I: The Creation of a Serial Killer

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9780312983840: I: The Creation of a Serial Killer
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In The Killer's Own Words...

"I killed Tanya Bennett...I beat her to death, raped her and loved it. Yes I'm sick, but I enjoy myself too. People took the blame and I'm free.... . Look over your shoulder. I may be closer than you think."-Keith Hunter Jesperson, the Happy Face Killer

In February 1990, Oregon State Police arrested John Sosnovke and Laverne Pavlinac for the vicious rape and murder of 23-year-old Taunja Bennet. Pavlinac had come forth and confessed, implicating her boyfriend and producing physical evidence that linked them to the crime. Authorities closed the case. There was just one problem. They had the wrong people...

Keith Hunter Jesperson was a long haul truck driver and the murderer of eight women, including Taunja Bennet. He began a twisted one-man campaign to win the release of Sosnovke and Pavlinac. To the editors of newspapers and on the walls of highway rest stops, Jesperson scribbled out a series of taunting confessions. At the end of each confession, Jesperson drew a happy face, earning for himself the grisly sobriquet "The Happy Face Killer."

Based on access to interviews, diaries, court records, and the criminal himself, I: The Creation of a Serial Killer is Jesperson's chilling story. Edgar Award winner Jack Olsen lets the killer tell his story in his own words, offering unprecedented insight into the twisted thought process of a serial murderer.

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From the Inside Flap:

Outstanding Praise For

I: The Creation of a Serial Killer
"This book is like an avalanche: it starts strong and rapidly gains momentum as it cascades downward on its destructive journey of serial murder. Truly insightful."-Maury Terry, bestselling author of The Ultimate Evil

"It is probably impossible for any law-abiding citizen like the author and most of his readers to understand a homicidal psychopath-especially one not only driven to kill but also driven to get caught. Given the odds, Olsen explains [Keith Hunter] Jesperson to an amazing degree."
-Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer

"Olsen was the most prolific, innovative writer of serious true crime books in recent memory."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"For the genre, this is crackerjack stuff. Olsen obviously had thorough access to Jesperson...his family, and friends...True-crime entertainment at its best." -Kirkus Reviews

"Veteran true-crime author Olsen takes the profiling of a psychopath a step farther than usual...the gruesome details are nailed down with morbid precision...Olsen's writing is clear and concise."-Publishers Weekly

Hastened to the Grave
"Hastened To The Grave is not only a jaw-dropping true account of how far a certain Gypsy family would go to separate marks from their money, it is also a cautionary tale about the perils of loneliness in a society that has ceased to value old age."-New York Times Book Review

"Olsen's interesting account reads like a novel."-Library Journal

"The most satisfying of Olsen's recent books."-Kirkus Reviews

"An absorbing tale."-The Seattle Times

Salt of the Earth
"A literary achievement of the highest order."--David Guterson, author of Snow Falling On Cedars

"Salt of the Earth is the powerful, absorbing true story of the terror and tragedy that stalks our violent land, and how an "ordinary woman" triumphed over all of it."--Joseph Wambaugh

"The cold mind of a criminologist, the relentless spirit of an investigative reporter and the searching heart of a poet all combine to produce Jack Olsen--the acknowledged master of American crime journalism. Salt of the Earth is both horrifying and uplifting--a remarkable achievement."--Andrew Vachss

"Jack Olsen writes so well he makes ordinary people fascinating."--Elmore Leonard

"Jack Olsen's particular gift is his ability to illuminate the souls of his characters."
--Jonathan Kellerman

"Salt of the Earth is not only an engrossing page-turner about an unthinkable social horror--it is also a gifted work of immense, uplifting decency."--Bella Stumbo, author of the Edgar Award winning Until The Twelfth of Never

"In Salt of the Earth Jack Olsen takes what, in less sensitive hands, could have been just another violent story and makes of it a startling mirror-image of the American Dream...Very few writers can make the rubble of ordinary lives seem worth caring about. Jack Olsen is clearly one of them."--Darcy O'Brien, author of Murder in Little Egypt

"Jack Olsen builds tension using characters that leap right off the page. Normal life in America is anything but."--Ridley Pearson

"Anyone who doubts that women are the stronger sex would be well advised to read this tale...her indomitability gives Olsen the material for one of his most penetrating books."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"While the Geres' tragedy seems much too common in today's society, their sad but also uplifting story could not have had a more skillful, sensitive narrator."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Another solid entry from Olsen. A detailed study of the disintegration of a family."-Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

Jack Olsen lived on an island in Puget Sound, WA, where he passed away at the age of seventy-seven on July 16, 2002.

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