"Spree Killers" - Nigel Cawthorne
I found this book while roaming around Barnes and Noble's bargain books and just had to pick this up. I know what you're thinking.. what kind of a person gets excited about reading a book about spree killers unless they need to be put away in the Anchorage Psychiatric Institute... but I'm weird like that. I've always had a fascination with crime, horror and suspense books, movies, and tv shows. I don't really know why, but it's always been there.
Anyway... this book is jammed packed with a bunch of stories about spree killers. Spree killers are people who just snap. They randomly decide to go on a killing spree. This book discusses some of the famous spree killers that have happened in everyone's history, not just in the United States. It discusses people like George Hennard in Killen Texas, Genghis Khan the Mongol ruler, and Charles Starkweather of Nebraska (who's story was told in the cult movie Badlands in 1973).
This book doesn't read like legal proceedings, or a text book. It starts out telling one story, as if you were talking to the author face to face. As one story concludes, the next story is tied into the previous one, by means of a similar spree killing. The retellings are grouped into chapters by the different types of killings.
Even thought this book is pretty morbid, and most people don't want to know about more killing in the world, it's pretty informative. Spree killings are not something of the most recent times, it's been around for generations and generations. The thing that has changed is the availability of information. Now, we get play-by-plays of any sort of crime that happens. This makes it seem like we're living in a more dangerous time. This book, in a weird way, reminds me that we are not the first generation to suffer through pain and loss, and we won't be the last ones. This book grounds the paranoia of living in 2013 by showing that people who lived through the times in the book are still here and have survived the same things.