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  1. #1
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    Default Would you read books by an author who murdered someone?

    This just happened. I discovered a couple of new series, historical fiction mystery stuff. I've read one or two books in each series, liked them, and went looking for the rest.

    Searching for the author's name turned up the fact that as a teenager, she and a friend planned and executed the murder of the friend's mother. The mother was divorcing and the girls did not want to be separated, which would have happened had she left and taken the friend. So they killed her.

    The girls spent five or so years in jail and were released. The author changed her name.

    Some of the books are murder mysteries. I'm now seriously weirded out by the fact that when she writes about a murder, she actually has first hand experience!

    I'm curious. Would you continue reading the books, or cross her off your list?

    Would it make a difference if you took them out of the library (so she wouldn't profit any further) vs. buying them?
    Last edited by wsmoak; Mar. 29, 2013 at 10:28 PM.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  2. #2
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Nope. That would do it for me.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    I MIGHT continue reading the books if there were a way to do so without her profiting from it, but absolutely would not buy the books or otherwise enrich her financially. It occurs to me that even libraries have to buy their books, right, and if this author's books appear to be in demand, the library might buy more of them.

    Might be a different story if the author were writing romances or sci-fi, but by writing murder mysteries it's as though she's profiting from or romanticizing her own heinous crime. There are plenty of other great books out there to read.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Jan. 6, 2013
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    Are you talking about Anne Perry?

    I would still read books by someone who did this. I still read Norman Mailer, who stabbed his wife and was generally just a terrible person, and Louis Althusser, who strangled his wife. If the work is good I do not care.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Default

    That is so WEIRD!! I really have no idea what I would do. But as I mostly read murder mysteries, would you mind sharing who the author is? May be that I need to make a decision :-)



  6. #6
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    I read all the Anne Perry books, and really enjoyed them. Then found out that she and her friend had murdered the friend's mother.

    Her books do not concentrate on the murders themselves, or any gruesome details, but rather the solving of the crimes and the personalities of the detectives themselves.
    I think they are really good books, interesting, well written, historically and socially accurate...

    There was also a movie made about the case, I can't remember the name of it though.
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
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  7. #7
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    Heavenly Creatures! It's a good movie.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    ^^ thanks inne!
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
    CSHA Brickenden Stallion Award Winner - for Performance offspring.
    Please visit A Fine Romance on FB!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    I read all the Anne Perry books, and really enjoyed them. Then found out that she and her friend had murdered the friend's mother.

    Her books do not concentrate on the murders themselves, or any gruesome details, but rather the solving of the crimes and the personalities of the detectives themselves.
    I think they are really good books, interesting, well written, historically and socially accurate...

    There was also a movie made about the case, I can't remember the name of it though.
    The movie is "Heavenly Creatures". (Yes, the author is Anne Perry.)

    The book I was (am) reading when I discovered this fact actually *does* have a gruesome murder complete with details. A Sunless Sea.

    I agree they're interesting and well written, but... it's just weird. I don't go researching the lives of all the authors I read, this just popped up while I was looking for more books and I've been pondering whether I will read the rest of the books. Ethics aside, for now I think it's too distracting.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  10. #10
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    i agree wsmoak - it's one thing if someone killed someone in self defense, in purely by crazy accident, but to plan and execute someone? Totally antisocial, and then to profit? Not a chance I would support that.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    I have read maybe two of her books. No, if I'd known I wouldn't have read it. I don't like to hear murders speak on those forensic shows and I don't watch the all-hitler-all-the-time history channels. I just think my energy can be focused on more positive things. I once caught a wonderful documentary on Pope John Paul and his friendship with Gorbachov (sp). That was an uplifting hour. The smile on Gorbachov's face just lit up the room and it showed.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    I would absolutely not buy the books new. If the series was truly awesome, I would go to the used bookstore and buy them secondhand.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    i agree wsmoak - it's one thing if someone killed someone in self defense, in purely by crazy accident, but to plan and execute someone? Totally antisocial, and then to profit? Not a chance I would support that.
    I did a quick Google search - the author is not making a profit on the murder that she committed when she was 15 (she's 74 now). She's been a productive, law-abiding citizen of society since she finished serving the time to which she was sentenced for the crime she committed.

    The mentality that people who break the law don't have a right to live in society by society's rules and earn an honest living after they've served the sentence that was handed to them by the justice system is mind-boggling to me. Would it have been more acceptable if she had been executed at the age of 15?


    27 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsmoak View Post
    This just happened. I discovered a couple of new series, historical fiction mystery stuff. I've read one or two books in each series, liked them, and went looking for the rest.

    Searching for the author's name turned up the fact that as a teenager, she and a friend planned and executed the murder of the friend's mother. The mother was divorcing and the girls did not want to be separated, which would have happened had she left and taken the friend. So they killed her.

    The girls spent five or so years in jail and were released. The author changed her name.

    Some of the books are murder mysteries. I'm now seriously weirded out by the fact that when she writes about a murder, she actually has first hand experience!

    I'm curious. Would you continue reading the books, or cross her off your list?

    Would it make a difference if you took them out of the library (so she wouldn't profit any further) vs. buying them?
    I wouldn't read them. Not because I'd care about her profiting but just because it would freak me out. I can understand killing someone in the heat of the moment, or as revenge, or even killing a spouse. I can't however, even begin to understand what these two girls did. Personally I think they should still be in jail.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't read the books on principle alone. There is something missing in the soul of a human that kills another for personal gain. No amount of jail time can right that wrong. Jmo
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Ugh. No, I would not buy/read her books. Also did a quick search on Anne Perry. She and her friend were only fifteen when they planned the murder of the friend's mother. They killed her by hitting her over the head with a brick. Figured it would take one strike to kill her. It took twenty.
    Boggles the mind how two teenage girls could be so cruel.
    Even if they planned the murder, managed to hit her once and then recoiled in horror of what they had done - called for help - that would be sort of forgivable.
    But bashing the woman's head with a brick 20 times - that's sick.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ynl063w View Post
    I did a quick Google search - the author is not making a profit on the murder that she committed when she was 15 (she's 74 now). She's been a productive, law-abiding citizen of society since she finished serving the time to which she was sentenced for the crime she committed.

    The mentality that people who break the law don't have a right to live in society by society's rules and earn an honest living after they've served the sentence that was handed to them by the justice system is mind-boggling to me. Would it have been more acceptable if she had been executed at the age of 15?
    Part of the sentence included her being deported from NZ and never having contact with the other girl as long as she lived. Last time I looked, she was still not having any contact with the other girl despite intense media pressure after the movie release.
    It appears she took the terms of her sentence seriously and became a good citizen, one of the reasons, incidentally, that we imprison people: to give them the chance to reform.

    I've read some her books and I didn't find them glorifying murder but instead focusing on applying the law impartially.

    That seems like a good result of an ugly situation to me.


    12 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Of course it's mind-boggling and sick. They BRUTALLY MURDERED someone. My point is that they were sentenced by the justice system, served their time, and were released back to society at large to go live their lives as (hopefully) law-abiding citizens. And apparently, the author in question has done so. In spades.

    So, do we, as all other members of society, continue to shun people for the rest of their lives after they have served their time, and make it as difficult as possible for them to fit in as law-abiding citizens, or do we respect our justice system and allow these people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and integrate back into society with the rest of us?


    10 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    I'd have no problems buying the books.

    She did something incredibly harmful and incredibly stupid as a teenager. She served her time and, by all accounts, has been a productive member of society for nearly SIXTY years since then.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    I have spent a great part of my professional life working with offenders in one capacity or another. There are many many ways that people, teens, in this case, can make mistakes, very commonly involving misappraisal of risk. And yes, I am a very big fan of atonement and restoritive justice. But planning and executing someone -hitting them 20 times with a brick - is not a mistake or a miscalculation. That takes a particular personality type that involves complete disregard for the welfare of others.It is not responsive to "reform" although certainly there are people with these traits that are not necessariy in prison, are law abiding and so forth. But they still hold at their core, that same disregard. I guess I have seen so freaking much of that, over the years, that I would have absolutely no interest in supporting it in any way or optimism that such people would make any sincere change. Too many other authors to support.


    7 members found this post helpful.

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