Best New True Crime Stories: Serial Killers by Mitzi Szereto (ed.)
No matter how acclaimed a serial killer film or book may be, it will never capture the gravity, the scope or devastation of real life events.
Mitzi Szereto collates a number of case studies in her new book The Best New True Crime Stories: Serial Killers. It brings into focus a number of well known names, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Fred and Rosemary West. You may think you know about these monsters, but here we are presented with new information and differing viewpoints. Interestingly, there are also studies of killers the public will be less aware of.
The book is well written, including in depth research and thoughtful prose. Many of the contributors have direct links to the crimes, which adds a unique spin. While entertaining, the stories are never sensationalist and pay proper homage to the victims.
What is striking about these stories is not just the crimes themselves or the perpetrators. Most of the killers are vain and insecure. They are uneducated and flawed, and yet they went on to commit strings of hideous murders. The question is - How did they continue their sprees for so long? The answer appears to be the slow and laboured judicial system they are operating in.
In many of the historical cases covered in this book, it is understandable that rudimentary policing should fall short. But in the 1970's and 80's? Another killer studied in the book is prolific serial killer Harold Shipman. It seems staggering he killed as many as two hundred and fifty people in the early 2000's.
What the book discusses is not only why these people kill, but also how they got away with it. For me, this was the most frightening aspect of the book.
For anyone interested in serial killers, The Best New Crime Stories: Serial Killers is a must read. It available worldwide on Amazon, but in the UK, you can buy it here. In the US, you can buy it here.