Books & Reviews 📚

Book #60: Born Evil: A True Story of Cannibalism and Serial Murder

Image result for hayden clark serial killer


Homeless and living in his truck, forty-year-old Hadden Clark often drew stares in Bethesda, Maryland. He also slept with a teddy bear, and dressed as a woman, strolling through town, carried carving knives, a straight razor, and a gun in his truck. When the reclusive loner was arrested in 1992 for the stabbing murder of a beautiful young woman, no one was surprised. It was after his incarceration that the surprises came, popping up like half-buried corpses in a heavy rain.


While serving a seventy-year sentence, Hadden confessed to having a split personality, dominated by a psychotic mother and daughter who were vying for attention. He also admitted to murdering at least a dozen more women – the ones he could remember – cannibalizing them, using their leftover body parts as fishing bait, and burying their remains everywhere from a local cemetery to a sand dune on Cape Cod. Authorities didn’t believe him – until Hadden took them on a personal four-state tour.


Separated by a thick glass wall, and under the most stringent security precautions, author Adrian Havill sat face-to-face with a murderer as he participated in several in-person interviews with Hadden Clark, and learned what made this monster kill again and again…

Author: Adrian Havill
Publisher: St. Martin’s True Crime (December 9, 2001)
Chapters: 16 + Epilogue
Pages: 273

The very worst kind of killers can come from the very best of families. Mothers and fathers can go bad, despite their illustrious ancestors, and spawn demon seeds that they unknowingly nurture into depraved adults. 

Mr. Hadden Clarke. Crossdressing cannibal?

Image result for hadden clark drawings

The author set out to tell the story of Hadden Clark, but I felt cheated. The author talked at length about Hadden’s childhood and family which was acceptable up to a certain point because you get a feel of where Clark came from, but going into details about family members and other people threw the story off. I read the cover and I thought it was going to be an intense story because of Hadden’s so-call cannibalism, but after reading, I didn’t even get that feeling. So he drank some blood, but it wasn’t even human’s. However, his brother Brad cannibalized his victim and if the author was looking for Hannibal Lector’s brother, then he should have written the book about Brad.

At one point, I thought I was reading fiction. True crimes stories have always fascinated me to the point where I wanted to be a lawyer one time. I still love the law and I keep up with fascinating cases, but it just was not to be.

Hadden was relentlessly teased by his own parents. They called him ‘retard’. He suffered from hemochromatosis and cerebral palsy. It didn’t stop him from attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He was in the Navy. Just when you thought the poor boy could have some sense of normalcy, something disrupts his life.

At one point, the author spends like ten or so pages going back and forth with Hadden and the cops when he was arrested. I understand that the cops needed to do what they did in order to get Hadden to confess to the crimes, but they were crude, nasty and annoying. And what did Hadden say every time they pleaded with him to confess? ‘I want my lawyer’. Any idiot could see he had played them and he played them patiently well. The cops were simply embarrassed that the killer was under their noses for such a long time and one was there with a vendetta for the Dorr murder.

Cannibalism was not mentioned during court proceedings. So did he or did he not, Mr. Adrian Havill?

Yes, the man’s life was tragic and I feel bad about the unloved childhood he had to endure, but it doesn’t excuse what he did. Hadden cannot be rehabilitated at this point in his life, but he should have gotten treatment at a mental facility. He was not born evil, he was damaged because of the mistreatment he endured from his parents and brothers. This life is wicked.

Hadden is currently serving a 30-year sentence and he draws in his spare time.

Image result for hadden clark drawings

Image result for hadden clark drawings



> “A lot of people close to my mom, well, they only saw the good side. When you don’t live with a person, you don’t see the other side.” Hadden (Page 58)

“Why is there evil? It’s not such an easy question to answer. But the fact remains, that we as human beings are imperfect. We hurt and we destroy and all because we are free to do as we please. There is an evil in every one of us, which is exactly why we truly need God. If we were perfect we would be gods ourselves, and life would be irrelevant.” Laura Houghteling (Page 135)

> “A few things I’ve done have been very bad, and maybe if I got the proper care or people hadn’t abused me, I might not have done what I have done.” (Page 230)

^ Salzman was acting as a lawyer should; he was sworn to defend his client to the best of his ability. He knew Hadden was a convicted murderer. He knew of his other crimes. But he wasn’t about to just go through the motions. What he really believed about Hadden would remain his secret. Today he was to be his advocate, and it was his duty to provide him with the strongest defense possible.

It irks me to no end that a lawyer would defend a guilty killer. Guilty killers with STRONG evidence linking/pointing to them shouldn’t get lawyers, but hey, it’s the law.




Image result for gif michael jackson reading

Burn by James Patterson

11 thoughts on “Book #60: Born Evil: A True Story of Cannibalism and Serial Murder”

  1. Shew so many emotions about this. I had a crappy childhood but I’ll stop there as not to be any more judgmental. Was I correct in reading, his brother killed someone too? I agree with the lawyer thing. I would be so fearful that I would get them set free and they would kill more people, and I’d feel responsible. Great review, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, his brother also killed someone. I know lawyers have to do their job, but sometimes I wonder, how can some of them live with themselves. Thank you as always, Margaret. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your review. There is so much confusing or missing information in this book and 99% of online info about the Clarks seem based on this book. I grew up in Bucks County, PA where the Clark family lived for 10 years, yet the book barely mentions this in a clear way. I have been investigating some local 1970s strange stabbings and mutilations and it is not a stretch to say either of the brothers commited these crimes. I will be blogging about my cases soon — true crime journal. One case, the victim was eviscerated with some organs removed, including the heart. Law enforcement has never revealed which other organs were removed and they were not with the body or ever recovered. Which makes me think ” were they just the edible bits?” Thanks for your review.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was all over the place! The book was written in such a haste that sometimes I wanted to chuck it across the room. Ooh, nice! I’ll definitely pop in for a visit on your blog when I get the time so I can read and enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did I tell you that I emailed the author when I bought the book (but hadn’t read it yet). I told him I was tracking some gruesome cold cases in my hometown (Bucks County, Pa) where the Clarks went to high school and wanted to know if he had further info about their time here. He wrote me back a two word message: “Not interested.” Yikes!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He should’ve taken up on your offer because his book needed all the help it could’ve gotten.


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