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Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids Paperback – June 11, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Informative, provocative, and challenging...this book is a must-read for those interested in criminal psychology and issues of domestic violence."
KIRKUS REVIEWS

“The topic is crucial, the research exceptional, the conclusions intriguing, and the writing first-class. Killer Dads will haunt you long after you put it down.”
–MIKE PEARL, former police and courts reporter for the New York Post
 
“A moving and insightful look at a horrifying crime wave in which the weakest are victimized by those they love and trust. Not only does Papenfuss investigate critical cases, she puts them in a social context and makes sense of apparently senseless acts. Her writing is brilliant and clear, and the book is a real page-turner.”
–HANNAH BROWN, author of If I Could Tell You
 
“A chilling but important book that is distinguished by impeccable reporting and clear writing. Readers will especially appreciate the exploration of solutions to prevent any family’s worst nightmare.”
–GERALDINE BAUM, former New York Bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times
 
“Papenfuss stares down gut-wrenching crimes we too often turn away from to find compelling tales of love and loss, and the motivations that fuel our most inexplicable homicides.”
–MURRAY WEISS, columnist, DNAInfo.com New York, author of The Man Who Warned America

About the Author

Mary Papenfuss has been a journalist for over thirty years. She is the author of Climb against the Odds and has worked as a reporter and editor for many publications and news services, including the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Associated Press in San Francisco, People magazine’s London bureau, and Salon. Currently, she is an editor at KCET Link TV (www.kcetlink.org).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616147431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616147433
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Papenfuss is a veteran journalist who has worked as a reporter or editor for the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Associated Press in San Francisco, People magazine's London bureau, and Salon. Currently, she is an editor at KCET Link TV. She covered the murder trial of Modesto salesman Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci, for the New York Daily News.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alfiebb on July 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was familiar with Mary Papenfuss's newspaper coverage of the Scott Peterson trial in California, so I was interested to read the book that triggered her interest in family massacres. I expected "Killer Dads" to be compelling because Papenfuss is a talented writer and a dogged journalist. I was not disappointed. The book is the first page-turner I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. I also expected it to be sad, gory and difficult to read in parts, yet it was none of these. Even the tragedy inherent in such a subject is handled with aplomb and in a manner that is neither sensational nor exploitative. Papenfuss is respectful of the victims, even as she unspools their stories gripping detail. She also tells us the story behind the story, examining the evolutionary roots of domestic violence. The opening is particularly riveting, but I won't give any hints.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jill Fugaro on July 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary Papenfuss profiles 5 different dads who annihilate their families and correlates these true cases with studies by anthropologists to try to discern what the cause is of this behavior. I don't usually like true crime and stories that haunt me, but I could not put this book down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane Furse on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
While most of us would prefer to look the other way, "Killer Dads" author Mary Papenfuss has turned her reportorial lens on the "twisted drives that compel fathers to murder their own kids." The book chronicles the unspeakable, and heretofore incomprehensible, crimes from the perspective of survivors, psychologists, anthropologists, and the killers themselves. With sensitivity and compassion, the author recounts tragedies both obscure and familiar, including the case of Scott Peterson, the California fertilizer salesman who murdered his wife, Laci, and unborn son Conner. Papenfuss, who covered the Peterson trial for the New York Daily News, helps us see these crimes in a social, biological and cultural context. While it arouses little sympathy for the perpetrators, this book helps makes sense of their seemingly unnatural compulsion. Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MaryAnn on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book gets your attention and holds it. If you are interested in reading this type of material, this book is for you. It draws you in and keeps you interested page after page. It breaks my heart the way their father treated them and the abuse they endured.

If you are looking for true stories of complete courage and perseverance in the constant face of danger and defeat, this is THE one to read. Through it all, you will find yourself transformed - encouraged to look at the world differently - realizing you never are aware of someone's story, and discovering that things shouldn't always be taken at face value.

The story is so well written by Mary Papenfuss. This is definitely a 5-star read.
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By Amazon Customer on September 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not finished this book yet. It is becoming a bit of a drudge going through all the, at times, meaningless statistics. My feeling towards the book is that the author has tried to put too much information into one book. She goes into depth into some cases, then touches lightly on others. This I find can be very distracting. I understand that the author is trying to explain what compels fathers to murder their own. The message is getting lost by constantly deviating from one statistic after another then going back to the story. For me, I just don't think this is very well written. The book is not holding my attention and I probably won't finish it.
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