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The Crossbow Cannibal

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  • The Crossbow Cannibal

    This morning I was looking for a new Skype headset in the local ASDA when I came across The Crossbow Cannibal by Cyril Dixon, John Blake Books, 2011. The rrp was £7.99 but ASDA were offering it at half price, so I bought a copy. What surprised me is the speed at which the book was written and released, bearing in mind that Stephen Griffiths was only convicted on December 21st 2010.

    The book is illustrated, with acknowledgements and runs at 260 pages (paperback) but carries no index nor references.

    Over the course of the next week I will be reading the book and posting a review here.

  • #2
    I finally finished the book today and quiet enjoyed it. My gripes are only minor, and that is that the writer fails to state where he got his information from. He mentions a few publication at the front of the book, and during the text mentions the many appearances by Stephen Griffith at the various courts in Bradford, but it is hard to ascertain whether his information is gleaned from first of second hand sources.

    Jack the Ripper gets mentioned a few times, as does Andrew Cook and the theory that JTR was three men, a murderer, and two copycats, and that TP Connor created the myth that Jack was one man. It also draws comparisons with the Yorkshire Ripper and a couple of other similar cases. Harold Shipman, the Moors Murderers and the Wests get mentioned too.

    Much is made of the psych profile of Griffith and Robert Ressler as well as several British Criminal Profilers are mentioned. It also discusses the formation of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) which is a group of serious crime officers who have worked on some notable criminal cases in West Yorkshire.

    Chapters are devoted to the victims, listing their life and how they came to meet Griffiths, and chapters are devoted to their families and funerals.

    Griffiths's past is also laid bare, with claims of previous run ins with the law, and psycho evaluations that were ignored. There are also claims of a ruptured childhood, cruelty to animals, and sexual problems with previous girlfriends.

    The book takes the reader from the discovery of the crimes, through the entire court case and up to the time Griffiths spent in prison when he tried to unsuccesfully take his life.

    It makes for fascinating reading, but at times it reads like a sensational tabloid story with little evidence of where the claims have originated from.

    On a side note, the book does mention the "anoraks" that hang around message boards. Ripper Casebook is mentioned in this catagory and talented photographer and member of Casebook and JTRForums, Silverstealth, is also mentioned after he posted some photos of the police activity in Bradford.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mike Covell View Post
      On a side note, the book does mention the "anoraks" that hang around message boards. Ripper Casebook is mentioned in this catagory and talented photographer and member of Casebook and JTRForums, Silverstealth, is also mentioned after he posted some photos of the police activity in Bradford.
      I hope it's not a faux pas to mention this here, but is it a fact that the Crossbow Killer used to post on casebook (long before my time)? I've heard rumours about it and asked someone (a wonderful painter, illustrator, and Ripperologist) in a private communication, to which they responded with “If he did, he certainly did not register as The Crossbow Killer“, which cracked me up.
      With many apologies for appearing irreverent, esp. to the victims.
      Best regards,
      Maria

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      • #4
        Maria:

        I don't know whether the Crossbow character joined Stephen's boards. Sorry for not being able to answer your question.


        Mike:

        Thanks for that review. Seems almost as if they began writing that book the moment he got caught.
        To Join JTR Forums :
        Contact [email protected]

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        • #5
          Originally posted by How Brown View Post

          Mike:

          Thanks for that review. Seems almost as if they began writing that book the moment he got caught.
          That's standard in Britain with high profile cases these days How. They often have the book finished ready for a guilty verdict so they can publish, meaning the first books appear within a few weeks of the trial.
          Jon

          "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


          http://www.jlrees.co.uk



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          • #6
            @Jon and How, It was the same with the Suffolk Strangler. I recall picking up two publications within weeks of the final verdict on Wright.

            @Maria, it was an unsubstantiated rumour and despite the book revealing some of the material on his computer, it mentions only some of the social networking sites he registered with.

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            • #7
              Thank you, How and Mike Covell for answering my question.
              Best regards,
              Maria

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