Captured in the 1930s before the words psychopath and pedophile were part of common vernacular, notorious serial killer Arnold Sodeman murdered four young girls with little thought of remorse. Without guilt, the evil serial killer strangled them to death with their own clothing and left their small bodies alone in the Australian brush, earning himself a chilling position in the annals of Australian crime.
The first victim in his child murder spree, 12-year-old Mena Griffiths, showed signs of having been sexually assaulted, although the man who would become known as The School-girl Strangler denied the assault, and blamed the killing of both Griffiths and the other girls on his inability to control himself after he'd been drinking.
The horrific story of this true-life murderer - a tale of mental illness, childhood abuse, brain damage, and alcoholic blackouts - is true crime as its most terrible, and ranks among the worst child murders in world history.
After his arrest, Sodeman calmly confessed, saying that when intoxicated, he became overcome by thoughts of revenge, and like a real-life Jekyll and Hyde, transformed from doting husband and family man into a barbarian who strangled four little girls.
He chose children and teens, he said, because he could lure them away much easier, but the cold-blooded killer really didn't seem to recognize the abhorrence of taking a child's life.
Experts now say the handsome but strange Sodeman would likely have been unfit to stand trial for his crimes, given his family's extensive background of mental illness, but in the 1930s, the serial killer's biography was a tale that left Australia stunned.
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An unknown killer who did horrible things
I really enjoyed this author who gives the facts as they are with no add on or fillers which makes this a wonderful short listen that really holds your attention. My heart really went out to the families of these children as well as the victims. I think the thing that touched me the most was the letter his wife wrote to him asking for the truth and talked about their daughter. The next thing that really hit home as how he killed and then went visiting, to understand what I mean you will have to read or listen to this story.
Mr. Thynne narration was great he gives the facts as they are only giving emotion if it is needed. He narrates a clean, clear, crisp audio with no background noises. There are no volume changes, if any breaks were taken I could not tell. He did no character voices but I didn’t feel they were needed. The audio was done in even tones but in a way that you feel the effect of the horror of the act that was done. I told his performance was really good. He has a very nice pleasant voice to listen to that really pulls the listener in.
I have mixed feelings about Mr. Sodeman. I do feel he used his alcohol as an excuse. I am not saying it didn’t play a part in his act just that it is too easy to blame what you do on drinking. With his families past and how people thought he was strange I would have thought the family would have kept an eye on the whole family throughout the years and got help for those that needed it. There are a lot of interesting facts one being what they found in his brain that might have lead him to do what he did. If you love true crime and you are looking for an interesting listen that only gives the facts I hope you pick this up. It will make you wonder if he could have been helped before he started murdering if he had the help that we have today back then. There are places where you jaw will drop and others where your heart just about breaks for the victims as well as the families.