Smoked: A True Story of Murder and the American Dream

Leon Bing, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-016920-6
Using as her peg a triple murder case in California, Bing ( Do or Die ) has composed a devastating and depressing study of a young generation dedicated to sex, drugs, liquor, fast cars, loud music and very little else. On March 21, 1991, for no apparent reason, 16-year-old David Adkins and 17-year-old Vinnie Hebrock shot and killed David's 18-year-old girlfriend, Kathy Macaulay, and two of her friends in the guest house of Kathy's upper-middle-class Pasadena home. Left largely unsupervised, these teens devoted themselves to good times and the consumption and creation of images. Although clearly vacuous, they also come across as pitiable, for they patterned their lives on empty peer values. The victims' parents were equally self-deluded, judging from their testimony at the sentencing, which ended with David being given life and Vinnie 51 years. Bing, in pondering whether the killers can be considered ``bad seeds,'' suggests that perhaps they are emblematic of a deeper malaise reflected by the observation of another teenager she quotes: ``I keep on wondering if, at the moment it happened, if killing another person was, like, the most incredible high.'' Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-06-092535-2
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