Annika Larsdotter: barnamÃ¶rderska; Inger LÃ¶vkrona
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Filed under: Back to History
, To Be Read
, True crime
Annika Larsdotter: barnamÃ¶rderska
by Inger LÃ¶vkrona
For the Back to History and To Be Read reading challenges.
First line: Boston — Min vÃ¤n slÃ¤nger tidningsartikeln pÃ¥ skrivbordet med en kort kommentar: “Ja, hÃ¤r har du en till.”
Back cover blurb:
Annika Larsdotter avrÃ¤ttades 1765, 18 Ã¥r gammal. Hon hade dÃ¥ erkÃ¤nt drÃ¥p pÃ¥ sitt nyfÃ¶dda barn genom kvÃ¤vning. Barnets far var Annikas svÃ¥ger som hade tvingat henne till sexuellt umgÃ¤nge, men sedan fÃ¶rnekade faderskapet.
Annika Larsdotter var en av tusentals unga svenska kvinnor som under 1600-, 1700- och 1800-talen anklagades fÃ¶r barnamord eller fosterfÃ¶rdrivning. Brottet ansÃ¥gs vara samtidens stÃ¶rsta samhÃ¤llsfara. BarnamÃ¶rderskor dÃ¶mdes strÃ¤ngt och utan fÃ¶rbarmande — kvinnan beskrevs ofta som en osedlig, ondskefull och grym moder, i nÃ¤ra slÃ¤ktskap med hÃ¤xor.
Denna bok handlar om Annika men ocksÃ¥ om nÃ¥gra av hennes olyckssystrar. VarfÃ¶r valde dessa kvinnor att mÃ¶rda sitt barn? VarfÃ¶r valde de inte istÃ¤llet att, i likhet med andra ogifta mÃ¶drar, ta pÃ¥ sig rollen som ogift mor?
Etnologen Inger LÃ¶vkrona sÃ¶ker svaren genom att studera rÃ¤ttsfall frÃ¥n perioden 1729-1776. De bevarade domstolsprotokollen ger unika mÃ¶jligheter att komma nÃ¤ra barnamÃ¶rderskornas handlingar, tÃ¤nkbara Ã¶vervÃ¤ganden och kÃ¤nslor.
Very short synopsis in English: This is the study of eight cases from 18th century Sweden where young, unwed women murdered, or were accused of having murdered, their newborn children. Why did they do it?
Thoughts: This was a very interesting read, but what struck me as most shocking was an excerpt at the very beginning of the book, about “prom moms”. It’s easy to read about a case from the 18th century, where shame and desperation led someone to commit almost unspeakable offenses, and think that at least we’ve moved on from that now. Not everywhere we haven’t. Young women still sometimes don’t see any other way out. It’s absolutely horrifying and sad — it was then and it is now.
The book was sometimes a bit tricky to follow, but that always happens to me when I haven’t read academic texts in a while. All things considered, a C grade is in order.
Profile of a Criminal Mind; Brian Innes
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Filed under: B
, Diseases and disorders
, True crime
Profile of a Criminal Mind
by Brian Innes
First line: The criminal has been an unwelcome element of society since time immemorial, and the attempt to penetrate his or her mind, to discover whether he or she differs significantly from the person who is considered an honest citizen â€“ and if so, to what degree â€“ has preoccupied people for centuries.
Back cover blurb:
Profile of a Criminal Mind is a comprehensive exploration of criminal profiling. Beginning with the early suppositions of 19th century physicians Cesare Lombrosco and Albert Bertillon, the author examines the work of criminologists such as Robert Ressler at the FBIâ€™s Behavioral Science Unit and David Canter and Paul Britton in Britain, before coming right up to date with recent developments in handwriting analysis and the â€˜criminal geographic targetingâ€™ (CGT) computer system.
This fascinating and authoritative study examines some of the major cases of the 20th century, including Ted Bundy, Andrei Chikatilo (the â€˜Rostov Ripperâ€™), Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo, Peter Sutcliffe (the â€˜Yorkshire Ripperâ€™), Ted Kaczynski (the â€˜Unabomberâ€™), Edmund Kemper and George Metetsky.
Thoughts: This book has been in my shelf, unread, since I got it in the annual book sale 2006. I decided to read it now because I thought Iâ€™d put it on my list for the TBR-challenge, but when Iâ€™d finished it, I discovered that I was mistaken in that. Oh well, no harm done. I got to strike one more book off my TBR-list, official or unofficial, and thatâ€™s always something.
More importantly was the fact that it was a good book. I am extremely fascinated by true crime and like to read about it, but sometimes the books are a little too sensationalist for my tastes, or I end up reading one that just restates the facts of half a dozen others Iâ€™ve read on the same topic. Not so this one. It brings a new perspective, and while it does touch on some common cases, it doesnâ€™t feel like repetitiveness at any point. In fact, a lot of the times the author assumes that one is already familiar with the cases. There are some cases he mentions in passing more than once, but never elaborates on. Itâ€™s a little frustrating at times, because I donâ€™t actually remember much about those cases at present, but in the end I quite like that approach. I have a bunch of other books I could look them up in, if I really feel the need to refresh my memory.
I also really like the layout. Itâ€™s divided into clear-cut chapters that deal with one subject or another, and along with the main text, there are bunches of photos and illustrations, as well as â€œfact boxesâ€, which I thought were a nice touch.
Itâ€™s always difficult, I find, to rate a non-fictional work and I rarely give out higher grades to them, but this time Iâ€™m going to have to go with a B. One of the more interesting and well-executed books I have read on this topic in quite some time. Bravo, Mr. Innes!
Historiens stÃ¶rsta mordgÃ¥tor; Andreas Nyberg (ed.)
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Filed under: D
, True crime
Historiens stÃ¶rsta mordgÃ¥tor
by Andreas Nyberg (ed.)
First line: I det dagliga livet har vi ett stort behov av ordning.
Back cover blurb:
FN:s kontroversielle generalsekreterare Dag HammarskjÃ¶ld dog i en flygkrash i Kongo 1961. En olycka menar mÃ¥nga. Andra hÃ¤vdar att en bomb placerats i planet. 1998 fick den sydafrikanska sÃ¤kerhetskommissionen dokument som tyder pÃ¥ att landets sÃ¤kerhetstjÃ¤nst lÃ¥g bakom kraschen.
TÃ¤ndstickskungen Ivar Kreugers dÃ¶d 1932 brukar betraktas som sjÃ¤lvmord, men var det verkligen det? Han hittades skjuten, med en revolver i vÃ¤nster hand trots att han var hÃ¶gerhÃ¤nt. Mycket tyder pÃ¥ att han blev mÃ¶rdad av nÃ¥gon som ville Ã¥t hans enorma tillgÃ¥ngar.
Sonen till den vÃ¤rldsberÃ¶mda flygaren Charles Lindbergh kidnappades 1932 och Ã¥tersÃ¥gs aldrig. Man har antagit att han mÃ¶rdades. Men det finns Ã¥tminstone tvÃ¥ personer som lagt fram bevisning fÃ¶r att de Ã¤r den fÃ¶rsvunne sonen.
FÃ¶rfattarna skriver kunnigt och underhÃ¥llande om nio av historiens stÃ¶rsta mordgÃ¥tor, bland annat om Marilyn Monroe, den omstridde amerikanske fackfÃ¶reningsledaren Jimmy Hoffa och Hammarbymordet — Sveriges kanske mest uppmÃ¤rksammade mordfall.
Thoughts: Apparently all the authors involved in this joint effort are conspiracy theorists and it shows! It’s true that circumstances surrounding these nine cases were a little iffy, but there are limits to how far you can go with wild theories without sounding like a complete nutter. This somewhat ruined what would have otherwise been a pretty interesting book, and pulls the grade down to a D.