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Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer

Overview

While the short, lethal careers of serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Andrew Cunanan terrorize the public and provide morbid inspiration for the entertainment industry, few people realize that it is the female serial killer, seldom heard of, who deserves most to be feared. Murder Most Rare provides startling information about the female serial murderer, who is shown to be far more deadly and determined, difficult to apprehend, and complexly motivated than her male counterpart. While serial murder by women ...

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Overview

While the short, lethal careers of serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Andrew Cunanan terrorize the public and provide morbid inspiration for the entertainment industry, few people realize that it is the female serial killer, seldom heard of, who deserves most to be feared. Murder Most Rare provides startling information about the female serial murderer, who is shown to be far more deadly and determined, difficult to apprehend, and complexly motivated than her male counterpart. While serial murder by women is relatively rare, a surprising number of female serial killers are identified by the authors, nearly 100 in this century, with half of them having committed their crimes in America. By examining these women's backgrounds, motives and methods of killing, the book sheds new light on dozens of overlooked cases of murder and uncovers callous crimes and passions gone awry. After a thought-provoking exploration of the cultural biases that have caused us historically to dismiss and ignore the criminal potential of women, Murder Most Rare divides female serial murders for the first time into seven categories: Black Widow, Angel of Death, Sexual Predator, Revenge, Profit or Crime, Team Killer and Question of Sanity. These seven types vary widely in motivation, choice of victims, weapons and methods. The authors reveal patterns that occur within the types, but stress that the complicated nature of these women's crimes makes personality profiling almost impossible--a fact that causes the jobs of homicide investigators to be difficult, indeed, sometimes impossible. This is a uniquely personal look into a dark, shocking world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Michael Kelleher has explored violence and murder in several works including Profiling the Lethal Employee (1997) and New Arenas for Violence (1996), which alerted corporate America to the growing threat of potentially disturbed workers. With his wife and coauthor C.L. Kelleher, he now offers a rare, mostly clinical overview of the female mass murderer. The book profiles nearly 100 deadly women. Dividing them into eight categories, including Black Widows, Angels of Death and Team Killers, the Kellehers bring to light information they claim is often "overlooked by researchers." They report, for example, that female serial killers are rarely involved in sexual homicides and tend not to attack strangers, yet they often exhibit a greater ability to succeed in murder than do their male counterparts and they have greater success in eluding suspicion. Caretakers turned lethal, such as Madame Popova in Russia and Lila Gladys Young in Nova Scotia, are estimated to have killed in the hundreds over many years before being investigated and arrested. The grim succession of murder accounts here, from lone sexual predator Aileen Wuornos dispatching victims with her .22 rifle to the cold, detached elimination of family members by the arsenic-wielding Black Widows, cuts an often shocking swath of feminine terror. With morbidity on almost every page, this work, scholarly despite its lurid subject, should appeal mainly to serial-killer buffs and the law enforcement community. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440234739
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 462,485
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL D. KELLEHER, who has written widely on the subject of violence, specializes in threat assessment, strategic management, and human resource management for organizations in the private and public sectors.

C. L. KELLEHER is a volunteer counselor and human rights advocate.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations

Introduction

The Quiet Killers

Black Widows

Angels of Death

Sexual Predators

Revenge

For Profit or Crime

Team Killers

The Question of Sanity

The Unexplained

The Unsolved

Appendix 1: Statistical Information About the American Female Serial Killer

Appendix 2: Alphabetical Listing of Female Serial Killers

Appendix 3: Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Selected Bibliography

Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Good but not great.

    This book contained facts, but the facts that it has are applied to every case. I found this interesting to show just how much we don't know about the female serial killer. Even as women in law enforcement it is easier to understand the male serial killer than female.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2002

    More Interesting than Informative

    This book presents many cases. However, it sticks mainly with the facts and does not delve much into the psychological aspects of the killers motives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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