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I Would Find a Girl Walking: Every Female Was Prey Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2011
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About the Author
Diana Montane is a reporter, editor, and published author. She was Arts & Entertainment writer, as well as art theatre and film critic for The Miami News.She has co-written six true crime books, including I Would Find a Girl Walking. She holds a B.A., M.A., and M.F.A. in Theatre and Communications, from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Kate Kelly is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a former reporter for Time magazine and the New York Observer. She attracted international attention for her three-part series of articles on Bear Stearns, which ran on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal in May 2008. This is her first book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first several chapters of the book focus upon individual victims and the lack of evidence at the crime scenes. I was approximately 1/3 of the way into the book when the first, subtle feelings of boredom began to grow. These chapters were somewhat repetitious and, while this is not necessarily the fault of the author, the victims began to meld into one amorphous mass. Each girl Gerald Stano picked up was like many of the others. Some were prostitutes, some were hitchhiking, some were just walking toward a destination. What prompted so many women to climb into the car of a man they did not know is really beyond comprehension.
Taken from his biological mother before he was 1 year of age, Stano was adopted by stable, caring parents. Further, he was adopted early enough that one might think any damage suffered during the first months of his life had been mitigated. Apparently not. Gerald Stano was a comupulsive liar and was perceived by peers throughout his childhood as strange and socially inept. Often in trouble with adult authority, Stano nurtured dark obsessions and abberant fantasies for years before he first killed a woman.
All of this information seems to suggest a book that would be interesting and insightful. However, it is not. Despite the inclusion of some 40 letters Stano wrote to the author/reporter, Kathy Kelly, there is not much psychological exploration of these letters. Many are simply printed, one after the other, without comment from the author or anyone else. What comments the author does make about these letters are rather abreviated, given the extensive forensic and psychological examination that might have been done.
Stano also included many comments about the author's visits, her appearance, and their relationship. While these elements of the letters were somewhat more interesting, there was little analysis from the author or a forensic psychiatrist about the changing nature of these letters. Stano clearly perceived the author as significantly more interested in him than she was and, consistent with his inflated feelings about himself, imagined himself a boyfriend or potential boyfriend to the author. As a woman, I found these aspects of Stano's letters sometimes laughable, often repulsive, and clearly delusional.
Stano is a repulsive man and, in many ways, a very boring man. While his crimes may have been notorious, Stano himself was a doughy, unsophisticated man who lacked appeal of any kind. He confessed to and then lied about some of his crimes, so it impossible to know what portions of Stano's confessions are true. Stano even recanted his confession of the killing of a 12 year old girl whom he knew from the skating rink. There is a photograph of Stano attempting to help police locate the body of this child. Therefore, his later recantation of this particular crime to the police and the author is nothing short of unbelievable and, on a personal level, a disgusting indulgence for the offender.
I found it interesting that Stano sent the author several childhood photographs of himself. These photographs would have been very interesting to view. However, the author stated in a small footnote at the bottom of one page that although she made copies of these photographs, she was unable to locate them later. This is odd given that the author kept all of Stano's letters in a single box and was never unclear to Stano or anyone else about her intent to write a book someday. Yet, she misplaces the photographs.
Finally, the book notes that Stano confessed to nearly 40 murders. However, there is only mention of approximately 12 victims and no explanation about what other confessions Stano made that may have led investigators to belive he killed as many as 40 women. I found this a regrettable oversight of the book and it contributed to the general feelings of dissatisfaction and lack of completeness that I experienced.
In short, the book was neither terrible nor terribly interesting. Many portions of the book were repititous and boring and I was relieved when I finally finished it so that I could move on to something else. I am somewhat surprised and confused about the many 5 star reviews of this book. While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, I would encourage True Crime fans to either buy a used copy or visit the local library. I regret paying full price for this book.
For almost a decade, Stano prowled the streets and sandy beaches of Daytona Beach, Florida, in his red AMC Gremlin, looking to pick up young girls for good times and sex.
Seldom did these women live to tell about riding with a serial killer.
I had previously read another book about Gerald Stano that left a lot to be desired so I was glad to learn there was a new book coming out.
I Would Find a Girl Walking by Kathy Kelly and Diana Montané goes on sale in bookstores tomorrow and I'm excited to tell you this book is unlike any other you've read about Gerald Stano.
While working as a reporter at The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Kathy Kelly wrote stories about the Stano case which led to a one-on-one correspondence with a desperate, clingy, pathetic little man sitting on Florida's death row as a serial killer.
Not only are readers given an in-depth accounting of Stano's crimes, but they are invited into the mind of this depraved man through his letters to Kelly. And I was very impressed that it didn't read like a newspaper, as happens to often when reporters turn author. Instead I found a true story that flowed as smooth as romantic fiction and the page turning intensity of a suspense novel.
While I've long read about serial killers and reached the conclusion they are sick, twisted individuals who have no place in society, never before have I found myself feeling any sympathy for them while reading a book. Yet, although it was obvious in Stano's tone that he had the typical sociopathic traits (i.e. creating a sense of intimacy in an effort to control), underneath that was truly just a sad, sad man.
A dangerous man, of course, but nonetheless sad.
For a truly engaging read and, in my opinion, the best book about Gerald Stano, I highly recommend I Would Find a Girl Walking. It'll really mess with what you always thought about serial killers!