Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

Jack the Ripper Case Solved Again

This theory claims Jack was actually Carl Feigenbaum. It starts out talking about the theories of  Ripper expert Trevor Marriott, a former murder squad detective.  Feigenbaum‘s lawyer thought he was Jack the Ripper as well. Supposedly Carl said to his lawyer

“I have for years suffered from a singular disease which induces an all-absorbing passion, this passion manifests itself in a desire to kill and mutilate every woman who falls in my way, I am unable to control myself”

This was while he was on trial for murdering his landlady, Juliana Hoffman,  in New York State and his lawyer did not mention it until his client had been put to death for that murder.

In the murder of Ms. Hoffman Feigenbaum killed her in front of her son and the motive was robbery.

Makes me a bit suspicious. Perhaps the lawyer was looking for fame?

If you want to read more I think Casebook: Jack the Ripper has great information.

Mr. Marriott’s  side can be found in part here.

By the end of the BBC article you are left wondering if  Jack the Ripper was actually a serial killer at all.

At the time, everyone believed all five women had been killed by the same man.

But having reviewed the evidence, Elizabeth Stride may have died at the hands of another killer, as everything about her murder is different to the others.

“Firstly the time the murder took place, and the knife used to cut her throat was much smaller than all of the other victims, hence the knife wound to her throat was much smaller and she had no other mutilations,” says Marriott.

“The location was different to all of the others. The murder was right by the side of a workers’ club which was packed with men at the time.”

And now a serious question mark hangs over the death of Mary Kelly too.

“Fresh material has come to light which may suggest she was not Mary Kelly but someone else,” says Marriott. “If that is the case, there is a motive and likely suspects for her murder.”

As a forensic anthropologist, to review the ultimate cold case is a privilege. Initially, I thought Carl Feigenbaum was that serial killer. His profile fit.

But further evidence, outlined above, may show these murders were not all committed by the same person. Feigenbaum could have been responsible for one, some or perhaps all.

It is a different take on the Ripper case than I am used to reading.

Even if you have a favorite Ripper suspect this article and all the links provided should interest you.

”John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster.”

The attorney who defended John Wayne Gacy talks about the serial killer in a new book, ”John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster.”

Book signings:

August 9, 2011 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Old Orchard Mall
Skokie, Illinois

August 10, 2011 – 12:30 p.m.
Books-A-Million
144 S. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois

August 12, 2011 6:30-9:00 p.m.
D’Vine Wine
742 E. Dundee Rd., Palatine, Illinois

defendingamonster.com

(PRESS RELEASE) FOR THE FIRST TIME, JOHN WAYNE GACY’S LAWYER TELLS THE CHILLING STORY OF HOW HE DEFENDED ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST HORRIFIC SERIAL KILLERS IN THE NEW BOOK, “JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER” BY JUDGE SAM L. AMIRANTE AND DANNY BRODERICK

When was the last time someone you knew asked you for a favor? What if that favor was defending a man who you later discovered to be guilty of crimes so grotesque they make your blood curdle? Can you guarantee him a fair trial without the influence of hate, revenge, media or an outraged public?

In the new book, JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER, (Skyhorse Publishing, August, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-61608-248-2) Judge Sam L. Amirante and writer Danny Broderick tell this fascinating story for the very first time. In a compelling first person account, Gacy’s defense attorney for the internationally reported trial of the century tells the chilling and gruesome tale of how Amirante came to defend America’s most infamous serial killer.

Writer Danny Broderick pens the story to rave reviews comparing his work to Stephen King and John Grisham combined. JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER grabs the reader with terrifying detail and makes them witness to the last horrifying hours of a madman’s final victim. Without a breath, the reader is thrust into a fast paced police investigation and trial drama rivaling any crime film, television show or documentary. Set against a ticking clock, in which our nation’s most dearly held constitutional tenants and protections are at issue, the case of the century puts our most basic core beliefs as Americans to the test.

With breakneck pacing, true-life dialogue, chilling photography, Amirante and Broderick propel us through a story so powerful that we often forget that it is one hundred percent true. The book includes never before seen drawings and photographs, along with shrewd insight into the man behind the murders that only his lawyer-the closest person to him during the trial-could have known. Among the fascinating, unexplored topics examined in this shocking courtroom drama are:

The true David and Goliath saga of a young lawyer, fresh from the Public Defender’s office, desperately trying to ensure a fair trial for the most hated and feared man in America. Authentic photographs, court documents, and letters and drawings by Gacy to his friends and family An insider’s look at the man who murdered over thirty young boys and was ultimately sentenced to death as the entire country watched. A deeper look at how the trial of this magnitude affected the young lawyer representing the worst criminal of our time and the toll it took on his family, his livelihood and his health. The creative approaches that were taken to ensure that even a mass murderer received the fair trial guaranteed to him by the U.S. Constitution. How Amirante sought to protect children with the Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984 (I-Search) to protect future abducted children from succumbing to a fate like Gacy’s victims. The lingering scourge of homophobia as it exists in American society and its worst case The current status of the death penalty in the United States.

JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER is a true crime story in which Broderick positions himself amongst other greats like Grisham, Turow, or Martini. It approaches the well-known genre of writing taking an angle never before seen, shedding new light on the trial itself, as well as the events leading up to and directly following it. Broderick’s success in creating a momentum that builds with the suspense, terror and intrigue of the original case, while adding Amirante’s passionate, driven, emotional, conflicted yet powerful voice, is spellbinding.

About the authors

Judge Sam L. Amirante is a retired judge and current lawyer with his own law firm, Sam L. Amirante & Associates. In 1978, his first case after leaving the office of the Public Defender was The People of the state of Illinois vs. John Wayne Gacy. He co-founded the law firm Amirante and Etchingham. In 1988, he was appointed to the bench as an Associate Judge of The Circuit Court of Cook County where he served until his retirement in 2005. Amirante authored the procedures adopted by the Illinois General Assembly as the Missing Child Act of 1984 (I-Search), which eliminated the twenty-four hour waiting period of initiate a search for lost children. A graduate of Loyola University (1970) and The Loyola University School of Law (1974), he also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves from 1970 – 1976.

Danny Broderick is a graduate of Southern Illinois University (1977) and The John Marshall Law School (1982). He served in the United States Army, with commendations. (1972-1974) He is a former associate attorney with the law firm of Amirante and Etchingham. In 1988, Broderick founded his own firm The Law Offices of Daniel J. Broderick. During his twenty years of private practice, Mr. Broderick represented thousands of persons charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. He is the author of the novel When Money Talks: Buford Tucker Listens

 Video here.

Sir John Williams was Jack the Ripper! ?

 

Tony Williams, author of Uncle Jack: A Victorian Mystery

Tony Williams, author of Uncle Jack: A Victorian Mystery

AN AUTHOR who claims Jack the Ripper was a Welsh surgeon driven to butcher prostitutes in a crazed bid to cure infertility says he has more evidence to back the sensational allegation.

Explorer and writer Tony Williams believes his grandmother’s great-great uncle Sir John Williams was behind the notorious orgy of bloody killings in London’s Whitechapel in 1888.

In his 2006 book Uncle Jack he made a compelling case for the philanthropist – who founded the National Library of Wales by donating his large collection of books – having a dark alter ego as the notorious serial killer.

A poster appealing for the capture of Jack the Ripper

And in an updated version of the book containing new material, Uncle Jack: A Victorian Mystery, Williams says glass slides forming part of the Sir John Williams collection at the National Library in Aberystwyth have now been examined.

Mr Williams said: “The tissue on the slides has been examined by a respected pathologist and it has been confirmed it is human uterus tissue.

“Since I wrote the first book I have been inundated with messages, some from experts like gynaecology Professor Ron Jones from New Zealand who says that study of the human uterus at this time was something new.

“Many medical experts who have examined the Ripper killings also say the murderer must have had anatomical knowledge to do what he did.

“These were not the actions of a drunken sailor, it had to be a doctor or surgeon and the glass slides show Sir John was researching the human uterus.”

Carmarthenshire-born Sir John, who once practised in Craddock Street, Swansea, was a friend of Queen Victoria and obstetrician to her youngest daughter.

He had a surgery in Whitechapel at the time of the Ripper killings, which claimed the lives of at least five women.

And Mr Williams says he knew many of the victims, even performing surgery on them in the years leading up to the murders.

Sir John was said to have been devastated to learn he and his Swansea-born wife Lizzie could not have children and he travelled the world looking at methods used to increase fertility.

During the Whitechapel murder spree, the Ripper killed women and removed their sexual and internal organs with surgical precision.

Intriguingly, at the time when the killings suddenly stopped Sir John told friends he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Only in his 40s, he retired from London life and moved to Aberystwyth where he gave up surgery.

As well as books, Sir John also donated his surgical knife and the glass slides to the National Library. Mr Williams now has a replica of the surgical tool.

The author of Island of Dreams (1994) about his family’s experiences on a Pacific Island and Forgotten People (1998) about North Dakotan Indians, Mr Williams stumbled across the Ripper link when investigating his illustrious ancestor’s life story.

Sir John, former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, started doing abortion work on women from workhouses in the East End when he established his practice.

Mr Williams uncovered documents showing his ancestor had carried out an abortion in 1885 on Mary Ann Nichols, later to become the Ripper’s first victim.

Mr Williams said: “He desperately wanted children and you can imagine his frustration when prostitutes were becoming pregnant but did not want the children and then came to him for help.

“Maybe he decided to use his surgical skills to look in detail at women’s reproductive organs or maybe it was just some kind of madness, revenge even.”

Mr Williams even discovered a letter sent by Sir John in 1888 in which he apologises for canceling an evening dinner appointment on September 8 because he had to go to a clinic in Whitechapel.

That was the date of the murder of Annie Chapman, the Ripper’s second victim. She suffered surgical incisions to the abdomen, and the removal of her uterus.

Mr Williams believes by the time of the last killing Sir John might have been intimately involved with victim Mary Kelly who grew up in Carmarthenshire and who later lived in Cardiff.

He said: “Police witnesses say they heard someone speaking to Mary in a foreign language shortly before she was killed – that language might have been Welsh.”

Mr Williams’ book has not gone down well with the National Library of Wales where he is referred to as “the father of the library”.

A spokesman said when the first book was published: “We do not think there is justification for a claim like this on someone who has done so much for the National Library.

“We hope that Sir John’s legacy and reputation will be strong enough to survive this.”

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The Author of Dexter Speaks About Serial Killers

Sympathy for the Devils

By JEFF LINDSAY

I MAKE my living writing about a serial killer. It’s a pretty good living, and quite frankly, that surprises me. When I wrote my first book, “Darkly Dreaming Dexter,” the story of a sympathetic killer, I thought I was writing something creepy, repellent, perhaps a little wicked. To balance that, I also made him vulnerable and funny, I gave him a fondness for children, and I wrote in the first person — all elements intended to bridge the gap between a homicidal psychopath and readers, who I assumed would, nevertheless, be appalled.

They weren’t; they liked him. Before publication, a nice-looking yenta from marketing took me aside and confessed, “I maybe shouldn’t say? But I have such a crush on Dexter.” So did other readers. The book took off like a dark little rocket. One of the early reviews even said it “breathes new life into the genre,” which meant there was a serial killer genre.

I found that amazing: I had done the darkest, least lovable thing I could think of, and a whole genre was there ahead of me.

People, I realized, like to read about serial killers. And as I found myself on the telephone with Hollywood, arranging for Dexter’s translation into a series for Showtime, I began to think that was pretty funny. “Lovable serial killer.” Ha ha ha.

And then bodies turn up in real life and it isn’t funny anymore.

This time, it’s along a beach on Long Island. Our shock blooms as phrases pop out from the news coverage: “at least eight bodies” and “three or even four killers.” We read more — we can’t help it. We’re sickened and disgusted, but we need to know. And the more we know about the scene, the more we really are horrified. The ghastly image of this beach as a dumping ground for bodies is bad enough. But then four of the bodies, wrapped in burlap, are thought to be the work of one person: a serial killer.

There’s a special sense of dread that comes with that phrase, “serial killer.” It represents an inhuman psychology that is beyond us, and because of that, we can’t look away.

We can all conceive of killing someone in self-defense, or in combat. But to kill repeatedly, because we want to, because we like to — that’s so far outside ordinary human understanding that we can’t possibly have an empathetic response. The word “evil” seems a bit quaint and biblical — but what else can we call it?

I was brought up to believe that death and money are private, and I was taught to have only contempt for people who slowed down to gawk at an accident. I can’t help feeling that this is similar — but I watch, too. Have I become what my mother called a rubbernecker and what my father, more bluntly, called an idiot?

Maybe so, but I have lots of company. Not just Americans, either; the Dexter series has been translated into 38 languages, and sensational news of serial killers regularly floods in from Russia, China, all over the world. People everywhere are willing voyeurs to mayhem. And when we learn of serial murders like the recent case at Gilgo Beach, our “dark watcher,” that small part of us that just can’t turn away, perks up and pays attention.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We don’t become evil because we dwell on it. In fact, one reason we gawk is to reassure ourselves that we could never do such a thing. When we stare at carnage we feel fear and revulsion, and that tells us with certainty that creating this kind of horror is beyond us.

And it is. Serial killers are psychopaths, and current research in brain mapping indicates that psychopaths are born, not made. There is an actual, physical, difference in their brains; you can’t become a serial killer by reading about one, any more than you can get magical powers from reading “Harry Potter.” You can watch “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” 20 times and it will not inspire you to butcher the neighbors. We can no more move from watcher to killer than we can breathe water.

But a homicidal psychopath — a serial killer — delights in killing. He often taunts the rest of us in some way as part of his fun. The evil creature that has been dumping bodies on Gilgo Beach has used his victim’s cellphone to call her sister.

It’s inhuman cruelty, but the research I read to write my “Dexter” books predicts that, when they catch him, he will probably look just like us. He will be known as a charming and thoughtful co-worker, a nice man who helps his ailing neighbor carry her groceries, and no one will have suspected what he really is.

This is the theater of paranoia, and it grips us, too, because we need a way to see the clues that must be there. Who among your friends and colleagues might be staring at your back and sharpening a knife?

You can’t know; but by watching, you know it could never be you. I think that’s good. We can’t deny that evil exists — but it’s not who we are. And the existence of evil implies its opposite: there is good, too.

As ordinary human beings, we live somewhere in the middle, jerked back and forth by circumstance, never quite reaching either extreme. And if you never understand someone who lives at the evil pole, no matter how much you rubberneck, that’s good.

It means you’re only human.

Jeff Lindsay is the author, most recently, of “Dexter Is Delicious.”

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 25, 2011, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Sympathy for the Devils.

NY Times

Reading right now

So far very interesting.

Crime Library Article

Read along

Book Review

by Peter Vronsky

Serial Killers the Methods and Madness of Monsters

Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky.

This was not a bad book for someone that has just begun reading on serial killers. For people who have already investigated the subject it is a bit repetitive.

It a had a great deal of information on both well known killers and lesser known killers. Mr. Vronsky covered different types of killers and explained why they were classified the way that they were.
He did quote a few authors and gave the different opinions on many things from the views of criminal justice and mental health. He also discussed multiple books and the opinions and ideas of the various authors.
He touches on some of the techniques and systems used by different agencies from different countries. He points out the strengths and shortcomings of them but never gets boring or overly technical.
If you are just curious and do not want to buy multiple books then this is a good one that has a wide blanket of information and also has many good references if you decide to read more.

The bad is that for those that have read many cases the book does follow very closely what has been written by people like John Douglas, Ann Rule and Robert Ressler. Many time I felt that I was re-reading Journey Into Darkness, The Stranger Beside Me or I Have Lived in the Monster.
When I read his chapter “Surviving a Serial Killer” I knew I had read it before and sure enough it was an elaborated version of what John Douglas says in Mindhunter.
There were also many references to the FBI’s Serial Murder Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators without a reference to it.

The author did do basic research but I do not think that he really went deep enough into subjects to have any new insights or to even give an opinion on technical things. His descriptions of procedures is either quoted from others without any other insight or it is just skimmed on with no real depth leaving the reader with questions rather than insight.

Even when writing about the killers themselves he comes across as almost lazy. He has 40 pages on Ted Bundy while describing the organised killer but only 2 short paragraphs on the disorganized killer using Miguel Rivera.That pattern is repeated throughout the book. Popular and easy to find information is written about with many quotes and references at length while other, equally important topics that are not as easily accessible are touched on but not delved into.

To be fair, he admits right off that he is not an expert. He became interested in serial killers after he realized he had bumped into 2 of them in his lifetime. Richard Cottingham in New York City in 1979 and Andrei Chikatilo in the Soviet Union in 1990. That introduction gives an insight as to how easy it is to overlook these killers. It is chilling actually.

I did enjoy the book overall.
It was a bit too gore happy for me, for example, the photos in the book are mostly crime scene shock type photos. I do not get squeamish by those photos but I do not think that the photos of bodies really added anything besides shock value.
I am happy to add it to my collection but I do not think that it is in anyway a complete study.
I also will not buy his book on female serial killers.

Peter Vronsky

R.I.P Philip Carlo

Philip Carlo, who produced novels and nonfiction accounts of serial killers and hit men before writing about his own struggles with disease, died on Monday, 11/08/10 in Manhattan. He was 61.
The cause was a combination of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cancer, said his wife, Laura Garofalo-Carlo.

His site

“Dear Friends and Family,
Philip Carlo, born in Brooklyn, New York on April 18, 1949 and died on November 8, 2010 in Manhattan after long struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Carlo became known as an author of several bestselling books including Stolen Flower, Ice Man, and the forthcoming memoir The Killer Within. Carlo was considered an expert on serial killers, Mafia culture and sexual predators and appeared on numerous television shows and documentary films. He leaves behind his devoted widow, Laura Garofalo-Carlo; his parents, Nina and Dante; his sister Doreen; brother-in-law, Joey; niece, Vanessa and many others. He enriched the lives of those around him with love and selfless generosity and will be greatly missed.”

N.Y. Times article Here.

Currently Reading

I am one of those annoying people that marks her books up underlining, highlighting, writing motes in the margins and sometimes arguing with the author.
Right now I am reading Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky. It is not a bad book, it is a little dated (BTK was still unidentified) and I have made many notes in the margins with updates.
I am going to write more specifics as I read along but right now I want to say that the book is very swayed by the author’s experience. When he writes about the serial killers in the 1960’s you can tell that the book was not written by an expert in sociology or in criminal behavior. He talks about some events as if the entire world saw it that way, but in reality it is his opinion. Usually rather than take away from the book it adds to it with a personal perspective that ‘expert’ authored books sometimes miss.
The biggest problem with his lack of expertise is that he concentrates more on the ‘popular’ Serial Killers and often quotes or references other true crime writers rather than official sources. When explaining the Organized Serial Killer he has 40 pages on Ted Bundy and mostly refers to things written by Ann Rule. I am not saying that is a bad thing in itself but the author then spends a mere 1 paragraph explaining the disorganized killer by using Miguel Rivera. The fact that the author choose to delve so deeply into Bundy, even after admitting that there are volumes upon volumes already on Bundy and then only glossing over on the opposite side is telling.
In all fairness Mr. Vronsky admits right off that he is not an expert. His interest in the subject was spurred by having fleeting meetings with 2 serial killers in his lifetime. He bumped into Richard Cottingham (nicknamed the New York Torso Killer) in a motel in NY and spoke briefly with Andrei Chikatilo (The Rostov Ripper) in Russia while making a documentary.

I am still pretty much in the beginning chapters. The book is a good read but it is definitely not a deep probe into the mind of serial killers as of yet.

I’ll write more later.
Lisa

On The Farm gives voice to Pickton’s victims

On The Farm
BY HELEN POLYCHRONAKOS

Interview with the author and information on Robert Pickton and those he killed.

I have not yet read it but I hope to soon.

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