Mania and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong: Inside the Mind of a Female Serial Killer

Jerry Clark and Ed Palattella. Rowman & Littlefield, $36 (296p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6007-8
Former FBI agent Clark and journalist Palattella take a deeper look at the woman behind the gruesome crime recounted in their previous book Pizza Bomber: The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery. Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong is best known for her role as an accomplice in the 2003 bank robbery in Erie, Pa., that led to the death of Brian Wells, a pizza deliveryman, but she had killed before. Clark and Palattella provide chilling details into her gunning down of two boyfriends, starting with the 1984 murder of Bob Thomas, also in Erie. After shooting Thomas in his sleep, she confessed her crime to a stranger and offered her $25,000 to help dispose of the corpse. The authors trace Diehl-Armstrong’s evolution from bright student to murderer and look specifically at how mental illness is used as a defense to criminal culpability in Anglo-American jurisprudence. Diehl-Armstrong was diagnosed as bipolar and had been anorexic as a child, but, as the judge who sentenced her to life for her role in the bank robbery noted, others with those illnesses don’t turn violent. Despite the authors’ detailed knowledge of their subject, readers will emerge from this well-written volume wondering what exactly led this once-promising woman to a life of violent crime. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-4422-6008-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5414-6433-9
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