True Crime Book Review

Review: Butcher, Baker – By Walter Gilmore & Leland E Hale

Blurb (via Goodreads)- The true account of Alaska’s serial killer, Robert Hansen, the asker who hunted the streets of Anchorage and Seward in the 70’s and 80’s, butchering up to 20 young women. This book details the extraordinary work and dedication of a handful of Alaska State Troopers who brought him to justice.


True crime is my absolute favourite genre to read and this book was one of the excellent reads.  The writers took a different past to some of the other true crime books out there, in that this book started in the thick of things. There wasn’t the usual boring introduction to the offender and his past. Instead, it started with the discovery of the one of the victims and then gradually we were introduced to Hansen and given his background in bite-sized chunks. You didn’t feel overwhelmed or bored which is, in my opinion, excellent writing.  For those who detest courtroom writing because of the ‘boredom’ of it (I actually enjoy the courtroom part of true crime novels) there is actually very little in this, and the little that is in it is actually pivotal to understanding this horrifying case.

Did I have any issues with the book? Yes. Not really from the authors though, more from the individuals who were part of this case.  Given the era this case took place, not really a surprise that those involved apparently can’t differentiate the difference between mass murder and serial murder.  They’re both very different from each other, however like I mentioned it was a common mistake made during the late 70’s and early 80’s (although people still get it wrong today!).  I also felt the last two chapters were a tad rushed and maybe could have been given a little more TLC. 

Alaskan Serial Killer Robert C. Hansen
Opinions on the case itself? Serial murder is always a topic that fascinates people. Myself, I’m pretty much over it. However, there’s no denying that it was a horrific case and the dedication and effort that the officers/investigators and the many others that worked to arrest and detain Hansen, is nothing short of admirable and amazing.  It never gets any less sadder that these poor victims, prostitutes and exotic dancers, are often targets of crime. My heart breaks whenever I read about their deaths at the hands of another human.  There was a line in the book that stuck with me, which I’ll paraphrase excuse I can’t remember it exactly, but the gist of it was that one of the victims was warned that it’s a hard line of work being a protestitute and that she should basically expect ‘bad’ things to happen. It angered me that someone would think like that. Irrelevant of what a person does, they should never have to fear for their lives and be disrespected and treated anything less than human. But it happens, and there’s no other word for it than unfair. Really unfair. 

So, if you’re a true crime lover, and love your serial killers then this one is a must for you. I can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, but that’s the beauty of individualality!! You can purchase the hard copy via Amazon below:

Purchase Butcher, Baker here

I rated this book: 
   X 5 / 5 
Happy reading and buying

Nat

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