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Love talking about true crime? Love reading quality books? Well, you're going to want to start reading along with Oxygen Book Club, which highlights books in the true crime sphere each month and features exclusive interviews, guided discussions, and more.
In June, Oxygen Book Club unveiled its first pick: "Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York" by Elon Green which dives into the story of the "Last Call Killer", a serial murderer who targeted gay men in New York in the 1990s. Green not only digs into the eventual capture of murderer Richard Rogers, but also more crucially paints a full picture of his four victims. That focus on the victims rather than the killer made the book stand out -- and cemented it as the perfect pick for an Oxygen Book Club read!
So, once you've finished reading the book yourself, consider examining these discussion questions with your friends:
1. What was something you searched online while reading the book because you wanted to know more or look a detail up?
2. Has anyone watched a documentary on the case? If yes, how was the book different? If not, what would you like to see in a documentary on the case?
3. Officials have not definitively identified a primary crime scene, according to the book. What are your theories?
4. Anthony Marrero was a sex worker when he was murdered. Another New York City serial killer, Joel Rifkin, also specifically targeted sex workers. What are possible ways -- whether it be through laws, social changes, or so on -- to help protect this vulnerable population?
5. What moments, scenes, or quotes from the book stuck out to you the most?
6. The book focuses much more on the victims than the identity of the killer, which is rare in true crime media. How did this impact your experience with the book?
7. What did you think of Rogers' eventual convictions and sentencing? Was it fair?
8. The case, due to where bodies were found, crosses into different jurisdictions. Although more comprehensive technology and databases exist today, what are some techniques or ways you think could help authorities notice cases are possibly connected?
9. Have you heard of Fred Spencer’s death in connection to Rogers before the book?
10. Rick Unterberg—the piano player—passed away during the pandemic, but his memory of Townhouse, the time in New York amid the AIDS epidemic, and who he met while working at the bar is described in great detail. He says quote: “I sort of equate it to 9/11. It’s so long in the past that it’s now in the history books. And this new generation wasn’t here for it.” What are ways to keep the stories of the victims from being forgotten in history?
And if you have more thoughts let us know! Use the hashtag #oxygenbookclub to keep the discussion going on social media.
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