A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson

  • Published: January 29, 2019 by Thomas Nelson Audio
  • Edition: Audiobook
  • Time length: 9 hours
  • Rating: 2 stars

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer? Kerri Rawson, the daughter of the notorious serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill), tells the nightmarish story of that discovery and of her long journey of faith and healing.

Kerri Rawson was living a happy, normal life until one day when the cops showed up at her front door with news that would destroy the image that she had painted of her father over the years. It would be unveiled that Kerri’s father, Dennis Rader, was the serial killer dubbed BTK, which stood for bind, torture, kill. The news stunned Rawson and in this book, she shares the side of her father that his victims did not get to see while also sharing with readers what the conviction meant for her and her family and how they coped with the aftermath.

The book’s opening begins during the time that Kerri is informed her father is a serial killer and all emotions that immediately hit her: denial, shock, and other emotions appropriate for the occasion. Rawson goes through the book sharing memories that she had created with her father while growing up: a hiking trip she took with him and her brother, a father’s concern when she was doing poorly in college, and other moments meant to bond families together.

However, the more the author uncovers about the crimes committed by her father she starts to connect dots to the timeline of the murders and that of her childhood. Kerri makes no excuses for her father; she openly expresses sadness for the victims and guilt for not realizing that danger was so close to home the entire time. With her dad’s crimes exposed, Rawson and her family had to be there for one another and help pick up the pieces of the mess left behind. Most people would believe they would “cut all ties” with a loved one if they found out they committed such horrid crimes, but the author is only human and at the end of the day Rader is her father. As she felt her way through her emotions, which was difficult to say the least, she begins the process of forgiving her father and slowly begins re-establishing a connection with him while he is behind bars.

Originally, I was excited to finally read this book, as I’m a huge fan of true crime shows and books. However, this book just could not hold my interest for too long and did not leave me with any lingering feelings after I finished it. I would still recommend this book, though, for lovers of crime shows/books and memoirs; it may not have been the book for me, but it could be for you!

*I read this book on Scribd. If you would be interested in ONE FREE MONTH of this book subscription service, be sure to click this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7ovkvo

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

  • Published: July 12, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
  • Genre: Memoir, True Crime
  • Edition: E-book
  • Pages: 304
  • Rating: 3 stars

Jaycee Dugard was a normal eleven year old girl from a rural town in California when the course of her life took an unexpected turn. As Jaycee was walking up the street to catch the morning bus, a couple by the names of Phillip and Nancy Garrido drove up beside her, stunned her, and placed her in the backseat of their vehicle before speeding off. The world would not know the status of her life or the horrors she would ultimately survive for the next eighteen years.

In this memoir, Dugard provides a detailed retelling of her eighteen years in captivity. She documents the first day that Phillip took her into the bathroom inside his home and groomed her private area to his liking before sexually assaulting her for the first time. She documents the moment that she found out she was pregnant with both of her daughters and shares the stories of their births without having proper medical care. Dugard talks about how she established a school system for her daughters despite the fact that she herself only held a fifth grade education. Last, but not least she talks about the moment that she was properly identified as the missing girl from 1991 and how difficult it was to break free from the years of manipulation from her abductors in order to truly be free.

For those that followed Jaycee’s story on the news, this is the perfect read for you. I’d also recommend this book to those that would like to educate themselves more about Dugard’s story or those that love reading about true crime.

This book was the winner of Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir/Autobiography in 2011.

Book Review: Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry

Published: October 11, 2016 by Vintage
Genre: True Crime
Edition: E-book
Pages: 371
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Description: The facts are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound-and-gagged bodies of the four girls–each one shot in the head–were found in an I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the investigation was often misdirected and after eight years only two men (then teenagers) were tried; moreover, their subsequent convictions were eventually overturned, and Austin PD detectives are still working on what is now a very cold case. Over the decades, the story has grown to include DNA technology, false confessions, and other developments facing crime and punishment in contemporary life. But this story belongs to the scores of people involved, and from them Lowry has fashioned a riveting saga that reads like a Russian novel, comprehensive and thoroughly engrossing.

Five Reasons To Read This Book:
  1. Readers that enjoy true crime shows and stories will want to have this one on their “to be read” list! This book details the horrendous, quadruple murder of four female teenagers in Austin, TX, which remains unsolved to this day.
  2. The author shows off the extensive researching that she did on this case in order to publish this book. Lowry takes readers on a journey of events on the four girls’ last day alive and shares some background information on their personalities, relationships, and other critical elements that establishes a connection among those that read this book. By the end of the book, the author follows up with those that she interviewed and got to know during the making of the book. This allows readers to see what has become of the yogurt shop, the original suspects, how the families of the victims are doing, and other information that one would want to know after the aftermath of this case.
  3. This book will have readers feeling a whirlwind of emotions; shock on the total of individuals murdered and how, hatred that whoever committed these acts remains unpunished, sorrow for the victims and their families, among others. Personally, I had to take a few breaks from the book in order to process my own feelings on what I was reading; this just goes to show how awful this case was and how well the author had written it.
  4. For those that are like me, when you watch shows or read about cases that are unsolved you want to try to see if you can be the detective that catches what might have been overlooked. This book definitely educates those that read it on everything that happened that fateful night all the way up until recent years, which helps get conversations started on what might have happened, what might not have been checked out, bring about new suspects, among other useful information that can help bring closure to this case.
  5. For those that do not understand legal terms, this is the perfect book to obtain knowledge on such terminology because Lowry takes time to define those that she includes within this book. It makes for an easier reading experience and helps ensure readers are interpreting her words in the right way.

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