The Butler Did It: My True and Terrifying Encounters with a Serial Killer

Paul Pender, Author
Paul Pender. Mainstream (IPG, dist.), $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-78057-561-2
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-78057-455-4
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The idea for this chilling tale of the Scottish “Killer Butler” came from a 1993 phone conversation between Pender, then a BBC script editor, and a man who introduced himself as “Britain’s top jewel thief and confidence trickster.” Then incarcerated “at Her Majesty’s pleasure,” the convict wanted Pender to write his life story—he’d seen some of Pender’s work, and he needed someone who could get the “humour” of his story. Pender didn’t realize then that the man he was speaking with, Roy Fontaine, had also murdered five people while in the service of various members of the British aristocracy. Over the course of their interviews at Full Sutton Prison, Fontaine comes across as charming, cunning, and a great storyteller, able to converse about everything from the Old Testament to Nietzsche and Roy Rogers. But when Fontaine rehashes some of his murders, the reality of his mania becomes clear—after describing having a drink while watching one of his victims die, Pender express disbelief, to which Fontaine replies: “Have you ever killed anyone?... If you ever did, you’d need a drink too. I’m only human, after all.” Though the unsettling effect of Fontaine’s remembrances is sometimes dampened by Pender’s distracting asides, this nightmarish confessional is ruthlessly exciting. (July)
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