APPOINTMENT FOR MURDER: The Story of The Killing Dentist by Susan Crain Bakos
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APPOINTMENT FOR MURDER: The Story of The Killing Dentist

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sizzling true crime about a contemporary Jekyll and Hyde: a charitable, sympathetic St. Louis dentist who was also a rabid racist, anti-Semite, and dabbler in the occult, mixing a voracious sexuality with a taste for murder. The title may mislead: Dr. Glennon Engleman did not kill his patients. The real story is even more bizarre. The usual pattern for his killings (seven people over a period of 22 years) was to pick out a good-looking young girl living in near poverty, seduce her (both sexually and with stories of a better, financially secure life), choose a husband for her and manipulate them into marriage (partly by teaching his protÉgÉes irresistible sexual tricks). Then, with the help of friends, Engleman would kill the unsuspecting young husband for his life insurance. (His girls married only nondescript working stiffs; Doc correctly guessed that the death of an ordinary workingman would bring little publicity; though he seems to have admired Charles Manson, Doc would never have killed a Sharon Tate.) Engleman's undoing began when he added a revenge killing (a car-bombing) to his insurance-murder schemes and bragged about it to his ex-wife. Afraid that she'd be the next victim, the ex-wife talked to William J. McGarvey, a special agent with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency. She agreed to wear a wire until the police were convinced that her crazy story was true and began a serious investigation. Eventually, the dentist was convicted on federal charges of mail fraud and conspiracy, and of murder in Missouri. In 1985, confessing to an Illinois murder (in order to strike a deal and avoid that state's death penalty), he said, ""I like to kill. It sets a man apart from his fellow man if he can kill."" Skillful, gripping, and graphic writing: a real shocker about a brutal would-be superman surrounded by upwardly mobile hopefuls under his deadly influence.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Putnam