16 Minutes is a book that is going to challenge you in so many ways. It is not your normal true crime. You are going to step by step through this case, and get all the information you ever wanted – and more. I am going to start this review out with a warning – there is a lot of content within this book that is hard to stomach. Please be aware of this before starting the book – and keep some Kleenex close.
Now, for this book – I will be honest. It took me a little while to get through reading this one. I had to take it in shorter doses, as the content was so ghastly, you have to be able to absorb and digest what you are reading.
As you are sifting through this book, you are going to run a gambit of emotion, and it will range from anger, shock, horror, and pure heartbreak as you read through.
When a fire broke out at the Wise home, there seemed to be no sense of anything else being wrong. A simple fire, which turned out to be arson, but no mention of anyone other than two adults being in the home. As Diane Moore recounts the events and the subsequent investigation, you are going to learn that pure evil truly walks among us.
In the charred remains of what was once a room, there are indications that there was another human in the home. A baby. Matthew. The six-week-old child of the couple who was living in the residence.
In the calls that were placed for emergency services, the fact that there was a helpless infant in the home was never disclosed. Why? How was a mother who went to two homes before calling 911 not frantically trying to find a way into that room to rescue her child? Why was she not begging and insisting that emergency personnel hurry to find her child?
There were so many things about this book that was hard to digest. The fact that an infant was in the home and not disclosed raised some major red flags. When the fire turned out to be arson, even more flags were raised. And, as the investigation into what caused the fire, and the background of the parents – there were even MORE red flags raised. The father was a trained firefighter – how could he have NOT known how to set a fire and almost get away with it? How could he NOT have tried to rescue his child? The answer is simple – he didn’t want to. It was not the first time that infants had died around him, and the previous deaths also were accompanied by the death of their mother. The father of the babies? William Wise.
This book was engaging, with some humor thrown in, because – let’s face it – you have to have a sense of humor when you are dealing with something so horrific and tragic. As a mother, this was extremely hard to read. I found myself thinking over what I would do if something was threatening the life of my child. I would do anything – ANYTHING to make sure that my child was safe. That this mother was so detached and unconcerned about her infant just blew me away. Babies are so helpless already, and the horrendous death of this infant had haunted my dreams for a while.
If you enjoy true crime, this is a book that will grab you. However, as I wrote above, the information that is revealed within the book is a hard swallow.