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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
You pretty much have to live in the bush or the desert these days not to hear of yet another mass murder or killing spree, sadly, and increasingly, committed by teenagers. What is going on here and why does it happen? What is going on in the minds of our barely adult children? In Contract Killer, Rodney Timms gives us a first-hand look into a developing killer’s mind. Except for the incredible personal strength he demonstrates throughout this memoir, Rodney would ultimately have landed in solitary confinement, or dead, at a very young age for the almost crippling compulsion he felt to kill his father. And if he had followed through on that compulsion, as so many psychologically and physically abused children do, the odds are he would have taken many others with him, including his mother, teachers and doctors, all of whom turned a blind eye to the obvious signs of horrendous abuse.
In this very candid and frightening account of the abuse that began when he was only five, and continued till he married his pregnant childhood sweetheart while still in his teens, Rodney Timms tells it all, in brutal detail. Contract Killer is not for the squeamish, but even those with thicker skins will find their stomachs curdling as they read how Rodney’s father beat him to a pulp at the side of the road and left him there to die. It was a turning point for Rodney. He knew that staying at home would end in death, either his own or his father’s, and many readers’ need for justice would have hoped it would be the father.
Despite the anger that burned inside him, thanks to the love and responsibility Rodney felt toward his wife and little son, Rodney learned and followed self-help practices to help him get on top of his urge to kill. Today, he is a successful businessman. But his book, Contract Killer, is a wake-up call. Too many Rodneys are out there, being psychologically abused by their parents or caregivers, and too many of them follow through on their urge to kill: Jeffrey Dahmer, The Boston Strangler, Charles Manson, just to name a few. Readers will find the facts and figures Timms cites at the end of his story of great interest, especially this one: 50% of serial killers suffered psychological abuse as children. What does that tell us? And, more importantly, will those who need to read Contract Killer do so? It should be required reading for parents, educators and doctors. Recommended reading.