RJ Parker Publishing; First Annual edition (December 15, 2013)
Print: $10.86 (pre-order) $14.99 (regular price), eBook $5.97
Reviewed by Kat Yares
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a fascination with serial killers. My home shelves are full of books of both real life and fictional killers who send chills up the spine, and I still remember when it finally dawned on me that the next one I read could be the guy next door. So when I was asked to read Serial Killers True Crime Anthology 2014, there was simply no way I could say no.
Inside the covers of this anthology, you won’t find the well known names of serial killer history. No Ted Bundy, no H.H. Holmes or Jack the Ripper, instead you’ll find the true stories of many lesser publicized deviants that took their pleasure from the rapes, mutilations, tortures and deaths of their many victims.
The anthology has case histories presented by five of the top true crime writers available today and they cover killers as diverse as 11 year old Mary Bell to the Bloody Benders of the Old West, and give the real low-down on Elizabeth Bathory, who is often depicted as a vampire or blood drinker in many books.
All five writers bring new information to the table. All case histories are well researched and documented. RJ Parker, along with Peter Vronsky, Dane Ladwig, Sylvia Perrini and Michael Newton present the biographies of these killers will make you feel as if you actually knew them as ‘that’ guy (or gal as the case might be) next door.
Within these pages, you’ll be presented with the stories of Timothy Wayne McBride, Frank Spisak, Robert Pinkton, Mary Bell, the Bloody Benders, Manuel Pardo, Jr., Anthony Sowell, Martha Hasel Wise and Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bathory. All vicious and bloody killers that will keep you up at night, wondering why this type of human exists.
Whether you normally read introductions or prologues in books, I highly recommend that you don’t skip over either of these in the book. The intro will tell you exactly what you are getting into further along in the pages. The Prologue, subtitled: Serial Killer Zombie Apocalypse and the Dawn of the Less Dead – An introduction to Sexual Serial Murder Today written by Peter Vronsky is a superbly fascinating read by one of the foremost experts in the field. The Prologue itself is novella length and in my opinion one of the best essays on the subject I have come accross in all my years of reading.
Please be aware that this book does contain some very graphic photographs of crime scenes, so you will need a strong stomach to view some of the pictures.
For those who love true crime, for those that are intrigued by the serial killer mind – this is a must have book. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And as you read the stories, you will find yourself associating a number of the killers with their fictional counter-parts as I did, especially the Bloody Benders (written by Dan Ladwig) and the Michael McDowell 1982 fiction book Katie, which is one of my favorites and is still on my shelf.
As this is planned as an annual anthology, I can’t wait until next year’s volume.