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Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik

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Serial killer Gary Heidnik's name will live on in infamy, and his home, 3520 North Marshall Street in Philadelphia, is a house tainted with the memory of unbelievable horrors. What police found there was an incredible nightmare made real. Four young women had been held captive--some for four months--half-naked and chained. They had been tortured, starved, and repeatedly ra Serial killer Gary Heidnik's name will live on in infamy, and his home, 3520 North Marshall Street in Philadelphia, is a house tainted with the memory of unbelievable horrors. What police found there was an incredible nightmare made real. Four young women had been held captive--some for four months--half-naked and chained. They had been tortured, starved, and repeatedly raped. But more grotesque discoveries lay in the kitchen: human limbs frozen, a torso burned to cinders, an empty pot suspiciously scorched... This is not a story for the faint-hearted. Cellar of Horror is a shocking true account of the self-proclaimed minister with a long history of mental illness, who preyed upon the susceptible and the retarded in a bizarre plan to create his own "baby factory." It is a macabre web spun around money, power, and religion, tangled with courtroom drama and lawyers' tactics, sure to send a chill into your very soul.


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Serial killer Gary Heidnik's name will live on in infamy, and his home, 3520 North Marshall Street in Philadelphia, is a house tainted with the memory of unbelievable horrors. What police found there was an incredible nightmare made real. Four young women had been held captive--some for four months--half-naked and chained. They had been tortured, starved, and repeatedly ra Serial killer Gary Heidnik's name will live on in infamy, and his home, 3520 North Marshall Street in Philadelphia, is a house tainted with the memory of unbelievable horrors. What police found there was an incredible nightmare made real. Four young women had been held captive--some for four months--half-naked and chained. They had been tortured, starved, and repeatedly raped. But more grotesque discoveries lay in the kitchen: human limbs frozen, a torso burned to cinders, an empty pot suspiciously scorched... This is not a story for the faint-hearted. Cellar of Horror is a shocking true account of the self-proclaimed minister with a long history of mental illness, who preyed upon the susceptible and the retarded in a bizarre plan to create his own "baby factory." It is a macabre web spun around money, power, and religion, tangled with courtroom drama and lawyers' tactics, sure to send a chill into your very soul.

30 review for Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Savidge

    My Dad is the arresting officer of this guy. His name is mentioned on the very first page and then a few times throughout it. Caution: If you read it, be prepared to probably have nightmares. It's a true story. My Dad is the arresting officer of this guy. His name is mentioned on the very first page and then a few times throughout it. Caution: If you read it, be prepared to probably have nightmares. It's a true story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Aranda

    What a scary thought that this man got away with his crimes for so long and with multiple women. It's terrifying that he was even married and I feel sorry for his children who have to live with his legacy and the women that had the misfortune to encounter him. I liked how well researched the book was as I got a good sense of the man who committed these crimes and what happened when he had you in his grasp. Truly a scary book for how real and under the radar things can pass. What a scary thought that this man got away with his crimes for so long and with multiple women. It's terrifying that he was even married and I feel sorry for his children who have to live with his legacy and the women that had the misfortune to encounter him. I liked how well researched the book was as I got a good sense of the man who committed these crimes and what happened when he had you in his grasp. Truly a scary book for how real and under the radar things can pass.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Sobieck

    Sure, it's sensational. But sensational can be interesting if the story is true. "Cellar of Horror" tells the story of Philly psychopath Gary Heidnik. He kidnapped, raped, beat, killed, cooked and force fed women chained in his basement. The first half covers the madman's criminal exploits. Author Ken Englade takes plenty of time depicting the hyper-sensational insanity. It's by far the most interesting portion of the book. But reader beware. You'll have to clench your teeth to keep the vomit dow Sure, it's sensational. But sensational can be interesting if the story is true. "Cellar of Horror" tells the story of Philly psychopath Gary Heidnik. He kidnapped, raped, beat, killed, cooked and force fed women chained in his basement. The first half covers the madman's criminal exploits. Author Ken Englade takes plenty of time depicting the hyper-sensational insanity. It's by far the most interesting portion of the book. But reader beware. You'll have to clench your teeth to keep the vomit down. The second half involves the trial, and whether Hednik was insane (for death penalty purposes). Englade is a great researcher, but this part dragged for me. In all, this is a book that exploits the tragedy almost as much Heidnik did to his victims. But given I stayed up late to polish it off within 24 hours of buying it, it's worth checking out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Marlene♥

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've read this book twice. Last night I finished it for the second time. It is such a weird crazy story that when I was reading Slave Girls by Wensley Clarkson and he had a chapter omitted to this story I had to go downstairs and find this book again. How he set those women against each other. He made Rivera kill the other girl but thanks to her they were also saved. Have to see if Gary heidnik is still alive. I've read this book twice. Last night I finished it for the second time. It is such a weird crazy story that when I was reading Slave Girls by Wensley Clarkson and he had a chapter omitted to this story I had to go downstairs and find this book again. How he set those women against each other. He made Rivera kill the other girl but thanks to her they were also saved. Have to see if Gary heidnik is still alive.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hester

    This is the story of the sick fuck who inspired the basement pit in Silence of the Lambs. Gary Heidnik kidnapped six women, raped and beat and imprisoned them. His goal was to impregnate the women and then raise a family in his basement. Englade covers Heidnik's crimes but he fails in creating a full profile of Heidnik quickly glossing over his childhood and claims of physical abuse at the hands of his father his mother's alcoholism and his multiple hospitalizations for mental illness. On that n This is the story of the sick fuck who inspired the basement pit in Silence of the Lambs. Gary Heidnik kidnapped six women, raped and beat and imprisoned them. His goal was to impregnate the women and then raise a family in his basement. Englade covers Heidnik's crimes but he fails in creating a full profile of Heidnik quickly glossing over his childhood and claims of physical abuse at the hands of his father his mother's alcoholism and his multiple hospitalizations for mental illness. On that note, I would like to point out Englade comes off as insensitive dick, he uses terms like nut job to describe Heidnik's psychiatric condition. After Heidnik's arrest this book turns into a boring courtroom procedural which makes this book feel longer than it actually is, at two hundred seventy-seven pages this should be a quick read, even for someone who reads as slow as I do, but Englade includes unnecessary courtroom details such as how hot the courtroom was and what the jurors were wearing, these details put me to sleep. Called into question is that of victim Josefina Rivera's role in the death of another victim and her treatment of her fellow captives. Was Rivera truly an accomplice to murder and torture? If so was it because she grew sympathetic to Heidnik or was it a desperate attempt at appeasement to save her life? How desperate does one have to be to want to survive to live out another day of torture, rape and being forced fed human flesh? So was Heidnik insane or did he know right from wrong? I would say yes to both, of course you have to be mentally ill to kidnap six women and turn them into unwilling sex slaves to fulfill your personal goal of having a large family, but at the same time you can still know right from wrong. Heidnik did exhibit behavior of knowing what he was doing was wrong by disposing of a dead body by dismemberment and cooking some of the body parts to destroy physical evidence, he blasted a radio at full volume to cover up any cries for help that his neighbors might hear, he forced a victim (a woman that he knew for years) to write a letter to her family that she went to New York to throw them off of his trail and he mostly chose women who were mentally handicapped. Remember that stranger = danger.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    Horrible crime that scared the hell out of me but as for his writing, well it left something to be desired. The crime itself kept me interested but I felt the book drug on for too long. Kinda like....let me outta here, tell me the ending.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    A good read about a hideous, hideous case. Full of troubling questions that apparently never got answered. If you want a glimpse at the depths of human depravity, check this one out. I was bothered that there was photo after photo after photo of the criminal and not one of the victims, the survivors or their families.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jody Schnurrenberger

    Summary of this Book... Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik by Ken Englade is a disturbing look inside the life and crimes of one of our nation's most disturbing cases of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder. With the intent of kidnapping ten women to impregnate them and have a family, Heidnik was caught after kidnapping six women, two of whom were killed before rescue. To further illustrate his derangement, Heidnik fed a mixture of dog food and one of the murder victims to his other kid Summary of this Book... Cellar of Horror: The Story of Gary Heidnik by Ken Englade is a disturbing look inside the life and crimes of one of our nation's most disturbing cases of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder. With the intent of kidnapping ten women to impregnate them and have a family, Heidnik was caught after kidnapping six women, two of whom were killed before rescue. To further illustrate his derangement, Heidnik fed a mixture of dog food and one of the murder victims to his other kidnap victims. He was eventually convicted of his crimes (and put to death by the state of Pennsylvania by lethal injection on July 6, 1999--That part not being covered by the book). The book takes you through much of his life before the crimes and continues through his conviction. It also includes botched opportunities to discover his victims, pretrial events, and some of the odd and prejudicial rulings of the judge presiding over his case. This type of Book is good for... This book is good for anyone interested in true crime or books about the criminally insane. But the reader should be aware that some of the contents are disturbing, though Englade doesn't go into obviously unnecessary detail. I especially liked... I especially liked the little details Englade gave which brought about a feeling of being there. For example, he described Heidnik's kitchen walls as being "...half covered with pennies which had been meticulously glued in place" (Englade, 13) and his hallway walls as "...partially papered with one- and five-dollar bills." (Englade, 14) I didn't like... The title, "Cellar of Horror" seems a bit cheesy to me, though it's certainly an accurate depiction. When I finished reading this Book I wanted to... I want to read more about Gary Heidnik and look for other things written by Ken Englade. This Book made me feel... This book made me feel shocked at human depravity and sad at the repeated failings of humans and systems. The author of this Book... Ken Englade did an excellent job of showing us a well-rounded view of Heidnik without boring us, alternating early chapters between Heinik before and during the criminal events for the first third of the book, then reading chronologically throughout the rest with the second third describing pretrial events and jury selection and the final third of the book covering the trial. There is an epilogue that covers the aftermath. I recommend this Book because... I'd recommend this book because it's an interesting account of some horrific crimes. This isn't for the feint of heart, but it's a fascinating, though disturbing, read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The first half of the book discussing this wacko's crimes and long history of schizophrenia was interesting. However the 2nd half dicussing the trial was very boring. All in all I think this had the ability to be an interesting book. The story is just not told very well. The first half of the book discussing this wacko's crimes and long history of schizophrenia was interesting. However the 2nd half dicussing the trial was very boring. All in all I think this had the ability to be an interesting book. The story is just not told very well.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amber Jones

    wish i could give it an in between rating, a 3.5 or something like that. crazy to read about something that happened so close to my home i just feel like i could have done without so much in depth trial info and a little more on the man and his crimes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Andersen

    The book covers the case in great detail, but some basic information about the initial encounter is inaccurate. I know this for a fact because I know the first responding officer and given some of her horrendous experiences with the Philadelphia Police Department, I suspect that the author did not receive accurate information from the police. In addition, some of the language is unprofessional and some of the author's opinions seem to be grounded based on his ignorance of the rules of evidence. The book covers the case in great detail, but some basic information about the initial encounter is inaccurate. I know this for a fact because I know the first responding officer and given some of her horrendous experiences with the Philadelphia Police Department, I suspect that the author did not receive accurate information from the police. In addition, some of the language is unprofessional and some of the author's opinions seem to be grounded based on his ignorance of the rules of evidence.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    As I sit here at my desk with my feet up pondering the life and exploits of Gary hiednik that were put on display in this book I find myself wondering why I didn't like it more. I'm a huge true crime fan and this book showed so much promise. I was so excited to read it and for the first 1/3 of the book I was glued to it. Then he was arrested and the long boring trial portion the book began. They replayed every interesting detail until it was no longer interesting. Gary was a very interesting per As I sit here at my desk with my feet up pondering the life and exploits of Gary hiednik that were put on display in this book I find myself wondering why I didn't like it more. I'm a huge true crime fan and this book showed so much promise. I was so excited to read it and for the first 1/3 of the book I was glued to it. Then he was arrested and the long boring trial portion the book began. They replayed every interesting detail until it was no longer interesting. Gary was a very interesting person. Smart on the business end of things but really dumb on the killing and kidnapping side of it. I enjoyed the parts where they tried to delve into the psychology of it. There's better true crime out there and there's worse. It's worth a read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This was a very quick read about the gruesome crimes of Gary Heidnik. I continue to be amazed at what people are capable of even when there is debate about their sanity. At times this book was repetitive and the majority of the book focused on the daily proceedings of Heidnik's trial which were a bit boring. After finishing this, I wanted to know what happened to Gary Heidnik. In case any of you are wondering too, he died by lethal injection in 1999. This was a very quick read about the gruesome crimes of Gary Heidnik. I continue to be amazed at what people are capable of even when there is debate about their sanity. At times this book was repetitive and the majority of the book focused on the daily proceedings of Heidnik's trial which were a bit boring. After finishing this, I wanted to know what happened to Gary Heidnik. In case any of you are wondering too, he died by lethal injection in 1999.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Mag

    Duuuuuuuuude. This book. So well written. The subject matter was horrific, but the author did a good job not going to far into the details. He didn't overwrite it or make it too gory just because he could. Very well done. Duuuuuuuuude. This book. So well written. The subject matter was horrific, but the author did a good job not going to far into the details. He didn't overwrite it or make it too gory just because he could. Very well done.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Drumm

    A very informative read as our second true crime book club book. Very suspenseful loaded with details. Easy to read and I liked that the criminal was from philly so it was relatable content.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Massey

    The portion of the book dealing with the trial was somewhat boring compared to the first part, but the book overall is so short that the boring section didn't feel too dragged-out to me. But then, I'm a fast reader anyway. I remember seeing this case on the news at the time it happened, in 1987, and it scared me to death at the time. I was most interested in the thought processes of Josefina Rivera, who was Heidnik's first captive and party to the abuse and murder of the others; she even helped hi The portion of the book dealing with the trial was somewhat boring compared to the first part, but the book overall is so short that the boring section didn't feel too dragged-out to me. But then, I'm a fast reader anyway. I remember seeing this case on the news at the time it happened, in 1987, and it scared me to death at the time. I was most interested in the thought processes of Josefina Rivera, who was Heidnik's first captive and party to the abuse and murder of the others; she even helped him acquire his final captive, just a day or so before she herself escaped and summoned help. My take on Rivera is that she was easily the smartest of Heidnik's victims, most of whom were mentally deficient to one degree or another. She was also streetwise, and I believe that rather than actually sympathizing with Heidnik and falling in with his bizarre line of thinking, she was playing him as much as he played the others; she worked hard to earn his trust, and sometimes that meant mistreating her fellow captives, who were unable to fully understand why she was doing it and must have genuinely believed she had turned against them and was a full supporter of Heidnik. Rivera must have known that she would only have one chance to escape and so she watched carefully for it, biding her time and working her way into her abductor's confidence until he allowed her to leave the house on her own for a short time. I believe firmly that if she had not been able to do all this, all of them would have eventually been killed. She displays an almost ruthless survival instinct that is totally missing in the accounts of the captivity and rescue of people like Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart and Michelle Knight. Nobody rescued Josefina; she rescued herself, and in so doing, saved the lives of three others.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jazmine

    I knew nothing about Gary Heidnik coming into this so I learned quite a bit. The first half of this book is about his crimes and what happened in that basement and a little backstory about his life. It's definitely the most interesting part of the book. The second half of the book is about his trial and trying to decide if he's mentally insane and capable of standing trial. This part really dragged for me. The research that Ken Englande put into this is obvious but I found myself skimming through I knew nothing about Gary Heidnik coming into this so I learned quite a bit. The first half of this book is about his crimes and what happened in that basement and a little backstory about his life. It's definitely the most interesting part of the book. The second half of the book is about his trial and trying to decide if he's mentally insane and capable of standing trial. This part really dragged for me. The research that Ken Englande put into this is obvious but I found myself skimming through the the last of the book. I wish Goodreads would do half stars cause this was a 3.5 star read for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I love true crime stories. This was special (and scary!) because it happened kinda locally to me. Real serial killer stories are appalling and page turners all at once. Gary Heidnik was a seriously derranged man whom slipped through the justice systems hands too many times before he was caught. The author had some tongue-in-cheekiness, but since the story itself is so horrid in nature, it wasnt so bad. Read only if you can handle the graphic nature of his crimes. It was not easy for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Misty Fogg

    I can only use Amy Poehler's term "tragedy porn" to discuss this book. I am captivated by tragedy porn and this book fed that beast. The book is written a little informally about the case as it is not always clear if it is a fact or more of the author's opinion. The case is extensively catalogued from capture through the trial and has plenty of background as well. All anyone really needs to know is it is a horrific story. Truly horrific. I can only use Amy Poehler's term "tragedy porn" to discuss this book. I am captivated by tragedy porn and this book fed that beast. The book is written a little informally about the case as it is not always clear if it is a fact or more of the author's opinion. The case is extensively catalogued from capture through the trial and has plenty of background as well. All anyone really needs to know is it is a horrific story. Truly horrific.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tera (adventuresbetweenpages) Baird

    Yes this guy was sick, it was terrible what he did. I found the book lacking. It jumped around a lot in the beginning. From the present to the past and back. It did that lot. It made it hard to read. I would love to read more about this guy so I might find a different book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    It was ok. Not to much details about the incarceration of the girls. More court related info than i prefer. I feel like this could have been a crazy book if written differently with a bit more detail on things that went down in the "cellar of horror". It was ok. Not to much details about the incarceration of the girls. More court related info than i prefer. I feel like this could have been a crazy book if written differently with a bit more detail on things that went down in the "cellar of horror".

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dara S.

    This was a lot more about the trial and whether or not he was insane than the crime.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marsmannix

    good writing by the author and a grisly story. No pictures in the Kindle edition, though

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    The monsters of the world are horrifying.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ranting Wright

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reading this book felt like watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in the sense that such vivid material could have been better handled. The first hundred pages quickly detail the gory terror that took place in Gary Heidnik's basement from 1986 to 1987. Some scenes might be considered disturbing to anyone living under a rock for the last fifty years, but on the whole it feels like the author rushed through these scenes to get to the trial scenes, as though the story was being rushed ont Reading this book felt like watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in the sense that such vivid material could have been better handled. The first hundred pages quickly detail the gory terror that took place in Gary Heidnik's basement from 1986 to 1987. Some scenes might be considered disturbing to anyone living under a rock for the last fifty years, but on the whole it feels like the author rushed through these scenes to get to the trial scenes, as though the story was being rushed onto shelves to capitalize on the media hype surrounding the case and to line the pockets of authors and lawyers with money. The details of the crimes are efficiently dealt with and then forgotten. The last 170 pages read like the script to an episode of Law and Order, and these pages demonstrate the book's existence as a quickly-milked cash cow. It is interesting to see such a focus on the topic of mental illness and the boundaries of sanity, especially since the book was published in '88, but the book reads as though mental illness is an incidental topic---an ironic feeling, considering most cases involving murder call into question the mental state of the killer. Another strange feeling occurs when reading the chapter describing the newspaper headlines. The layers of sensationalism are palpable as the book describes the reactions of media outlets, as though the reader needs to be reminded of the severity of the crimes. If the first third of the book had been better handled, there would be no need for such an extensive section covering the trial scenes. Also, one of the insert photos, placed in the middle of this edition, is captioned, "guilty and condemned to death." I do not usually criticize a book for its edition or layout, but the bulk of Englade's retelling relies on suspense built during the insanity plea. Can Heidnik's lawyer get him out of the death sentence, or will the prosecutor convince the jury that Heidnik is a monster who deserves murder charges in the first degree? The defense obviously fails if one of the pictures tells us that the death penalty stuck. Overall, Cellar of Horror makes vaguely interesting the crimes and trial proceedings of Gary Heidnik, but the book feels like it was rushed into life to capitalize on a news trend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    teleri llinos

    Firstly, this is a very old book. It was written before Heidnik was executed, and shows that in the way the author talks about the mental problems Heidnik's victims suffered from. Unfortunately because of that, the word 'r*tarded' is used a lot. I hated reading it, and advise you not reading it if you're offended by those kinds of comments. I do believe that Heidnik got an unfair trial, just because the judge on the case was unfair to the defence. Her allowing evidence in for the prosecutor, but Firstly, this is a very old book. It was written before Heidnik was executed, and shows that in the way the author talks about the mental problems Heidnik's victims suffered from. Unfortunately because of that, the word 'r*tarded' is used a lot. I hated reading it, and advise you not reading it if you're offended by those kinds of comments. I do believe that Heidnik got an unfair trial, just because the judge on the case was unfair to the defence. Her allowing evidence in for the prosecutor, but calling it irrelevant and unusable when the defenders use simular evidence, shows her bias. that being said, Heidnik was a piece of shit and deserved everything that was coming to him, from the two beatings to the lethal injection. Shame he didn't receive the chair so that his last moments mimicked the death of Deborah Dudley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I feel like I know this story... yet I KNOW I dont. ! Lots of jumping around and far to much detail on unnecessary thing like clothes and color of them and material & texture .. ok not that bad but pretty dang close. I am so confused as to why this man was never committed for good for being a harm to himself. He was in and out so many times and trying to commit suicide so many times I just dont get how this guy just walked in and out of psych wards and was still getting medication after continuous I feel like I know this story... yet I KNOW I dont. ! Lots of jumping around and far to much detail on unnecessary thing like clothes and color of them and material & texture .. ok not that bad but pretty dang close. I am so confused as to why this man was never committed for good for being a harm to himself. He was in and out so many times and trying to commit suicide so many times I just dont get how this guy just walked in and out of psych wards and was still getting medication after continuous abuse of them. I also dont believe this man was as bad off as he acted I mean ... Its kinda obvious. 2 stars because some of it was interesting and the rest was so boring - especially the 2nd half of the book that is the trial.And also because there was so much jumping around which I usually dont mind but this was a bit to much.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ernesto Rodríguez

    Real life is always more terrible than what we can imagine. It's the second book i have read on this guy. Why is it that "crazy" people always get a free pass before doing something horrible? I see it again and again. I also see very disturbed people around, and I think, "Is this the next case of horror?" We should get more involved in seeing outside ourselves, and paying attention to the less fortunate. People on the fringes of society have a very different world than the better off. I¡m not sa Real life is always more terrible than what we can imagine. It's the second book i have read on this guy. Why is it that "crazy" people always get a free pass before doing something horrible? I see it again and again. I also see very disturbed people around, and I think, "Is this the next case of horror?" We should get more involved in seeing outside ourselves, and paying attention to the less fortunate. People on the fringes of society have a very different world than the better off. I¡m not saying give to them, but we have to pay attention of what happens around us, and be aware. This is real life, and like I say, not fiction.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beffski

    I first heard of Gary Heidnik while reading about Ed Gein and how he inspired so many horror movie classics. Gary Heidnik is the guy who inspired Wild Bill in Silence of the Lambs. That made me look up any books about Gary Heidnik because these are the types of books I love to read! This book could have easily been half of the length that it is. The first half was very well written, making it a good and easy read. It kept my attention, which a lot of books have failed to do! Up until the second h I first heard of Gary Heidnik while reading about Ed Gein and how he inspired so many horror movie classics. Gary Heidnik is the guy who inspired Wild Bill in Silence of the Lambs. That made me look up any books about Gary Heidnik because these are the types of books I love to read! This book could have easily been half of the length that it is. The first half was very well written, making it a good and easy read. It kept my attention, which a lot of books have failed to do! Up until the second half, where it goes into the boring trial details. I read a few chapters into that but gave up. The first half about the actual story was a great read though!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    A quick read. Typical true crime format, the first half of the book covers the actual crimes and background of Gary Heidnik who was tried for kidnapping and murdering women he kept in his cellar. The second half deals with the court trial, and aftermath. Englade tells an informative and interesting story without getting overly wordy. Some authors of this genre seem to think that a high number of pages is better than being concise. What is a little different about this case, was the argument over A quick read. Typical true crime format, the first half of the book covers the actual crimes and background of Gary Heidnik who was tried for kidnapping and murdering women he kept in his cellar. The second half deals with the court trial, and aftermath. Englade tells an informative and interesting story without getting overly wordy. Some authors of this genre seem to think that a high number of pages is better than being concise. What is a little different about this case, was the argument over whether the jury would find Heidnik insane, or basically a high IQ mentally off manipulator.

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