An Act of Bravery: the real heroes

A year ago today Eli Sanders publication “While the city slept”, a novel that expands on his Pulitzer winning story “The bravest woman in Seattle”, reminded us of a dramatic preventable crime.

“The bravest women in Seattle” is the coverage of a crime and trial of a mental instable man who repeatedly raped and tortured both Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz and murder Butz in their own home.

In the article, Sanders feature writing is engaging since the beginning. Sanders make us connect first, and care deeply after, with the couple, by describing their lives and love for each other. Sanders mesmerize the reader describing the crime not just with facts but with emotions, getting the reader to pray for a happy ending, while building the tension by transmitting the suffering described in the trial by Jennifer on the 3 rounds of attacks during the summer night of 2009.  The incredible writing of a far too common aggression brought Sanders to win the Pulitzer Price in 2012.

Because a crime doesn’t start or end in the court room, Sanders continued his research and published “While the city slept” in 2016. In the novel, Sanders describes the lives of the three protagonists of this preventable crime and flags the mental health care situation in America.

Sanders calls Jennifer testimony an act of Bravery. Is the way Jennifer described the crime, capturing Sanders attention to write about the crime, the act of bravery? Or is the fact that she managed to survive to the attacks? Or in fact, is Teresa Butz bravery, for saving her partner life? Maybe is Sanders bravery for taking the time to go beyond a court news and write “While the city slept”?

Congratulations to all of them for their bravery, and every one of you, for speaking up when a crime, an aggression, a rape happened to you or near you, and for calling for action to address state’s mental health and criminal justice systems.