Thursday, December 14, 2006

Repeat Offenders

I’d never even heard of the Web site YesButNoButYes until Bill Crider mentioned it in his blog earlier this week. Having done some poking around in its contents, though, I understand that it’s a refreshingly funny and irreverent site, with an interest in history (as in the history of famous virgins and female streakers) and distinctive national celebrations (such as National Underwear Day).

What really caught my eye, though, is the same thing that caused Crider to mention this site’s existence: contributor Razen’s rundown of “10 notorious serial killers.” Curiously, Razen excludes the best known of this breed, Jack the Ripper, and fails to mention the particularly prolific Green River Killer. However, he (or is it “she”?) does shine the spotlight on some oft-forgotten historical slayers, including 19th-century Austin, Texas’ “Servant Girl Annihilator” (who was also recalled in Steven Saylor’s deeply underappreciated 2000 novel, A Twist at the End) and the early 20th-century’s Axeman of New Orleans. And it’s good to see further mention of Dr. Henry H. Holmes, who was one of the stars of Erik Larson’s outstanding book, The Devil in the White City (2003).

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