Thursday, June 11, 2009

Erased By Marilee Strong

Marilee Strong brings years of experience probing the darker areas of human psychology to reveal what is really going on behind the endless stream of missing women stories that have dominated the news since the disappearance of Laci Peterson.The author presents a completely original theory about a disguised form of domestic homicide - eraser killing - and the strange and complex psychology of otherwise normal men driven to erase the women, and sometimes children, they claim to love from their lives. Erased reexamines the Peterson case and explores more than 50 others fascinating and notorious killings that fit this new psychological and criminal profile and exposes how easy it can be to get away with murder.

I will be honest and say that this was not the type of book which once I started reading I could not put down.It is just not that type of book.I put it down many times and yet I would keep coming back to read some more.It read a bit like a text book and I remember the days when I was still studying where the first time you read a text book it makes no sense,the second time with bits of note taking,it starts to take form and then finally everything falls into place and makes absolute sense(hopefully just before you take the actual written test/exam).I obviously only read this book once as I read for entertainment.I have however set it aside for a 2nd time read as I really do want to understand this crime of eraser killing.

Just see the table of contents I am going to include here:
Introduction: A Crime Without a Name.
1. Out of the Shadows.
2. The Dark Triad.
3. The Real American Tragedy.
4. The Lady-Killer.
5. Disappearing Acts.
6. Hiding in Plain Sight.
7. Pregnant and Vulnerable: When a Child is Seen as a Threat.
8. A Watery Grave.
9. Keeping Secrets.
10. Too Good to Be True.
11. Seeds of a Plan.
12. A Collision Course.
13. Sex, Lies, and Audiotape.
Conclusion: Fixing a Broken System.Bibliographical Sources.
About the Author.

I have read similar books to this and one of them is Base Instincts:What Makes Killers Kill which is written by a neurologist and what I liked about this book is the clear direction each chapter has and a short brief description at the beginning of each chapter which lets you know which direction this specific chapter is taking.This book did not have any of that.I was flailing most of the time,considering if I should start taking notes and then put them together so they make sense to me and then I thought,no,this should be the way the book should have been written in the first place.Another negative was the use of the words "eraser killing" and "eraser killer".So many times I thought I was getting hypnotized.In fact I am dreading come January when I go buy stationery for the kids for the new school year and getting to the part where I ask for an "eraser" and end up in a deep trance.Ok enough of the negative stuff.

Now for the good.I have easily read every book on the Laci Rocha (Peterson) killing and yet this book has so much more information on this case.Stuff which never came out in all those other books.Interesting things that those writers should have really included(if they even knew about it).There were parts of this book which moved so fast and was so incredibly interesting and then just as suddenly,we would enter a slow part and I would be tortured again.But I would hang in there because I knew what goes up must come down and go up again?i hoped.And it did.I would recommend reading this book because it provides a completely original viewpoint/insight into this act of eraser killing which is the "motiveless" killing of wives (usually pregnant) by their husbands who for the most part have been wonderful husbands.I especially decided to get this book because Base Instincts deals with killers on death row and Dr Jonathan Pincus expressly states that his studies do not cover men who kill their wives for no apparent reason.This book Erased promised information and explanations on this type of killing.This book also provides information on different cases where this type of crime occurs and this was extremely insightful as I had had no idea of the frequency of this type of crime.I really do wish the writing and information provided had been more structured maybe taking ordinary people like me into account.I believe it contains all the information needed or required just not laid out properly.

So bearing the above in mind,I do recommend reading the book and if you would like to take on this reading challenge then South African readers should access a copy of this book via Kalahari Books and for more reviews then access via the Amazon link below.
Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives
To prove to you all that I really mean this I have already ordered another book by Marilee Strong titled A Bright Red Scream which is about the aftereffects of childhood abuse and trauma.I will be more prepared for this style of writing.Sometimes you just have to get used to a certain way of writing before you can truly enjoy a book.So I have not given up yet but feel more prepared for Marilee Strong's next book.Watch out for that review.
Here are some more book details:

Country: United States of America
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: JOSSEY-BASS
ISBN: 9780787996390
Publication date: March 2008
Pages: 352
Illustrations: Illustrated

My Question:
If a pregnant woman is murdered should the killer be convicted for one or two murders?Should the length of time she is pregnant be taken into account,as in more than 6 months pregnant or some other rule?I have some ideas but I will post along with your comments!


  1. Wow, good question. I have to say, it does seem like two murders, to most women it would be murder, but this raises all sorts of questions, like abortion, which is a bit touchy. On that subject I have say I believe in choice, and there really is nothing worse than seeing the consequences of someone having a baby they don't want and are not ready to have. Very grateful for never having to have to deal with something like that. This is such a complex question, if a pregnant woman is assulted and loses the child, my immediate instinct is to say that is murder to. Will be thinking about this one!
    What you were saying about men who kill to erase their partners, has also got me thinking about a number of mysterious crimes, where husbands have been prime suspects.

  2. Hey
    I am also pro choice so this is what I think.If a woman who is pregnant is killed and baby dies or is assaulted and baby dies then it should be murder if she is pregnant longer than the maxmimum amount of weeks that a certain state/country says is legal to have an abortion.I know this raises a further debate as in what if this woman had no intention of aborting her child but I just feel as a start or basic this should be the law.
    For the argument that a foetus is only considered a human being if it can exist outside the mother's body on its own this is what I say:if you have a baby and you dont feed it and it dies you will be charged with murder as a primary caretaker to that child so the criminals that destroy the life giving source of a foetus should also be charged with murder.

  3. Another good review and another good question. I'd never heard of Eraser Killings.

    If a murdered kills a woman and her unborn baby it is a double murder. I think the child is a human being wheather the woman has been pregnant 1 week or 9 months.

    To me this can't be compared to abortion or choice. If a woman is murdered along with her unborn child, a child she has chosen to carry and eventually bring into the world they have both been murdered. The child is a human being to the mother and as such the person who kills the mother and child has committed murder on both. The person who chose to kill the child was not the mother and has no rights under the abortion laws.

  4. Hey Sharon
    The term Eraser Killings/Killers is a new term that Marilee Strong has chosen to use as a way of bringing attention to those types of murderers as she feels it hasn't been highlighted/publicized enough.
    I think as a basic law it should be taken into account for the cases that fit that criteria so that families of the victims don't have to spend the time getting this accepted into law.At least that way some of these cases can go straight to charges being laid and subsequent convictions.
    I do have a new question though,what about the murdered pregnant mother who was considering aborting the foetus the next week but gets murdered before she does abort?

  5. In my opinion the murderer is not the mother, and does not have the right to make that decision any more than he had the right to end the mother's life.

    Law drives me crazy. If I had to deal with it too much I'd probably go insane.

    You are right about basic laws being taken into account. The families have enough to deal with without another fight.

  6. Sharon I totally agree with you 100%.I am just playing Devil's advocate.The laws are so complicated and what with taking offender rights into consideration it gets even worse.The law is lopsided in that the prosecution has to present proven facts whereas the defence can do what they want.More rights to the criminal because of theory of "innocent till proven guilty".I don't want to drive you insane.You are one of my most precious readers and this blog needs you!!

  7. That just frosts me, when the criminal has more rights than the victims. Then when the lawyers go at the victims and tear them apart. *arrrg*

    What a sweet thing to say, thank you!

  8. I think it should be considered 2 murders if a woman is pregnant, no matter how far along she is. Their is life inside of her at the minute of conception!
    BTW I want to read a book about Drew & Laci Petersen...can you suggest a good one?

  9. What a fun blog you have here :)

  10. Shauna thank you.Come back soon
    Missy,I am going to do a post on my new book on Laci written by her Mom and I will include all the other books written on this crime case and for Drew Peterson,I haven't read any books on that yet but I saw this one
    Drew Peterson Exposed by Derek Armstrong


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