When Mormon missionary Keith Barker meets Patty Jenkins, he is unaware that one step inside her home will catapult him into the life of an accomplished sociopath. Patty's life story includes rape, abuse, abandonment and alcoholic parents. She is in desperate need of a good friend. Keith's empathy for Patty leads to a physical relationship resulting in an unexpected pregnancy. Keith is sent home from his mission and his life soon spirals out of control.
Patty travels cross-country by bus to marry Keith. It quickly becomes apparent that all is not what it seems with Patty. Her outlandish tales and amazing stories send the Barker family in search of answers about the stranger now living in their home. After his birth, Keith's son Steven is diagnosed with one illness after another, and Keith's suspicions fall squarely on Patty. Desperate for understanding, the Barker family finds answers in the study of psychopathic behavior. Keith's worst fears materialize as they investigate Munchausen by Proxy, a disorder where a parent, usually the mother, makes her own child sick in order to garner attention for herself. This is the true account of a ten year battle to save the life of Steven Barker.
Praise for Crush:
"I just finished reading CRUSH and have rarely been so enthusiastic about a book. It is extremely powerful and well-written, and does a better job than most textbooks in depicting the realities of Munchausen by proxy abuse and antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy). I have already recommended it in response to a couple of inquiries about MBP and find it more powerful even than Julie Gregory's best-selling memoir, Sickened. It took me a while to read because I had to interrupt the reading when I found myself too filled with rage or sadness at the lies and abuse perpetrated by "Patty." I can only hope that "Keith" continues to prevail in court.
Over the years, quite a few people have told me that they intended to write books about their disturbing and life-altering experiences with MBP, but few really do, perhaps because the memories are too painful. It is clear in your case that writing is a therapeutic tool and your readers will be the beneficiaries."
Marc D. Feldman, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
The University of Alabama
Marc D. Feldman, M.D. is the nations foremost expert on Munchausen Syndrome. He has been very helpful in sharing information and support during our eleven year battle with our sociopath Patty.