Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to The Inappropriate Grin

This site is dedicated to BOOKS about True Crime. I’m particularly interested in books that deal with sociopaths and their bizarre behavior—there is a disproportionate amount of murder on the reading list. 

In each post, I’ll recap the crime and talk about the strengths and/or weaknesses of the book AS I SEE IT. I might refer to other books or films related to the topic and provide links to where you can buy the book. I won’t post crime scene photos of victims, but I will tell you if they are in the book. I probably won’t talk about organized crime books, because that’s a genre unto itself. For that and other reasons, I won't be discussing books about dictators or psychos who claim political motivations. I will, however, gladly discuss CULTS!!
Unless I find documentation to the contrary, I will accept all convictions as accurate. For instance, Diane Downs was convicted of murdering her children—so I will accept that Diane Downs murdered her children. On the other hand, some doubts have been raised about whether Wayne Williams actually committed all the murders he was convicted of, so I’d refer to him as the “possible killer” or something. In short, I’ll try to do my homework, be specific and not spread falsehoods.

With that in mind, please remember, you should never accept anything I say without doing your own research. I’m not an expert on anything! I’ve just read a lot and reflected a good deal on these books.

I will review all comments and remove anything that celebrates murder and/or lame jokes. Conversely, comments like “He should fry!” “What a sicko!” etc. will be taken down. There are plenty of other sites on the Internet for your righteous indignation—this ain’t one of them.
Thoughtful, non-hostile comments or questions posed in a civil manner are most welcome.

[The woman pictured above is the notorious Diane Downs. This mugshot was taken in February 1984 after she was arrested for shooting her children. I have chosen this photo because of her INAPPROPRIATE GRIN. The grin poses the question that brings a lot of us to True Crime books—what does a human being without empathy look like?]


  1. Great summary. I haven't read any of these books but have watched most of the videos. My natural inclination is to "cut her some slack" and assume witness testimony from her and children was coerced by prosecution to get a conviction. So it's hard for me to really take any sides in a constructive, non-emotional way but I would like to see more forensic evidence. Diane Downs' probation interview seeded to indicate some inconsistencies with the bullet trajectories from a gunman story. And I would be very interested also in seeing a forensic breakdown concerning her arm wound. I don't believe you can fake a self-inflicted injury with a gun on your own arm with it being detected as such. I might be wrong but I think modern (even back in 80's) techniques have fleshed out real gunplay vs. self inflicted injuries. Have you come across any testimony, transcripts, videos or even prose with more technical details?

  2. The police were convinced she shot herself because of the placement and type of wound. The cops didn't find powder residue on the wound, but they only did the test after the wound had been cleaned by the receptionist at the hospital [all the doctors and nurses were frantically trying to save her children so she was the only one around to do it.] She said she saw black flecks around the wound [powder burns] but cleaned the wound with Betadine... So that's a murky part of the case. The cops were able to tie the bullet casings from the crime scene to other bullet casings in Diane's trailer [where she had fired her gun before] Ann Rule goes into this stuff in great detail. BUT AGAIN, you or I will never really know what went down.


Remember-keep it civil!