In this fascinating book, Peter Vronsky exposes and investigates the phenomenon of women who kill—and the political, economic, social and sexual implications buried with each victim.
How many of us are even remotely prepared to imagine our mothers, daughters, sisters or grandmothers as fiendish killers? For centuries we have been conditioned to think of serial murderers and psychopathic predators as men—with women registering low on our paranoia radar. Perhaps that’s why so many trusting husbands, lovers, family friends, and children have fallen prey to “the female monster.”
From history’s earliest recorded cases of homicidal females to Irma Grese, the Nazi Beast of Belsen, from Britain’s notorious child-slayer Myra Hindley to ‘Honeymoon Killer’ Martha Beck to the sensational cult of Aileen Wournos—the first female serial killer-as-celebrity—to cult killers, homicidal missionaries, and our pop-culture fascination with the sexy femme fatale, Vronsky not only challenges our ordinary standards of good and evil but also defies our basic accepted perceptions of gender role and identity.
Interesting but outdated
This is an interesting and engaging read for those who enjoy true crime psychology. However, the author’s views on gender issues are outdated and at some points quite clearly biased. Since a large portion of this book relates directly to gender this bias is hard to ignore. As a reader I found that I was distracted from the true crime writing, which I otherwise would have found engaging.