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Monster Kindle Edition
On a snowy winter evening in 1982, twenty-one-year-old Mary Brown accepted a ride from a handsome stranger in the resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado. The trip ended with her brutally beaten and raped. Mary survived, but her predator's violence had only just begun.
After ten years in prison, Tom Luther was released a far more vicious criminal. Soon, from the Rockies to West Virginia, like Ted Bundy, Luther enticed a chain of women into his murderous trap. In this gripping new edition of a true crime masterpiece, acclaimed author Steve Jackson recounts the intriguing pursuit and long awaited conviction of a charismatic, monstrous psychopath--one who remains a suspect in three other crimes, and has never given up hope of escape.
"Steve Jackson is a born storyteller. He makes you sweat. . .and turn the page." --Ron Franscell, author of The Darkest Night
Includes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
From the Author
- ASIN : B00CMVAM8A
- Publisher : Pinnacle Books; Illustrated edition (April 19, 2013)
- Publication date : April 19, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 2799 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 681 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #392,386 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2015
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Top reviews from the United States
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At times this was a tough book to read. The continuing pain of the victims and their families flows off the pages. The dedication of the detective to follow the case over several states, slowly gathering the pieces in order to develop a complete case amazes me and makes me wonder if I could do that. I like to think so.
“I don’t know anything about Luther or any body.”
“I never saw Luther that night.”
“I followed Luther to the burial site. I was curious. He didn’t see me.”
“I just drove Luther to the mountain when he wanted to bury the body deeper.”
And then over again. After about 50 pages of this, I was tempted to just skip ahead to see if Luther, or anyone, was brought to justice for the crime. Those middle pages seemed a rather dreary slog through the lives of petty criminals, inveterate liars, and those whose primary goal in life was evasion of one kind or another. However, in the end, I didn’t skip over any of this, and I’m glad. This painted a picture of the endless frustrations many investigators probably go through on their way to extracting a grain of truth about any crime. The cumulative effect of all this is to demonstrate how really unexciting, unglamorous the life of crime and crime investigation can be. It serves as a good antidote to CSI-style quick, dramatic resolutions.
The book picks up again toward the end when the author recounts the jury’s deliberations and their frustration with one hold-out. Then this edition has an 2013 "Update" epilogue that tells the reader what has become of some of the main people involved in the commission and investigation of these crimes.
Here and throughout the book, author Jackson includes verbatim conversations and interviews that took place over the years. How could he have known what was said, word-for-word? One sometimes suspects that many of these conversations have to have been guessed at or imagined, which tends to cast just a shade of doubt on the general veracity of this account.
However overall, these pages become a lesson in how twisted human psychology can be. They illustrate the oddity of people willing to be loyal to the very worst individuals – to be loyal to them, and even to protect them and love them. In a larger sense, this book becomes a lesson in our capacity for bizarre, self-defeating psychology - for delusion, self-deception, and deadly deceit.
And this book reminds me more of a soap opera than a good true-crime book. The lead detective is more than happy to interview anyone in sight, regardless of that interviewee's suspect past. And the interviewees seem to be more than happy to be interviewed by this interviewer, no matter how much those interviewees understand that they are simply being used by an interviewer that couldn't give a rat's about them. Even the gal who was the killer's girlfriend was talking to this detective, almost on a daily basis, and she even wore a wire to bury her boyfriend, even though she still "loved" that boyfriend. Good thing she didn't hate the killer I suppose.
I will admit, I am about 80 percent through "Monster" now, and I think that I'm going to just give up on this monster of a book. I can't stand the drama anymore, to be frank. I do understand that the writer -- Steve Jackson -- who starts the book out pretty well, allowed the book to devolve and that wasn't entirely his fault. After all, "don't shoot the messenger" as they say, and he is just delivering the message. But I'll bet that, if you took a great author such as Jack Olsen, asked him to write a book about the same serial killer, and gave him the same access to authorities, he would have come up with something far different. And far better.
This book reminds me of another that I've read and disliked: "Body Count" by Burl Barer about Robert Lee Yates. In that book, Mr. Barer chose to write about interviews with every prostitute from Seattle to Spokane, and it became just a total slogfest. And that same slog happens here, although the people that are interviewed here are the people close to the killer, people that you wouldn't trust to walk your dog. Or at least shouldn't.
Why do women love serial killers? You've got me, although I suppose I have a few theories myself. But there is one thing that I do know: I prefer true crime over soap operas. And this is more of the latter than the former. So in this case, if push came to shove, I'd say, "Give me back my 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.'" That was surely a better soap opera than "Monster."
Top reviews from other countries
Steve Jackson has put a huge amount of research into this book and brings every tiny piece of evidence to the fore. You will learn much about Luther but you'll also get to know his victims, there could be many more as yet undiscovered or unreported, as the people they were before they fell prey to this particular Monster.
The American legal system and police investigation comes in for close scrutiny as do the people closest to Luther who seemed to turn a blind eye and allow him to carry on. Could he have been stopped sooner?. There seems to be a case made here that suggests he could.
Jackson reports graphically on the injuries and mode of death of the victims, it's hard to read, but he does so in a clear, reporting style delivering the facts in order to build a thorough profile. Events are meticulously recreated without becoming gratuitous or thrill seeking.
If I have a criticism it would have to be the length of the book, over 500 pages, which sees Steve Jackson looping around chasing the same thread. He's quite often thinking out aloud, working things out, and it's all here on paper. I would have preferred a sharper, cleaner edit but that's just a personal opinion.
I would recommend 'Monster' to those with patience and time who enjoy thoroughly researched true crime. I hadn't heard of Steve Jackson and downloaded 'Monster' by chance while on holiday last weekend. I'll read more by this author.
That aside, I'll certainly look for more in this genre by him as he does a really good job. I saw reviews mentioning repetition but it was a long book and in a few instances it was handy and saved me flicking back and forth.
I'd never heard of Thomas Luther and his awful crimes before so all credit to Mr Jackson for telling us all about him and also for ensuring Mary, Heather and Cher won't be forgotten. A huge salute to Scott Richardson and all he did to bring Luther to justice, too. He really went over and above the call of duty. The passages about the funeral arrangements had me in tears...I had a lot of time for Southy Healey too. Most of those Luther associated were as big a liars as he is but Southy came good. I thought Deb was a flake and her husband a saint for putting up with her. I lost patience with her just reading about her.
The Footloose story mention was interesting so Googled it but it says it was based around a place called Elmore City in Chicago and not Purdy in Missouri which was disappointing.
I wondered about the 2 girls murdered in the Colorado mountains as killers don't usually kill then revert to letting one get away as Luther did so I am not sure I believe he also killed them. The author also mentioned Bobby Jo at one point saying the irony wasn't lost on investigators but it was on me !! Wagner's gun was also referred to at one point and however hard I went back and looked I still never figured out who THAT was !!
I'm pleased there was a postscript to the story and I really liked the author's final words in the book-so very true.
How anybody can say that Luther had a personality disorder is beyond me, he was and is a psychopath.
Debra Snider buried her head in the sand because she wanted to be loved,thankfully she saw the light and gave some relief to Cher Elders family.
Now the people who's lives Thomas Luther has ruined can get some closure.