Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book 41: Shattered Silence

Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter
Shattered Silence by Melissa G. Moore was a book about growing up and learning to accept the fact that your dad is the Happy Face Serial Killer. It’s a good enough memoir. I say good enough since the tale itself was good but it wasn’t the best written book.

I was drawn to this book since it was about an unusual serial killer. It was about the Happy Face Serial Killer (who is rather odd since he had a family and wasn’t a sexual deviant). Since 10th grade, I’ve been fascinated by serial killers and curious about how they work. So I wanted to know more about Keith Jasperson from a person who knew him closer then most people, his daughter.

I didn’t get that in-depth conversation about her father during the time of the killings like I was hoping. Melissa wasn’t living with her father. Her mom and dad divorced when she was young. So she got to have the “Disneyland Dad”. He was the guy who would come in and spoil the kids once in a while and then withdraw again. There were signs that things were off with her dad and clues to his actions. But it was like the Monday quarterback, hindsight is 20/20. She piece together the clues about her dad’s odd behavior (other then how he was a bit too open in his discussions about sex with her) after he was arrested.

It was interesting to me that the Melissa’s stepfather seemed more horrible and more dominating then her father (the serial killer). Her stepfather Robert was a deaf, mute man was very abusive and combative towards Melissa’s mom and the whole family. Since she lived with Robert and her mother, that was the terror she saw day in and day out. IT’s an odd relationship that the mom was able to walk away from the serial killer husband who treated her decently but she wasn’t able to walk away from a guy who was just abusive.

There were times I got so frustrated with this book. The tale is strong. The clarity of thought is strong. But the editing was really weak. The book could have been pulled in tighter. There were some chapters that I didn’t always get why they existed or parts of chapters. It was just a little too long. Plus I found typos and grammar errors. It was just a poorly edited book. It could have arranged to be even more powerful and masked the decent writing.

The other thing that I’m wasn’t comfortable with was her ties to Dr. Phil by pitching the show and his foundation. I understand she spoke on his show and it helped to provide a lot of closure for her but I don’t like advertising for someone else especially with someone who has so much emphasis on fame and making money. I would prefer to have Dr. Phil left off the cover and the page asking for donations for the Dr. Phil Foundation. Let there just be a subtle mention that a portion of the book sales will go to the foundation or do it in private. As it was done, it just felt like she was just trying to make money for famed obsessed person.

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