The Dating Game Killer: The True Story of a TV Dating Show, a Violent Sociopath, and a Series of Brutal Murders
Disclaimer: I pretty much did not like this book, so I ranted in my review. There is also bad language. So you have been thoroughly warned. If you loved this book, great! I didn't.
Rating: 2.5 to 3 stars
What I liked:
-The chapters were short, but there were a ton of them. So if I needed to, I could (and I did) take a break between chapters. I dislike stopping mid-chapter, but if a chapter is super long, and I feel like stopping I do. There were some long chapters, but only during key points and trials.
-Erm, I'm sure I liked more things to give it a somewhat 3 star rating. Will come back to this later.
-I did like that she gave background info to not only the killer but the victims and their family as well, but this also turned into a dislike, which I will explain later.
-My favorite quote: "Asked whether or not she [Veronica Thomas, a psychologist hired by the prosecution to interview Alcala] felt that Alcala was evil, Thomas replied, 'Evil is not a psychological term and difficult to objectify. I believe that evil is a moral description, and if you think of people in terms of their ability to put themselves in the shoes of their brother or sister or feel the sadness or pain of hunger or torture, then Alcala is evil. He does not have the capacity to empathize with others. His degree of inhumanity, which was determined by his biology, psychology, and environment, reflects a constant predatory attitude.' "
What I Disliked:
-This was an emotionally-draining read for me. I'm gonna be honest, I was reading true crime, I expect dark, tragic things, but this book affected me weird, and I'm not sure why either. I think one of the reasons I finished this was because I felt compelled to, because I paid a paperbackswap credit for this.
-When I read True Crime, I expect it to fall in more intellectual/academia than this was written. It felt like it relied to much on emotional manipulation that felt really heavy handed to me. I don't need to be hit over the head with emotions. I already feel a lot of empathy for the victims and their family, I don't need to be constantly hit in the face with it.
-This was written in what felt like to me in a more tabloid/exploitive fashion, which is fine with gossip and the like, but this book sometimes rubbed me the wrong way.
-Also trigger warning for graphic gore/murder scene/and rape, including child rape (though this one was more fade to black then the others).
-I really got annoyed with how the victims were written about. Don't get me wrong, those poor women/girls and their family, my heart goes out for them. I just got irritated with the emphasis put on their all-american looks. How BEAUTIFUL, PRETTY, and PURE and INNOCENT they were. Yes, those poor women/girls and they were pretty and beautiful, but there is more to them than that. There was so much emphasis on the PERFECT VICTIM, that it was just ugh, can you not?
-Near the end of the book, the author included a quote from a defense lawyer, who had to say this:
"It is a rarity in my job. Not all the victims are so nice. I deal with drug dealers. Some people put themselves in a position of vulnerability, but every one of these people [victims] was a really genuine good person."
So much classism. Believe it or not, some people have to work night shift or have a valid reason to be out past what you deem an acceptable hour. Also nice subtle dig at prostitutes who are often victims of violence and popular serial killer victims. I'm sure there are other problematic things to mention in this quote (like race issues, subtly implied again), but I'm getting really angry right now. I bolded the above for emphasis. I guess you are only a good person if you are the PERFECT VICTIM. At least that's what I'm getting from what little context is in the book. EW.
My actual facial expression while reading this.
-There were a lot of random mentioning of other serial killers at that time. It felt random without any cohesion. It was a bit off-topic, imho.
I'm sure there is a lot more to comment on, but my brain is feeling angry at me, so I think that this is enough for now.
I'm 3000% done with everything about this book. BYE.