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Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  393 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Based on five years of investigative reporting and research into forensic psychology and criminology, Erased presents an original profile of a widespread and previously unrecognized type of murder: not a "hot-blooded," spur-of-the-moment crime of passion, as domestic homicide is commonly viewed, but a cold-blooded, carefully planned and methodically executed form of "erasu ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2008)
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May 22, 2009 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

For anyone who read Ablow's book about Scott Peterson and thought, "No, that's not quite right...," Marilee Strong has the answer. I was telling a friend about the book, and she said, "It's like a perfect storm of psychiatric conditions." That about sums it up.

Marilee Strong talks about many cases of men killing their wives, girlfriends and significant others, beginning with Chester Gillette, who murdered his pregnant girlfriend in 1906. She cites cases throughout the twentieth century, and on i
Jul 12, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-nook
Very good read and very disturbing. A couple of cases came to mind that developed after this book was published are Josh Powell & Drew Peterson. I don't think much has changed in law enforcement and the way we view "circumsantial evidence". Interestingly enough with the Casey Anthony trial (who happens to fit the "eraser" profile even though she is female and the victim was her child) we just saw first hand how the law is twisted and misunderstood in a way that makes it possible to get away ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Hava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true crime fans
I work at the local library, so I get to see all of the new books that have come out that look intriguing. I was checking a patron out a couple of weeks ago, and I saw a book in the stack called Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives. Being a closet fan of 48 Hours Mystery, I thought, “Wow, that looks interesting!”

I say that refrain often at work, and have had to work very hard to keep my house from overflowing with “interesting” books from the library. My only defense is that at least the books
May 09, 2009 Shawna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be absolutely riveting, and I find it incredible it has taken this long for someone to notice a pattern to these types of murders/vanishings. Strong only takes her research back to 1906 when Charles Gillette drowned his pregnant girlfriend, but I bet if one looked a little closer one would find that these types of murders go back even further. The main anchor of this book is the Scott/Lori Peterson case. I remember at the time that the media seemed baffled by Scott's casual ...more
Dana ****Reads Alot****
Marilee hit the nail right on the head when she wrote this book. It really gave me some insight to why these men kill their girlfriends/wives (even when they are pregnant). She had alot to say about her assumptioh on scott peterson and I really did thing she got it right BUT Im sick of hearing about the man, I have heard enough of him to last two life times. Most of these men are selfish bastards who only care about themselves and have sociopathic issues. I really do believe he feared becoming a ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimen
Very difficult to follow the characters in this book when Scott Peterson is mentioned on almost every page. Gosh, darn. If there were so many distinct examples of "erased" women here, plus the theory to explain this term, why did the author feel the need to include Peterson everywhere? on almost every page?

True, she mentioned in the introduction that comparing the Scott Peterson case was quintessential (big word) to the "eraser" classification, but I became disgusted and lost interest.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
This book should titled "What You Didn't Know about the Laci Peterson Case". It barely glances at the "50 cases of erased women" mentioned in the introduction. I was disappointed on the whole
Oh, where to start. Looking at all the glowing reviews of this book, I feel like I must have been reading an entirely different book. The only negative reviews seem to say that they couldn't make it through the book. That is part of the reason I have chosen to thoroughly review the book and describe the issues I had. I might have reviewed it too thoroughly, as this review turned out really long, but I think that is a testament to how annoyed I was by this book, despite the fact that the writing ...more
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Jun 07, 2014 Bj1947 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an absorbing book - I couldn't put it down once I started it. The author makes a strong case for the identification of a new type of killer in our society - the 'Eraser Killer" - a man who murders his wife, or girlfriend, or ex-wife/ex-girlfriend - and feels no remorse, no guilt for what he's done. Rather he may repeat the crime with another girlfriend or wife in the future.

The author profiles the personality traits of "Eraser Killers" - identifying them as primarily narcissistic, Mach
May 13, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
By using some relatively recent criminal cases as examples, particularly the Scott Peterson/Laci Peterson case, the author makes the argument for establishing a legal recognition of "erased" types of murders. I think the author makes a very compelling argument and backs it up by demonstrating how the various different disappearances/murders were not heat-of-the-moment or jealousy-fueled acts of violence (something that our society still seems to excuse on some level), but rather are very orchest ...more
Apr 04, 2008 Andria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
We see the headlines in the paper of a missing pregnant woman and think the father of the baby could never do this, he seemed so nice, so normal. Think again.

An important book. Understanding a specific type of domestic violence that is under reported by its very nature. Husbands or significant others who make woman disappear, by committing murder and well hiding the body, or by staging it to look like an accident. It seems like a book every law enforcement, social worker, judge and therapist sho
M.K.  Carroll
Jul 01, 2008 M.K. Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not a fun topic. I appreciated the way the subject matter was handled, and the theory of "eraser" killings is very interesting and presented well. I would have liked to have read this book sooner; I did a presentation at the end of the spring semester about the Latoyia Figueroa murder case in particular, and had been trying to find as much information, statistical and otherwise, about the murders of pregnant women by their boyfriends/husbands. The Figueroa case is covered in this book, and ...more
Aug 22, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. For those interested in true crime, this is new material that most books don't venture into. The author clearly has years of research into the topic, and the book gives you a glance into a profile of an eraser killing. I learned a lot of facts such as that years ago it was hard to convict murders if there simply was no body. I would highly recommend this book to fellow police officers. As an officer myself, without experience in this particular kind of murder, it ...more
Ruth Charchian
Sep 12, 2012 Ruth Charchian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
"Erased" presents an entirely new genre of murder; the carefully planned, methodical, cold-blooded erasure of women, usually wives and girlfriends, by their husbands or boyfriends who kill because the person no longer serves their purpose and try to make their victims "disappear." Strong has done extensive research into 50 cases of these largely unrecognized types of murders where the perpetrator seems innocent, professionally successful, pillar of the community, intelligence to attempt manipula ...more
Mary Jo
Jun 16, 2016 Mary Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I strongly agree with Marilee Strong's recommendations, at the back of the book, to stop protecting criminal's rights more than victim's rights. So many of these cases dragged on so long because the killer had more rights than the woman he killed. I struggled with the recurring theme in these cases of women being aware of danger, being warned, and still staying with the man who ended up killing them. Many of these killers sound like obnoxious, selfish, belligerent jerks, but there was no shortag ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book but it was really not a book about missing women and wives. It was more about Scott Peterson and I think there are plenty of books on him already. The other cases she used were interesting but I think there were plenty more she could've used instead of choosing to focus on the Peterson case.

The book was well-written and the author definitely did her research. I had no idea that this country has such bad resources when it comes to death investigation -- from appointed coroners w
Jul 25, 2011 Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erased is about psychopathic , intensely narissistic men who not only get rid of their wives through murder ( often to free the men up to be with a new lover ) but who make them literally disappear .More than well written , it is a page - turner and should be required reading for police authorites all arounf the country .Strong's poster child is Scott Peterson , but she offers plenty of other poignant examples of this all - too common phrnomenon. Strong's cliinical description of these supremely ...more
Elizabeth Horton-Newton
An excellent insight in the Dark Triad that makes up the character of Eraser killers (men who make their wives/girlfriends,significant others "disappear" ). Examining the pathology of these eraser killers could benefit local police force investigators by making them aware of the behaviors most often associated with these killers. While some steps have been taken by law enforcement to pay stricter attention to atypical behaviors in missing women cases, a more rapid response and intensive investig ...more
Rita Meade
Dec 31, 2008 Rita Meade rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A very interesting (albeit upsetting) analysis of the psychology behind "eraser killings" - when men kill their wives and get rid of their bodies in order to make them vanish, allowing the men to start over and pursue whatever deluded fantasies they have. It focuses on many wife/girlfriend-murder cases from over the years, but looks at the Laci Peterson case in more depth than the others. Warning: this book is very graphic. Ultimately, the author illustrates how people are not always what they a ...more
Grace P.
Oct 05, 2014 Grace P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was well-written and researched. The author says more than 1000 women each year in the U.S. are murdered by an intimate partner. Men who kill their wives or girlfriends are hardly ever given the harshest punishment. When a conviction is obtained, it is usually not for first degree murder. This is because of a tendency in the law to see domestic homicide as a crime of passion - at least when committed by men. (This "domestic discount" does not apply to women sentenced for domestic homicide). ...more
Silvia Pettem
Jul 28, 2012 Silvia Pettem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written look at "eraser killers," with a lot on Scott Peterson (husband and murderer of his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn child). These killers believe they can get away with their murders, but, some, like Peterson, do not. A chilling, but interesting, look into the minds of these men. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because the book didn't seem to be organized in the way I would have liked, i.e. it jumped around too much from case to case. But well-worth reading for peopl ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the best word for this book is "chilling" - story after story after story of men who murdered their wives/girlfriends, and in many cases got away with it. I'm kind of sorry I finished it at 10PM.

Maybe a few too many stories in the end, because they all blur together in one horrific blur. But a fascinating study of the psychology of what the author calls "eraser killers," and I wasn't bored by the Laci Peterson case (which is the frame of the book, really) because I didn't read much about
Dec 22, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book isn't bad, but it isn't great either. It's an interesting look at this idea the author calls "eraser killers" - husbands who kill their wives without the traditional symptoms of domestic abuse. While the concept is fascinating, the book lags in places and was tough to plod through. It needed to be shorter. The first half is all about eraser killers in general, and the second half is about the Laci Peterson murder. These two halves would have made two more interesting books, but put tog ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Jena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Este es un libro excesivamente largo para decirnos que hay un nuevo tipo de asesino de mujeres, el que los autores llaman "borrador", pues no deja visible el cuerpo de la víctima. Tiene la sangre fría de tirarlo al mar desde un avión, echarlo a un lago bien atado y con peso suficiente para que no flote, y no tiene motivo alguno para hacerlo, lo único es que la mujer le estorba para sus siguientes actividades. Demasiadas hojas para repetir lo mismo de siempre, por tanto, aburrido.
Sep 12, 2012 Marnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow how great is that? I have read 3 heavy reads in a row. This one, by far has educated my mind in the flaw of the laws for those men out there trying to get away with murder of their wife or girlfriend. My eyes are definitely more open to what really happened with the Laci Peterson case. It also, blows my mind at how many women there are out there that have had this happen to them, and how the "better half" either got away with it or almost did.
A good, but very disturbing read. The author argues that certain partner murders are psychologically distinct from typical domestic-violence homicides, and calls for changes in the law-enforcement and medical systems to help make it easier to deal with these crimes in a timely, just manner. Well worth a look.
Oct 03, 2014 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This is a great read, especially if these kinds of crimes interest you. I follow a lot of eraser killings, and this book definitely helped me have a better understanding of the psychological factors that influence these sorts of murders. A little too much of the book is examples, and I'm pretty sure the author repeats one. Otherwise, it's a very informative book.
Jul 25, 2011 Nancy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Very scary, but necessary book. I hope the reforms she mentions are put into place before more men get away with this type of crime. The most disturbing part of the book is that for the most part it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to detect warning signs before these types of crime happen.
I found this book interesting and thinks that the author has a good premise with her idea of an eraser killer. However, I would have liked more than just her journalist idea of the psychological breakdown of this type of killer. Having more input from profiles or psychologists that have interaction with these types of killers would have given the book more authority in my mind.

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