Behold the Monster by Jillian Lauren

Published: July 18, 2023
Genre: Psychological Pathologies
Pages: 542
KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, adoption advocate, rock-wife, and lousy kickboxer. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED, and SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PRETTY. She was the only journalist to extensively interview Samuel Little, the most prolific serial killer in American history. Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Jillian is married to Weezer bass player Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their two sons.

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 good for far 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 over 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.

“If you choose victims no one believes, you get your car keys handed back to you.”

Sam Little is considered the most prolific serial killer in the United States. He was pure evil. He has an obsession with strangling women and feels no remorse. Jillian Lauren is the only journalist to interview Sam, and their relationship is different.

This was not the true crime book I was expecting. Told as a fictionalized story with factual evidence and information, we walk through Sam Little’s life and crime. There is nothing likable about Little.

I went into this book thinking it would be similar to Gregg Olsen’s style of telling a monster’s story, but the tone was different. I can’t tell if Jillian had genuine affection for Little or if she was playing the part to get the scoop.

I do like the prominent focus on the victims, both surviving and deceased. Jillian write about these women with absolute respect and kindness, and despite these women being sex workers, she treated their memory with dignity.

The most shocking aspect was that when Little died, he listed Jillian as his next of kin, and she has his ashes in her garage. I cannot imagine the burden of that. I hope Jillian was able to work through processing this case with a professional and find peace.

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