Trout: a True Story of Murder, Teens, and the Death Penalty
On a cool Pensacola night in January 1991, just a few minutes before midnight, three teenagers pulled up to the Trout Auto Parts store. Patrick Bonifay, his body coursing with adrenaline, entered the store clad in a ski mask carrying a loaded gun, intent on carrying out a poorly laid plan. Little did he know that it was his life--as well as the lives of his companions--that was about to be forever changed. Patrick Bonifay, Clifford Barth, and Eddie Fordham were hired to kill Daniel Wells by Robin Archer, who blamed Wells for losing his job nine months prior. The plan was orchestrated by the then-twenty-seven-year-old Archer, who allegedly promised his seventeen-year-old nephew, Patrick, a suitcase full of money after the job was done. But Wells had called in sick that night, and an innocent man was covering his shift. In this shocking and thought-provoking volume, Jeff Kunerth recounts the events of that fateful night, the swift investigation of the murder, the trials and sentencing of the teens, and their subsequent lives within the Florida court and penal systems. Kunerth uses the story of the Trout Auto Parts murder and the lives of these boys to explore varying aspects of troubled adolescence, impulsive actions lasting but moments, and the national trend of trying juveniles as adults in court. The story of these three teenage boys provides a disturbing, sad, and compelling inside look at the dynamics of individuals--not yet adults, but no longer children--who commit senseless, impulsive crimes. Trout is that rare book that continues to haunt you long after you've finished reading it. (Abstract courtesy of fly leaf book cover, Trout: a True Story of Murder, Teens, and the Death Penalty) In Trout: a True Story of Murder, Teens, and the Death Penalty, the author Jeff Kunerth recounts the events leading up to a brutal murder, the investigation, and the trials and sentencing of the convicted murderers: three teenage boys living in small town Pensacola, Florida. Kunerth briefly introduces the young boys by providing a short outline of each of their childhoods, and offers varying aspects that could potentially explain the deviant actions of the three adolescents on that cool, fateful January night in the year 1991. From the beginning, as Kunerth explores the young lives of these three criminals, he suggests that the possibility of juveniles engaging in delinquent behaviors is heavily influenced by the conditions and circumstances of their individual upbringings. In other words, the poorly planned murder that occurred in a small auto store, Trout Auto Parts, could be heavily contributed to the early socialization of this small group of teenagers. This examination of the Trout Auto Parts murder seeks to further explore the troubled life and upbringing of the teenager who actually pulled the trigger: Patrick Bonifay. Many aspects of Patrick’s life in a broken home will be explored, and will be introduced in a manner that easily display’s the challenges and negative influences that deeply affect children being raised in homes similar to Patrick. First, the effects of growing up in a single-parent household will be analyzed, as well as the common struggles most single-parent households share due to living a life in poverty. In addition, the freedom and opportunities that a lack of supervision offers children will be recognized, as well as the increased risk of deviant behavior that follows as a consequence. Second, the effects of an absent father will be discussed, and the question of whether the absence of a deviant father is either beneficial or detrimental. Also, the effects of sexual abuse, and certain sociological theories, concerning juvenile delinquency, will be examined. Lastly, all of the social conditions and circumstances mentioned above, will be specifically applied to Patrick’s personal story, and all of these social factors will be closely...
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