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Ever since I started trying to be a good Christian woman and have gotten engrossed in reading/reviewing non-fiction Christian books, it's been a while since I've sat down and read a good True Crime book. [I happen to be a TOP CONTRIBUTOR of Amazon for this genre.]
The reason an individual like myself would ever want to read such a shockingly, disturbing book like this is simple; I'm fascinated by how any person, such as the subject of this book, Carl Panzram, could ever become such a heinous, cruel, vile, murderous one, who went against almost every tenet of the Lord.
As in most cases, the root cause for their behavior stems from their children, of which Panzram's case is a prime example.
Growing up as a child, Panzram had no childhood to speak of. Instead of going to school like you and me, with the ominous threat of harsh chastisement hung over his head, he got forced to be like a slave as he labored his life away on his family's farm. This occurred because of the twisted way his parents wanted to mold him into their intention of becoming a timid, amenable son. Instead, his behavior grew increasingly viciousa, and before he turned ten, he wound up getting arrested for his first serious crime.
One might think that his going to school and going to church would his atrocious behavior around; however, the contrary occurred since he found himself confronted by merciless teachers and blasphemous pastors who wound up decimating any goodness he might have still possessed.
As the years went by, his behavior turned frighteningly revengeful as he rejoiced in inflicting as much misery and torment to others that he could muster.
The writing in this book is fraught with the highly graphic descriptive accounting of Panzram's brutal and heinous behavior, which should be avoided in reading by anyone who is fainthearted.
Given the intense nature of this book and my being an aficionado of the genre of true crime, I've given this book and its authors 5 STARS.
This is the story of the vicious killer Carl Panzram. It's terrifying in that this is a true story of a man who roamed the country and other continents meting out devastating cruelty & murders wherever he went. Genoveva Ortiz is making a name for herself in the true crime genre through the assistance of the publisher that releases her books (True Crime Seven) and her writing style. Her manner of storytelling that depicted the harsh upbringing one man suffered that went a long way to creating the monstrous killer he became. His own actions and cruel treatment in a wide variety of correctional institutions in the early 20th century didn't break him. It seemed like the torture and pain directed toward him made him stronger and more determined to seek revenge against helpless victims.
Anyone could be Carl's victim but he had an unnatural attraction to young boys and teens. The brutality he inflicted on them was nauseating. But Panzram gained pleasure from inflicting his sadistic sexual assaults on any vulnerable man he could get into his clutches, whether on the outside or while incarcerated. He also enjoyed doling out punishing beat downs. And he had a penchant for setting fires. This was a shocking story that is not for the squeamish. His crimes are described in enough detail to illustrate just how depraved a monster he was. If you enjoy reading true crime this is a book that should be in your library!
Author Genoveva Ortiz is a relative newcomer to the True Crime Seven team – a cluster of authors who delve into the heinous crimes of the past and mold them into stories that become vivid as reportage while being entertaining as reading adventures. Their goal: ‘to simply explore and tell the stories of various killers in the world: from unknown murderers to infamous serial killers.’ The new series is called TRUE CRIME EXPLICIT and her initial book was THE VAMPIRE OF SACRAMENTO, followed by THE BUTCHER BAKER, and now she adds THE BUTCHER OF HUMANITY.
In the introductory comments, Genoveva states, ‘Where do monsters come from? Are they born wicked and bloodthirsty from the dawn of their lies, or are they made? Is it nature that is responsible for the cruelest of mankind – or is it a combination of the two…Carl Panzram was well aware of who he was. Referring to himself as a “human animal,” he held contempt for nearly everyone who would have the misfortune to know him, even his parents. His self-confessed criminal career is nearly as impressive as it is disturbing: countless burglaries, arsons, the rapes of over one thousand men and boys, and twenty-one murders. In his own words, Carl Panzram was the worst of the worst.’
The progression of the life of Carl Panzram, born in 1891 in Minnesota and hanged in 1930, is scoped with finesse in the manner we are learning to expect from Genoveva. She provides an outline of the book’s contents: ‘Born on a dying farm and soon abandoned by his father, Carl Panzram's life was bleak from the start. While other children played and went to school, he toiled away on his family's land, the threat of brutal punishment always looming over his head. Yet instead of shaping him into the meek, obedient boy his family wanted, Panzram grew meaner with each passing year. His first arrest happened before he had even turned ten. The young troublemaker would soon find himself at the mercy of cruel teachers, pastors, and jailers alike. They tried to beat goodness and religion into him but ended up kicking all the goodness out. When he broke free, he only had one goal in life: to cause as much pain and suffering as he could.’
This new series – True Crime Explicit – expands the purview of crime novels by the True Crime Seven, terrifying facts related in a manner that allows the reader to enter the minds of the perpetrators. Grady Harp, May 21
This book contained quite a bit of historical information which helps in the effort of trying to understand what life was like at the time this monstrous man was in action. He started off with all the odds against him and he just went downhill from there. Nature vs. nurture is a strong debate topic and I believe that Mr. Carl was a by-product of both these aspects. Makes me glad that I never lived during this time as there is no telling if one would have survived or not in case we ran into this evil being.
I too wonder and ponder over the same questions the author has at the end of this book. For some reason, I felt really sad for Panzram. Not sad enough to ever want someone like him on our streets, but I really DO wonder if nurture could have suppressed his murderous nature. We will never know.
I’ve never read a book written in this manner. It was good. Didn’t want to put it down. Yet at the same time sad over his victims too. Wish it didn’t NEED to be written in the first place.
This book is researched and written. Panzram was vicious and brutal to his victims. Panzram suffered brutality as a child and adolescent. Ortiz does not use his horrible past to excuse what Panzram did. Panzram, himself, wondered if he were born evil, or if his horrific past made him evil. Ortiz is descriptive of his murders. History of the prison system back then is included. A fascinating read.