Shot in the Heart


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The brother of Gary Gilmore, the infamous murderer immortalized in Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, tells the stunning story of their wildly dysfunctional family--a family destroyed by a multigenerational history of child abuse, alcoholism, crime, adultery, and murder. "Impossible to put down".--John Schulian, L.A. Times. Photos.

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Sep 27, 2012

Heart Song

The younger brother of executed Utah multiple murderer Gary Gilmore (see Norman Mailer's THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG) tells the family story from the inside, beautifully and poignantly. Suggest reading Mailer's much longer work for details, this one for close-to-the-bone emotion.

Louie R

Apr 26, 2012

Great read!

Well written bio on an incredibly dysfuctional family. Easy to see how Gilmore grew up to become the abnormal, impaired person he became. A must read for people who don't understand how dangerous & demented people are created by aberrant parents. Made me want to start contributing more finacial support to mental health programs.


Dec 13, 2009

I do not understand?

As much as I believe in the prospective that one must pay for their actions, it seems extremely hypocritical for a person to say in one breath that they do not feel sorry for a person who has been given the death penalty. While I have a neutral view on the death penalty, one has to think about the message that they are sending out by saying that they do not care that a person killed--even for doing horrible things. Why? Because it seems to place that person who is judging in the same beastly category. The Gilmore family's story is a horrible one but how dare we as humans judge anyone, or for that matter say that Mikal Gilmore was trying to get people to feel sorry for this murdering brother. Because his brother murdered does not stop him from loving his brother. Do you think that he would have wanted that for his brother? No. I am sure that he has had to deal with a lot by still being there for his brother in jail. Would you simply turn your back on someone that you loved because they did things that they shouldn't have. I do not think that most of us would, and if a person could do that there is much to be said about them.
We should all feel sorry for the entire family because they were all very emotionally disturbed. People do not simply wake up emotionally disturbed, there are things that contribute. People are also very different in the way that they respond to abuse. We must learn to be more compassionate and humane, because when we say things like some of the stuff outlined in many of the reviews, many of us could use some assistance in humility, because one can never predict future behaviors of family, friends, or even one's own inner demons.


Apr 3, 2007

Great read

An excellent book. If you have read Executioner's Song you will enjoy reading this side of Gary Gilmore as well.


Apr 1, 2007


I loved this book and also found it incredibly informative and compulsively readable, it first appeared as an article in Granta magazine in the issue titled "FAMILY they @#$% you up," (explative deleted) I found the original article to be better than the book and better than the expanded article that later appeared in ROLLING STONE, it was also made into a well acted made for HBO movie. The book and article are both filled with the violent history of the early Mormon Church as well as "The Bloody Sons of Dan," a Mormon secret police type group that backs up threats with real violence and how the Mormons were forced into violent defense of there lifestyle and spiritual path after being run out of town and continually pushed west before settling in Utah, it also details the violent family life that Gilmore survived and the idol worship Gary was involved in with his criminal older brothers, all without setting up a scenario that makes you pity the murderer or his brother (the author.)
As I said this book is compelling and fascinating and reads better than most popular fiction (this being a true story) that has come out in the last ten years, Go out and find the Granta article first and then read the book, the article will leave you thirsting for more info on the life of a sad kid that ended up famous only for senseless murders rather than
his intellect or talent as a realistic artist. A sociopath that ended up on the front page instead of being reformed or institutionalized after a lifetime of civil servants overlooked this time-bomb Gary Gilmore. It seemed that at any point in his lifetime of jail and hospitals someone should of realized this man was a loaded pistol just waiting to go off.

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