tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The Man with the Candy - The Story of the Houston Mass Murders

The Man with the Candy - The Story of the Houston Mass Murders by Jack Olsen
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Recommended for: psychologists

Oh, shit! I don't usually read these 'true crime' bks for a slew of reasons. &, now, here I am reviewing them. I'm severely disturbed by knowing about these people b/c I'm hyper-aware that they're really HERE, they're really w/ us, AND they're inside US too. I'm sickened by the people who vicariously get off on these things, who see such crimes as 'entertainment' safely viewed from a distance. There is no safe distance.

Being an introspective person, I study the psychopathology in myself - & reading about the psychopathology of someone like mass murderer & torturer Dean Corll is almost like knowing that there's a tumor in one's own brain that's eating away at everything that one values about one's self - except that, in this case, what's being eaten away is not in my personal body but in the body politic.

& Corll, like many others of his ilk, had accomplices. The back cover of the bk advertises it w/ this: "How could almost thirty teen-age boys from the same neighborhood disappear without a trace?" The parental warning "Don't take candy from strangers" might've originated w/ Dean Corll. I don't know. He wasn't the only one who used candy as a lure but he might be the only one who actually had a candymaking business.

I think my aversion to Houston probably started w/ reading this bk. I already have a low opinion of Texas as a place that produces an abnormally high percentage of deranged killers, after all, look at the president, but reading this bk made me feel like kidnapping, raping, torturing, & killing teen-age boys was little more than an average day in the average life of some average people in an average neighborhood in Houston. These particular crimes didn't happen w/o a social enviroment that supported it somehow - if only by being so sexually oppressive that for males like Corll this was the 'logical' outlet.

& what about the people who WRITE these bks? How many have a sincere drive to take a hard look at what's there that 'normals' wd rather be in denial about? I think of someone like Genesis P. Orridge as being in the category of sincere investigators (even though he hasn't written such a bk). How many write them for the money? Knowing that such 'sensational crimes' are hot items for the flip side of the very same 'normals'? The 'sickness' of alienated capitalist society (or, perhaps, any large society) is the very same 'sickness' that produces people like Corll & people like the people who surreptitiously get off on Corll at the same time that they hypocritically disavow the possibility of the potential to BE HIM w/in themselves.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1980 – Finished Reading
April 1, 2008 – Shelved
April 1, 2008 – Shelved as: crime

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