The Murder Mystique: Female Killers and Popular Culture

The Murder Mystique: Female Killers and Popular Culture

The Murder Mystique: Female Killers and Popular Culture

The Murder Mystique: Female Killers and Popular Culture

Synopsis

Although they account for only ten percent of all murders, those attributed to women seem especially likely to captivate the public. This absorbing book examines why that is true and how some women, literally, get away with murder.

Excerpt

Admit it! There’s something about a woman who commits murder that makes us look at the crime in a little more detail, makes us shudder a little deeper, and makes us a little more judgmental as we ask ourselves, “Why did she do it?” We are socialized to believe that most ordinary women would never dream of killing someone. There has to be something “deviant” about them, something so pathological that they’ve turned against the laws of nature and become evil incarnate. However, I know from personal experience that this viewpoint is overly simplistic.

I am a law-abiding person. The worst crime I’ve ever committed is probably running a red light when I was tired. But I have to confess that I too was once filled with a murderous rage that was so overpowering I thought about killing someone. I walked in on my boyfriend having sex with another woman. They were in our house, in our bedroom, in our bed. I literally could not believe my eyes. As my mind started to process the information, I was filled with the most overpowering physical anger I have ever felt in my life. I walked out of the bedroom, through the living room, and into the kitchen, where I stood shaking over the kitchen sink. My glance fell on a large knife that was lying on a cutting board. For one infinitesimal moment, one second in time, I considered picking up the knife and thrusting it into both of them. I didn’t. But I realize that I could have. And who knows? I could have been one of those women you see on the reality show Snapped, or watch on Court TV, or read about in the National Enquirer, or even had a best seller written about me by Ann Rule.

If someone asked you “Would you welcome more drama in your life?” your answer would probably be no. Who among us consciously seeks confrontation, violence, or disruption? Right-thinking people don’t want to invite situations that place them outside their comfort zones, demand that they . . .

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