Blake Publishing (2003), 349 pages
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Talking With Serial Killers: The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories recounts the author’s interviews with a number of (mostly American) serial killers. This is a grim book which, even for a crime book, is difficult reading. The sadism and brutal violence of the psychopaths covered in the book, especially against children, is hard to comprehend. In the US cases it appears that the poor detective work of the American police often allows killers free to commit multiple crimes.
Despite the author’s understandable suspicion of his interviewee’s statements he falls for Aileen Wuornos’s version of events when she describes her killing spree. Wuornos claims that her seven victims tried to rape her before she killed them. Apart from her first victim (who was a convicted rapist) there is no evidence (apart from Wurnos’s own statements) that there were any rape attempts. Berry-Dee isn’t the first person to fall for Wurnos’s tales. Documentary maker Nick Broomfield in his documentary Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer also chose to believe Wurnos’s version of events. Perhaps it is Wuornos’s rarity as a female serial killer that engenders such sympathy.
Talking With Serial Killers is such a dispiriting read for the brutality of the crimes, the arrogance and self-serving narcissism of the perpetrators, and the missed opportunities to prevent some of the murders. These factors make it difficult to recommend this book except to those not prone to nightmares.