Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert

Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert[Reading] ➷ Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert By Jason Kersten – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk I killed and buried my best friend today When authorities found Raffi Kodikian barely alive four days after he and his friend David Coughlin became lost in Rattlesnake Canyon, they made a grim and sho I killed and buried my best friend today the Dead: Epub µ When authorities found Raffi Kodikian barely alive four days after he and his friend David Coughlin became lost in Rattlesnake Canyon, they made a grim and Journal of ePUB ô shocking discovery Kodikian freely admitted that he had stabbed Coughlin twice in the heart Had there been a darker motive than mercy And how could anyone, under any circumstances, kill his best friend Armed with of the Dead: Kindle Ò the journal Kodikian and Coughlin carried into Rattle snake Canyon, Jason Kersten re creates in riveting detail those fateful days that led to the killing in an infamously unforgiving wilderness. HauntingI think a lot of us are fascinated with tales of treks across the desert, about what the desert can do to the unwary and unprepared We can see those vultures circling and we can feel the chapped lips, the mouth so dry that we can hardly speak, and we can see the shimmer of the heat on the dry rocks and sand and hear the wind whispering, and we can be enveloped by the silence.In this true crime tale Maxim magazine senior editor Jason Kersten expands on an article he wrote for that magazi HauntingI think a lot of us are fascinated with tales of treks across the desert, about what the desert can do to the unwary and unprepared We can see those vultures circling and we can feel the chapped lips, the mouth so dry that we can hardly speak, and we can see the shimmer of the heat on the dry rocks and sand and hear the wind whispering, and we can be enveloped by the silence.In this true crime tale Maxim magazine senior editor Jason Kersten expands on an article he wrote for that magazine and turns it into a modest book It is a engrossing story about two young men, close friends, who travel west and get lost in Rattlesnake Canyon in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park without any water As dehydration, fatigue, and hopelessness set in, the two men prepare to die One of them, David Coughlin, is vomiting violently, hour after hour He is in such pain that, so the story goes, he asks his friend Raffi Kodikian to kill him, to put him out of his misery.Some hours later the next day their camp is spotted and the rangers come They find Kodikian alive in the tent He tells them where Coughlin s body is and confesses that he stabbed him through the heart as an act of mercy.What makes this story work, and what makes it worth an entire book, is the uncertainty that still exists about Raffi Kodikian did he kill his friend, as he claims, because he could not bare to see him suffer any, or did he have asinister motive Kersten s narrative clearly leans toward the idea that Kodikian s action was a delusional mercy killing however most of the law enforcement people mentioned in the book find Kodikian s story unconvincing Kersten himself allows that in all the literature he could find, there was only one story of a mercy killing in the desert Apparently it is an extremely rare event Further, the Rattlesnake Canyon they couldn t find their way out of is not that big As Kersten terms it, Rattlesnake Canyon is just a crack five miles long, seven hundred feet deep Another factor that makes this story interesting is the law itself and the defense chosen by famed New Mexico lawyer Gary Mitchell and his assistant Shawn Boyne Since New Mexican law defines a mercy killing as a murder, period, and is not a complete defense to the crime, the lawyers had to come up with something better Boyne made an argument for involuntary intoxication and it seemed to fit Only problem was, according to the legal definition of that defense an agent of intoxication was required Instead what they had was lack of water Curiously, they might have argued that the juice of the prickly pear cactus fruit was the agent, but for some reason they did not Kersten reports that eating prickly pear cactus fruit was probably part of the reason Coughlin vomited so violently.Finally I have to say that Kersten does an excellent job with limited resources He was not able to interview Kodikian, who refused his entreaties, so he had to reconstruct the story from the trial transcript and from interviews with other people, none of whom, of course, was in the canyon with the two men Kersten also does a fine job of placing the story within the historical context of the New Mexican desert and deserts everywhere while making it clear how people die of thirst and how the law works in cases like this.However, as I finished the book, I was left somewhat dissatisfied as other readers were, not so much because I found Kodikian s story unbelievable or even because I doubted it, but because I felt that I did not really know Kodikian We can see that he appears to be, as Kersten reports, quite a well adjusted young man who had good friends and appeared to enjoy life Kersten adds, He could be me or fifty people I know p x In fact the only negative thing anybody said about Kodikian was that he could be stubborn.I wondered as I finished the book if a stubborn person may belikely to believe in his own judgment against the laws of men and bewilling to do something forbidden than the average person I wonder, but I don t think that fully explains it I really believe that the desert can do crazy things to our minds, especially when we are tired and thirsty and the implacable terrain shimmers and dances into a confusing mosaic as we becomeandremoved from conventional reality and from hope At such times in such circumstances we may very well become confused about what is right and what is wrong At least I think that is what happened to David Coughlin and Raffi Kodikian Dennis Littrell, author of the mystery novel, Teddy and Teri I found this book on a thrift store shelf and got it with some others three for a dollar I thought it sounded like a fascinating true crime story and after finishing reading it I know I was right.Two friends on a cross country road trip stop along the way to camp overnight in the desert On their way out the next morning they get lost, become dehydrated, and eventually one friend supposedly begs the other to murder him as a way of mercy killing They were only missing for a few days so its hard I found this book on a thrift store shelf and got it with some others three for a dollar I thought it sounded like a fascinating true crime story and after finishing reading it I know I was right.Two friends on a cross country road trip stop along the way to camp overnight in the desert On their way out the next morning they get lost, become dehydrated, and eventually one friend supposedly begs the other to murder him as a way of mercy killing They were only missing for a few days so its hard to exactly call it euthanization but the courts found that he did believe he was ending his friend s suffering from imminent death We read about their friendship, their families and even the park rangers and investigators involved in the case.I was stationed overseas in South Korea when this was in the headlines so I never previously heard of this case I don t know how big it was in the news or if this book offers muchthan what was covered on television at the time The author begins by telling us that he will not pick a side and let us decide weather we believe in the innocence found by the courts or not and I believe for the most part he stayed true to that.I liked the parts where the author moved away from the main plot to tell about dehydration studies and the history of the area and felt that he did a great job of painting a vivid picture of the place and mindset as well as rounding out what could have been a very thin story based on court records and notes from the murder trial.This was a quick read and an interesting way to pass the time I don t feel the author was the most skilled and there were times where sentence structure was ineloquent or words were left in after editing changes but for the most part I could gloss over them and just enjoy this haunting tale super creepythe whole story made me sick it will be interesting to discuss and i d like to hear other views on what happenedbut as a book, the writing style was a little confusinghe jumped between one story to another to folk lore and i kept wondering where he was going, what was fact and what was fiction, and when i finished the book i was left wondering what exactly has happenedi m going to go throw up now. Good bookWhat an interesting account of sad events I would recommend it to all readers Also seems objectively presented AwAitingfrom this author. I don t have a lot of experience with true crime, and only read this because the incident was mentioned in Over the Edge Death in Grand Canyon The authors of that book recommended this one, and I agree with them It s easy to read, absorbing, darkly fascinating, and disturbing without being too sensationalist The realities of the desert are portrayed very well.I did keep getting the lawyers confused at the end That was probably mostly my fault, but the author could have slipped in a few mo I don t have a lot of experience with true crime, and only read this because the incident was mentioned in Over the Edge Death in Grand Canyon The authors of that book recommended this one, and I agree with them It s easy to read, absorbing, darkly fascinating, and disturbing without being too sensationalist The realities of the desert are portrayed very well.I did keep getting the lawyers confused at the end That was probably mostly my fault, but the author could have slipped in a fewreminders like saying the defense or the prosecution sometimes instead of using their last names almost exclusively However, it was a minor issue I m not entirely sure how much of the re creation of events in the desert was conjecture by the author and how much he relied on various sources That would have been interesting to know I found the restraint of the prosecutor fascination And the support of Dave Coughlin s family And the whole bizarre scenario It s hard for me to understand why you d take so little water with you of course, I m from the Arizona desert and have a great deal of respect for it and the heat It s hard for me to understand how you could get so hopelessly lost in such a small area but, of course, I m used to trail finding in that sort of terrain and have never been so dehydrated that I lose the ability to think So I don t know what to think about Raffi Kodikian s story, and it s going to drive me crazy that I don t know the truth, but that s what I get for reading true crime.Hopefully, in addition to the main aim of this book, it will also reinforce a few rules of the desert respect the heat, carry plenty of water, take a good map and know how to use it, and don t expect anyone to rescue you I ve written out a big long review regarding this book, but I m still not finished and I m tired of wasting my time on this So I ll leave this snippet Perhaps later I ll revisit it.Peter Bigfoot Busnack s evidence is anecdottal at best and should not have been admitted Unripe pickly pears are indeed very bitter, but do not result in the vommitting and other symptoms Busnack is attributing to their ingestion I note that Busnack s allegations don t include the names of his two students who s I ve written out a big long review regarding this book, but I m still not finished and I m tired of wasting my time on this So I ll leave this snippet Perhaps later I ll revisit it.Peter Bigfoot Busnack s evidence is anecdottal at best and should not have been admitted Unripe pickly pears are indeed very bitter, but do not result in the vommitting and other symptoms Busnack is attributing to their ingestion I note that Busnack s allegations don t include the names of his two students who suffered at the hands of nopales and an unripe fruit.Sorry, I m Mexican We eat these fruits and nopales all the time Busnack s a crock of shit and is obviously involved only to grab himself a bit of limelight I m sure he s glad that his survival classes get a little free advertisement from his use in this trial.My attempts at digging up an actually credible source for potential allergic reactions to unripe cactus fruit have revealed absolutely nothing which backs up Busnack s claims The only mention of an allergy towards cactus fruit is from Pubmed and only mentions respitory symptoms, not gastrointestinal ones of the caliber Busnack describes.Busnack is not a doctor, has no medical training, and has written no academic journals describing the effects he describes unripe cactus fruits as having His credibility is nill He is not an expert witness and his testimony is completely useless I have wanted to read this book for a long and I haven t wanted to read it No, it s not because it involves a grisly murder involving two young hikers who allegedly became disoriented and lost in the New Mexican desert in August and one allegedly begged the other to end his suffering by killing him It s because i knew and played with the deceased and his brother as a child His maternal grandmother lived across the street from me I still have pictures with him as a boy .Much of what act I have wanted to read this book for a long and I haven t wanted to read it No, it s not because it involves a grisly murder involving two young hikers who allegedly became disoriented and lost in the New Mexican desert in August and one allegedly begged the other to end his suffering by killing him It s because i knew and played with the deceased and his brother as a child His maternal grandmother lived across the street from me I still have pictures with him as a boy .Much of what actually happened is unknowable because the story mostly comes from the lone survivor There are facts that support his story, but there are an abundance of sufficient facts to cast doubt as well.I thought the author did a good research job telling back stories of that slice of land, past difficulties trying to survive its desolate landscape and bout some of the attorneys involved Whether or not justice was served, he leaves to the individual reader.I recall seeing at least one of the television documentaries on this tragedy after it happened in 1999 In a way, this book gave me some closure, albeit still not a satisfactory one While the author does a good job of trying to stay neutral in reporting of the facts, a bias does emerge, in my opinion I felt the description of what they went through was well written given the fact that there was one man s account and a journal to go from.Overall a wonderfully written tale that makes one think what they would do in the situation Raffi and Dave were in It s easy to sympathize with both men. I couldn t put this down read it in one sitting The impeccable research done for this book meanders down endless fascinating tributaries, and I think the author did a good job of remaining impartial This book is a reminder that the desert that is easy to speed through in an air conditioned car is a dangerous place, even close to civilization.A very sad story, all in all, and presents a haunting ethical dilemma. Well, this probably could have been a longform article But the pacing is great and the author has obviously done his research It s thorough and reads like a thriller, and while on one hand I wanted the author to tell me his opinion, I also appreciated that he gave me complete enough information for me to debate the myriad of theories in my head.

Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in
  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Journal of the Dead: A Story of Friendship and Murder in the New Mexico Desert
  • Jason Kersten
  • English
  • 07 January 2018
  • 0060959223