Without Remorse: The Story of the Won Who Kept Los Angeles’ Serial Killers Alive by Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist is a book which crawls into the minds of serial killers through the front door. In 1979, following the jailhouse suicide of Vernon Butts, an accomplice of vicious Freeway Killer William Bonin who raped and murdered young boys, psychologist in training Vonda Pelto was tasked with keeping the worst of the worst serial killers and hardened criminals alive and engaged while awaiting trial at Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail.
Her office was a converted cell, with Dutch doors always open, on the cell block with men like Bonin, Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi, Sunset Strip Slayer Douglas Clark, famed porn star John Holmes and other notorious criminals. Vonda was always available to talk with anyone and the stories and discussions she witnessed and participated in took a toll on her physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Vonda’s journey repeatedly dealing with different serial killers resulted in increased alcohol consumption, which in turn ushered in a promiscuous and dangerous lifestyle. She left after three years with her own sanity intact but damaged, essentially Vonda Pelto had changed. It might be akin to a combat soldier who survives but is never quite the same, with nightmares and sleeping with a revolver under the pillow.
For twenty years, every time Vonda sat down to write this book the nightmares returned, and she would have to stop. Finally, she slayed the demons and finished Without Remorse.
“This is a one-of-a-kind book by a one-of-a-kind author. Vonda L. Pelto has written a disturbingly factual account of her years as a unique psychologist in L.A. County’s Men’s Jail. She met with the area’s worst serial killers to prevent them from wreaking havoc on themselves.” —Tedd Thomey, Award winning columnist for The Independent Press Telegram, author of eighteen books and a successful Broadway play.
“In unflinching language, Vonda Pelto escorts us into the claustrophobic bedlam of a giant jailhouse and lays bare the behavior of notorious serial killers. Pulling no punches, she allows us a voyeuristic look into that will leave you reeling.” —Don Lasseter, Author, Journalist
“Dr. Vonda Pelto’s brutally honest book, Without Remorse, takes the reader on a forbidden tour behind the gates of the men’s jail, a haunted house where Serial Killers live. But most powerful is the juxtaposition of Pelto’s personal and professional life, with its conflicts between men and women, sex and violence, and intimidation and vulnerability.” —Carole Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H., Forensic Psychiatrist/ Expert Witness
“Vonda Pelto scares me. This book is way too much fun. I hear she’s the favorite pin-up on Death Row. Pour yourself a cup of warm arsenic and settle in for the ride.” —Brian Alan Lane, Bestselling Author, Cat & Mouse: Mind Games with a Serial Killer
“Without Remorse is an incredible journey that only Vonda could undertake, with her eyes wide open and a determination that even the most horrendous killers of society couldn’t break. This is a brilliant book!!!—Jeff Hathcock, Film Producer
“I sentenced nine men to death row from the bench. Dr. Pelto had to deal with sadistic killers who had no remorse for their actions. She does an incredible job of revealing the depths of the soul of these killers. One hell-of-a-book! So well written that you feel as though you actually knew these killers. I felt like I was right there with Vonda I loved the book. Without Remorse shows a side to these killers that the general public never sees. It puts you right there in the jail with them. What this great book reveals is the two sides of these men, the dark side and the human side. How could these killers be so charming and yet, be able to murder and mutilate a follow human being?” —Judge Donald McCartin, Retired Superior Court Judge “The Hanging Judge of Orange County, CA.”
Vonda Pelto Interviewed by John & Ken on KFI Radio Los Angeles About Bill Bonin