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Grisly dual portrait of serial-killer Douglas Clark and his confederate Carol Bundy, whose murders of young women along the gritty, glitzy streets of Hollywood stunned southern Californians in 1980. Farr, a free-lance journalist, doesn't flinch when confronting her protagonists' depravities--which included decapitation, pedophilia, necrophilia, and sadomasochism. Douglas Clark spent his childhood as an ""Army brat"" constantly shunted about as his officer father was posted around the world. Carol Bundy's early background was marked by an alcoholic father, a physically abusive mother, obesity, and near-blindness. Douglas grew into a sex-obsessed, manipulative misanthrope, while Carol, equally passionate about sex, sought domination by the men in her life. When the two met and began an affair, they fed each other's neuroses, their indulgent, sometimes violent behavior gradually extending from the bedroom to the night streets in search of ""kicks."" Clark would entice young prostitutes and drifters into his car and, while engaged in sex with them, would shoot them. In some cases, Bundy witnessed the slayings; in others, she actively participated. After Bundy confessed, Clark was arrested and charged with five murders, though the real number evidently was much greater. Bundy was charged with two slayings, and told one police officer, ""Murder is fun""--this from a woman who later confided to an examining psychiatrist that she had always considered Eleanor Roosevelt a role model. Clark is currently on San Ouentin's Death Row;, Bundy is serving life imprisonment. Farr organizes the tangled, multicharactered material with clarity and a fine sense of pacing, although her prose is merely adequate.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1992
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster