What a tale.. a very engrossing true-crime account. This book had my jaw dropping constantly. The New York Times Book Review calls it, "A mesmerizing account of growing up as the child of a world-class sociopath." I must agree.
True story of this family of con artists. The TV movie of the same name was based on this book. It was interesting at times, but I had a hard time staying into this one. Parts were boring. Overall, I would say it's just okay.
If you ever thought YOUR family was messed up ... if you ever thought your mom nagged too much, your dad was overbearing, your uncle was paranoid and your brother had a bad temper ... no matter what you think of your family, you've got nothing on this one. Of the four principle characters in the book, one is dead, two are serving at least 120 years in jail each, and one is writing this book. Name a crime, any crime, it's here. The older son escaped the grip of ever-escalating violent and degenerate criminal behavior because as he was growing up, the family was not wealthy yet, so he was exposed to other families with more normal lives and he was able to distinguish between normal childhood behavior and the craziness his mother was getting him to do. The younger son was not so lucky, as he was imprisoned in the home during the times of the worst of the criminal activities and the parents has more influence on him than his older brother (who escaped the family, or at least distanced himself as much as possible when possible). Plus the younger one was not allowed to form any attachment with anyone outside the immediate family, as his parents were continuously changing addresses to flee the latest arrest warrant, hiring and firing vagrants and illegals as domestic help, obsessing over surveillance and security of whatever their latest hideout was, changing names to avoid prosecution, telling paranoid tales of people out to kill them, anything to keep the younger one in constant stress and fear and utterly dependant on them for every need. As you are reading this book, you have to keep reminding yourself that the one who wrote it turned out okay, because you will really feel for, and fear for, the fates of the children in this book. And I thought I knew some crazy families. It won't matter who you are or what your mom has done, it won't compare to this mom.
The most famous con artists in America, Sante and Kenny Kimes made headlines nationwide when they were charged and then convicted for the death of a wealthy socialite. But questions about this deadly duo remain. How did this aging Liz Taylor wannabe raise a son who became her criminal accomplice?
In this extraordinary memoir, Kent Walker?Sante Kimes's other son?tells the shocking story of his family. Walker describes growing up with an intense, manipulative woman who inflicted a unique brand of motherly love; of a childhood filled with shoplifting, theft, and arson; of the turning point when Walker found the courage to defy his mother's deadly wishes.
Yet Son of a Grifter is also a a portrait of a man in moral and emotional turmoil, struggling to come to grips with his past. Filled with unprecedented details and chilling insights into the mind of a sociopath, Son of a Grifter is a powerful, unforgettable story.