Wednesday, February 8, 2012

REVIEW: I Would Find a Girl Walking by Kathy Kelly and Diana Montane

Wait, it turns out that I really do remember how to do reviews! And a good thing, because this book is a stellar one.

Product Description: What made me kill and kill again?
I can't answer that except like this...

Culled from interviews with the lead investigator and the victims' families, and exclusive access to the killer, this is a revealing, shocking, and unflinching portrait of Gerald Eugene Stano, a man who fancied himself one of the greatest lady-killers of them all.

My Thoughts: Gerald Stano was a man who hated and feared women. Rather than going to therapy or just nutting up and going to live on an island alone or something, though, he raped and murdered them. With over forty known or suspected victims in an active killing period lasting less than ten years, he was one of the most prolific serial killers in US history. This book details his best-known victims one chapter at a time, choosing to focus on them in the same order that Stano revealed them to police rather than chronologically, with clarity of description and immense sympathy for the victims and disgust for Stano that still doesn't trip over the line into sensationalism. More than crime reporting, however, Kelly and Montane offer a cogent picture of rape culture and, in reproducing Stano's letters to Kelly in full at the end of the book, a chilling look at a sociopath. Stano didn't seem to realize (or if he did, he didn't care) that his infantilizing "girl" and "young lady" in reference to Kelly (who was that point a professional crime reporter and grown-ass woman) was the same language he used to refer to his victims. He doesn't actually call her a woman until he thinks he's punishing her by withdrawing his affections (after she spent over a year maintaining a professional relationship and nothing more). Too many men hold the same attitude. Luckily for all of us, vanishingly few take it as far as Stano did.

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