Why? When did it started? What was going through their minds? These are the questions that we ask when watching a documentary about serial killers. Throughout the human history there had been despicable beings which commits the most atrocious acts. Worst of all, without remorse. Mental health describe as antisocial personality disorder someone narcissistic, that knows that is doing wrong for his/her benefit without caring less for others. No Remorse. Not all antisocials are serial murders, but what is happening in the mind of those that reach the point of ending other’s lives…in cold blood.

Many talks about a horrific childhood full of abuses and others fault a genetic predisposition. Probably being both or somewhere in between. They are disgusting and society rejects them as the worst, however there is this morbid curiosity for them. But if this people remains as “freaks” or part of “curiosity” it means that is a rare thing. Is better if they are kept as rare and not the regular guy next door.

 

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

This is the story of a friend of Ted Bundy, the same author, famous true crime writer Anne Rule. Ted and Ann met in 1971 while working together in a Help Crisis Hotline. The first chapters detailed much about Bundy’s life and childhood. Later on she describes their relationship as coworkers, and then as good friends. Back then Ted was a student of psychology in the University of Washington. Then she recalls the brutal murders of several young women in 1974, being as alarming as almost 1 victim every 30 days. Although being identify by several witness as a possible suspect in this matters, Ann was reluctant to believe that her friend was capable of murder. When seeing the sketch of the suspect, however, Ann reported him to the police, which did not believed that such a kind person could be the murder. Ted, later relocate to law school at Utah. At this time when the brutal killings in Seattle stop, there were murders incidents happening in Utah, in same circumstances as the ones in Washington. So, 2+2=4.

Ted Bundy in trial

Ann later describe how she sends correspondence and even money to help her friend. Their relationship while he was incarcerated, the trial, and how despite his gruesome crimes he became almost a celebrity among women. This guy was so manipulative that he manages to escape several times from prison, and later on represent himself as a lawyer in one of the numerous trials, adding more to the circus media.

The novel, written in a third person point of view, describes how the author was reluctant to find him guilty until the evidence was too overwhelming, there she just narrates how she had to hurry to the bathroom to throw up, in pure disgust. The same man that she described earlier in the book as “kind, solicitous, and empathetic”, was a serial rapist and murdered.

Many high reviews exists for this novel, but many claim that this author won her fame befriending a serial killer. Many reviews criticize how she defend this criminal until the end, when there was no defense at all. Some even point out that maybe she had some feelings toward him, and as manipulative as he was, who knows.

What we know now is that the bastard got what he deserved when sentenced to death for the murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach. When his execution took place in 1989, people

Remembering Kimberly Diane Leach.

were there celebrating a big party in front of the prison. It would be better less attention to this crap, in my humble opinion.

It would be interesting to see from the eyes of someone who met such person before and during a crime spree and later the trial. For certain this was a major reason for the best seller statue received.

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The Last Victim by Jason Moss

This narrative is from a project from a college kid in his freshman years. The project was about serial killers so this kid (Moss) began to send letters to different serial murders already convicted in prison and even death row, pursuing a criminology degree. The purpose was to trick this manipulative monsters into believing he was the perfect submissive victim. Indeed, he was his own bait.

Richard Ramirez and Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dhamer, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy and many others were the criminals chosen for his project.  With each of them he displayed a different personality that fix the victim of each killer. He researched satanism in order to establish a pen pal relation with Richard Ramirez, with Jeffrey Dhamer he was a submissive young homosexual and with Charles Manson, who’s letters were full of confusing ideologies, he was a revolutionary with hippy thoughts. Of all of them John Wayne Gacy was the most prominent and the most demanding of all of them. Their relation grew to the point of two visits in death row where it appears the jailers were manipulated by this monster to leave this young naive prey in his hands. There Jason Moss was almost raped.

John Wayne Gacy and Jason Moss

There are many controversies about the veracity and the techniques in which the author executes his plan. First he put his own address ,where he lived with his family,  for the correspondences. Later he mention the fabrication of an incestuous relationship with his little brother to Wayne Gayce, to attract more of his attention (obviously it did). Then the fact that in a high security death row prison a visit was allowed to be face to face with a serial criminal, alone, in a room, is highly dubious.

In a cocky and pretentious way, Mr. Moss narrates how he study the behavior of this criminals and at what extreme their actions can be without any remorse.

Many states, including myself, that it was an annoying narrative in which he describes a lot of himself and his super achievements distracting the main plot. Also, many like myself doubt about this two visits with a monster like Wayne Gacy. But this individuals are so manipulative that at the end…who knows.

Sadly the author committed suicide in June, 6 in 2006. This date is mention by many fans as 666 insinuating that his satanic research has a lot to do with his death.

In 2010 a movie was released with the name Dear Mr. Gacy, about this same book culminating in the tragic end of the author.

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Deviant by Harold Schechter

Psycho, Silence of the Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are movies inspired by this eccentric individual, Ed Gein.

Gein is in the lists of serial murders but killing was not his main attraction. This guy, despite killing two women, has a very macabre hobby: going to graveyards and exhume dead bodies in order to collect body parts and make “crafts” with them.

 

Deviant is a biography of Ed Gein. It tells the abuse he suffered in the hands of his religiously fanatical mother. It is believed that Augusta, his mother, was the matriarch of the house and his father was a silent alcoholic. She berayed and humilated Ed and his brother Henry. Sex was a sin…everything was a sin. She later decided to save money in order to buy a property in an isloted farm, far fron the sinful city. There Ed never had friends. They were allowed out of the house to go to school, resulting in Gein’s imaginary friends.

The psychosis started when he and Augusta were left living alone after his father and brother died. Later she dated a man which made him feel excluded resulting in poisoning his mother and her boyfriend to death making it up as a murder-suicide scheme. Then the idea of the collection of deceased’s body parts for the purpose of making a human skin suit that resembles his mommy. And here is the creation on Psycho’s Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. It is said that Augusta wanted a daughter after her son Henry was born and feminicize Ed resulting probably in

Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs

gender confussion

In 1957 he was charged with the murder of hardware store owner Bernice Worden.  When the police searched his home they found numerous things made up of human skin and bones including a lamp shade and and the legendary mask which inspired Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  He was found unfit for trial with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and was sent to a mental institution for the criminal insane where he died at 77 years old.

This sad case was an example in psychology of how damaged a child can became in an isolated upbringing and abused. However Ed’s elder brother did not end in the same fate. He died in an accidental fire in the farm which many speculates that Ed probably had something to do.

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Helter Skelter by by Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi

Named the True Crime best sellers of all times, this is recount of one of the most famous slaughters in history.

Helter skelter is a British fun amusement park attraction where people enter inside a tall tower and exit through a big slide. This name was the title of a song in the Beatles’ White Album.  Paul McCartney in later interviews told that his inspiration for writing this song was other hard rock music and the description of the rise and the fall, like the Roman Empire.

But in the summer of 1969 a cult leader from a hippie commune became obsessed with this album and particular this song. His interpretations were of a race war. In resume, blacks and whites will fight against each other, black wins and “the family” (their hippy commune) will rise from the desert to rule the blacks. Or whatever was in their LSD minds at the time.

This cult leader was Charles Manson, who’s fame raised not by his musical talent but because of this horrible crimes. A charismatic man and extremely manipulative who’s music was rejected several times.

Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor in the Tate-LaBianca murders narrrated in this book the motives and stories behind this gruesome murders.  How the White Album, along the Bible’s Book of Revelations was interpreted by Manson to convince his followers to commit the killings. At the end of the trial Manson and his followers murderers were sentenced to death. Later the death sentence was revoked in the state of California and their sentences were lowered to life in prison.

The Family Murderers

There had been numerous documentaries and movies based on this historical incidence. In 1976 there was the film with the same title as the book and later in 2004 a re make. The last movie that depicted this story is Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood released in this days.

The crime scenes included stabbing and shooting multiple times all the victims, most disturbing of all the attack on Sharon Tate, who was 8 month pregnant and her belly stabbed. LaBianca was found with a knife stuck in his neck and a fork in his stomach. The criminals wrote with victims’ blood the words “Helter Skelter” and “Pigs” in walls and other furniture.

Crime Scene

Then in later interviews Charles Manson stated that this people (his followers) did what they did because they wanted and the term Halter Skelter only means confussion, not people killing other people. But evidence was enough to point him as the master mind in this horrible case. At least, he gained his desired fame but for the very wrong reasons. He died in prison at 83 years old

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Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky

Because women aren’t saints either.

Vronsky’s narrative explores different cases of women who went to the extreme of murder…many, many times. As society sees women as gentler and maternal, it is difficult to see a female serial killer. But evil has no gender.

Portrait of Elizabeth Bathory

Aileen Wournos

He exposes murderees from the roman times to the actual cases. He narrates from the story of Elizabeth Bathory who killed many virgin maids to bath in their blood for preserving her youth. Later goes to our present time with Aileen Wournos, who’s life was made into the film Monster.

He notes the differences of male and female killers and why they act this way. It is a question that many have but there’s no answer. It talks about childhood abuses and possible genetic predispositions among many other factors.

The reviews are highly debatable with this book. Many consider the author an anti-feminist mysogonyst while other praise the informative content. Many express in their reviews that the author is biased and states too much his own opinion in a book that is supposed to be mostly informative. Whatever is the case maybe is worth a look through it.

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  1. I absolutely love true crime stories, I have read lots of them over the years, I have never been very interested in fiction, though there are some good fiction writers, however, there are some books here in your post that I haven’t yet read, and I really would love to, I love to read when I go to bed, it seems to relax me and helps me to fall asleep, so it may seem rather strange that I would want to read true crime stories to help me feel relaxed, but never the less, reading does help me to sleep, I think I’d like to read The last victim, by Jason Moss first, I’ve bookmarked your website for future reference, thank you for these book suggestions. 

    • Hi Russ

      Reading anything help sleeps. I think it acts as a mantra or something like that. The Las Victim is an interesting book. However there are doubts of veracity in the story. Yet it is a good read.

      Take much care,

      michelle

  2. You have listed some very interesting books I am trying to decide between the stranger beside me by ann rule or helter skelter by curt gentry which would yo recommend as the best read. I have read another book about manson before and found it a fascinating story. I might end up getting both but just wondering which you think is best.

    • Hello DJ

      thanks for commenting. Between the two books both are good. The Stranger Beside Me despite being true it is narrated as a novel. It has pictures and stuff of The real events. Helter skelter is more investigative. So it depends on what you are up to.  If you can yell what was The name of the book you read about Manson would be great.

      Take care

      michelle

  3. Interesting. I had no idea about that woman serial killer book. I wonder why were so “attracted” to serial killers related content? I, myself am one. Though, there has been a lot of people that go through unbearable trauma and don’t end up killing anyone. I was reading the other days this article about this “9 year old” girl who was actually in her 20s and wanted to kill the people that adopted her. Sounds so much like the Orphan movie. Bates Motel is another amazing serial killer/psychopath tv show, as well as Dexter, one of my all time favorite tb shows.

    • Hi Stephanie

      Thanks for commenting. I do agree with you with people that have 3ndure a hprrific childhoods yet are not mad criminals. Also there’s the other side. Peoplevwith relative normal upbringings that become monsters. That’s why I’m suspicious of a nature/nurture cobination in the making of this crazy people. Genetics is a complex matters, not fully understandable by humanity yet. It is known that we have a lot of genes that are switch off, therefore not express. Something in the environment trigerrs those genes on. And maybe this is the case. 

      The case of that girl.ypu mention is very interesting. 

      Thank you very much for your unformation it is very valuable.

      Michelle

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