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Lethal Shadow: The Chilling True-Crime Story of a Sadistic Sex Slayer by Stephen G. Michaud
Profiles James Mitchell De Bardeleban, from his initial arrest as a counterfeiter to the discovery that he was also a sadistic kidnapper, torturer, and sex murderer responsible for a 20 year reign of terror.

Dangerous Attractions
by Robert Scott A walk on the wild side -- the rape and murder of an all American girl.

The World's Most Mysterious Murders
by Lionel Fanthrope, Patricia Fanthorpe
Most unsolved murders have no apparent motives -- or too many motives. The murders of Sir Harry Oakes in 1943, one of the richest men in Canada, and Christine Demeter, found dead in a blood-soaked garage in Mississauga in 1973 -- remain unsolved. Who killed King William Rufus, Edward II, and the Princes in the Tower? Who was Jack the Ripper? Was James Hanratty really guilty of killing Michael Gregson? These mysteries and more.

International Crimes by Nikos Passas

Welcome Gary Boynton a professional true crime writer to's True Crime book reviewer!

Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet by John Douglas and Steven Singular

Imagine if Jack the Ripper or Ted Bundy had lived in the age of the Internet. How many more women would they have killed? Would Bundy have been caught if he had been able to use his charm to lure his victims by e-mail, rather than handcuffing them in his Volkswagen?

In Anyone You Want Me To Be, we learn how John Robinson, a pudgy, middle-aged grandfather from Kansas, became the first serial killer to meet his victims on the Internet. We also learn how law enforcement had to play catch-up in order to use the same technology to investigate and prosecute him.

Unlike the typical serial killer we have come to know, Robinson
started his criminal career as a con man. He fleeced a number of individuals and companies by claiming expertise he didn't have and by forging recommendations from people he'd never met. Although he was clever at plotting and carrying out his various schemes, he wasn't clever enough to avoid getting caught and eventually doing time for his financial shenanigans. It was while he was in prison that he learned to use computers.

Upon his release, Robinson began to use his new skills to indulge in his favorite pastime, sadomasochistic sex. He began meeting women from as far away as Detroit and Nova Scotia through various S&M chat rooms and enticing them to come to Kansas for a bizarre mix of sexual and financial
dependency. Then the women began to disappear.

Although a number of law enforcement agencies and Robinson's former Parole Officer had their suspicions, it was not an easy task connecting all the dots. Both jurisdictional complexities and a general lack of computer expertise among lawmen had to be overcome. If two of Robinson's former Internet sex slaves had not gotten mad at him and gone to the authorities, he might never have been brought to justice.

All of this makes for an interesting tale and for the most part the
book is quite well written, but it does fall short in a couple of ways. The authors make clear that they intend their book to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of false intimacy on the Internet. In my opinion, this particular case is not the right one to use for such purposes. Since Robinson met his victims through S&M web sites and chat rooms, it could be argued that the relationships he established were more typical of that
lifestyle than of Internet dalliances in general.

The second weakness I see is a rather superficial analysis of how Robinson evolved from a con man into a serial killer. Douglas never really seems to get inside Robinson's head and instead resorts to rather bland generalities gleaned from his research and experience with other serial killers.

These two faults aside, Anyone You Want Me To Be is still a welcome addition to any true crime buff's library.

© Gary Boynton -- All rights reserved 2003

Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet by John Douglas -- Olathe, Kansas, a father of 4 sits in prison convicted on 3 counts of homicide -- 2 capital murder -- and suspected in at least 5 other disappearances. He enticed women with offers of a relationship, job, in his town. Once in Kansas, the women disappeared. Robinson expanded the hunting ground of the sexual predator. A cautionary tale about strangers and false intimacy.

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The Pig Farm Murders by Mike Lewis -- British Columbia pig farmer and alleged serial killer, Robert Pickton, in 2002 was charged with 15 counts of murder in connection with the disappearances of 62 women from Vancouver from 1983 to 2002. Photos.

Who Killed Jonbenet Ramsey?: A Leading Forensic Expert Uncovers the Shocking Facts
by Cyril H. Wecht, Charles, Jr. Bosworth
Best-selling author Charles Bosworth, Jr. collaborates with nationally renowned forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht to reveal the startling truth behind the murder in riveting detail. Includes a reproduction of the ransom note, the full text of the autopsy report, and eight pages of photos.

Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime by Ph.D. Eric Hickey
A wealth of material on killing and other violent behavior, detailed information on criminal cases and nearly 500 entries that range from Antisocial Personality Disorder and the Beltway Snipers to the infamous Zodiac Murders.

Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide and the Criminal Mind
by Roy Hazelwood, Stephen G. Michaud Profiler Roy Hazelwood reveals the motives and thinking that go into reprehensible crimes. He catalogs effective investigative approaches that allow law enforcement to construct psychological profiles of offenders. A woman disappears from the convenience store. Her remains are found near a torture device.
A teenageris found hanging in a storm sewer. His clothes are neatly folded by the entrance and a stopwatch is found in his mouth.
A married couple, with their toddler, pick up a female hitchhiker, kidnap her, and for 7 years kept her as a sexual slave.

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