Reading Beverly Lowry’s Crossed Over: Inside/Outside, Part 2

Incoming students at St. Lawrence University in northern New York state choose First Year colleges according to theme, “living and learning communities” which introduce them to college-level reading, writing, and speaking skills but which are focused on a common area of interest. Last fall, the 12 students of Sprague College and I examined America’s incarceration crisis, driving 20 miles to the medium security Riverview Correctional Facility to study alongside 8 incarcerated men who also earned college credit for the course. Dialogue was at the heart of the enterprise, as were 4 works of literary nonfiction by James Baldwin, Angela Davis, John Edgar Wideman, and Beverly Lowry.

What follows are the responses of all 20 students (inside and out) to Lowry’s Crossed Over, her account of her friendship former Texas Death Row inmate Karla Faye Tucker, executed in 1998.

-Professor Bob Cowser, St. Lawrence University

Editor’s Note: entries have been lightly edited for clarity, but are otherwise intact to the students’ responses. We have deliberately not identified which students are inside and which are outside. What follows is the second half of student responses; click here for the first half.


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Sincere Johnson

It is human nature to view some acts of violence as unforgivable. In order to understand someone who has committed a crime of that magnitude, we would first have to care enough to try to find out how and why this happened. Not everyone will have the capability to attempt to understand. A person had to have some type of experience in their life, some form of pain and/or loss that provides this unique, peculiar perspective that enables them to look past the exterior of someone or something and go deep into the heart of the issue. In this case the issue is Ms. Karla Faye Tucker, a 23-year-old woman who was on death row for her role in the infamous pick axe murder of Mr. Jerry Lynn Dean and Ms. Deborah Thurton.

Ms. Lowry has inherited the ability to look past the murders into the person who is Ms. Karla Faye and I believe that the loss of Ms. Lowry’s son, Peter, is the sole reason behind it. Matter of fact, if it wasn’t for Peter, Ms. Lowry would not have ever met Ms. Faye. She writes, “If Peter hadn’t been killed, I would not have made the first trip up to see Karla Faye” (5). The interest in Ms. Faye came about from the void that was left inside Ms. Lowry from the loss of Peter.

The things that Ms. Lowry documented about Karla Faye’s life was more horrifying than the actual murders. Karla Faye was a doper at eight, a needle freak behind heroin by the time she was eleven, she basically used whatever drug that was around at the time. The most insane truth about that ordeal is her own mother exposed her to it. Having your mind clouded and distorted from drugs at that early of an age impairs the ability to have a normal life. A person’s perception of reality will be totally different from a regular member of society. She was prostituting before she became a teenager, so more than likely any man that comes into her life would most likely be no good for her. In fact, whoever is running around in them type of circles would be negative and exhibiting nothing but destructive behavior. So, whoever was in her circumference (her tribe) was just struck in their own little warped, distorted reality feeding off the negativity and spiraling and spiraling deeper into the black abyss where conscious doesn’t exist. I grew up in Harlem where there was always an abundance of drugs and violence. This story rates right at the top with some of the most horrendous stories that I have been exposed to.

Telling this story, Ms. Lowry forces the reader to have some form of empathy towards Ms. Karla Faye and if that was one of her goals with this book she definitely succeeded. When I finished reading this book my heart went out to the two murdered victims, but my heart truly bled for Ms. Karla Faye. No one should have had to go through some things like that, and it made me much more conscious of how I’m handling my role as a parent. I could now look at Ms. Karla Faye as someone more than just a murderer, and this book has instilled in me a responsibility to not judge a book by its cover, and to always remember that you truly don’t know a person until you know where they have been in life.

In closing, Ms. Lowry did a great deed for Ms. Faye and I have a better sense of humility because of this book. Even though I feel Ms. Lowry will have this perpetual void attached to her from the loss of her son, I feel by her writing this book it also helped her to comprehend her situation a little better and realize it could have been much worse. As for Ms. Karla Faye I take solace in the fact that at the end she was able to smile, joke, and be content with whatever happens. She knows and can be confident in the fact that she has accepted God in her life as her Lord and savior and her life is in His hands.

Hannah Leslie

Beverly Lowry’s Crossed Over: A Murder, a Memoir, tells the story of convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker and Peter Lowry, the authors late son. Tucker tells her life story through a Plexiglas window as she awaits execution on death row. Although all of their interactions were limited to what relationship could be formed through a window, they developed a strong bond. As a reader, I struggled to find links between Karla Faye Tucker and Peter’s stories. The book seemed like a desperate attempt by Lowry to combine two stories that had no business being told together in the first place. It strikes me as an odd way of Lowry trying to justify the parenting that may have led to the untimely death of her son by comparing him to someone who also had a bad upbringing, and then became a murderer. Each story might have been better had they been written on their own, but by combining them the significant relevance of each is lost in the confusion of trying to write two stories as one.

The thought that their relationship escalated to anything beyond what they formed through the Plexiglas divider may be seen as “immature,” however there are certain aspects of the story that lead me to believe that this relationship became at least an unhealthy obsession, if not romantic. How many people do you know who have a picture of a pickaxe murderer on their desk? Especially with no encounters previous to those in the prison. When questioned by her friends about why she would make the trip to see Karla Faye, Lowry responds, “But look at her”(10). Odd. In my opinion, this single line discredits a lot of what followed in the book. Her sole reason for going to visit was based on a superficial conclusion. This leads me to question Lowry’s intentions when she decided to seek out a woman who’s story she just happened to stumble upon.

If I take anything away from this book it would be an appreciation for Karla Faye’s honesty and acceptance for a woman who was trying to exploit her story. Perhaps It was because she was lonely on death row and Lowry provided her with companionship and a consistent relationship, something she had never had before. To me it seems as if Lowry used Tucker to fill a void left by the death of her son, it’s her shot at redemption for the years of lackadaisical parenting.  In some way, Lowry is doing the same thing to Karla as all the other people who had been in and out of her life. She was a broken woman who had been taken advantage of and had never had anyone care about her for purposes other than sex, drugs, or money. Lowry is no better than Karla’s mother who did drugs with her at a very young age and her friend who turned her in. A harsh criticism, but seemingly justifiable.

Lowry’s justification for making the connection between the stories is as follows: “If Peter had not been killed, I would not have made the first trip up to see Karla Faye” (5). This doesn’t provide any insight into why her infatuation began and her argument as to why this explains her developed infatuation with Tucker doesn’t make sense. While Lowry and Tucker were able to find a bond with each other, I struggled to find the same connection with the book as it evoked feelings of dissatisfaction and confusion.

Danny Lin

Karla Faye Tucker, the infamous Houston “Pickax Murderer,” under the influence of drugs committed a brutal crime which put her on death row. After her arrest, she found God, had the time to sober up, and in the process found herself, her true self. Having the opportunity to find God, to find one’s true self and be reformed, should she still be executed? After losing her son in a hit and run accident, Beverly Lowry, a novelist, looking for answers and possibly trying to fill the void of her son. Lowry says, “I was captivated by her, that’s all. Her looks her story, the extremes to which passion, circumstance and drugs had taken her,” (10) after she brought up the idea of making the trip to visit Karla. Her friends were thinking, “if she needed a cause, there were plenty of far more deserving people out there to feel sorry for” (10). So, what makes Lowry so desperate to connect with Karla?

In March of 1989, on Lowry’s first visit to Karla, “Karla was twenty-nine. She seemed more like maybe thirteen, a transitional girl and no wonder: Karla Faye missed out in adolescence” (25). She believes that prison has given Karla a chance to go back and, like a learning-disabled child, catch up on the steps she missed (25). Karla’s childlike personality makes Lowry wonder if Peter would’ve been like her if he was still alive. Karla sees Lowry as her second mother but not a replacement of her actual mother Carolyn Moore, but almost like the mother she never had. Karla says, “I don’t think any of this would have happened if my mother hadn’t died (Lowry 99). But she is not blaming her mother for the crime that she committed. She says, “I don’t blame nobody but myself, but when she died, it changed me. I turned stone cold to the world” (99) The way Lowry cares for Karla reminds her of Carolyn Moore, and Karla was just reminiscing the days when she was alive. But connecting with Karla on such an intimate level, does Lowry get the answers she was seeking? After Lowry’s visit to Karla, she dreamt of Karla. The dream she had was about Karla escaping prison, showing up in front of Lowry’s house, then they go for a drive to show her around the town where Lowry grew up at. Then at some point the change places, Lowry becomes Karla the escaped prisoner, wearing only a white cotton slip and ballerina slippers also looking down and noticing that she has skinny calves, Karla’s calves (88). Should Karla still be executed after she found her true self, the child within also after she found God, although she didn’t say she was remorseful?

Richard Lozada

Throughout the course of my life, I can count on both hands all the books I have ever read, or the ones that I care to remember. As a boy, I can recollect the “hooked on phonics” and “reading is fundamental” T.V. commercials. Reading was just a hobby that I never acquired. It was not until I began to read Crossed Over by Beverly Lowry did I experience what readers call “a book you can’t put down.” As I began to read, I became more and more connected to this book. I would read a few chapters before I went to bed. Then a few chapters in the morning when I woke up. Read more chapters throughout the course of the day. I could not put it down. As I came to the end of the book, for the first time I was left with so many questions. The last sentence of the book being, “you bump up against the final, most unacceptable thing, you see what you can come up with” (Lowry 245). Like the poet, I find myself with so much uncertainty.

Reading Crossed Over for a second time allowed me to think more critically about the relationship between these two women. This is a story of human connection. How a picture in a news article of a stranger can capture one’s attention and hooked their heart (3). The human connection is a wonderful thing if we allow it. If we are not afraid to open up, even to a stranger on death row for a double murder, bonds and friendships can be built. In the late 1980s during a dark and flat time in Beverly Lowry’s life, she became friends with Karla Faye Tucker, a confessed murderer who lived on death row in the Mountain View Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections (Lowry frwrd). This story says something beautiful about human connections, that two people at opposite ends of tragedy can connect with each other emotionally. Beverly Lowry’s connection with Karla Faye Tucker offers solace for the death of her son Peter. For several years, Beverly Lowry visited with Karla Faye Tucker and wrote about those visits (frwrd). In the course of writing this book, a human connection was made. In Beverly Lowry’s own words, “In time, I think-despite Plexiglas and all other barriers meant to come between us—we both crossed over” (Lowry ackn.).

Jill Mackillop
The sensation of being both confused and intrigued is pricked over and over again in Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir, the true story which details the aftermath of the murder of author Beverly Lowry’s son Peter, and the obsession she forms thereafter with infamous death-row murderer Karla Faye Tucker. Right and wrong and truth and grief-stricken bias is stirred together in a muddled stew. Lowry extricates similarities and differences from both women’s generally opposite life stories, and though incredibly compelling to read, Lowry herself acknowledges that her own intimate closeness to the situation may have altered her presentation of the truth: “It has been seven years. I am hoping by now to have earned a good seat in this drama, to have gained perspective enough to be able to start figuring out what is what and which empty place this loving girl-woman, Karla Faye Tucker, this convicted murderer, has come in this exact point in my life to fill.” The emotional trauma of her son’s death makes it difficult for her to objectively discuss the relationship she formed with Karla, as well as Karla’s own story. It takes a healthy amount of self-awareness to address this, but Lowry writes the book nonetheless. This is troubling. It’s questionable what amount of time (if any) would be enough to distance Lowry from the events she experienced in a way that would remove some of the personal biases. Perhaps it’s impossible to remove the tint of personal bias from traumatic periods at all. But regardless, the sureness of her emotions and interpretations is less important in retelling her own story than it is telling Karla’s. The intent of the nonfiction writer is so often warped by the voice of a grief-stricken woman because the two are the same person. Reading Crossed Over begs the question— is this a memoir of two women? Is it half memoir and half attempted journalism? And whatever the intended structure, does it work? Could it have been done better?

In a perfect world a grief stricken mother could step outside of her misery in order to separate her narrative voices into journalist and woman. That is a monumental thing to ask of Lowry. If this book was written as a means for Lowry to heal, to understand, the best way to do so would not have been journalistically. But a journalistic perspective is almost owed to Karla Faye Tucker. This is no longer the story of one woman changed by the death of her son and writing to self-reflect. It is now the presentation of another person’s life, a person who has lived an unbelievable life and done something incredibly controversial. This comes with a responsibility to present Karla Faye Tucker unbiasedly, a responsibility that Lowry does not (and cannot) fulfill.

The grasp with which Lowry holds onto Karla makes for a fascinating read, but there are downfalls in mixing memoir and advocacy. The reader should be able to reach an individual conclusion about good and evil and grief and growth without the musing of Lowry guiding them towards a certain conclusion.Though the language is far from explicitly persuasive, it’s rather clear that Lowry doesn’t believe Karla should be executed. If Karla is truly a redeemed woman and likable enough character, then she would be redeemed by the masses without the forethought of Lowry’s opinions. I hesitate to consider if Lowry’s advocation is actually weakened by her admitted turmoil and proximity to the situation. It’s all too easy to dismiss her care for Karla as a result of humongous emotional stress and a sudden need for distraction. Beyond the notion that mixed intents weaken rhetorical tactics, there is the ethical concern that the integrity of Karla Faye Tucker’s story- for better or for worse- is lost. Stepping away from what should or shouldn’t happen to Karla, there is 20+ years of hardship that created this woman. Years which are not being shared by the woman herself. We are receiving information second-hand, and given personal commentary before and afterwards to boot. Distractions encase the snippets of Karla’s life, taking us out of the past and into Lowry’s present, contextualizing Karla’s stories in the eyes of the author. Lowry’s own unsureness establishes that she may be an unreliable narrator, which means that she relays only the information from Karla that was most significant to her, for whatever reason.

Though all in all it is a compelling story and one that should not be criticized without the sympathetic consideration of a woman mourning her child, there are instances where Crossing Over could have done even more for Karla Faye Tucker. What Lowry does manage, to a level that should in no way be overlooked, is to pluck the idea from reader’s brains that evil is perhaps on the hands of many and not the one manifest of a tortured little girl. That weight is not comfortable to bear, but Lowry slips it subtly onto our shoulders in painstaking movements.

Ellen Olsson

We are all drawn to the unknown, the unusual, and the grotesque. We crane our necks from our cars at every roadside accident. We want to know not only why a killer murdered their victims, but how. Every disgusting detail simultaneously horrifies and fascinates us. Yet very few of us reflect on this behavior, and if we do, I for one have not stumbled onto a reason for the captivation. Sometimes there is no explanation for a behavior. However, for Beverly Lowry to write a book almost entirely about identifying why Karla Faye interests her without having any sort of revelation is at once disappointing upon first read but ingenious once re-considered. Her book revealed to me that there are connections between people that adhere to no logic. She found a way to cross a barrier between herself and a murderer without being able to empathize entirely with her. How she accomplished that feat interests me more than why she initially contacted Karla Faye.

Beverly Lowry cannot relate to the woman across the Plexiglas. When she speaks of Karla’s crime under the influence of drugs, Beverly Lowry states, “Hearing the stories, seeing the pictures, I try to approach some understanding of how that was; try to step over, in imagination and memory, the line between my world and hers” (Lowry 44). She attempts to relate with her comparisons of Karla Faye’s drug addiction to her own one-time experience with diet pills, but the fact of the matter is that she simply cannot imagine Karla Faye’s experiences. Lowry has not smoked marijuana since age eight, or shot heroin since age eleven.  She has not punctured a human body countless times with a pickaxe. What Crossed Over teaches us, though, is that Lowry’s disconnect from Karla Faye in real life experience is made up for by her openness to the unknown. Karla Faye in turn opens up to Beverly Lowry and they connect like only two honest and unashamed people can.

Beverly Lowry cannot explain why she cares so much for Karla Faye Tucker because their connection is not based on reason. They connect because they are simply human around each other, which is a connection most of us do not experience often. Karla Faye does not replace Beverly Lowry’s dead son. Beverly Lowry does not replace Karla Faye’s mother, though she considers both as explanations. Beverly Lowry did what many of us cannot. She shed her urge to judge and leapt nakedly into the unknown life that Karla Faye led, and found an intimacy that changed her idea of second chances. None of these experiences could prevent the execution of Karla Faye Tucker, but all of these experiences changed the lives of these two different women. I am not sure how much Beverly Lowry reads into her relationship with Karla Faye. I cannot know if I am correct in believing their openness is what allowed the barrier to be crossed, not their circumstance. After all, we can only know what our own experience is, and just as Beverly Lowry may not know why she contacted Karla Faye Tucker, I may never know why this book taught me these lessons in connecting without empathy. I now believe that the most important ability is to hear another’s life story, and to accept wholly that we can love and care for a person whose life experience we cannot fully comprehend. That is what Beverly Lowry was able to do, and that is what makes her such a powerful writer.

Sonya Sandu

Did Lowry cross the line from professional relationship to something inappropriate, maybe even borderline obsessive? This is shown through the various ways Lowry chose to present her interactions with Tucker, the vocabulary she uses to describe her, and her constant mental fixation with Tucker. Lowry visited Tucker many times in the penitentiary where she was houses, initially out of curiosity of Tucker, but also because of the death of her son, Peter. The visit turned into a positive experience for Lowry. She said that they “kept crossing the line,” talking like they were well acquainted with one another, making “the daredevil leap into friendship fast and on the spot and without restrictions” (67).  Lowry repetitively associated her meeting with Tucker as friends meeting for an everyday conversation, sometimes saying they are “schoolgirls,” (66) and that at the end of their meetings, they “press [their] palms against the Plexiglas until [their] fingers turn white… hugging [themselves] as a substitute for one another.” (84) The casual, nonchalance of the meetings between these two women show that although Lowry originally visited the jail out of interest, the two quickly turned into friends, confiding in each other about their deepest darkest secrets, all in a three-hour time period. Lowry crosses the boundary here as she felt comfort and commodore with Tucker, something that journalists make emphasis in not doing, not letting themselves get consumed in the story, which is what Lowry did.

Another way Lowry pushed the limit in her alliance with Tucker is the way she describes Tucker. In the beginning of the book Lowry described the snapshot of Tucker as something that “hooked [her] heart (3),” and portraying Tucker as “lovely,” and “loving” (3-5). These are words that one wouldn’t connect with a brutal murderer, however Lowry constantly reminds the reader of Tuckers beauty, saying that she was “captivated by her,” (10) without even meeting Tucker yet. She also described her voice as warm and bright, always using the most positive of adjectives to portray Tucker, making sure she was seen by the reader in the best light, even making a point to call her the “most loving person [she has] ever met.” (197)  Lowry genuinely believes all of these characteristics about Tucker, becoming enveloped in her pictures, sometimes losing herself staring. This shows the obsession and infatuation Lowry has for Tucker.

The last way Lowry shows her crossing of the line is the mental fixation she has of Tucker, which is also shown to be reciprocated by Tucker later in the book. This starts with Lowry thinking about Tucker in specific situations that she feels Tucker would appreciate, for example when the horse gave birth, Lowry took snapshots because she felt “Karla will love this” (79). This fixation then grew as Lowry had dreams about Tucker, saying that in the dream she looked “whorish but plenty cute” (80). Tucker also had dreams about Lowry, three to be exact, the first dream about Lowry asking Tucker to have sex with herself and her husband Glen. The second dream Tucker had was about nothing as interesting as the first, just about one of Tucker’s childhood homes and how “Karla felt safe” (220) in the presence of Lowry. The final dream Tucker had about Lowry was Tucker introducing Lowry to her mother and her mother welcoming her. This exchange of dreams between the two women just prove how inappropriate the relationship between them were, especially with the introduction of Tuckers first dream, which was of the sexual nature. Lowry crossed a line in this setting as she invited a friendship and intimate relationship with Tucker, allowing both of them to feel comfortable enough with each other that they even think about one another in their subconscious.

In conclusion, Beverly Lowry entered a non-professional relationship with Karla Faye Tucker, but embraced it with two arms wide open. Lowry allowed herself to become attached with Tucker, and presented that through her intimate and personal interactions with Tucker, the vocabulary she used to describe and present her, and the constant mental fixation Lowry had for her. Lowry knowingly entered this relationship, however it came to her advantage as this is the very reason why the book is as good as it is. Lowry knew that once she became committed to Tucker, her book will gain the emotional and intimate story, as if the reader actually knew Tucker themselves. In the end, Lowry crossed the line between journalist and subject, but it did work in favour of the book.

Hamidou Sylla

The book Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir by Beverly Lowry indulges its audience to think about the underlying structures in society that created of Karla Faye Tucker the pickaxe murderer, that we know. It exposes the some of the things that are fundamentally wrong with the culture of our punitive justice system. For example, “In Texas, once a defendant is found guilty of capital murder, there are only two possible sentences, life imprisonment or death. The jury itself does not sentence the convicted murderer; the judge does. The jury’s job is to vote on two special issues: (I) whether the conduct that caused the death of the  victim was committed deliberately and with reasonable expectation that death would result and (2) whether there is probability that the defendant will commit acts of violence that will constitute a continuing threat to society” (Lowry 177). In the words of Dr. Bob Cowser, “what the justice system cares about when it comes to crime is did you did you do it? If yes, did you know what you were doing when you did it?” This approach is too simplistic and totally ignores society’s role in creating the social conditions that causes us to make the irrational decisions of committing crime in the first place.

It is far easier to just punish someone for a crime their committed than to question why they did the crime? Let’s review the choices that Beverly Lowry made to paint a more humane image of Karla Faye Tucker and urge us to think about how her social conditions contributed to her development as a criminal. Lowry decided to introduce us to Karla’s childhood and upbringing thus, shedding more light on her psychological development. None of this excuses Karla from the crime she committed. However, despite her crime, Lowry asks us to recognize that Karla never had the opportunity to be innocent like other children. She was born and raised in cycle of violence, drugs, and lawlessness. She started fighting, getting high, not doing well at school, and living like a misfit at an early age. The road of failure was beautifully carved for her before she was even put into this world. Tupac Shakur once asked “Am I just a victim of things I did to maintain.” Lowry pauses a similar question which is, is Karla a victim of things she did to sustain herself? If so, how responsible is her family for not providing her the right tools to help her become successful and what is society’s role in creating these social conditions? As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Beverly Lowry, exposes to the life of Karla before the murder in order to show us that the Pickaxe Murder was not born overnight, many things contributed to her development. Therefore, as intellectuals we should take all those factors into consideration before making any type of decisions pertaining to Karla.

Xin Tao

Beverly Lowry, a writer who was still lives in the shadow of her son’s death from a hit-and-run accident, is attracted to the stories in a newspaper of Karla’s, a condemned woman,  spiritual awakening and started to visit her. Over the time, they formed a deep friendship with each other through talking in a restricted room at a prison. Lowry tried to know more about Karla and tried to help her because she wanted to compensate for not being able to save her son’s life. She learned how to face the death after meeting with Karla.

Lowry was so remorseful for not being able to do anything to save her son Peter’s life that she  tried to save the life of Karla, another young person whose struggles were similar to Perter’s. Peter was not a good boy when he was alive. He often broke the school rules, and sometimes even the laws. Lowry always worried about him end up being a state boy not sure what this means. However, as a mother, Lowry still had the hope for him to change into a good person. “He is not a bad boy, I kept saying to myself at the time. Then I’d flip-flop. Maybe he is. Maybe, I’d think, there is such a thing as born bad”, Lowry stated (19). The contrast between “he is not” and “maybe he is” showed that Lowry is more inclined for the idea that Peter is a good boy. She always had the thought that Lowery will change one day. However, Lowry “do not have to try to figure out how to be a good mother to him because Peter is dead” (20). She still had so much she could teach and help Peter, but there is no chance for her to do that.

While she was living with the sadness of losing Peter, she read the news about Karla, a death penalty prisoner who had changed while in prison. The curiosity about how a woman sentenced to the death-penalty changed into a good person motivated Lowry to meet Karla. After talking with Karla several times, Lowry became familiar with Karla and knew more about her. Karla was a evil person before she entered the prison. She even killed people for fun. When she was asked whether she got sexual gratification after killing Jerry, she answered “Well, hell yes” (174). However, after she went to the prison, she become a person who stopped doing drugs, and believed in God from being influenced by the prison chaplain. She started to feel sorry about what she had done, and referring to the people she killed as “victims”. She restarted her life in prison. The big contrast between Karla’s changes in thoughts and behaviors after entry to prison impressed Lowry and she made up her mind to try her best to help Karla overturn her death sentence.

The changes of Karla remind Lowry of Peter and proved her belief that Peter could absolutely change to be good. Karla changed from an evil person to a person who admitted what she did was wrong and began to feel sorry for the victims. Karla’s change proved that humans are born good. Peter was a bad boy, but he did not commit a crime. The fact that Karla changed increases Lowry’s guilt for not getting the opportunities to teach and do enough to help her son before he passed away. In order to compensate for what she did, she decided to help Karla, who is facing the death penalty, but still alive. Lowry did not want the tragedy of her son to happen to another young person, so she tried her best to help Karla and kept meeting with her.

In conclusion, Lowry tried all she could do to help Karla because she wanted to compensate for what she did not do for Peter. Through the process of meeting with Karla, she felt less self-blame for the death of Peter and learned to face his death through talking with Karla and seeing her changes in prison.


Don’t miss the first half Professor Cowser’s students’ responses in “Reading Crossing Over, Part 1,” posted last week!

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