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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
This is a well-written true account of the Nebraska serial killer, John Joubert, who murdered three young boys in the early 1980's. The author did an excellent job of holding my interest in a morbid subject, I'll admit I'm hooked on true crime, but this is surprisingly good. Some tc books are dull dry, and boring but not this one. It's more like a fictional thriller but the sad fact is it's true. It was published in 1990, and I got on the 'net to see what happened to this innocent faced young man who harbored a horrible compulsion to mutilate children before he graduated to murder. It's been almost 20 years since he committed his gruesome crimes and I won't tell you the ending but I highly reccomend it to true crime buffs.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2013
A shattering story carefully investigated and captivating from the very beginning. I could not put it down. The skill and compassion used to present his victims and the families backgrounds brought me to tears. As a parent I lived through their desperation and emotions. His investigative techniques were so detailed you felt you were present in the time period this took place. I would recommend this book to all true crime fans.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
This reads like a New Yorker piece--well-researched and full of pathos. For true crime books details are everything. The author, as a reporter who covered the original crime and then its unfolding over time, takes us on a remarkable journey that still hasn't sorted itself out today (reporter is in lawsuit to get more information out of the state government). It's somewhat unusual for a reporter to write a book about a murder that took place so long ago. This is good news from a story-telling perspective because you can count on the fact that reporters know how to write and keep the reader's attention. A worthy addition to the library of True Crime aficionados.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2013
This book had to be written, in order to show that some people are simply irredeemable.

I felt that the author dragged some parts out, especially the hypnosis description.

I would still have liked to see Joubert have been made to pay with life in solitray confinement or at hard labor. But while I generally oppose the death penalty, I can't call it misapplied in this case, nor will I shed a tear for the condemned.

It's only been a month since the author filed suit to make Joubert's death row drawings public. I hope he prevails.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2013
This book drew me in from the beginning and never let me go. I especially liked that it was told from the reporter's perspective. I felt like I was face-to-face with the killer and an eye witness to his crimes. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. This was a horrible story told truthfully yet respectfully by Mr. Pettit. I highly recommend his book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2014
I thought this was a really good book; not too long or short. Sad but interesting. I couldn't put it down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2013
"A Need to Kill" was a very well written book by mister Mark Pettit. It kept me in suspense and disbelief yearning to read more with every turn of the page. Mr. Pettit described the story in such detail it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I am in such aw how everything was meticulously captured from the temperature in the air, clothes people were wearing, faces, atmosphere, etc. that I felt like I was present when all of this took place. John Joubert was obviously a very disturbed man but am relieved he decided to open up and share his story with the persistence of Mark Pettit. I feel what Mark Pettit has shared in this story can bring some closure to the families and people involved during these horrific crimes. My heart and prayers go out to the families who lost their boys, the siblings who lost their brother, the kids who lost their friend, and the entire towns people who will ever be changed. If you enjoy a good read I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book and share your feedback.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2014
I usually enjoy true crime accounts and thought this one might be a decent one with a sad subject. I did finish it but found it to contain excessive fluff and verbiage. Many additions of unimportant details and even people do nothing to help garner the facts of what happened. The mentioning of Profiler Ressler seems only to help validate the importance of the book and/or author. This book should have been focused less on descriptions of detectives and other law enforcement or the cold in the winter and more on the people who truly mattered. While I was glad to see the devotion of the people assigned to the cases, this book was not written as an expose on the police.
The writing itself was sophomoric. I felt the author had no basic outline of how is story should be presented. Some things were left undone. For instance, why was it continually said that Joubert had kept them for sometime but the narration does not tell us why anyone thought that Joubert had kept the boys. As the story is told there was little time spent with either child-akin to a blitz attack and gone. Why the discrepancy? The difference makes a big difference in understanding the killing and the killer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
I read this book in one setting. Fantastic writing. riveting. it will make you think twice about who to trust and reminds you of the fragility of life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2014
As a true crime buff I have read many stories over the years. I first discovered these stories through reading my father's detective mags as a kid. They gave me nightmares but I was intrigued. How can people bring themselves to commit such heinous acts against their fellow man? I thought I was weird because I liked reading them until I met other people who did also and realized this had turned into a genre. I had read about John Joubert in one of those magazines, but these stories are not in depth, so I hope to learn more about him and his victims. My favorite true crime author is Ann Rule. She's the best in my opinion. This will be my first Mark Pettit. Looking at John's photo on the cover gives me the creeps because he looks so young and innocent. That is the scary part. How normal he seems.
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