ERASED is an excellent accounting of spousal hoimicide, specifically, the diabolical, brutal and heartless homicides of wives by men who have decided that they have outlived their usefulness. Author Strong assigns three traits to this particular set of psychopaths, i.e., psychopathy itself, narcissism and Machiavellianism, the idea that any means to an end is justified. While her research and thesis are deep, she fails to recognize or discuss the larger social issue that contributes to this murderous behavior, the concept of individualism.
Strong recounts a great deal of the Scott Peterson case because it exemplifies many of the features of behavior she wishes to bring out about these men. But she doesn't discuss the social pitfall in our culture that is also at work. Individualism, that is to say "rugged individualism" is a highly acclaimed aspiration in America and is often bent into the idea that we should do whatever it takes to make our "dreams" come true, even killing someone who turns out to be "in the way".
Interestingly, in the Scott Peterson case, the actions of Laci Peterson helped to bring her fate to bear. She had a fantasy of who she was supposed to be and what she was supposed to do in life, one of which was to have a child. Certainly, Scott Peterson had his own fantasy. But Laci had more than enough clues to know Peterson did not want a family as he even told her he could not yet handle it. But Laci wore the pants in the family, according to Strong. She "got pregnant" because that was what her sense of individualism and Machiavellianism told her she should do. She should get what she wants! Scott had a nebulous personal identity but he went along with it, until he came to the point of panic, when the baby's birth was imminent. I am not trying to say Scott Peterson had a "good reason" to kill his wife and unborn son. Hardly.
What I am saying is that Americans tend to live out fantasies in oblivion. Oblivious to the effect on those around us. We do that because we're told we should "do what we want" in life, we should "get what we want". Instead we should be taught to analyze who we are with. We should be taught to be honest with ourselves and move on if the person we are with isn't lending himself to the plan.
It should be recognized.also, that in third world countries, specifically Muslim countries, that the dispensing of an unwanted wife is accomplished above board by the husband simply making an accusation of infidelity. Then the wife can be offed publicly. What needs to be brought into the open is that men still regard wives as property all over the world and hey, when the lawn mower isn't up to par you get rid of it, right?
On another note, Strong pushes hard to instill a new catchphrase, "eraser" killings. She seems to want to go down in history as the person who invented this phrase, which I don't see catching on. Is this a bit narcissistic?