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Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada's Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984
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Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada's Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Like the mythic cities of Gotham or Gomorrah, London, Ontario was for many years an unrivalled breeding ground of depravity and villainy, the difference being that its monsters were all too real.

In its coming to inherit the unwanted distinction of being the serial killer capital of not just Canada—but apparently also the world during this dark age in the city’s sordid
Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Published June 8th 2015 by FriesenPress (first published June 5th 2015)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Steven Buechler
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984 by Michael Arntfield shows a complex and ugly side to the supposed veneer that is London, Ontario, Canada. Arntfield has researched and detailed a difficult topic, giving it exposure for further consideration and discussion, like a good book should.
Nikki Stafford
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
It's pretty shocking to discover there's a book out there that declares the quiet conservative city you live in was at one time the serial killer capital of Canada — even more shocking when the author suggests in the opening that if three unsolved cases had actually been solved, it would have proved it was the serial killer capital of the world. Of course I had to read this book.

For a self-published book, this was far better written than I suspected it would be — while it still had the
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5. A review I read in the Guardian made it seem that there'd be more sociological analysis on the subject of London's "averageness" and how that relates to the high incidence of serial killers in the city. That analysis was limited to a short chapter at the end, and was sort of thin (yet provocative).

Otherwise, I had some issues with the writing (repeated references to "grizzly" murders, e.g), and it would have been easier to follow if the stories were organized by cluster of similar murders
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2017
*Quickie Review*


• Author was full of himself
• Neat to learn about my current hometown
• Author romanticized everything
• I love true crime
• Author tried to turn innocent people's death into some sort of poetry
• I'm proud of myself for finishing this
• Sometimes the curtains don't symbolize anything. Sometimes they're just blue
John Allore
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've not read a true crime book this compelling since Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me or Robert Ressler's Whoever Fights Monsters. Scholarly and fact-based, beat-cop turned criminologist Michael Arntfield tightly tells the story of the generic, unnoteworthy town of London, Ontario which through the decades became to be know as Canada's serial killer capital. The similarities to Kim Rossmo's work - the Vancouver police officer whose ground breaking work in geographic profiling eventually lead ...more
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is obvious that a great deal of effort and dedication went into the writing of this book. Dennis Alsop left a treasure trove of information and it ended up in the right hands. Michael Arntfield wove the crimes together in a cohesive and riveting true tale laced with facts and explanations. There were so many crimes that it was, at times difficult to keep all of the victims' stories straight. Arntfield tied the various crimes together and reminded the reader of who was who without ever being ...more
David Cowen
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great Read & well researched book. Unfortunately the Author or Publisher didn't do a great job editing it. The Author comes to some ridiculous conclusions & strays from the facts & research at times & writes his feelings or gives credit to Police and isn't nearly as critical of the practices & miss steps. Check that. He doesn't put Police and Coroners on "Blast" Also missing was a deeper understanding of the failure of our Courts & Laws. Some of his conclusions are dead ...more
Sean Kottke
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This is a fascinating mix of true crime reportage and academic prose from the field of criminology that illuminates a truly frightening period in Ontario history. I picked it up on a trip to London at the end of September, and have sipped on it ever since. There are a lot of solved and unsolved murders to sift through here, and here's a great hook from CBC. As a child of the 70's, growing up with child abduction and murder paranoia (fed by real headlines, urban legends and school films like ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this book rather quickly, because the more I read, the more depressed I became. The litany of women and children horribly murdered, with the majority of crimes unsolved (and it appears no one really tried to solve them, except for one detective). is terrible to consider. In very few instances is anyone held accountable for these crimes. Those who were eventually considered or found responsible had in many cases already committed horrendous crimes, served minimal sentences, then been ...more
Karen Nygard
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was particularly fascinating to me as I grew up in that time and one of my high school chums was one of the victims. As this is written by a criminology expert, the first couple of chapters have some thick language explaining the various paraphilias of serial killers, but once you are into the chapters on the crimes themselves, it is a chilling read, especially for those of us who grew up in this area oblivious to how dangerous it was.

It is especially educational for the reverberations
Mark Thurston
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I just finished this book an was surprised on how it held my attention. First a disclaimer. I currently live in London (though didn't during the book's focus period) so can relate to the setting. The style is reminiscent of a history text book which is not surprising since the author is a university prof. What I really found interesting is the failure of the provincial and city police to collaborate and exchange notes in petty jurisdictional squabbles which resulted in these crimes going ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extremely creepy.. as I was visiting my Aunt for the summer (who lived in Toronto) at this very same time period!!
But also loaded with many interesting facts and good information for those who study these themes.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Using this for a project working on. Gave great information on London, Ontario.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Written too much like a text book.
Robin Hicks
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very detailed

The things these people where subjected to are just sad. But we must remember that without technology, the only tools left are common sense.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Sensational storytelling about the serial killers spawned in my hometown of London Ontario. The author seems like a bit of a dick and I didn't really buy his reasons that London became a serial killer oasis because of the highways and its stature as a conservative "average" city, but I still found it interesting enough to want to read more. One of the first murders mentioned took place on my elementary school playground, so I found it intriguing for more personal reasons.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a good book,but the author needs to remember it's a book and not a college lecture in some parts of the book. Very interesting and informative, good portrayal of the people involved in the crimes and the ones who investigated. I'm not convinced however that the evidence presented backs up the claim of "serial killer capitol of Canada" I'd highly recommend this book though for true crime fans.
Darlene Tapp
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a born-and-bred Londoner, this book really opened my eyes to the city's dark and secretive criminal past. It was surreal reading about places I grew up surrounded by, astounding learning things I had no idea about, and haunting reading about the many victims. It was disturbing and fascinating at once, a book I couldn't put down and read in less than two days!
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm of two opinions, living in London I was of course interested in reading this. There is a lot of information in this book and cases I had never heard of. I found myself skipping a lot of dry, physchological info on the different types of physchopaths, sociopaths, etc. that contribute to the makeup of a serial killer.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kobo-ebooks
My new Fav Author! Great read fast paced, Keeps you guessing J. Robert Kennedy
Kate Linck
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a fascinating read, to be sure. I found it to be slightly hard to follow at times as the murders go in chronological order, not by similar cases. Other than that, it was absolutely a great read, especially for a native Londoner like myself. Would definitely recommend.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Born and raised in London and no idea of the city's dark criminal past
Could not put the book down, it was fascinating, shocking and creepy as I knew all the locations mentioned. Definitely an eye opener on many levels!!
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
fantastic book!!
Kayla Vanstone
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well-written, frightening (maybe a bit dramatic), and very informative, not only on the state of London, Ontario between 1959-1984, but also on the killers and their mindsets.
Rene Natan
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
London, Ontario, Canada's serial killer capital? Sure?

Yes, read to believe!

A very interesting and extremely well documented chronicle of 25 years of murders!
Sharon Scrimshaw
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well worth the read. I had a hard time putting it down. I remember a lot of what is written in the book.
Madison Donaghy
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2019
John Davidson
rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2016
Maryann Taylor
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2018
Danielle Audette
rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2019
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