Ghost - The Rick Watkinson Story

Genre: Non Fiction

Book Summary

Rick Watkinson was a typical American kid growing up with his mother, father, and brother in California. Idolizing his father Robert, a pilot, the young boy reveled in their shared passion for flying and fostering their adventurous spirit sailboat racing and travelling. But the strength of that father-son bond was crushed when his father filed for divorce soon after moving the family to Oregon. Ten-year-old Rick was devastated – unable to comprehend his father’s wicked betrayal of the family. With his bitter and vengeful mother’s help, the love for his father quickly turned to hate. The center of his universe became the center of his scorn. Consumed by her own hatred and personal issues, his mother was unable to offer him the support and security his confused psyche needed and craved. God would save them she said. God would look after them. They just had to believe and pray – don the armour in the fight against Satan and his army of demons. Ricky would lead the way, with his ‘special gift’ he was ‘Christ’s Little Warrior’.

Darkness, light, light, darkness. With his emotions slammed tight behind an iron wall of resolve, Rick and his lost soul took to the streets, finding comfort and his voice, among the criminals and socially angry young adults. They became his strength. They became his guide. If fences needed to be jumped, things stolen or sabotaged, it was often ‘crazy little Ricky’ who was asked to do the deed. This built confidence, and finally made him feel like he was a part of something again. Unable to control him, his mother kicks him out of the house. Trapped into coming home, Rick is confronted by his father and given a choice – either come live in Alaska with him and his wife or be dropped off at the police station. Rick chose door number one, the apparent lessor of two evils. With that choice his fate was sealed, and for the next thirteen months, his life in Alaska was a cage match with each party throwing punches; the violence and tension escalating with each round.

“Ghost” is the true story of Rick Watkinson, his journey from a tumultuous childhood, to his current stay and personal growth behind the thick steel bars in an Alaskan State Penitentiary. Who is this man and what causes a person to cross the boundaries of humanity? Can these events be strictly traced to upbringing and environment, or do some people have an inherent propensity for evil? Is redemption or rehabilitation even possible?

Stripped down to its core, this is a story of a boy who just wanted to be loved. A boy who just wanted to belong, and be a part of a family, whatever that incarnation of a family might have been. He is not asking for forgiveness nor is he expecting us to give it. His life is his life, and his mistakes are his mistakes. He cannot change the past or give life to his father and step-mother. He can only move forward, continuing to find the light in a life of darkness.

"Before I even read Chapter 1 of "Ghost" I wondered why Rick Watkinson, who sits in a jail cellfor the rest of his life,wanted his story to be told. Why would someone who did such a horrific act want the public to know his story and bring attention to it? What would bring a 16 year old Rick, at the time of the murders, to the point where he took the shots that killed two people.Being in the medical field, I believed there had to be a story behind the story. Trish Faber will capture your attention in Chapter 1 of Ghost. It is compelling and written so well. It is real and harsh,yet heart breaking at the same time. Trish invites you to 'feel' or 'not feel' what was running through Rick's head, at time of the tragedy. The writing and intensity will intrigue you. I wanted to know who Ghost was." ( J.Abbot)

"What I wanted to tell you is that I absolutely loved what I read. I'm not kidding. You had me interested right from the first paragraph. What I found awesome is how realistically you captured the mindset of Rick. He is not completely one way or the other. Yes... he committed horrible acts but he is not without remorse. He is also shocked by what he did and fluctuates between that and feeling justified. I look forward to reading more to get a better understanding of the circumstances that worked so against Rick and his family.Well done!" (S. Reynolds)

"What a powerful opening chapter to the life of Rick Watkinson. Trish has allowed her readers to walk with Rick through the incomprehensible act of murder, immersing them into his emotional pain leading up to the act and the subsequent realization of what his action meant for himself and those few souls that he loved. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book as Trish reveals the many layers of trauma and betrayal that would lead a child to this destiny." (C. Grieve)

"It completely draws you in, I want the rest!!! I'm not a huge reader however your writing could make me one! Congrats!Awesome!!! (W. Kampers)

"I totally loved this book! It was engaging, I could mentally picture everything that was going on, and could honestly feel the gut wrenching pain Rick must have been feeling. Your introduction was great driving home the theory of do not judge until you know the whole story" (D. Leach)

"This book is absolutely fantastic. An unbelievable but sadly true story of betrayal, child abuse and parricide. Fascinating."(N. Boudreau)

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About the Author

I began to write at the age of five, using my family as characters in my first epic novel, "The Rabbit Family”. Although never formally published, the single, handwritten and self-illustrated copy of “The Rabbit Family” did make appearances at the local school, grocery store, bowling alley and bridge club meetings, courtesy of an enthusiastic Mother and her large purse. I am grateful to my family for allowing me to develop my imagination and creative flair without ever passing judgment. I realize at times this must have been difficult.

I was blessed to be born into the most wonderful and loving family, with parents who adored each other and three incredible older brothers who still arm wrestle at Christmas to see who's the strongest. My older sister is my best friend and someone I'm not sure I could ever do without. My family gave me my foundation and helped me be the person I am today. We've had our struggles, losing Mom at such a young age, being at the top of the list, but we've always stuck together. I am thankful for their love and the love of their spouses and children.

Being the youngest kid in a big family is an awesome thing, even if meant I had to be the "official television station changer" before the invention of the wireless remote (long story...maybe a future blog post!). And then there were the times my oldest brother made me run laps through the house to "train" for the Olympics, while he sat on the stairs, laughed and shouted the odd word of encouragement. Do I begrudge him? Hell no! I just made his two girls sprint back and forth in my backyard when they came to visit...

Creativity is about having the courage to not only find your voice but share it with others. It can be frightening - I know. For too long I was afraid, and kept my creativity safely hidden in the closest. Afraid of being laughed at...ridiculed for being a bit zany.

So I tried other means to satisfy my imagination. I coloured my hair. A lot. I re-arranged furniture and painted walls. But nothing seemed to work. I couldn't deny it. I had to write. I was forced to write. And I was liberated.

I enjoy all sorts of writing and don't like to pigeon-hole myself into one particular genre. It all depends on the vibe I'm feeling for that particular day.

I've written non-fiction books, fiction books, articles and over forty scripts for short 30 second animation pieces. I enjoy what I do and have to admit it does give me a feeling of accomplishment. Life is all about what you make it. If you never take the chance, you'll never know just what you might be able to accomplish!

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