Monday, October 7, 2019

The Forest City Killer

The Forest City Killer by Vanessa Brown
ECW Press: 10/4/19
eBook review copy; 328 pages
ISBN-13: 9781770415034

The Forest City Killer: A Serial Murderer, a Cold-Case Sleuth, and a Search for Justice by Vanessa Brown is a highly recommended examination of cold cases and the likelihood that a serial killer is the culprit.

Fifty years ago, a serial killer prowled the quiet city of London, Ontario, making it, unofficially, the serial killer capital of Canada. Young women and boys were abducted, raped, and murdered, beginning with the 1969 murder of 15-year-old Jackie English. Homicide Detective Dennis Alsop spent the next 40 years, until his death, hunting for her killer - and the killer of the other victims. Author Vanessa Brown was allowed to look through Alsop's case files, revealing previously undisclosed evidence and statements from witnesses. Alsop believed that there were seven homicides that were linked. The questions remain though. Was it one killer or two? And could a DNA test reveal the identity of the killer? Brown believes that there were two killers.

The stories of the victims are heartbreaking, especially in terms of the time in history that they occurred. Parents weren't concerned about stranger danger or advising their children to be careful and watch their surroundings. I know this simply because I was a child at this time and actually had an abduction scare. Brown does a good job describing the town, the setting, and placing herself personally in the cases while researching them because she knows the area and the stories swirling around the community about the murders.

While there is no conclusive answer as to the identity of the killer(s), Brown brings many facts to light about the investigations, suspects, and the cases. In some instances, some of the information is unnecessary or unfocused, but that could be because I had an ARC. Brown knows a lot about the cases and she does include a lot of information and the book includes copious footnotes. There are also many photos, which help to focus on the area and what Brown is pointing out. Now I'll be following any news on the Forest City killer cold cases to see if the killer(s) is ever identified.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of ECW Press.

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