A working mother living in Lavender Hills on the Cape Flats strangles her son to death in 2007, but what made her go to such extreme lengths when she was not the only woman in that situation? Ellen Pakkies killed her son after he had become addicted to Tik (meth), and this true story shocked many people in the country, not because of the action entirely, but because of the reason Ellen did it. This book, Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik exposes not only what horrible things Ellen Pakkies (and most of the community’s women have to suffer through on a daily basis), but also gives a more informative account of the situation, the case in a whole and everything else that basically led to the death of Abie Pakkies.
True crime is no laughing matter and when reading a book that involves cases of true crime, it’s difficult to review it without becoming biased on the subject. Every person will form their own opinion, though I feel that Sylvia Walker, the author of Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik, tried to gain even more sympathy. It’s not a bad thing and don’t think that by me giving the facts and my opinions on the subject makes the book less enjoyable or anything along those lines. True crime is just a difficult subject to review without putting your own opinions into it, however it’s not about the victims or the culprits at the end of the day, no this is about the subject matter, whether or not it is factual, well presented and well written. With Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik it’s safe to say that Sylvia Walker did her homework prior to writing the book and the concern that starts to boil within you as you read about this community, a community that’s not at all unique in the country or the world, well it is astounding.
As Mr Mackey from South Park likes to say: “Drugs are bad… mkay.”, well it’s true. People who gets involved with that stuff are often selfish enough not to think that it matters or affects their families, but it does and in turn it affects a community too. This is what Sylvia Walker is trying to say with Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik. What’s more is that it’s a horrible cycle that never seems to end.
The thing is, what makes this case relevant when there are countless other people in the exact same position? Why tell Ellen Pakkies’ story? Simple. It’s not about the abuse she suffered or the fear she had whenever her drug addicted son would go home to get money for more drugs. It’s not about the community or the circumstances. What makes Ellen Pakkies’ story relevant to the world is that one woman had the guts to say why she killed her own son. She didn’t plead insanity, she didn’t hide from the fact that she strangled him… no, Ellen Pakkies stood up for herself and said why she did it, how she did it and that she didn’t want to stop even though he pleaded with her. THAT is why this is a relevant story to tell and why it’s one that should be read. It’s every mother’s nightmare to see her child become addicted to drugs and it’s even worse when no matter what you do, you know you can’t help them…
Dealing in Death: Ellen Pakkies and a Community’s Struggle with Tik is a great book and a must-have if you’re into true crime. It’s well written, well edited, the facts are checked and it’s disturbing and real. Click on the image to purchase your copy.