Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night. Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town. What evil lurked inside him?
What demons drove him to kill?
What made him 'A Monster of All Time'?
The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
“When they let me out of here,” the prisoner swore to himself, “I’ll make them all pay.”
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.
Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.
Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.
Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.
In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.
Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.
Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.
“Gemini,” an eerie voice proclaimed. “I am Gemini.”
At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.
And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.
4 out of 5 (very good)
It's not very often I venture out of my fantasy/paranormal bubble. I usually read to escape from reality, not learn about the horrific nature of what's out there. However, my guilty pleasure is True Crime, if only for the fact it reminds me just how good it is to escape!
This is one of those books. The one where I can't put it down, gripped by morbid fascination to find out what happened to the killer, even as I mourn his victims. I'm from the UK, and so have no real grasp about the death sentence, being as the last person died in 1964, but these books do make me wonder. I find myself wondering if he would EVER have changed. I seriously doubt it considering the run up to the murders. Why should the tax payer have to cough up for his keep and health, when he so brutally extinguished the lives of eight people? I don't know. I don't have the answers. What I do have is more information about this 'man', what he did, the aftermath, and other people that were involved.
This book is non-fiction, but at times, it almost reads like fiction. The writing style was easy to follow, and not being as dry as some I have read. It is very graphic in parts, but no pictures. I loved how he isn't referred to by name during the time he was actually committing the crimes, and how the ending was about the victims - they are the ones whose names we should remember, not his.
I can't say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. That would just be wrong. However, I can say that it is excellently written, without glamorising the murders, or the murderer. If you like true crime, then I can definitely recommend this one.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
JT Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.
JT's bestselling true crime books include:
Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer
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