Read Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky Online


The first book of its kind-photographs included. Mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers-fiendish killers all. Society is conditioned to think of murderers and predators as men, but in this fascinating book, Peter Vronsky exposes and investigates the phenomenon of women who kill-and the political, economic, social, and sexual implications. From history's earliest recoThe first book of its kind-photographs included. Mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers-fiendish killers all. Society is conditioned to think of murderers and predators as men, but in this fascinating book, Peter Vronsky exposes and investigates the phenomenon of women who kill-and the political, economic, social, and sexual implications. From history's earliest recorded cases of homicidal females to Irma Grese, the Nazi Beast of Belsen, from Britain's notorious child-slayer Myra Hindley to 'Honeymoon Killer' Martha Beck, from the sensational murder-spree of Aileen Wournos, to cult killers, homicidal missionaries, and the sexy femme fatale, Vronsky challenges the ordinary standards of good and evil and defies the accepted perceptions of gender role and identity....

Title : Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425213902
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters Reviews

  • Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
    2018-09-20 21:02

    Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters... BECAUSE OF MEN!!They do it to help their sons, boyfriends, husbands and because they were sexually assaulted by a male. See boys... Don't blame us. It's your fault.Granted there are a few loose cannons out there, but for the majority its due to the male species. Excellent, info packed book on why women become serial killers.

  • James
    2018-08-31 19:57

    Excellent - well researched, well organized, flows smoothly, and the prose is not as dry as that found in some writing about extreme crimes, but scrupulously factual.The author describes the murders committed by female serial killers from the Roman Empire on to the present, and in each case study he examines questions about how and why the woman being discussed became a predator on other people. In his view, it is usually a combination of abuse or neglect in childhood combined with some kind of inborn predisposition, along with various other influences. He presents the idea that if any of these factors are missing - damage in childhood, unhealthy personality traits (extreme narcissism and desire for admiration, lack of empathy for victims, etc.) - then the person is very unlikely to kill anyone, let alone make a habit of it.Peter Vronsky's tone in this book is sometimes very personal and informal, as he records his own opinions of various events and things people had to say. Occasionally that's jarring, but it wasn't a problem for me.I recommend this for any mental health professional - any one of us is unlikely to end up working with a serial killer, particularly a woman, but a lot of these cognitive and emotional patterns exist in less virulent forms in many folks we're likely to be trying to help, and this book could be an aid to understanding some clients even if the most murderous thing they've ever done was to swat flies.

  • Pam
    2018-08-25 02:03

    i am creepily obsessed with serial killers.

  • Mel Lambert
    2018-09-10 17:45

    Feminism. I do not think it means what Vronsky thinks it means. Overall this book is an interesting set of case studies on an incredibly interesting subject... all brought down by the author's scornful attempts at humor and side diatribes about Feminism. I also feel like he didn't treat his topic with as much respect as it deserves. To me, killing someone is the height of extreme human behaviour, and discussing it in a scholarly fashion almost requires, I don't know, reverence for the people who do it? His jokes and little asides are unfunny at best. More often however, he sounds like the schoolyard bully. His is not really the tone I look for in my true crime and psychology studies.After a few days of thought, I realized that a big problem with this book is that he never does quite tell us "How and Why Women Become Monsters". He asks the questions in earnest, really seeming like he wants to know, but in all his research obviously never came upon a cause. He covers in general some theories as to how and why people become serial killers, but never REALLY seems to explore what those things mean in relation to FEMALE serial killers. Or he just straight up forgot to put that part in there. One of the two. He does eventually tack on a conclusion about how being a serial killer clearly begins at childhood, and entreats the reader to please, as a part of a society, love our kids more. ...Okay... thanks. He also states, in the confident way that only a man can, that it's not any harder to live as a woman in our society than it is to live as a man. Perhaps, if Vronsky had more of a familiarity with Feminism than stereotypes and the statements of a couple more radical Feminists, cherrypicked to sound as "crazy" as possible, he might better understand the cultural context that female serial killers are created in. Maybe, he could have even answered, oh, I don't know, any of the questions he asked? I wish that, instead of discounting an entire multi-faceted movement he could have tackled the subject with a larger understanding of what it's like to live as a female-identified person in our society. That larger understanding, of course, could have been afforded to him if he had decided to pay attention to anything an actual woman had to say about the subject. The Feminists quoted in this book may have been wrong about the women they were discussing, but there is a great deal of value in general Feminist thought and theory when it comes to the female experience in our society.I would have given this book less stars, but I'm a sucker for true crime and when Vronsky tells stories more or less free of his ill-informed editorializing, they are engrossing stories.

  • Manoja K.
    2018-09-08 23:03

    I had a review here, but some people took offence to that and took my review too literally (didn't understand that I was trying to make it entertaining and not give a real in dept review) so I'm just going to say this: He does gives good profiles on the serial killersHe fails to answer how and why women become monsters (at least this is how I felt)His commentary through out the book is frustrating because he can be really misogynistic and insensitive. And I felt like he didn't provide an analysis, which would be fine if he was just providing a back history on female serial killers. But he claims to be taking a theoretical approach, but when I finished reading I was left with, “What was your argument again?”

  • Meaghan
    2018-09-15 17:59

    Quite an interesting read. Vronsky does a good deal of myth-busting in this book, refuting for example the old canards about how female serial killers are always poisoners, or only kill people they know, or aren't as vicious as the male ones. He goes way back in history -- all the way back to the infamous Elizabeth Bathory and also chooses to include the Nazi camp guards Irma Grese and Ilse Koch. Most people would not think of Nazis as being "real" serial killers, but Vronsky makes a good case for including them.Be forewarned that Vronsky has a very blunt way of writing, with occasional cursing (though cursing shouldn't faze anyone reading a book about serial killers). I really liked the tone myself, and I liked his research. This book isn't for the cursory true crime reader, being close to 500 pages long, but if you're really into this sort of thing you'll enjoy it. I now want to seek out more of his work.

  • Arzu Altınanıt
    2018-09-15 00:57

    Tüyler ürpertici bir kitap. Bir insan bunları yapamaz, hangi beyin bunu düşünür, nasıl bir psikoloji bu diye okuyorsunuz. İşin asıl ürkütücü boyutu bu kadınların yanı başımızdaki tonton teyzeler, cici genç kızlar olma olasılığının yüksekliği. Çok severek okumuş olmam ilginç gelebilir ama öyle. Tek sıkıntım çeviri ile ilgiliydi. Özne yüklem uyumsuzlukları, seçilmiş bazı kelimeler, cümle kurulumu beni biraz rahatsız etti. Ama İthaki gibi özenli bir yayınevinin yeni basımda bunları düzelteceğine eminin.

  • Katherine Addison
    2018-08-22 02:06

    This makes an interesting pair with Ann Jones' Women Who Kill. Vronsky is not a feminist--he's not a misogynist, either, and honestly, after some of the feminists he quotes, I can't blame him for being dubious. There are people who have said some very stupid things about Aileen Wuornos.Vronsky talks about the fact that women were serial killers long before Jack the Ripper, and he talks about the very different way female serial killers operate. They tend to kill their family members, and they tend to use poison. He argues that they don't present a signature as male sexual serial killers (and Aileen Wuornos) do; that for them, the death really is the goal. It's quite possible that they get their superfluous-to-death kick before, from watching their victim's suffering or through Munchausen's by Proxy. Or both. (Really, if it bothers you terribly to watch your loved ones suffer, Munchausen's by Proxy isn't going to work very well for you.)He has a couple chapters of history, starting back with Messalina and Agrippina, discussing Elizabeth Bathory, and a number of cases that are familiar to me from Patrick Wilson's Murderess (Mary Ann Cotton, Mary May, Sarah Chesham (he is strictly limited to Anglophone murderers)), the astonishing Americans Lydia Sherman, Sarah Jane Robinson, and Jane Toppan.He has a chapter on Aileen Wuoros, and he doesn't downplay the horrific conditions of her childhood and adolescence, nor the grim daily desperation of her adult life. Ditto for Velma Barfield. But he also doesn't downplay the horror of what they did.He also discusses Dorothea Puente, Genene Jones, Marybeth Tinning, Christine Falling, serial killer pairs Martha Beck & Raymond Fernandez, Myra Hindley & Ian Brady, Carol Bundy & Douglas Clark, Charlene & Gerald Gallego, Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo, and then for ideological/cult killing Ilse Koch (the Bitch of Buchenwald) and Irma Grese (the Beast of Belsen), and the Manson girls Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten.I didn't always agree with Vronsky, and I found him in some places callously flippant, but this was an excellent and thought-provoking book.

  • Maddy
    2018-08-23 19:05

    Despite being overtly competent with facts and data Vronsky's writing, personal commentary and dismissive views of larger complex issues made this an uncomfortable read. You discuss radical feminists and subsequently dismiss all forms of feminism, not taking into account the history and complex nature of this vast school of thought. You give us transcripts of the Homolka/Bernardo (the Homolka section was outstandingly the worst of the text) tapes but not some stating that you're above it. Snide commentary, insensitivity and a narrow mind view make me feel bad about liking your first volume. Do you not have an editor? Is this book supposed to be your personal opinions about these women and their situations or an objective documentation? I don't care about your opinion Peter, especially when it does not seem to be based upon research or respect.

  • Ksenia Anske
    2018-08-20 22:13

    Great book. Latest research on female serial killers interspersed with commentary (albeit at times needlessly crude) on gender, feminism, patriarchy, male hegemony, psychopathy, societal rules and constructs that shape serial killers, history of female violence going back to Roman Empire, and the trials of modern psychology to categorize women who are capable of ruthless murder comparable to that of men. Includes life stories of prominent serial killers like Aileen Wuornos with lots of dark and sometimes crass humor. My favorite quote: "...not all lonely children become serial killers, some only end up writing books about them."

  • Maria
    2018-09-12 21:13

    First the good. The book was cataloged very well and was extremely informative on many notorious female serial killers and their crimes.Based on the information alone this book easily could get 4 stars since it does an excellent job of giving its intended audience what they wanted out of the book.Now for the bad the book from what I understood was supposed to come to conclusion based on psychological theory and such however I saw no real point to the narrative.This book would have been much better off as just a reference book because it offers really nothing else worth while.None of the psychological musings the author offered were new or even intriguing you'd be better off just watching snapped on the oxygen network.Truth be told anytime the book strayed from a simple text book like format and the author peeked through it was jarring and unpleasant.For one it's immediately clear the author has a serious vendetta against the feminist movement since he takes every opportunity to trash it.So much so was the authors hate for feminist that at one point I had to put the book down and immediately Google him because I was certain he must have been the head of some ultra conservative mens movement.But even when he wasn't spewing some non sense about a particular group he was just plain irritating like having constant commentary from a 12 year old who enjoys porn and video games a bit to much. If you feel you can block out the authors pretentious and unnecessary comments then you'll enjoy the book for it's information.But be warned I had several moments of just tossing the book down from sheer exhaustion.

  • Liz
    2018-08-27 01:50

    Overall, I enjoyed this book. I didn't know anything about female serial killers before reading it. He starts off comparing and contrasting female and male serial killers which is interesting. Female serial killers are much more likely to kill family and intimates while male serial killers are more likely to kill strangers, for example.In subsequent chapters he gives detailed accounts of numerous serial killers, broken into chapters based on category. One chapter is about the cliched Black Widow killers who kill husbands and children. One chapter is on women who kill with a male partner - this group is significantly more sadistic than females who kill alone.All in all, it was an interesting book, but I had a few misgivings. The author is rather anti-feminist and in most regards, I agree with his opinions regarding feminists who defended some of the female serial killers. However, he attacks feminists just a little more than is necessary, as if it is a personal issue for him.Another irritant in the book were a number of misspellings. For example, he said that one of the killers was killed by "lethal ejection". It obviously passed spellcheck, but one wonders if an editor read the book. I read a lot of books and typos such as the ones I found in this book seem to be rare and to me they stood out.The final detraction was the second to last chapter on Nazi and cult killers where he described two Nazi women and the Manson girls. For some reason, this chapter felt forced. It didn't seem to flow as well as the other chapters and case studies and I struggled to get through it. It wasn't even clear that the one Nazi woman he covered was even really a serial killer. All the evidence seemed to be heresay. I get the feeling that he felt he had to include this chapter, but that he wasn't really into it.

  • Kathleen
    2018-09-02 18:00

    For the most part, I found this book interesting. The case studies are the entire reason I bought this and they were detailed and provided a lot of information that I didn't know about. I do feel that I could of skipped about the first 70 pages without missing much though. I also see where some are annoyed by his ranting about feminists and I do partially agree. I understand the point he was trying to make about some of their ridiculous excuses for female killers, but he does seem to cross the line from debunking said excuses to, one of these feminists killed my puppy so I must destroy them. There were a few editing errors, missing letters and such, but overall, when he sticks to talking facts, it's a good book.

  • Ava
    2018-08-31 17:43

    Remember the self-aggrandizing, smug white boy in every undergrad history class? Apparently someone paid him to write this piece of anti-feminist propaganda masquerading as the seminal work on female serial killers. Vonsky's endlessly snide tone and infantalization of killers and victims alike made it impossible to slog through more than a couple of chapters. Oh, and as a writing tutor, I've seen some bad writing. This has got to be one of the worst written pieces I've ever had the misfortune to come across, complete with phrases like "drooling spectators" and "lunch-munching crowds" in what I can only assume is an attempt to connect with an audience to whom he feels inherently intellectually superior. Please do not read this.

  • Rachel Bayles
    2018-09-12 18:46

    With an uneven start, this book won me over. Its main problem may be its strength. The opening chapter feels like the author’s free association, taken completely out of context. Then he provides a fairly decent synopsis; going into enough detail on the case studies to hold the reader’s attention. But when he gets to the chapter on the Manson Murders, he switches back to the person we glimpsed in chapter one. It’s almost like two authors wrote the book – a sociology professor, and that humorous friend who doesn’t suffer fools and gets punchy after he’s had a few drinks. It's confusing, but it also gives you more respect for the writer.In any case, I’m not sure I’d recommend this simply because the topic is so dark. But if you have reason to explore the roots of violence, the author has done a skilled and respectful job of asking how people get to the point where they commit these crimes.

  • Linda
    2018-09-06 20:07

    This book took me quite awhile to read, how and why women kill is not a light read I'm willing to pick up nightly until I'm done. But I was kind of facintated by it.The book starts with facts and the different kinds of women killers from black widows to Phychotic killers, and the earliest we know of was Nero's mother in the Roman empire. She killed for power. Then Elizabeth Bathory, the Female Dracula and the facts of those serial killers up until 2006.There were a lot of graphic details and parts of it were hard to read. The interesting thing is, you never know. Some women were nurses who killed their patients, a high school couple know as the honeymoon killers, and then of course the girls who followed Charles Mason.Hopefully, I will never know someone like these women!

  • Jade
    2018-08-20 22:00

    I'm going to go ahead and say this: The author of this book is surprisingly anti-feminist movement and is one of those people who (in my opinion, obnoxiously) has a habit of pointing out his arbitrary judgment of every woman's physical appearance that he talks about. Aside from that, and the sometimes over-the-top jabs at feminists, I really, really enjoyed this book. It's a wonderful reference and extremely interesting.Of course the book can't really tell us WHY women, or anybody, becomes a "monster". There is no real psychological insight in this book that cannot be found in many other books on the subject of serial murder. But that's okay, because the book was well researched and interesting- do recommend!

  • Michelle
    2018-09-19 01:56

    I think this book provides the reader with more information on female serial killers in general than almost any other book. I think this is a good book to get people thinking on why females are not often seen as perpetrators but as the victim. I agree that gender really has nothing to do with a person's ability and desire to kill. I do think that acculturation as well as the individual physical ability and ways of thinking has more to do with how a murder is committed and why

  • Allison
    2018-09-10 20:04

    Wonderful!! It's very rare that you find such an in-depth exploration of female serial killers (especially one that goes beyond just "Black Widows"). Definitely a must-read if you're interested in the subject!

  • Wendy
    2018-09-08 18:51

    I thought it was very well researched and it kept my interest throughout. I didn't think that the last chapter on the Nazi Ladies and the Manson Girls fit as well, it was if it had been added on as an afterthought. Good overall though, good reading for anyone interested in True Crime.

  • Rusty Thelin
    2018-09-05 20:44

    solid and entertaining retelling of the various cases of female killers, filled with fun facts and shockingly gruesome moments in our human cultural history. If you are researching straight-forward accountings of horrifying murders, as I was, its hard to go wrong with a text like this.

  • Jules
    2018-09-13 20:03

    Amazingly written. Really took me into the lives of these sadistic women throughout time.

  • Samra
    2018-08-26 19:57

    Great detailed book on female killers.

  • Cassidy
    2018-08-29 17:47

    This was an excellent book

  • Annie
    2018-09-19 19:13

    This is my absolute favorite non-fiction book. The author provides many examples of female serial killers. The book is sectioned off really well. The book is a really fun read.

  • Alex Lawless
    2018-08-22 23:07

    I was initially really excited about this book due to its focus on statistics and the backstories of famous female serial killers. It ended up coming up really flat for me, and at times, offensive. The author has an incredibly dismissive and flippant tone, frequently describes both perpetrators and victims in colorful and derogatory ways, and gets facts wrong or so thoroughly confuses them that they might as well be wrong. He so thoroughly confuses his quotes on statistics that I distrusted them (more than I usually distrust overarching statistics) after the first chapter or so. I was particularly troubled by his disdain for feminism, particularly when discusses Wuornos's case. I do not agree with the feminist philosophies and involvements that were centered around her trial personally, but the author seems to use this as a standard for all of feminism and continues his disdain throughout the whole book, and begrudgingly "hands one to feminism" when he agrees with feminism all of about once.Another issued I had was his highly opinionated writing style in something I thought was meant to be a nonfiction, biographical collection. Not that you can't inject your own style into nonfiction, but I felt like he was very liberal with his opinions and adjectives.The only reason I gave these even three stars was because he did provide very thorough childhood backgrounds for the serial killers profiled in this collection, and continued that into their committing of crimes and subsequent trials and life after. I was very interested in reading what may have contributed or led up to the killings. I had passing familiarity with a lot of these killers, but was definitely not aware of their childhood circumstances.Overall I would rate this as a cautious read, and take it with a grain of salt. It's possibly the only book like this dedicated to thoroughly mapping out the lives of female serial killers prior too and during their crimes, which makes it frustrating for me that he writes with the voices he does.

  • Jenny
    2018-09-20 18:05

    I wanted this book to be better than it was. I think if it had been written by a woman, it would have been handled better. Vronsky's voice was distracting and problematic at times. That said, it was a pretty extensive look at female serial killers. I learned about several I had never heard of before.

  • Ruslan Farben
    2018-09-12 20:08

    This book is a feminist history of predatory female perpetrated serial murder. The author argues that women are as empowered as men when it comes to committing predatory violence and are equal to their homicidal male counterparts, (if not even superior, as he presents statistical evidence that female serial killers have twice as long a killing career before being apprehended than clumsier, knuckle-dragging male serial killers.) Vronsky concludes that women serial killers kill for the same reason male serial killers do: control. The difference between female and male perpetrators is in how they express their controlling serial killing psychopathology and the forensic signatures they leave on the victim and crime scene.There is a school of wild-eyed radical feminists that do not like Vronsky’s book because he rips into their fantasy that serial killing is exclusively perpetrated by misogynistic males against exclusively female victims as a form of ‘femicide’ or ‘gynocide’ or ‘phallic terrorism’ perpetrated by a ‘phallocracy’, but when females kill repeatedly, they do so because they are “defending themselves” against male oppression or are suffering from “battered spouse syndrome” when they participate in kidnapping, raping and murdering victims with a male accomplice. As several critics have pointed out there are some offensive passages in this book but they all come from radical feminists Vronsky quotes, like for example the author Ann Jones (Women Who Kill) who proclaims, “the same social and legal deprivation that compel some women to feminism push others to homicide... Not surprisingly, the interests of feminists and murderers sometimes coincide... The story of women who kill is the story of women.” Nor do radical feminists like to hear that it is a myth that female serial killers predominately murder their abusive husbands and male lovers. Vronsky presents statistical evidence that 53 percent of known female serial killers in the United States murdered at least one woman, and 32 percent at least one female child. So much for female serial killing as a defense against male patriachial perpetrated abuse.In particular Vronsky is highly critical, almost personally so, of New York radical feminist Phyllis Chessman who took up the cause of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos as an example of a female killing males attempting to rape her—on seven separate occasions! While Wuornos’ radical feminist defenders slandered Wuornos’ innocent victims as rapists and then abandoned Wuornos when her rape defense was rejected in the courtroom, Vronsky is one of the few writers to actually give her story some serious attention, putting her defense into perspective with studies he describes on the high rate that sex workers like her are raped. Vronsky’s strips away the self-serving political agenda that parasitical radical feminists cloaked Wuornos in to reveal the tragic human figure of the real Aileen Wuornos from her childhood to her last moments in the death chamber. For someone who is characterized as writing a “misogynistic” book, Vronsky’s treatment in a chapter entitled “The Cult and Passion of Aileen Wuornos” is very deep and humanistic, with his Aileen almost a flawed suffering Christ-like figure nailed to the cross of gender politics.This is a definitive study of the history female serial killers from a mature feminist perspective of equality, arguing that women are as capable of predatory violence as are men and revealing the truth behind the startling statistics that in the United States, approximately one in six identified serial killers is a female. As in his history of male perpetrated serial killing,Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters, Vronsky explores a history of female serial killers and their method and madness interspersed with detailed accounts of several dozen cases of female perpetrated serial murder.

  • Craig Buck
    2018-09-04 19:44

    Sixteen percent of all serial killers are female, yet most people still believe they are extremely rare. Because of the all common misperception that female serial killers are all abuse victims acting out PTSD, some horrendously viscous, torturing psychopaths spend only a few years behind bars before being released back among us. This book tells their stories well and seems exhaustively researched, despite occasional editorial digressions on the author's part. For those of us engaged in writing fiction about such monstrous creatures, this book is a must-read. For those who are merely fascinated, this book will not disappoint.

  • CC
    2018-09-05 00:49

    While I didn't like how vehement he was about the feminist theory discussed herein, I thought the analysis of general crime patterns and lesser-known killers was really interesting. I read this book for research, and I got a lot out of it.