Mar 5, 2010

Writing Controversial Books by Cilla McCain

Murder In Baker Company: How Four American Soldier’s Killed One Of Their Own was a disturbing book to write. It centers around the non combat deaths of American troops. The case in point is about Army Specialist Richard Davis who was stabbed to death and set on fire within days of his return from the invasion on Iraq, and the confusing, if not incompetent investigation that followed.

Not a day went by that I didn’t think about how readers would react to such a shocking murder and the events leading up to that horrid night in the Georgia woods. I knew I was asking readers to examine issues that were not being discussed in the nightly news and because of this fact, it may prove to be a bitter pill to swallow for many.

I wanted to be careful and not do anything that would make anyone doubt the realities I was writing about. Because of this, there was no place and no need for gratuitous language or embellishment in my narration of the events. There was another reason for this strategy as well; I wanted to be as respectful to the victim, Richard Davis, as possible and soon discovered that revealing someone’s last violent moments on earth is an incredibly intimate and sacred process.

Because there are questions in this case that will never be answered to everyone’s satisfaction I made every attempt to lay the story out in such a way that my own personal opinions were not a factor. I want readers to decide what they feel really happened and why. I fully expect there to be a wide variety of conclusions, but along the way, I hope that we as human beings, learn something about the world we live in and use that knowledge to help our soldiers and their families in ways that have not been considered before.

Patriotism is very important. It’s a strong emotion that drives our country forward in the darkest of hours. We experienced a resurgence of that pride in the days and months following the attacks of 9/11 and it brought us all together as a society. But we also need to think beyond those emotions and examine the detrimental fallout that is unique to this particular war.

Unfortunately, out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, some may see this as a controversial act. To those people I always pose this thought: Army Specialist Richard Davis and other soldiers who die tragic non combat deaths are American’s. Their families kiss them goodbye at bases and airports across this nation to go and defend our freedoms.

Therefore, as an American family unit, they deserve the respect and justice that comes with an open and honest investigation in the event of their loved ones death.

With all of this in mind, material should not be written simply because it is controversial. It should be written because it matters.


Cilla McCain

About Cilla McCain

Cilla McCain works within all genres of the literary field with a focus on the injustices of society.

You can visit her website at

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