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Publisher's Summary

A full account of the most heinous crime of the century in which nearly 30 young boys were sexually tortured to death.

©1974 Su Olsen / Evan Olsen (P)2018 Su Olsen / Evan Olsen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    86
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    43
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    30
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    5
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    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    120
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    20
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    13
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    2
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    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    77
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    42
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    23
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    7
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Boys Who Met the Man with the Candy

Let's face it: the person we are most interested in gets short shrift in this audiobook. Dean Corll was murdered and took most of his secrets with him. So, despite the title, the focus of this book is on his victims and not the sadistic serial killer himself. The book starts off with mostly mundane biographical vignettes of a few of the victims' last days/hours before their abductions, the parents' emotional reactions and frantic but unsuccessful efforts in tracking down their children, the apathy of the police department in helping victims who were less than honor roll students and from the wrong side of town, and descriptions of those bodies that were found. Jack Olden is a good writer (not the typical cut and paste authors of some true-crime books) and he definitely did his research for this book. Thankfully, he shows restraint in describing the actual torture to the youngsters. He interviewed everyone (alive) and his brother to give the most comprehensive account of this little-known killer. I was hoping the book would have more psychological depth in analyzing the motives behind Corll's atrocities and the power he held over the two teenage accomplices he convinced to join with him in the recruitment, torture and murder of victims. These insights might be forever lost due to his death without an interrogation and psychological evaluation. I especially liked the narrator. He had just enough "gruff" in his voice to give his reading a noirish quality consistent with the severity of this topic. His conversational accents were spot-on. (Many readers of the physical book complained about the difficulty in deciphering the phonetically-spelled dialects; this was not a problem in the audio book.) I was given this free audio book in exchange for an honest review. On a personal note, my grandparents lived in the Heights neighborhood in Houston during this time and my siblings and I would visit every summer. I remember the times we overheard whispered concerns from the adults about an evil man doing bad things to children, but luckily we never got all the details: I might have never left my grandparents' house. Truly frightening!

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good, wanted to know more about Killers' Motives

First, I love all things Kevin Pierce. I actively seek out his narration since his voice is just mesmerizing. This story was very detailed about the victims and I appreciated that. Often, we read books that almost glorify the killer(s). Here, we learned of how much the parents suffered, how desperately they looked for their loved ones, how painful their losses were. That is what is most important to a student of the human condition such as myself. However, I aim to learn the mindset of the killer as well. I never understood just what motivated the person to take comfort in the deaths of countless children or why the accomplices helped. There was little emphasis on how the victims were killed or what happened when they were taken. I also felt that the sicknesses of the accomplices were not stressed enough. What was their background? How could something like this be supported by other young people? The deeper questions were not answered for me. It was a good read, but it would have gained more from being given more detail.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well researched, but parts were a little drawn out

Jack Olsen did a great job of setting the scene and sharing his research into these horrific crimes. I'll admit, there were times I felt like I was there.

The pros for me were a great narrative style and the ring of truth.

The cons were that I didn't need to know quite so much about Houston in that era, and (something the author couldn't help) the fact that the climax of the book, in many ways, came about three-quarters through. The rest was just housekeeping, really.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Man with the Candy

I was lost at the beginning of this book until I realized that I was actually enjoying all the background information about the Houston area and how well that background information helped to lay the foundation for how ineffectual the local police were in even putting together that there was a larger crime going on. The book wrapped up with interesting opportunities for interpretation. On one hand, you want to say they blamed the right guy for the murders and his accomplices were punished properly... on the other hand, with how inept the local authorities were at the time and how little they wanted to actually do their jobs and even find all the bodies of the victims, one can make a case that they pinned the crimes on the easy target and the ones who perpetrated the crimes were allowed to accept little blame. The novel was well-written and narrated in any case and I enjoyed/was disgusted by it.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Needs an epilogue

This case is well organized and thoroughly researched as far as it goes, but it occurred in the seventies, so there's no excuse for the lack of an outcome. Two confessions were made, but there's no mention of charges, convictions, sentences, or anything else beyond these confessions.

Kevin Pierce delivered his customary outstanding performance.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad Sign Of The Times . . .


I found this story heartbreaking yet fascinating. There are very few full books devoted to the crimes of Dean Corll. Although he killed almost as many as John Wayne Gacy, perhaps even more, you didn't hear that much about him.

During that era...the 70s, the police were NOT interested in following up reports of missing kids, as many often WERE runaways, so they didn't even try. It was probably at its all time high back then - and very easy for them to leave home and find a place to stay at some hippie house, so a LOT of young teens did just that. Murderers had almost no fear of being caught either, and an abundance of well known serial killers seemed to flourish during this period. Police were apparently far too distracted by drug/marijuana users and pushers at the time, and unanswered cries of missing children fell upon deaf ears.

For those easily offended, this book does make unpleasant references to certain types of people, but one needs to remember that this WAS back the 70s, and very typical, so try to set that aside. The story is indeed a sad one though, and will have Moms out there considering barbed wire fencing. AND no more leaving the yard! EVER.

The narration was superbly delivered (as always) by Kevin Pierce, with his down to earth realness that brings you right there, like a fly on the wall. I REALLY enjoyed this book, and even though I was gifted this in exchange for my honest review - I SO would have spent the credit anyways :) Yup.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Candy Man is Certainly not Sweet

This book was so incredibly good (if I could/should even say that). The narrator Kevin Pierce does such an amazing job and he makes you feel like you are actually there, with his descriptions and emphasis on certain words. I hate the fact that I mention that the book is good due to the fact that there is actually book on this and the fact that it is true makes my heart cringe. I feel like as a parent, you do not always want to hover over your children and children should have the ability to be a kid and go outside and play or walk down to the neighborhood pool without fearing for their life.

The fact that Dean could appear as an ordinary man, one whom everyone seemed to love, with great manners and the willing to help others, could basically be Jekyll and Hyde is so scary and makes every mother want to keep her children inside. I feel so sympathetic to the families of all those children....my heart just breaks

I was provided this audio book at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBoom.com

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An Eye Opener

This book is a true crime, it is moving in places and eye opening about our police and their methods, (50 years ago).
It is well researched and beautifully and sensitively written. An enthralling tale of people being fooled by a cold blooded killer.
Narration and quality is excellent - as always Kevin Pierce is an easy listen.
An excellent read for anyone interested in true crime/history.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kathy
  • jasper, GA, United States
  • 05-24-18

NOT a Sweet Story

This book is a true crime story. I hope that this story can open some eyes and ask the question Do we really know who children hand out with? I enjoy listening to Kevin Pierce read books written by Jack Olsen. This author writes true events in a methodical way allowing the reader to easily understand when and how the story took place. The narration is excellent! The evil people in this book actually manipulated the children and adults around them into thinking they were good After their arrest and bodies found, there were still people sticking to the false integrity these monsters portrayed. This book was given to me by the narrator for an unbiased review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow.

A well written story about a true crime. Horrifying real story, a nightmare of every family. I received this audio book for free at my request and voluntarily reviewed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • daniel Jones
  • 05-09-18

Not his Best

Hmmm

It didn't flow well for me. It reads like a long piece of journalism but sadly never sits well.

I wish they would release I: the creation of a serial killer.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful