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Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong: Inside the Mind of a Female Serial Killer

Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong: Inside the Mind of a Female Serial Killer


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Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, as one judge described her, was "a coldly calculated criminal recidivist and serial killer." She had experienced a lifetime of murder, mayhem, and mental illness. She killed two boyfriends, including one whose body was stuffed in a freezer. And she was convicted in one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's strangest cases: the Pizza Bomber case, in which a pizza deliveryman died when a bomb locked to his neck exploded after he robbed a bank in 2003 near Erie, Pennsylvania, Diehl-Armstrong's hometown.

Diehl-Armstrong's life unfolded in an enthralling portrait; a fascinating interplay between mental illness and the law. As a female serial killer, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was in a rare category. In the early 1970s, she was a high-achieving graduate student pursuing a career in education but suffered from bipolar disorder. Before her death, she was sentenced to serve life plus thirty years in federal prison.

In Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella examine female serial killers by focusing on the fascinating and tragic life of one woman. This book also explores mental illness and forensic psychology and provides a history of how American jurisprudence has grappled with such complex and controversial issues as the insanity defense and mental competency to stand trial. The authors' account shows why Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong was unlike any other criminal - man or woman - in American history. Accounts of Diehl-Armstrong's travails - her difficult childhood, her murder trials, her hoarding - are interpolated with chapters about mental disorders and the law.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442260078
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/29/2017
Pages: 284
Sales rank: 1,186,057
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jerry Clark, PhD, retired as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2011 after twenty-seven years in law enforcement, including careers as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he is also co-owner of Clark & Wick Investigations LLC.

Ed Palattella joined the Erie Times-News, in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1990. He has won a number of awards, including for his investigative work and his coverage of crime.

Both are the authors of Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery and A History of Heists: Bank Robbery in America, which was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015.

Table of Contents

1 Cycle of Death: Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong's Pattern of Violence
2 In Rare Company: Female Serial Killers in History
3 Killing Like a Man: Angels of Death, Black Widows, and Damsels of Doom
4 A Cluttered Mind: Marjorie Diehl's Hoarding and Other Obsessions
5 Dictionary of Disorder: Defining Mental Illness
6 Death of a Boyfriend: A Fatal Shooting, a Suicide, and a Question of Stability
7 "A Madman or a Natural Fool": Determining Mental Competency
8 "Scared to Death": Marjorie Diehl's First Homicide Trial
9 Flight of Ideas: The Burdens of Bipolar Disorder
10 "Freezer Queen": Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong Kills Again
11 The Fractured Intellectuals: The Pizza Bomber Plot Unravels
12 Psyche on Trial: Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong's Final Verdict

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