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Talking with Serial Killers: Dead Men Talking: Death Row’s worst killers – in their own words

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30 review for Talking with Serial Killers: Dead Men Talking: Death Row’s worst killers – in their own words

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pippa Skipper

    I enjoyed this, the author's sarcastic narrative was very different from the norm. This book is not for the faint hearted, it's graphic and gruesome in places when describing what the victims of these monsters went through. I've read a lot of true crime so you could say I'm "hardened" to much of the horrors, but even I found the insights into these murderous minds extremely chilling. If you can handle it, it is a good read. I enjoyed this, the author's sarcastic narrative was very different from the norm. This book is not for the faint hearted, it's graphic and gruesome in places when describing what the victims of these monsters went through. I've read a lot of true crime so you could say I'm "hardened" to much of the horrors, but even I found the insights into these murderous minds extremely chilling. If you can handle it, it is a good read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Dixon

    One thing that bugged me was the title… dead men talking when in fact one of the accounts is from a woman. Book was interesting as you got the crime directly from the viewpoint of the murderers and how they saw things and in most cases the lack of any compassion or guilt. Didn’t go into too much description of the murders thankfully, half the interviews I knew well of the crimes they committed but others never heard off. Well written with some dry humour from the author who must have been traumati One thing that bugged me was the title… dead men talking when in fact one of the accounts is from a woman. Book was interesting as you got the crime directly from the viewpoint of the murderers and how they saw things and in most cases the lack of any compassion or guilt. Didn’t go into too much description of the murders thankfully, half the interviews I knew well of the crimes they committed but others never heard off. Well written with some dry humour from the author who must have been traumatised by what he learnt from his interviews with them as he openly admits some of their accounts are too graphic to mention.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bluntly Bookish

    Starting with the introduction, Berry-Dee gripped me with his blunt and straightforward language. Surely the way to this Dutch Blogger’s heart. It suggests that the author will not shy away from calling them as he sees it. The killers have committed heinous crimes that cannot stand the light of day, and Berry-Dee is going to tell you all about them. Sadly, this does extend past the introduction. From the first chapter onwards, the language suggests the author is more concerned with instilling a Starting with the introduction, Berry-Dee gripped me with his blunt and straightforward language. Surely the way to this Dutch Blogger’s heart. It suggests that the author will not shy away from calling them as he sees it. The killers have committed heinous crimes that cannot stand the light of day, and Berry-Dee is going to tell you all about them. Sadly, this does extend past the introduction. From the first chapter onwards, the language suggests the author is more concerned with instilling a sense of awe and reference in the reader. Exploring the stories and psyche of the Serial Killers which ought to be paramount, takes a back seat to exposing the many great and wonderful deeds of Berry-Dee. This is not to diminish the countless hours, the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into communicating with these shadowy figures. However, humility would have been a far better suit in this instance. The readability is further hampered by the fact that the book is rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Surely a former Editor-in-Chief, if not the publisher, should have noticed these. And don’t get me started on the overused and tired comparisons the author seems so fond of using. ‘Some of these social strays can read and write, while others struggle with the simplest words. Some have a brain, others half a brain, and still others obviously have a ‘To Let’ sign planted firmly inside their skull.’ In just shy of 300 pages, the above was used no less than three times. Additionally, there seems to have been little thought wasted on the structure and flow of the stories. Jumping from early childhood memories to court-case highlights and ending with more boastful statements by the author without rhyme or reason. Interestingly the chapter about Viva Leroy Nash provided some insight into the author’s state of mind, whether intended or not. Alluding to his affinity for the ‘old-time crook’ and his wistful recalling of the glory days of crimes gone past. When gunslingers were gentlemen, moonshine was currency and gangers governed the way of life. It certainly suggests Berry Dee may have envisioned himself as one of the glory day gangsters, forced to settle for the life of an author as he was sadly born out of time. Finally, the choice was made to add in some visual items aids such as pictures of letters received by the author and portraits of the Serial Killers. The thing that is so frustrating, is that they were plopped smack-bang in the middle of the book. Destroying any opportunity of enhancing and supporting the stories. Leaving the reader to constantly leaf back and forth between the pictures and the individuals they related to. For me the only redeeming factor where the letters written by the Serial Killers themselves. They provided a window into their perverted and sick minds which was at the very least mildly interesting. The sad fact is though that they only account for roughly 10% of the book. Everything considered I would not recommend reading the book. If you are interested in these Serial Killers, their Wikipedia pages will offer a much more thrilling read. There is also a host of interesting podcasts out there, such as Serial Killers and Unsolved murder by Parcast. Which offer you the same information, without the author’s inflated sense of self.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dominique Fredericks

    I think I have just fallen in love with reading true-crime. I have actually tried watching true-crime documentaries, but I just couldn’t get into it. Reading about it though, wow! It’s completely different experience. This was the perfect book to introduce me to the genre and I can safely say that I will definitely be buying some of the author’s other books as well as reading other true-crime books. Christopher Berry-Dee is a well-known criminologist and crime expert. He has corresponded and met I think I have just fallen in love with reading true-crime. I have actually tried watching true-crime documentaries, but I just couldn’t get into it. Reading about it though, wow! It’s completely different experience. This was the perfect book to introduce me to the genre and I can safely say that I will definitely be buying some of the author’s other books as well as reading other true-crime books. Christopher Berry-Dee is a well-known criminologist and crime expert. He has corresponded and met with many infamous murderers and serial killers. He has published several books on the topic, varying from talking with psychopaths to talking with serial killers and stalkers. Whether you are a seasoned true-crime reader and fan or if you are deciding on whether you should delve into the genre, this book will keep you hooked. Be warned it can be very graphic and detailed. The book features written correspondence from 6 of the world’s most dangerous convicted killers on death row. One of them already having been executed via lethal injection in 2005, but the author had been corresponding and had even met with him in person before this happened. There are detailed accounts of their crimes told by the perpetrators themselves, told in their own words. I have always been fascinated by death and things that are dark, which is why I am so interested in books about forensic pathology. I loved that there’s a section with some pictures of these killers as well as some pictures of the correspondence. Being a medical professional, my training included rotating through psychiatry and learning about different personality disorders. One of them features prominently in this book, namely antisocial personality disorder (they typically exhibit behaviour such as lying, disregard for their own and safety of others, they can often be found torturing animals as children). Of course, not all murderers have this trait, but it is more common in serial killers. Most of these killers, don’t take responsibility for their own reactions and show no remorse for their actions. They transfer blame to their victims, making it seem as though it was the victim’s fault that they were murdered. There is also a common pattern of an abusive or dysfunctional home environment as they were growing up. A question that many people ask is what does a serial killer look like? The answer to that question is that they look just like anyone else, they are usually unsuspecting and that’s what makes them dangerous. Another aspect of the book that I found extremely interesting was the amount of people, mostly females who are interested in pursuing relationships with these killers. It absolutely boggles my mind. But then again, I have a fascination with death, especially unnatural and gruesome deaths which others may find strange. But then as they say, different strokes… I would highly recommend this spine-chilling book. Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    Similar to the rest of Christopher Berry-Dee’s ‘Talking with…’ series, this book is filled with long complicated sentences and an array of spelling and grammatical errors. John E Robinson - the most interesting part of this case was left until the end with the inclusion of Annabel Leigh’s correspondence with JR. Instead most of this chapter felt repetitive with JR’s nonsensical ramblings used as filler. Melanie McGuire - Berry-Dee once again shows the importance of proof reading. With an array o Similar to the rest of Christopher Berry-Dee’s ‘Talking with…’ series, this book is filled with long complicated sentences and an array of spelling and grammatical errors. John E Robinson - the most interesting part of this case was left until the end with the inclusion of Annabel Leigh’s correspondence with JR. Instead most of this chapter felt repetitive with JR’s nonsensical ramblings used as filler. Melanie McGuire - Berry-Dee once again shows the importance of proof reading. With an array of grammatical errors - including changing of the victims name without any warning - this story read similarly to the last. Phillip Jablonski - During this chapter, Berry-Dee ironically points out the amount of grammatical errors in Jablonski’s letters to him. Once again this chapter jumps around a lot. There’s little focus on the murders and the timeline is all over the place. The Jablonski story made me feel physically sick. Especially when he speaks of his son and how proud he is of him and the heinous crimes he’s committed. Keith Jesperson - reading Keith’s letters actually made my skin crawl. I felt like there wasn’t really any focus on the “happy face” aspect of his murders despite this featuring in the chapter title. Berry-Dee seemed to take a bit too much of a liking to Jesperson with the way he boasted about reuniting him with his daughter after years of no contact. Maybe there’s a reason his daughter didn’t want to talk to her prolific serial killer of a father?? Viva LeRoy Nash - Berry-Dee doesn’t shy away from his fondness of Nash. Even though he states that he shouldn’t be glorifying a murderer he still goes on to talk about how he enjoyed corresponding with LeRoy. Like the other chapters of this book, LeRoy’s story was written messily. However, the inability to decipher fact from fiction made this a particularly difficult section to get through. Michael Ross - The structure of this chapter was a lot more coherent than the previous sections. Reading about the other Death Row inmates actually brought me to tears, particularly the crimes of Ivo Colon. Summary - the letters from Jesperson’s ex really should’ve been included in his chapter. It would’ve made his chapter a lot more interesting. Instead it just felt like the summary focused solely on him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    MadBookWorm

    Nie jest tajemnicą, że zarówno do książek o tej tematyce jak i do tej konkretnej serii, pomimo tego że ma słabsze momenty mam słabość, bo to po prostu są moje tematy, ale nie o tym ma być recenzja, bo im mniej wiecie tym krótsze będą Wasze zeznania. W tej części zdecydowanie podobały mi się dłuższe wstawki listów czy wypowiedzi osadzonych w celach śmierci. W kilku poprzednich częściach bardzo tego brakowało, jednak tu mamy solidną dawkę zwierzeń rasowych zwyroli. Co najważniejsze te listy są bez Nie jest tajemnicą, że zarówno do książek o tej tematyce jak i do tej konkretnej serii, pomimo tego że ma słabsze momenty mam słabość, bo to po prostu są moje tematy, ale nie o tym ma być recenzja, bo im mniej wiecie tym krótsze będą Wasze zeznania. W tej części zdecydowanie podobały mi się dłuższe wstawki listów czy wypowiedzi osadzonych w celach śmierci. W kilku poprzednich częściach bardzo tego brakowało, jednak tu mamy solidną dawkę zwierzeń rasowych zwyroli. Co najważniejsze te listy są bez cenzury, są surowe, bezwględna i chore są po prostu…niemiłe.. Co dla mnie nie do końca zagrało to dobór „bohaterów” tej książki, bo większość jest nieciekawa i w zasadzie jakkolwiek to zabrzmi nie zasłużyła żeby poświęcać im czas.
W zasadzie dla mnie tylko dwójka morderców była na tyle konkretna, że warto o nich pisać pierwszy to John Edward Robinson, postać absolutnie fascynująca zarówno na poziomie psychologicznym jak i sposobie działania. Można po krótce powiedzieć, że Robinson zrobił z rynkiem matrymonialnym dokładnie to samo co swego czasu Jordan Belfort z giełdą, co prawda finał obu spotkał podobny, ale co sobie chłopaki poużywali tego im nikt nie zabierze.
Druga postać to Phillip Carl Jablonski zwyrol dość powszechnie znany, jednak tutaj autor nie poświęcił mu zbyt wiele uwagi, a wręcz tylko lekko go scharakteryzował bez głębszych analiz czy szczegółów, a zdecydowanie szkoda bo jest to postać do szpiku kości zła. Drogie Panie pisze do tych niemiłych harpi (bo te mile to wiadomo lubię, szanuję, poważam i tak dalej…), do tych miłych bym tak nie pisał, zwłaszcza Wy przeczytajcie tę książkę i docenicie swoich domowych samców alfa i zobaczycie na jakich porypańców mogłyście trafić. Po przeczytaniu od razu docenicie swoich domowych gentlemanów i już nawet dziabnięcie Żuberka pod Waszą suchą pieczeń nie będzie Wam przeszkadzać. Taka jest moja prawda jakem @mad.book.worm pierwszy oby dla dobra świata ostatni. https://www.instagram.com/mad.book.worm/

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Harwood

    Interesting: I really did enjoy reading these six stories and the killers' own words, as well as the words of others that contribute a lot to the understanding of these people and how they tick. I've already lined up another of this author's books to read, I enjoy seeing how a sociopath/psychopath can talk about their damnation and imprisonment, and explain away what they do. Of course, I'm pretty sympathetic at times - there are moments I have imaginings of my own, taking a machine gun in the Or Interesting: I really did enjoy reading these six stories and the killers' own words, as well as the words of others that contribute a lot to the understanding of these people and how they tick. I've already lined up another of this author's books to read, I enjoy seeing how a sociopath/psychopath can talk about their damnation and imprisonment, and explain away what they do. Of course, I'm pretty sympathetic at times - there are moments I have imaginings of my own, taking a machine gun in the Orthopedics department and letting loose for their neglect of me, but that's all they are: thoughts I have because of pain and their inability to even diagnose the issue (I had to do that myself, and am now in less pain and less inclined to homicide, though those thoughts were very real when I had them). I'm sure such imaginings are not simply me and serial killers, many of us feel like murder at times. Committing it is something else. A fleeting thought of anger and misery is another altogether! None of these killers were very well known to me, but after reading through their words and bios, I have seen documentaries about a few of them, but reading this book is very different as it brings home the crimes, their human destruction, and the consequences, plus we hear the chilling words of people who, if given the chance, would do it all again. Well-written, impartial, interesting and well-researched, this book is definitely a fantastic read x

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    The amount of errors in this book is shocking. Loads of grammatical slips and on page 145 it efers to a passage that Keith said to a journo then underneath it says its from a letter to the author?! Its lazy, there are pages and pages of whole letters from the killers. Very little analysis. The author boasts about passing his work to the FBI & reacquaint a daughter with her serial killer father, is that a good thing?!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dayanitha D

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed bits of this book but also the author is pretty biased with his opinion of the killers and the random bit at the end about dating serial killers feels unnecessary and mildly uncomfortable

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Deans

    Absolutely amazing, read it loads of times

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Was interesting but chapters were a bit long found myself nodding off & getting confused!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bethan Vaughan

    Brilliant read, disturbing at the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Perren

    Well written qnd a rare insight into the mind of a killer

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jess Croft (Secret World of Books)

    This book is 1 of 6 and all of these are on my wishlist! I personally prefer to read about male killers I just find it more intriguing and this book is mostly about male killers on death row! I highly recommend this book if you love crime books like me! So interesting to find out about different crimes, the events that lead up to the murders, the killers’ reasoning behind their actions and to hear in their own words what they have to say.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emilia

    I enjoyed the authors sarcasm and coldness towards these people he interviewed. He also included his honest thoughts which is refreshing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Williams

    Didnt enjoy this one

  17. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Matthews

    Decent read, a bit longer than I would have liked. Also, not all of them were serial killers, some were just murderers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Flair

    One of the best books I've read, really interesting to read and has in depth descriptions from the serial killers One of the best books I've read, really interesting to read and has in depth descriptions from the serial killers

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Brindley

    So informative, amazingly written, great to hear the crimes in the words of the killers themselves

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy Petersen

  21. 4 out of 5

    April McClements

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hui Ern Tan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emer Gallagher

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma Draper-rigby

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julian

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hannah McCubbin (readwithcubzy)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Podstawska

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liam Raddie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie

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