This book is a mixed bag, my review won't be too unlike previous reviews that I read prior to purchasing the Kindle version. It appears two people wrote the book and then attached one version after the other, so much of it is repetitive, which could've been fixed with editing. They try to explain the actions of Charlie Brandt from a historical and semi-psychological viewpoint, but use Scott Peck's "People of the Lie" for a baseline, which I found pretty strange. Especially because a relative of the victims was a psychiatric nurse, I would've thought more researched and documented books or information would've been used. It would leave an uninformed or person not educated with some psychology rather confused.
Charlie Brandt, murdered his mother and severally wounded his father with a gun when he was 13. He would've killed his older sister except the gun didn't fire, so he tried to strangle her. He was in the local jail for several months then went to a mental institution until his father got him out. Psychiatrists and psychologist were puzzled and didn't give a concrete diagnosis. One can understand a reluctance back then, to "label" a boy only 13. Then it was never discussed, his younger older sisters were not told of it (they thought their mother died in a car wreck), and they moved to a different state.
Then Charlie developed into the monster he became, hidden, unknown, for a number of years. There were people who thought him odd, "different", etc. There were clues, but because the majority of people have never encountered someone like Charlie they didn't recognize the red flags at the time, only in hindsight.
Bad/evil people do exist - it's not just in scary novels or movies. If you want to learn about them I would suggest you start out with the classic book "The Mask of Sanity" by Hervey Cleck. He was the first one to write a book about sociopaths/psychopaths and in this book he gives examples from the psychologist who is intimate with his clients, to a serial killer -- there's a range from kinda bad to absolute evil. Common denominators are (1) no conscience, no remorse and (2) lying -- lying when you don't even have to lie and (3) most of them are quite charming. Charlie was definitely a psychopath, and further complicated by having borderline personality disorder (couldn't relate well to people in social situations).
I knew this story from watching it on TV, but chose to get the book to try to get some more background on Charlie. While I did glean a bit more from the book, much of it is lost to time because it was little known to the community and rarely spoken of by the family. But those that did know about it still kept their tongue, wondering if they were over-reacting, wanting to make sure Charlie had an opportunity to a life, or thought it wasn't their business. That's how so many of us react, it's so human to respect even "odd" characters. And it's only in hindsight that you wish you'd said something. And if you do say something (I have), it's not usually met with gratefulness, you're just trying to stir things up.
What is positive about this book is that a foundation has been started to educate people about those around us who are more than "off" and to bring up conversations about young people who commit violent crimes and what the long terms outlook is for them. These are conversations we should have to protect ourselves and those we love.