Investigating the Death of Innocents

The other day I read Michael Orozco’s Investigating the Death of Innocents and used it and other sources to update Tyler Payne‘s casefile. I read the Kindle edition (I don’t have a Kindle but do have Kindle for PC) which cost $4.99. The paperback is $11.70.

I’ve written about Tyler before. I’ve got a lot of child abuse deaths on Charley but this one seems more horrible than most, perhaps because it’s more detailed. Tyler and his little sister Ariana were deliberately starved to death by his father and his father’s girlfriend, both of them drug addicts. Ariana’s body was found; Tyler’s was not and probably never will be. Dad’s on death row now and the girlfriend, who turned states’ evidence, is serving a 22-year sentence. This is all the more horrifying when you consider that Tyler and Ariana’s mother, Jamie Hallam, had full legal custody of them, and their father had pretty much abducted them, and both the police and child protective services did nothing to help; quite the contrary in fact.

Michael Orozco, author of the aforementioned book, is the lead investigator in the Payne case and the guy who discovered Ariana Payne’s body and missed Tyler’s. The book was okay. The writing style was pretty clunky, but the book covered the case in great detail, both the investigation and the trial. One of the Amazon.com reviewers thought Orozco was way too harsh on Jamie Hallam, but I didn’t think so. He also said something like, “Even if she was addicted to drugs, she loved her children, had always taken good care of her children, and did her best to get them back when Christopher took them away from her.” Jamie later settled a lawsuit with CPS for $1 million. They admitted they screwed up pretty bad. She lost her suit against the Tucson Police Department, though.

I feel really bad for Jamie. She was in such a no-win situation. She went through the proper legal channels to get her children back, and the system failed her. If she had actually tried to get them back herself, SHE would have been arrested and charged with kidnapping, and would have most likely lost the chance of ever seeing Ariana and Tyler again, and lost custody of her infant as well. Tyler and Ariana died horrible deaths and to this day, their father Christopher blames everyone but himself for what happened.

As for the book, I would recommend it if you want to know about the Payne case specifically, but not otherwise.