Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review: Psycho USA by Harold Schechter

by:  Harold Schechter
published by:  Ballentine Books
publish date:  August 7, 2012

In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who’s gotten ink for spilling blood, there’s a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of U.S. history.

I have a little bit of an obsession with serial killers.  Actually, it's not as bad as it used to be.  However, when I saw this book come up I knew it was right up my alley.

Psycho USA was very well organized.  For the most part it was arranged chronologically, but occasionally grouped killers by type.  The chronological order was pretty interesting.  It helped the reader to see how crimes changed (or didn't) over time or how they might be influenced by historical events. 

I've read several books by Harold Schechter and he is definitely well researched on the subject.  One little extra in this book were some of the broadsheet accounts and ballads that might have been sung about the murders.  I found those to be particularly interesting.

This is a great book for research purposes or just for morbid curiosity.  I definitely recommend it for those interested in true crime

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