Marrying the Hangman and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book may have moderate creases and wear from reading. Item qualifies for ** FREE ** shipping and Amazon Prime programs!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Marrying the Hangman: A True Story of Privilege, Marriage and Murder Hardcover – April 14, 1992

14 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$14.38 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1987 Diane Pikul, assistant to the publisher of Harper's magazine, was murdered in her Long Island, N.Y., summer house by her husband, Joseph Pikul, a Wall Street analyst with a penchant for cross-dressing. It's a uniquely urban tragedy, told brilliantly by Weller, who covered the trial for Ms. magazine. Diane, originally from Indiana, came to New York City in the '60s, to transform herself into a sophisticate. Managing difficult men was part of the process. When she opted for a wealthy husband she chose Pikul, and their lush lifestyle hooked her to a man she grew to hate. Weller has uncovered an amazing amount of detail. The portrait that emerges is so finely drawn that one can almost hear Diane laughing as she relates to friends the latest indignities she has suffered from her spouse. Shortly before her murder, Diane told friends that her estranged husband might kill her to get custody of their two children. The book shows how cockeyed laws allowed him that privilege while he was free on bail. He died of AIDS in 1989. Don't miss this one. Literary Guild alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In the fall of 1987, New York City was shocked by the brutal beating death of Lisa Steinberg at the hands of her adoptive father. Pushed to the back pages of the city newspapers was another murder case equally shocking, one that had implications for child custody laws. Forty-four-year-old Diane Whitmore Pikul, who had finally decided to divorce her abusive husband, had been strangled and bludgeoned to death by Joseph Pikul, a Wall Street securities analyst who saw murder as the easiest way to retain custody of his two children. Although he had been arrested wearing women's underwear (he later died of AIDS in prison) and although he expressed no remorse in confessing to Diane's murder, Pikul was allowed sole custody while he was free on bail. In this compelling book, journalist Weller, who covered the Pikul case for Ms. magazine, explores Diane's self-destructive youth, her tragic attempt to break away from Pikul, and the child custody and domestic violence issues that arose from her murder. Strongly recommended for all true crime collections. Patrons may also be interested in Rafael Yglesias's fictionalized version, The Murderer Next Door ( LJ 8/90). Literary Guild Alternate Selection.
- Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (April 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039458290X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394582900
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheila Weller is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning magazine journalist. She is the author of five previous books, most recently her 2003 family memoir, Dancing at Ciro's, which The Washington Post called "a substantial contribution to American social history." She is the senior contributing editor at Glamour, a contributor to Vanity Fair, and a former contributing editor of New York. To Learn more, visit www.girlslikeusthebook.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Ryan on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading "Marrying the Hangman" by Sheila Weller. It's the story of an attractive Julie Christie look-alike named Diane Pikul who was murdered by her husband in 1987. Joe Pikul was a financially savvy Wall Street stock analyst who dabbled in drugs and cross-dressing (and that's the least of it). Unfortunately, to Diane's detriment, he also had a terrible temper and was dangerously jealous and possessive of her. When she filed for divorce after years of abuse, Joe lost it and murdered her. The story did not get a lot of air time because the big New York City stories during that year included the Lisa Steinberg murder by her adoptive father Joel Steinberg as well as the trial of Robert Chambers for the strangulation death of Jennifer Levin in Central Park.

The first part of the book gives an overview of the lives of Diane and Joe before they met, when they married, and how they lived together afterward. The second part of the book discusses the aftermath of Diane's murder - Joe's attempt to get custody of his children along with his murder trial (where he takes the stand).

A familiar name came up while reading the book - attorney Raoul Felder worked tirelessly to stop Joe from getting custody of the children.

I loved this book. It was a fascinating study of the family dynamic. The author wrote an excellent book - absolutely no filler (the book is polished and thorough because Ms. Weller is a really good writer). Again, the old cliche, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Gisi on September 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting book. True story about a troubled man and a beautiful woman who married him. Abusive relationship. Disturbing thing is the two children they had continued to be in his care in spite of the possibility that he may have killed their mother. Granted he was the biological father but still, what if he was a danger to them. Good true story if a bit disturbing....
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Compassionata on November 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well written, factual expose into the very private lives of a NYC married couple with two young children, which involves the murder of the mother.
It is a shrink's duty to best describe the mental issues which plague these parents. This book is a true account of murder and madness within a privileged family. Following the murder, I thought the book dragged on with the details of police investigations and court proceedings, necessary to complete the story, but too detailed to maintain my interest. This is why I gave the book a 3-star rating.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Gwen Archambeault on November 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a true crime reader and this book grabbed my attention from page one. Sheila Weller writes in an easy to follow manner. I would recommend this book as it takes you through the investigation process which is what I like.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Christian Breheney on November 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Compelling story, well-written unraveling of a troubled human being.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erik Schnackenberg on March 31, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since I am in the book, I wanted to be certain that it was factual. It was, and after reading about the legal machinations and the appalling
judicial decisions, I find Diane's untimely death even more tragic.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By puddin75 on January 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting book! Great read!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again