- Evil Dead, 2013 - ★★★★★
- You're Next, 2011 - ★★★★
- The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm, 2011 - ½
- 31, 2016 - ★★★
- Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, 2019 - ★★★★
- Event Horizon, 1997 - ★★★★½
- Carnival of Souls, 1998 - ★★
- The Children, 2008 - ★★★★★
- Heartthrob, 2017 - ½
- The Basement, 2018 - ★★
- The Marvels of Rigomer: Tales of the Knights of King Arthur
- Finding Fear
- The Blue Fairy Book
- The Olive Fairy Book
- Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales
Charmer: The True Story of a Ladies’ Man and His Victims by Jack Olsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Minus one star for the misleading (and arguably offensive) title and subtitle. The only way “Ladies’ Man” applies is if you are looking at the “Charmer” as an incel pickup artist. Which may be the point–I don’t know. He’s a scam artist, a profligate user of young women, and a rapist/murderer. So perhaps the title and subtitle are in supremely bad taste, or just ironic. I know that if the man in question had raped or used me, or murdered someone I love, I would not be pleased with such irony. This guy is a fast-talking charmer in the fact that he got his own ways for so long–but still. As the victim of sexual and domestic violence myself, it just sticks in my craw. I’m usually not so sensitive to such things, so when something like this really does bother me, I pay attention.
View all my reviews
I listened to this book on audio, and it was another enjoyable narration from Kevin Pierce. Pierce is my go-to true crime audiobook narrator.
Full documentary on YouTube:
Susan Smith, Union, South Carolina
My sources for this episode
- Beyond All Reason: My Life with Susan Smith by David Smith
- Violence As Seen Through a Prism of Color by Letha A. See
- The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment and Other Macroaggressions by Kathryn Russell
Further recommended reading
- Sins of the Mother: The Heartbreaking True Story of Susan Smith by Maria Eftimades
- My Daughter Susan Smith by Linda H. Russell with Shirley Stephens
- Mother Love, Deadly Love: The Susan Smith Murders by Andrea Peyser
- Susan Smith: Victim or Murderer by George Rekers
- Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady (poetry that “deals with the vision of the black man in white imagination. Narrated largely by the black kidnapper that Susan Smith invented…”)
All books have been added to the podcast’s Goodreads bookshelf.
Susan’s extremely peculiar, calm, and seemingly cheerful confession note:
Findagrave: Alexander Tyler Smith (1993-1994)
Findagrave: Michael Daniel Smith (1991-1994)
Susan Smith: Child Killer full length documentary
American Justice episode
Tommy Pope. prosecutor, speaks out 20 years later
This book is not for everyone. The authors are very honest about what Kermit Gosnell, and what Gosnell did went far beyond abortion. He murdered and decimated. If you are uncomfortable with Ed Gein’s story, do not read this book, for Gosnell was the same type of hoarder.
This book was finely investigated, so I only deduct one star for these reasons:
* the unnecessary, in my opinion, long chapter lecturing the reader on proper journalistic practices. It’s near the end of the book, so by the time it is reached, I as the reader have the full picture of the bizarre news dodge of this story. I don’t need a mini journalism class to drive it home.
* the occasional use of “pro-abortion” in place of “pro-choice” in general (the only person I have run across who is truly pro-abortion is Dr. Gosnell, for pro- implies enthusiasm, gusto); and, in companion with this, the introduction written by a member of the Duck Dynasty family. This case is so vile, it didn’t need to be politicized at all, in any way. Just tell the reader what Gosnell, his wife, and his staff did. You’ll probably change a lot of minds on abortion. I think these leans of bias make the annoyance of the lesson of the unbiased Fourth Estate stronger. To truly make this point, the book should have carried absolutely no agenda—including no biased language (a no-no in basic journalism) and no biased celebrity endorsement.
I can’t say this enough: this is an important case, and, despite its above flaws, an important book. But I am going to type a phrase below that was in the crime scene report about Ed Gein, and please let it be your litmus test for whether or not you should read this book.
That phrase is: cup of noses