Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter” as Want to Read:
Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt

Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,444 Ratings  ·  333 Reviews
Throughout her life, Melissa Jesperson Moore had to hide her true identity. She had pretended that life was perfect after her parents divorced and she was suddenly uprooted from everything familiar and loving. She had to be silent and pretend not to be disturbed or upset by her father's actions. Those experiences prepared Moore to hide the deepest, darkest secret of all. A ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Cedar Fort (first published September 7th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shattered Silence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shattered Silence

Running with Scissors by Augusten BurroughsThe Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn MansonAnd I Don't Want to Live This Life by Deborah SpungenInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerLife After Death by Damien Echols
Unsettling "better them than me" Memoirs & Biographies
57th out of 293 books — 202 voters
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe Daughter of Time by Josephine TeyUncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
143rd out of 719 books — 83 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 23, 2011 Christy rated it did not like it
This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I was completely disappointed. There were several times I considered not even finishing it. It was a slow read, and she seemed to put too much emphasis on nothing imparticular. Later in the book there were things I thought should have had more detail, but she was incredibly vague. All that mixed with a few inconsistancies with people's names and you have a disaster of a book. I was not impressed at all. Not to mention the fact that the end of th ...more
Dec 28, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
Wow. Really don't know how to review this one. I was actually fairly hesitant to pick it up when I realized that I knew the author and her family a few years ago - we went to the same church on the South Hill for a couple of years, we both eventually moved to different areas of Spokane, and our paths have crossed randomly a few times since then, though we haven't kept in touch. When I knew her she was quiet and sweet, but she seemed somewhat guarded; it almost felt like I would be eavesdropping ...more
Amy (amyb2332)
I wouldn’t have picked this book up on my own but it was my book club book this month. I would have stayed away from this book for two reasons: 1) I don’t like memoirs about crappy childhoods and 2) I don’t like books that talk about someone’s spiritual journey. I find religion to be so personal and it makes me feel uncomfortable to read. Plus, even if it isn’t meant to be judgment, I find that often it feels that way. As if one of the take aways should be, “Well gee it’s too bad I don’t believe ...more
Brooke Hargett
Oct 28, 2014 Brooke Hargett rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Grace
Mar 22, 2010 Rebecca Grace rated it it was ok
This book was ok... I didn't feel like the author had a great voice, the story didn't flow and it didn't capture my attention and hold onto it all the way through. Sometimes it was a struggle to get through, and sometimes the author just sounded a little too... out there. The stories seemed random, and there wasn't enough detail (not necessarily just the grisly ones) to really grasp the message she was trying to convey. Not really worth reading, I don't think.
Kristina Brownell
Dec 01, 2012 Kristina Brownell rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. I really don't know why I picked this book up at the library. Morbid curiosity? My daughter needed a biography to read for a school class, so I was browsing. We ended up walking home with a book about a meth addict for her (from the YA section) and an account of a serial killer's daughter for me. Now we're both reading mine. I guess my 12 year old has a morbid curiosity too.

The thing kids live a sheltered life. It's good for them to get outside their comfort zone and realize
I initially started this book several years ago, and was so creeped out in the first few chapters that I put it down and picked something else up. I finally finished it--in about a 24 hour period. I couldn't put it down. This was a haunting tale of Melissa, daughter of Keith Jespersen, the Happy Face serial killer. She talks about her life, starting with early (sometimes repressed) memories of her dad torturing and killing small animals, but mostly the happy stories--how her dad always bought he ...more
The opening pages of this book are horrifying. Here's a little girl whose father tortures her pets to death for fun, and whose mother won't do a damn thing about it or even acknowledge that it's happening. This is so far beyond my realm of experience and background, I couldn't begin to understand what that would be like.

Melissa's father is a monster in some ways, but he's a loving father in other ways. Melissa's mother is a doormat who goes from abusive relationship to abusive relationship and d
Sep 24, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Despite the title and the subject, this is a very uplifting book. The author endured great trauma in her life, with an unprotective mother, an abusive step-father, and a father who became a notorious and twisted serial killer, yet she found strength from a relationship with God, protection through listening to the still, small voice within, and a beautiful life for herself and her children. Friends, extended family, conversion to the LDS church, and participation in Dr. Phil's national televisio ...more
Jan 22, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
I read this book in just one day. Easy to get hooked on. I found Melissa's story to be heart wrenching, yet interesting. I couldn't put it down as I was very drawn into her life and what was going on. I enjoyed the way she told her story. Ultimately its a very sad story and you would think it would be depressing. Somehow though when you read all the abuse and heart ache which is profound you find joy in the overcoming of it all. Knowing that even the worst pain can eventually be overcome. I foun ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Erica rated it it was ok
This woman has written about her experience growing up without knowing that her father whom she looks up to and counts on the most in her life, is a serial killer. She doesn't find out about this until she is a teenager. This tells a story about how along with her father being imprisoned for serial murder, her struggles growing up without hardly any $ to survive, contstantly moving making it a struggle to get comfortable in a new environment not able to make and keep any friends, having to deal ...more
Darcia Helle
We often hear about the victims of brutal crimes. Newscasters tell us stories about their families and how they are suffering from the loss of their loved ones. Occasionally we get the inside story on a serial killer made famous by sensationalism. We’re told the gory details of his (or her) crimes and we attempt to delve into their minds to learn the why behind the behavior. However, it isn’t often that we hear from the family of the serial murderer. Rarely do we even consider what their lives m ...more
Dec 28, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is probably not for everyone but I related to Melissa's memories/feelings of her parents' divorce very much. It was actually kind of eery to me as she explained her emotions during that time in her life because I realized that she was putting some of my "growing up memories" into words for me. If you are not in the mood to read about a child's point of view of this type of change in her life, along with much abuse and hurt, and how she has overcome these negative influences, I would st ...more
Dec 01, 2009 Kathryn rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Aside from the poor writing this book was ok (although that may have been because I kept waiting for it to get better, thinking it would) about half way through the author starts to intorduce us to her relationship with God. The rest of the book reads like some sort of church sermon or bible story. It is fine if you want to write about your faith, but don't pretend it is going to be something else! Complete dissapointment. Too many inconsistencies in the story, overall bad writing, and if I want ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Carra rated it did not like it
Terrible book - obnoxiously preachy. Didn't give any information about her father which was what the book was presented as. Don't care about your life, thanks. Reinforces the fact that everyone shouldn't be allowed to write a book.
Feb 27, 2016 Amber rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book. At page 32, I realized this book could easily be skimmed through (though I didn't even waste my time doing that). It's incredibly boring with the beginning focusing on moments of her very young childhood (Are these moments even accurate? How many detailed memories do people have when they are 5 years old?) where she has 'sinking feelings' which allude to some kind of premonition of the future.

I love true crime novels but after attempting to read three different person
Mar 30, 2016 Garpu rated it did not like it
[CW: domestic violence, animal abuse]

Snap Judgment, I love you. But this is the second time I've read a book based on hearing a story on the show and been horribly burned by awful writing.

First up, the book is basically a shill for Dr. Phil. I wish I'd known this going into it, so I would've saved myself a trip to the library.

Secondly, most of the early chapters have at least one reference to a cat or other pet being tortured and killed--generally interspersed with some idyllic memory or sprung
Elaine Kasteler
Mar 18, 2011 Elaine Kasteler rated it liked it
My husband's daughter-in-law recommended this book for me to read. She's from Washington (where much of this story takes place) and she enjoyed the book.

I was fascinated with the story. The human spirit is very strong and if your mind is set to changing your life you can. The writing style was hard for me and not my favorite. And I did have unanswered questions ... like what happened to Toni. How did Melissa's parents feel about her writing this book. There is a picture in the back with her husb
Mar 04, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Page 184, paragraph 2: "Most of the homes were tiny and in need of care. Several had "fixer-upper" cars lined up in the yard, waiting for repairs that would never come; tall grass was growing through the spokes of the tires. Discarded trash had blown into the bushes..."

I don't think the book was well-written and the first few chapters I found boring. I didn't really care about the author's average life. Her father's violence to the kittens seemed to be an aberration, and not really related to an
Feb 17, 2010 Natasha rated it liked it
I thought this was a good story about triumphing over circumstances. I read this because I'm fascinated with serial killers.... hmmm.. that sounded creepy.. let me clarify. I'm not fascinated in a weird how many people did they kill and how did they do it kind of way. I'm just curious about the psychological aspects. What happened to make them that way? How do you get to the point where killing a bunch of people sounds like a great Friday night?
Anyway, I thought a book from the viewpoint of a se
Nov 25, 2014 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
This book is largely an account of the author's childhood, teen, and early young adult years. It could be anyone's story. Her parents made poor life choices which subjected their children to many hardships. Children often carry the self-imposed burden of guilt and shame for their parent's actions and the author was no exception. The account in no way resembles an expose` nor is it of the true-crime genre. Her purpose in telling the story is to help others to "shatter" limiting false beliefs that ...more
It is very amazing that Melissa was able to come out alive! She spends her childhood surrounded by abuse and her cries for help are ignored. She grows up in poverty and with an abusive stepfather. She is beaten and raped. She is totally unaware of the fact that her father is a serial killer. It is sad that she actually feels responsible for the fact that her father is the way he is. It is a testament to her strength and character that she is able to overcome her past and not let it define who sh ...more
Apr 06, 2016 Karalee rated it really liked it
This is a memoir of a serial killer's daughter! I heart the picture of the tree on the front cover. It looks like a part of the tree is broken off (the dad) and a branch with a leaf on it that somehow survived and is moving on with her life!

This is a fabulous book! It's sad and heartbreaking BUT she didn't go into too much detail about anything gruesome her father did. If she had I think I would have been sick. I love how when she finally took responsibility for her own life and tried to make t
Apr 15, 2015 Jasmine rated it liked it
Again, I hesitate with reviewing memoirs. But for this one, I guess I was expecting something a little different than what the author delivered. I mean when she put on the book, "The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter," I was expecting to hear what it was REALLY like being the daughter of a serial killer. I was expecting to hear what it was like to have a normal dad one day and a monster the next. I mean she brushed over some feelings here and there and they were quite repetitive, so by ...more
Sep 06, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
I won (woohoo! I never win ANYTHING!) this book in a contest on a blog about, you guessed it, books. Thank you, Reading For Sanity! Books are some of my favorite things! I was really looking forward to reading Ms. Moore's perspective.

Admittedly, my father didn't torture my pets or kill women for sport and I can't imagine how confusing that would be to love someone who could be so callous and cruel and yet loving and generous as she described her father. But I got a bit of whiplash going back and
Feb 07, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
Having read Jack Olsen's book concerning Melissa's father, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her end of the story. My heart broke (over and over again) with each terrible episode of abuse perpetrated by someone she loved. In Melissa's case not only her father, but her mother, her "boyfriend", and even her extended family (who surely saw the deplorable conditions that the family lived in after the break-up of her parents), and her mothers new husband.
I was glad that by the end of her
Feb 27, 2015 Ariana rated it liked it
Such an incredible story of overcoming a truly horrible hand in life.
I have one major criticism that reduced my rating the quality of the writing is very poor. The book reads like a lecture and many experiences that would have been an incredibly compelling read, charged with emotion were reduced to a very clinical, detached accounting of events.
Clearly Melissa was reviewing many events of her childhood from the hindsight of being an adult who has healed from the experience. Which is wonderful an
Apr 09, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it
I do not recommend this book to everyone. There are parts of it that are disturbing, beginning with the first chapter and the description of the father's brutality. The thing that encouraged me to keep reading was the assurance from the descriptions that it is a book of light and hope and does not dwell on the gore. That was true. It is a story of healing, of looking to the light, of listening to the voice inside yourself. I gave it a four-star rating because I liked that message a lot. I think ...more
Cheryl Jensen
Sep 23, 2015 Cheryl Jensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-experience
Wow. It doesn't seem appropriate to say I enjoyed this book, because of all the heartache and adversity the author suffers, but it is so well-written and engaging that I did very much enjoy the reading experience. Moore matter-of-factly and without self-pity relates the circumstances and journey of her life. She suffers many challenges including poverty, a broken home, an unpredictable father, and unlikable stepfather. In her teenage years, she will discover her father is a serial killer. Throug ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Mara rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, book-club
It is always interesting to see what someone includes in their biography and what gets left out. I felt while reading this that there was a lot left out and skimmed over. I know the author didn't really want to "go there" into the darker moments of her life. This book is utimatly about over-coming a destructive childhood and finding a life of light and love even though the people around you growing up and people that you loved have done despicable cowardly, and horrific things.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Books based on real stories 2 6 Feb 03, 2015 04:46PM  
divorce violence 1 6 Apr 27, 2012 11:48AM  
Divorce and violence 1 5 Apr 27, 2012 11:22AM  
  • The Unbreakable Child: A Memoir About Forgiving the Unforgivable
  • The Company She Keeps
  • Us
  • Driven: An Autobiography
  • I'm No Monster: The Horrifying True Story of Josef Fritzl
  • Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope
  • Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of
  • Fetal Abduction: The True Story of Multiple Personalities and Murder
  • Mother Had a Secret: Learning to Love My Mother & Her Multiple Personalities: A True Story
  • Tearing the Silence: On Being German in America
  • Sown in Tears
  • Evil Twins: Chilling True Stories of Twins, Killing and Insanity
  • The Boy in the Box: The Unsolved Case of America's Unknown Child
  • Not Lost Forever: My Story of Survival
  • Murder by Family: The Incredible True Story of a Son's Treachery & a Father's Forgiveness
  • Alone With the Devil: Famous Cases of a Courtroom Psychiatrist
  • Scattershot: My Bipolar Family
  • A Lion and a Lamb
Melissa G. Moore is the best selling author of, Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter.
Shattered Silence has been featured on Oprah, People magazine, 20/20, E! and numerous television programs both nationally and internationally.

If you have read Shattered Silence and it has meant something to you please leave a review on and share it with a friend or donate
More about Melissa G. Moore...

Share This Book