The Forest City Killer: A Serial Murderer, a Cold-Case Sleuth, and a Search for Justice by Vanessa Brown
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Edelweiss; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Fifty years ago, a serial killer prowled the quiet city of London, Ontario, marking it as his hunting grounds. As young women and boys were abducted, raped, and murdered, residents of the area held their loved ones closer and closer, terrified of the monster — or monsters — stalking the streets. Homicide detective Dennis Alsop began hunting the killer in the 1960s, and he didn’t stop searching until his death 30 years later. For decades, detectives, actual and armchair, and the victims’ families and friends continued to ask questions: Who was the Forest City Killer? Was there more than one person? Or did a depraved individual commit all of these crimes on his own?
Combing through the files Detective Alsop left behind, researcher Vanessa Brown reopens the cases, revealing previously unpublished witness statements, details of evidence, and astonishing revelations about how this serial killer got away. And through her investigation, Vanessa discovers the unthinkable: like the notorious Golden State Killer, the Forest City Killer is still alive . . . and a simple DNA test could bring him to justice.
Review: It’s Nonfiction November and I’m here today to let you know about The Forest City Killer. I read this as an e-ARC, so I found it a bit disjointed and hard to read in some places. I think it would work better as a physical copy, but that’s just my opinion. At any rate, this book shines a light on a serial killer that many do not know about. There were many women and boys in the 60’s and 70’s who went missing, only to be found later raped and killed, around London, Ontario, Canada. I’d never heard of The Forest City Killer so I think it’s great that Brown is putting the name out there again in hopes to finally figuring out who this man was, or is, as he may still be alive.Have you heard of The Forest City Killer? Learn more in this #nonfictionnovember book review! #bookbloggers Click To Tweet
One of the issues I had with this book is that it’s full of description – of the place, and the people – and while that’s good in smaller doses, I felt like it was a bit too long sometimes and took away from the overall story. However, I did find the rest of the book fascinating – and horrifying – in equal measures. Not all of the people mentioned in the book are necessarily victims of The Forest City Killer. Brown seems to think that more of them are connected than not though, based on the patterns, and I have to say, that she’s probably correct in that regard.
I think it’s great that she was able to speak to so many people that were personally affected by these tragedies – including a Forest City Killer suspect – as it lends more emotion and credibility to the book.
Spoiler Alert (maybe- highlight for more): There is no conclusion to this story; we still do not know who The Forest City Killer is, but the hopes that a DNA test will bring him down, like it did The Golden State Killer, is a possibility.
All in all, this was an intriguing true crime book and I’d be curious to see what others think if/when they read it.