Latest posts by ElizabethRaymond (see all)
- Top Ten Books of 2011 - January 6, 2012
- Book Report: The Voices of Serial Killers: The World’s Most Maniacal Murderers In Their Own Words - November 30, 2011
- BOOK REPORT: Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa Puffs - November 13, 2011
BOOK: The Voices of Serial Killers: The World’s Most Maniacal Murderers In Their Own Words
AUTHOR: Christopher Berry-Dee
In Christopher Berry-Dee’s third book devoted to combing the minds of some of the heinous criminals with a fine-tooth comb delivers what turned out to be, hands down, the most disturbing 300 pages of literature I’ve ever read. Parts of his expose literally made me a little sick to my stomach. This presented a dilemma in the grading of Berry-Dee’s book because despite the fact that I didn’t particularly enjoy reading The Voices of Serial Killers, it was impeccably researched and written in a way that masterfully combined hard facts with witty and humorous commentary – a difficult feat given the nature of the topic. Thus after some deliberation, I settled at what I believe to be a fair grade of B-.
The Voices of Serial Killers was written to give the average Joe an intimate look inside the minds of those who commit the unfathomable acts we cringe hearing about on the nightly news. He spent over ten years corresponding with these hardened criminals and those that knew them while simultaneously poring over every court and police document related to these cases. He leaves no detail uncovered (even when I, personally, could have done fine without some of the more gory details) and offers the prisoners an opportunity to speak for themselves in the chapters through correspondence with him – an opportunity most leapt at. The result is fascinating – even if it is a little sickening at the same time.
Voices is also a searing look at the justice system here in America and the death penalty in particular. First of all; I was unaware that every single inmate sentenced to the death penalty is REQUIRED to request an appeal of his sentencing. These appeals are not negating the guilt of the inmates. Instead, they are appealing the death penalty and litigating for life sentences. These appeals take MINIMALLY 15 years of paperwork before anyone gets their day in court; all of which is on the state’s taxpayers dime. Hence, housing an inmate for life is significantly less expensive than arguing for the death penalty. Something to think about regardless of where you personally stand on the debate.
Overall, The Voices of Serial Killers is very well written, meticulously researched and documented but a little bit hard to stomach. I would recommend it for those not easily offended.