Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Angel Killer: A True Story of Cannibalism, Crime Fighting, and Insanity in New York City

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Angel Killer: A True Story of Cannibalism, Crime Fighting, and Insanity in New York City (2012) Deborah Blum

Angle KillerIf you’re looking for a light happy story–this is not the correct place to look.

This is a true crime history of a man who kidnapped, tortured–and in some cases–at children.

That’s now why I read this.

It also looks at criminology and psychiatry and the insanity defense in the early 20th century.

Here’s an excerpt of a bit I found fascinating:

At th etime, psychiatrists like Wertham who worked with the mentally ill, especially within the legal system, were still known as alienists–from the French word aliene, “insane.” The etymology traced back further, to the Latin of the middle ages, alienare, “to deprive of reason.” The term held another meaning, however, beneath it’s scholarly surface. There was a sense that alienists studied aliens, denizens of some separate community of craziness.

But I also find it fascinating how some link religious imagery to serial murder. Here is a statement from the killer,

“I had sort of an idea through Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice,” Fish explained. “It always seemed to me that I had to offer a child for sacrifice, to purge myself of inequities, sins, and abominations in the sight of God.”

Considering some of the stories in the Torah, it seems to me we’re lucky that more people don’t take the wrong ideas from these stories of God.

Regardless, it was an interesting tale, but then I quite like Deborah Blum’s writing.
Rating: 8/10

Published by The Atavist

Categories: 8/10, Non-Fiction, Science & Nature, Short Story


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