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John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster: Defending a Monster: The True Story of the Lawyer Who Defended One of the Most Evil Serial Killers in History

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What makes this book particularly compelling is Amirante's honest and often conflicting emotions towards his client. He grapples with the moral dilemma of defending a monster and struggles with the aftermath of the trial, including the toll it took on his personal and professional life. this was actually a very entertaining unique perspective to one of the most notorious and famous serial killers of all time. The retelling of the murders committed by John Wayne Gacy is both compelling and revolting at the same time. It is not idle or morbid curiosity that interests, but more of a need to understand HOW this could happen. How could so many people disappear without being reported? How could so many murders occur without obvious detection? How was he able to repeat the process over and over again? And how could someone do this and NOT be insane?

Why would he ask such personal, demeaning questions about the state of a witness’s genitals, which had NO bearing whatsoever to the case? Why, for FUN, of course! He writes about how it childishly pleased him to be the one to make everyone in the courtroom realize (and I quote) "the beautiful woman that everyone in the room had been openly ogling… was a man! A he-she!". I should never have been convicted of anything more serious than running a cemetery without a license.

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For much of the book, Amirante writes in a "you are there" narrative, even describing the thoughts and feelings of Gacy and his victims. Supposedly this is based on copious notes from interviews with Gacy, but some of it (like when Amirante writes parts of the opening chapter from the POV of Robert Piest) seemed a bit embellished.

Moran said identifying the remaining victims is difficult because of the likelihood that they were people with weak family bonds, possibly runaways or wards of the state, whose disappearances wouldn’t have raised alarms at a time when a million teenagers a year ran away from home, according to a published report from that time. Sam is under no illusion that Gacy is 'mad' and tries to get a not guilty verdict by reason of insanity. The defence claim Gacy is sane and was aware of his actions during the murder. Perhaps. But, I have to admit that it seemed more appropriate to hear "This is a Librivox recording", rather than, "This is Audible". There were some distracting long pauses in the middle of sentences and then an ejaculatory finishing of the sentence, for example... "The detectives walked across........THE STREET". This sort of thing was a real bother at first but I got used to it after a few hours.I always tell people that the scary thing about Gacy was that he wasn’t scary at all. That’s the scary thing — he could have been anyone’s brother or father, uncle,” Amirante said. “He was not an intimidating kind of person, with the exception of when he would turn and change out of the very affable, charming, likable guy into the killer that he was.”

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