If you are familiar with true crime podcasts you have probably listened to or heard of ”The Last Podcast on the Left”. The show hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks and Henry Zebrowski (your pretty face is going to hell) focuses on serial killers, cults, cryptids, all manner of macabre and strange subject matter. In early 2020 they published a book highlighting some of histories most notorious serial killers each complete with in depth a history written by Marcus and commentary provided by Ben and Henry.
The first thing you will notice about this book are the beautiful illustrations by Tom Neely which are akin to the EC comics like “Tales from the Crypt” or “Vault of horror”. The art is wholly appropriate given the subject matter and in some contexts done humorously to lighten the dark material a bit, this book is chock full of art. Another thing to be noticed is the quality of the book itself, though printed in China it is put together with the quality of a college text book that would cost $300. It is a hard cover book with a nice gloss cover and high quality thick pages. It feels great to hold and flip the pages while reading about horrible, evil human beings.
Marcus is the knowledgeable narrator as Ben and Henry add comical commentary on the materials presented. The format is like reading mini episodes of the podcast which will be familiar to fans and an engaging presentation for new readers. Many of the jokes are topical and may not age as well as the stories have, the jokes sometimes fall flat, but overall they are enjoyable and break the tension of reading such dark subject matter. The fact is that these horrible people existed, these things were done to other human beings and with that context in mind the goofy banter is a welcome addition.
The book has nine chapters as well as an introduction, acknowledgments and an index.
The serial killers each have a chapter…
Chapter 1: Ted Bundy
Chapter 2: Richard Chase
Chapter 3: Ed Gein
Chapter 4: John Wayne Gacy
Chapter 5:Richard Ramirez
Chapter 6: David Berkowitz
Chapter 7: BTK
Chapter 8: Andrei Chikatilo
Chapter 9: Jeffrey Dahmer
If you are interested in true crime you have likely heard of most of these serial killers, and perhaps know a great deal about them already. Even with said knowledge the book is enjoyable and you may still learn a thing or two. Marcus goes in depth and even investigates the childhood and upbringing of these monsters all while trying to deduct what could have went so wrong. There is a lot of information to digest but the presentation makes it accessible and easy to read. This is not a dry textbook. This a book full of information and humor and if any of this is an interest to you I can whole heartedly recommend this book.
(I had a bunch of cool pictures but im editing this on a Raspberry pi 3b+ and gimp doesnt save jpg for some reason, sorry)