The basis for the critically acclaimed film In the Valley of Elah
“Fascinating . . . vividly recounts one of the most tragic true stories to emerge from the Iraq War . . . eloquent, disturbing, and haunting.” —Mark Boal, journalist and screenwriter of The Hurt Locker and In the Valley of Elah Army Specialist Richard T. Davis seemed to be a survivor. He had been in Bosnia, reenlisted in time for the invasion of Iraq, and made it through the bloody, savage battle known as the Midtown Massacre. When his father, a career army officer, received a call stating his son was AWOL, he knew something was terribly wrong. And it was. On July 14, 2003, within hours of Davis's return to Fort Benning, Georgia, he had been mercilessly beaten and murdered. His body was set on fire and left in the woods. The army did not open an official investigation into the missing soldier until September, and his remains would not be recovered until November. Four members of his own platoon were arrested for the crime. When one of them was asked why they had set Richard on fire, his answer was both bone-chilling and revealing. He said, "Because that's the way we got rid of bodies in Iraq." Murder in Baker Company is a journey to uncover the truth about what happened to Richard Davis. Using court transcripts, personal interviews, and police records, Cilla McCain traces the events of the case and, in the process, provides a disturbing, eye-opening look into today's military. Soldiers are handed antipsychotic drugs and sent into battle. Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is stigmatized. Gang members carry their affiliation from the streets to the barracks. And many of our soldiers are forced to face down two separate enemies, one in the same uniform they wear. Murder in Baker Company is not only an exploration of the heinous murder of one of our soldiers, it is also a warning and a call to action for American citizens.
"This work has been created with an insightful heart and an activist's drive. Cilla's writing denotes a deep sense of personal responsibility for the veterans of the Iraq War and it is from this platform that she advocates and encourages the reader to feel the same." —Paul Haggis, writer/director, Crash, In the Valley of Elah, Million Dollar Baby, and Quantum of Solace
"With eloquence, determination, and passion, Cilla McCain has dared to tell the world a story that must be told, a story that the powerful do not want to be told and that the prosecution and defense withheld from the jury." —Mark Shelnutt, criminal defense attorney