Posts Tagged ‘ Serial Killer Books ’

Families of killers, forgotten victims.

“Moore is a part of an exclusive group, those who share blood relations with someone perceived by the public as a monster: a mass murderer. With that unenviable tie can come isolation, guilt, grief, fear, disbelief, even post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to a very public stigma.
In the aftermath of a massacre, questions and criticism are frequently directed at the parents, spouses and children of the accused. The public sometimes sympathizes, often criticizes and even goes so far as to blame family members for the actions of their kin.”

 

Families of killers and what they go through.

So often forgotten victims.

Susan Klebold said in an essay:

“For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused. I cannot look at a child in a grocery store or on the street without thinking about how my son’s schoolmates spent the last moments of their lives. Dylan changed everything I believed about my self, about God, about family, and about love. I think I believed that if I loved someone as deeply as I loved him, I would know if he were in trouble. My maternal instincts would keep him safe. But I didn’t know. And my instincts weren’t enough. And the fact that I never saw tragedy coming is still almost inconceivable to me. I only hope my story can help those who can still be helped. I hope that, by reading of my experience, someone will see what I missed.”

 

I can not even begin to imagine that, how she feels. It has to horrible.

 

Melissa worried that she might also be a killer, a bad person or have some kind of evil inside of her due to her father being a serial killer.

““When I was growing up, my dad had put so much pride in my last name, and he gave me lessons on how to be a good citizen,” Moore said. “My name was now known for these horrific murders, and it started to make me wonder if I was like my dad.”
Brown says it’s normal for the family members of killers to doubt their own moral integrity. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?”

 

Imagine for 1 second growing up with that fear inside of you. I can’t. It speaks of her courage, that she went on.

 

There is also often a survivor’s guilt for the families of the killers.

“Mildred Muhammad’s ex-husband and father of her three children, John Allen Muhammad, terrorized the Washington, D.C., area with random sniper attacks in 2002.
Soon, there were reports of shootings throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Once John Muhammad was captured, there were whispers that he had done it to get his ex-wife’s attention.
At first, Mildred Muhammad thought that if she’d only stayed with him, he would have killed her instead of killing 10 innocent strangers and wounding three. The guilt and disbelief were overwhelming.

It’s difficult to grasp the reality that a family member could cause nationwide sorrow, said forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison, who has profiled dozens of killers. Also hard is the realization that it’s not the family’s fault.
Morrison said it’s imperative to get the individual to talk about their experience — their feelings, their doubt, their anger, their distress — and try to put that in a perspective that finally leads them to say, “It’s not my fault.”

 

This poor woman blamed herself for not being killed.

 

I can hope that there will not be anymore murders, but I don’t think that is a hope I can really expect to come to being.

So, I hope that in the face of a tragic event people can remember that the killer is alone in their blame.

The families are victims as well, even if that is hard to process.

Shattered Silence from Melissa Moore here.

Susan Klebold’s essay here.

Far From the Tree here.

Another excellent book on this subject, We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is a fictional account but it still has a lot of insight into this subject.

FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports

By Sarah LeTrent

(CNN) — “Missy, you need to change your last name,” the shackled man in the orange prison jumpsuit said into the receiver, staring blankly at his 15-year-old daughter’s tear-stained face.

“That’s when I knew that these things were true,” recalls Melissa Moore, now 33.

Until that day, the man behind the glass partition, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was simply her father; the one who used to tuck her into bed at night “like a burrito.”

Now, in her eyes, he was also the convicted serial killer plucked straight from the newspaper headlines who was serving multiple life sentences; the one who had bloodied her family name forever.

Jesperson, the so-called “Happy Face Killer,” murdered eight women when he was a long-haul truck driver in the early 1990s. Jesperson earned his nickname by sending confessions to journalists and police departments around the country to gain notoriety, signing the admissions…

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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

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