Author(s): Mary Papenfuss
No crime is as horrific, as mesmerizingly perplexing, as a child's murder at the hands of a parent. In most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores five examples of ""family annihilators"" in this troubling snapshot of American crime twisted by the dark trajectory of machismo in economically stressful times. Her research includes some fifty in-depth interviews of victims' friends and family, an examination of police files, and detailed profiles of the researchers who track these ""killer dads."" She also presents experts' theories on the causes that drive men to commit these heinous acts-ranging from economic pressures, the stress of perceived failure, and distorted egos, to the disturbing statistics on abuse of adopted children by step- fathers and the connection between murder and pregnancy. Finally, she discusses factors in contemporary society that may foster such crimes, and measures we can and should be taking to prevent them. Well-researched and often-shocking, Killer Dads provides disturbing insights into the dark forces that can turn family dynamics into the worst imaginable nightmare.
Mary Papenfuss has been a journalist for over thirty years. She is the author of Climb against the Odds and has worked as a reporter and editor for many publications and news services, including the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Associated Press in San Francisco, People magazine's London bureau, and Salon. Currently, she is an editor at KCET Link TV (www.kcetlink.org).