Tuesday, March 22, 2005

THE CHICAGO KILLER, by Joseph Kozenczak and Karen Henrikson (Xlibris)

We here at Poddy Mouth try to unearth a little something for everyone. We’ve uncovered some literature, a self-help book, a memoir. Today? True crime.

True crime by a guy who was in the trenches, no less.

THE CHICAGO KILLER: The Hunt for Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy, by Joseph Kozenczak and Karen Henrikson.

Joe Kozenczak, who was the Chief of Detectives of the Des Plaines, Illinois Police Department, managed the investigation of the disappearance of a guy named Robert Piest back in 1978, a case which led detectives down a grisly path—and resulted in the arrest and conviction of psycho-serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Now granted, Gacy has not been the rage in some time. Even among true crime buffs, he may have been pushed aside for the Dahmers, the Bernardos/Homolkas and the DC Snipers.

But what makes THE CHICAGO KILLER worth a read (and the $21.99 outlay for paperback) is the “from the street” account that you rarely get from a reporter who compiled a book from extensive research (not to discount them, by the way; there are plenty of good ones.)

KILLER is partly narrative and certainly well-edited—and an intriguing page-turner to boot. Proof: I picked it up in used book store and read a good 15 pages before throwing it in my basket to purchase. For lovers of true crime, this will make an excellent addition to your library, and perhaps bring a slightly different perspective to the Gacy murders.

Even the cover passes inspection.