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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly written life history of a sadistic, evil monster
Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins, although scrawny and seemingly unthreatening, must be one of the most evil of all America's serial killers. Prior to writing this book, Wilton Earle did not believe in capital punishment or that an individual could be so easily classified as "pure evil". After spending much time interviewing Gaskins on Death Row, writing...
Published on 1 July 2001

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastists tale?
This is an interesting book and gives a reasonally good insight into Gaskins mindset. However I cannot help but think a lot of it is made up fantasy to lend strength to his desire to be infamous. Gaskins himself complains in his book that he must be one of the least known serial killers in the USA and that he deserved to be more famous than he was. Therefore what better...
Published on 14 Mar 2006 by Mrs. S. E. Davies


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly written life history of a sadistic, evil monster, 1 July 2001
By A Customer
Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins, although scrawny and seemingly unthreatening, must be one of the most evil of all America's serial killers. Prior to writing this book, Wilton Earle did not believe in capital punishment or that an individual could be so easily classified as "pure evil". After spending much time interviewing Gaskins on Death Row, writing this "Biography", he now believes in both. This book is told in Gaskins own words, in which he describes in remarkable detail his upbringing, life in prison, and the cold-blooded, sadistic killings that he performed to get rid of the "burning pain in his stomach". I enjoy reading true crime but some of the accounts of these murders are extremely sick and disturbing. Gaskins was a sadist who relished in torturing women and I was forced to put this book down on a number of occasions. I had never before read a book that went into as much detail as this. You cannot help but feel very emotional whilst turning these pages, and not many books have had that effect on me. Without doubt, this is the best true crime book that I have ever read. It must have took real self-restraint for Wilton Earle to remain impartial and silent whilst Donald "Pee Wee" Gaskins conveyed some of the sick and shocking acts portrayed in this book. It is worrying to think that there may be people out there who see things, as Gaskins did, in "black and white", without any "grey" at all. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are killers made or born?, 13 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Having read this book, I came away thinking that whilst Gaskins suffered a horrendous adolescence (if we are to take him at his word - always a dubious business) the seed of sadism was already planted long before this. Witness the scene in which he became sexually aroused by the sight of a cobra killing a rat at a carnival. He was 4 years of age. Now whilst this shouldn't automatically put him into the 'destined to be a serial killer' bracket, it does give the reader a glimpse of the inner workings of Gaskins' mind. The rape of one of his friends' sister was merely the first instalment in what quickly became a life of depravity. Those passages in which he describes the torture and mutilation of abject strangers are quite chilling. The reader is left in no doubt as to the fact that sex quickly became secondary to the infliction of pain. The chapter in which he describes the rape and murder of a 2-year-old child is quite shocking with Gaskins plummeting hitherto unseen depths. Yet perhaps the most disturbing thing of all is the manner in which Gaskins rationalises his actions. Citing something resembling an epiphany, Pee Wee comes to the realisation that only through murder can he rid himself of the 'bothersomeness' which periodically afflicts him. What follows is a litany of killings breathtaking in their number and sickening in their nature. Butchering others in the name of self-preservation also features heavily - numerous people are killed in order to ensure his liberty from the law (Gaskins was involved in numerous criminal activites in addition to murder, ranging from arson to auto theft to gun-running). Gaskins boasts at the end of the book that he had a 'special mind' which gave him dispensation to kill. Whilst the word 'special' obviously jars with the reader, it captures the moral vacuum which surrounds his person. For one comes away from the book feeling that Gaskins hadn't so much as suppressed his conscience as taken full advantage of the utter abscence of one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastists tale?, 14 Mar 2006
This is an interesting book and gives a reasonally good insight into Gaskins mindset. However I cannot help but think a lot of it is made up fantasy to lend strength to his desire to be infamous. Gaskins himself complains in his book that he must be one of the least known serial killers in the USA and that he deserved to be more famous than he was. Therefore what better way to become infamous than to strive to become known as one of the most evil killers in the USA? Conveniently he cannot remember the majority of the 80 or so 'coastal murders' (unknown victims) he committed, as he states they were of little or no importance in his day to day living and very few of the victims of these murders have ever been found to support his claims. He only describes two or three of his murders in any great detail, although this is a relief as the ones he does describe (most notably his pleasure at the anal and vaginal rape he carries out of a screaming two year old child) are pretty sickening. Other murders he called his 'serious murders' (people he knew) were mostly done to stop him being found out for crimes he had committed i.e. theft or drugs. These murders were carried out without any sadistic overtones, mostly he killed these victims by a shot to the head and did not sexually assault their bodies. This coupled with the fact that he claims he carried out over 100 murders without providing any real proof, does tend to make you question the validity of his claims of killing purely for pleasure. There is however, no denying that Gaskins was a sociopath showing absolutely no remorse for any of his victims. He was abused physically as a child and both sexually and physically as a young adult which did not help him grow into a well rounded person! I got the impression that he was not particularly intelligent, although Gaskins holds himself and his intellect in very high regard suggesting that he was too clever to be caught for any of his murders. I feel that the fact that the majority of his crimes (if they ever happened) were undiscovered, were more likely to be down to the reason that they were committed in back of beyond places, that had little chance of someone coming across him whilst in the act, rather than his cleverness in concealing the scene of his crimes. I have read quite a few books about serial killers and I did not find this book particularly disturbing although it is unpsetting to read how some of the victims died. I would recommend this book, but have found other books (Brian Masters book about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is very good) to be much more informative with better insights into what makes a serial killer 'tick' than this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh dear god, 9 April 1999
By A Customer
About five or six years ago I read a prepublication version of this book, which was softcover and had an audiocassette with it. I wouldn't recommend this to people who tend towards nightmares, or who have weak stomachs. The brutality and sadism of the crimes, and the detail which is supplied is enough to chill even the strongest constitution. Gaskins is a true serial killer's serial killer.... the violence, and stealth of his crimes is stunning; not only will you never hitchhike again, you may never sleep again. It took me a long time to drive memories of this book from my mind, and it honestly traumatized me, though I couldn't put it down to save my own life while I was reading it. Don't worry, there's no risk of sloppy empathy here....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most disturbing true crime book I have ever read, 16 Jun 2009
By 
M. M. BLADE (Lancs, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have read true crime books for years now since my interest was first picqued by Flora Rheta Schreiber's book 'The Shoemaker'. I have had the book 'Final Truth' on my bookshelf for a few years also - I keep going back to it now and then as when I pick it up, I simply cannot put it down. Everything I ever wanted to learn about a serial killer is in that book - it is also the most honest account of someone's dark and murderous side I have ever read. The book is more unusual because the story is told in Donald 'Pee Wee' Gaskins own words. It covers his childhood, his time in brutal reformatories and prisons, his life on the road, and how and why he killed so brutally and without conscience. A fact I found extremely interesting is that Pee Wee Gaskins is the only prisoner EVER to have committed the murder of an inmate whilst they were both on Death Row. You would have to read the book to find out the full circumstances, but you will be shocked, believe me. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in the subject of serial killers and murder - read this and you will never need to read another book on the subject. If you are prone to nightmares or easily scared, this is not for you. And as for hitchhiking - forget it, because you will never do it again after reading The Final Truth. This is highly recommended, a highly sought after account of a serial killer's life in his own words. Fantastic - and not for the faint hearted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Insight, 18 May 2004
By 
Ms. N. R. Carr "nicolac34" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I came across this book by accident when researching monsterous acts for a presentation I was doing at Uni. To my dismay it was only available in America, once reading the reviews I was desperate to get my hands on it. I am an avid reader of all things to do with serial killers and crime mysterys so this was deffinilty a treat. Amazon eventaully made it available in the UK and I ordered it immediatly. I couldn't put this book down, it is written in the way that Gaskins told the story and you get a true picture and can imagine it through his eyes. I was expecting it to be more horrific (after reading all the other reviews!) and I suppose to the light hearted it would be (my friend read a particulary gruesome paragraph and was horrified and felt sick for the rest of the day!) A must read for all you horror freaks out there!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifc, but a page turner., 12 Sep 2006
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Like most of the other reviewers, I heard about this book and sought it out, paying a lot of money to get it, as it is not available in bookshops here. Was it worth it? Yes, I won't go into details of Mr Gaskins story as other people have covered this, but I found his life story fascinating.

You sometimes feel sorry for him, his childhood was brutal, but then you read he redirected this violence onto to others and your sympathy disappears.

I consider myself fairly hardened to brutality, but there were a couple of paragraphs in this book that disturbed even myself.

This is not an easy read, and not for the screamish, but I enjoyed it immensely, and could'nt put it down.

Is he telling the truth about all of the murders?? Well, with no DNA in the 70's and living in the Southern States of America, I guess we will never know for sure...

Well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible insight into a serial killers mind, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I remained in an intense mind set as I read about PeeWee Gaskins. Once I began reading I did not put the book down until I had finished! The author was able to unleash incredible insight about a killer and our judicial system. South Carolina is home for me, but I highly recommend this book for anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong stomach necessary, 6 Jun 2012
I read the Final Truth again recently. This book is shocking and sickening but I think it is informative at least at a basic level. Although Gaskins does seem to elaborate some of his crimes, the book gives us a glimpse into the mind of a serial killer, and that in itself can be useful to the right people.
Personally, I belive that Small Man Syndrome coupled with his feelings towards his illegitimacy and the early violence in the home irrevocably damaged Gaskins' already damaged brain. I do believe that even before he reached puberty Gaskins had a moderate to severe form of brain damage and as no head truamas later in life have been documented, the damage may have been acquired before, during or immediately after birth and possibly located in the frontal lobes. That still does not excuse his crime, nothing could excuse them.
As difficult as this book was to read I was unable to put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifically eyecatching, 14 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This book took me all of one day to read. Once I picked it up, I simply couldn't put it down. Being a transplant from NY to Florence, SC, it facinated me as to the gruesome history that had taken place so close to home. My fiance and I read it on a trip back to NY in one day to each other to help pass the time as we took turns driving. Sleeping between turns was not an option. I had to know what happened next. It was like a horrible accident that you just couldn't take your eyes off of. Helter Skelter doesn't even appear on the same ranking system.
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Final Truth
Final Truth by Donald "Peewee" Gaskins (Mass Market Paperback - Jun 1994)
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