When caregivers kill : understanding child murder by parents and other guardians /

Main Author: Alt, Betty Sowers.
Other Authors: Wells, Sandra, 1950-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield, c2010.
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Review by Choice Review

The killing of children by the hands of their caregivers, whether intentional or not, is an unbelievable act. This book, unfortunately, offers little to help readers believe or better understand how and why this can occur. Instead, Alt (Colorado State Univ.) and Wells (Pueblo Community College) recycle in sensational fashion that which has been recounted in a number of similar monographs (e.g., Cheryl Meyer and Michelle Oberman, Mothers Who Kill Their Children, CH, Apr'02, 39-4899; Lita Schwartz and Natalie Isser, Child Homicide: Parents Who Kill, 2007; Christine Alder and Ken Polk, Child Victims of Homicide, 2001; Richard Firstman and Jamie Talan, The Death of Innocents, 1997). The authors do little to deepen the shallow accounts provided, one after another, of the gruesome deaths of children by their mothers, fathers, babysitters, or foster parents. They also fail to offer any sound explanations or behavioral patterns for these gruesome acts of omission or commission, offering little, if any, theoretical or empirical insight. In sum, the authors rely on numerous citations from the popular press and their years of experience in the criminal justice system to assemble a too-shallow book on a very deep topic. Summing Up: Not recommended. J. C. Altman Adelphi University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.