Better by far than Mop Men (see last review), and with plenty of interesting details. Neal Smither, the subject of Mop Men, is a far more interestingBetter by far than Mop Men (see last review), and with plenty of interesting details. Neal Smither, the subject of Mop Men, is a far more interesting character than the guys profiled in Aftermath, but this is the better book....more
The subject of this book is Neal Smither, founder and owner of Crime Scene Cleaners in San Francisco. Neal is a hell of an interesting guy, and I've fThe subject of this book is Neal Smither, founder and owner of Crime Scene Cleaners in San Francisco. Neal is a hell of an interesting guy, and I've followed his career since his years-ago appearance on Dave Attell's "Insomniac."
However, the book was written by a prissy, whiny, bitchy sop of an Englishman, who spent far too much time philosophizing about death, wondering if he's a bad person for his choice of subject matter, and inexplicably devoting five chapters (including dull court transcripts) on the criminal case of one of Neal's more disgusting crime scene cleanup jobs. Who the fuck cares? I wanted to read about crime scene cleanup. A further four chapters, in a row, the writer talks about the things he did in San Francisco while Neal's business was slow. Again, could not give a fuck.
Neal Smither himself told me (and others that I've noticed) that he "hated that motherfucker. Fuck 'em" (referring to the writer, Alan Emmins. That at least is a nice coda for what should have been a far better book....more
If this had been a fiction book, I'd have scoffed at its premise. But truth is always stranger: Ann Rule, fledgling true crime writer, is given a contIf this had been a fiction book, I'd have scoffed at its premise. But truth is always stranger: Ann Rule, fledgling true crime writer, is given a contract to write a book about the spate of disappearances and murders of young women in the Seattle-Tacoma area in the mid-1970s, only to discover that the man arrested and suspected of many more murders in other states is her friend and former co-worker Ted Bundy. What a coup! Ann was uniquely placed for her role; she was a former policewoman with many contacts in law enforcement. She continued a long correspondence with Bundy while he was imprisoned, and spoke to him on the phone numerous times over the years, even maintaining doubt as to his guilt until his trial in Miami for the Chi Omega sorority house murders in Tallahassee.
Bundy himself is well-known as the "charming" serial killer, good-looking, active in Republican politics (that's always been good for a laff), a law student. In the end, though, he was as cowardly as any man faced with his own death: Bundy refused to admit guilt for his crimes until days before his execution, and at the same time granted an audience to James Dobson (then Reagan's "porn czar") to blame his crimes on an early exposure to pornography, something that evangelical Christians cling to even today. James Dobson is not the smartest motherfucker to walk the earth, and Bundy figured this combination of confession and blame on a hot-button topic might save his ass. It did not. Florida's governor Bob Martinez was not interested in hearing details of where undiscovered victims may lie, deaths that weren't known about, etc. and Ted Bundy fried in Florida's electric chair at 7 a.m. on January 24, 1989. No one knew who the hooded executioner was, but a glimpse of long, curled lashes behind the eyes of the mask led to rumors that it was a woman....more