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Forgiving the Dead Man Walking: Only One Woman Can Tell the Entire Story
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Forgiving the Dead Man Walking: Only One Woman Can Tell the Entire Story

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  294 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
It was just another time of enjoying milkshakes and small talk. Neither Debbie Cuevas nor her boyfriend, Mark Brewster, gave much thought to the white pickup truck that had pulled up beside them on the riverfront. Until . . . a revolver thrust through the driver’s window . . . a hand jerked Debbie’s head back and a voice said, "Don’t do anything stupid" . . . and a quiet F ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 13th 2000 by Zondervan (first published September 1st 1998)
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The first part of Forgiving the Dead Man Walking: Only One Woman Can Tell the Entire Story is about Debbie’s experience as the victim of a violent crime. But as the title indicates, this is a book about forgiveness. I learned about it in a seminar I attended for work in preparation for the liturgical season of Lent.

I read Debbie’s book in two very short evenings and highly recommend it, whether or not you’ve read Helen Prejean's book, Dead Man Walking, which I had not. Personally I was glad I h
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how anyone could rate this book lower than 5 stars. It is simply the true account of a victim of a horrible crime and her road to forgiveness and healing. No plot to pick apart, or under-developed characters. The writing was simplistic, as some reviewers criticized, but to me that makes her more real, more normal, which led me to associate more and sympathize more and get more from her story.

This account was very powerful. It's easy to sympathize with victims of horrible crimes, for
Kris - My Novelesque Life

Most everyone has heard about the movie Dead Man Walking starring Susan Sarrandon and Sean Penn. You may have even heard of the book, by the same name, it was based on which was written by Sister Helen Prejean. What you may not have heard about is Debbie Morris' book, Forgiving the Dead Man Walking. Morris is one of his victims who not only lives to tell her story, but tries to find forgiveness so that she can no longer be called a victim.

I read this book after watching the movie and rea
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Sister Helen Prejean’s book, “Dead Man Walking” doesn’t mention Debbie Morris; it focuses instead on Sister Helen’s relationship as spiritual advisor to Robert Willie, a death row inmate in Louisiana. Debbie, however, was one of Willie’s victims, and here she tells the story of her ordeal and escape from Willie, and her testimony which helped send Willie to death row. Morris spoke at our church recently. Her path to forgiveness was not quick or easy. She managed to finish high school, and starte ...more
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Extremely captivating.
As a St. Tammany resident, it was both fascinating and horrifying to read this account and recognize locations and surnames. The book is not written by a "writer" but I didn't feel that it took away from the experience, but rather enhanced it. It was just an honest retelling and I appreciated that.
My in-laws are related to the Willie's and have stories of growing up with Robert and his father (who is even in a home video of theirs) so to have them comment on the story is
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, true-crime
Debbie Morris tells her story of surviving a violent crime and the power of forgiveness. It was quite a journey, well told and easy to read. She forgave people to heal herself and explains that does not justify wrong doings, it allows her to live a fuller life.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
Morris tells a harrowing tale with such distance, it doesn't seem real. This was a quick read, but didn't shed any new light on the Dead Man Walking story for me.
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a true story that everyone should read. Written simply and clearly Debbie Morris details her horrible trauma at the hands of a pair of rapists and killers.

The book describes her path since the abduction, leading to being able to forgive her captors. It was a long and difficult path, but one that I think we can all learn from. It was only after she was able to come to the position of being able to forgive that she could recover and move on from the ordeal. The refusal to forgive and desir
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was only 9 yrs. old when this happened but I can still remember my parents talking about it. We lived about 20 miles from Frikes Cave, the place where Faith Holloway was killed and Debbie was taken to during that weekend. We used to leave our doors unlocked back then. When this happened it was the worst. Thing in our town that anyone could remember. We started locking doors and windows and I had to be back home before dark.

Where Frickes Cave was is now the Bogue Chitto State Park. I walked dow
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was the true story of one of the victims of Robert Lee Willie, who was portrayed by Sean Penn in the movie "Dead Man Walking". I was able to hear Debbie Morris speak in person about her experiences during and after her abuction and assault, and I must say her message was the most inspiring and unforgettable I've ever had. Her honesty about her spiritual and emotional struggles and her journey to forgive her attackers is awe inspiring. Give this book a chance, I think you'll find it a blessi ...more
David Szatkowski
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very much a companion to "Dead Man Walking." While the events in this book are not totally reflected in Prejean's book (and the movie is actually a composite of 2 separate individuals), Morris is a real life survivor of one of those men. The book bares in a powerful way the very real evil that was done to her. But she also shows her courage to write about her own process to forgive and the freedom that it brought.
Woody Sanderson
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A tremendously impactful book about the power of forgiveness. I read it a few years ago and thought of it again when I recently read Picking Cotton which artfully explores the same themes from a very different perspective. The message of both books is unmistakable: one who is done a great wrong can only suffer more by hanging onto the hurt and the hate. It is only through forgiveness that recovery and redemption can be found.
Beth Withers
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Morris tells her true story of being kidnapped and raped when she was 16, in Louisiana in 1978. One of her kidnappers was executed for his crimes in 1984, and this is her story of the incident and the road to forgiveness. The Sean Penn character in the movie Dead Man Walking was a composite of Morris's kidnapper and another man ministered to by Sister Helen Prejean, played by Susan Sarandon in the movie. Morris has a powerful message about the healing power of forgiveness.

Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
It's a true account of a victim who survived rape and being kidnapped by two escaped convicts who had just killed another girl. She talks about the challenge of her Christian faith and how abuse can affect one's psyche and how you can keep it inside, to a degree.
I'd like to have seen more depth in the book, but this is just a woman, a victim and not a professional writer. I did like the end - her honesty stood out.
Bill Snyder
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Debbie Morris in her book Forgiving the Dead Man Walking, demonstrates a powerful path to healing and forgiveness. This autobiography helped me reflect on the reality of forgiveness, and how anger and shame inhibit the ability to forgiveness. She brings the reader from the depths of her despair to her reconciliation with Sr. Helen Prejean. Again this book is on the top of my list!
Kate Cotter
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting read, chops and changes a little, but an interesting insight into the seemingly endless struggle the author endured after being the victim of a crime that became a motion picture. The author details how she came to a point of being able to forgive her perpetrators and it is an inspiring message in forgiveness.
Lena Jo
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This may be a hard book to find. I've bought tons of these as gifts. The true story behind Dead Man Walking. An incredible journey of faith by the woman who survived the crimes committed by the rapist and killer made famous in the movie Dead Man Walking. Is there any crime, any hurt, any person beyond the power of forgiveness? An incredible story.
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is my friend Debbie. I didn't know her story until about a year after we met -she just began to share it when she found out about the movie Dead Man Walking and was contacted and asked to tell her story. Very disturbing for me because it is painful to think of what she went through. What an incredible person she is!
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It is a profound account of a woman's battle with forgiveness as it intersects with capital punishment and the profound effect these have on her and those around her. This book will challenge you and get you thinking.
Tracy Legrand
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book many years after reading Dead Man Walking, but it was really interesting to hear the perspective of a survivor. The writing style is sometimes awkward, but I appreciated Debbie's honesty about her struggles in coming to terms with her life after the attack.
Jim Burroway
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- can write about forgiveness than her. An amazing story. I read it perhaps ten years ago (?) when it first came out, and it is still my reference point on what forgiveness really means. It's not what you think.
Pete Bartel
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good autobiography of one of the survivors from the real-life story behind Dead Man Walking. Shows her journey through life afterwards and how she came to a position of forgiveness. Good insights into coping with an awful situation.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Felicity by: My Mum.
This is a great book, but often it is easy to lose interest, particularly as she talks about her life following the kidnapping. It starts off quite fast-paced but eventually it tapers off and it is difficult to persevere.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The true story of the woman (girl at the time) raped by the Dead Man Walking (movie, Sean Penn), her story of survival and forgiveness.
Oct 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book BEFORE I read Dead Man Walking. I think she does a very good job of giving a voice to the victims of murderers.
Kelly States
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Always pleased to hear perspectives from every side of a debate. I appreciate the author's openness and honesty in all aspects.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Very inspiring
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
beautiful story about is clear on how we are all called to respond.
Trish Mann
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story of a girls journey from victim to forgiving woman. Compelling read.
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