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The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Facts on File Crime Library) 2nd ed. Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0739472491
ISBN-10: 0816061963
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  • The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Facts on File Crime Library)
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  • The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers
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Editorial Reviews

Review

.,."a good source of general information on the topic from a reputable publisher ...an excellent choice..."

About the Author

Michael Newton has taught at University College London and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. This is his first book. He currently teaches at Princeton University. He divides his time between London and Princeton, New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Series: Facts on File Crime Library
  • Paperback: 515 pages
  • Publisher: Checkmark Books; 2nd ed. edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816061963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739472491
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Expanded and updated edition of his original that came out in 2000. There are now entries on cases that have been solved since the first edition was released. Examples: Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer and Dennis Rader, the BTK Strangler. Other cases have been expanded. Some that were only listed in the appendixes now have entries in the main section.

The author uses the definition of a serial killer as someone who murders 2 or more persons, done as separate events. This leads to inclusion of some killers that most people would not consider serial killers. I understand the author going for a more inclusive approach than otherwise. If he didn't go this route, there would inevitably be complaints about killers left out.

I spotted very few errors and none that I would categorize as major.

I would like to see a much more comprehensive index. Trying to find an entry if all you remember is a victim name or an odd location is difficult.

The entries range from a few paragraphs to several pages. Still, if you want a detailed read on a specific case, you will need to get a book devoted to that killer. There are entries on some killers that there hasn't been a book written about, such as Melvin Rees.

Of the three SK Encyclopedias I've read, this is the best, in my opinion.

The reviews for the first edition are still mostly applicable here. I recommend reading them for other viewpoints.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating read for true crime buffs. The author's stated purpose is to "demystify, as far as possible, those predators in human form who have been with us since the dawn of history..." Serial killers at large are so frightening that they end up touching all of our lives--most especially in the United States, where 84% of all known serial killers have committed their crimes since 1980. I first became aware of this type of human predator when I was a student at the University of Michigan, and John Norman Collins was murdering coeds with pierced ears and long brown hair.

California native Michael Newton has published 181 books since 1977, including 147 novels but he is best known for his true crime and reference works. I have to say that I assumed this author was British because of his concise, witty style and also for his tendency to critique other true crime authors who failed to get their facts straight, including the names of a serial killer's victims. One of his special peeves is the term 'spree killer,' and he also doesn't seem to think much of profilers.

Most of the entries in this encyclopedia are concerned with the serial killers themselves, whether they acted alone, in twosomes, or in packs. One of the biggest surprises for me was the large number of serial killers who are or were women. Something like 12% of all serial killers are female, and Hungarian women seem especially prone to this behavior, starting with Countess Erzsebet B'thory in the sixteenth century whose final body count was somewhere between 300 and 650 victims. In the early 1900s,Vera Renczi murdered 35 husbands, lovers, and a son and was arrested by the police only after they searched her basement and discovered 35 zinc coffins.
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Format: Paperback
A friend of mine gave me this book, and normally I don't read. However, on a road trip, I decided to read some of the book and became very interested, QUICKLY! The book is quite detailed, and I liked the fact that there was information in the book on serial killers from the 1800's and earlier (Erzsebet Bathory born in 1560). A great, well-written book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Criminal Justice major. This is actually a textbook for one of my classes! Suffice it to say, it's my favorite class. This book is fascinating. I'm a long-time student of serial killers and I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in this topic. Truth is stranger than fiction and much more compelling!
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By John on February 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a pretty long read but it does contain some written material that might be inappropiate for some readers.What I really like about this book is the aspect of every serial killer which deals about their background as well as why would they committe such a crime that forever haunt us till this very day.Michael Newton does provide info that'll help us think and learn about who they are and what they are.Make no mistake that this book will give you everything you need to know about them except the only thing I wish that this book should have is more photos.Anyway,do yourself a favor and check this book out.
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Format: Paperback
This book is pretty well written, with only a few minor complaints. First some of the region specific killers are missing such as John Norman Collins, but over all is very complete. The addition of a quick reference guide in the back that explains both solved and unsolved cases is a nice touch.

This book along with Harold Schecters Serial Killer Files make a fairly complete analysis of the more deranged and sociopathic killers out there.

I recommend this book to anyone curious about some of the most despicable people out there.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books availible for those interested in True Crime and the history of Serial Killers. The author has compiled a fast read and profiles for each person. Very detailed, It is a basic knowledge of the essential info. If you want more detailed profiles of certain serial killers i would recommend that you buy a book based on a certian individual.

But this is a great basic info source.

Most Recommended.
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