The words of a murderer: "This should not have
happened. This is not me. It's so stupid when you think
about it. It shouldn't have caused a death. I don't blame
me. We just need a little growing up. We were young,
and we still are." Aphrodite Jones takes the reader into
the world of several teenage girls in small-town southern
Indiana--their clothes, rock music, and fascination with
offbeat spirituality, and also their lesbian jealousies and
penchant for violence. This book provides a useful balance
to an earlier account by Michael Quinlan ("Little Lost Angel").
Jones's style is less dramatic than Quinlan's, but she
devotes more space to the family backgrounds and
psychological complexities of the two girls whose
hot-vs.-cold temperaments meshed to bring about
the murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer.
For another viewpoint on this same crime, see
Little Lost Angel by Michael Quinlan.
Richard Glyn Jones
The Mammoth Book of Killer Women
The Mammoth Book of Killer Women is not very useful as a reference, since the author repeats without qualification such wild stories as that Countess Elizabeth Bathory bathed in the blood of her victims. As a starting point for reading about female murderers, though, or a collection of gruesome details more or less from real life, this fat book is fun to read. The editor, Richard Jones, has selected 48 cases (24 of which are also featured in Bad Girls Do It!) for "variety and interest." It's a "greatest hits" of female murderers, including Ma Barker, Lizzie Borden, Charlotte Corday, Belle Gunness, Myra Hindley, Isle Koch, Madame LaFarge, Aileen Wuornos, and others.