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Sadistic Killers: Profiles of Pathological Predators [Paperback]

Carol Anne Davis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Feb 2006
Acclaimed crime writer Carol Anne Davis explores the minds of sadistic killers: their childhoods, their growing pathology and horrific crimes. Knowing what some of these killers endured doesn't even begin to excuse their crimes - but it does explain them. Davis delineates the different subgroups of sadists - for example, those who kill indiscriminately - in Britain, the US and Australia. There are also chapters on: female sadists, who tend to be overlooked by the media; consensual sadomasochism - including a rare interview with a well-known female practitioner, Lynn Paula Russell; and, input from a psychologist who has helped rehabilitate some of Britain's most violent men. "Sadistic Killers" is a compelling look at the formative influences of a sadist and at his or her crimes. Unflinching in detail but never gratuitous, this is an informative read with a hopeful ending.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (12 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840245816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840245813
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'...positive and enlightening.' -- Desire Magazine

'Unflinching in detail but never gratuitous, this is an
informative read with a hopeful ending.'
-- True Crime Library

Compelling look at the formative years of a sadist. Unflinching in detail but never gratuitous. -- True Crime Library, April 2007

About the Author

Carol Anne Davis has been called by Booklist 'the Queen of Noir', and by The Times 'Scotland's leading woman of suspense'. She has made numerous radio and television appearances and maintains an excellent website,

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gory Business! 25 April 2007
Can sadistic killers, through therapy and counselling be induced to confront their demons and improve their lot? Hard-bitten ex-cops might endeavour to scoff this theory into extinction, whereas Carol Anne Davis believes that this treatment might be productive; but whatever the case, in her latest and tremendously well documented and researched book, Ms. Davis delves into the gory world of sadistic killers, getting off to a cracking start with Neville Heath who murdered two women and where (although Ms. Davis does not allude to the fact) the second murder, due to a sketchy investigation, was entirely preventable.

Part two of the book is devoted to American sadists, of whom the most dreadful was probably Robert Rhoades, convicted of just one murder but with his sophisticated torture kit, suspected of fifty others. Back in England, William Beggs, a homosexual, perverted murderer, was surely the worst of a bad bunch; completely out of control, slashing gay men with a razor, he was convicted of murder but later released on a technicality. Going on to attempt a veneer of sophistication by studying for a PhD, he later murdered a second time. Now imprisoned, he does what many of his ilk do best; manipulating the system, demanding porn magazines and taking or threatening legal action.

In a less lethal vein, Ms. Davis mentions the celebrity sadomasochists, including the composer, Percy Grainger who, with his wife concocted a quasi-legal (and invalid) document in which each agreed to exonerate the other, should either expire through being persistantly whipped. Grainger died in 1961; it is not clear if his demise was caused through a heart attack, septicaemia or exhaustion.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous True Crime 8 May 2007
Really well condensed, so you get lots of info in a short space, rather than reams of rubbish.

Split up well into categories, 'English', 'American' etc. etc.

Brilliant, unbelievable dark souls, worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars SADISTIC KILLERS 6 May 2014
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Far from the ill written and sensationalist crime books my mum reads this looks at the crimes of terrifying sadists from a scientific, psychological and sociological perspective. It is objective and thorough but not for the faint hearted. These are the most depraved killers imaginable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably horrific portrayal of sadism. 13 Jan 2014
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There were times when I felt physically sick reading this book. It is a powerful depiction of the depths of evil to which some inhuman individuals can sink. Well written and researched.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 28 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book, if you like this kind of reading then this is the book for you! Good story as well, as a great author!
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