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Terilynn: Based On The True Story of America's Youngest Serial Killer Hardcover – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Adept (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963242210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963242211
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,692,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wilton Earle was born in South Carolina. For twelve years he worked as a journalist in Latin America. Terilynn is his fifteenth book.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
There are many graphic scenes of sex, which was a bit much for me.
LRJ
I'm not saying the book was horrible, and I feel privileged to have read it for some reason, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Spud Laws
Whether it is or not, TERRILYN feels fictional, and I guess it actually doesn't make much difference.
Dan Bogaty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spud Laws on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is totally different than what I was expecting. I was expecting a true crime recollection from an actual childhood murderer. What I got was a wild, drug-influenced, sex and murder-filled wall of words. It is simply the oddest book I have ever read. I'm not saying the book was horrible, and I feel privileged to have read it for some reason, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If you happen to be actively seeking it out, then you will read it regardless.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rangerfield on February 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read Earle's previous "Final Truth" about Donald Gaskins. That book, like this one, was an interesting read, but I have the same problem with both: are we really reading true "confessions" of serial killers here, or just the jumbled fantasies of a couple of psychopaths. Gaskins claimed to have killed over 100 people, but there was little proof, just Gaskins' word, and his over-riding ambition was to make a name for himself before his execution. With this book there is less of a record than Gaskins'. Young Wager is raped and abused by her father, falls in with another abused girl who practices some sort of country bumpkin witchcraft, her gay brother and a local boy. They use drugs heavily, roll and sometimes kill randy old men and in general seem like characters out of a Dennis Cooper book. Wager personally kills several people before the end of the story, and witnesses some rather horrific torture-killing perpetrated by others (shades of Donald Gaskins' "coastal kills"?). If Earle was disgusted by Gaskins, he seems to admire Wager, despite it being obvious she is a sadist who could very well be killing to this day (the book seem to slyly suggest this possibility). But is it true? There's no public record of anything dealing with this case, and some of the incidents are rather far-fetched (a tiny 13 year old girl weilding a shotgun?). The book seems more concerned with describing underaged lesbian sex, bowel movements (or lack thereof) and torture than anything else. It has its moments: the whole "Evil Holding" motif is pretty bizarre and fascinating, but the overall effect is dubious.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bogaty on October 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
TERRILYN is an odd book.
Wilton Earle, the author, prefaces it by saying that what he did was allow Terrilyn Wager to tell her story while he shaped it into a book, and that the words are her own. He also says he did not attempt to verify any of what she says. The book is then essentially Terrilyn's memoir of her life between the ages of 12 and 18, with background material provided, by her, from age 4 or so on.
The story is that Terri grew up in a socially prominent family somewhere in western South Carolina, and was, along with her 3-year-older brother Jim, regularly and viciously sexually assaulted by their prominent-attorney father. Meanwhile their mother, a nurse, did nothing but try to patch them up after his regular weekly attacks. The attacks on Terri began when she was 4 years old.
Eventually both Terri, by then 14, and Jim became gay drug abusers who with friends Luke and Lilly, who became Terri's lover and remained so at the time the book was written when she was in her late 20s, became street hustlers who robbed their tricks and eventually and inexorably killed some of them.
And when she was still 14, Terri committed a mass murder that kept her in juvenile prison until she was 18, her lenient sentence due largely to influence on the part of her grandfather, a powerful local judge.

The book may be completely, partially or not at all true. It reads like fiction, no time frames are provided, and the location is a city called Portman Shoals, SC., described as a city of 45,000. There is no such city. And I never really understood whether "Terrilyn Wager" was the memoirist's actual name or a pseudonym.
Whether it is or not, TERRILYN feels fictional, and I guess it actually doesn't make much difference.
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