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Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0425213902
ISBN-10: 0425213900
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters
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  • Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters
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  • The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (Facts on File Crime Library)
Total price: $42.42
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Vronsky is an investigative journalist and a producer of documentary films for television. His work has appeared on PBS, Discovery Channel, CNN, and various international channels. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the history of criminal justice and security-intelligence at the University of Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; 1st edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425213900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425213902
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The issue of feminism is only a very small part of this book: a few pages in a couple of chapters from nearly 500 pages of everything else about female serial killers! A fascinating, compelling and heavily researched study of the history, psychology, culture and sociology of female serial killers, along with some detailed case histories to back it up. The book is an excellent companion to his book on males--Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters. What I enjoy most about his books are the case studies which provide much more detailed descriptions than other general books on serial murder. There are about twenty extensive accounts of various types of female serial killers many of which go way beyond the short encyclopedic treatments so often published. I also like the way the author structures his books into several parts: history, psychology, and then case studies. You do not need to read the book from beginning to end, but can often open it at any chapter, reading it in almost any order, like a magazine. His books are more like a collection of complete articles and case studies, linked together by the common theme of serial homicide. Read together they paint a big picture of female predators. Like a smart True Detective magazine - a 'vanity fair' of true crime, women and serial homicide. Very enjoyable and readable style with a subtle edge of black humor behind it. Maybe the best new stuff written on Charlie Manson and his girls. And his take on Aileen Wuornos made me cry: it was heart-breaking true to her--a shot right between her angels and the devil. Bright new talented true crime author and a scholar too. Frightening no punches-pulled accounts of sequential female predatory aggression in all its many lipstick shades.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good book, covering individuals from the distant past (Messalina, Elizabeth Bathory) to 19th century poisoners, Nazi death camp workers (Irma Grese), moving into recent history (the Manson girls) to modern cases as well (Karla Homolka, Aileen Wuornos). And these women I mentioned are just a few of the many, many case histories and individuals Vronksy explores.

It definitely shows that the author did his research and covers this subject more thoroughly than other books I have read on this subject. I'd definitely recommend it highly to true-crime fans. It reads well and is informative and effective, from stomach-churning transcripts of the Homolka/Bernardo videotapes to theories on why Bathory perhaps did not bathe in the blood of her many victims.

My only criticisms are that the author does focus a lot on Wuornos, as he seems to believe her to be somewhat of an anomaly amongst female murderers in terms of her motives and "style" (for lack of a better word).

Also, he goes after an activist named Phyllis Chesler for her feminist defense of Wuornos in a very aggressive way. He definitely makes some valid points against Chesler's arguments, but there is a vitriol in his words that made me feel he was somehow very personally offended by this woman: calling her a "creature", sarcastically mentioning that "we can all sleep better" knowing that Chesler has moved on to other causes. His almost venomous attack on her stood out to me in a big way while reading.

I definitely recommend this book. Very informative and entertaining.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Female Serial Killers is a very detail oriented account of some of several women throughout history dubbed as "serial killers." Vronsky takes an interesting in depth perspective into the case files of what makes women commit these hedious crimes, and why people like Karla Homolka would submit to aiding her husband in rape and murder. Notoriously, Serial Homicide has been attributed to men, but in fact, 1 in 6 SK's is female.

As I read through the pages, I was happily met with intelligence, sound facts, and a contemporary stylish prose to pull it all together. This is a fascinating detailed book on female serial killers who have plagued society. Highly recommended.

-- RJ Parker, author of 16 true crime books including Women Who Kill
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Format: Paperback
Radical feminists who insist that only men commit serial murder will be angered by this book, which lists the names of 140 predatory female serial killers and offers case studies of varying detail for some 40 of them. Vronsky is highly critical of radical feminism, which argues that when women kill they do so only to defend themselves against male aggression. He very persuasively argues that many female serial killers kill for the very same reasons that male serial killers do--but that they leave different signatures at the crime scene.

If you liked Vronsky's book extensively reseached book on male serial killers, then you'll love this one. Vronsky writes in his usual biting sarcastic style but his treatment is very intelligent and informative and he never "writes down" to his readers while covering some pretty dense historical and psychological material in a jargon-free style. His comparisons of female with male serial killers give you not only new insight into the female perpetrator but make you re-think what male serial killers are all about.

Vronsky breaks down a lot of myths about female serial killers pointing out that over half of them have killed at least one female themselves and 39 percent at least one child and that strangers--not husbands, lovers or family members--are marginally the most preferred category of victim for female serial killers today. Vronsky points out that female serial killers are much better at it than male ones, eluding apprehension for twice as long a time on average than males and that the frequency of female serial killers appears to be doubling every two decades. According to the statistics he provides, 1 in nearly every 6 serial killers in the USA is a female.
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