Book Review of Better Off Dead by Michael Fleeman

courtesy of Wild Blue Press

On August 17, 2014, around 7:30 pm, Robert Limon has been found dead by co-worker Shaun Ware. Both Robert and Shaun worked for BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway). Robert was soon to end his 12-hour day shift and Shaun was about to start is 12-hour graveyard shift. The apparent weapon was a .44 caliber revolver. The suspects aren’t many but the suspicions are all around. It’s not long before detectives are able to zone in on a suspect or suspects. When it comes to light a love triangle may have been the motive, the detectives have more than they can chew.Better Off Dead by Michael Fleeman poses a good premise and what could have been a great suspenseful read if it wasn’t for the extremely mediocre writing. From the first page to the last, the book left me wanting it to end rather than them find the killer or killers. I was flabbergasted to find out this is Michael Feldman’s 11th book.

The dialogue between two parties was long and drawn out. Basically, too much information. The descriptions of locations were also long and drawn out. I’m reading a murder mystery book, not a road atlas. Fleeman also lost me in a lot of places to where I had to go back to re-read passages or sections to figure out what’s going on.

I was let down down a great deal from this book. As mentioned the premise sounded great and I was expecting writing like that of Ann Rule and M. William Phelps. Instead, I got the writing of came off as someone trying too hard to be a good writer of true crime.

I give this book 1star just on it writing alone. If the writing had been better I would have given the book 5 stars.

Sabrina and Robert Limon

Better Off Dead: A Sordid True Story of Sex, Sin and Murder

M. William Phelps Don’t Tell A Soul [Book Review]

STAR WITNESS YOU WON’T BE

Cherry Walker was a kind-hearted 29-year-old who matured mentally slower than the rest of us, but that’s not to say she wasn’t smart. Cherry loved everyone and everyone who met Cherry loved her. Her one joy in life, besides kids and her parents, was getting her done on Saturdays.

Cherry met Kim through an upstairs neighbor who used to watch Kim’s kids. Kim’s youngest son started being cared for by Cherry, which most thought shouldn’t be the case since Cherry is a child herself, mentally. But there was one quirk about Cherry, she loved horror movies and when I say, love, I mean LOVED horror movies. And because she wasn’t mature enough to understand, she would watch these movies with Timmy, Kim’s youngest child she watched.

Cherry would soon be the star witness in Kim’s custody hearing and the one who could expose Kim for the rotten mother and human being she was, but Kim couldn’t let this happen and would do anything to prevent Cherry from testifying. With the help, a male friend, Kim killed Cherry, burned her body and left her on the side of the road.

DESPERATE TIMES DOESN’T NOT ALWAYS CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES

Kim felt she was entitled to her kids just because they were her kids. But then again, Kim always had this entitlement complex her entire life. Some make chalk it up to her being adopted and this affecting her self-esteem. But after reading this book and the despicable things Kim did to her kids and people around her who disagreed with anything she wanted to do, my bet is on Kim and no one or nothing else. Kim was just born bad and no amount of counseling would cure the evil inside of her.

She lived in complete filth. Had four kids by four different men. She yelled at her kids and physically abused them. She was just downright to mean to her kids and degraded them any chance she got, especially the oldest boy Brian, whom she seemed to take her aggression on since he was a baby.

When Kim’s ex-husband found out Cherry was taken care of Timmy he filed for custody (it was thing along with marks he saw on the kid’s body – not from Cherry but from Kim) and paid with his life. As mentioned, Kim will stop at nothing to keep her kids from being taken away from her. She would also use people for the same purpose.

HIGH SCHOOL REUNION COULD BE MY OUT

Kim needed people to be character witnesses for her so she went to her high school reunion to reconnect with a few people she was friends with in high school. After the reunion, she made sure to keep up the charade with one of her friends and in doing so, she was able to get this ‘friend’ to lie on her behalf through letters. Soon the friend was not feeling right about what she was doing, as well as realizing she could face prison time for falsifying information (she wrote what a great mother Kim was and such when the friend had never seen Kim with her kids) and stopped helping Kim. Let’s just say Kim gave the friend a tongue lashing she’ll never forget.

I’M THE QUEEN OF MY DESTINY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

I’m not sure what gets into people who think killing others will make things better for them. I’ve always wondered where does the thought of causing harm and actually causing harm to others stop for us normal folks? And where is that line blurred for people like Kim? How did she think she wouldn’t get caught in the killing of Cherry Walker? Kim was so blinded by the fact that someone was going to tell her No by taking her kids away. Her thought process only focused on stopping the one person who could stop her and who wasn’t afraid of Kim.

Cherry might have had the mind of a child but she had the heart of gold and ensuring the little boy be removed from the toxic environment (both by filth and his mother) was her goal. Cherry also wasn’t afraid of Kim, which I think through Kim off her game and I think this added the need to kill Cherry for Kim.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is another great book by Phelps. Anne Rule used to be my true crime author, but now it’s Phelps. He has a way of telling stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. His writing style puts you in the middle of everything, so much so you want to warn those to be killed or hurt.

Other books I recommend by M. William Phelps:
Obsessed
Dangerous Grounds: My Friendship With A Serial Killer
and his latest book Targeted: A Deputy, Her Love Affairs, A Brutal Murder (I will be doing a review of this book in about a month).

________________________________________
DON’T TELL A SOUL
Author: M. William Phelps
Pages: 469 
Publisher: Pinnicle – 28 February 2017
Where To Purchase: AmazonBarnes and Noble, iBook

Tori Telfer’s Lady Killers [Book Review]

 FEMALE SERIAL KILLERS – SHE WAS NOT THE FIRST

When people think of female serial killers, they automatically think of Aileen Wuornos. Why? Because in the day and age of television and newspapers and the media just wanting to get that piece of news out, she became well known while she was alive. But she wasn’t the first female serial killer and we may never know who was the first female serial killer by the mere fact that there were so many before her and more wicked than her.

WHEN FEMALES KILL

It’s hard to phantom a female being a killer, not to mention a cold blooded killer, but that’s just what these females in the Lady Killers book by Tori Telfer were: cold blooded serial killers. Their primary weapon: poison. If you were a noblewoman back in the 16th and 17th century, or any century for that matter, then beating or torturing someone to death, mostly servants or Serfs, was the way to go. When they didn’t want the cause of death to be detected, poison, particularly arsenic, was the weapon of choice.

NOBLEWOMEN AND MURDERS

From reading this book, it seems the rich has always gotten a way with murder, literally, as they do today. And even when they got caught years later, they have gotten away with murder or murders. As mentioned, most noblewomen resorted to beating their servants, in the case of Erzsebeth Bathory or their Serfs in the case of Daryl Nikolayevna Saltykova. Because these women came from money and then married into money or men of noble status themselves, they were able to beat, torture and murder upwards of 50 people without being questioned. It wasn’t until they fell out of a favor of those in power or, in the case of the King that owed money to the Bathory’s, the King was no longer in their dept, the crimes of these women were investigated, found guilty and sentenced to death.
Other women of means during the same time period was Marie-Madeleine who was convicted of killing her father, brothers, attempted murder of her sister and sister-in-law among other people. Her reason for killing was simple: they either stood in her way of money or disagreed with her. Unlike her counterparts who beat their victims, Marie’s method of murder was poison.

POISON FOR EVERYONE. ENJOY!

A good point that was brought up in either in this book or an episode of Deadly Women or both is how some feel that poison is a coward’s way to murder. That’s far from the truth. With poison, unlike beating someone, strangling someone or shooting/stabbing them, poison takes time to work. The poisoner has to be patient, but also have the coldness to watch their victim die a slow and painful death. Arsenic was readily available for some time and thus the perfect poison to use. Why? With arsenic poisoning, when given in small dosages over time causes the following:


It could play a role in the development of diabetes, cancer, vascular disease and lung disease. The Food and Drug Administration says that long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic is associated with higher rates of skin cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer, as well as heart disease (google.com)

For a long while, arsenic was easy to get. No one questioned anyone buying arsenic, no matter how much they bought because arsenic was also used to kill rats. And back in those days in which arsenic was readily available tracking who bought it and how much was not necessary.
A famous poisoner was The Giggling Grandma Nannie Doss. She was also known as the Lonely Hearts Killer for she would find lonely older men who had money, marry them, and then kill them. Her killing spree was from the 1920’s to 1954.

BUT SERIAL KILLERS ARE MEN, AREN’T THEY?

Serial killers being men is the popular consensus. I think it’s because men are more brutal in their acts. Men use guns or knives on their victims.They also leave a trail of blood. But when women kill, they do it silently via poison. Even today, women use poison such as antifreeze, to kill their victims including their own children.

If the woman was good looking as in the case of Erzsebet Bathory and Marie-Madeleine no one EVER suspected them of killing anyone. But if you weren’t good looking, in the case of ahem, Wuornus, it’s still hard to accept that fact that she would murder the number of people she did. And mind you, Wuornus’s murders were brutal and bloody, like the women noblewomen of the 1600’s and 1700’s.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in murderers or murders. But what I really enjoyed was the diverse group of women that became serial killers and their reasons. One thing they all had in common they felt they would get away with it. And when caught they maintained their innocence. Most used their feminine wiles to try to win either the judge or jury over. I was more intrigued by those from the 1600’s and 1700’s.
I find the most brutal of them all was Kate Bender of the Bender family. She wasn’t alone in the killings but she was the most brutal.
____________________________
LADY KILLERS
Author: Tori Telfer
Released: 10 October 2017
Publisher: Harper Perennial sold by Harper Collins
Pages: 352