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The Faceless Villain: A Collection of the Eeriest Unsolved Murders of the 20th Century: Volume One

Narrated by: Jenny Ashford
Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What is it about unsolved murders that still fascinates us long after the cases have gone cold? Is it simply that we enjoy being able to come up with our own theories about what happened to the unfortunate victims? Or are we intrigued by the terrifying possibility that the killers are still out there somewhere? 

The Faceless Villain: Volume One is the first in a three volume series that explores the most mysterious and disturbing unsolved murders of the 20th century. This volume is comprised of the years 1900 through 1959 and includes all of the best known cases of the period as well as many more lesser known murders, all presented in a compelling chronological narrative that takes the reader on a grisly journey through the blood-soaked avenues of early 20th century crime. Featuring: The Peasenhall Murder. The Seal Chart Murder. The Atlanta Ripper. The Villisca Axe Murders. The Axeman of New Orleans. The Green Bicycle Case. Little Lord Fauntleroy. Hinterkaifeck Farm. The St. Aubin Street Massacre. The Wallace Case. The Atlas Vampire. The Brighton Trunk Crime. The Cleveland Torso Murderer. The Horror in Room 1046. Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? The Pitchfork Murder. The Sodder Children. The Phantom Killer. The Black Dahlia. Somerton Man. The Grimes Sisters. The Boy in the Box. And much more!

New! Improved audio quality as of February 2019! 

©2017 Jennifer Ashford (P)2017 Jennifer Ashford

What members say

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Totally Enthralling

Jenny Ashford has a knack for telling a great story. Having discovered her via her podcast, I was excited to check out this book. It exceeded my high expectations. A collection of interesting cases presented in an engaging way by the author. This is a must-listen for anyone interested in macabre true crime stories.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant book

I love the podcast on YouTube and was really excited to get this book, a pleasure to listen to, I will definitely be getting the others.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't follow the stories

One monotonous tone in Jenny's voice. Couldn't tell where one crime ended and the next one began . Tried to listen to this book 3 times and finally gave up

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great content and easy to listen to.

I loved it. It was really easy to listen to. I greatly appreciate that it was narrated by the author. If your into true crime but kinda tired of the more well known cases which this book does cover Then pick it up because it is mostly lesser known or under publicized cases.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • M.
  • 05-15-18

Scarred for Life!!!

This book is terrifying and will make you lock your doors and windows at night for sure! Jenny Ashford is methodical and meticulous in laying out the facts of horrific murders from 1900 to 1959 that have gone unsolved to this day. I enjoyed the additional speculation surrounding each case but am glad Jenny promptly reminds us that these are only theories and conjecture and circles back to known facts. All this makes for a gruesome and thrilling true crime read. I could only listen to a few chapters at a time so be wary if you have a squimish stomach...and you might consider keeping a light or two on at night!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Audio Production Failure

If you are into listening to the details of an unsolved crime, this book is pretty good. It doesn't quite go full spectrum in my opinion though. I've heard of some of these cases before in other material, and they typically delve a little deeper into things like additional theories about the cases, but this one pretty much just states the known facts and lets you make your own theory.

My only real complaint I have about this as an audio book was that the echo in the audio production was extremely distracting. This sounded like it was recorded by the author in an empty room, and limited post processing was done with the audio. Overall it wasn't bad, but the echo was very distracting to me, personally.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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SO Interesting

Jenny has done it again. This new book has so many cases detailed in it. There are some I have heard of, but many I have not. This was an entertaining listen in the car and while cooking. I find my self so intrigued by some of the cases, I've started googling them after listening. I totally recommend this book.
I received this book in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own. I would have bought this book if I had not been offered a code.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must listen for true crime enthusiasts!

What did you love best about The Faceless Villain: A Collection of the Eeriest Unsolved Murders of the 20th Century: Volume One?

This is the first installment of a new three volume series by Jenny Ashford, and she never fails to impress! The cases are all thoroughly researched and presented in a clear chronological order that makes it not only easy for the listener to follow, but difficult to stop listening once you start!

If you could give The Faceless Villain: A Collection of the Eeriest Unsolved Murders of the 20th Century: Volume One a new subtitle, what would it be?

An essential guide to unsolved murders for true crime enthusiasts.

Any additional comments?

To those interested in the true crime genre, this provides an informative and compelling read that takes you on a journey through 20th century disturbing and unsolved murder cases that leaves you in anticipation of the release of volumes two and three. I loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unsolved true crime masterpiece

I was immediately drawn to the topic of the book and looking forward to the audible version since I’m not much of a reader. I prefer author read audiobooks because the emphasis is placed correctly and told exactly as the writer intended.

This is a collection of short unsolved true crime stories. It is broken up by year of the crime which helps create natural break points to stop listening and pickup again later without needing to remember where you were in the book. I got through the book in about a week and found myself drawn into the book so much that I would sit in my car after my commute home from work so I could continue to listen to just one more story.

If you are a fan of Jenny Ashford, true, unsolved or historical crime then this book is an essential to add to your collection. The stories have enough detail to draw you in but the author leaves her opinion out to allow the reader to draw their own conclusion. Wonderful story telling and I can’t wait for the next volume.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great stuff

Finished this book in just over a day. Cases are short enough to keep anyone's attention but, some are so puzzling you'll want to listen over and over.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Martin
  • 08-16-19

Very interesting but business like delivery

I came to this having very much enjoyed Jenny Ashford's 13 O'clock podcast, which she co hosts with her partner Tom. I enjoy her podcast so much that I went back to episode 1 and listened to every one of them in order while I worked. I really enjoy her irreverent and humorous style on that show and sadly, the high bar she sets on her podcast may have adversely effected my enjoyment of her audio book reading.

Obviously, I fully understand the delivery of a written text is a very different platform but I did find the narration rather business like. Ultimately, despite really wanting to love this book, my engagement waned to the point that I admit I did struggle to make it to the finish line. Jenny Ashford is a very talented and personable character but sadly that didn't really come through in the narration, which seemed a bit dry and methodical. Maybe a professional narration would have helped to really sell me on this audiobook.

However, the meat of the book is fascinating stuff and that was what kept me going. Each case is covered in great detail, backed by first class research, insightful commentary and the type of clever analysis that I have come to expect from Jenny Ashford in other media. I won't give up on her audio books on this single outing and will try some of her later books to see how she develops as a Narrator. I know the content will be top notch and that is what really counts in the end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-01-19

Awful! I could read it better myself!

I’m being totally unfair as I listened to about 20 seconds in total, skipping passages to see......is THIS how she talks for the whole thing!? Awful narration, too blunt and direct or something. The narration doesn’t draw you into the stories, it frightens you off with its brisk, clipped manner. Hard to listen to. I’m sorry but this narrator would put you off if she directed you to make a sandwich, forget about listening to 7 hours of a true crime and making it sound interesting. Perhaps I’m being unfair but there you go!

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  • j k thornton
  • 06-09-18

Brilliant

Really enjoyed this looking forward to volume 2. Huge fan of the 13 o clock.podcast too

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  • Daniel Meakin
  • 01-05-18

True Crime fans....Enjoy.

What made the experience of listening to The Faceless Villain: A Collection of the Eeriest Unsolved Murders of the 20th Century: Volume One the most enjoyable?

The range of different unsolved murders. Also, As a true crime fan there were plenty that i had NEVER heard of.

What did you like best about this story?

There was not one particular aspect of the story that i enjoyed most... but the most fascinating unsolved murder was the one that involved the "R.M Qualtrough" character.

What about Jenny Ashford’s performance did you like?

Jenny's actual performance is as always that her voice sounds clear.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nope. Although it made me dismayed that so many of these crimes went unsolved because of technicalities.

Any additional comments?

Thrilled there will be an additional 2 volumes.

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  • alexander melville
  • 01-01-19

compelling listen

loved it was a great listen for my daily commute from class and around town

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-18

Solid Material Poor Reading Voice

Reading was very robotic and almost sounded arterficial after listening to her vibrat banter in her podcast/youtube show. Maybe I was expecting an unrealistic delivery. Material was well researched as always but needs to be delivered by someone different in my opinion. I feel terrible because I love 13 0 CLOCK. However, thumbs down for this.