A Book Review of “The Killer Book of True Crime” by Tom Philbin

Title: The Killer Book of True Crime: Incredible Stories, Facts and Trivia from the World of Murder and Mayhem
Author: Tom Philbin
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.; 1 edition (June 1, 2007)
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1402208294

The Killer Book of True Crime Book Summary

You’ve read all the stories…but can you match the mobster with the way he met his end? Do you know how they caught the Boston Strangler? Can you define chickens, a Shotaro complex or Colombian neckties?

The Killer Book of True Crime is the ultimate collection of in-depth stories, trivia, quizzes, quotes and photos gruesome and interesting enough to make any crime buff shudder in horrified delight. Discover all the odd and intriguing facts and tidbits you’ve never heard.

My Thoughts on The Killer Book of True Crime

I actually read this book a few weeks ago and mistakenly thought I had already reviewed it. Then I debated whether I should even review it, considering the tragedy that befell our Nation (in the form of close to 30 innocent lives slain in Connecticut.)

killer-book-coverBut then I thought, “Surely I cannot be the only one that wondered — ‘How? Why?’” These are the questions I always ask myself prior to watching TruTV or picking up a true crime novel. How does things like this happen? How can they be prevented? How did the system fail these victims and their families?

When I picked up The Killer Book of True Crime, I thought it would dig deep into the psyche of the deranged. Was there some turning moment in childhood that made them become the person they were/are and did the horrible things they would do? In fact, I got no such answers.

Even though The Killer Book of True Crime was quite interesting, it fell flat is many ways. While the book had many topics to cover, I felt that it often skipped and ran around in circles and just plain left things out. You know, like.. the end.

For example, it would talk about a certain crime and then it would forget to include the aftermath. How did the trial go? How were they caught? Are they dead, now? Still in jail? Are they now roaming the streets and do I need to get a permit to carry?

I mean seriously, it just stops and tells you nothing. This book is a quick read, but it’s more along the lines of “bathroom” reads, then anything you can take seriously. Plus the actual autopsy photos? Yes, I could have done without those, thank you. It wasn’t really a necessary addition and felt quite invasive. As the pictures were not accompanying educational information, it seemed quite tacky to include them in this book.

The Killer Book of True Crime is more for slight curiosity rather than truly learning about the history of crime and seeking answers to all the above questions I’ve asked. If a life in criminal justice interests you, and you want to help make the world a better place by getting criminals off the street (or prevent crimes from happening) – then this is probably not the book that will best benefit helping you understand criminals. In fact, you’ll probably have more questions than answers.

Average book, but there are better.


Kimby May 31, 2020 at 9:03 pm

This was a very quick read, full of information about well-known and lesser-known crimes and criminals. I have never even read some of the facts about a few of the more well-known criminals in the book before. Some of the details in the book are not for the faint of heart, such as the autopsy reports of Nicole Brown Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey, but I still recommend reading this for all true crime lovers.

Nicole June 1, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Oh yes, how does such things like this happen? have no idea literally

Steph June 3, 2020 at 7:30 am

Being a serial killer enthusiast, this book is ok. I was already familiar with most of the killers mentioned in the book. It’s more for entertainment, and briefly touches famous American serial killers, arsonists, and thieves. Includes trivia and little fun facts.

Hilary June 5, 2020 at 5:31 am

No more crime books. Only old-school detectives maximum.

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