3 out of 4 stars
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The story follows the lives of six girls. All of whom died at the hands of a strangling rapist in Dayton Ohio. The author documents each girl’s life up until the time they met their untimely death. This is a true story and there are quite a few newspaper excerpts printed along the narration to increase its credibility.
As evidenced by the way these murders were treated, women’s lives did not matter so much in those days. It was more acceptable for a woman to die defending her chastity and modesty than to live through a rape. If she bargained for her life in any way her image would be tarnished. If it was discovered that she was not a virgin a perpetrator could easily get away with rape.
This book gave me a chance to look into the lives of women living in the early nineteen hundreds. Some attitudes towards women haven’t changed since then. It is still common for some people to see women only as an extension of the men in their lives. While that is not surprising, I can’t help but wonder why there is still stigma towards working mothers. Workplaces are biased against mothers while as early 1901, American women had jobs.
This book will appeal to people who love reading journals and enjoy documentaries. Occurrences of various events relating to the cases are dated and timed where possible. The girls’ deaths are also recounted chronologically as they happened. While there are not too many stylistic devices utilized in this book, I enjoyed the author’s use of euphemisms. They were an absolute joy to read and decode.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Even for the time period, I felt that the investigations could have been more focused. It’s frustrating that the perpetrator could have been caught earlier on if the investigators had been more thorough. He had qualities that should have enabled law enforcers to profile him as a suspect.
As much as I enjoyed this book, I did not particularly like it’s descriptions of the events that occurred after each girl’s death. They were repetitive and predictable. I found myself wishing that each girl would be the final victim who would escape and expose the perpetrator. Considerable gains were made earlier on in the investigations, only for investigators to abandon their previous methods. In those times, police could search your house without a warrant. However, there was one crucial moment when they neglected to search a suspect’s house.
Cold Serial: The Jack the Strangler Murders
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