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I: The Creation of a Serial Killer

Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)
Non-member price: $27.79
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Publisher's Summary

Prize-winning journalist Jack Olsen, armed with unprecedented access to one of the most infamous serial killers in American history, provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a murderer in the killer's own words....

In February 1990, Oregon State Police arrested John Sosnovke and Laverne Pavlinac for the vicious rape and murder of Taunja Bennet, a troubled 23-year-old barfly who had suffered mild retardation since birth. Pavlinac had come forth and confessed, implicating her boyfriend and producing physical evidence that linked them to the crime. Authorities closed the case.

There was just one problem. They had the wrong people. 

And the real killer wasn't about to let anyone take credit for his kill. Keith Hunter Jesperson was a long haul truck driver and the murderer of eight women, including Taunja Bennet. As the case wound through police precincts and courts - ending in life sentences for both Sosnovke and Pavlinac - Jesperson began a twisted one man campaign to win their release. To the editors of newspapers and on the walls of highway rest stops, Jesperson scribbled out a series of taunting confessions: 

I killed Tanya Bennett.... I beat her to death, raped her and loved it. Yes I'm sick, but I enjoy myself too. People took the blame and I'm free.... Look over your shoulder. I may be closer than you think.

At the end of each confession, Jesperson drew a happy face, earning for himself the grisly sobriquet "The Happy Face Killer".

Based on access to interviews, diaries, court records, and the criminal himself, I: The Creation of a Serial Killer is Jesperson's chilling story. It chronicles his evolution from angry child to sociopathic murderer, from tormentor of animals to torturer of women. It is also the story of the fate that befell him after two innocent citizens were imprisoned four years for one of his killings.

Edgar Award winner Jack Olsen lets the killer to tell his story in his own words, offering unprecedented insight into the twisted thought process of a serial murderer. Olsen takes his listeners along on Jesperson's vicious cross-country killing spree, letting him describe how he played his "death game" with eight innocent victims and how he finally came to grips with the fate he deserved.

I: The Creation of a Serial Killer is one of the most revealing and insightful pieces of crime reporting ever published.

©2018 Jack Olsen (P)2018 Jack Olsen Literary Works

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

Incredibly researched and masterfully constructed. As told from the point of view of the killer in his own words, this is a must for anyone who is interested in abnormal psychology and the origins of a deranged mind. I can't recommend this author enough, I'm hooked. Kevin Pierce could read a shopping list and make it sound like the most interesting thing you'd ever heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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riveting, yet horrifying in places

I listened to it in 2 days. great book for those interested in true crime

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Horrifying story.

So sad for the perp and the victims. Hated that it was in first person. Couldn't finish it. Too close to home. Too emotional. Too disturbing. Well written, well narrated. Don't be violent with children. I listened to it with a cop and it was too heavy for both of us.

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I really love this narrator

I really enjoyed this book and it gave an insight into how genetics play a role into how people turn out.

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  • Jodi Pearce
  • 19-11-2018

The last of Jack Olsen

I am so sad this is probably the last of Jack Olsen to be in audible. He was a remarkable writer. By far my favorite author. Perhaps even the king of true crime. As usual Kevin Pierce delivers another incredible narration.
If you’ve read other books on the Happy Face Killer, this is hands down the best. 5 stars!

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Pen Name
  • 11-01-2019

Took a chance and loved it!!!! you will too

didnt know this author, just wanted something that drew me in like Mind Hunter. This is a great book and the narrator is perfect!!! Give it a try, I did and I loved it

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • trisha walker
  • 05-01-2019

Disturbing

Disturbing to listen to the heinous murders this creep committed. Needed to take a break here and there. Still liked it, especially after listening to a pod cast his daughter produced that told the story from her point of view and how she’s been trying to reconcile with his victims families. This guy was a complicated monster. Scary story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 08-11-2018

Amazing

Such an exciting and emotional experience. It is incredible how smoothly the story unfolds from two perspectives.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Horwitz
  • 02-11-2018

THE LAST AND THE BEST OF JACK OLSON'S BOOK

GREAT STORY...DON'T MISS LISTENING TO ONE OF THE BEST TRUE CRIME STORIES I HAVE EVER HEARD! IT COMES RIGHT FROM THE SERIAL KILLERS OWN WORDS AND IS SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE AND TERRIFYING AT THE SAME TIME!

This is the shortest review I have ever written!

Thank you for reading my review...I have nothing more to say but get this true crime story! I listened to it non stop. I could not break my concentration even when I tried!

Best to you and your great listen,
Steve

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms.Bliss
  • 15-11-2018

His best and last.

I absolutely loved this book, the first person perspective in this book brings us closer than ever to what it is like to think like a psychopath. Amazing and tragic story told like no other. I am now truly sad it was his last book amd will try and find one I haven't read yet. As always, Kevin Pierce was perfect and does this book and Author as a whole justice. Thank you!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Sabrina
  • 31-01-2019

Wasn't disturbing until it was.

I have read numerous books on serial killers and watched several documentaries profiling them. This one did not get under my skin until I looked up a picture of Keith Jesperson and it suddenly made this all too real rather than just a "story". I am sure other true crime fans understand what I mean. I have never heard it straight from the killer's mouth in such graphic and honest detail. Usually they hem and haw and try to glance over what they did or deny, deny, deny. This is a full and VERY graphic recollection of the murders directly from the murderer's mouth and without remorse. Get ready to have nightmares.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexis Y. Sanchez
  • 22-01-2019

Great book but lots of animal cruelty

A lot of graphic descriptions of animal cruelty which I personally had to skip over. (Weird, I know, when talking about a book about a man who murdered women.) But I know it comes with the territory and I did not take that into account when rating. Otherwise thought this was a very interesting story and a very engaging performance by the narrator. Definitely worth a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 21-11-2018

Jack Olson at his Best!

Always love to hear Kevin Pierce. He is a great true crime narrator.:
Great Book about a sick man.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • dean
  • 18-11-2018

exvellent

Great book nicely read never heard of this killer before to the point in creepy

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-2018

Exellent

brilliant history from both angles of perspective hard to stop lustening too well read and executed

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-03-2019

Great read

This is one of the most Frank and unbiased book on the inside of a serial killer's mind.
It doesn't condone or glamorous what he has done but goes some way into explaining his true motivations.
It is told as if he himself is telling you what happened instead of someone looking in from the outside.