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Book Collage with John Steinbeck East of Eden

True Crime is one of my favorite nonfiction subjects, because I am fascinated by the psychology of serial killers.  The classic novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck is a fictional work, but this novel is indeed a portrait of a serial killer.  Cathy Trask who is one of the main characters in this novel embodies all of the puzzling characteristics that crime documentaries and true crime books cover about these serial killers. Cathy has much in common with these startling famous killers of the world for these five reasons.Cover - East of Eden

The narrator of this book said that Cathy was born a monster.  He could offer no logical reason why Cathy was the way she was.  Cathy’s parents were respectable members of society, and they gave her no reason to be a monster.

Cathy had no natural emotional attachments to anybody for the most part.  The narrator stated that Cathy only saw her parents as people that served her purpose.  Cathy provided some chilling information to the character who was helping deliver her twin sons.  She said, “I do not want them.”

Cathy exhibited violent and inhuman characteristics.  After snarling at Samuel Hamilton who was helping her with her sons’ delivery she bit him.  This incident reminded Samuel of a vicious dog who bit him.

Love or hate did not seem to drive Cathy to commit murders or harm people.  She burned her home with her parents inside the house, because her parents no longer served her purpose.  She shot her husband but did not kill him.  She did not necessarily want to kill him but wanted him out of her way. He tried to physically stop her from deserting him and her infant sons.

Cathy actually displayed some human characteristics and vulnerabilities.  She felt a kinship and possibly some affection for her noble husband’s less noble brother Charles.  She claimed that she hated Samuel Hamilton, her husband’s servant Lee, and her son Caleb.  She made this statement because she knew that she was transparent to these characters, so she was afraid of them. 

True Crime books about famous serial killers are extremely popular, and usually have a long waiting list.  While you are waiting for the email notification for your favorite true crime book you may want to read this classic.  Ted Bundy, the Son of Sam, the BTL killer, Jeffrey Dalmer and Charles Manson have done nothing or very little that Cathy Trask has not done.

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