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Whatever Mother Says...: A True Story of a Mother, Madness and Murder
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Whatever Mother Says...: A True Story of a Mother, Madness and Murder

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,031 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
To neighbors, she was the brave single mother...

Raising her five kids alone in a rundown section of Sacramento, Theresa Cross Knorr seemed like the ultimate survivor. But her youngest daughter, 16-year-old Terry, told police another story: one almost too terrible to believe.

But accused of imprisoning her children in a house of horrors...

According to Terry, Theresa--no long
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 15th 1995 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Paul Bryant
Dec 16, 2009 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime

True crime, my once secret vice, but now you all know about it. This unlovely genre, true crime - it’s so sleazy and it’s got everything. The piquant pleasures of the do it yourself abattoir, the discovery in the dumpster, the jolly uncle, the picnic spot, the man walking his dog, the folorn poster, the crucial forensics, the fortunate CCTV, the plausible absence, the pretty niece, the remains gnawed by animals, the cellar, the other hidden cellar, the bulletproof alibi, the t
Sep 16, 2007 Jane rated it it was ok
Shelves: truecrime, nonfiction
This should get either a 1 or a 5. The first half of the book is fantastic! This is a very sad, sadistic mother that abuses her children horribly & manipulates them into helping her kill her other children. One of the most chilling, disturbing books I have ever read.

BUT...the 2nd half of the book is WASTED! Why? Because the author didn't wait the 6 months until the trial was over!!! So I had to Google her name & find out what the end result was. So the last part of the book is all specul
Apr 25, 2010 Shirley rated it really liked it
The words blood lust and mother should never be used in the same sentence. Those words are so unsettling it is the reasons for nightmares. What would cause a mother to torture and kill her own daughters while caring and loving of her sons. How does anyone grow up in a house of horrors yet be strong enough as an adult to finally end it. Justice served? I say no and never will be.

There was no insanity or madness in this woman. She was born with no soul. Evil hid behind the title of mother and man
Jennifer townsend
Nov 15, 2007 Jennifer townsend rated it really liked it
How anyone could do these things to their own children is beyond me. That lady was one sick and twisted bitch.
Mar 02, 2016 Rudolfo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
Well-written. I am reading several books on a similar topic. The others are The Franklin Cover-up, Painted Black. While these are not pleasant subjects they help identify the perpetrators and shed light on what is going on behind closed doors. True-life horrors. Where are our missing children? Why are people mentally ill. What about Foster Care? Child abuse? cover-ups.
Aug 01, 2011 Katrina rated it liked it
I didn't like the way the book was written. Too much unnecessary information such as all the background info about the police officers, etc. Then to top it off it doesn't tell you how the story ended. I felt like it was a complete waste of time to read with no payoff in the end. It was a pretty decent read up until the end but I don't know that I would recommend it to anyone else to read.
Eva Nebbia
Jul 07, 2015 Eva Nebbia rated it did not like it
What can you even say about a book like this. It was terrible (really horribly written and also wildly disturbing). But also, why the heck didn't this dude wait the 6 months for the trial!!!!! I had to do extra research to find out what happened. So bad and yet pretty entertaining.
Sabrina Rutter
May 18, 2009 Sabrina Rutter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime, favorites
This woman had nothing but jealousy for her daughters. This book is very graphic and gives a detailed account to the abuse her daughters suffered before she finally killed them.
Jun 29, 2014 Charis rated it it was amazing
Sick and twisted. A horrifying tale.
May 12, 2007 Sophie rated it liked it
This lady was a sick ass bitch!
This book disgusted me more than any other book I have read.
Bianka Armendariz
Dec 27, 2011 Bianka Armendariz rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2017 Anouska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Fantastic read - couldn't put it down! I definitely recommend this book to all true crime fans. Mother from hell is putting it mildly. This book was both tragic and fascinating
Jennifer Daniel
Apr 14, 2009 Jennifer Daniel rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading this was about as much fun as falling down an elevator shaft. I selected because it was on a best of true crime books. This mother murdered 2 of her teenage daughters for no reason. There was endless beating & starvation. Then she suddenly leaves town, reinvints herself and becomes a home caregiver to the ederly & loved by everyone. Since this book was written 15 years ago at the time of her arrest I will have to research what became of her at trial. To sum it up - Depressing!
susan Johnson
Jul 11, 2014 susan Johnson rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine the terror these children felt every day of their lives. I can't imagine how they must have felt when they laid their heads down at night never knowing what was in store for them when they woke up. I pray for these children that are now grown , that they will find peace .
Jul 28, 2010 Angelina rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, true-crime
I grew up in the same town this happened in. I was the same age as the children in this book. A lot of things in this book played way to close to home for me.It was a chillin, horrible story of the worst mother a child could have. My heart goes out to the survivors.
Sep 18, 2007 Kim rated it really liked it
OMG how can a mother be so cruel to the kids she gave life to?
Rebecca McNutt
May 18, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Whatever Mother Says is a chilling and sinister account of a dysfunctional family, told in a detailed amount of vivid writing. If you're a true crime fan, you'll definitely want to read it.
Jill Glancy
Aug 13, 2014 Jill Glancy rated it really liked it
I hate to give it 4 stars because of the morbidity of it, but it was very well written. Terribly sad though. Wish the mother would have had the balls to admit it though.
Gary Butler
Aug 15, 2016 Gary Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
37th book read in 2016.

Number 260 out of 529 on my all time book list.

Review Pending:
Jun 16, 2008 Daniel rated it really liked it
True Crime. Very creepy story of a creepy mother and her violent, controlling ways.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Oct 10, 2011 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•* rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
After seeing this book plenty of times at my local used bookstore, I finally picked it up from my personal library. The front cover of teh book says this is a "true crime classic". I assume this means it is one of the stories that gained the most national attention from the time it was printed until know. I can see why even now 29 years after the murders of Seusan and Sheila were commited, it still hold people's attention to the case.

Theresa Knorr was a very evil mother and a horrible person. H
Nov 03, 2008 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Raising her ficve kids alone in a rundown section of Sacramento, Theresa Cross Knorr seemed like the ultimate survivor. But her youngest daughter, 16-year-old Terry, told police another story: One almost too terrible to believe.

According to Terry, Theresa--Nolonger the petite brunette she once was--had turned insanely jealous of her pretty eldest daughters and enlisted the help of her two teenaged sons in a vicious campaighn against their sisters.

Terr's gruesome tale told how Theresa had drugged
The Badger
Aug 29, 2016 The Badger rated it liked it
This rates among the most disturbing books I've ever read. The writing isn't great, but from later interviews and narratives that I've seen and read, it was accurate and non-embellished. It's interesting that this book was in my feed today, as last week a 10-year-old in my city was injected with meth by her mother so that her mother's boyfriend and his female cousin could rape her. The little girl's body was found burning in the bathtub stabbed, choked, arms missing, and one leg nearly severed. ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Michaela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with this book. It's a genuinely horrific story - a bitch of a mother, jealous of her daughters and controlling of her sons - but I don't think the author did the best job of telling it. There's no tension and the same information was repeated a few times. If the book had been written by a writer with as much talent as say, Ann Rule, it would have made much more of an impact on me.
Lesley Harris
May 30, 2013 Lesley Harris rated it did not like it
The first half of the book was good except for the error the author made about both daughters being set in fire when it was just one( this is in the later part of the first half).The second half of the book was horrible! The author didnt have any information about the trial or its outcome! It was just speculation of everyone's psychological well being! I don't recommend the book because of the last half! Such a let down!
Aug 21, 2013 DRAGON FILMS rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2016 Lulu rated it liked it
True Crime. What a horrible story, but sadly it's a reality that we live in. Mothers are suppose to be protectors, not predators. This was a quick, gripping read for me. I don't like that it ended before we got the outcome of the trial. Maybe the author should have waited before sending the book to the publishers. I had to rely on my good friend Google to get the outcome.
Jan 05, 2012 Elia rated it did not like it
Shelves: serial-killers
I rated this one so low not because it is not a good book... it's simply that it was so very disturbing that I was unable to make it more than about halfway through it.
I have a very strong stomach when it comes to serial killers and murder... but the things this woman did to her own children are some of the most horrifying and disturbing I have ever read about.
Yasmin Green
Mar 06, 2016 Yasmin Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Read

A fascinating story. I couldn't put it down. Those poor children, what they went through is unimaginable. The mother deserved all she got. Let's hope she is never freed and her children can get on with their adult lives, especially Terry. That poor girl!
Melissa Frolich
Sep 17, 2015 Melissa Frolich rated it it was amazing
This lady was such a sick and twisted person. i can't believe this happend, not to far from where i currently live now, and even when this was all going on i only live about 15 mins away from her house. so crazy how people can do these kinds of things to their own children
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