Cover image for The last victim : a true-life journey into the mind of the serial killer
The last victim : a true-life journey into the mind of the serial killer
Moss, Jason.
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Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xix, 278 pages ; 24 cm
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HV6529 .M67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HV6529 .M67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The twisted, but fascinating, mind of a serial killer is revealed with terrifying consequences in this astonishing and shocking exploration. with 20 b&w photos.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Student Jason Moss, while laboring at his honor's thesis, discovered an abiding interest in the thoughts and feelings of convicted mass murderers. He corresponded with Charlie Manson, Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer, and others, but with killer clown John Wayne Gacy a real relationship blossomed, one in which Moss began to lose psychological control. Correspondence progressed to regular phone calls, with an amiable Gacy counseling Moss, including arguing the wisdom, convenience, and downright desirability of Moss having a sexual relationship with his brother, preferably but not necessarily consensual. More detailed than the squeamish might prefer, this book communicates the eeriness that Moss began to feel as his fascination with psychopaths increased. A professor under whose tutelage Moss shone offers an afterword concluding that the book is a "parable" for our times and that "in a culture that glorifies violence" and "makes celebrities out of killers[,] . . . fame is value-neutral." It is also fine, macabre recreational reading, albeit mostly for true-crime devotees and aficionados of the bizarre. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

The subtitle is a slight bit of misdirection: Moss offers us a journey into his own mind, into the mind of someone obsessed with the minds of serial killers. As a UNLV freshman, he corresponded with John Wayne Gacy, then on Death Row. He also accepted collect calls from Gacy, who attempted to talk him into committing incest with his younger brother. Enthralled by his proximity to sociopathology, Moss expanded his list of "psycho pen pals" to include Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez (aka the Night Stalker) and Jeffrey Dahmer. His impulse was to get inside the criminal mind. To do so, he sometimes found it necessary to tailor the truth about himself to fit what he felt the killers wanted to hear: he claimed to be the "grand priest of a cult" in his letters to Ramirez. Despite suffering nightmares triggered by his grisly correspondents, Moss, after contacting the FBI agent who handled Gacy, flew to Illinois to spend his spring break "alone in a locked, unmonitored room with a psychopath who'd raped, tortured, and strangled many boys just like me." Moss succeeds in contrasting his family life and his prisoner contacts, but the insight he offers into the internal logic of the serial killing mind is limited. Moreover, some readers will wonder about his own motivations, especially when he holds forth about the market value of Dahmer's autograph and otherwise participates in the strange, ghoulish culture of serial killer celebrity. Psychotherapist Kottler, one of Moss's UNLV instructors, contributes both a prologue and an afterword. Eight pages of drawings and photos. Major ad/promo. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Jeffrey Kottler, Ph.D.Jeffrey Kottler, Ph.D.
Prologuep. ix
1. The Bookstorep. 1
2. True Crimep. 5
3. First Targetp. 9
4. The Planp. 13
5. Researchp. 19
6. A Question of Motivep. 26
7. Perfection and Fearp. 34
8. Monstersp. 41
9. In Trainingp. 48
10. The Questionnairep. 53
11. Setting Baitp. 59
12. Secretsp. 65
13. Outside the Boundariesp. 71
14. Perversityp. 77
15. Fictional Friendsp. 83
16. What's Up, Buddy?p. 92
17. A Back Doorp. 99
18. Incestp. 105
19. Joining a Familyp. 110
20. Deeply Disturbedp. 118
21. Cannibalp. 125
22. Only the Lonelyp. 131
23. Doubtsp. 137
24. Night Stalkerp. 143
25. Weak Stomachp. 149
26. Grooming a Killerp. 155
27. The Experimentp. 162
28. Hook, Line, and Sinkerp. 167
29. Q and Ap. 171
30. The Invitationp. 177
31. FBIp. 183
32. Journeyp. 187
33. The Attorneyp. 190
34. Long Walkp. 196
35. Face-to-Facep. 203
36. Jekyll and Hydep. 208
37. Breakdownp. 216
38. Day Twop. 223
39. Neighbor Down the Hallp. 230
40. Goodbyep. 236
41. Going Homep. 240
42. Juggling Killersp. 244
43. Blackmailp. 250
44. Executionp. 255
45. Aftermathp. 260
Afterwordp. 269