Book Review; 101 Crimes of the Century
Now and again I have a need to read grisly books based on fact. No idea why, it’s not like it sates a deep dark desire I may harbour, or to give me ideas for my own havoc on the world but like a train wreck there is a part of our human psyche that needs to shocked, needs to witness repulsion, and most of all, needs to feel insecure.
This book did just that and did it very well. And further to that it does it in a way that you are not required to read through scores of forensic notes nor the drivel associated with psychologist and psychiatrist’s about why people do the unthinkable things that they do…and while it covers 101 actual crimes, each crime is well versed within a couple of pages each giving history, the crime itself, and sometimes aftermath.
Yep, if you want to be aware of some of the most horrific crimes in the last hundred years then this is a good place to start. It will never serve as a reference to a school project of uni degree but it will certainly give you a rundown on some of history’s more notorious criminals.
It covers the assassination of two US Presidents (go figure) and that of the Archduke Ferdinand (starting the First World War) as well as some random drop-ins such as the bikie fight in Sydney and the sinking of The Rainbow Warrior, and even a vague (in fact the one that seemed well out-of-place in this book) explanation of The Holocaust. But, and forever making my stomach turn, it was the serial killers and multiple murderers (which are in fact different) that hit hardest. From the notorious Wests and the Moor Murderers to Port Arthur and Ted Bundy, these stories will have you tiptoeing to the kid’s bedrooms to make sure they’re all right, trust me.
Some stories probably didn’t warrant their place in this book, and some were notably missing, but considering the last 100-odd years of history this book could well have increased three-fold in size if it attempted to chronicle even a small percentage of the harm and terror humanity has endured.