Deadlier than the Male by Terry Manners




I find op shops (second-hand, charity or thrift shops to my overseas readers) a great source for finding true crime books, and often ones that are out of print or hard to find.

I came across Deadlier than the Male by Terry Manners in a local op shop a few weeks back. I snapped it up, of course. It’s a case file book of female killers. Some I’d heard of like Beverley Allitt (the British nurse dubbed “the angel of death”), Canadian killer Karla Homolka and serial killer Aileen Wurnos but there were some chapters of women I’d not known about (and for true crime buffs it’s always good to discover new information).

There’s a chapter on teenage babysitter Christine Falling who was arrested in 1982 and convicted ofmurdering three infants. She’s also suspected of killing two more. It was a horrifying chapter. These babies were left in the care of the disturbed teenager and did not survive. She’s been dubbed the Florida “babysitter from hell”. Falling remains behind bars. (there’s a good article from NY Daily News published in 2012 about Falling and what they dubbed “the casual horror behind the case. Read more here.)

There’s also chapters on Dorothea Puente, the landlady who was convicted in 1989 of killing her elderly tenants and burying them in her backyard. Puente died in prison in 2011 aged 82.

This book was published by Pan Books in 1995. Terry Manners was, at the time, assistant editor of the Daily Express newspaper in London and most recently edited The Times of Malta.

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