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'Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage, and the Mind of the Killer Spouse Paperback – February 20, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (February 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743275098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743275095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Capitalizing on America's fascination with spousal murder, psychotherapist Ludwig details 10 "motivations and triggers," and uses real-life examples (some more famous than others) to illustrate her theories about why husbands and wives off one another. And after a slow first chapter on the history of marriage ("Why Marry?"), it's off to the homicidal races. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the murder profile's hallmarks before delving into case studies, the first of which details a woman running over her cheating husband. That Ludwig loads her book with profiles of seemingly ordinary marriages gone violently wrong lends credence to her insistence that "most of us, whether we admit it or not, sometimes have violent, even homicidal thoughts toward our spouse." Her case studies stick to the facts and don't dwell on or sensationalize the crimes, which are told in a straightforward fashion uncommon in true crime books. An intelligent and timely book, this will please true crime readers as much as those interested in psychology.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Straightforward...intelligent and timely.... Her case studies stick to the facts and don't dwell on or sensationalize the crimes."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Till Death Do Us Part is an invaluable resource. It offers an expert's analysis of the psychological factors that oftentimes coalesce and are expressed violently."
-- Robert K. Tanenbaum, former homicide bureau chief for the Manhattan DA's office and New York Times bestselling author of Counterplay

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Customer Reviews

Both were well researched.
Rachel Davidson
And Laci told Scott to grow up, and he wouldn't, and that's why he killed?
John
I get the same feeling from reading this book.
Josh K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are a True Crime fan, then you MAY want to buy this book but you should know something about what this book contains first, as well as the fact that the title is a bit misleading. This book isn't ONLY about the Mind of the Killer Spouse but a look at the pros and cons of love and marriage as well. If you are looking only for True Crime stories, you'll have to read a lot of theory and research along the way, much of it about marriage and why people get married, etc.
The first chapter is particularly heavy on the marriage research aspect of things, including a section about why people marry in the first place,along with such depressing details as the fact that a huge percentage of men and women (even those without murder in their hearts) are unfaithful. You have to get through that before you really start to get to specific cases of spousal murder. It is pretty dry stuff, unless you are MOSTLY interested in research about marriage.
If that doesn't dissuade you and you are willing to read about various theories in between the accounts of the various crimes, this might be worth a browse for you. But some of these cases HAVE been covered in detail before, including the one of Pamela Smart, a media services worker at school who got her much younger 15 year old lover to agree to be a hit man and murder her husband.
If you are a true crime reader, you may already be familiar with this case and others in the book. I think the Pamela Smart case was actually covered much better in the book To Die For (although it is a fictionalized version of the case) as well as the movie by the same name (starring Nicole Kidman in a tour de force performance).
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By True Crime Buff on November 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was given this book as a gift from my son, who knows of my interest in the subject. I read the entire book (it's a quick read!) while I was waiting to have my car serviced. One of the reviewers on this site said "I've read better." No kidding. I didn't realize what a good writer Ann Rule is until I read THIS book! Robi Ludwig should stick to looking cute on TV while giving her fluffy opinion of what makes the criminal mind work. That works better for her than actually putting those opinions down on paper. Even a ghost writer couldn't make her sound educated or literate.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By carolsbooks on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I did buy this book a while back at Barnes and Noble. It is perfect for those who read at lower than 8th grade level, but for the rest of us, it's an insult. I wish I could sell it back. I found it extremely shallow and not very well proof-read. I started recording the errors after coming across several before page 70. Now, you might think that a few grammatical errors in the first 70 pages is not too much and I guess it wouldn't be if the errors had not been so easy to catch. So anyway, I started recording them after page 70 and on page 75, halfway down, there reads, "A sociopath is someone who habitually and disobeys social norms and fails to learn..." What's with that? "...someone who habitually AND disobeys..."??? The "and" is out of place. On page 74, did they mean to say "...was sentenced to sixty years TO life in prison."? One last one, page 153, 2nd paragraph, "Susan's sister testified that she had intervened during one of the couple's ARGUMENT,..." I think it should be "...one of the couple's ARGUMENTS." With an "s" at the end. Shouldn't it?

So anyway, those are just a few of the ones I picked out. They wouldn't have been so bad had the book not been so shallow.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Linda PA on April 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If youd like a really good book on this subject read Gail SaltzMD new book "Anatomy Of A Secret Life; The Psychology of Living A Lie". Dr Saltz is a regular on the Today Show and many other shows. Having read both books Dr Saltz book is by far a better book, more researched, better written and has much more interesting information.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rena Silver on April 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Because I'm a regular viewer of Larry King Live, I have enormous respect for Dr. Robi Ludwig.

On CNN, I have found her insightful and well-informed.

But this book is not well-written.

In addition, her deeper insights are clouded by junior-high-type-stereotyping and superficial assumptions.

With this book, Ludwig has misrepresented her intellect.

Nevertheless, the book contains important information. I found it fascinating and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I

finished it.

Ludwig should get a better editor and re-issue the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Penny Duff on May 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I thought this would be an interesting and insightful book. Instead, I found a group of very familiar cases wrapped up in junk psychology. The author claims a PhD, but I'm not sure what in. Certainly not forensic psychology. Too many of her conclusions and explanations are based on outdated and discredited assumptions (e.g., homosexuality is rooted in strong mothers and weak fathers--increasingly eclipsed by genetic information), rather than solid research. The average person on the street could produce the same quality in a book. Save your money.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alan Mazer on April 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book. A compendium of People-type articles on the most well-known spouse killers, I suppose.

It was much less that than a pretty dry synopsis of "typical" murders with speculative psychological explanations. I guess what lost me here is that the explanations ARE speculative. There's very little evidence for the theories offered. And despite the author's credentials as a "psychotherapist", there's not much evidence of that either. No references to journals and precious few references to any professional sources at all. The vast majority of her "sources" are popular magazines, newspapers, TV shows and Web sites. She offers no description of how her experience or education prepared her to make the judgments she makes. It's almost as if we're just supposed to believe everything she says because she's a "psychotherapist".

Now all that said, her explanations of how people can commit these horrible murders are plausible. I never got the impression that the author was attempting to pander to the reading audience. Her analysis of "warning signs", characteristics shared by potential spousal abusers, seems very valuable, especially for young women. But where she speculates on motive, I'm not so convinced. She writes more like a journalist than like a professional clinician. The book is enjoyable (if dark), and even perhaps valuable, if it makes someone realize that they're in a dangerous relationship, but taken as a contribution to professional research, it's disappointing.
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