The Man in the Monster

The Man in the Monster : Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer

3.51 (251 ratings by Goodreads)
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An astonishing portrait of a murderer and his complex relationship with a crusading journalist
Michael Ross was a serial killer who raped and murdered eight young women between 1981 and 1984. In 2005, the state of Connecticut put him to death by lethal injection. His crimes were horrific, and he paid the ultimate price for them.
When journalist Martha Elliott first heard of Ross, she learned what the world knew of him that he had been a master at hiding in plain sight. Elliott, a staunch critic of the death penalty, was drawn to the case when the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned Ross s six death sentences. Rather than fight for his life, Ross requested that he be executed because he didn t want the families of his victims to suffer through a new trial. Elliott was intrigued and sought an interview. The two began a weekly conversation and developed an odd form of friendship that lasted over a decade, until Ross s last moments of life.
Over the course of his twenty years in prison, Ross had come to embrace faith for the first time in his life. He had also undergone extensive medical treatment. The Michael Ross whom Elliott knew seemed to be a different man from the monster who was capable of such heinous crimes. This Michael Ross made it his mission to share his story with Elliott in the hopes that it would save lives. He was her partner in unlocking the mystery of his own evil.
In The Man in the Monster, Martha Elliott gives us a groundbreaking look into the life and motivation of a serial killer. Drawing on a decade of conversations and letters between Ross and the author, readers are given an in-depth view of a killer s innermost thoughts and secrets, revealing the human face of a monster without ignoring the horrors of his crimes. Elliott takes us deep into a world of court hearings, tomblike prisons, lawyers hell-bent to kill or to save and families ravaged by love and hate. This is the personal story of a journalist who came to know herself in ways she could never have imagined when she opened the notebook for that first interview.
Praise for The Man in the Monster
Sturdily written and well researched . . . The book will appeal to those curious about why killers kill, and those who can stomach what they learn. The Boston Globe
A fascinating, in-depth analysis for true-crime buffs, sociologists, and others grappling with nearly impossible-to-comprehend actions and their consequences. Booklist"
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Product details

  • Paperback | 323 pages
  • 137 x 208 x 30mm | 408g
  • Penguin Books
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143109472
  • 9780143109471
  • 1,756,123

About MS Martha Elliott

Martha Elliott has been a journalist for almost forty years. She was mentored in graduate school by veteran journalist Fred W. Friendly and became his colleague, producing award-winning television programs and writing three books and numerous articles and speeches. She has run a newspaper and has taught at Columbia University and at the secondary school level. The recipient of many awards, her most recent is Vassar s Time Out Grant for 2014 15 to write a novel.She has three children and three grandchildren and lives in Maine."
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Review quote

I thought about Malcolm s assertion more than once as I read Martha Elliott s excellent new book, The Man in the Monster: An Intimate Portrait of a Serial Killer. As its title indicates, the book explores the gruesome misdeeds of a murderer (and rapist), but it is also an extended reflection on how and why one might write about, and even befriend, such people. On both counts, it is an admirable success. The National Book Review
Sturdily written and well researched the book will appeal to those curious about why killers kill, and those who can stomach what they learn. - Boston Globe

A disturbing and multifaceted expose of both a ruthless killer and the sympathetic, merciful journalist at odds with his capital fate. -Kirkus

A fascinating, in-depth analysis for true-crime buffs, sociologists, and others grappling with nearly impossible-to-comprehend actions and their consequences. -Booklist

"This should be a welcomed volume to both general readers and criminal justice professionals. -Library Journal

The Man in the Monster is arresting at every turn. - Bookpage

Elliott s harrowing story pulls off something brilliant and new. Elliott peered into the mind of a serial killer by becoming his friend. A narrative that is riveting, honest, and devastating." - Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character

Martha Elliott takes us inside the mind of serial killer and rapist Michael Ross. Elliott spent ten years getting to know the man behind the monster, and the pace of her book is as fast and merciless as a thriller." - Rebecca Tinsley, author of When Stars Fall to Earth
"Martha Elliott has done something no other journalist has done--she devoted ten years getting to know a serial killer, giving the reader a rare glimpse into the mind of a man, a "monster," who killedeight women. No matter what your views areon capital punishment or mental illness, this will be a thought-provoking read. You won't want to put it down."-Steven Greenhouse, author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for American Workers

Martha Elliot has written a commanding book about a death rowinmate she met as a journalist and talked with at least once a week for ten year When you read this book, I think you will be overwhelmed as I was and find that Martha Elliot has written a book that makes us look seriously at capital punishment. This is a great read and a must read and I urge it for people in every generation. -Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law; Founding & Executive Director, The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice

"Martha Elliott provides us with a rare close-up of the mind behind a serial killer already tried and facing the death penalty. Her meticulous and dispassionate reporting pries open the story behind the series of repulsive crimes the killer has committed against his vulnerable victims. A normal college graduate with girlfriends and, at the same time, an obsessive, demented man stalking young women, the killer reveals himself to the reporter as the complex story of childhood traumas and mental illness unfold. The book is a highly readable contribution both to the debate about capital punishment and the criminal justice system, and, at the same time, journalism as compelling drama."-Joan Konner, Dean Emerita, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism

From the Hardcover edition."
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Rating details

251 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 20% (49)
4 34% (85)
3 29% (74)
2 13% (32)
1 4% (11)
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