Tag Archives: true crime

Prophet’s Prey – Book Review

Published Date: September 13, 2011

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 336

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Any religion that tells you that you should be raping (stop saying ‘having sex with’, that’s just sugar coating rape) little girls, should make you turn tail and run for the hills. However, what a perfect haven for predators. Anyone tries to stop your rape of children, just start hollering about your freedom of religion and how you’re just misunderstood and people will back off. No one wants to offend someone’s religion, especially the United States government. No, they prefer to just pretend it’s not happening. Put it’s collective head in the sand to avoid the screams and suffering of children. Even though this book was published ten years ago, these communities are still very much active.

If you want/need a solid understanding of the FLDS and it’s history, I will always recommend Jon Krauker’s Under the Banner of Heaven. For a short summary, this cult (the most accurate term) is a group that broke away from mainstream Mormonism years ago when the church outlawed polygamy. Not a lot of women are not necessarily down for plural marriage, so the easiest way to deal with little ‘issue’ is to marry little girls who can’t say no. To make that even easier, you start brainwashing them from birth and demonize anyone who doesn’t live the same lifestyle. If the outside world is too scary, they’ll stay right where the predators can get them.

Also, there is a lot of incest.

On top of all the despicable things they do, the patriarchy of the cult functions much like the mob. They will find you, and they will silence you at all costs. They will stop at nothing to keep their steady supply of victims out of the hands of safety.

Now that I’ve set that little background for you, this is the story from the perspective of one of the investigators who helped bring down the leader of the FLDS, Warren Jeffs. The worst of the predators. It took ridiculously long, as you can see by the title. Nothing in government moves fast but building a solid case takes time too. Of course, as you’ll find out throughout this book, there are plenty of people who will stand in the way and try to slow things down even more. That is what is always fascinating about these big, true crime cases, how often things get bungled before justice can finally be served.

Sam Brower dishes out the details in this deep dive into Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. From brainwashing, rape, incest, power struggles, and hideouts, to big money, political clot and swayed journalism. This covers the full scope of a true crime story that continues to this day. It’s not really justice when the leader still leads his puppets from prison and children continue to be abused and families torn apart. Although sometimes redundant, this was a horrifying read that will pull you into a world that should no longer exist in this age and that you will have a hard time coming to terms with.

March’s Mini-Reviews

This month’s mini-reviews weren’t ‘meh’ like February, however, they didn’t quite inspire me to launch into a full fledged review to sing their laurels from the roof tops either. I suppose they qualify as honorable mentions.

4 out of 5 stars – Although this one bills itself as a satire, it doesn’t reach the ridiculous level that others do. It took a minute for me to find my stride in the story but once I did I enjoyed myself. The ending was great and my only hesitancy in continuing the series is that my boss said the second book isn’t quite as good as the first. (He followed his reasoning with, second books are almost never as good as the first.)

4 out of 5 stars – Very easy read. Author describes a movie plot and then follows up with the true crime stories that inspired it. This is also the very reason that makes it difficult to review it. Overall, it’s a very simple template.

Currently reading:

I think that I will complete Children of Dune before the month is up. I didn’t review the first two books last year while I was on my review boycott, which will make reviewing this extra difficult but I think I will at least try.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has actually surprised me with how much fun it is. I’ve been reading it on my work lunches but it might come home with me soon so I can devote more time to proper ladies wielding swords and wooing men with their decapitating abilities.

I recently came this ————————> close to going on a book binge. I resisted. Probably for the best because school books are not cheap.

How did March treat you? Book related or otherwise.

Coffee & a Chat – I Survived!

Just before the chaos of this last week, I managed to spring clean my favorite bookcase.

WHEW. I made it. It has taken two nights of sleeping 8+ hours to recover but here I am.

Work was made to be even busier as we received our first (and perhaps only) small shipment of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to distribute. Word spread quickly and we were swamped with phone calls of people trying to skip the waitlist and convince us that they needed it more than everyone else. We only had two people get down right rude and one screamer so I’ll consider that a success because I honestly expected more of that to happen. Mostly, everyone was super grateful that they were finally able to get it.

On top of that, I was applying for scholarships (turns out my schooling is not going to be 100% covered since I’m not in-district like I thought I was) and began the process to refinance the house. I couldn’t push that back any longer though, as mortgage rates are slowly creeping back up.

Next week should prove much easier as I only have one thing on my plate besides work which is figuring out which classes to register for this semester. I found out that my new school is accepting almost all of my credit hours from my old school that I attended in 2006-07 which, puts me at halfway through my degree! *does a dance* I was not expecting that and it was the boost I needed to make sure that school happens.

Currently reading:

Since this is one of those books that each chapter is about a different movie/true crime story, it’s easy to put down and pick back up even days later. That has worked out great for me this last week. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited if it’s something you’re interested in.

That’s it folks! I am happy that last week is over and that I feel recovered after so much sleep. How was your week??

The Pirate (Bloodlands Collection) – Book Review

Published Date: June 28, 2018

Publishing Co.: Amazon Original Stories

Pages: 67

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“In 1860, a sloop drifted into New York Harbor. Not a soul on board—just blood from cabin to deck. Looted coins led to Bowery thug Albert Hicks, the ax slayer who turned his shipmates into chum.

His crimes were absolutely fiendish. His execution was pure ballyhoo. It drew nearly ten thousand bloodthirsty sightseers to the city—including the enterprising showman P. T. Barnum. Refreshments were served as the most notorious and unrepentant mass murderer of the era made history as one of America’s first celebrity killers.”

I hope you’re not tired of hearing me talk about Last Podcast on the Left because here I go again….

I read this purely based on the fact that Marcus Parks of LPOTL, always highly recommends this author and frequently uses Schechter’s works in his research.

The Bloodlands Collection is also on Kindle Unlimited so I had nothing to lose by checking out this short story.

Historical true crime fans, dig in. It’s great.

Last Podcast on the Left – Detroit

Mr. C&M and I simply refer to our favorite podcasters ever as, The Boys. The boys came to Michigan for the first time December 6th and despite already seeing the show for this tour back in March, we had to represent for our state so that they would keep coming back.

Totally worth it. It may have been the same show but the jokes were 20 times better. We were laughing our asses off the whole way through.

If you’ve never attended one of their shows, first, fix that. Second, here’s their formula for success:

Henry dons his Mufon gear and tells us about some alien encounters:

Marcus covers crytids. This year’s was most special as it’s a legend for our state, the Dogman:

Ben gives us some professional wrestling stories which I do not have pictures of.

To round up a quality show, there has to be a little conspiracy theory action. This year’s involving Mama Cass of The Mamas & The Papas.

We also had much better seats at this show since we bought them the day they were released. I’m fairly certain that the show sold out, so hopefully they hit Michigan on their next tour too.

If you need a new podcast to edu-tain you, then I highly recommend the boys.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper – Book Review

Published Date: August 9, 2019

Publishing Co.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: unrated

DNF at page 95.

For the first time ever, I’m not rating a book that I didn’t finish. Usually, if I don’t finish a book it’s because I hated it or it bored me to death. Those two things mean they deserve some type of rating either for the feedback of the author (if they bother reading reviews) and for other people who are considering picking up the book or both.

In this case, the book did keep my attention, however, in the end, I just can’t bring myself to care much about the lives of people who died 130 years ago. I respect the concept that these women don’t deserve to be remembered as prostitutes because there is not enough evidence that they were. But in the end, they are dead and they don’t care. (Does that sound super insensitive? Probably, but I’m too tired to care.)

This is thoroughly researched when it comes to Victorian London and that I really enjoyed. I learned things I didn’t know and that always earns my respect.

So this is a toss up kids! It’s research is fantastic. If you want to learn lots of information on that time period, this is great. If you don’t really care if someone who was murdered that long ago was a prostitute or not, this might not be for you either.

True Crime: Michigan: The State’s Most Notorious Criminal Cases – Book Review

Published Date: June 7, 2011

Publishing Co.: Stackpole Books

Pages: 136

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The perfect coffee table/bathroom book for any Michigander home.

This easy-to-read true crime novel highlights some of Michigan’s most notorious crimes. From our polygamist king, a couple of serial killers, the original gangsters of Detroit (ones even Al Capone wouldn’t mess with) to the wild west of the Upper Peninsula, if there is one thing Michigan isn’t, it’s boring.

Despite living my entire life in the Great Lakes state, there were plenty of stories about cases I had no idea about in general or I just didn’t realized they had happened here. For example; the largest school massacre in US history happened in Bath, Michigan in 1927 and the culprit was raised in the town I currently call home. (Not exactly something they put on the welcome billboard and I’m sure the historical society likes to keep in the dark.)

Do you have to be from Michigan to enjoy this? Of course not, however, I do think it adds a personal connection to the stories if you are.

Last Podcast on the Left Live

After about a year of exploring podcasts, there has been a clear winner, at least for me.

Last Podcast on the Left covers all the bases. Serial killers, true crime, UFOs, paranormal and cryptozoology. They mix facts with humor, sometimes making the very dark subject matter more easy to digest. They’ve become a household name….in this house. My husband has listened to every single episode as I’ve been slowing working through everything new they put out and catching up on the old stuff too.

So when they announced a live tour, with the nearest stop to Michigan being Cleveland, we bought tickets immediately. It was worth every penny and we’ll go see them anytime they come that close. It was my first comedy show and I laughed a LOT. (This is important as every time I’ve watched a comedian do stand up on TV, I maybe laugh out loud once….if they’re good.)

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, this podcast probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like swearing and dark subjects, stay away. Some people have accused them of being into murder porn because they really hit the details in every case, but as they’ve recently pointed out, thanks to the new Bundy tapes documentary on Netflix, the reason why they do is to show just what horrific monsters these people are/were. You may think, they’re serial killers of course they’re terrible, who would think otherwise? The answer: too many fucking people. For example, Netflix had to come out and tell people to stop romanticizing Ted Bundy (something that was an issue during his actual trial as well), but this was partially their fault. No where in the entire documentary did they say anything about his murders other than he committed them. They didn’t mention the rape, or the necrophilia. So I digress back to Last Podcast, they’re going to give you every single detail so you know exactly what kind of monster you’re hearing about.

The live show was much more light-hearted and fun. They talked about murder conspiracies, UFOs, and cryptids. The tour will run across the globe for most of the year and then they’ll probably do a recording available to purchase at the end of the year (like they did this past December) and next year, a new tour with new subjects.

If this all sounds up your alley, I highly recommend giving them a try.

Intense banter.


Henry gets his Mufon on to talk UFO sightings.

5 Non-fiction Books on My TBR List

Fantasy and sci-fi are my bread and butter of reading BUT I do enjoy a good non-fiction book now and again. Quite frankly, I’m very picky about them so I thought I’d share some that have made my TBR list. I haven’t read any of them yet so don’t come yelling at me if you don’t end up liking them. 😉

Journalist Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of global wildlife trafficking, a topic she has been investigating for nearly a decade. Our insatiable demand for animals–for jewelry, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur–is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic, threatening the continued existence of countless species. Illegal wildlife trade now ranks among the largest contraband industries in the world, yet compared to drug, arms, or human trafficking, the wildlife crisis has received scant attention and support, leaving it up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure that elephants, tigers, rhinos, and more are still around for future generations.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

Dear Mr. Manson…

It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy.

Dear Mr. Dahmer…

Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason — and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison…

Dear Mr. Gacy…
It was an offer Jason couldn’t turn down. Even if it made him…

The book that has riveted the attention of the national media, this may be the most revealing look at serial killers ever recorded and the most illuminating study of the dark places of the human mind ever attempted

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastichas made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

From Waco to Heaven’s Gate, the past decade has seen its share of cult tragedies. But none has been quite so dramatic or compelling as the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which the Reverend Jim Jones and 913 of his disciples perished. Deborah Layton had been a member of the Peoples Temple for seven years when she departed for Jonestown, Guyana, the promised land nestled deep in the South American jungle. When she arrived, however, Layton saw that something was seriously wrong. Jones constantly spoke of a revolutionary mass suicide, and Layton knew only too well that he had enough control over the minds of the Jonestown residents to carry it out. But her pleas for help–and her sworn affidavit to the U.S. government–fell on skeptical ears. In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults and shows how anyone can fall under their spell. Seductive Poison is both an unflinching historical document and a riveting story of intrigue, power, and murder.

If you could only recommend ONE non-fiction book, what would it be??