Book Review: Vile by Benjamin S. Jeffries

27507455Title: Vile: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers

Author: Benjamin S. Jeffries

Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Experience 42 horrific stories about the world’s more extreme killers in this comprehensive tome of grisly lusts and depraved pleasures of people who started out human and became something else. Read not only what they did, but why they did it often from the killer’s own words. Meet legendary murderers Jack The Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Henry Lee Lucas, and Ed Gein. Become intimate with lesser knowns, such as Edmund Kemper, Louis Wagner, and Carl Panzram. Bear witness to depraved sexual sadists Albert Fish, Gary Heidnik, and Richard Ramirez. Discover the insanity of Joseph Kallinger, The Shoemaker, Tsutomu Miyazaki, Japan’s demented child killer, and Gordon Stewart Northcott, twisted ax murderer and pedophile. Take a sinister trip to where violence is the beginning and death is a welcome release.”

In Vile: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers, author Benjamin S. Jeffries investigates 21 serial murderers throughout history, from Jack the Ripper to Albert Fish. There seems to be no real reason why some murderers get included and others are left out, except perhaps the gruesome nature of their crimes – only the most vile killers get their case featured in this book.

Each chapter focuses on a different murder. Despite only being a few pages long, the chapters do pack the most interesting info about the case, and quickly dives into the murderer’s past, their psychology, the people they targeted, and how they eventually got caught and were tried. Most of the cases were familiar to me, but I did learn some new facts, and for the ones I already knew, the book refreshened my memory.

Some chapters were stronger than others. I wasn’t particularly fond of the Jack the Ripper chapter – the author did a far better job describing the crimes in which the murderer was actually caught than he did with this unsolved case.

The quick one-paragraph profiles of murders of the past at the end of the chapter were a nice addition, but I didn’t always see the link between that murderer and the case presented, and some paragraphs didn’t really say much while others summed up events nicely. Overall, a good read if you want to know more about these horrible serial murderers, and it inspired me to look up more about some of the cases I wasn’t familiar with.

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