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Angel Killer: A True Story of Cannibalism, Crime Fighting, and Insanity in New York City | [Deborah Blum]

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

In the mid-1920s, young children began to vanish from neighborhoods around New York City. It took the police a decade to find their abductor, an unassuming 64-year-old handyman named Albert Fish. Fish had committed crimes of unspeakable horror: He had not only abducted and murdered the children, but also tortured and, in some cases, eaten them. During Fish's trial, some of the country's most prominent psychiatrists debated the exact nature of Fish's crimes. Was he evil or insane? Who had the power to determine where one ended and the other began?
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Publisher's Summary

In the mid-1920s, young children began to vanish from neighborhoods around New York City. It took the police a decade to find their abductor, an unassuming 64-year-old handyman named Albert Fish. Fish had committed crimes of unspeakable horror: He had not only abducted and murdered the children, but also tortured and, in some cases, eaten them. During Fish's trial, some of the country's most prominent psychiatrists debated the exact nature of Fish's crimes. Was he evil or insane? Who had the power to determine where one ended and the other began? At stake was not just the prospect of justice for Fish and his victims, but also the future of the new science of criminal behavior - the idea that society's worst monsters needed to be both punished and understood.

Award-winning journalist Deborah Blum tells the story of a notorious cannibal killer, the detective who brought him to justice, and the scientists who tried to make sense of his crimes.

©2012 Deborah Blum (P)2012 The Atavist, Deborah Blum

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3.0 (19 )
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Story
2.6 (16 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 04-25-14
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 04-25-14 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1076
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    381
    269
    FOLLOWERS
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    195
    32
    Overall
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    Story
    "Short but chilling..."

    account of Albert Fish, the deranged child rapist, murderer and cannibalist who inspired such films as the silent classic M and Silence of the Lambs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique G. Penman USA 03-10-13
    Monique G. Penman USA 03-10-13 Member Since 2011

    Purchaser

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    0
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    Story
    "Awful"
    How could the performance have been better?

    The performer had the most awful uninteresting monotone voice. The story is an eery story and she read it as if she was reading the ingredients on a box of cereal.


    Any additional comments?

    The book added nothing new to what is known about Albert Fish.
    Boring.
    Don't waste your time or money.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PeachPecan South Georgia, USA 04-02-14
    PeachPecan South Georgia, USA 04-02-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    52
    13
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    0
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    "Could Have Been Better"
    What did you like best about Angel Killer? What did you like least?

    I got this one because I enjoyed listening to "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York (Unabridged)" and expected something similar. While this story is interesting, it just wasn't as good as "The Poisoner's Handbook."


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Please, the music! While it was appropriate (maybe) for the time period this tale played out in New York, the music was distracting and by the end of this short story, I was ready for it to be over and done with.


    Did Deborah Blum do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    This is a short tale, so maybe hiring a professional actor/narrator wasn't an option, but it took me three (3!) tries to get through this book. Ms. Blum is great at writing a story, but only okay at reading it out loud. (Sorry, Ms. Blum!)


    Was Angel Killer worth the listening time?

    You kind of have to want to hear the story bad enough to get by the music and narration.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. J. Kendall United States 01-15-14
    K. J. Kendall United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2013

    stonewulf

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
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    "Where are Acts 1 & 2?"
    What disappointed you about Angel Killer?

    Barely touched on the story. Hardly any information or background on the victims or the even the perpetrator. Feels rushed


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It degenerated from a crime story into a halfhearted attack on the M'Naghten rules as applied to the insanity defense. What is the alternative?


    What didn’t you like about Deborah Blum’s performance?

    Passable voice skills.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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