Mikita Brottman

An Unexplained Death

"Buy this intriguing book..."


This is a true crime story with a mystery at its heart. Mikita Brottman, a professor at the Maryland Institute Collage of Art, lives in an apartment within what was, before conversion, the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore. Her attention was taken by a poster for a missing person, Ray Rivera. She was intrigued, and found out that Ray and his wife lived in an apartment in the Belvedere. His body was eventually found in an office that had been converted from the former hotel's swimming pool. He had plunged from the apartment block's roof, and crashed through the office roof. Brottman, consumed with an almost morbid curiosity, sets out to discover what had happened. Had he committed suicide? Had he fallen accidentally? Had he been pushed? It was a quest that eventually turned into an obsession.

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Brottman seems to be driven by an almost insatiable curiosity about the motive behind Rivera's death. She goes over the circumstances again and again, seeking different angles and possibilities. Who would have wanted to murder him? How could it have been an accident when there was a low wall surrounding the roof area? Why would he commit suicide when he seemed to be a settled newlywed who was in love with his wife? Were there skeletons in his cupboard? She also studies other similar suicides to find out about motivation and state of mind, and pours over police reports and newspaper cuttings. She interviews people, including the widow of Ray Rivera, though the police are not as forthcoming Her researches are meticulously laid out so that we can form our own opinions. As she digs deeper into the motivations for suicide, we are bewildered, puzzled and sometimes repelled, while at the same time feeling great sympathy for a person who sees suicide as the only way out. It is a book that asks questions, not just about Ray Rivera, but about the ending of a life which offered so much. Does Brottman reach a conclusion about his death? Was it suicide, murder or accident? Buy this intriguing book and find out.

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