Criminal Zoo

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“Because of a man bent on revenge, and the general public’s crusade to label me a serial killer, I now reside in Florence, Colorado. I am an exhibit in the Criminal Zoo.”

Samuel Bradbury comes from a broken home. He is the poster child for dysfunctional families, which gives the reader some insight and perhaps a grudging understanding of what set him on his lifelong path of killing. There is something broken, some bit of humanity that a normal person has, that this child does not possess.

Sean McDaniel, in his novel The Criminal Zoo addresses the question of what to do with psychopathic serial killer who clearly cannot be incarcerated among the general criminal public. What can be done in a world where capital punishment is condemned, and prisons are overcrowded and cannot be financially supported? McDaniel proposes the Criminal Zoo: a place where not only are serial killers incarcerated, but which turns a profit by putting them on display. While that may seem punishment enough, McDaniel goes a step further by giving the public physical access to those criminals for a price. This obviously leads the reader to ponder the question of inhumane punishment and the cost of justice on the individual inflicting it.

While I believe this book should come with some sort of a warning on it, because the detailed and vivid descriptions of Samuel’s murders will likely haunt the reader’s dreams for a very long time, I have to admit that it is an interesting psychological study of the dark mind of the psychopathic serial killer. It leads the intelligent reader to ponder what steps and what early interventions by counselors might have derailed his murderous tendencies. While not a book for the faint of heart or stomach, this novel has a place within psychological and criminal justice research.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 348 pages
Publisher Rare Bird Books
Publish Date 2016-11-15
ISBN 9780997440706 Buy this Book
Issue October 2016
Category Popular Fiction


  1. Cindy Smith

    You think you have a balanced approach to justice but watch a loved one be violently murdered, and see how far your conscience will allow you to go to exact revenge. McDaniel tells a riveting and disturbing story from both an abused boy turned adult killer, and a politician; on different sides of the Criminal Zoo they have more in common than not. Excellent read!! Sure to create controversy.

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