Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Killer Book of True Crime by Tom Philbin and Michael Philbin

I picked up The Killer Book of True Crime after dinner, thinking to just flip through some of the stories to get an idea of what I could look forward to, before going back to some other books that I was supposed to read first. But as soon as I picked it up I literally could not put it down. I kept thinking, after every story, that I should go back to my other books, and then I kept thinking, "No, one more, one more! Let me finish one more story first!" It went on that way until I finally finished reading it.

At the back of the book, it says, "Hours of Nail-Biting True Crime" and then describes what they have to offer inside the book, namely lots of trivia, quotes, photos, and detailed stories about some of the most prolific crimes in history. Then, at the bottom of the page, it says also that, "These and many more shocking tales and tidbits will have you double-checking your locks at night!" Now that I've safely finished reading The Killer Book, I read those words and I have to laugh ruefully at myself, but for the two nights I was reading it, it wasn't funny at all, I can tell you.

I was a nervous wreck, jumping every time a board creaked or a door slammed. I even declined a dinner invitation with some friends because going would mean that I would have to drive home alone in my car. And yet, while I did double-check that I locked all my doors and windows, I did not bite my nails. So there.

This isn't a book of horror stories. There are no vampires, zombies, or werewolves. This is a book about true crime, and the evil capabilities of man, and that is a much more terrible horror than tales about vampires and witchcraft. You will read about serial murderers like John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, and about their backgrounds and what motivated them. You will read about mob killings, rapes, terrorism, cannibalism, stalkers, female killers, and even children who are killers. There are also stories and trivia about celebrity crime and murders, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, details about Marilyn Monroe's death and the death of O.J. Simpson's wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

The Killer Book of True Crime is terrifying to read, but the details are very real, and it provides a valuable inside look at crimes and the minds of criminals. Tom Philbin and his brother Michael Philbin have done a great job in compiling all the data and arranging them into anecdotes that are easy and interesting to read. If you are a true crime and mystery fan, The Killer Book of True Crime is a must-read for you.


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