Archive for the ‘ Books ’ Category

Families of killers, forgotten victims.

“Moore is a part of an exclusive group, those who share blood relations with someone perceived by the public as a monster: a mass murderer. With that unenviable tie can come isolation, guilt, grief, fear, disbelief, even post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to a very public stigma.
In the aftermath of a massacre, questions and criticism are frequently directed at the parents, spouses and children of the accused. The public sometimes sympathizes, often criticizes and even goes so far as to blame family members for the actions of their kin.”

 

Families of killers and what they go through.

So often forgotten victims.

Susan Klebold said in an essay:

“For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused. I cannot look at a child in a grocery store or on the street without thinking about how my son’s schoolmates spent the last moments of their lives. Dylan changed everything I believed about my self, about God, about family, and about love. I think I believed that if I loved someone as deeply as I loved him, I would know if he were in trouble. My maternal instincts would keep him safe. But I didn’t know. And my instincts weren’t enough. And the fact that I never saw tragedy coming is still almost inconceivable to me. I only hope my story can help those who can still be helped. I hope that, by reading of my experience, someone will see what I missed.”

 

I can not even begin to imagine that, how she feels. It has to horrible.

 

Melissa worried that she might also be a killer, a bad person or have some kind of evil inside of her due to her father being a serial killer.

““When I was growing up, my dad had put so much pride in my last name, and he gave me lessons on how to be a good citizen,” Moore said. “My name was now known for these horrific murders, and it started to make me wonder if I was like my dad.”
Brown says it’s normal for the family members of killers to doubt their own moral integrity. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?”

 

Imagine for 1 second growing up with that fear inside of you. I can’t. It speaks of her courage, that she went on.

 

There is also often a survivor’s guilt for the families of the killers.

“Mildred Muhammad’s ex-husband and father of her three children, John Allen Muhammad, terrorized the Washington, D.C., area with random sniper attacks in 2002.
Soon, there were reports of shootings throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Once John Muhammad was captured, there were whispers that he had done it to get his ex-wife’s attention.
At first, Mildred Muhammad thought that if she’d only stayed with him, he would have killed her instead of killing 10 innocent strangers and wounding three. The guilt and disbelief were overwhelming.

It’s difficult to grasp the reality that a family member could cause nationwide sorrow, said forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison, who has profiled dozens of killers. Also hard is the realization that it’s not the family’s fault.
Morrison said it’s imperative to get the individual to talk about their experience — their feelings, their doubt, their anger, their distress — and try to put that in a perspective that finally leads them to say, “It’s not my fault.”

 

This poor woman blamed herself for not being killed.

 

I can hope that there will not be anymore murders, but I don’t think that is a hope I can really expect to come to being.

So, I hope that in the face of a tragic event people can remember that the killer is alone in their blame.

The families are victims as well, even if that is hard to process.

Shattered Silence from Melissa Moore here.

Susan Klebold’s essay here.

Far From the Tree here.

Another excellent book on this subject, We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is a fictional account but it still has a lot of insight into this subject.

FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports

By Sarah LeTrent

(CNN) — “Missy, you need to change your last name,” the shackled man in the orange prison jumpsuit said into the receiver, staring blankly at his 15-year-old daughter’s tear-stained face.

“That’s when I knew that these things were true,” recalls Melissa Moore, now 33.

Until that day, the man behind the glass partition, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was simply her father; the one who used to tuck her into bed at night “like a burrito.”

Now, in her eyes, he was also the convicted serial killer plucked straight from the newspaper headlines who was serving multiple life sentences; the one who had bloodied her family name forever.

Jesperson, the so-called “Happy Face Killer,” murdered eight women when he was a long-haul truck driver in the early 1990s. Jesperson earned his nickname by sending confessions to journalists and police departments around the country to gain notoriety, signing the admissions…

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Zodiac Killer Is Dead Now?

It happened so fast! The news that he was alive JUST came out and now it has been announced that he is dead….

*insert eye roll here*

The man fingered as the Zodiac serial killer by a retired California Highway Patrol officer in a new book has died – leaving the mystery as alive as ever, and adding yet another figure to the long list of deceased men associated with the case.

The man was a 92-year-old former real estate salesman who died in Fairfield in February. The Chronicle is not naming him because law enforcement agencies do not consider him a suspect, even if former CHP Officer Lyndon Lafferty does.

I feel so cheated! Lied to! 🙂

Lafferty, 79, wrote in his new book, “The Zodiac Killer Cover-Up: AKA the Silenced Badge,” that he first encountered the man in 1970 while on patrol in Vallejo. He gave the man the pseudonym George Russell Tucker in his book, and went to check up on him at his home four months ago – spotting him in the driveway – before sending his book to press.

Sounds like Lafferty was stalking the guy. LOL

Lafferty wrote that he focused on “Tucker” while working with the late Solano County sheriff’s Sgt. Leslie Lundblad. He wrote that the man’s wife had been having an affair with a judge and that the affair had led officials to halt investigations of the man in the Zodiac killings.

So, because the guy’s wife was sleeping with a judge they just let the Zodiac Killer go? Yeah, makes perfect sense to me. I don’t doubt the story at all.

*insert head shake and face palm*

The judge and the wife are long dead, Lafferty said.

Of course all the other people who knew about this just keep on lying even though almost all the key people are dead. I am getting a headache and I did not even read the whole book! Not looking like I am going to either, even if it is free!

Lafferty learned this week that “Tucker” is also dead – as of Feb. 2. A Solano County sheriff’s investigator said he died of a heart attack.

“I can’t say my suspect is absolutely the Zodiac, but I am 98 percent sure we have the right man, and he’s been our suspect for 40 years,” Lafferty said. He researched his book with seven fellow sleuths, including other law enforcement officials who investigated the case at its height.

The man he named is in the Napa County sheriff’s database of people of interest in the case, but was not considered a serious enough candidate to list as a suspect, said Napa police Detective Todd Schulman, who is on a cold case task force in the county.

“We get two or three tips a week,” he said.

Even that cop sounds as if he is saying “Yeah, we put this right up there with all the other Nopes we get.

Solano County and San Francisco investigators also said the man is not a suspect.

In the Fairfield neighborhood where the now-deceased man’s tidy blue house sits empty, residents said they couldn’t imagine their affable neighbor as a killer.

Nora Del Ross, who lives across the street, said the man moved in the same week she did about 40 years ago. She said he was kind to her children and brought gifts to newcomers.

“No, there’s no way he would have been the Zodiac killer – not the way I knew him,” she said. “I’m blown away. It’s utterly ridiculous.”

“He never seemed like a psycho killer or anything like that,” said Ana Braselton, 25, who moved in next door to the man two years ago. “He was a good man, at least from the outside.”

To be fair I can not take the neighbor’s words as proof for or against. It is all to often that a serial killer is described as a nice, quiet guy, family man, hard worker, good husband / father and ‘great guy’. I still give Lafferty NO credence. I do not think his theory is valid at all.

“Tucker” joins the pantheon of people named in the case over the years by amateur sleuths. New names still pop up every week on Internet forums, ranging from people’s uncles and fathers to some whom authorities have actually investigated.

Foremost among them in terms of police interest is Arthur Leigh Allen, a convicted child molester from Vallejo who died in 1992 at age 58. He was named as the Zodiac in former Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith’s 2002 book, “Zodiac Unmasked.”

There was a DNA test that disqualified him as a suspect. Zodiac unmasked has quite a few errors and stretches of ‘truth’ in it.

Kevin Fagan and Demian Bulwa are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers.

Read more:

 

New Book Alleges Zodiac Killer Still Alive

and living in California

A new book claims that the infamous Zodiac killer is still alive and living in Northern California.

“The Zodiac Killer Cover Up” was written by a former California Highway Patrol officer, Lyndon Lafferty, and adds another theory to the much-discussed serial killer case in Northern California.

The  Zodiac killer is blamed for at least five slayings in 1968 and 1969. There was never an arrest in the case.

Three killings occurred in Vallejo. Teenagers David Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen were shot to death in December 1968. Darlene Ferrin, 22, was shot and killed seven months later at Blue Rock Springs Golf Club. Her companion, Michael Mageau, 19, survived.

In “The Zodiac Killer Cover Up,” Lafferty claims the killer is now a 91-year-old man living in Solano County. The book uses aliases and does not identify the alleged killer by name. Lafferty claims he and other lawmen investigated the suspect in the early 1970s but were stymied by “power brokers” in Solano County.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the book has stirred new debate among those who have followed the famous killings.

The San Francisco police formally closed the case in 2004. The Zodiac killer got his name by taunting newspapers and the police with letters and puzzles.

Zodiackiller.com is a great place for information if you are interested. It is updated often and has information, files, clippings and more that you can not find elsewhere on the net. Also, note that LAPD did not actually ‘close’ the case, they just are placing it as inactive. If there is a new lead I am sure they’d jump on it. Even the article linked above states that it is inactive.

“The case is being placed inactive,” said San Francisco Police Lt. John Hennessey, head of the department’s homicide unit.

“Given the pressure of our existing caseload and the amount of cases that remain open at this time, we need to be most efficient at using our resources,” he said.

Link again.

“The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them,” he wrote in a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I enjoy needling the blue pigs,” he wrote. Detectives thought they might have had a break two years ago, when a partial DNA profile was taken from envelopes containing the letters.

The genetic evidence seemed to clear the only suspect ever named by police — Arthur Leigh Allen of Vallejo. Allen, who was never charged, died of a heart attack in 1992.

— Shelby Grad

There was a link up there that was supposed to go the book but it went to an “oops” page. This is the web site for the book. 

As the title suggests it is a conspiracy type book. I don’t think I am going to buy it but if I can down load it for free maybe. I have a hard time with most conspiracy theories, especially with this case. Too many people would have to be quiet for too long. They would risk their freedom, other people’s lives and on the other side there was reward money and other monies to be had.

Besides the Zodiackiller.com site you can also read the FBI files on the Zodiac if you want. Lots of real information on those 2 sites. Plus it is always ‘fun’ to look at the actual FBI files!

Dahmer’s Killer Looking for a Book Deal

According to TMZ a representive for Christopher Scarver has been contacting book publishers. He wants to write a tell all book! ?

Christopher Scarver

 Christopher Scarver is the prisoner that beat Jeff Dahmer and Jesse Anderson (killed his wife) to death in 1994 using a broom in the bathroom / locker room. Scarver was in prison at the time for killing a co-worker.

From Wikipedia:

On June 1, 1990, he (Scarver) went to the training program office, expecting to find only the site manager John P. Feyen there, but saw Steve Lohman, the supervisor who had replaced Patts. Scarver ordered Lohman at gunpoint to give him his money. When he received only $15, Scarver shot Lohman in the head. At the same time, he demanded money from Feyen. According to authorities, Scarver said, “Do you think I’m kidding, Mr. Hitler? I need more money.” Scarver shot Lohman twice more before Feyen was able to run away after giving a check for $3,000 to Scarver.

Scarver says that in his book he will:

  • explain why he beat Jeffrey Dahmer to death.
  • share information on all of the “sick, sadistic mind games and practical jokes” Dahmer supposedly played on prison officials and other prisoners during his time in prison.
  • will devulge Jeffery’s last words as he was beaten to death.
  • also wants to share all of the life lessons that he has learned.

This is the first that I have heard of Jeffrey Dahmer playing games or being sadistic after being arrested. I even did a bit of research to see if there were any other reports of that and I found nothing. Jeffrey did get baptised and supposedly became a good christian in prison so maybe that is what Scarver is talking about. (Scarver told officials that basically he killed them because he was on a mission from God. It would fit in with his insanity plea.)

Most people forget that Scarver beat two men to death that day. Also, very few remember (know) why he was in there in first place.

As to why he beat them to death he wanted to be famous is my guess. Here is what he originally told prison guards.

When he returned to his cell early, an officer asked him why he was not still working. He explained “God told me to do it. You will hear about it on the 6 o’clock news. Jesse Anderson and Jeffrey Dahmer are dead.”  -Wikipedia

Investigators at the prison said Scarver told them that, in killing Dahmer and Anderson, he “was simply submitting to the will of God and that he was simply a tool used by the spirit,” they wrote.

 

According to the New York Times, Scarver said the voices — a family, including a woman, a man, a little girl and a boy — had told him “everything was going to be all right and it was meant to happen like this.”

Read more

Personally I think he was trying for a psycho defense with all the fame and glory that comes from killing a serial killer.
 
Some people have tried to make Scarver into some kind of hero for killing Dahmer, Scarver is far from a ‘good guy’ or a hero of any sort.  I hope that this book does somehow glorify him.
 
 
 
 

What would you do?

Great-great-grandson of serial killer to speak, sign books

Jeff Mudgett is the great-great-grandson of serial killer Herman Mudgett.

Staff Report

Jeff Mudgett, the great-great-grandson of serial killer Herman Mudgett (a.k.a. Dr. H.H. Holmes) will give a short talk and sign books from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, March 31, in the Visitor Center of Rockford’s Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum.

Mudgett’s great-great-grandfather was made famous by Erik Larson’s book The Devil In The White City. Herman Mudgett created the famous “murder castle” during the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 and may have killed more than 200 victims.

Jeff Mudgett discovered he was a direct descendant of the famous serial killer when he was 40 years old. His book, Bloodstains, is about his experience since the discovery of his family secret.

After the death of Jeff Mudgett’s grandfather, he discovered the diaries of the serial killer, Herman Mudgett. The diaries are quoted throughout Jeff’s book, Bloodstains.

According to the diaries, Jeff’s ancestor, Herman Mudgett, was in London during the “Jack the Ripper” murders. Jeff Mudgett sent writing samples and compared them to the famous “Ripper” letters, and they are a 97.75 percent match. Jeff Mudgett was recently on WGN to share the discovery.

The author will give a short talk and then be available to sign books in the museum library. Other true crime and paranormal authors will also be on site. The books will be sold individually by the authors. Ticket price to attend is $5.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum is at 411 Kent St., Rockford, and can be reached at (815) 964-2424 or online at www.tinkercottage.com.

How creepy would that be? To find out at 40 years old your great grandaddy was HH Holmes. ??? HH built a castle complete with:

soundproof sleeping chambers with peepholes, asbestos-padded walls, gas pipes, sliding walls, and vents that Holmes controlled from another room. Many of the rooms had low ceilings and trapdoors in the floors, with ladders leading to smaller rooms below. The building had secret passages, false floors, rooms with torture equipment, and a specially equipped surgery. There were also greased chutes that emptied into a two-level cellar, in which Holmes had installed a large furnace. There was even an asbestos-lined chamber with gas pipes and evidence of something having been burned inside. It was believed that Holmes placed his chosen victims into the special chambers into which he then pumped lethal gas, controlled from his own bedroom, and then watched them react.

Crime Library

I don’t know what I would do.

I have not read this book but it is only $2.99 on amazon so I might.
If anyone else has read it please let me know what you think.

Are Parents to Blame

I read an article / review on the movie We Need to Talk About Kevin and it got me wondering. How much blame should society and does society place on the parents of monsters?

Eva  has been emotionally made empty. Her teen son Kevin went on a well-planned and executed high school killing rampage. Forced to still live in the community shattered by the massacre so she can visit Kevin in jail, she is a pariah.

The question of guilt – are the parents guilty when their children turn into serial killers? Should we blame them? Six months after the Columbine Massacre, polls showed 85 percent of Americans held the parents responsible for the shooters’ acts.

Just like Joyce Flint, Jeffrey Dahmer’s mother, Eva is condemned as a “Monster Maker”.

Eva leads a solitary life in a small run-down house. Like Joyce Flint after Dahmer’s arrest, no one will hire Eva. Finally she lands a job in a travel agency, but her co-workers refuse to even look at her. As Eva relives everything that happened, we go back through her horrifying ordeal to the beginning.

Eva was a free spirit travelling around the world in a hippie idealistic way. She married Franklin  and they moved into a New York City downtown loft. In a foreshadowing of what will come, having a child does not look to be a joyous event for Eva. We see her in the hospital room immediately after the birth. She is frozen. She is empty of feeling.

Eva cannot bond with her baby. He cries constantly. Eva can offer the baby no comfort. Kevin exhausts her with his crying.

“Mommy was happy before Kevin came along.”

Eva and Franklin move to a large suburban house with Kevin. Eva stays home trying to teach the toddler, who refuses to speak.

Kevin does not wear pants, only a diaper. He refuses to be toilet trained as he becomes older. He delights in making his mother change his feces-soiled diapers. He is cruel and verbally abusive to Eva and destroys her “room of her own” that she has lovingly decorated. In a fury, she pushes him, injuring his arm. At the hospital, Kevin lies for his mother. Now, whenever he wants something, he strokes his arm. He’s got Eva guilt-ridden and frightened.

Kevin forms a loving bond with his father to spite his mother.

Eva and Franklin need to talk about Kevin. But they never do.

Much more here 

The Original Book

I have said before that a serial / spree killer has many more victims than most realize. The ripple effect of these crimes affects so many, including the killer’s family.

Imagine being Ted Bundy’s mom for a minute. Or Dennis Rader’s kid or wife. How many times have they been asked how did they not know, how does it feel to have lived with a monster, what was he really like? Accusations, insensitive comments and the fact that you now have to live knowing that you loved a “monster”.

That seems to be what this book and movie are about. I admit I have not read the book (I am going to Kindle it soon though) and I have not seen the movie but I plan on doing both. Even without seeing them the questions stir.

Do we hold the families to blame? Should we? How much blame should be placed on the families?

I am very sympathetic to most of the families of the monsters. There are a few cases that I think the parents dropped the ball but when you boil it down to the bones it is the killer who is to blame for their own actions, no one else.

I have met many people who came from horrid families and upbringings that grow into wonderful adults. I have known abused children who grow up to help others in many ways. Somewhere these people make the choice to be positive, good people.

I believe that the killers make the choice to kill. No matter how they were raised they are the only ones that can stop themselves. The killers are the only ones that can start killing.

Even if Johnny the Homicidal Maniac had gotten a few more hugs and cookies while growing up he’d still have went on to be a killer.

In the case of teens I do look towards the parents a little bit more. Not so much to blame for the killing but to see how much could have been prevented.

In the Columbine Massacre Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were building bombs and stockpiling weapons in their parent’s homes. Other people had come to the parents with concerns and the two had been in some trouble before. The parents ignored red flags. The parents were not abusive but they obviously did not pay much attention to what their kids did.

Do I think that the massacre could have been stopped?

 

Well, I do wonder if the parents had looked for and found the stashed weapons, separated the boys and got them some serious mental health care could it have been prevented? Possibly. Then again, it might have only delayed the action to a later date.

I can not say that the parents are to blame for the actual killing. Those 2 seemed determined to kill and there may have been nothing anyone could do to fully prevent it. I will admit that I think both sets of parents sucked at being parents (provide things but that is really it) but I can not blame them for the massacre. I do point at them for not noticing the small arsenal which included homemade bombs.

I say that on Tuesday, April 20, 1999 the only ones planting bombs and shooting at people were Dylan and Eric. They are to blame for the deaths. No matter what it was ultimately their decision to go on a killing spree rather than doing something or anything else.

I think that in most cases the family of the killer is another victim. I think it is a shame when socitety adds to their pain by pointing fingers. I know that people just want to make sense of things, they want to understand how and Why the killings happened. They want to blame someone for the killing and pointing at a monster carries only so much satisfaction once the monster is caged.

What are your thoughts?

 

Serial Killer Writes Children’s Book.

Here’s one book to leave off your Christmas list this year: Amazon is reportedly selling a children’s book that was penned by convicted serial killer Charles Kembo.

The 372-page book, The Trinity of Superkidds Book One: Quest for Water, was released by Publish America on Jan. 20, 2010, a publish date that coincided with Kembo’s trial on four counts of first-degree murder, according to British Columbia publication The Province. The trial ended in June 2010, with the accused being found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

The sale of the children’s book has sparked new discussions about the business practices of the online marketplace behemoth. In the past, Amazon has been blasted for selling The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct along with other distasteful, if not illegal, books and videogames, including RapeLay, a video game centered on a male protagonist who rapes a mother and her two daughters.

The author of the book is listed as J. D. Bauer, a pseudonym used by convicted serial killer Kembo, according to the Province. The British Columbia publication cites an interview Kembo had with journalist Julie Burtinshaw, in which he allegedly admitted penning the book about three fun-loving teens in a post-apocalyptic world without water. Kembo allegedly told Burtinshaw the book sold 14,000 copies in the first two weeks and had been optioned for a movie by an American studio, the Province reported. The killer also allegedly told Burtinshaw that he prefers “to write in semi-darkness, alone in the nude.”

The book sells on Amazon.com, for $15.95, but whether it is a good read is up for debate. Reviews give the book only two stars. By comparison, Mein Kampf, also written by a murderer, rated three and a half stars. Regardless, it is unlikely Santa will be including this book on his rounds come Christmas morning.
Read more

So what are your thoughts? Should a convicted serial killer be allowed to write and publish books for children?  What do you think about the publishers and the places that sell the book? With a quick look I found it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Charles Kembo also had a Facebook page that is getting a lot of attention positive and negative.

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