I've always been fascinated with the workings of the mind of a serial killer. Their view of the world is so radically different from the ordinary pers...moreI've always been fascinated with the workings of the mind of a serial killer. Their view of the world is so radically different from the ordinary person, but how? Why? This book is the only one I have ever read that really answers that question. Ted Bundy was intelligent, articulate and willing to talk about the workings of his mind to Dr. Al Carlisle. Some of what he said was self serving, obviously, but in the last days of his life, Bundy wanted to remain in the limelight. He knew that explaining his pathology would keep the focus on him and so he called the doctor who had done one of the first psychological evaluations on him and whom he had kept contact with over the years.
In this book, Dr. Carlisle put together all the various evaluations, books and anecdotal information on Bundy and before his death, and questioned Bundy in a last interview about the reasons and inconsistencies in his life. Bundy answered candidly most of the questions about his life. He gave us a window into the mind of someone who builds a fantasy life that becomes so real it takes over his life. He shows how the pathology develops and is acted on.
What has fascinated people about Bundy is why, with the natural advantages he had, did he develop into a monster? While his early life was difficult, it was no worse than millions of people who didn't become serial killers. What made Bundy different was his response to the unpleasant details of his early life. Instead of resoling the issues and coming to terms with them, he lived in a revenge fantasy of blame and retaliation. This book shows how that developed.
The only reason I give this only 4 stars is because the writing in some places was weak. As far as the story goes, I give it 5 stars.
I also read a lo...moreThe only reason I give this only 4 stars is because the writing in some places was weak. As far as the story goes, I give it 5 stars.
I also read a lot of the reviews before I wrote mine and I am amazed at the number who don't believe in God and therefore dismiss Elizabeth's faith. After such a harrowing experience, Elizabeth has recovered and is leading a well-rounded, normal life. She is helping other victims and in every way has risen above this trauma. It is hard to ignore the evidence that there were miracles in her life and that God has touched her in an unbelievable way. Unfortunately, if one of a person's "first premises" is that there is no God, and all evidence is ignored or explained away then that person is forever cut off from faith and no amount of evidence will be enough. For this I feel very sorry.
Elizabeth's book did not go into detail about the sexual abuse and people also criticized that. I can understand why she didn't. First, anyone who watches the news and reads a newspaper knows all too well what kind of things happened to her. Second,for her to write a book about the prurient details of her captivity would be like writing pornography and that is completely alien to any person of faith.
I think the book was just what I expected. My questions weren't about the abuse she endured, but about how she has recovered. The fact that Elizabeth has come out of this experience as a psychologically healthy and poised young woman who is not hiding away continuing to be a victim is something that I think the world needs to know. She now lives her life in the public eye and even appears on ABC news and that is wonderful. Just as Robin Roberts made public her cancer while continuing on Good Morning America, Elizabeth gives people struggling with sexual abuse the example becoming a whole person again. We need people to provide us examples of overcoming.
Her explanation at the end of the book is something that every victim can use. In fact, a person doesn't have to be a victim of this kind of crime to take courage from what she has done. I am afraid our society has become too quick to turn us into victims when anything bad happens. We need to be able to think of others whose examples give us courage. (less)
This is the story of the Warren Jeffs saga told from the viewpoint of the private detective who spent seven years of his life tracking down Jeffs and...moreThis is the story of the Warren Jeffs saga told from the viewpoint of the private detective who spent seven years of his life tracking down Jeffs and helping to bring him and his henchmen to justice. Sam Brower was uniquely positioned to deal with the FLDS as he is a Mormon and understands how this polygamist cult differs from the mainline church and the effects of the abuses of the practice of polygamy. He also had and continues to have strong feelings about the abuse, sexual, financial and psychological, that the majority of the members suffer from. The FLDS is not just a sect that believes in polygamy between consenting adults, but includes incest, child abuse, rape, murder, kidnapping, and the abandonment of a great many of the young boys who have little value in this society. In fact, since the upper level of the "priesthood" have upwards of 50 wives, there are not enough for the young men so they are pushed out at the slightest offense.
While it might appear that this books, which deals with investigations and court battles, would be dry and uninteresting, but that is not the case. Brower is an excellent writer and he is able to convey the complexities of the law in a way that makes interesting reading. He also takes a stab at the psychological aspect of Jeffs character which is one of the main reasons I am reading about this subject. I have to say, that I agree with his thoughts on Jeffs mental state. This book also fills in a lot of the gaps in the understanding of this sect and the damage it does its members. It was interesting to read this book after reading The Witness Wore Red and Stolen Innocence as it seemed to complete the picture. (less)
This is the second book I've read about Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the courageous young wo...moreThis is the second book I've read about Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the courageous young women who have fled his iron rule. Warren Jeffs is the polygamist leader of this renegade branch of the Mormon Church.
As is my custom, I am reading as much as I can about a topic in hopes of getting a balanced view of the subject. This book is one of the first out from an actual victim. Elissa Wall was given in marriage when she was 14 to a 19 year old first cousin whom she already disliked intensely. Elissa begged the Prophet, Warren Jeffs, not to give her in marriage. She argued that she was too young and that she didn't like her prospective groom. Jeffs only told her to pray and "be sweet," a phrase which means submit to whatever the prophet, or her father says.
Everyone tells her that she must do what she is told. Obedience to the head of the family and the prophet is imperative. There is no other choice for her except suicide. If she disobeys, she will be cast out with no money, no place to go and no knowledge of the "gentiles" she has been taught to fear. Not only that, her father may lose his priesthood because he couldn't control his daughter. That means that her mother will be given to another husband and her children will take his name.
As for being married, Elissa had absolutely no knowledge of what goes on between husband and wife. In the FLDS, sex is not talked about and young girls are taught to treat boys as snakes. They are absolutely not allowed to touch one another or even become friends. Elissa is horrified at what her husband wants and eventually, she is raped and made to do to many things that she finds repugnant. Eventually, she finds the strength to leave and finally to stand up in court and accuse Warren Jeffs of the abuse he forced her into.
It is absolutely amazing that this is allowed to go on in the United States. Young girls are being reared as chattel. Sexual abuse is rampant even with girls barely 12 years old. This is a book that everyone should read so this practice can be stopped.(less)
This is a hard book to review. The story was told well and thoroughly, especially the attempts to explain the reason for Col. Russell Williams to exc...more This is a hard book to review. The story was told well and thoroughly, especially the attempts to explain the reason for Col. Russell Williams to exchange a super successful life for the life of a serial rapist and murderer. The example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fits best, but even in Stevenson’s book there was a cause. Col. Williams was at the top of an extremely successful career. He was a brilliant pilot who had risen to the most prestigious position in the Canadian Air Force. He had flown dignitaries, including the Queen of England. He commanded an Air Force base. He had a successful and happy marriage. He was a mentor to those below him and respected by everyone who worked with him. Suddenly, he began breaking into neighbors’ houses to steal lingerie after taking scores of pictures of himself wearing these articles while he was there. From there he escalated to serial rapist and murder in less than a year. Why would someone who was at the top of his game turn into a sexual sadist with no history of criminal or deviant behavior before the age of 44?
The author has done a good job of explaining the facts and reporting the speculations of psychologists, law officials and the military as to the cause of his abrupt change, but no explanation could be found. For some reason, Williams was able to compartmentalize his life in such a way as to be two completely opposite people. In doing so, he betrayed the trust of his neighbors, his family, the military who had honored him and his country. Because of the circumstances, this is one of the most interesting true crime books I have read since The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. (less)
This was a very compelling story and I could hardly put it down, but it made me so angry. I know this kind of abuse goes on and that children are vict...moreThis was a very compelling story and I could hardly put it down, but it made me so angry. I know this kind of abuse goes on and that children are victimized by their parents, but this child was also victimized by Social Services and her school. How could such agencies promise confidentiality and then do things which put her into further jeopardy? How could a school be so insensitive?
But this is a story of a young girl with enormous courage. At times I was hearing the music from "Rocky" while I was reading. Brooke felt responsible for her siblings and her mother so she tolerated a situation that no child should have to face with the tacit understanding that her father would not sexually abuse her sister. She couldn't protect her family from her father's incredible rage and selfishness, but she could keep it from being any worse.
Brooke's mother, while not abusive, also contributed to her problems. As in so many cases, she was passive and absorbed with her own survival and so she chose to ignore some vital signals. Despite this, Brooke had people in her life who cared about her and recognized that something wasn't right. In the end, they did what they could, and did it well. (less)
This book is the sequel to Leigh Byrne's Call Me Tuesady. It is her own account of the abuse she suffered from her mother between the ages of 8 to 14...moreThis book is the sequel to Leigh Byrne's Call Me Tuesady. It is her own account of the abuse she suffered from her mother between the ages of 8 to 14 when she finally went to live with her aunt. Only Tuesday was singled out for abuse, and her father, while aware of the about did little to prevent it. He did send her to her grandmother and aunt's for summers, but when contacted by Social Services, he maintained that Tuesday was not being abused. Her brothers, two older and one younger, maintained a distance from Tuesday and were complicit by their silence.
While Tuesday did get away from her mother and had a very loving and supportive relationship with her aunt, the scars of her early life effected her in every way. The book gets its title from the concept that the cockroach, despised and hated, will still be in the world even if civilization is destroyed because they are survivors. It is hard for people who have never been abused to understand the depth of damage done to a child like Tuesday. This book pulls away the curtains and allows us to get inside the damaged psyche of someone who has been told she is a worthless. It wasn't enough that Tuesday was forced to stand with her nose to the wall for hours, locked in her bedroom with only a bucket for her waste and starved; she was sent to school dressed in rags and filthy so that her classmates would continue the abuse at school. When Tuesday attended school at her aunt's, she was clean and dressed in fashionable clothes, but she expected to be rejected and by her classmates. Her early decisions were made from a terrible sense of self worth. The ordinary person would look at someone like Tuesday when she was finally surrounded by love and expect her to suddenly change. This book was an eye-opener.(less)