Butcher, Baker: The True Account of an Alaskan Serial Killer

Open Road Media
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The horrific true story of serial kidnapper, rapist, and killer Robert Hansen’s reign of terror

As oil-boom money poured into Anchorage, Alaska the city quickly became a prime destination for the seedier elements of society: prostitutes, pimps, con men, and criminals of all breeds looking to cash in. However, something even worse lurked in their midst.
 
To all who knew him, Robert Hansen was a typical hardworking businessman, husband, and father. But hidden beneath the veneer of mild respectability was a monster whose depraved appetites could not be sated. From 1971 to 1983, Hansen was a human predator, stalking women on the edges of Anchorage society—women whose disappearances would cause scant outcry, but whose gruesome fates would shock the nation. After his arrest, Hansen confessed to seventeen brutal murders, though authorities suspect there were more than thirty victims.
 
Alaska State Trooper Walter Gilmour and writer Leland E. Hale tell the story of Hansen’s twisted depredations—from the dark urges that drove his madness to the women who died at his hand and finally to the authorities who captured and convicted the killer who came to be known as the “Butcher Baker.”
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About the author

Walter Gilmour (1942–2016) was an Alaska State Trooper and coauthor, with Leland E. Hale, of the true crime book Butcher, Baker. Gilmour worked as a police officer in Ketchikan, Alaska, before beginning a twenty-three-year career as a state trooper. He later served as a colonel in the Alaska State Defense Force. As a major in the State Troopers, Gilmour was instrumental in the search for serial killer Robert Hansen, the subject of Butcher, Baker, which was adapted into the 2013 film The Frozen Ground.
 
Leland E. Hale is the author of the novel Huck Finn Is Dead and, with coauthor Walter Gilmour, the true crime book Butcher, Baker. The story of Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen, Butcher, Baker inspired the 2013 film The Frozen Ground. Hale has also worked in the energy, aerospace, and software industries. He lives in Washington State.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Oct 25, 2016
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781504041645
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Social Science / Violence in Society
True Crime / Murder / Serial Killers
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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A Los Angeles Times "Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading"
A USA Today "20 of the Season's Hottest New Books"
A New York Post "25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre-Order Now"

"Maureen Callahan's deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all-time-great serial-killer books: sensitive, chilling, and completely impossible to put down." --Ada Calhoun, author of St. Marks Is Dead

Ted Bundy. John Wayne Gacy. Jeffrey Dahmer. The names of notorious serial killers are usually well-known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness. But most people have never heard of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits"--cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools--in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years--uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake--many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement.
An astonishing portrait of a murderer and his complex relationship with a crusading journalist

Michael Ross was a serial killer who raped and murdered eight young women between 1981 and 1984, and several years ago the state of Connecticut put him to death. His crimes were horrific, and he paid the ultimate price for them.

When journalist Martha Elliott first heard of Ross, she learned what the world knew of him— that he had been a master at hiding in plain sight. Elliott, a staunch critic of the death penalty, was drawn to the case when the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned Ross’s six death sentences. Rather than fight for his life, Ross requested that he be executed because he didn’t want the families of his victims to suffer through a new trial. Elliott was intrigued and sought an interview. The two began a weekly conversation—that developed into an odd form of friendship—that lasted over a decade, until Ross’s last moments on earth.

Over the course of his twenty years in prison, Ross had come to embrace faith for the first time in his life. He had also undergone extensive medical treatment. The Michael Ross whom Elliott knew seemed to be a different man from the monster who was capable of such heinous crimes. This Michael Ross made it his mission to share his story with Elliott in the hopes that it would save lives. He was her partner in unlocking the mystery of his own evil.

In The Man in the Monster, Martha Elliott gives us a groundbreaking look into the life and motivation of a serial killer. Drawing on a decade of conversations and letters between Ross and the author, readers are given an in-depth view of a killer’s innermost thoughts and secrets, revealing the human face of a monster—without ignoring the horrors of his crimes. Elliott takes us deep into a world of court hearings, tomblike prisons, lawyers hell-bent to kill or to save—and families ravaged by love and hate. This is the personal story of a journalist who came to know herself in ways she could never have imagined when she opened the notebook for that first interview.

Praise for The Man in the Monster

“Elliott’s harrowing story pulls off something brilliant and new. Elliott peered into the mind of a serial killer by becoming his friend. A narrative that is riveting, honest, and devastating.”
—Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character

“Martha Elliott takes us inside the mind of serial killer and rapist Michael Ross. Elliott spent ten years getting to know the man behind the monster, and the pace of her book is as fast and merciless as a thriller.”
—Rebecca Tinsley, author of When the Stars Fall to Earth
Edgar Award Finalist: The true story of the female Norwegian immigrant who led a secret life as a serial killer in the early twentieth-century Midwest.

On the morning of April 27, 1908, the farmhand on a lonely property outside La Porte, Indiana, woke to the smell of smoke. He tried to rouse the lady of the house, the towering Belle Poulsdatter Sorenson Gunness, and he called the names of her three children—but they didn’t answer, and the farmhand barely escaped alive. The house burned to the foundation, and in the rubble, firemen found the corpses of Belle, her two daughters, and her son. The discovery raised two chilling questions: Who started the fire, and who cut off Belle’s head?
 
As investigators searched the property, they uncovered something astonishing: The remains of a dozen or more men and children who had been murdered with poison or cleaver were buried beneath the hog pen. It turned out Belle Gunness was one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. And when the investigation revealed that the body found in the fire might not have been hers, the people of La Porte were forced to confront the terrifying realization that Belle might have gotten out alive.
 
Nominated for an Edgar Award for best factual crime story, The Truth about Belle Gunness is based on extensive interviews with witnesses and residents of La Porte who knew Belle and her family. Perfect for fans of In Cold Blood or The Devil in the White City, it is a “magnificent [and] brilliantly written” exploration of a highly unusual murderer (The New York Times).
 
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