Book Review: True Crime Stories You Won't Believe
Here is a collection of true crime stories from different countries and time periods that defy simple description. They include:
• The strange tale of a psychotic geisha who severed her lover’s genitals to carry as a token of her love and who inspired a cult following
• How a small-town murderer helped inspire the movie Psycho and left his hometown with a reputation they never lived down
• A father who sacrificed his daughter to prove his faith in God and his followers who fully expected her to be raised on the third day (she wasn’t)
• A Sorbonne graduate student who killed and cannibalized the woman he loved and went on to become a bizarre media celebrity
• A 19th century serial killer who earned the title of “the worst women in the world” by killing a series of husbands for profit
• The assassination attempt on John F. Kennedy you never heard about but which very nearly succeeded.
• George Stinney, the fourteen-year-old child who died in the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit.
• Joseph Vacher, the “French Ripper” whose crimes shocked France but tried to blame it all on the rabid dog that bit him.
• How mob boss Vincent Gigante earned himself the nickname of “the Oddfather”
• Leonarda Cianciulli, the Corregio “Soapmaker” who killed three women as a sacrifice to protect her own children.
These stories, and more, are all featured here making this book a must for any connoisseur of true crime and bizarre justice.
I may have heard of a few of the names but most I have never heard of any of these cases featured in this book. Although, that is to be expected as they took place long before I was born dating back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
While each case featured is only about two or three pages long, there was enough information about each case. In fact, I would say that this collection of short stories gave me more details than some full-length true crime novels I have read.
There were many times where I found myself stopping to interrupt my husband to read to him about the case. Some of the cases happened in my home state of Colorado. There is one that has a famous memorial location of where the heinous crimes happened, that I see a road trip in my future. One of the cases was the inspiration for Psycho. Yes, the famous movie by Hitchcock. So, if you are a true crime fan you need to pick up a copy of this book.
Romeo Vitelli received his doctorate in Psychology from York University in Toronto, Ontario in 1987. He spent 15 years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre, a maximum-security prison run by the Ontario government. In 2003, he went into full-time private practice and has been an avid blogger since 2007.