The True Story of the Hunt for One of America’s First Serial Killers
Pub. Date: 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime
Rating: Really liked it ♥ ♥
This book is non-fiction, true-crime. I added the tag ‘historical’ because the crimes took place in the 1920s, so in addition to reading about a crime (or in this case a series of crimes) one also learns about San Francisco in this decade.
The author covers the lifestyle of the time and the differences in police procedure. He includes some trivia, he explains why police cars are called ‘growlers’. The San Francisco police department was very corrupt, the author also covers this. Captain Charles Dullea was in charge of investigating the murder of Bette Coffin, the ‘first’ victim of “The Laughing Gorilla”, or so they thought at first, he was also one of the few honest police officers on the force. We learn his history and also his efforts to oust the corrupt chief and clean up the department.
It’s this variety of information, all connected that intrigues me. I like learning about the crime and all the background information. In total there were three or four murderers caught, two suicides of accused men, another plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and many victims. The one thing I didn’t like was that there was no information about what happened to the main ‘Gorilla Man’ after his arrest, did he plead guilty? Was he convicted? Was he executed?
There is a lot in this book and Mr. Graysmith keeps it interesting. I would recommend this book to people who like true crime and also people interested in America in the beginning of the 20th century.