Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Killer Dads

By Sandy Amazeen Jul 24, 2013, 6:02 GMT

Book Review: Killer Dads

No crime is as horrific, as mesmerizingly perplexing, as a child\'s murder at the hands of a parent. In most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores five examples of "family annihilators" in this troubling snapshot of American crime twisted by the dark trajectory of machismo in economically stressful times. Her research includes some fifty in-depth interviews of victims\' friends and family, an examination of police files, ...more

From the first gripping account of an outwardly mild mannered father who calmly slit his five year old stepdaughter’s throat, this compelling book holds your attention like a bear trap as it examines not only the horrible crimes committed by fathers but also the motivations. Papenfuss avoids the pitfalls of sensationalism while using the latest behavioral and criminology research to discover what went so horribly wrong in each of the cases presented here. Included is a recounting of such highly publicized cases as the Laci Peterson murder as well as a few lesser-known cases like that of Jessica Mokdad who was shot at point blank range. The defense for this case was that of an honor killing, the end result of cultural clashes between the Muslim father and his westernized daughter. What emerges in the investigation is an ugly mix of forced marriage, incest and ultimately, control.

At once chilling, profoundly sad and insightful, Papenfuss’s work places each case in context while drawing sound conclusions in regards to the motivating factors. Some solutions are offered as well though really, as long as family resources are stretched to the limit and beyond, it is tragically no surprise that children will continue to suffer. This is a gripping read for true crime fans.



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Killer Dads: The Twisted Drives that Compel Fathers to Murder Their Own Kids

No crime is as horrific, as mesmerizingly perplexing, as a child's murder at the hands of a parent. In most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores ...more

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