By Melissa Chapman, cataloging supervisor
True crime books are very popular these days. I am a fan of them myself. The Warsaw Community Public Library has quite a few new true crime books. Warning: these books are not for the faint-hearted or easily offended.
Killing with no remorse is true crime at its finest. “The Killer Across the Table” by John Douglas is built around conversations with four serial killers, it provides relevant information about their backgrounds, how they offended and what they thought in the lead up to, during and after their offenses. Early on in his career, John Douglas began advocating for interviewing serial killers to gain useful insights that could help in shaping profiles of future murderers.
If FBI profiling interests you, then this book is for you.
“The Last Stone” by Mark Bowden focuses on a cold case that after nearly 40 years was solved. On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. A massive police effort found nothing. The investigation went cold, and mystery endured for 38 years. Fast forward to 2013 when a cold case detective found something a generation of detectives had missed- a suspect that had been there all along.
The book focuses strongly on the interrogation of a man who initially was a witness but after several meetings, the detectives realized was guilty. It is a complete account of the cold case investigation by brilliant and dedicated detectives who brought justice for the Lyons family.
“The Five, the Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold, is a hard-edged, heartbreaking account of the five women killed by “Jack the Ripper.” Rubenhold’s book explicitly avoids the murderer and the question of his identity. Instead, she traces the life of each woman up until the night she died. The author also drops the bombshell that only two of the victims were actually prostitutes.
This book doesn’t focus on Jack the Ripper. Instead, it utilizes original information and reveals a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but also of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. It’s a history of five unfortunate women who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, with their greatest misfortune- being born a woman and poor. This is not a bloody “Ripper” book, but a thoughtful human narrative.