A CITY OWNED, Murder by Increments, an e-book published, copyright and written by OJ Modjeska (Obelia Modjeska).
The author presents ‘a true story of Los Angeles’ Hillside Strangler’ – a series of grisly killings of young women by strangulation that plagued the city in the late seventies. It is a detailed recounting of the extensive and repetitive mismagement of interviews, assemblage of pertinent facts, and sharing of features by component and vying police investigative teams. The entire situation was exacerbated because many of the victims were prostitutes and a pervading sense that ‘such persons knew of the possible results’ placed finding the killer(s) not in the first level pf importance when crime was so rampant that the police already were overburdened. The increasing inclusion of young women not engaged in the profession finally did cause the city to almost assume a panic mode as the killer(s) continued unchecked. A break in the case only occurred later when similar murders occurred in a small town much further north with a dedicated police chief and police who were more focused and less burdened. Thus, facts were able to be assembled and shared among a smaller number of investigators who were more diligent. The story continues with a psychological evaluation of the perpetrator and then refers the reader to obtain the next volume to follow the ensuing trial.
Discussion/Conclusion: The author is a professional historian and criminologist eminently qualified to provide the substance of this factually based presentation. As such, she has meticulously described the facts of the case as it developed and ran its course and even has provided the steps taken by the evaluating clinical psychologist to advance to the next step for the story. The material is well presented. Thus, if a reader is intrigued by such complete enumeration, this book definitely is for you. Regrettably, listing of such constant and repetitive professional incompetency at such length, although accurately presented and pertinent, became a little wearisome and immensely disappointing for this reader especially when the story concluded with no more than the first step of case closure being presented. Regrettably, this reviewer does not enjoy having only pieces of a story randomly presented in seemingly a serial format. Fortunately, if such a word can be applied to such a grisly story, media coverage of the Los Angeles case was wide, as may be expected. The many theories cited and discussions presented by the author as to whether the killer was one or two persons, whether there was actual police involvement and other pertinent questions and supposed ‘facts’ were recounted almost ad museum even on the east coast. Under the circumstances, this is a book that should have great appeal for readers who are younger than sixty plus years of age who find true crime tales fascinating, and fortunately do not mind having to read a story in segments. ‘Older’ readers will not be required to do so to discover the resolution of the case.
3* 5* for most true crime story readers; 3* for reasons described.