Launch set for Fall River author’s debut book, “Mommy Don’t.”

Sherri Aikenhead's debut book is Mommy Don't. She is from Fall River. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER: A Fall River author has written her first book, and it’s a griping tale of a young girl who’s disappearance on the South Shore stole the hearts of Nova Scotians and Canadians,

Sherri Aikenhead, who grew up on Lockview Road in Fall River where her parents still reside, recreated the shocking story of the murder of “Bridgewater’s daughter,” Karissa Boudreau, in this work of true crime. 

It is printed by Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press.

Plans are in the works to hold a meet the author/local launch of the book in Fall River in early June. More details on that when things are finalized.


On Jan. 2008, just days after a bitter winter storm, residents in the province watched with breaking hearts as a young mother in the small town of Bridgewater, Penny Boudreau, pleaded on the supper-hour news for help finding her missing twelve-year-old daughter.

For 13 days the country held its breath as the search for Karissa Boudreau continued. When finally, frozen toes were found poking out of a snowbank, police confirmed Karissa was dead.

Shock of Karissa’s death quickly turned to anger when Karissa’s mother, Penny, was arrested for the murder of her only child.


A year later, Penny sat in the prisoner’s box in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The moment Aikenhead, a seasoned journalist, heard Penny confess to the killing, she knew she would write this story.

She was the communications director at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice in 2008 when Karissa Boudreau was murdered.

Aikenhead scoured official Bridgewater Police records, RCMP investigative records, court records, and Penny Boudreau’s Parole Board of Canada decisions to recreate what happened 15 years ago.

Through interviews with Karissa’s circle of family and friends and including a first-hand account from a key undercover agent who reveals how the Mr. Big operation extracted Penny’s confession, Aikenhead skillfully built a powerful and intimate narrative of what really happened to the young girl.

The title of the book is what Karissa is said to have said as her final words before she was killed by her mom.


With 15 black-and-white photos, some provided by Karissa’s family members, Mommy Don’t takes readers on a heart-pounding journey into the unfathomable question: how could a mother murder her own daughter?

Aikenhead is an award-winning communications professional and former journalist who has worked at newspapers and magazines in Halifax, Toronto, and Edmonton.

A mother of three boys, she is a recipient of a Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award for her work in public affairs communications and volunteering.

An inaugural launch of Mommy Don’t is scheduled in the Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library on May 24 at 7 p.m.