Wensley Clarkson takes you gently by the hand and immerses you into rotting and corrupted psyche that comprised Theresa Cross krorr life and morals.
Most when they think of the word mother, they think of love, comfort and protection. The complete breakdown of life’s’ most fundamental aspects are exposed to us in Wendleys’ well written book “Whatever Mother Says.” Clarkson tells Theresa Cross Knorr story with great flare, at times, you are even able to feel some sympathy for her. Our heartstrings are pulled when Wensley begins the book with the tragic episode of Theresa protecting herself from an abusive husband. The way Clarkson portrays Theresa when she calls for the police after she murders her husband is a stroke of genius. While reading this passage you take a deep breathe and tell yourself good going girl—this begins the book on the right note. With these few sentences, the author sets the foundation for the unveiling of a master manipulator, and a living breathing abomination. Before turning the page you are all set to read about how badly this woman was treated, how hard she tried, and feel sorry for her eventual failure as a mother, wife and person.
In the following pages of this book, Wensley sets the stage for one of the worst stories of abuse, manipulation, and sociopathic behaviors experienced by America. This story is told from Terri’s— Theresa’s youngest daughter— view, and from the filed police reports. It highlights the failure of society in its responsibility to the abused and unwanted. It points a spotlight on how easy it is for atrocious crimes to be pushed aside by our esteemed protectors. The overworked, underpaid police, social workers and teachers in this child’s life were caught unaware. Or were they?
Each person that Clarkson interviewed for this book that knew Korr and her family stated that something was different about her family. Most stated that there were obvious signs of abuse towards the children, when they thought about it in retrospect.
With the disappearance of each child, the family would move. This strategy seemed to work.
No one reported the deaths of Korr’s older two daughters. As Korr’s surviving children became old enough to escape the hell that was their home, Theresa began a new life for herself. It seemed as if she never looked back. Back to the days when she was a mother of five abused children, back to a time when she convinced her sons that their sisters were worth so little that they could be disposed of in a manner that most wouldn’t even use on a rabid animal.
Here is where the human spirit is brought into this sad story. Teri gets away from her mother and begins to realize that she loves her sisters, and wants their deaths acknowledged, their murder avenged. Teri begins to tell people about her childhood. Once again no one will act, no one believes her.
Terri tries to repeatedly to tell someone…anyone what happened in her own personal Nightmare on Elm Street movie. The reality of Teri’s life is something that I don’t even think Wes Craving would be able to imagine.
While the story is very disturbing, the way Clarkson finishes the book is even more so. We follow this woman from an abused childhood, through the murders of her sisters, to her escape, only for Clarkson to finish the book with a to be continued feel to the story. So while I enjoyed the way the book was put together, loved the attention to details Clarkson used, I am very disappointed by the ending. It leaves the reader wondering whether Korr was brought to justice, whether Teri recovered from her childhood, whether the brothers were held accountable for their actions. It just seems to me like a whether book. And I am not sure whether I will read another book written by Wensley Clarkson.