Review: Women Behaving Badly by John Stark Bellamy II


Title: Women Behaving Badly: True Tales of Cleveland’s Most Ferocious Female Killers

Author: John Stark Bellamy II

Publisher: Gray & Company

Genre: True Crime

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was born and bred in Cleveland and my mother was always a big fan of Cleveland history, both the mainstream and the weird. I think I received whatever gene makes you have similar reading tastes to your parent. Or I was just dragged to enough culturally relevant sights in Cleveland to have caught an interest as well.  Bellamy is one of the most prolific local writers of Cleveland history.  I discovered his books in college.  Focusing on true crime and disasters, his books and their great titles like The Maniac In The Bushes were great bus entertainment my freshman and sophomore years, when I didn’t have a car and would go home ever so often. I discovered they were also handy for either attracting other Cleveland history buffs or making me look like the weirdo on the bus, so other weirdos didn’t want to talk to me.

Women Behaving Badly is Bellamy’s latest anthology of Cleveland crime.  As the title suggests it focuses on women who committed murder. About halfway through, this book gave me a serious case of deja vu. At first I thought I had just heard some of these stories growing up but I soon discovered that many of the stories in this anthology had been culled from other Bellamy anthologies.  I found this disappointing.  Has Bellamy told all the stories of murder and mayhem that Cleveland has to offer? Maybe, maybe not.  I still enjoyed Bellamy’s storytelling. These stories still made me want to explore the city I live in to find the areas mentioned.  I discovered I used to live very close to the house where Eva Kaber had her husband killed. I don’t know why this stuff interests me except I think the good, bad and the weird make up the complete story of an city.  Overall, I think it might be time I move on to another storyteller, see if they have any fresh stories to tell. about the city I call home.


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