An astonishing portrait of a murderer and his complex relationship with a crusading journalist
Michael Ross was a serial killer who raped and murdered eight young women between 1981 and 1984. In 2005, the state of Connecticut put him to death by lethal injection. His crimes were horrific, and he paid the ultimate price for them.
When journalist Martha Elliott first heard of Ross, she learned what the world knew of him—that he had been a master at hiding in plain sight. Elliott, a staunch critic of the death penalty, was drawn to the case when the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned Ross’s six death sentences. Rather than fight for his life, Ross requested that he be executed because he didn’t want the families of his victims to suffer through a new trial. Elliott was intrigued and sought an interview. The two began a weekly conversation—and developed an odd form of friendship—that lasted over a decade, until Ross’s last moments of life.
Over the course of his twenty years in prison, Ross had come to embrace faith for the first time in his life. He had also undergone extensive medical treatment. The Michael Ross whom Elliott knew seemed to be a different man from the monster who was capable of such heinous crimes. This Michael Ross made it his mission to share his story with Elliott in the hopes that it would save lives. He was her partner in unlocking the mystery of his own evil.
In The Man in the Monster, Martha Elliott gives us a groundbreaking look into the life and motivation of a serial killer. Drawing on a decade of conversations and letters between Ross and the author, readers are given an in-depth view of a killer’s innermost thoughts and secrets, revealing the human face of a monster—without ignoring the horrors of his crimes. Elliott takes us deep into a world of court hearings, tomblike prisons, lawyers hell-bent to kill or to save—and families ravaged by love and hate. This is the personal story of a journalist who came to know herself in ways she could never have imagined when she opened the notebook for that first interview.
Praise for The Man in the Monster:
“Sturdily written and well researched . . . The book will appeal to those curious about why killers kill, and those who can stomach what they learn.” —The Boston Globe
“A fascinating, in-depth analysis for true-crime buffs, sociologists, and others grappling with nearly impossible-to-comprehend actions and their consequences.” —Booklist
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Martha Elliott has been a journalist for almost forty years. She was mentored in graduate school by veteran journalist Fred W. Friendly and became his colleague, producing award-winning television programs and writing three books and numerous articles and speeches. She has run a newspaper and has taught at Columbia University and at the secondary school level. The recipient of many awards, her most recent is Vassar’s Time Out Grant for 2014–15 to write a novel. She has three children and three grandchildren and lives in Maine.
Read an Excerpt
It was almost noon when Michael Bruce Ross, convicted serial killer, walked into the crowded courtroom—all 240 pounds of him, the man who had brutally raped and strangled eight young women. He no longer resembled the lanky, bespectacled, nervous-looking young man who had originally gone to trial more than a decade before; sedentary prison life, prison food, and hormone treatments changed all that. His six-foot frame carried the weight that he jokingly claimed to have gained so that he wouldn’t fit into the electric chair, Connecticut’s method of execution at the time of his first trial. Oversized, prison-issued glasses, a doughy face, and crew cut gave him a geeky look. He wore the Northern Correctional Institution uniform and white laceless slip-on sneakers. He was restrained by handcuffs and ankle shackles. As the guards removed the handcuffs at the judge’s orders, visible indentations were left by the black box that holds the two shackles together during transport to ensure that there is no escape. The box is standard operating procedure for all death row inmates going to court. They say it hurts like hell.
Excerpted from "The Man in the Monster"
Copyright © 2016 Martha Elliott.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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