Only thing, although proclaimed to be true, I didn't believe a word of Obler's psychobabble nonsense.
It's almost a sin to classify this book as non-fiction.
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You'll love it.
"Fatal Analysis" by Dr. Martin Obler and Thomas Clavin
There was only one thing wrong with this True Crime non-fiction book: the entire thing was totally not believable and, as expected, I didn’t believe a single word of it.
The reader is to believe that Dr. Martin Obler, esteemed headshrink, had an evil serial killer as a patient. The police caught wind of this fact and, as expected, nagged Obler for the fellow’s name. Meanwhile, throughout the murdering patient’s treatment, he regularly visited his favorite headshrink and he regularly murdered people between visits.
The nickname given to the serial killer in this book was the “soda pop” killer. This was because the killer liked to use broken soda bottles to eviscerate his victims. I looked up this term and there has never been a serial killer with that name. But we must allow that poor Dr. Obler couldn’t use the real term as, well that was one of the main points of the book, the headshrink who had to adhere to patient-doctor confidentiality and thus allow innocent people to die at the hands of this cretin.
So let’s just say, for instance, that Obler’s patient was, say, the Zodiac killer but Obler can’t use the real term. My mind is wide enough to accept this.
Thus even allowing that this Obler piece of fiction, which would make a great movie by the way, is really based on truth in some fashion, I , the reader, was totally turned off by Obler’s pontification on the doctor-patient relationship. Obler strongly suspected that his creep of a patient was out murdering people in a most horrific manner. Yet Saint Obler couldn’t bring himself to violate the poor patient’s confidentiality.
Hey, I don’t care about patient confidentiality. When someone’s killing innocent people I am not overly impressed by some priss of a headshrink who stands on some stupid principle that is totally irrelevant when faced with life or death.
In fact, at some point this fine psychiatric patient, Devon Cardou, takes aim at Obler’s own family. Then we get even more fiction.
For Dr. Obler pulled some sort of hypno-therapy, psycho-babble trick out of his bag of magic headshrink treatment and somehow “cured” his patient. At least, as the book tells us, the “soda pop” killings stopped. Conveniently a substitute “soda pop” killer was arrested and Obler tried to convince the cops that they had the wrong guy.
So when the killing stopped we are to believe that it was because of Obler’s headshrink magic treatment as opposed to….say the cops might have REALLY caught the right criminal.
All that the reader learns about alleged serial killer Devon Cardou is that in his childhood he was witness to some scene involving his mother and father having anal sex.
I, the disbelieving reader, have a million questions. First, the Cardous as depicted by Obler, were well off. There was no need for them to be sharing a bedroom so why was Devon so obsessed with this scene? Did it happen a lot? Why was this child in his parents bedroom and were his parents really having anal sex, something even Dr. Obler isn’t convinced was the case?
Devon was not abused by his parents and besides that one bedroom vignette of his parents it does not seem that Devon had a horrible childhood. At least horrible enough to have the man psychologically stunted enough to kill people by tearing them up inside with a broken soda bottle. That’s an awful lot to expect a reader to believe.
I mean even if he had seen his parents having anal sex, so damn what? Many children have experienced far worse and didn’t grow up to brutally murder people.
Dr. Obler strikes me as a liberal too full of his headshrink importance. Yes I’m skeptical that such as dramatic hypnotherapy treatments can suddenly and miraculously “cure” psychos.
Obler also babbles the stuff of shrinks across the fruited plains. To Wit:
"It was too simple to say that he was born evil. Previously, I hadn't believed anyone was, including total aberrations and mass murderers like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, and Muammar El-Quadaffi, and recent serial killers like John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. I had believed that in every case something or a combination of factors had produced a twisted individual who, without the constructive intervention that psychology can provide, progressively become more demented and violent. To me, evil was not a condition at birth, even though we routinely accepted the expression that someone was "born bad".
So okay maybe they’re not born evil, Dr. Obler. But I’ll never believe that one foggy memory of Mommy and Daddy engaging in a little back door sexual fun can cause someone to become a mass murderer and sadist.
In fact, at one point in Devon’s treatment Dr. Obler had to contact Devon’s father. The father was very helpful and given Devon’s total lack of employment as he raced around the city murdering people, the parents evidently supported their fine son in his killing endeavors.
This book is fiction so far as I’m concerned and hey, for fiction it would make a fine Lifetime movie.
Beyond that this reader couldn’t suspend her disbelief for one word of this piece of trite psychobabble.
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