Tortured for the first 18 years of her life, Jeanne Fowler wrote “Peter’s Lullaby” to show people what abuse is like through the eyes of a child. The book describes her memories of the beatings and abuse while growing up. It also includes police, court, medical and autopsy reports, as well as interviews with family members.
“Peter’s Lullaby” is drawn from the tragic events in Fowler’s life. On July 28, 1953, police officers were called to an apartment on Chicago’s south side, which was occupied by Veronica and Peter Burowsky Sr. Officers found three-year-old Peter Jr., who weighed only 24 pounds. He was beaten to death. Peter’s three young siblings were also in the apartment.
Taken from their biologically abusive parents, the Burowsky children were placed in foster care. The foster children, sent to families that were considered pillars of the community, learned that they were just there to work. Jeanne worked like a slave, while the beatings continued. In 1964, after 18 years of torture and abuse, she finally escaped the nightmare, keeping her stories of abuse quiet, afraid that the cycle would continue. It was at this time that she decided she would become a survivor, not a victim.