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While I had known of the horrific 1912 murders of the Moore family in Vallisca, Iowa, I assumed with certainty it was an isolated case and perpetrated by someone known to the family. To learn of the countless similar family axe murders across the country in the same time period was astounding. Great job by the authors as far as research and telling the tale of this twisted psychopathic serial killer and how he managed to wipe out entire families for many years without ever being identified. Until this book, that is. While much of this story is extremely disturbing, it is also very historically educational. I learned so much about the justice system of the US in that era, or unjust system in many cases. For anyone who enjoys unsolved crime mysteries, this is a great story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This was a very well thought out book about a series of murders I've never heard about. Although the layout is at times rather disorganized, I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of what life was like in that time period - how news papers and literacy were linked, the way policing worked, etc.
Assuming their research is solid and they didn't cherry pick facts to fit their narrative (I'm too lazy to do the research myself), I think their conclusion is pretty solid. And I got epic goosebumps when I listened to the last tidbit about where the murderer probably ended up.
I need to listen again and take notes and make diagrams to try to make sense of it all. Wow!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Really interesting, frightening and atmospheric book about a series of axe familcides across North America at the beginning of the 20th century. Well researched and perfectly captures rural, small town life in the US at that time. Very frustrating at times, partly down to lack of available information and the attitude of law enforcement at the time. I also think there is too much repetition, I get it for linking the crimes, but certainly phrases or information was unnecessarily repeated again and again. However this was a fascinating story and I couldn't stop listening.