When She Was Bad: How and Why Women Get Away with Murder By Patricia Pearson Cover Image
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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

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.

Praise For…



"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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780735281097
ISBN-10: 0735281092
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Pages: 384
Language: English