Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime Book
From award-winning author and journalist Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad questions our understanding of violent women.
Why do some women murder their children? Why do others team up with men in ghoulish killing sprees? What motivates the female serial killer?
When She Was Bad explores the enigmatic heart of female darkness, drawing into focus such fascinating characters as Dorothea Puente, who murdered several elderly tenants in her boarding house in Sacramento; Mary Beth Tinning, who killed eight of her children in upstate New York; Karla Homolka, who joined forces with Paul Bernardo to abduct, rape and murder school girls in southern Ontario; and Karla Faye Tucker, the born-again Christian who was executed in Texas for having killed two people with a pickax.
In this provocative book, Patricia Pearson explores women's innate capacity for aggression, an idea we remain deeply uncomfortable with.
About the author
- Winner, Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction
PATRICIA PEARSON is the award-winning author of several works of fiction and non-fiction that have been published in over a dozen countries and adapted for television. She has also contributed commentary to The New Yorker, the New York Times, NPR, the Guardian and multiple other outlets. When She Was Bad was her first book, and the recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime of 1997. She has since been a finalist for the Leacock Memorial Medal and the BC National Book Award. She lives on a farm outside Toronto.
WINNER OF THE ARTHUR ELLIS AWARD FOR BEST NON-FICTION
A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK
"This important, necessary book highlights our urgent need to re-examine what we think we know about female aggression." —The Globe and Mail (Notable Book of the Year)
"Groundbreaking." —The Vancouver Sun
"A compelling, frightening look at women, not as victims of violence, but as perpetrators of it. . . . Gripping, controversial material that sheds light on violence and society, and how women can get away with murder." —Kirkus Reviews
"Remarkable. . . . It is also profoundly disturbing, as it is the first significant sustained challenge against mainstream notions about violent femmes." —Quill & Quire
Other titles by Patricia Pearson
Wish You Were Here
A Murdered Girl, a Brother's Quest and the Hunt for a Canadian Serial Killer
Looks Can Kill
A Doctor's Journey through Steroids, Addiction and Online Fitness Culture
Opening Heaven's Door
What the Dying May Be Trying to Tell Us About Where They're Going
A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine)
Area Woman Blows Gasket
Tales from the Domestic Frontier