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The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Facts on File Crime Library) 2nd ed. Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
But this is a great basic info source.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone in my criminology class thought I was going to be a serial killer because I have a big fascination with reading about serial killers. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Matt Czaplicki
Thick but predictably bad stuff from Michael Newton. Newton seems to have had a lifelong chronic case of verbal diarrhea, and his entire output is always just one step above junk. Read morePublished 2 months ago by TWong
I love these books! If you like any true crime then you'll love this. Very interesting to say the least.Published 3 months ago by Karmalee Thompson
This book is big and has lots of information. The only complaint that I have is that there aren't many photos and the photos are in black and white. Read morePublished 4 months ago by melissa