Losing Jon: A Teen’s Tragic Death, a Police Cover-Up, a Community’s Fight for Justice

Citadel. Apr. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780806540467. pap. $16.95. CRIME
Jonathan Bowie, 19, was found hanging from a backstop on a high school baseball field in Howard County, MD; police declared the death a suicide, but Bowie’s family and debut author Parrish, a family friend, suspected there was more to the story, and they tried to get the police to change the cause of death to homicide, as well as consider one of the police officers a suspect. Parrish covers the police’s failure to properly investigate the death, the family’s struggles with local law enforcement, community meetings, and eventually the involvement of the FBI, all without a resolution that satisfied the family. Unfortunately, Parrish gives the same weight to facts, gossip by teenagers, and information gleaned from psychics, including both the victim’s mother and the author’s mother.
VERDICT Parrish is unable to take himself out of the situation enough to tell a coherent story. Readers will be unable to draw a conclusion and struck with disbelief that things could have been handled so poorly, as well as irritated that a large group of people were manipulated by messages from beyond. Not recommended.
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