Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids
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Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  9 reviews
No crime is as horrific, as mesmerizingly perplexing, as a child's murder at the hands of a parent. In most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores five examples of "family annihilators" in this troubling snapshot of American crime twisted by the dark trajectory of machismo in economically stressful times. Her research includes some fifty in-dep...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Prometheus Books
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Mike Pearl
What do langur monkeys have to do with human fathers who murder their children? They offer interesting evolutionary clues about why parents act the way they do, and when they use violence. It's one of a number of perspectives on the troubling rash of parent-on-child killings in American society examined in the book Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids.
Journalist Mary Papenfuss looks at five key cases of fathers who murdered their children, from Washington...more
When James cut the throat of his five-year-old stepdaughter during a 2009 family vacation, he wanted "everyone to hurt." He was in the midst of an argument with his wife, his "soul mate," and the little girl was bothering him, and she and her sister were the cause of an ongoing argument between the couple. He grabbed the girl in a white-hot rage, and before he knew it, she was dead. Now he sits in a state prison, still stunned by his violence.
This gripping account is one of several in Mary Pap...more
I was familiar with Mary Papenfuss's newspaper coverage of the Scott Peterson trial in California, so I was interested to read the book that triggered her interest in family massacres. I expected "Killer Dads" to be compelling because Papenfuss is a talented writer and a dogged journalist. I was not disappointed. The book is the first page-turner I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. I also expected it to be sad, gory and difficult to read in parts, yet it was none of these. Even the...more
Denise MacDonald
This book was very well written and interesting. The writer was very respectful to those who were victims and to their families. She did not sensationalize the criminals like many true crime books do. There were some very interesting theories presented in this book and a lot of great recommendations to assist in decreasing instances of family violence. I found some parts were very dry as they went extensively in depth about satistics, which is something I tend to question anyway because they are...more
Alicia Stidam
I won this book from First Reads. I could almost give this 5 stars...that's how good it is written. The author, Mary Papenfuss, is a reporter for the New York Daily News and she covered the Scott Peterson trial. This book details several accounts of true-crime murders committed by fathers and stepfathers, including Peterson. She researched and cited the stories to the fullest extent. I think this book could be used in colleges/universities for Psychology courses; informative and expert non-ficti...more
I skipped a lot of her behavior science chapters to read the pulp, best story is the first.
I received this book from a GoodRead's giveaway.

It's nonfiction but it is in no way dry or a boring read. It was very very interesting and covered a lot of different information and topics. The langur (kind of monkey) chapter I wasn't expecting, but it was relevant and engaging. I had known of some of the cases the book describes but the author really goes into detail analyzing them.

I learned a lot, but it's not for the fainthearted. These crimes are truly awful.
Very interesting, but very heavy subject matter. Normally this is not the type the book I would read but I did it for a friend. Her family was profiled in one of the stories and she was of course curious but knew it would be too painful to read. The author is respectful in the cases she reports. She has interesting theories based on research on why and how these tragedies occur and the epidemic of child abuse in the US.
Teresa Peacock
great read! Couldnt put it down
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