Marvin Repinski: A review of the novel, ‘The Final Case’ – Austin Daily Herald

“When you cross the waters, I will be with you. And by the rivers they will not overflow you. When you walk in the fire, you will not be burned. (The Bible – Isaiah 43:1-5)

A novel I am currently reading is a story I would recommend to those who can stand the ugly; who can, while noting the prohibited acts and recognizing that certain behaviors are reprehensible, harmful and condemnable. The conclusion of this story puts these words in the mouth of the judge, Mary Ann Rasmussen. She looks over her glasses to decide.

The author of this novel, “The Final Case”, David Guterson, writes of the judge’s statement: “At some point in this trial, each of us is stunned and speechless, without the slightest hope of understanding what whatever. . It wasn’t about mental illness, addiction, alcohol or any of those factors. It’s a form of evil, in my book — evil disguised as higher morals, superior, even supreme morality. Delvin and Betsy Harvey, you are not the victims here, you are the perpetrators. And yet I have not seen the slightest remorse on your part. Not one iota. Only more certainty. In your heads, you are always right. You are right and you will always be right. You have one hundred percent confidence that you have not committed a crime and that the justice system, the sheriff’s office, the CPS (Child Protection Service) and all others are associated with a giant conspiracy designed to bring you down.You will always be looking into a world that is e Are and wrong because he doesn’t agree with you, and that’s not a basis for rehabilitation.

We noted how the judge compressed her inventory before a sentence was handed down. She used the word “crime” and the reader will ask “what was that?”

Delvin and Betsy Harvey’s children were home-schooled in a vicious environment where, for parents, God and religion were turned into an ignorant, hurtful, impoverished and unforgiving form of Christian fundamentalism. Some of the tactics used as forms of physical and mental abuse were: A boy recalled being beaten – hit on the head, locked in a cellar and deprived of food. Testimony was given in court that the defendants adopted a girl from Ethiopia and brutally beat her, not only with their hands, but with a variety of cruel and vicious instruments, and hit her on the head , feet, arms, legs. , and the torso.

An additional witness said the adopted daughter was locked in a small shower room where she had to sleep alone in a tub. She was not allowed to use the bathroom in the house, but instead had to use an outhouse behind a barn. Another reprehensible scene was of a girl who was seen as “breaking the rules”. Almost all of her hair has been repeatedly cut.

Betsy (the wife), was particularly hygienic and dedicated to cleanliness, so it was difficult for her to bear any violation of this rigid expectation. When the adopted child brought lice and fungi into the house, not only was she reprimanded, but the punishment was severe. When the punishment got brutal, Delvin (the husband) finally put an end to it. Betsy got angry when he spoke against her and when he refused to listen to her point of view. Running the house when he was at work was his job. The fact was right, for her! Delvin didn’t know his wife was cheating on him about the depth, cruelty, and extent of his punishments while he was away.

In this novel, the trial revolves around bickering, blaming, and lying to lawyers, trying to put a nice face on things or give reasons for behaviors that spanned a number of years. The form that evil and the human hurt, a twisted form of belief, a rancid and degrading practice of perverted fundamentalism can take, is noteworthy.

My conclusion from this review is to return to Judge Mary Ann Rasmussen: “This conviction is a denunciation. It is the expression of a common philosophy that you, with your actions as parents, have challenged and denied. You are reported here. (Among the acts of abuse was the death of the adopted daughter.) “I recognize, with your sentences, that your victim’s life meant a great deal and was equal to any life in value, and that it cannot be taken without society stepping in to say, ‘Absolutely not, and if you do it, you must pay!’ “And so you will pay. I sentence you, Delvin Harvey, to thirty-seven years to be served in a Washington state correctional facility. The judge sentenced his wife Betsy, to the same maximum sentence available.”

My writing of this review is to affirm for all of us, the importance, the motivation to lead a life that will embrace the kind of character that we desire for all people. My exhortation is that, especially in the environment of families, settings should be appropriate examples of God’s respect, love, mercy and grace.

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