I first met Mary Neiswender during the investigation and trial of William Dale Archerd for the murder of six people by injecting them with insulin. Her daily reporting of the trial was always accurate and well written. I have followed her career ever since. This book is representative of her accuracy and integrity in reporting some of the most heinous crimes and civil misconduct committed anywhere. This country needs more investigative reporters like Mary. She would have been a great homicide investigator. She knew how to investigate, get the facts and present them succinctly. Harold W. White, Captain Retired, L.A. County Sheriffs Dept. Author of "Whitey's Career Case - The Insulin Murders"
This book takes you into a world that has all but disappeared: the world where a reporter could make a difference, when good looks and hairspray had nothing to do with whether you were hired in media. Ms. Neiswender traces the downward spiral of that world while giving you the dirt on her most famous cases, and her most notorious pen pals, including Charlie Manson. In the very conservative and male-dominated world of newspapers in the 1940s and 1950s, she was the odd one. Tramping through the Port of LA in a skirt and high heels, she wrote about corruption, gang rapes, back room deals and learned how to swear in six languages. At that point in history, her female contemporaries were writing about recipes; she was meeting FBI agents at midnight on dark street corners, to make sure no one would know who her sources were. Ms. Neiswender is truly an inspiration and does an excellent job of painting the picture of newspaper days that have all but been forgotten. At times, the book becomes a bit gruesome when describing the South Bay Killers and the Freeway Killer but it is still an excellent read and extremely fast paced. I highly recommend it.
Mary Neiswender is an old-school reporter, who walked away from daily journalism more than 30 years ago after a beef with her editors over news coverage and the lack thereof. She talks about that and much more in her recently released book entitled "Assassins... Serial Killers... Corrupt Cops... Chasing the News in a Skirt and High Heels." Part autobiography and part true crime, Neiswender's book is interesting, readable and disturbing. But it's not perfect, and it's not for everybody. If there is a primary message in the book, it is this. Evil exists in our world. It lurks outside our doors, it lives down the block, it watches our children as they frolic on the playground, and it respects no one and nothing. It takes many forms. It might be a scraggly low-life living in the shadows, a dumpy, middle-aged lady with a gun in her purse, a crime-savvy prosecutor with a trigger temper, a respected doctor with a bright smile and a dark secret, a pervert whose joy is in the screams of his victim, or even a guy in uniform driving around town in a black-and-white with flashers on the roof. If you are an opponent of capital punishment, this is a book that might change your mind.
I am a writer and I had a friend who just got published. I was at William's Book Store in Palos Verdes helping a her with her first published novel when I picked up this book. I am not from the area so I do not know anything about the writer. But the book was an eye opener. We do not realize how one dimensional our view of murders and murder are. To know reality, to read about the bad people we should be afraid of, pick up this book. Read of Buttaker, Archerd and Bonin and you will find people so distasteful, so rotten, no one would want to read about them in fiction, but everyone should know of them. If I could I would give this book more than five stars