lisa and Bob filled in much of what she did not know along with the fact that Lisa allowed her to use her address to get her mail. Friendships are tested. A marriage was made stronger and a woman named Sophie was granted three years of life because two people could not stand to see her all alone. Understanding that she spoke like a little child at times and feared doctors for a reason Sophie’s voice is heard loud and clear as you wonder if she did not bury herself within a protective shell so she would not get hurt. This is a powerful book that needs to be placed in every library, every hospital library, nursing home and for caregivers to understand what needs to be done to help the homeless and those that cannot care for themselves. What they did in Utah to help the homeless by giving them housing and much more is commendable and should happen everywhere else. To Doreen thank you for giving me the honor or reviewing this title and for making Sophie a part of my life too. The pictures helped me get to know her better and the story is one that needs to be told over and over again. I know that at times you think that you did the wrong thing but Doreen you and John gave an older woman her life back in some way for three years. The blue recliner that she loved and thought of as her safety net I hope that you still have as a remembrance.

Let’s dedicate this to Sophie and all those homeless people that deserve our love, kindness, help and understanding. The next time you see someone sitting alone on the street do not walk by them with distain remember: IT COULD BE YOU!

Homeless People Deserve Our Love and Care By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

The publisher/author sent me a copy for an honest review

A Stranger in My Recliner: My Review

It’s below freezing outside and you are wandering the streets because you have no place to go and no one that care about you or will take you in. The system of services cannot find you because you do not have an address so where are they going to send your checks? Wandering the streets you have one favorite hangout, McDonalds where you and some of your other friends stay until closing time when you have to find a place to sleep outside where you won’t get mugged or injured. But, people walk by you seeing you sitting on the sidewalk, covered with newspapers or a thread-born coat just stares at you and walk the other way. You eyes are clear; your face is alert yet many think you are not mentally stable. No one knows your story nor do they care to know it. What happens to so many of these people that are homeless and do not want to go to shelters, whose families just up and left them to fend for themselves and one special lady named Sophie who became the Stranger in John and Doreen’s recliner. This is a true story of compassion, understanding, love and hope for one 80-year-old woman. As you hear Doreen, our narrator telling the story you will cry, scream, laugh and wonder just what these agencies that are supposed to help are doing and why they don’t seem to quite get it. With all of her heart, with all of her resentment at times and fears, what happens with Sophie will warm your heart, fill your eyes with tears and bring a special smile to your face and love for both John and Doreen. As John was driving home one day and found Sophie sitting on the sidewalk outside and called Doreen asking to bring her home. What would you do if you were Doreen? How can you open your home and heart to a complete stranger? This is a story that everyone needs to read.

The voices heard are Sophie’s and Doreen’s as the emotions vary yet are the same. Each frustrated and angry over their situations and Doreen helpless at times not knowing how to make this stranger feel comfortable and safe. Doreen’s fears, upsets and emotional upheavals are apparent when she asks Sophie to join her and her family on trips that would lighten her burden and make her part of their lives. Her children and grandchildren are accepting to a point but Sophie’s fears and the remembrances of her own children that cast her aside cause a barrier to come up and she can’t seem to let it down. The author’s research is quite extensive into the homeless, the bureaucratic agencies and their lack of support of help.

John is supportive and there for her but basically it is all on Doreen. Even getting two precious dogs and asking Sophie to care for them while she is away put a strain on her during their vacation. Sophie’s anger seemed bottled up and when asked to provide medical documents or anything else the amount of time she took was insurmountable. When Doreen finally went through her ratty bag what she found was information to help her sort out some of her family and medical issues and taking her shopping and in her car other landmarks became apparent. Sophie is definitely ill and needs a doctor but does she have something terminal or are her outbursts and memory problems Dementia/Alzheimer’s? As the story progresses the author includes pictures of Sophie, memories that she had, a photo of where John found her and some pictures of Doreen’s grandchildren that she identified with and more. Added in we learn about her children, her marriages, the abuse she went through and other people in her life wondering what is reality and what if not.
Doreen sites many laws, statues and different places that she researched and visited to learn more about the rights of the homeless and mentally ill that readers need to read for themselves to understand the gravity of the situation and how far she went to learn more about the system and why is often fails so many. Do you realize that if someone is mentally ill and feels they are not they cannot be committed? She cared for Sophie and learning more about her family makes you wonder what kind of fiber they were made of. She also shared with Doreen about the life living in the woods, the people that beat her up and her trip to her primary doctor who missed something grave. Taking her to live in Fair Acres was one of the hardest decisions she and John had to make but much safer and better for Sophie as it was taking its toll on both of them. Added in we learn about the new cases the author was given and the deplorable conditions some patients lived in because of lack of care.

There are many resources that are listed and the volume of information is vast as we learn more about Sophie’s life, and Doreen contacting her son Billy and her two friends Lisa and Bob. Both Lisa and Bob filled in much of what she did not know along with the fact that Lisa allowed her to use her address to get her mail. Friendships are tested. A marriage was made stronger and a woman named Sophie was granted three years of life because two people could not stand to see her all alone. Understanding that she spoke like a little child at times and feared doctors for a reason Sophie’s voice is heard loud and clear as you wonder if she did not bury herself within a protective shell so she would not get hurt. This is a powerful book that needs to be placed in every library, every hospital library, nursing home and for caregivers to understand what needs to be done to help the homeless and those that cannot care for themselves. What they did in Utah to help the homeless by giving them housing and much more is commendable and should happen everywhere else. To Doreen thank you for giving me the honor or reviewing this title and for making Sophie a part of my life too. The pictures helped me get to know her better and the story is one that needs to be told over and over again. I know that at times you think that you did the wrong thing but Doreen you and John gave an older woman her life back in some way for three years. The blue recliner that she loved and thought of as her safety net I hope that you still have as a remembrance.

Let’s dedicate this to Sophie and all those homeless people that deserve our love, kindness, help and understanding. The next time you see someone sitting alone on the street do not walk by them with distain remember: IT COULD BE YOU!

I loved this book

on January 31, 2016
The Stranger in My Recliner is an honest, compelling story of how life changed the day that Doreen Mcgettigan’s husband brought a homeless woman home with him. Doreen masterfully weaves in the facts about how we, as society view our homeless, our mentally ill, and our elderly. She describes her struggles to not only find services for Sophie – the woman the Mcgettigans wrapped into their lives – but to also find out about who this woman really was. I loved this book. Doreen’s beautiful, gentle voice comes through loudly and clearly on every page and I felt like she was talking to me, telling me the story of Sophie and motivating me to examine my own actions and attitudes.

I loved “The Stranger in My Recliner” and found it difficult …

on February 25, 2016
I loved “The Stranger in My Recliner” and found it difficult to put down. I kept on coming back to it to find out what would happen next. I don’t know if I could do what Doreen and John did, take in a stranger and love her like one of their own. I appreciated Doreen’s honesty in her feelings and the details of what her day could bring. And even though it was difficult to read, her insights into our history and current programs for our elderly, homeless, and mentally ill and the inadequacies of the programs are eye-opening and thought provoking. This a beautiful love story.

I loved “The Stranger in My Recliner” and found it difficult …

on February 25, 2016
I loved “The Stranger in My Recliner” and found it difficult to put down. I kept on coming back to it to find out what would happen next. I don’t know if I could do what Doreen and John did, take in a stranger and love her like one of their own. I appreciated Doreen’s honesty in her feelings and the details of what her day could bring. And even though it was difficult to read, her insights into our history and current programs for our elderly, homeless, and mentally ill and the inadequacies of the programs are eye-opening and thought provoking. This a beautiful love story.

When she states that she doesn’t want to attend church because “God hates her” gave me great pause.

on March 2, 2016
I laughed and cried reading “The Stranger On My Recliner”. Most everyone in South Eastern Delaware County knew “Sophie”. Ms. Mcgettigan has her down perfectly. I don’t want to say anything negative about Sophie because I think her life was one of heart aches after heart aches to finally not even having a bed to rest her weary body. I think it highlights, Sister Mary Scullion’s quote, “None of us are home until all of us are home”. The glimpses into Sophie’s reality are startling; when she states that she doesn’t want to attend church because “God hates her” gave me great pause.
on April 19, 2016

The Stranger in My Recliner is one of those books that sticks with you for many reasons. Author Doreen M. McGettigan has a story to tell and it is one of compassion, courage, discomfort, uneasiness and a myriad of other emotions that all pop up while the book is read. To say that this is an easy memoir to read might not be fully true but to say that this is a book that needs to be read is spot on.

Doreen and her husband John find themselves in the unusual position of being caregivers for Sophie, an 80 year old homeless woman whom John has befriended. As the author unfolds the details of how Sophie happened to come to be the main resident in the blue recliner in their living room she honestly relates her frustration at times with both the situation and Sophie herself.

Homelessness is rampant in the US and it is no mystery that there are no easy solutions. Doreen McGettigan shares some shocking statistics in her memoir including the fact that the estimated number of homeless people in America is somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 million. That is an astronomical number in my opinion and quite possibly that number errs on the side of being low.

The problems that arose with the care of Sophie were numerous. The very fact that individuals need an address to receive any benefits played against Sophie being able to get much assistance at all even when she did have an address with Doreen and John. The address meant that she was no longer homeless and could not receive some of the much needed aid that was available. So what is the answer?

The memoir shares so many of the problems that exist with our mental health system as well as with those who just need assistance. Accessing the system is impossible for many and as a result they end up in dire straits.

This was a hard book to read because there is such a big gap when it comes to services for those who need them. Doreen worked diligently to help this woman —not many people would take someone into their own home for an extended period of time and try to work through all of the issues that came up as a result. But John and Doreen did and in their doing so they made Sophie real to the rest of us who are reading her story.

One quote that I especially loved was as follows: “John often says we met Jesus and his name was Sophie.”. I have always believed that people are placed in our paths for some reason or another and I truly believe that Sophie was put in the lives of the McGettigans for a reason. Doreen was able to write her story and get some much needed information shared and because of her compassion lives were changed and will continue to be changed.

This book served as a challenge to me to look beyond and perhaps to see more closely those invisible persons who live right out in plain view. If the McGettigans could make such a sacrifice and such a difference in the life of Sophie what could I do?

Riveting read

on July 13, 2016
I was unable to put down this true account of a couple who took a homeless woman into their home for over 2 years. It was an eye-opener in many ways. However, some parts of the book got a bit pedantic, for example a long section on the history of mental hospitals could have been much more compact. In addition, the writer was at times unnecessarily repetitive which made the story a bit disjointed. I was bothered by the unanswered questions that were left hanging and the abrupt ending left me wondering if she left out a chapter. Still it was a remarkable story that I enjoyed.

Highly recommended. A good read. There are good people in the world.

on July 19, 2016
The Stranger in My Recliner is quite a worthwhile read. It made me laugh. It made me cry. Doreen McGettigan tells her story in such an honest and entertaining voice that I read the book through without stopping. I’d bought the book on Kindle as soon as it came out, but then I ordered a lot of other books and somehow I forgot it was on my Kindle. I looked through my books yesterday, found it, and decided to read a bit of it. I couldn’t put it down. Yes, it’s sad. It’s extremely sad that there are so many people who are homeless and my heart sank when I read about it. However, knowing that there are people like Doreen and her husband in the world made me feel better about the world. I’m glad that this book has been written. I recommend it highly. Thank you, Doreen McGettigan, for writing it.

Good read

on July 27, 2016
Good book. True life story with wonderful messages. So glad I read it. Hoping there is a sequel to it.

A Book Everyone Should Read! By Bookaholic Banter on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

Doreen provides an honest account of what it is like to allow a stranger into your home, to put a stranger’s needs before your own, and sacrificing your time and well being. I really enjoyed reading this story. The author knows how to write to keep you engaged. It was never dull or boring. It was very interesting. There were moments where I laughed out loud,. at times I cried. It was a sad but lovely story. It really got me thinking.

This book will make you think before judging a homeless person again. Sophie could be anyone of us at some point. There are so many reasons that people become homeless. This book will change the way you look at someone who is homeless.

At the end of this book the author encourages us to get more involved. There are many ways that we can do this and help make a difference and hopefully end the homelessness. There are suggestions provided and also a hashtag to use on social media. Help spread the word. This book is one that can effect us all greatly just by picking it up and reading it. This is a book that everyone should read. It is a topic that is not discussed enough and innocently ignored at times. It is an important piece of literature in our day and age.

Never Give Up By Beth Firce on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

I’d been taught to treat people the way the God said we should but I’d never known anyone who took those words as literally as Doreen and John. An elderly stranger, mentally unstable, sometimes incontinent, sometimes mean spirited and at times destructive takes up residence in their recliner. Yet, Doreen made her feel welcome in her own home. It started out of her love and loyalty to her husband, John, who knew Sophie first. I saw, in this book, more than simply a kind deed done for an old lady. I saw what selfless people can do to make the life of one person better. It was difficult for Doreen, as she was the main caregiver for Sophie, but she never gave up. The mental health system and elderly assistance makes it impossible to find the resources desperately needed for so many homeless on the streets. I believe that Doreen opened the eyes of the government agencies that she dealt with. The woman is a bulldog when she is on a mission! Sophie’s story could be anyone’s story if changes aren’t made to accommodate those living from one paycheck to the next, or unable to work due to health or age. The Stranger In My Recliner is an excellent example of kindness, selflessness, perseverance, loyalty, and just doing the right thing.

Homeless People Deserve Our Love and Care By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

The publisher/author sent me a copy for an honest review

A Stranger in My Recliner: My Review

It’s below freezing outside and you are wandering the streets because you have no place to go and no one that care about you or will take you in. The system of services cannot find you because you do not have an address so where are they going to send your checks? Wandering the streets you have one favorite hangout, McDonalds where you and some of your other friends stay until closing time when you have to find a place to sleep outside where you won’t get mugged or injured. But, people walk by you seeing you sitting on the sidewalk, covered with newspapers or a thread-born coat just stares at you and walk the other way. You eyes are clear; your face is alert yet many think you are not mentally stable. No one knows your story nor do they care to know it. What happens to so many of these people that are homeless and do not want to go to shelters, whose families just up and left them to fend for themselves and one special lady named Sophie who became the Stranger in John and Doreen’s recliner. This is a true story of compassion, understanding, love and hope for one 80-year-old woman. As you hear Doreen, our narrator telling the story you will cry, scream, laugh and wonder just what these agencies that are supposed to help are doing and why they don’t seem to quite get it. With all of her heart, with all of her resentment at times and fears, what happens with Sophie will warm your heart, fill your eyes with tears and bring a special smile to your face and love for both John and Doreen. As John was driving home one day and found Sophie sitting on the sidewalk outside and called Doreen asking to bring her home. What would you do if you were Doreen? How can you open your home and heart to a complete stranger? This is a story that everyone needs to read.

The voices heard are Sophie’s and Doreen’s as the emotions vary yet are the same. Each frustrated and angry over their situations and Doreen helpless at times not knowing how to make this stranger feel comfortable and safe. Doreen’s fears, upsets and emotional upheavals are apparent when she asks Sophie to join her and her family on trips that would lighten her burden and make her part of their lives. Her children and grandchildren are accepting to a point but Sophie’s fears and the remembrances of her own children that cast her aside cause a barrier to come up and she can’t seem to let it down. The author’s research is quite extensive into the homeless, the bureaucratic agencies and their lack of support of help.

John is supportive and there for her but basically it is all on Doreen. Even getting two precious dogs and asking Sophie to care for them while she is away put a strain on her during their vacation. Sophie’s anger seemed bottled up and when asked to provide medical documents or anything else the amount of time she took was insurmountable. When Doreen finally went through her ratty bag what she found was information to help her sort out some of her family and medical issues and taking her shopping and in her car other landmarks became apparent. Sophie is definitely ill and needs a doctor but does she have something terminal or are her outbursts and memory problems Dementia/Alzheimer’s? As the story progresses the author includes pictures of Sophie, memories that she had, a photo of where John found her and some pictures of Doreen’s grandchildren that she identified with and more. Added in we learn about her children, her marriages, the abuse she went through and other people in her life wondering what is reality and what if not.
Doreen sites many laws, statues and different places that she researched and visited to learn more about the rights of the homeless and mentally ill that readers need to read for themselves to understand the gravity of the situation and how far she went to learn more about the system and why is often fails so many. Do you realize that if someone is mentally ill and feels they are not they cannot be committed? She cared for Sophie and learning more about her family makes you wonder what kind of fiber they were made of. She also shared with Doreen about the life living in the woods, the people that beat her up and her trip to her primary doctor who missed something grave. Taking her to live in Fair Acres was one of the hardest decisions she and John had to make but much safer and better for Sophie as it was taking its toll on both of them. Added in we learn about the new cases the author was given and the deplorable conditions some patients lived in because of lack of care.

There are many resources that are listed and the volume of information is vast as we learn more about Sophie’s life, and Doreen contacting her son Billy and her two friends Lisa and Bob. Both Lisa and Bob filled in much of what she did not know along with the fact that Lisa allowed her to use her address to get her mail. Friendships are tested. A marriage was made stronger and a woman named Sophie was granted three years of life because two people could not stand to see her all alone. Understanding that she spoke like a little child at times and feared doctors for a reason Sophie’s voice is heard loud and clear as you wonder if she did not bury herself within a protective shell so she would not get hurt. This is a powerful book that needs to be placed in every library, every hospital library, nursing home and for caregivers to understand what needs to be done to help the homeless and those that cannot care for themselves. What they did in Utah to help the homeless by giving them housing and much more is commendable and should happen everywhere else. To Doreen thank you for giving me the honor or reviewing this title and for making Sophie a part of my life too. The pictures helped me get to know her better and the story is one that needs to be told over and over again. I know that at times you think that you did the wrong thing but Doreen you and John gave an older woman her life back in some way for three years. The blue recliner that she loved and thought of as her safety net I hope that you still have as a remembrance.

Let’s dedicate this to Sophie and all those homeless people that deserve our love, kindness, help and understanding. The next time you see someone sitting alone on the street do not walk by them with distain remember: IT COULD BE YOU!

Let’s give this book FIVE GOLDEN BLUE RECLINERS IN MEMORY OF SOPHIE

5.0 out of 5 starsA beautiful memoir.

By Sharon Nobilio on January 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

“The right thing to do is never the easiest,” writes Doreen M. Mcgettigan.
“I wanted to look past it, to keep walking, or to throw money and canned goods at it, but … it was right under my roof… wearing my pajamas.”
When her good-hearted husband rescues a destitute old lady one cold winter night, little did Doreen know that this pathetic creature would remain in their home long enough to seem like one of their “crazy relatives.”
Soon the dichotomy between the two women—one a trained caregiver with an overly heightened olfactory sense and a compulsion for cleanliness and order, the other a “germ-ridden, smelly, and very lazy elderly woman”—is surprisingly humorous, often frustrating, but oh, so very human.
Even more compelling than Ms. Mcgettigan’s skillful reporting on our system’s complacency in recognizing, much less treating, mental illness, The Stranger in my Recliner is the heartfelt and tragic story of Sophie—and the Good Samaritan couple, Doreen and John, who open their home, and their hearts, to this frail and confused old soul.
Bravo, Doreen Mcgettigan. As an advocate for the lost and broken victims of our society, you walk the talk.
Gripping and emotional, I could not put it down. June 22, 2015
I could not put this book down. My heart hurts for Doreen and her family. Doreen takes her reader into the hospital, the court room, the murder site, it was gripping and emotional, and a story that needed to be told and should be read.
to many Victims and families are on these pages. all over USA June 4, 2015
I liked Doreen did not hold back. On D.A.’s or Judges,or her grief. I’m sad 4 her family. Thank You
Olga Blosser
Doreen I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I had no idea your son was my daughters coach years back (softball.) We know your kids and grandkids. Omg at that time I did know what happened. I said not in Bristol, I love bristol with all my heart. But now I will not be the same any more. Your book touched me life in so manys…thank you !!! God bless you and your family and all those babies.
Cathy Sikorski  3/18/2015
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)
This book will touch your heart and soul…and wrench it all at the same time. A sister’s bit by bit journey through the maze of her brother’s heinous murder physically, legally, emotionally and spiritually is so honest and forthright, you feel like you are sitting at her kitchen table with her every time you pick up this book, which is often, because you can barely put it down. Great job, Doreen, a real tribute to your brother, and your whole family.

This eloquent book sends a powerfully equal message,December 5, 2013

This eloquent book sends a powerfully equal message to those who have suffered transformational losses and to those who haven’t.We should always try to appreciate everyone who has been, or who currently is, an important part of our lives. And then we must push forward so that the past doesn’t become a prison and the present can be used to create every tomorrow.

A very true story of how the Justice system in Bucks County doesn’t work.,April 14, 2014

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
Mrs. Mc Gettigans story is very true, and the Judical system in Bucks County doesn’t work. Because of Politics, Power, and Money.
as a person who has lived in bucks County and has had a run in with the Judical system there, and the unwillingness of the District Attorneys office to do the job they were hired to do, the Politics behind it,and of course the money controlling it, all but puts the one big word Power in the mix.
If you come from upper Bucks County where money is ruler, and the power seat which is the Courthouse and who becomes judge.
If you lived in Lower Bucks County the working mans class, we’re looked down on.
This is a heart wretching story, who has lost a loved one brutally, by a gang of young men who I felt were also feeling Powerful, and didn’t want to be left out.
My heart was heavy with pain, and sorrow for the author and her family who have done nothing wrong, But was wronged by the judicial system that now still exist in this country, which is sad, The innocent is wronged and the criminals are treated very well. The sentence the jury handed down was Right for this case and what the D.A.S office did in handling it and the Judge was Wrong.Thank you Doreen for sharing your pain and anguish in exposing the system that has gone very wrong.

The book seems to me to be a harrowingly true account of the overwhelming intensity and varieties of emotion the narrator and fa,August 6, 2014

By
M. Casale (Morrisville, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews
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I was shocked at the viciousness of some of the reviews, but went ahead and bought it anyway. The book seems to me to be a harrowingly true account of the overwhelming intensity and varieties of emotion the narrator and family go through in the wake of a terrible murder perpetrated by neighbors–people they know. I highly recommend this book.

Doreen is an extraordinary individual who finds the courage to overcome the worst of circumstances!,September 23, 2014

This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)
Doreen and I met in a professional group in which we’re both members so I had the pleasure of getting to know her before I knew what Bristol Boyz Stomp was about. The dichotomy of the woman I see today vs. the person who experienced the violent death of a loved one is extraordinary. The personal account of her brother’s death is the definition of authenticity. She doesn’t document every detail chronologically because the bigger message is “How do you want a tragedy like this to end?” She makes it clear that justice—whatever that expectation might be—won’t patch the sorrow because, in this story, justice wasn’t served. Doreen also documents how she suffered emotionally and physically as a result of her brother’s death. She warns others that it will take a physical toll if you let it. By taking the reader through the darkness of hatred and injustice in the face of senseless violence, she finds help. She finds a purpose for her brother’s death. She turns to her family and finds a way to help others with her experience. She states quite frankly that we’ll never stop the violence, and that’s the saddest part of her story. That, in itself, is a wake-up call to action.What happened to her brother makes me look at my family in a wonderful light—one in which I have total love for each moment we’re together. Doreen’s courage to live through and beyond her pain and then record it is astonishing. I applaud her. Please read her story and spread the message that violence and hatred never end well. Somehow, we have to find a way to embrace a spiritual truth.
By
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)
I am in awe of the honesty of Doreen’s reaction to the loss of her brother, the court system and the effect that a murder has on a family. I too have gone through homicide in my family and it is a journey that is so gut wrenching and very difficult for people to understand if they have not gone through it themselves. This book should be read by all so that they may have an understanding of what families of homicide go through. I thank Doreen’s husband John for sharing this book with me.
By
By
lizbeth tini (Las Cruces NM) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase 5 Stars!

It reminded me of home. It was a true and accurate account on all parts. Memories were sparked by the authors word.

4.0 out of 5 stars A true crime story told with passion, May 25, 2013


This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Kindle Edition) Toni McCloe  May 2013

Although the subject matter was heart wrenching, the story was riveting and was told with a deep appreciation of family.

April 10, 2013                                                                     Gene Castor/ Father

I have only read three books since my only daughter RaMona passed away on 2/23/2010 that have deeply touched my heart, mind and soul.     

    When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner. Recommended by my psychologist shortly after her passing.  The word death seems so harsh and final at times.  
    The Shack by William P. Young. Recommended by the Chaplain who officiated at her service and works for Odyssey Hospice.
    Bristol boyz Stomp by Doreen M. McGettigan. A must read for all. Road rage is so dangerous.
  A while ago I finished reading your book. I could not stop reading it. Page after page I could feel each of your emotions and your tears. You described in vivid detail all the many emotions I felt. Frustration, futility, denial, anger, loneliness (even with loved ones around you) the numbness, the bargaining, depression, anxiety, the grief and yes…angry with God. I have since resolved that with God.
     I am trying to achieve acceptance. Mona was a nurse who gave so much of herself.
    I am so sorry about your brother David.
    I heard the same comments from people. “She’s in a better place.”  “She is not suffering.”  “God loved her more than you.” “She lived a good life.” 
    I am sure people meant well, but would rather they just hugged me and said nothing except perhaps,  “I am here for you.”
    David was born on July 3, 1972. My son, Christopher was born on July 5, 1973.
    Your son James was born June 25, 1978. My son Brian was born October 5, 1978.
    David played in a band. I play guitar with a church group. So many close parallels.
    
    I admire your dedication and being an advocate for victims of crime and their families and your work with NOVA.
 
February 6, 2013                                                            Pastor George McVey

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange of my honest review.

Bristol Boyz Stomp – The Night that Divided a Town. Is the Author’s personal account of a violent crime that touched her family. More than that, its the story of Doreen’s life and the effect that the brutal and vicious attack that ended in the Death of her Brother at the hands of a local gang. Mrs. McGettigan gives you an inside look at what a crime like this does to the victim’s family not just in the moments after the crime but for years to come.

Though the basic story of this book is about the murder of her brother it is really a book about a family. She gives you the inside look at her and her families personal struggle to understand why this crime happened and their quest to see justice done to all those involved in her brothers death. This book doesn’t read like a professionally written true crime expose because it isn’t a professionally written expose, it is not impartial and it doesn’t try to look through the eyes of the perpetrators or their families. It is literally a very personal look behind the curtain of what a tragic crime does to the victim’s family. We sit with them in the hospital; see them find out who took their brothers life. Then we see them seek justice by keeping awareness of the victim and his family in the face of the police, and prosecutors, as well as the community at large. We struggle with them through the trial and sentencing. We hurt with them when justice is not what they feel is just or even adequate.
While this is not a book that you put down and feel happy and satisfied from reading, it is a book that makes you think about things. Things that we as a society shy away from thinking about but need to face before they can be fixed. Things like how violence is becoming too common in our communities. Or how warped our justice system has become where offenders spend less time in jail for murder than the do for writing bad checks. How the victim’s rights seem to be taking a backseat to criminal’s rights. However, through it all we see how the healing process works even in a broken system. How people shattered by such a life-altering event may never forget but do learn and work hard at moving on. While not a conventional book on that process either I found it a refreshingly honest account of the struggle to make sense and put the pieces of life back together when every thing you know and do and are is overshadowed by a tragic life changing event. I give Bristol Boyz Stomp four stars and wish Doreen and her entire family a continuation of the healing and peace of God they need and deserve.

January 5, 2013    Junying Kirk/United Kingdom/Goodreads/ Author
My Rating: 5 StarsI started reading Doreen M. McGettigan’s real life account about the murder of her younger brother David in the spring of 1998 one late night between Christmas 2012 and New Year 2013 when I was blessed with plenty of free time and an luxury of indulging myself in uninterrupted reading. I was really glad that I picked her memoir out among the 100+ To-Read books on my GoodReads list.In order not to spoil your fun to pick up the book to read for yourself, I will not be revealing much of the plot, surface to say that the story began with a brutal gang attack in an American small town called Bristol (not to be confused with the English city) in the State of Pennsylvania. It is told through the voice of a heart-broken big sister and follows her through the aftermath of the tragedy, and how it has affected her extended family, each dealing with the trauma in his/her own way. It is about very personal experiences of pain and loss, grief and grievances throughout and following a drown-out court case.As I turned each page, I was completely immersed with what was happening in that small town far away. The author’s personal and effective way of relaying the events took me along to a journey. I was often sad and tearful, feeling her pain, her anger and her frustrations. I so wanted her and her family to get the justice and I was rooting for her all the way.
Author Doreen M McGettingan
Author Doreen M McGettigan
October 23, 2012                                                                                 Paula/Goodreads
I felt more like I was a reading a diary than a book. Very personal and you can’t help but be moved.

This is a story which I can relate to on many levels, both personally and professionally. Although the incident took place in a different continent, in a place as alien to me as another planet in some ways, I was able to visualize, feel and imagine exactly what happened and how it impacted the author, her family and ultimately the whole town. From the details and insights the author provided, I was able to identify both the similarities and differences between the American and British legal systems. Like the author across the pond, I have been personally involved with a legal case (taking my former employer to an Employment tribunal in  Trials of Life, around the same time this tragedy hit her family in America). Professionally as an interpreter for courts and the Police in the UK, I have been to many court trials, including murder trials, so I can relate to many of the author’s personal angst, anger and disappointments. I could keenly feel how eagerly the victims of crime seek justice and closure, at the same time being frustrated by the legal process and a bureaucratic system, further complicated by politics and elections.

I was glad that the author was able to get beyond this traumatic process and came out the other end, battling successfully against depression and many other barriers in her life. She was able to get something positive out of her trials and tribulations. There were upbeat and uplifting messages throughout this book which will help other victims of senseless crimes to deal with their heartaches and post traumatic stress.

This is a wonderfully written, deeply touching memoir which I would highly recommend to everyone.

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Penelope Anne Bartotto         November 2012    “Book Review Mama”
MY OPINIONATED OPINION:
Wow! Yes, I am that shocked and yet, thrilled by this book. My first thought to say is so simple, yet… I hope as powerful as the story. I read all genre of books, which opens my reading up to a lot of styles of tales, told in a wide range of styles, but this is a superb recounting of a tragic event in a person’s life. McGettigan channels all of her hurt into clearly sharing every finite detail of the devastating murder of her brother, and in doing so I believe she helped herself through the grief process. You feel her anger, pain, confusion, and grief profoundly as she shares her story… her way with words is phenomenal. When she makes discoveries about what she is going through… such as the depression and eventually finding out she has PTSD, you are right beside her. I found myself wanting to scream, to cry, to get angry, and most of all to reach into that book and hug her very tight. Kudos for an outstanding book which I hope goes far, but even more so… I am proud of Doreen for soldiering on and facing her tragedy, it is not easy to do. I know, I suffer PTSD too, and have yet to deal fully with my demons. Though we never really do… but we can make a great start, like Doreen did.
ABOUT THE BOOK:ROAD RAGE’ is what all the news shows and newspaper’s called it. To me, that sounded like a disease, an affliction that can make you kill.  A sorry excuse to take the claw end of a hammer and pound it repeatedly into the skull of another human being.
In April of 1999, my younger brother, David, passed away.  Doesn’t passed away sound so gentle, even normal?  David’s death was neither, it was brutal murder.
This book is the true story of the random murder of my brother.  The youngest of five.  I am the oldest.  We were the book ends.
You will meet and fall in love with David, the victim.  He was a handsome soft spoken gentle giant with a great musical talent.  He was also a husband and Daddy.
The reader will agonize with the family as they spend seventy-two-hours in the intensive care unit watching Dave slip away.  They prayed for miracles and discussed organ donation while still trying to figure out exactly what happened that night.
The family will take you along on their frustrating journey navigating the justice system and learning to deal with the media.
You will become infuriated with the judge, the evil skirt and sneaker wearing district attorney who was only interested in winning an election, the defense lawyers and the murderer’s families lack of empathy or compassion. The reader will agonize with the author as she struggles to share her story of grief, depression and defeat.
A painfully gripping, honest detail that will leave readers inspired to hug everyone they love and sadly; forever looking in the rear view mirror.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Doreen has written for several Philadelphia newspapers. She is a member of the Press Club, the Chamber of Commerce and several writing groups including Hot Pens in Newtown Square, PA. She lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania with her husband, John and two yappy terriers. She is currently putting the finishing details on her next three books.Get lost in a book, it’s worth the rescue!
From my Bookshelf to Yours,
Contact me on Facebook at: Book Review Mama
September 14, 2012                                                                 Christine Corson
Hi Doreen, I met you at the Ridley library. It
was really nice talking to you. I dont have a computer so iIdont get on a lot. But I wanted to reach out and tell you how much I liked the book and I hope everyone responsible gets sent to jail . I am looking forward to reading your next book. your new fan Christine Corson.
Barbara                                                                                          September 1, 2012
Amazon
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)

Doreen and I met through our blogs. When I read her book I couldn’t put it down. It is a gut wrenching true story of her brother’s murder and the injustice of the justice system that followed. When something so heinous happens to a loved one we want to believe there will be justice. The reality is, not always. She has lived this and now written about it in such a moving way you will be spellbound.

 

Town Talk Newspaper/Peg Degrassi managing editor Delco News Network/ June 2012

BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP [TATE] by Brookhaven resident Doreen McGettigan takes the reader on a heartwrenching journey from the minute the author discovers her beloved brother was tortured and murdered to her life today and how she has learned to live with the tragedy without letting it destroy her.  The book centers around Bristol,Bucks County, Pa. where Doreen’s brother, david was senselessly beaten and left for dead in a road rage incident. David’s brain died before his whole body did several days later, leaving Doreen and her family reeling in the painful aftermath that no one can even imagine or should ever be forced to experience.  McGettigan invites the reader to ride her emotional roller coaster, following her through the ups and downs of the trial, the division of the town’s people in Bristol, the sometimes rocky family relationships that ensued, and the tender happy moments in the midst of all the chaos that kept her grounded and sane. If you’ve never been close to a victim of a senseless crime, you cannot even fathom the pain and suffering that ripples through every family member. When you read what Doreen went through, you genuinely feel her pain and wonder how anyone can endure and triumph over such an intense and dark time in their life. Yet, Doreen does. She overcomes the frustration, the unbearable pain and the unimaginable heartache to find herself in a better place for others who are going through what she did and find themselves in the same painful place. BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP is honest and genuine. As a reader, you feel like you are Doreen’s close friend and she is trusting you with her deepest feelings, taking you through her grieving process, allowing you the privilege of knowing her musically talented, loving brother David and to care about her other family members. The reader learns how unjust the justice system can sometimes be and how unsettling it can be when life takes an ugly, scary turn in just a few seconds time when a crime occurs.

If you want a read this year that really leaves an impact, really makes you stop to think what you would do if confronted with such heart-wrenching tragedy and yet leaves you with admiration and empathy for its author, then pick up a copy of BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP. It will tug at your heart strings and appreciate the times you have with those you love. For more information or to order a book visit http://www.doreenmcgettigan.com. The book is also available at all of the usual booksellers. For a complete listing of her appearances check the website.

Mrs4444 on Amazon                                                                                  7/5/2012
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)

I can’t think of anything worse than losing a loved one to a senseless, violent death. When I received this book as a surprise gift from Doreen, I knew I had to read it, but I wondered if it would be depressing, powerful or simply a detailed description of the events from that horrible night. I already knew that Doreen had lost her brother. I already knew that it affected her greatly. I wondered what, if anything more, needed to be said. Having read it now, I realize that telling the story is part of the process, yes, but in telling it so well, so poignantly, Doreen also serves as a model for others, giving hope to each of us who have suffered a loss and have wondered if/how we might survive it. Even if you’ve never lost a loved one tragically, you will be moved by Doreen’s strength, fierce love for her family, and her example of resilience. Definitely worth the read.

Amanda Roe                                                                                                   June 29, 2012
I just read your book.. I started reading it last night around 10pm and was still reading at 5am.. I must congratulate you on the amazing courage it took to write this book.. I could not Stop reading it and it was very hard to put down and I actually fell asleep with the book on my chest.. I agree with you when you said the sentencing was not long enough and that they got away with murder.. I hope your family finds justice someday soon..
Peg Degrassa- Managing editor Delco News NetworkJune 2, 2012
Hi Doreen, I just finished your book and it was amazing! I just wrote a review for the paper this week and I listed your upcoming appearance at Barnes and Noble in July at the end, as well as your website for ordering. I am so, so happy I read it. I cried through parts of it and smiled through other pages. You did such a fantastic job and I feel like it let me know you so much better than I did. You are to be commended for your strength and your intelligence, but mostly for your sisterly love of David which jumped off of every page. The book was so tender, so emotionally gripping! Thank you so much for allowing me the privilege of reading your story and for sharing the journey of your pain with others. If there’s any other local appearance or anything you want me to know before I print the review, just let me know. Again, thank you for an inspirational, uplifting story that truly touched my heart.
Touching story-May 22, 2012
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)

The untimely death of someone we love is a horrible thing to face. But when that death comes at the hand of people we know and have been around, that makes it even more difficult to deal with. Doreen McGettigan describes just such a situation as she shares about the death of her brother in “Bristol Boyz Stomp.”

The town of Bristol, Pennsylvania is a relatively small town and Doreen and her family had grown up in and around that area for the majority of their lives. When one night, the unthinkable happens and her brother is beaten to death as he was driving home from band practice, their view of the world is challenged entirely. This book is taken entirely from Doreen’s perspective and she is very honest with her feelings and her perspective throughout this book. I really appreciated that honesty and how she openly admits how she was feeling at the various moments throughout the trial and the sentencing and just the aftermath of finding a way to pick up the pieces and keep going with her life.

This is a very well written book that provides a glimpse into the justice system as well as a look at how a situation like this can captivate and divide a small town where everyone knows both the victim and the perpetrators. While the situation described is horrible, this book was a eye-opener to the aftermath of a situation like this and helped me to see and understand better how far reaching the impact can be. This book is a great read.

Kristi Burchfiel – author of applicable Bible studies and Devotionals

Heart-wrenching True Story!,
May 25, 2012
By
Dolores Ayotte   Author
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)
“Bristol boyz Stomp” by Doreen M. McGettigan is sure to grab at your heartstrings. It is a true story based on the murder of the author’s younger brother, David. He was a mild mannered, 26 year old husband to Birna, and father to his baby son Michael. The violent and unprovoked attack which caused David’s untimely death three days later, totally devasted his family and divided the community of Bristol where they lived.In this nonfiction novel, Doreen M. McGettigan takes the opportunity to get everything off her chest. She explains her grief and despair as well as the devastation experienced by her whole family. Each person was affected and will forever be scarred by this brutal attack on their much loved husband, father, brother, son, uncle, or friend. There is no other way to better describe what took place that fateful April night so many years ago other than “utter shock” by the actions of the “gang mentality” that existed.Two teenagers were eventually charged, one with murder and the other with conspiracy to commit murder, but many more were involved and are yet to be charged. The author has since devoted her life to finding justice. She has faced the frustration of the judicial system and found support in the group NOVA. She has since become an advocate in their cause of helping others who have known the pain and tragedy of such heinous crimes. In order to feel at peace, Doreen M. McGettigan has found comfort in helping others and turning her own life around as she strives to make good come from the evil act that ended her dear brother’s life. I am sure that this was one tough story to write and to share but in the end…it takes courage to help others and that’s exacly what this older sister hopes to do!
May 17,2012                                                                                     Kate Furcon
I just finished your story Doreen, that you had kindly autographed for me recently.  Wow! I was driven to tears with the crazy injustice your family experienced, I feel so outraged to learn what happened. I shared with my two young boys the brief story and explained what happened to David, hoping that they may think twice before a fight occurs. My youngest (10 years old) last year told me I was the only parent he knew that did not want him to hit someone who hit him first.
Doreen, you have been through so much, I am amazed that you have endured so much sadness in life, yet am so glad there is a silver lining for you finding John and being blessed with all of those Grandbabies! I am glad you found comfort in prayer, it’s amazing when you can recognize angels.
Beth Firce-Rittler   May 15, 2012
I sent a copy of your book to my daughter. She got it today. And she is finished reading it already! She couldn’t put it down. She sent me some angry texts afterwards. (11 of them!) She said she believes every word you said and she can’t believe how awful your life was. . All those “bad kids” were in her grade. She says, I can picture every 1 of those 4 with smug stuck up asshole looks. All the boys played sports and always got special privileged treatment. They appeared to have money and had this “I am god” attitude. The boys were favored in school. She remembers the “smart” class of combined English and history. The teachers loved Steve. He could do or say anything and teachers would laugh and smile and love him. He thought he was funny but everyone knew he was a cheater. Mike is the only 1 in that school that she didn’t see be an ass, rude or show-off but she probably just didn’t notice. Girls would flirt and smile at Steve at anything he said. James was loud obnoxious and rude. He did have pretty teeth. Jerry wasn’t in smart classes, but she remembers him and Nicole.
She shot off one after another text so your book really got to her. I hope she shares her book around til it eventually gets around the boro!!!!
Genelle Cherrington-Florida   May 15, 2012
I finished your book on Sunday! Absolutely AMAZING. Loved your story you did such an amazing job and thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your story. I believe I now may also be one of the people who David has touched now that I have read your family’s story!
Yvonne Lewis {Author}                                                                           4/22/12

A good T word Doreen. I have finished your book and I thought it was excellently written, I hope it does some good in the community.
Thank you for a wonderful read and an eye opener as to what goes on.

Sharon Noblio {Author}  4/19/12  5 Stars
POIGNANT AND HEARTFELT                  Author, Sharon Noblio

BRISTOL bOYZ STOMP takes an intimate look at a family who must endure the trauma of a loved one’s murder to face the nightmare of an imperfect legal system. By recounting the emotional balance between grieving the death of her brother, David, and needing to remain strong – not only for her children but to seek justice for David’s killers – Doreen Mcgettigan shows with remarkable honesty one woman’s arduous path toward healing. I recommend this memoir to everyone who has suffered a loss, and anyone who wants to remember what it means to be human.

Oliverio Palanco [Musician; Artist] 4/14/12
Anyone Looking To Pick Up A New Book To Read?????? – I Recommend – Bristol Boyz Stomp – A Chilling True Story About My Friends Brother That Was Murdered – By Doreen McGettigan – 5 Stars ***** – God Bless You – Doreen Mcgettigan
Michele Paivo-author owner of Paivo Ayerveda Yoga Spa – March 26, 2012
Just finished the book, “Bristol Boyz Stomp” by author, Doreen McGettigan, and I am thoroughly …well, a mesh of sad, sickened, and disgusted in society and our system — yet at the same time, feel such inspiration and hope, respect and love at the same time for this same society. This book is one you won’t be able to put down… so glad that she agreed to visit us for a lecture and signing. This tragedy she wrote about is from my home town….Bristol Township, PA….
Beth Firce Rittler {Former Neighborhood Watch, Bristol, Pa.}  
March 21, 2012
Hi Doreen! I received your book thru the mail yesterday, my day off, and didn’t put it down until it was finished at 1am! It was wonderfully written. I’d lived in Bristol for around 15 yrs. and your book brought back memories I had forgotten. I was on Town Watch at the time this happened. I remember going to Town Watch president, Doris Ennis’s house on Franklin St. just a few houses down from the Galione family. His house was being watched by members. I remember the annual getting together at the tree on Wilson Ave. My aunt lives diagonally across from the tree. My daughter, Elissa and her baby, my grandson Korey, lived behind Amici’s pizza and Birna lived upstairs. Elissa went to school with the murderers. I worked at Grundy library for 7 years, working with Marisol Berrios, engaged to Steve Owtscharuk and I know I tried to talk her out of it. One day she told me that she and Steve had talked and cried and Steve was there that night and swore he didn’t hurt David in any way. She believed him. They are now married. Bits and pieces keep popping into my head. I knew Sam Morris, a dear funny man. Randy and Joe Moors, Porter….all known thru Town Watch. Lots of things happened in Bristol that were never told. Eddie Pollace was murdered there…his body found on the RR tracks. Kids at the part that night started spilling and he had been stone drunk, got into a fight….and he was either dragged or carried to the tracks. His mother, Betty was a close friend. The murderer here was related to higher ups in the towns system. I wish Betty had pushed harder to convict this kid. I used to write for the Bristol Pilot. I wrote about Dennis Brannigan Jr., 4 yrs old, being kidnapped from his home on Radcliffe St. by one of the pervert Theater guys in town for a play. He was never convicted because no one wanted the name of the theater cast in a bad light. Susan-theater-woman, had a strong pull in town. Dennis Jr. has never been the same kid. He’s grown up and a mess. I was livid with the town, with the theater, with Miss Susan, and the Chief…Peranteau! (even though he assured me it was thoroughly investigated) On the other hand….I felt safe in Bristol because the man I lived with for 9 yrs. was well connected with the good old boys. He grew up there. One time I got a call from an officer to tell me there was a domestic disturbance reported where my daughter and her boyfriend lived and he wanted me to make sure she was ok. Thankfully it wasn’t her, but I never forgot that call and his caring. Bristol is such a mixed bag.
My mind is still running……
Do you remember Joann Lester from Cabrini? She was friends with you while you were there and remembers your step-dad person being a country musician??? Joann has been my best friend for 34 yrs.
Your book has brought out so many emotions inside of me. Galione and Reeves should have gotten LIFE plus….for the violence of their actions. I believe they will go thru the rest of their lives haunted by that night. And one day, they will get caught again for something else, maybe minor, but God loves us all, even these boys, and He will handle our futures.
May God bless you and your family and grant you peace.
Much Love sent your way!
Ramon Melendez                                                                                    March 5, 2012
I read your book and i loved it. It was pretty sad, and I’m sorry you and your family had to go through that. I liked the way you described Doylestown it was right on the money. Not all Bristol boys are like that but you probably already know that. If me and my friends would have came across that situation we would have helped your brother. I’m a Bristol boy and always will be, take care of yourself.
Bristol boyZ Stomp                                                          February 28, 2012

 Author: Doreen M. MCGETTIGAN                     reviewer Fran Lewis

Division of numbers is not only the end result of a math problem or the quotient you get when completing the operation. Separations and divisions come when people are biased, facts are tainted and information hidden. One night would change the dynamics of a small town. Loyalties would be questioned and friendships shattered while truths might not be told. Doreen McGettigan had just spent a night out with her two daughters. While enjoying the evening they decided to have a psychic reading, which proved disturbing for Doreen. Relating the event and sharing the psychic’s words the author has an unsettling feeling based on something he says. Driving home with her daughter Joan and pulling into her driveway she sees her sister-in-law pulling out. Concerned at the late hour she stops and questions where she is going. Learning her destination is a hospital and her brother David injured she insists on driving her. Neither her sister-in-law nor Doreen understands the message relayed stating that this kind and wonderful father, husband and brother had been in a fight. When the author relates the events and the chronology of the fight as she learns it the attacker and the situation becomes more unbelievable and hard to grasp.

 Doreen works for the Bucks County Courier Times and hopes someone at the paper can give her the information she needs and fill in the missing blanks. Arriving at the hospital the staff takes a while before realizing David is a patient and the doctor in charge seems aloof, clinical and quite unfeeling when presenting her diagnosis.

 David and his two closest friends were at band practice for a fundraiser-taking place on Sunday of the upcoming weekend. Driving home from practice he spied a car following him. Stopping to find out what the driver wanted and thinking he knew whom it was proved both dangerous and deadly. As David rolled down his window to speak with the other driver he never expected what happened and could not I am sure understand why since the person was a childhood friend.

As Doreen relates the events even further and learns the identity of the attacker from her daughter and the news media focuses on the story anger wells up inside of her, fear that she will no longer have her brother in her life and questions that no one seems to be able to answer. Jimmy Galione was arrested for the assault of David. While David lies hooked to machines the police was questioning his two friends.

 Days and nights pass with family and friends arriving at the hospital and Doreen and her sister-in-law are hoping beyond all hope for a miracle. But, sometimes the only miracle is not the one you would expect when life support fails and the patient is being moved to another hospital to have his organs harvested to save the lives of others. This would be his final act of kindness and wishes for people who would live because of David.

 In order to get to know the author and understand her lack of relationship with her parents she relates her story from the beginning, her marriage at the age of 16 and the birth of her first child at 17. Doreen managed to rise above the lack of interest of her parents and realized her own potential as she became a reporter for a newspaper, had three amazing children and grandchildren. Even when David became ill as a child she stepped up and took care of him and the others when chicken pox invaded her home and she realized she was the true answer to everyone’s prayers. With a mother who had many marital difficulties and several brothers who needed stability and guidance Doreen managed to handle it all. Sharing his life and how he met Birna makes the story come to life even more as we now find out what really happened to David.

David’s death was a result of road rage, gang mentality and murder. All three apply when you read the definitions provided by the author on pages 49 and 50. Jerry Reeves was man who liked cruising for someone to fight or bully. David gave them that excuse of opportunity. Save driving was not something this man advocated or adhered too. When David decided to stop for a stop sign on Wilson Avenue little did he know it would be his last. Safety is something that David prided himself on when it came to driving. Following the laws, not speeding or drinking while driving was something he always did. Jerry found it irritating that David stopped at the stop sign and when the fight ensued and the end result was that he lost, he got his two friends to help him beat David until he was unconscious and his two friends Joey and Anthony too.

Going home and realizing what happened brought the situation into perspective for Doreen yet her sister-in-law did not seem to process what happened when concerned about returning a video. Everyone reacts to tragedy in different ways and Doreen decided to rescue herself to her room. How could anyone think this was pure RoadRage as reported in many papers when he was beaten to death with a hammer? How do you deal with the funeral? Doreen describes the inner fight within herself. I can identify with her feelings when my sister died last year and I still have no idea what the real timeline of events were from the moment she fell over until the ambulance was called. She died of a heart attack and TBI but no one knows why a healthy person who got a clean bill of health the day before just keeled over and had a massive heart attack.

Memorials were held including a heartbreaking vigil on Wilson Avenue. Arrests were made. Jimmy rearrested for homicide and conspiracy charge and Jerry for murder or homicide. But, when Jimmy was released on bail something snapped in the author and she became disconnected from her family, children and life in general. Rehashing the events, seeing David’s car and trying to rationalize why the police were stalling in arresting the men in the second car. The Jerry and Jimmy would be tried together and seeing their families would not be easy and not saying anything even harder. But, Jimmy’s girlfriend decided to harass and yell at David’s young wife in a shopping mall. Why in the world would someone be so callus and cold?

Frustrations set in and although the trial is about to being some of the murder suspects have not been charged but the Assistant DA Matt Weintraub and the Police Chief asked that Doreen be patient. The anger, frustration, the tears and the uncertainty all come through loud and clear as you hear her words as she relates the story of her brother’s death and much more. The trial begins and the lawyers state their cases in their opening arguments and a division begins within the town of Bristol and in the courtroom itself. Lawyers for the two defendants blaming everyone for the murder except their clients. The Assistant DA stating exactly what happened and who was to blame. Which side would the jury believe? How could the lawyers think that David and his two friends started a fight that would cost him his life? Just how twisted was their thinking even if it was their job.

 A town split throughout the trial. Lines drawn more witnesses taking the stand and stating their fears while testifying including the woman who heard and saw the man with the red sweatshirt beating David and begging for his life and did not come forward out of fear. With the help of the Network of Victim Assistance and their support by financially and their presence in court Doreen and her family were able to work through much of their anger.

 The jury deliberated for 15 hours and the two were found guilty. But, what happens at the sentencing will surprise the reader and definitely angered Doreen. The judge deliberated the jury’s verdict and decided on his own brand of justice for the two murderers. What the sentence was I won’t reveal in this review because you need to read it for yourself and decide whether you agree with it or not. Following the sentencing the author made sure her voice was heard by the courts, prison system and anyone who was ever involved in the case in order make sure these two would enjoy prison life for a long time. But, what happens next and the evidence the defense claims it has that just might overturn or reduce the sentences is frightening and disheartening to say the least. Jimmy Galione is a drunk; a drop out and unworthy of the lead in a pencil or the ink his name is printed with in this book. He and his friend Jerry confessed to the murder and the crime. He and his friend bragged about what they did in words and in high fives. Followed by the author’s relationship with her mother and what caused them to be estranged and the things her mother did to her plus her issues with her brother Nick and the sexual assault she endured as a young girl. Doreen survived more than anyone should.

The ending is so powerful and the faith she finally finds in her life, the love of her family and the blessings David sends from heaven in grandchildren, nieces and nephews cannot make up for his loss but strengthens her within. Finding John in her life and reconnecting with her brother Nick more powerful than words can say. The poem at the end says it all and sums it up perfectly. What happens to the two that killed David you will have to read for yourself as you the reader decides was justice really served? The pain in your heart will never really go away but the blessings that mount up will fill your heart with joy. One judge that needs to look himself in the mirror and really see what others see, one District Attorney never follows through and two families who will definitely pay the ultimate price some day when judgments are handed down from above. This is a well- written, powerful, emotional and heartbreaking dedication of David Albert.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

 To Doreen: What you have accomplished, be proud of. Never give up on yourself you have too much to offer. Keep writing and never give up!

 

 

 Eileen_T… 5 out of 5 stars

Posted February 24, 2012 on BarnesandNoble.com

AMAZING BOOK!!!!

AMAZING BOOK!!!! I read this book right after my son was killed by a hit and run driver in December. I felt Doreen’s pain and grief, as I am feeling it at the same time. Doreen’s love for her brother is so evident and comes across on every page. I felt as if she wrote it from the heart and the head. She poured her emotions out on one page, and on the next, described the legal process that she and her family was made to endure. She made me feel as if I knew David and what he was like. I could not put the book down; as I felt I was walking the journey right there with her.

 

Lisa Malave- February 16, 2012

Just want to say that you are such a very Strong woman and I applaud you for that. You and your Family have endured so much but you still kept going. I didn’t know what your Book was about but once I started to read it, it all came back to me. God Bless you and the Family and the Precious Little Boy Michael.
Lisa

February 6, 2012- From Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars ..finished it in record time – for me…
This review is from: Bristol boyz Stomp (Perfect Paperback)

Any one of us could have been in her shoes at any time in our lives… Hope Mrs. McGettigan has found peace.
an awful event, some awful people, definitely awful outcome….

 

 

January 23, 2012

I could not put the book down, and finished in a little over 5 hours. (had to make dinner or would not have stopped!)

That said, your book was an in depth perception of your feelings and insight that was not captured in the media coverage surrounding this horrific event that forever changed your life.

Thank you for writing this and I look forward to your next book….you shared the content and from that alone promises to be a wonderful read.

All the best,

Charlene

 

 

Carol:

It was nice to meet you at Neshaminy Mall on my break. I could not put your book down. You captured so many emotions and opened my eyes to so much. The fact that I grew up in Levittown and knew so much about Bristol made the event seem even more real. You have suffered much. You have learned much. And you share all of this with others. You are a miracle. Thank you.

 

Bucks County Courier Times/ January 20, 2012/ Kate Fratti

Today, Doreen Brinkerhoff McGettigan works part-time caring for Alzheimer’s patients.

They can’t remember. Doreen can’t forget.

 There are people who wish she could.

Like her surviving siblings. Why revisit the anguish, Doreen? Just let it be.

She can’t.

Doreen, a trim, attractive redhead and grandmother has written a book detailing the killing of her

youngest brother Dave Albert in a street brawl in Bristol in 1999. It’s not Dave’s story, but rather

Doreen’s. Her thoughts, her emotions, her struggle to cope during the ensuing investigation and

trial.

Saturday will be her first Bucks County book signing. She’ll be at Barnes and Noble at

Neshaminy Mall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Doreen, who raised her kids in Bristol and later Fairless Hills, is nervous about local reaction.

In “Bristol boyz Stomp: The Night That Divided a Town,” Doreen, who now lives in

Delaware County, names names. Lots of them. Not just the names of people she believes

escaped prosecution for Dave’s death, but also officials she says helped them escape through

disinterest. She takes a judge to task for less-than-maximum sentences and wonders if mistakes

were made by local police. She includes personal conversations in the book. Wishes suffering

on others.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book reads like a personal journal weaving in

and out of Doreen’s darkest thoughts about her brother’s bludgeoning by men he knew from the

neighborhood. She seethes as she attempts to make sense of it.

Road rage, headlines said.

Dave, 26, and two music band mates were returning from a practice at which they were

 preparing for a performance at the Trocadero. A carload of younger boys behind them was

coming from a party in Levittown where they’d been drinking.

Alcohol, testosterone, adrenaline mixed with the night air when the cars stopped, and passengers

emptied into the street to exchange words presumably over a slight on the road. Tailgating.

A punch was thrown. Like a match onto an open gasoline can. As many as 10 men were alleged

to have been involved in the fight.

Dave lay in a pool of his own blood in the driveway of a house where he pleaded to be let in.

He was overheard begging for his life. He died several days later.

Two others, ages 20 and 21 at sentencing, went to state prison after an emotional, sometimes

rancorous trial.

Heartbreak descended on many Bristol homes.

Not just in Dave’s where his widowed wife, 23, was left to raise a son. Not just in the homes of

 friends and family who missed him.

It settled into the houses of those linked to his death. Not just those charged but the ones whose

 names always would be associated with the crime. On their mother’s and father’s houses, too.

In a flash of male rage, lives were altered.

Don’t look to Doreen’s book for answers about healing from that kind of trauma. This is her

story, and healing was very far away at the time of its writing.

It’s as though she has vomited onto the page every scared, confused, angry, hate-filled thought

that plagued her as she made terms with the truth. Dave died in the most violent way, and some

people argue he brought it on himself.

While she shares some joy in the book including the birth of a grandchild and her work with

Bucks Network of Victims Assistance, mostly Doreen focuses on her own struggle to cope

through the trial and sentencing.

Doreen (www.doreenmcgettigan.com) defends her right to be heard. A brother was violently

murdered and his sister still seethes.

“Bristol boyz Stomp” is an emotional purging. It is ugly, mean-spirited in places and violent in

thought.

Not more ugly, mean-spirited or violent than smashing a man’s head.

If there’s any hope the writing of the book cast out some of the darkest pain in its author, it’s

that she’s ended with St. Francis’ prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where

 there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon…”

Maybe in her next book. Surely not in this one.

 

 

December, 2011/ Maria Marucci Smith

Hello Doreen, I was at Barnes and Noble today getting Christmas gifts when your book caught my eye. I just finished the final chapter a few minutes ago. I was so unaware of so many things that happen in a small town until you drew attention to them, very happy with the purchase of this book. I remember when this happened, at only 12 years old I remember the devastation it caused in so many. Wishing you and your family a Happy Healthy Holiday. God Bless.

Nov 10, 2011

 

 

Thelma Banzhoff rated it 5 Stars  http://www.goodreads.com

Imagine that you are the oldest of five children, and one day out of the blue comes word that your youngest sibling David, your baby brother of younger memories, has been horribly injured. You find out that he actually was brutally attacked and has sustained terrifying, life-threatening injuries. For three agonizing days and nights he hangs on to precious life, then fails and dies. A husband and father is gone, taken away too soon from those whom he loved and who loved him. This is what happened to Doreen McGettigan, and here she begins this account of the survivors’ journey through the initial grief and shock, the ordeal of dealing with the media, the torment of handling the contortions of the judicial system, and their disappointment in the motives of the district attorney and the performance of the presiding judge. Compounding these factors is the complete disregard and lack of feeling concerning the murder of her brother by the murderers themselves and their families. She also intertwines insights into her own grieving, depression, and feelings of being defeated. The book ends more happily, looking forward.

I could not put this book down. It is an extremely well written account which draws you in, holds you there, then shocks, amazes and astounds you as you read.

Reviewer: QueenBee   3.5 stars  from  http://boookup.blogspot.com
The rippling effect of a murder tears the lives of a town and a family apart. This honest, painfully touching memoir explores the short life and tragic death of the author’s youngest brother (David) who died in a senseless, heinous beating perpetrated by a group of kids bent on acting out.

The accused were members of a street gang called Bristol Boyz. What started as a simple band practice turned dark as the brother and his bandmates made their way home afterwards and were set upon by a group of teens wanting nothing more than to fight. It was a classic case of road rage that went awry. And why? To get out aggression? To set things right? To prove a point? The savage beating didn’t resolve anything for the attackers who ramped up violence exponentially later when they employed more to join in the melee. The author’s brother died in the ensuing clash but not before languishing for days in a hospital on life support. He never regained consciousness and the family was faced with the painful decision to remove him from life support when it was evident he would never recover.

Wanting perhaps to exorcise her own demons, the author relates the high emotions of her brother’s loss and follows the prosecution of members of this gang as a town tries to understand and comes to term with the pact mentality of the youths. She leaves no stone unturned as she documents the hour by hour, day by day drama for her family and their attempt to obtain justice for their lost boy. Her words are potent, a thunderous reflection that leaves one shaking in anger and grief. This well written, naked retelling of the search for justice winds up encompassing the author’s life as she follows the lives of those accused and watches members of the Bristol Boyz gang receive trial, sentencing, imprisonment and eventually parole back into society. Sadly, not all received sentencing for their murderous rage-filled act.

If it’s possible to enjoy such a tale, I did. I’ve read like-stories before that have not been as visceral and forthcoming, as direct and unbiased. Doreen McGettigan is careful to share her views but not go about offending anyone in any way. I have to give this stellar read 3.5 stars!

 

 

Posted on Amazon by:  Sunrise 5 stars

Although the book reads like a novel, it is not a “murder mystery” but the true accounting of a brutal murder that went un-repented and unpunished.Even though the legal system let the victim’s family down, love and support from other sources and the inner strength they offered to each other, were heartwarming. A wonderful book that will keep you riveted to the end.

 

 

Posted on Amazon by:  Anita 5 stars

Once I started reading I could not put it down. It touched me in many different ways. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that by you telling your story, you will prevent this from happening to someone else. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

 

 

Mary from Mary’s Cup of tea  3 cups  http://www.mmbearcupoftea.com

When I was first contacted by Doreen McGettigan, the author, to review her book I did not know that her book would be so gut wrenching, so real and make me so red hot mad! She had told me that it was a real true story but it did not sink in that it would be so “real”. I know that does not make much sense but in some weird way I just did not think it would be so emotional. Her story is about her brother who one night had band practice and was followed by some guys when he left to go home. They beat him to death and this book is Doreen’s journey through the whole process of how justice was served or in this case, how justice was not served. Doreen and her family had lots of evidence and eye witnesses who saw the crime and murder but for some odd reason the prosecutor would not go for the maximum and they would not even arrest the other members of the gang. Only 2 men were ever arrested and they got off relatively free. I could not wrap my mind around the concept of how this could have happened or why. They had numerous witnesses who testified and could point out the men but still they were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Please read this excerpt from her book:

In the small town of Bristol, Pennsylvannia, where everyone knows everyone and all is seen and heard, a henious murder cannot go unpunished – or can it? When David Albert and two of his bandmates are attacked at random one night, David is beaten, suffering severe brain damage, and left for dead in the middle of a driveway.

David’s family spent seventy two hours in the intensive care unit watching him slip away and trying to figure out exactly what happened that night. Struggling through politics and protocol, David’s family attempts to fight for justice for the soft-spoken gentle giant with a great musical talent. When two men are finally charged with conspiracy and third-degree murder, the family is unsatisfied, continuing to believe there is more to the story.

As years pass without more convictions and politics continuing to work against them, David’s family remains heartbroken, still struggling but devoted to finding justice. Join David’s sister Doreen McGettigan in Bristol boyz Stomp as she takes you on a journey, navigating throught the justice system, learning to deal with the media and facing the grieving process. A painfully gripping honest detail that will leave you wanting to hug everyone you love and forever….looking in the rearview mirror.

Doreen McGettingan has written for several Philadelphia area newspapers. Since the brutal murder of her brother, she is committed to being an outspoken advocate for victims of all crimes and their families. She is a member of the Suburban Philadelphia Press Club and The Delaware County Chapter of BNI.  She resides in Delaware County, Pennsylvannia, with her husband, John. To learn more visit her website.

This story will touch you in ways I find hard to explain. I don’t know anyone who has ever been murdered, let alone a close family member. Doreen struggles for a long time with her grief. I could not imagine what it must have been like for their family to sit in that courtroom and have a prosecutor and a judge not give you closure. Only two men were arrested and they got light sentences, the longest being 5 years, when that charge should have been an automatic 25 years!

There were so many witnesses and still the prosecutor did nothing and the judge showed mercy on two of the killers. The others were identified by many witnesses but were never arrested.  I don’t know what kind of town this is, but in my book, somebody must have either took a bribe or were threatened by this gang of men called the Bristol boyz Stomp. This story is a disgrace to everything we hold dear in our country and it should be a disgrace to every cop, judge and prosecutor. Why would no one stand up for David? I am not talking about his family and friends or the witnesses, I am talking about the justice system. To this day, Doreen still has not found closure and this murder took place in 1999! Check out Doreen’s blog to read more about her and her journey. And yes, she is one of us, a blogger who needs us in her quest for justice. Just by stopping by and leaving a comment from time to time to cheer her up or to give her the strength to keep fighting, whatever you can offer will be a blessing.

This story will horrify you because if it can happen once, it can happen twice and maybe someday it will be one of my family members who is beaten to death with a hammer to the head and left to die in the middle of the road. Because, you see, this murder was in fact, a road rage murder. David’s only crime was that he was following the speed limit and the men behind him thought he was going too slow and when they all stopped at a red light, they yanked him out of his car and brutally beat him to death. For God’s sake, he did nothing wrong except follow the law, and in the end, the law let David down.

 

 

Tina Ciotti:

Guess who just finished reading BRISTOL BOYZ STOMP? I DID!!!! I received my book yesterday in the mail.

WELL DONE DOREEN!!!!

BEST OF LUCK



 

2 Responses to “Reviews”

  • mary wren:

    like reading what is here i will go get book if i can find it

  • Doreen!!!!

    I could not put the book down, and finished in a little over 5 hours.(had to make dinner or would not have stopped!)

    That said, your book was an indepth perception of your feelings and insight that was not captured in the media coverage surrounding this horrific evtn that forever changed your life.

    Thank you for writing this and I look forward to your next book….you shared the content and from that alone promises to be a wonderful read.

    All the best,

    Charlene

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