Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Survivor memoirs: pain is subjective, reactions will vary, and don't call me "victim"!

Dear readers/viewers

SORRY FOR THE LONG HIATUS. I have so many entries I want to do, but only so many hours in a day.

 Today I will review:

These are all Survivor Memoirs; true stories, in their own words, of women who have been held captive by men for long periods of time.

Here are my reviews: 

[Note, by the end, I kept calling the books "victim memoirs" rather than "survivor memoirs"; "survivor" is what I meant, but I'm just a bit awkward on camera and all kinds of inaccuracies pore out of my mouth. It takes longer than you would think to put this blog together, so I just didn't have the energy to do another take.]

This is a brief glimpse at what it takes to recover-- Jaycee Dugard today -- WAY into gratitude. Here's a link to her foundation The JAYC Foundation


Some more information about Sabine's case, I mistakenly said she was held captive for 7 months, but I think it was 2 months. Still, 2 months locked in a small cell and raped repeatedly under threat of death... the outrage cannot be overstated, but there was no pedophile ring. Just one guy.


Natascha Kampusch talks about her ordeal after 8 years in captivity.
 She now owns the house she was held captive in.

Colleen Stan today!

Here are the abductors:
Nancy and Phil Garrido

Marc Dutroux
Wolfgang Priklopil

Cameron Hooker

links to buy these books:
A Stolen Life
I Choose to Live
3096 Days
The Simple Gifts of Life

Remember friends, be nice to each other!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ripped from the Headlines: School Shootings and Women in Captivity

Dear Readers/Viewers:

Today I will review:

and one of the all time greats:


Here are links to the books on Amazon:

I'm waiting for the definitive Fritzl book to come out, but I believe we'll have to wait for many years to get the full story. And of course there are the survivor stories-- Jaycee Lee Dugard's memoir and Elizabeth Smart's...

Colleen Stan today!

Here's a link to the movie version of Murder of Innocence starring Valerie Bertinelli on Amazon. It's free with Amazon Prime:

Josephine Rivera, the survivor of Heidnik's hell hole, gives her story.  Her testimony is unbelievably sad and chilling. [and, despite appearances, she is wearing clothes, a white tube top]

Remember friends, be nice to each other!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Girl on Girl Tragic Action

Dear Readers/Viewers:

Today's books are:


Here's my review:

A couple notes/corrections:
I think I said Jack "Mitchum" when I meant to say Ketchum. Here's a link to his book on Amazon:
The Girl Next Door
I also say "Batress" instead of "Mattress" because I'm getting over a cold.

Here is a picture of Gertrude in 1985 when she was paroled:
She died a few years afterwards.

Her daughter Paula tried to turn her life around but has been unable to shake the stigma of her adolescent actions.

Paula Baniszewski

Here's the trailer for An American Crime, which tells a version of Sylvia Likens' ordeal. I did not agree with some of the directorial choices--I think Gertrude's sexual motivation was downplayed or ignored and her medication was played up-- but a lot of viewers found it moving. Since I wasn't there, my version would be as speculative as this one....but of course, I think I'm right.

 I suggest you read the book first and draw your own conclusion. 

Here are some other important related links:

Definition of "Slut shaming"

Info on Kate Millett

Info on Second Wave Feminism

Remember friends, be nice to each other!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Portrait of the Narcissist as a Young Woman: SMALL SACRIFICES & BEST KEPT SECRETS

Dear Readers/Viewers,

Today I'll be reviewing


First, the crime:

and part 2.

Review of Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule:

Some important links:

Here's a link to purchase 'Small Sacrifices'

Here's a link to Ann Rule's website


Diane Downs in action, weaving yarn at her latest parole hearing in 2010:

Love the 'Helen Keller' detail [because, y'know, the more irrelevant details you add, the more truthful-sounding the story--right?] The ever evolving narrative of what happened that night amazes me.


Review of Best Kept Secrets


More important links:

Here's a link to Oprah interviewing Diane in prison in 1988
Here's a link to Diane's book 'Best Kept Secrets'

Here's a link to Wesley Fredrickson's [Diane Downs' father] website

Here's a link to an interview with Diane's dad


Thanks for visiting my vlog. I realize there are some sound issues in the first video entry--I'm still working out the format, but I hope to have shorter and more frequent entries than this one. I started with such an immense case, that it was impossible to stay brief.

Remember friends, be nice to each other!

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?]