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THE STALKING OF KRISTIN: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter by

THE STALKING OF KRISTIN: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter


Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

A painful account of a murder, told by a hard-boiled journalist who is also the victim's father. Lardner transformed his anger into a Pulitzer Prize--winning series of articles for the Washington Post. Lardner's youngest daughter, Kristin, a specialist in ""sin and corruption,"" ended up having the kind of life her father investigates for a living. A successful art student in Boston, 21-year-old Kristin found herself attracted to a bar bouncer, Michael Cartier, famous locally for the large tattoo on his neck. After two months of dating him, Kristin became terrified of Michael, who had beaten her bloody and killed her kitten. Kristin told her friends but not her parents, and she obtained a restraining order for protection. Over the next few weeks she notified the police as Michael continued to harass her, but authorities did little to ensure her safety. The tragic next act is sadly predictable: Michael shoots Kristin outside a laundromat in broad daylight. The shock at her brutal murder was especially cruel to the Lardners, who felt both rage and a crushing guilt at not having been able to prevent the murder. In the months following, Lardner began a thorough exploration of the legal system that failed to protect his daughter; the last chapter is devoted to these anti-stalking laws, restraining orders, and sentencing guidelines for batterers. Though Lardner is clearly outraged and cites a numbing array of statistics, he fails to come up with any answers. The author ultimately cannot decide whether his book is political or personal. Somewhat nebulous in focus, this is nonetheless an affecting examination of issues beyond the scope of Lardner's original articles.