Talking with serial killers: Dead men talking by Christopher Berry-Dee – Review

Non-Fiction
Genre: True-Crime
Published: May 2020
Publisher: John Blake Publishing
Pages: 304
My Rating: 🦋🦋🦋🦋.5/5


“There was nothing they could have said or done. They were dead as soon as I saw them.”

I think I have just fallen in love with reading true-crime. I have actually tried watching true-crime documentaries, but I just couldn’t get into it. Reading about it though, wow! It’s a completely different experience. This was the perfect book to introduce me to the genre and I can safely say that I will definitely be buying some of the author’s other books as well as reading other true-crime books.

“Michael Ross looks so normal he could be the guy next door.”

Karen B. Clark, journalist on Michael Ross (The roadside strangler)

Christopher Berry-Dee is a well-known criminologist and crime expert. He has corresponded with and met with many infamous murderers and serial killers.

He has published several books on the topic, varying from talking with psychopaths to talking with serial killers and stalkers. Whether you are a seasoned true-crime reader and fan or if you are deciding on whether you should delve into the genre, this book will keep you hooked. Be warned it can be very graphic and detailed. 

The book features written correspondence from 6 of the world’s most dangerous convicted killers on death row. One of them already having been executed via lethal injection in 2005, but the author had been corresponding and had even met with him in person before this happened. There are detailed accounts of their crimes told by the perpetrators themselves, told in their own words. 

I have always been fascinated by death and things that are dark, which is why I am so interested in books about forensic pathology. I loved that there’s a section with some pictures of these killers as well as some pictures of the correspondence.

Being a medical professional, my training included rotating through psychiatry and learning about different personality disorders. One of them features prominently in this book, namely antisocial personality disorder (they typically exhibit behaviour such as lying, disregard for their own and safety of others, they can often be found torturing animals as children). Of course, not all murderers have this trait, but it is more common in serial killers.

Most of these killers, don’t take responsibility for their own reactions and show no remorse for their actions. They transfer blame to their victims, making it seem as though it was the victim’s fault that they were murdered. There is also a common pattern of an abusive or dysfunctional home environment as they were growing up.

“We cannot pick our parents, so we accept our situation as being normal.”

Keith Hunter Jesperson (The Happy Face Killer)

A question that many people ask is what does a serial killer look like? The answer to that question is that they look just like anyone else, they are usually unsuspecting and that’s what makes them dangerous.

Another aspect of the book that I found extremely interesting was the amount of people, mostly females who are interested in pursuing relationships with these killers. It absolutely boggles my mind. But then again, I have a fascination with death, especially unnatural and gruesome deaths which others may find strange. But then as they say, different strokes… I would highly recommend this spine-chilling book.

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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