John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster Hardcover – August 1, 2011
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"This book, sassy, surreal, and surprisingly personal, is mostly about Gacy's trial and Amirante's observations of his `pathetic and sad' first client. . . .True crime aficionados will want to make a special place on their bookshelves for this unique-slant look at one of America's most notorious killers."--RealAspen.com -- RealAspen.com
About the Author
Danny Broderick founded the firm of The Law Offices of Daniel J. Broderick. During his twenty years of private practice, Mr. Broderick represented thousands of persons charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. Danny has two sons and lives in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
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I was pleased that there was not a lot of explicit gore, or photos.
This book is particularly interesting in the true crime genre, where you get an author who actually plays a part in their own story. Having that unique factor just gives the tale some extra credence and certainly gives the reader a fuller feeling when your reading the book. It’s a shame the authors of this book didn’t write any others, but perhaps once this tale was told it was time to quit.
It has to be up with the best true crime books I’ve ever read and worth every cent.
I only wanted to find out about his childhood to adult to find out what made him do what he did.
The book is well written by his lawyer with the whole court case and I found out what I wanted to know.
There are many black/white pictures in the book. No young teenager should read this book.
To think that this all started with a phone call to a friend by asking "Sam, could you do me a favor?"
Top international reviews
However, there are some problems with the telling of the story. The first is that the author is very patriotic, which is fair enough, but I think there was quite a lot paragraphs dedicated to how amazing the US justicial system is which I don't think were particularly needed. The book also has an added amount of drama which it really doesn't need as it's true crime story told from the perspective of someone who was actually there - that's perfectly exciting enough. The encounters, particularly the story of Rob Piest's last few hours is embelleshed by thoughts and feelings that this author cannot possibly have known in that much detail - the only witnesses were Rob himself, who never made it out of the room alive to tell his story and Gacy. There's also a lot of irritating repetition of points and ideas which do little to add to the story.
Overall it's an interesting read, I think if you already know the details of the case you won't really get too much out of it but it's an interesting perspective and asks some good questions about the justice system and our society.
Having said that Amirante, while rather preachy in places, still leaves enough flexibility in his writing including presenting the prosecution's case (albeit with his own commentary) for you the reader to make up your own mind. However confused or complicated it may end up being. An interesting read but by the end I felt Amirante was writing more for himself than anyone else, I just hope it helped him.
Told by the man that had the unenviable job of trying to defend him.
He paints the man as a man with no real friends, a man that was belittled by his father who thought he was nothing but a waste of space and a failure and never tired of telling him that. A closet homosexual, so closed in that he never admitted it even to himself.
A man that picked up young men up tied them up and killed them and then buried them either under his house or simply chucked in the river.
A man that was a braggart, but also a man that raised lots of money for charity and performing for kids in his infamous clown costume.
He was many things, but although he killed 33 people did he deserve the death penalty? By any rational definition the man was clearly insane and he even admitted he blanked out many times during his crimes only coming too again when the dead body was in front of him leaving him with nothing but the grime job of disposal.
His lawyer clearly felt he was insane, and defended him on that basis but in the end you have to decide was he killed because he was an evil man or simply because after killing 33 times the call for vengeance was just too loud for everyone to ignore.
It is interesting in the sense that it brings together the complete story from a point of law. I still find it difficult to understand how lawyers can defend these monsters when they know exactly what they have done.
The only reason I gave this 4 stars is because some of the court information is a little dragged out, however, it is definitely worth reading.