Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky

Sons of Cain

From the author of Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters comes an in-depth examination of sexual serial killers throughout human history, how they evolved, and why we are drawn to their horrifying crimes.Before the term was coined in 1981, there were no "serial killers." There were only "monsters"--killers society first understood as werewolves, vampires, ghouls and witches or, later, Hitchcockian psychos.In Sons of Cain--a book that...

Details Sons of Cain

TitleSons of Cain
Release DateAug 14th, 2018
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, History, Mystery

Reviews Sons of Cain

  • HFK
    I read this through the night, and have mixed feelings. The info here is well researched, but the structure of the book is not in its best possible mode. The theory here is also a bit confusing in a sense that it seems to differ, get lost, and come back again either weaker or stronger depending on the subject.History here is presented easily, but some conclusions, and especially some comparisons, are quite weak. Comparing historical witch-hunts t...
  • Valerity (Val)
    This is a comprehensive history of serial killers by author Peter Vronsky which discusses killers going way back, and talks about the coining of the term ‘serial killer’ and its use. Lots of research went into the book and it’s very well written. Unfortunately, I had trouble with parts of it due to my sleep disorder, which caused me difficulty getting through it so I’ll likely go back and read it again at a later date when it’s not acti...
  • Tiffany PSquared
    In this statistic-heavy book, Peter Vronsky researches the presence of serial killers throughout all of human history - from the Stone Age to present day and even the possibility of their proliferation in the not-so-distant future.Sons of Cain explores our natural survival instinct and its contribution to the killer instinct of those who have confessed to multiple murders. The eras of supposed werewolf/vampire slayings and witch huntings are also...
  • Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
    This book contained so much information! I was not expecting it to be so complex. The book is broken into 3 different sections; On the Origin of Species: The Evolution of Serial Killers, Serial Killer Chronicles: The Early Forensic History of Monsters and The New Age of Monsters: The Rise of the Modern Serial Killer. This book included information about serial killers that I have never even heard of and went back hundreds and hundreds of years. I...
  • Diane Hernandez
    Sons of Cain is the story of real serial killers from the stone age to now.The book is divided into three parts. Part I contains definitions, Earth’s history and man’s place in it, and psychological diseases that may be causing serial killers to be more frequent now. Part II and III are the meat of the book focusing on pre-Industrial society and from Jack the Ripper forward, respectively.You can skip Part I and just look up anything for which...
  • Neelam Babul
    I first read about serial killers in an article I came across and later on studied them in depth as part of my studies for my bachelor's degree in law. This book is a comprehensive guide on the origin of serial killers, their history from the stone age to the current times as well as their evolution and transformation. The writer also presents brief biographies of various serial killers throughout the ages.A conclusive guide on understanding and ...
  • Jessica
    Alright, so you're talking to someone that loves history (the more facts, the better!) and it's a bonus that this is about serial killers. I loved that it also included serial killers that I hadn't heard of before and that we went so far back into history to study them. I'll warn you now, this one is a lot more technical than you would expect (which could translate into a more dry read for some). The amount of research that went into this book is...
  • Laura
    Like most people who would find themselves interested in this book, I have an odd obsession with serial killers. I'm still upset over the closing of the National Museum of Crime & Punishment where their serial killer exhibit had some very fascinating artifacts like Bundy's car and Gacy's paintbox and some paintings, etc. So to satisfy my morbid curiosity, I turn to books.I was lucky enough to win this one. The book is divided in three parts. The ...
  • Jodi
    I received an ARC of this book thru the Goodreads Giveaway - it wasn't my usual genre of reading material, but, sounded intriguing from the description. While there were a few shudder inducing details, for the most part, it was a very well researched and written analysis of serial killings throughout history. I had never looked at the medieval witch-hunts or the atrocities of World War II as examples of serial killers gone amok, but, reading this...
  • stephanie
    i got a copy of this from berkley pub and goodreads on a giveaway, which is awesome awesome awesome! many thanks to all of the kind humans who make things like this possible. this is a surprisingly entertaining read for how history/sciency/technical it gets in some places. and while the way-back-history doesn't get too many pages, it still adds interesting context for, if nothing else, how these types of killers have been regarded/thought of by s...
  • Michele
    Book explores our natural survival instinct and its contribution to the killer instinct of those who have confessed to multiple murders. Occurrences of serial murder in historic times is perhaps the most interesting and gruesome part of this book. I think I was in shock over the birthdates of killers like Ramirez, Dahmer, Bundy and others. They were all baby-boomers. All had fathers damaged during the depression and WWII.
  • Megan
    Rating: 3.5 starsI received a free e-ARC in exchange for a review. This is an academic book, so it's a bit drier than your usual true crime book. While the entire book was really interesting, it really soars when the author hones in on one serial killer or reflects on his personal encounters with serials. In the beginning half of the book, there were a lot of references to Peter Vronsky's previous books. Obviously he's building on previous resear...
  • Jacob
    I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present by Peter Vronsky, continues his studies in serial killers, marking his third work on this subject. This particularly book focuses on "sexual serial killers from the stone age to the present." Vronky does this by dividing the book into three sections. The first, details the evolution of the serial killer fr...
  • Ric Evans
    Vronsky goes back to the beginning and shows us how murder has always been a staple of human existence, from the Stone Age to present day. This is a chilling journey, all the more terrifying because it is real. From Neanderthal man and his fight for survival against his rival Homo Sapiens, through the superstitious era of werewolves, vampires, witch hunting, and serial murders of the Middle Ages and beyond, finally culminating with the Golden Age...
  • Paul
    This is a brilliant and readable historical/anthropological investigation into what creates serial killers. The author starts by saying that early homo sapiens were examples of serial killers, because killing was the primary way they defeated their enemies, and taking souvenirs of the creatures they killed was considered talismanic.The human species eventually evolved out of this subhuman nature as the idea of peaceful coexistence began to strike...
  • Jeanne-Ann
    A well-written book. I had worried that it might just be the usual sensationalism, but it was just what I had hoped for; a book delving into the human mind and what sometimes goes wrong. I've been interested in serial killers and their psychology and physiology since before university days. I took several courses on Social Deviance and Social Control and Penology and Corrections and have read many biographies of serial killers. But I have never b...
  • April Forker
    received Sons of Cain from NetGalley for an honest review - thank you for sending me this! I love anything involving true crime - books, movies, shows, podcasts, etc. so I was excited to win this book! This book had a TON of information in it. This would be a great book for anyone wanting to actually research serial killers and true crime as it is very fact heavy. My favorite part of the book was the part about the "modern" serial killer as those...
  • Heather
    Sons of Cain gives the reader a comprehensive look at the history of serial killers - the crimes, criminals, and methods used to track them down. Vronsky's complete record of serial killers - including ancient and prehistoric killers - and his ideas make this a very thought provoking read. I would recommend this to anyone that is interested in true crime.I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.
  • Sasha
    First I would like to state that I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book. When I received this book I began reading it at once. I really enjoy the authors writing style, the author pulls you into the book from the very beginning and makes it so you don't want to put the book down. It kept me on th...
  • C.
    A very fascinating and well researched read about the history of serial killers. The chapters on the history of 'werewolves' and 'witches' were very interesting and informative.
  • Emerson
    Yes, this is high in facts and statistics. It's also brilliant. It shows interesting, historical trends, and what events have led to them. This has been wonderful for me, as I've striven to understand why people like this become who they are while others, given the same circumstances, do not. We have come out of our ancestors and have these vestigial urges from stone-age man. For the most part, these have become easier to deny. We indulge them in...
  • Melise Gerber
    As a lover of horror novels, I have read my fair share of books about serial killers--both fiction and non-fiction. However, this is the first scholarly study that I have ever read about the serial killer phenomenon. I found it well-written, and quite interesting. Vronsky provides an overview of current thinking about what defines a serial killer, and then brings that categorization to a review of history, describing events throughout human histo...
  • Smart
    This was disturbingly wonderful to read! Icantc can't wait to tell everyone about his book! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
  • Cristina
    “Justice withers, prison corrupts, and society gets the criminal it deserves.” - Lacassagne Putting to rest the idea that serial killings were an epidemic of the 20th century, historian Peter Vronsky sets out to explore the ancient and not-so-ancient history of pattern murderers across (mostly Western) societies. What I found most interesting is the argument that these crimes hold a mirror to the society and cultural conflicts of their time.M...
  • Kristin
    Once you get past the dryly didactic opening section, this becomes a very readable sociological study of serial killers. Where most English language books focus on exclusively British and American killers, many of the case histories Vronsky includes come from France, Spain, and Italy, so there was a lot of information that was new to me. So why only 3 stars? Well, Vronsky's research is sloppy and his conclusions can be suspect. He credits the uns...
  • Lilias
    Overall very interesting. Some parts, though, were messy, and at first I thought that was Vronksy filling in for time periods about which there is little historical record. Conclusions were made without much evidence and comparisons were drawn that seemed very weak. As the book, and time, progressed, it all got a lot better, but there were still some errors (attributing the unsolved Villisca murders to Henry Lee Moore even though he is just one o...
  • Natalie
    One of the better serial killer histories I’ve read, with details I’d never heard, references to books and media I now want to check out, and interesting new theories. I don’t necessarily agree with all of Vronsky’s ideas, but nothing here is the same old regurgitated stuff ripped from other books. I also appreciate that Vronsky managed not to moralize when discussing case histories, which few other true crime writers can do.I’m pretty ...
  • Rob
    This book about the history of serial killers includes not only descriptions of the life and crimes of many multiple killers over the centuries, but also many theories as to how serial killers developed. Some points were well written with good observations of the historical data, but other parts of the book seemed to be tedious, repetitive in examples, or the analysis appeared to be strained. Overall, it was an average read compared to other book...
  • Monica
    Interesting look at Serial Killers from the beginning of time. The first part is a little slow and reads like a textbook. After that it picks up, detailing killers that aren't really known. Of course, it includes Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, etc. Was interesting that America really didn't have any until the 1960's, when the baby boomers became adults.