I enjoyed this book. I have been reading books about Russia, or set in Russia and this gave me more insight as to how the average person lived under C...moreI enjoyed this book. I have been reading books about Russia, or set in Russia and this gave me more insight as to how the average person lived under Communism and after the fall. The story threads are good, but once the Inspector is on the train, there is a little cloudiness as the various people converge. The author is able to draw fairly realistic characters for the most part, although some of the sub characters could have been made stronger. I would like to have know a lot more about the woman serial killer and her motivation. However, everything was neatly wrapped up without loose ends and the plot was brought to a satisfying conclusion. I'll definitely read another of his books. (less)
This book was a little easier to read than the first one, but just barely. David went through a number of foster homes, some meant to be temporary and...moreThis book was a little easier to read than the first one, but just barely. David went through a number of foster homes, some meant to be temporary and others temporary because of his behavior. It is easy to forget that an abused child comes to a foster home with many behaviors, which, while they enabled him to survive in his original home, were inappropriate in a foster home. David learned to be very wary and to squelch his emotional needs. At home he learned to steal to get enough food to live and to desire to be loved and accepted by his abusing mother and his peers. When prodded by classmates, he shoplifted to show off. He went by his mother’s house which was strictly forbidden. He made contact with his brother and did other things which were inappropriate. Unbelievably, most of these children continue to believe that their abusive parents will somehow change and shower them with love. The picture of David waiting for his father to visit weekend after weekend was heartbreaking.
I worked for a number of years in juvenile corrections and I have seen that behavior on many occasions. Over and over we would tell the boys that they were very lucky to get into a school, foster home or treatment center, and that they had to behave in order to not go to a training school. Even though they were petrified of going to a state school, they so often could not take advantage of the placement found for them. They lacked the ability to follow a few necessary rules and ended up in a state school with far more rules. This is exactly what happened to David. The problem isn’t with correcting their behavior as much as filling up the holes in their hearts so that they become able to behave. The big question is can they fill up the need before the behavior is totally out of hand. In David’s case, he was able to accept the love his foster parents had for him and began to modify his behavior, but not until he had been moved from a number of homes. (less)
This was such a disturbing story. It is about a splinter group from the Mormon church who have distorted the faith into a cult. It is just Jim Jones i...moreThis was such a disturbing story. It is about a splinter group from the Mormon church who have distorted the faith into a cult. It is just Jim Jones in different clothes. It is hard to understand how people can justify having such complete control over others and calling it religion. Sadly, there must be something in human nature than lends itself to these kinds of cults because the crop up over and over.
The book is well researched and well written and it makes for compelling reading. I just keep thinking about the women and children and wondering what kind of future they will have with this in their past.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It touched off a passel of books about Africa and some internet research on white Giraffes. I found the whole subject very...moreI really enjoyed this book. It touched off a passel of books about Africa and some internet research on white Giraffes. I found the whole subject very compelling. Martine’s parents are killed in a fire on her 11th birthday and she comes to live with her grandmother whom she does not know. There is so much mystery surrounding the relationship between Martine and her grandmother and between Martine's mother and her own mother. Martine makes friends with a white giraffe on the game preserve and manages to learn to ride it. (There is a video clip on YouTube of a man trying to ride a giraffe, but he only stays on for a few seconds. It looks almost impossible to me!) Martine forges ahead and finally finds out what her grandmother was afraid of as the story unfolds.(less)
This book was excellent! So many times I pick up a book about some unimaginable event trying to find out what made a person act in such an unbelievabl...moreThis book was excellent! So many times I pick up a book about some unimaginable event trying to find out what made a person act in such an unbelievable way. Usually I am disappointed because it is so hard for anyone to get in the head of another person whose mindset is so foreign. Fortunately Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold left journals and videos that opened up their minds.
This was an interesting insight on this classic unsolved mystery. The author was from Fall River and contributed some fascinating information on the c...moreThis was an interesting insight on this classic unsolved mystery. The author was from Fall River and contributed some fascinating information on the character of the town and its inhabitants. She also included newly released information from the inquest and I found myself even more convinced as to the perpetrator. I was a little put off by some of the first person opinion and commentary, but it didn't detract from the book.
I thought this book was the most complete of all the books I've read. At the time Bobby Greenlease was murdered, I was a 9 year old kid in a Catholic...moreI thought this book was the most complete of all the books I've read. At the time Bobby Greenlease was murdered, I was a 9 year old kid in a Catholic school in St. Louis just like Bobby, and I thought I might get kidnapped also:>) My father worked for the FBI and he worked long hours on this case.
Most books don't report the second half of this story, the disappearance of a portion of the ransom money and the suspicions surrounding Lou Shoulders who was the Sheriff at the time.
Other reviewers have commented that the book was dry and boring and I think that is partially true. The fact is that these people were really stupid and lived extremely sordid lives. There was nothing in any of them to identify with. Other books have given more information about Bobby and dealt with the crime from that point of view, but I found that this book gave me information that allowed me to put all the pieces of the things I understood and felt at the time into an adult perspective.
Actually, the case went on long after Hall and Heady were captured and that was the part I remembered best. The FBI was totally involved with wire taps of Lou Shoulders that were actually conducted in our basement on my dad's ham radio equipment. There were agents in our basement round the clock. I also remember bringing in all of our paper money and checking it with a list of serial numbers my dad had.
I have an amusing and personal recollection. At the time that Bonnie Heady was executed, we were just going out for recess at school when the lights dimmed. We all believed that they dimmed because the power was thrown to electrocute Bonnie Heady. I can remember how I felt about it at the time. It was exhilarating and yet mysterious at the same time. It was a strange experience to know the actual moment a person died and I thought a lot about it. Of course, the execution didn't make our lights dim, but then she was executed at that time, so who knows?
Ann Rule is one of the best True Crime writers around and this was one of her best. I wish she had been more able to get into the head of Gary Ridgewa...moreAnn Rule is one of the best True Crime writers around and this was one of her best. I wish she had been more able to get into the head of Gary Ridgeway, but I came away from the book feeling that no one could. He just seemed too normal. I think what was most fascinating is the reaction of his family. No one seemed to have suspected he was leading a double life and I think that is what is so frightening.
I am fascinated by True Crime books because I want to understand the mind of such predators, but I am beginning to think it is not possible. They are driven by things that are so foreign it is like trying to describe color to a blind person. Still, I think that Ann Rule is one of the best.(less)
I read this book because I was interested in the characteristics of the female sociopath. I found it fascinating and it was hard to put down. This is...moreI read this book because I was interested in the characteristics of the female sociopath. I found it fascinating and it was hard to put down. This is the story of Rob and Nancy Kissel. Rob, who was an investment banker for Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. He work and traveled all the time earning a huge salary...one that includes a $15 million bonus at times if that gives you the idea, and was rarely home, but who does seem to love his wife and children.
The fascinating one in this book is Nancy. To me it was like reading a text book description of a female sociopath and then having someone turn those traits into a person. One of the things I found interesting was her inability to see how many of her actions were totally inappropriate. In many ways, she was trying to function in a society that was from a different universe, which is exactly the problem with sociopaths. Her total lack of empathy led her to do things that were bizarre and treat her children in ways that showed that they were only things to her. She lived in a universe in which she was alone and everything and everyone were props for her pleasure. (less)
Lovely Jenn Corbin seemed to have a perfect life. She was married to a handsome and successful dentist and had two beautiful boys. She had a lovely ho...moreLovely Jenn Corbin seemed to have a perfect life. She was married to a handsome and successful dentist and had two beautiful boys. She had a lovely home and taught part time at a preschool. But there were numerous problems that she tried to conceal from her parents and sisters. Her husband was often critical and explosive and his practice was suffering because of the way he treated his staff. Jenn was miserable and she reached out to a person on the internet who seemed to be all the things that Bart was not.
Bart was also dissatisfied, but he could not let go of Jenn even though he had a mistress. Years ago, a girl he loved had broken up with him and he would not let another woman leave him. Just a few weeks before Christmas, Jenn was found dead from a gunshot wound to her head while she was lying on her bed. At first it seemed to be a suicide, but Jenn’s family said that it wasn’t possible. She loved her boys too much to leave them and especially for them to find her. Even her 7 years old son didn’t believe it and on the morning he found her, he told the neighbors that his daddy had killed his mother.
Detectives soon came to believe that the scene was staged and that Bart was acting in a very strange manner showing no concern at all about his sons. Soon they were informed that a woman Bart had been involved with in dental school, Dolly Hearn, had died in the same manner and Bart was the only suspect in that murder. Officials from both counties began talking and Dolly Hearn’s case was reopened.
One of the things I found fascinating was Bart’s personality. It was obvious that he was a sociopath. He did things that were so bizarre and didn’t seem to understand how they would appear to others. For example, he didn’t even contact his sons or make any provision for them after his wife was murdered. He refused to come to the house and pick them up, or be questioned by the police. He even went so far as to refuse to let Jenn’s family get clothing for the boys or collect the Christmas presents Jenn had bought for them. When his father-in-law took matters into his own hands and entered the home, he tried to have him charged with burglary. His incredibly suspicious actions let the police to consider him the only suspect. (less)