GPL Blog

Book Review | Inside the Mind of John Wayne Gacy by Brad Hunter

From the publisher: Brad Hunter has spent over thirty years writing about some of America’s most horrific crimes. In this new book he enters the mind of John Wayne Gacy, the real-life Killer Clown, often said to be the inspiration for Stephen King’s evil Pennywise in It. Drawing on his many years’ experience investigating and interviewing perpetrators of terrible crimes, Hunter seeks to understand what drove Gacy to unleash a reign of terror in suburban Chicago.

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Book Review | Slenderman by Kathleen Hale

From the publisher: On May 31, 2014, in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, two twelve-year-old girls attempted to stab their classmate to death. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier’s violence was extreme, but what seemed even more frightening was that they committed their crime under the influence of a figure born by the internet: the so-called “Slenderman.” Yet the even more urgent aspect of the story, that the children involved suffered from undiagnosed mental illnesses, often went overlooked in coverage of the case. Slenderman tells that full story for the first time in deeply researched detail, using court transcripts, police reports, individual reporting, and exclusive interviews.

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Book Review | Trailed by Kathryn Miles

From the publisher: In May 1996, Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were brutally murdered while backpacking in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, adjacent to the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The young women were skilled backcountry leaders and they had met—and fallen in love—the previous summer, while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. But despite an extensive joint investigation by the FBI, the Virginia police, and National Park Service experts, the case remained unsolved for years. Trailed is a riveting, eye-opening, and heartbreaking work, offering a braided narrative about two remarkable women who were murdered doing what they most loved, the forensics of this cold case, and the surprising pervasiveness and long shadows cast by violence against women in the backcountry.

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Book Review | Bone Deep: Untangling the Betsy Faria Murder Case by Charles Bosworth Jr. and Joel J. Schwartz

From the publisher: The explosive, first-ever insider’s account of a case that continues to fascinate the public—the shocking wrongful conviction of Russell Faria for his wife’s murder—a gripping read told by New York Times bestselling true crime expert Charles Bosworth Jr. and Joel J. Schwartz, the defense attorney who battled for justice, and ultimately prevailed.

I am not much of a True Crime reader, but something about being in a pandemic has me reading more True Crime than usual. Despite how all facts are already known about the case covered in Bone Deep, I was riveted by the narrative. I personally knew nothing about the case before picking up Bone Deep, although there has apparently been extensive media…

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Book Review | Boys Enter the House by David B. Nelson

From the publisher: As investigators brought out the bagged remains of several dozen young men from a small Chicago ranch home and paraded them in front of a crowd of TV reporters and spectators, attention quickly turned to the owner of the house. John Gacy was an upstanding citizen, active in local politics and charities, famous for his themed parties and appearances as Pogo the Clown. As public interest grew, victims became footnotes and statistics, lives lost not just to violence, but to history. Through the testimony of siblings, parents, friends, lovers, and other witnesses close to the case, Boys Enter the House retraces the footsteps of these victims as they make their way to the doorstep of the Gacy house itself.

I was a senior in a suburban Chicago high school when the John Wayne Gacy story broke. I…

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