4 Stars · Book Review

Reenactment of a Killer and Serial Rapist Cold-Eyed Mark Shirley By Helen Stockford


Reenactment of a Killer and Serial Rapist Cold-Eyed Mark Shirley

By: Helen Stockford

Published: 4 November 2016

Genre: Biography, True Crime

Rating: 4 Stars

About the Book:

This is the true story of Helen Stockford.

In 1987, Mark Shirley was convicted of and jailed for the ritualized murder of sixty-seven-year-old widow Mary Wainwright. After serving many years in prison, he was released on March 20, 2009. He then broke into the home of thirty-nine-year-old Helen Stockford, where he attempted to recreate the crime perpetrated on Wainwright twenty-two years before.

In Reenactment of a Killer and Serial Rapist, Stockford narrates the true story of her battle against evil. She tells how she was sexually brutalized in her own home by Shirley. For more than five hours, she struggled for survival, and despite the cruelty she endured, she held on to hope that she would live.

After surviving this horrific attack, Stockford kept the incident secret for several days until she broke down and reported it to the police. After nine long months of fear, Shirley was found guilty of six charges at the Bristol Crown Court and was given six life sentences with a nine-year tariff. In this memoir, Stockford shares how she has become a voice for numerous victims in the United Kingdom.


I want to start out that it took me awhile to decided to do this book review. With my own path as a survivor I was a bit afraid of flash backs and other things happening. It has happened with other books I have been asked to read.

I feel horrible giving the book a 4 star rating. This is about a woman’s life, and I do not take that lightly. I have to put on another hat all together when it comes to reviewing the book. I cannot allow my life experiences come into play right now, or my emotions. With that being sad I would like to get the horrible part done first then we can get to the better part of the review.

The reason I had to take a star off this book is simply all the spelling mistakes and the how she would misuse the tenses of some words in the book. I took some wordings to be different since she is from the United Kingdom and I from America, but there is something to be said when you do not no the difference between their and there and which one to use. The other one was no and know. She could have used a good editor, whatever editor she did have done her a disservice for not picking up on the mistakes that were kept in the book. I understand that they wanted to keep it raw and keep it real, but you can still do that even fixing those things.

Ok, so I was the big bad person who just gave a bad part of the review. The rest of the book, once you look past those mistakes is actually very interesting. This book is not for the weak at heart. I cannot recommend this book to everyone and anyone. The reason for this is because there are going to be some people who cannot handle the subject matter within the book. She holds no punches within the book.

We see a raw look into her life before and after the crime happens. How their justice system works. Or in her case doesn’t work. I have to say, that I’m pretty jealous of their justice system. All that they do for their victims over there is awesome. They don’t do half of that for us here. Or at least they didn’t for me during my time. I’m jealous that the victims even get to appeal a sentence decision if they do not like the sentence!

My heart goes out Mrs. Stockford  and her family, I hope that her healing continues and that her local government helps her more than they are do. I hope that Mr. Shirley never gets out of prison because he does not deserve anymore time to prove that he is worthy of it. I also hope and pray that more victims/survivors come out and be brave and show Mr. Shirley that he no longer has the power over them and give themselves the justice they deserve.

This was, I can’t say great because in the context of what is in it was not, but it was in you got to see Mrs. Stockford go from victim to survivor. I hope that she has the opportunity to read this. I hope she realizes she is no longer a victim of Mr. Shirley that she is a survivor!


****I was given a copy of this book for my honest review****



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