By Harold Schechter
A MONSTER PREYED UPON the kids OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY BOSTON. HIS CRIMES have been APPALLING -- AND but HE used to be LITTLE greater than a baby HIMSELF.
while fourteen-year-old Jesse Pomeroy used to be arrested in 1874, a nightmarish reign of terror over an unsuspecting urban got here to an finish. "The Boston Boy Fiend" used to be imprisoned ultimately. however the advanced questions sparked via his ghastly crime spree -- the hows and whys of vicious juvenile crime -- have been as proper within the so-called Age of Innocence as they're this present day.
Jesse Pomeroy used to be outwardly repellent in visual appeal, with a grotesque "dead" eye; inside of, he was once deformed past imagining. A sexual sadist of traumatic precocity, he happy his atrocious appetites through abducting and torturing his baby sufferers. yet quickly, the teenager's bloodlust gave approach to one other obsession: homicide.
Harold Schechter, whose true-crime masterpieces are "well-documented nightmares for an individual who dares to look" (Peoria magazine Star), brings his acclaimed mixture of page-turning storytelling, superb perception, and engaging old documentation to Fiend -- an unforgettable account from the annals of yank crime.
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Extra resources for Fiend: The Shocking True Story Of America's Youngest Serial Killer
I’ve often said so myself—they’re all around us; they make us see right through them. But it’s particularly damning when an offender turns out to be one who’s sworn to uphold the law. It’s a perversion of nature—the same sort of perversion of nature as when children precede their parents in death, a phenomenon I have seen all too often in my career. Based on how I thought he felt about his various victims, I thought one way to bring him out would be by publicly focusing on Danny Peterson, or possibly even Frances Farrell’s sons, who survived her.
As if he hadn’t made himself clear enough already, he explained, “You don’t understand these things because you’re not under the influence of Motivation X. ” He called his affliction “a terrible nightmare,” but admitted he didn’t “lose any sleep over it. After a thing like Gallagher I come home and go about life like anyone else. ” Even as early in my profiling career as this was, I knew he wasn’t going home and going about life like anyone else. But I’d already learned how to read the deeper message, the “subtext,” as actors call it, and here he was saying something profoundly accurate, not only about himself but about virtually all serial predators.
This was underscored by his use of the phrase search and destroy, but I didn’t make too much of it. In 1974, Vietnam was so much in the public consciousness that virtually everyone was familiar with the term. In his case, it could represent just one more bit of fantasy. Any arrest record he’d have racked up so far would involve breaking and entering or voyeurism. Unlike a lot of sexual predators, we wouldn’t expect to see any outright rapes in his past. He chooses the neighborhoods for his crimes based on his comfort level, where he has a choice of several different targets and where there is always an easy escape route or place to hide, such as a park.