Friday, September 14, 2012
The Serial Killer Whisperer
The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley is subtitled: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers. I am on page 81 and have not found any deadly secrets unlocked, but the book is still fascinating.
A sentence on page 5 confused me. The page is titled July 23, 1992. "This was the first summer the camp had owned WaveRunners, and anything fast and exciting was a welcome respite at the conservative religuous outpost, which traced its roots to 1992." Does not seem feasible that anyone would be tracing roots, in July 1992, if the organization was formed in 1992, as the sentence suggests. And July 1992 would be the camp's first summer. Most likely a typo.
There are mentions of transients and panhandlers in the book. Joseph R. Metheny drank with two homeless men. When they fell to sleep he killed them with an axe, ",,,chopped them up, threw the pieces in the river." Metheny went to trial for the murders; found not guilty due to lack of evidence (bodies not found).
Arthur Shawcross claims to have taken transient women to his home. One he hired to do house cleaning. She stayed in a spare bedroom until the lady stole his wife's jewelry. Another he fed, had his wife bathe her while he washed her clothes. He did things like this even on nights he had raped and murdered prostitutes.
Tony and his father drove "...into a barrio of boarded-up buildings, homeless men siping from paper bags..." (Baltimore, Maryland)
"...Crystal saw Tony bring a homeless man into the grill and buy him lunch.The derelict had been panhandling outside and Tony had refused to give him cash but had invited him into the grill, when they had sat down and eaten together."
The author notes that "This book is not for the squeamish." I read a lot of true crime, murder mysteries, and psychological thrillers; I am not particularly squeamish. The book went from being fascinating to being pornographic. The serial killers seemed to think they rivaled men like Magic Johnson or Hugh Hefner in the number of females they had sex with, including the rapes and murders. They described in vulgar detail their supposed sexcaspades. Possible they did do all that, but their accounts did not have a ring of truth to them.
That may be why it took me too long to read the short book. I lost interest in reading one more serial killer's letters. If their sexploits were secrets, they were not exactly deadly. Tony did get detectives to open cold-cases ~ murders that may have been committed by Robert Hansen. Even though Tony was writing to quite a few serial killers, and others, like Susan Smith who killed her three children, the letter excerpts were focused on only a few of them.
I did not like that Tony shared intimate details of his sex with his lady love, Crystal. It is distasteful to "kiss and tell", made worse because Tony was disrespecting Crystal by sharing this with perverted, sexual predators. I think the subtitle of this book overstated what the book reveals. Muddled through to the end.