Essay: Crime And Responsibility

"I'm depraved on account I'm deprived."

-- West Side Story

Twelve years ago, Bonnie Garland, a pretty, upper-class Yale student, was murdered. Her estranged boyfriend went up to her bedroom one night and with a hammer cracked her head open "like a watermelon," as he put it. Murders are a dime a dozen in America. But the real story here, the real horror, chronicled in painful detail by Willard Gaylin (in The Killing of Bonnie Garland), was the aftermath: sympathy turned immediately from victim to murderer, a Mexican American recruited to Yale from the Los Angeles barrio. Within five weeks he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!