Making a Monster: Jesse Pomeroy, the Boy Murderer of 1870s Boston by Dawn KeetleyMaking a Monster: Jesse Pomeroy, the Boy Murderer of 1870s Boston by Dawn Keetley

Making a Monster: Jesse Pomeroy, the Boy Murderer of 1870s Boston

byDawn Keetley

Paperback | August 3, 2017

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When twelve-year-old Jesse Pomeroy tortured seven small boys in the Boston area and then went on to brutally murder two other children, one of the most striking aspects of his case was his inability ever to answer the question of why he did what he did. Whether in court or in the newspapers, many experts tried to explain his horrible acts - and distance the rest of society from them. Despite those efforts, and attempts since, the mystery remains.

In this book, Dawn Keetley details the story of Pomeroy's crimes and the intense public outcry. She explores the two reigning theories at the time - that he was shaped before birth when his pregnant mother visited a slaughterhouse and that he imitated brutal acts found in popular dime novels. Keetley then thoughtfully offers a new theory: that Pomeroy was a psychopath who revealed our potential for brutality and tested societal efforts to manage behavior. The reaction to Pomeroy's acts, then and now, demonstrates the struggle to account for those aspects of human nature that remain beyond our ability to understand them.
Dawn Keetley is professor of English at Lehigh University and editor of "We're All Infected": Essays on AMC's The Walking Dead and the Fate of the Human.
Title:Making a Monster: Jesse Pomeroy, the Boy Murderer of 1870s BostonFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:August 3, 2017Publisher:University of Massachusetts PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:162534273X

ISBN - 13:9781625342737


Editorial Reviews

"This is a rich and complex study. If there has been a more thoroughly researched or more effectively contextualized or more perceptive or more illuminating historical case study of an early psychopath or serial killer, I am not aware of it." - Daniel A. Cohen, author of Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace: New England Crime Literature and the Origins of American Popular Culture, 1674-1900