Posts Tagged ‘serial killer’

Confessions of a Criminal Kind

Posted: December 10, 2019 in Blog
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I’m not sure when it began, but I’ve always held a fascination with serial killers and to a lesser extent, the True Crime genre. I recall as a young child being more afraid of someone breaking into our house with ill intent as opposed to monsters lurking under the bed or in the closet. As I got older and learned more of these heinous things going on in the world, they drew me in like a dark magnet. It bothered me that people behaved this way. It haunted me that I might become a victim of such. But instead of shutting it behind locked doors, I dove in.

I used to hunt books voraciously. My consumption has not necessarily decreased so much as the method for acquiring books has changed. I rarely go to the brick & mortar book store anymore, but back in the late eighties and early nineties, there was no other choice. I enjoyed it, and I would often browse the shelves, looking over books, reading their synopses. I might spend a good deal of time at this quasi-investigation even if I had already made my choice of what next to buy.

Zodiac Cover

I recall seeing the cover of Zodiac by Robert Graysmith. It felt like a beacon, like I was a moth involuntarily drawn to this light. I thumbed through it, noting the pictures, and it scared me. I was actually worried about how I might digest this information, so I didn’t buy it. I did the same with books on John Wayne Gacy, Henry Lee Lucas, and Charles Manson. Instead, I continued reading “safer” books like those by Stephen King and Clive Barker.

Silence of the Lambs came out around that time, and the dam broke. It seemed the country was in the throes of a similar fascination. Maybe it had always been. I gave in and began my own journey with books on Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer (this was years before Ridgway was arrested). I eventually bought and read the Zodiac book. It was certainly chilling, but it didn’t drop me down some inescapable, dark well as I feared it might. I also got a hold of several encyclopedias of crime and serial killers, gaining limited insight into more and more that might lead to avenues of further delving.

Eventually technology gave us better access to lesser known fare like documentaries. I have always enjoyed them, and it pleased me when they began gaining more popularity. Now you can watch well done documentaries on all sorts of true crime. I’ve seen plenty. Some are clearly better than others, and some are chilling right to the bone. I watched Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and hearing Bundy’s voice felt like a haunting hypnotism. It didn’t even feel horrifying until some time later, and that made it even scarier to me.

Tedd Bundy Tapes

In addition to Silence of the Lambs, there have been plenty of fictional movies made about, and often inspired by, serial killers and true crime. I used to work at a video rental store when I was in college, and I can tell you, I watched just about all of them I could get my hands on. None were as good as Silence, but several were just as horrifying. Most were formulaic crap.

And now we have the amazing series on Netflix, Mindhunter. This is another one that is based on true events, and it shows how American law enforcement at the time began to deal with serial killers. It comes from the book of the experiences of John Douglas, one of the pioneers in criminal profiling and a consultant for Silence of the Lambs.


This dark interest has undoubtedly influenced some of my writing. As much as such criminal behavior scares and sickens me, it is, unfortunately an actual behavior. I’ve made myself go further and further into horrific explorations just to try to not pull punches, since reality doesn’t. I’m not entirely sure how much it has affected me as a writer, but it’s there. I like to think that exposing and facing it is how we eventually eradicate it. Maybe that’s naive, but I’m not sure any of us have a perfect crystal ball. Besides, I need to cling to some optimism in the face of such darkness.

Sleep well …

October is just zooming by. A lot is going on, and it can be difficult to stay focused, but let’s roll with the third week of IG Writers month and see what we get.

15: Fav. Scary Read – Okay, this is timely. It by Stephen King. I enjoy horror stories, but they rarely actually scare more. I usually find them to be darkly entertaining, but to experience real fear whilst reading one is uncommon. I have read a few stories recently by some independent authors that gave me some trepidation and fright. Thank you Carmilla Voiez and Jeffrey Kosh. The Exorcist also scared me, but It is my favorite. I love the novel, and I have read it several times.

16: Writer Foods/Fuel – Coffee. There is no specific food I associate with writing. In fact, I rarely eat while writing. There is always a drink on hand, though, and it is usually coffee.

17: Author Crush – I don’t really have one.  There are several authors I’d like to me, but no crushing is happening.

18: Page 13 of your WIP – I made a post about this on my Twitter. Feel free to check it out.

19: Book Dedication – Dance of the Butterfly is a tale that very nearly did not happen.  It took time to take  hold and even more time to truly blossom.  Were it not for the ceaseless help of a very dear, close friend, it would not have been done.  In a very real way, it parallels that relationship, taking from that story to add to its own.  For this, I deeply thank you, Jane.

20: Killed Darlings – I am not sure I like this one being here. A killed darling generally comes with a shock. If I say who has died in my books, then the shock is gone. If you have not yet read them, you would not be emotionally invested, anyway. Suffice it to say, there are some. Read to find out.

21: Plot-Twist – I love these. Both of my books have a few and the third will as well. I enjoy setting things up and having a few different twists and turns happen throughout. I also like to use red herrings, and one in my first book is layered with some subtle referencing. I have even followed patterns in my series, so that, in itself, becomes a clue.

There we are. I hope you have enjoyed this third week of IGWriters month. Please do visit my Amazon Author Page for my published works. I’d love to have you as a reader.


“There is sufficient lack of blood volume for what is expected in the human body,” she repeats.

He throws up his hands, scoffing, turning away. The other gives her something of a sympathetic look. She is not needful of either reaction.

“Detective Pasztor, I am the coroner. You are the detective,” she reminds him.

“I know that,” he snaps, turning, glaring at her, “What did the killer do with it? Are we dealing with a vampire?”

The savage serial killer continues to plague the City. Is it some sort of human-animal hybrid or worse? The carnage left behind is unsettling, confusing. The local police have no idea how deeply this goes.

One of the core elements to the plot in my first novel, Dance of the Butterfly, is something of a murder mystery.  It is not handled in the traditional sense, mainly because it is only one of the myriad facets making up the overall “secret” within the story.  It was very enjoyable exploring this vein of the tale, especially leaving out all the little bread crumbs for readers.

I humbly invite you to see for yourself in Dance of the Butterfly, the first novel in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers.

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions


The City in which the majority of my first book takes place ends up becoming quite important.  It is an urban center with a swarm of energies, a nexus, and thus it attracts much unto itself, good or bad.  Of the myriad things happening, one of them is the presence of serial killer, a savage murderer displaying a deep degree of barbarity.  The identity and purpose of this criminal is central to the goings-on within the story.

“The thorax has been rent quite savagely, initially torn open by three large wounds, ranging from ten to thirteen inches, the condition of the flesh indicating this was not a bladed weapon, nor were they done by the same hand.”

“What?” Mahler asks, looking up from viewing the printed report which lies bound in a heavy stock covering.

“It wasn’t a knife or dagger or similar bladed weapon. I consulted an old friend of mine who ended up getting into veterinarian medicine, and she agrees that this looks like it was caused by claws.”

“Are you saying an animal did this?” Pasztor chimes in.

Does this have anything to do with the valuable book in the university’s secured collection? Does the young librarian Lilja have any clue as to what is really going on?

Find out in Dance of the Butterfly, the first book in my urban fantasy series –

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions