Behold the Monster by Jillian Lauren

Posted July 17, 2023 in review Tags: ,

Behold the Monster by Jillian LaurenBehold the Monster: Confronting America's Most Prolific Serial Killer by Jillian Lauren, Michael Connelly

Genres: True Crime
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: The Dark Hours
Amazon iBooks Audible

He was sitting right across the table...and he would have killed her if he could. Jillian Lauren had no idea what she was getting into when she wrote her first letter to prolific serial killer Samuel Little. All she knew was her research had led her to believe he was guilty of many more murders than the three for which he had been convicted. While the two exchanged dozens of letters and embarked on hundreds of hours of interviews, Lauren gained the trust of a monster. After maintaining his innocence for decades, Little confessed to the murders of ninety-three women, often drawing his victims in haunting detail as he spoke. How could one man evade justice, manipulating the system for more than four decades? As the FBI, the DOJ, the LAPD, and countless law enforcement officials across the country worked to connect their cold cases with the confessions, Lauren's coverage of the investigations and obsession with Little's victims only escalated.
Lauren delivers the harrowing report of her unusual relationship with a psychopath--but this is more than a deep dive into the actions of Samuel Little. Lauren's riveting and emotional accounts reveal the women who were lost to cold files, giving Little's victims a chance to have their stories heard for the first time.

behold the monsterBehold the Monster is the story of one woman’s interviews with the most prolific serial killer in the modern era. Samuel Little isn’t as well know as names like Gacy or Dahmer, but his murderous life is far worse. Jillian Lauren wrote this book based on interviews she conducted with Little, so you get a peek behind the curtain into her thoughts on what it is like to speak with someone like Little.

As a fan of true crime and a psychologist,  I find the life of killers to be a fascinating tale. Samuel Little fits the mold-horrible childhood, abuse, antisocial personality. While he initially denied the accusations, he eventually confessed to 93 murders while talking to Lauren, knowing the conversations were recorded. He picked women to prey on that were easier to overlook and difficult to determine a motive for-addicts, prostitutes, etc. He made sure to find out if they had people who would come looking for them. Little is very open with Lauren and you get a glimpse-a dark and twisted one-into the mind of a killer. However, you also have to remember that this is coming from the mind of a killer, so you can’t trust everything he says. I think this is where the author could have done more in attempting to verify some of his claims.

This is not a light read and the entire thing is disturbing, but it is fascinating. I believe that studying people like Samuel Little is crucial in understanding how to keep people safe in the future. It is also an important study for those who want to understand the mind better. My only criticism of the book is that it does make the victims seem “less”. Lauren’s writing sometimes paints them as bad people, when the bad person is their killer. At times, the story feels more like fiction because things are based on inference and “imagining”. I prefer my true crime to be factual all the time.

We Thought We Knew You by M. William Phelps, Killer Triggers by Joe Kenda, or The Dahmer story on Netflix…then you will probably like Behold the Monster!

Behold the Monster

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