Women Who Love Men Who Kill: 35 True Stories of Prison Passion

Diversion. rev. ed ed. Oct. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9781635768091. pap. $17.99. CRIME
Isenberg updates her groundbreaking 1991 volume about women who seek out relationships with men incarcerated on murder charges. For the revised edition, she caught up with subjects from the 1991 book and interviewed new ones (including women involved with men convicted of lesser offenses). She considers the changes of the last 30 years; for instance, she finds that many women still rely on pen and paper to write to prisoners in 2021, but the digital realm now plays a big role, since anyone can post digital advertisements, send emails, and use apps to meet and talk to romantic partners. Isenberg again finds that most of the women who enter these relationships have a history of trauma, but she notes that there are a multitude of reasons why they stay, including denial, delusion, and the desire for fame. “For women in love with murderers, their relationships are their reason for being,” Isenberg writes. Many of the couples fantasize about eventually living together, and Isenberg learns what happened to some of the relationships upon release—one woman was shocked when she first saw her partner become enraged; another woman was murdered by her partner.
VERDICT Isenberg’s is a compelling, research-driven book, and libraries should purchase this updated edition.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing