Parents Who Killed Their Children: Filicide By R.J. Parker


Book Description:

A clear-eyed view on the most heartbreaking of crimes

The killing of a child is always an aberration, we can never forget it because it takes such diligence to try to understand, rather than simply lock away the killer and brand him or her a monster. What really incites parents to kill their children? This book portrays ten filicidal killers, people’s whose names–Andrea Yates, Diane Downs, Susan Smith, Jeffrey MacDonald–received a great deal of media attention. The author explores the reasons, from addiction to sociopathy, insanity to altruism.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “{A}valuable resource and reference book for Criminologists and Psychologists on the fraught subject of maternal filicide, supported with ten case studies.”

Andrea Yates
Darlie Routier
Susan Eubanks
Lianne Smith
Alan Bristol
Jeffrey MacDonald
Deanna Laney
Susan Smith
Tonya Thomas
Diane Downs


“Acclaimed true crime author, RJ Parker, has a knack for collecting high-profile cases under specific themes. This collection about parents who kill their children provides a fast-paced, gripping overview of how things can go horribly wrong in once-loving families. From Andrea Yates to Jeffrey MacDonald to Susan Smith, Parker reports on the stunning case details and suggests reasons why the parental bond can get so twisted. The updates at the end of each chapter add a lot, since popular media rarely follows up. An important reference for true crime readers.” – Dr. Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., bestselling author of “The Mind of a Murderer” and “The Ivy League Killer.”

This book has been selected by several Universities in their upcoming courses in Criminology, Sociology and Forensic Psychology, including, the University of Utah and Penn State University

My Thoughts:

Parents Who Killed Their Children is a non fiction book.

The author has written a lot of true crime books and has picked out certain high profile cases for this book.

It is a relatively short book and only takes a couple of hours to read though obviously the reading matter is quite uncomfortable.

The writer has written about ten parents that have killed and in each case study the reader gets a brief introduction to the family leading up to the awful events, we then get to learn about the events that took place and then there is also an afterwards where we learn about what happened in the trials of the killers and to what happened to them and living family members in the aftermath.

Each case is quite short and even though the reader gets the overall information it did leave me wanting to know more, I found the chapters to be a little to brief. To be honest even after reading this book, as a parent, I still do not understand why these parents brutally killed their children.

I will warn people that at the back of the book there are some graphic photos that some people will find upsetting but I think it makes it hit home at the atrocities of what unfortunately does go on in this world.

This book certainly will not be for everyone but it does make for an interesting read. It certainly makes you hug your children that bit tighter.

I have awarded this book 3/5 stars.

Parents Who Killed Their Children is available to purchase on Amazon

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