The serial killer letters : a penetrating look inside the minds of murderers

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 2 copies
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Nonfiction 364.15 SE
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  364.15 SE
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
For over three years Jennifer Furio, a young mother of two and a Sunday School teacher from Bellingham, Washington, corresponded with some of the most infamous serial killers of our time. While Furio did not intend to write a book when she first started writing to over 50 incarcerated and convicted killers, the responses she received from them were so fascinating and illuminating, she realized that she could not keep them to herself. She saw that these highly candid first-hand accounts revealed more about the inner workings of the minds of these criminals than anything she could say herself. Without question the first book about serial killers that is written by serial killers, this volume offers an entirely unique perspective on this most complex criminal and gives us a rare and intimate look into the minds of men responsible for some of the most heinous serial killings in recent history. This is the first time material of this kind has ever been made available. Each chapter, one for each killer, begins with a brief background and then the letters Furio received are transcribed and reproduced, exactly as they were written--unedited and uncensored. Admittedly, some of this is very chilling and disturbing reading. There are detailed descriptions of the atrocious crimes they committed (or vehemently claim they didn't commit), the depraved and sad lives they lived, their childhoods, their wives, their victims, their sexual preferences. Also included are many rare, never-before-seen crime scene and family photographs, artwork, reproductions of many of the actual letters and poems and other interesting documents. The book includes letters from Randall Woodfield, aka the I-5 killer, Robin Gecht and Edward Spreitzer of the Chicago Rippers, the prophetically named David Gore, Henry Lee Lucas, Harvy Carignan, Lawrence Bittaker, Roy Norris, Harrison T. Graham of Philadelphia, Jeff Libby, Douglas Clark and Bill Suff. The first book to provide case studies of this kind of criminal in the form of personal letters, The Serial Killer Letters is a major and pioneering addition to the psychological literature on serial killers and their crimes. By offering the actual words of the killers themselves, this book offers readers the opportunity to come to their own conclusions about what kind of people these men really are, what makes them tick and what turned them into human killing machines in the first place. In addition to true crime buffs, a wide variety of disciplines and professionals, including psychologists, criminologists, profilers, forensic psychologists, police and corrections personnel, will be grateful to have this unique opportunity to get an inside look at these most complex individuals.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Understanding prolific murderers is a hot topic these days, hence the many recent books about the criminal profilers striving to apprehend them. Furio contacted more than 50 convicted murderers, most of them serial killers, and asked, "If you are guilty, why did you do it, and if you're innocent, why are you in prison?" These are the stories, verbatim, that they gave her. Henry Lee Lucas, inspiration for the cult movie Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), is the big name here, but gore mavens may remember such others as "Chicago Ripper" murders participant Edward Speitzer, and Randall Woodfield, the "I-5 Killer," who, Furio reports, "doesn't seem to hate women--that is, with the exception of true-crime author Ann Rule, who [wrote a] book about him." Sadly, Angelo Buono, the convicted "Hillside Strangler," declined to participate, but Furio does thoughtfully include his third-party letter of declination. First-rate ooky stuff with just the right biographical leavening, Furio's effort should thrill true-crime fans--except, perhaps, Ann Rule. --Mike Tribby"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Serial murderers -- United States -- Correspondence.
Serial murderers -- United States -- Psychology -- Case studies.
Serial murderers -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher Philadelphia, PA :Charles Press,1998
Contributors Furio, Jennifer.
Language English
Description xii, 307 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBN 091478384X (alk. paper)
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