THE BOSTON STRANGLER by Gerold Frank

THE BOSTON STRANGLER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stock up and stand back. This is one for the masses. (A heavily condensed and teasingly censored two part serial of this recently ran in Ladies' Home Journal. Husbands were wrenching it away from their wives.) Gerold Frank has it all taped with the cooperation of the authorities. (He's the man with the golden tape, with such bestselling sob-alongs to his credit as the audio-autobiographies of Lillian Roth, Diana Barrymore and Sheilah Graham.) He set off for Boston with the high purpose of finding out what happens to a city panicked by a siege of murder with mayhem. After the introduction, he seems to have more or less forgotten about that in favor of minutely detailing each rape/murder. It's exactly the sort of horrification the public buys and reads for breakfast in certain nationally distributed newspapers. Frank also documents some of the lesser sexual lunatics who turned up during the maniac hunt for further sordid fascination. The book nevertheless seems destined for serious attention. Whether the author intended to or not, he's revealed in terms that anybody can understand what a mess of non-communication and publicity hogging exists between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies when they've got a big one on their headlines. There's also documentation here of the possibly unConstitutional use of psychiatrists wielding syringes full of truth serum on suspects and frolicking along the borders of ESP with clairvoyants called in to solve by second sight what the authorities couldn't figure out at first hand. Then, there's the question of whether they've really got the right man or a gory grandstander. It takes will power to lay the book down, almost as much as it would have required of the victims to keep their doors closed to the man who said he'd been sent to repair their plumbing and repaint their apartments....It is a mad genius stroke and Frank's book will contribute to a legend and literature of America's Jack the Ripper.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1966
Publisher: New American Library