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Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives Paperback – April 20, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470442524 ISBN-10: 0470442522 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470442522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470442524
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,462,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her exhaustively researched account of the Scott Peterson trial and similar cases, journalist Strong (A Bright Red Scream) makes a convincing case that there is a growing number of men—whom she calls eraser killers—who murder their wives or girlfriends with premeditation and dispose of the body in an attempt to make both the crime and the victim disappear. They kill, says Strong, because the woman no longer serves any 'purpose' in the man's emotionally desolate world, or because he sees her as an obstacle to a life he fantasizes for himself. Strong traces the phenomenon back to the 1906 case of Chester Gillette, convicted for murdering his pregnant mistress and the model for Dreiser's An American Tragedy. Between the Gillette and Peterson cases is a series of gruesome murders that Strong contends were committed by husbands who then staged kidnappings or robberies to disguise the murder or simply stashed the bodies so well that they are never found. Her accounts of various eraser killings around the country are compelling, but none more so than her meticulously detailed examination of Laci Peterson's murder. With its blend of novelistic journalism and concise psychiatric research, Strong's exposé will appeal to more than just true crime fans. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

The notorious Scott Peterson (also limned in E Lee Bailey's When the Husband Is the Suspect, reviewed in this issue), tabloid-trumpeted convicted murderer of wife Laci, provides the launching point for Strong's study of what she designates "eraser killing, a form of intimate partner (or domestic) homicide ... committed almost exclusively by men." In eraser killing, the dirty deed is undertaken in such a manner as "to leave behind as little evidence as possible." After laying out the parameters of this sort of homicide, Strong delves into specific cases, from the 1906 case of Chester Gillette, who did in his pregnant mistress, to recent examples. In an urgent style similar to Ann Rule's later writings and Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice TV series, Strong recounts sad story after sad story of heinous male motivations and their effects. Strong on detail, atmospherics, and, without overdoing it, moralistic tut-tutting, she also delivers the gore in a tantalizing manner that true-crime devotees may consider the book's real pay dirt.--Mike Tribby, Booklist. March 1st, 2008

Customer Reviews

I love true crime and this was a very well-written book.
Kelly Burgess
I finally understand why my ex-husband acted the way he did and how he was able to screw everyone who ever cared for him without remorse.
Bonnie Jo Davis
The case studies were described clearly, every one of them very well researched.
Jayltee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Laura James on June 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am really surprised by the review below that criticizes the prose in this book. I thought it of high quality and unobtrusive. Adjectives have not been eliminated from the language, and they were not inappropriately overused in this book. Curious.

Does the true crime genre really need a fifteenth book about the Scott and Laci Peterson case? One could reasonably conclude that the question answers itself. Then I read Erased.

Unlike the fourteen titles that preceded it -- including books by the jurors, the journalists, Laci's mother, Scott's sister and lover -- the latest title to delve into the most widely publicized U.S. case since OJ's acquittal stands alone. Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives [Amazon; B&N] by Marilee Strong (with Mark Powelson) is very well informed by history and psychology. The lead author has delved to the nth degree into the criminal history of the United States, and the result is a unique study of a certain type of uxorcide. I couldn't skim or skip a page of this book, which marries, if you will, two of my favorite subgenres: spousal murder stories and criminal psychology.

In developing a profile of what she terms "eraser" killers, the author recounts many cases that have remarkable parallels to the Peterson case, highlighting dozens already familiar to some of us: Chester Gillette, Carlyle Harris, Reverend Richeson, Robert Blake, Mark Hacking, Bartin Corbin, Michael Peterson, Father Hans Schmidt, and numerous other more obscure murders. In developing her profile, she comes to some strong conclusions while offering a depth of research to support them. For example, she points to the fact that Scott Peterson reported his wife missing on Christmas Eve. I had assumed that he was a psychopath who gave himself a Christmas present.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Jo Davis VINE VOICE on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book really hit home for me and I stayed awake all night to the point of exhaustion to finish it. I came very close, twice, to being a missing or murdered wife. My ex-husband finally served some jail time after kidnapping and attempting to murder me but when we were married the police acted as though my being beaten by him was a "domestic disturbance" and they refused to file a report.

I finally understand why my ex-husband acted the way he did and how he was able to screw everyone who ever cared for him without remorse.

This book should be required reading for every cop around the world and for every prosecuter who wants a better understanding of the "charming sociopath".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Deaton on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't read it before you try to go to sleep...a horrifying revelation of the truth behind those psychopathic charmers who woo vulnerable women. For anyone who has been caught in a relationship based on lies and manipulation, and for those who see their loved ones going down this path, ERASED is a MUST READ...Relationship therapists...don't miss this book...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Mackey on January 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written & detailed book, interesting insight on narcissistic & psychopathic personalities & the women they abuse. Gives you key points to look for in that type personality. Very detailed profiles on different individuals, especially Scott Peterson. Will read again.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Strong believes she has found a new category of killers. That is not to suggest that eraser killers, like serial killers, another category lately described, didn't exist previously. Just that she can now find a pattern and has labeled it.

Eraser killers are men who want women gone from their lives. Erased, vanished, no longer a bother. Frequently, these wives or girlfriends are pregnant. "Recent studies from several states...have found homicide to be the number one cause of death among pregnant women and that women continue to be at increased risk for being murdered for usp to a year after giving birth...A 2005 study...found homicide to be the second leading cause of ...dead...behind in pregnant and postpartum women, being motor vehicle accidents" (p 28).

Essentially, as in the famous case of Scott Peterson, these men created forced abortions.

The cases are fascinating. And certainly the utter callousness of the men astonishes. Edward Kakas was "obsessed over his appearance, waring $1,000 suits" (p 154) and pleased with his pretty wife until she insisted, without his agreement, on getting pregnant and having the baby. He started to refer to her as "'the fat wop'". (p 155). He could have divorced her. But that would have meant money for her and the child. So, instead, he killed her.

Interesting but scary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A_News_Junkie on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book back in March, and it is a fascinating look into the mind and traits of the killer who premeditates and executes a self serving plot to erase someone from their life.
I won't re-write all the wonderful reviews listed below, but I will add that two cases come to mind that are not included in this book.

The first, is the death of Kari Baker, by Matt Baker - the Texas Pastor. Thank goodness a Texas jury saw this man of the cloth for what he was not; and more importantly for what he was - a cold heart-ed murderer! RIP Kari Baker. In the words of your mother, Linda Dulin - "Love trumps Evil"

The second case, is that the 'murder' of Caylee Anthony. While a deviation of the profile described, it fits the profile as well.

I would highly recommend all women, law enforcement and all in the legal profession to read this book.
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