Archive for the ‘ Serial Killer Non Fiction ’ Category

Peter Tobin Exposed in Book by Ex Wife

Cathy Wilson has written a book abut her life with serial killer Peter Tobin called Escape From Evil.

She was 16 when they met and 17 when they married. An excerpt has been released by The Sun and it looks like a horror movie come true.

I DON’T know if it was when Peter killed Daniel’s guinea pigs for nibbling the wallpaper that finally did it.

Or if it was the next time he body-checked me into the wall, or the time after that when he hit me across the dining room, then fell to his knees and begged forgiveness

All I know is that at some point I finally woke up.

I was depressed, I was bruised from his fists, I was lonely and, worst of all, I was scared to be in the same room as my own husband.

Following him into the bathroom, I said: “Peter, I’m not happy. I want a divorce.”

He smiled and nodded. Then his face changed. Without a word, he barged past me and ran across the landing to Daniel’s room.

He reappeared carrying our son. Holding a confused Daniel at arms’ length over the staircase, he said: “I’m only going to say this once. If you leave me, I will f***ing hunt you down and kill you. And then I’ll kill the kid.”

Screaming hysterically I said: “Okay, you win. I’ll stay. I promise.” He considered it for a second, nodded and swung Daniel over to me. Then he skipped downstairs as calmly as if he were being called for breakfast.

Everything got worse after that. I was under 24-hour surveillance. He confiscated my car and purse, so I couldn’t go out or do anything.

If he went out he locked every door and window and took my house keys, so I was a prisoner in my own home.

Daniel saw me thrown to the floor if Peter’s dinner was late, smacked across the mouth if I spoke out of turn and crushed under his weight against the wall if there was a single toy out of place.

One night I put Daniel to bed and did my usual thing of snuggling up next to him.

Usually I’d sleep through the night but this time I woke to hear voices downstairs, so I went to investigate. Peter was there with a slim, young blonde who he introduced as Lisa. I said: “What’s she doing here? It’s late.” Peter glared at me. “That’s none of your business. F*** off back to bed.”

I did as I was told, then heard the noises of Peter having sex — and a woman screaming.

A few nights later Lisa arrived before I’d put Daniel down. Peter told me to get rid of him and come back. When I came downstairs I froze in the doorway. They were already having sex. Peter saw me and said: “Come in and watch. You might learn something.”

She was squealing, begging him to stop, but he didn’t listen. I turned towards the stairs but Peter had other ideas. My gown and nightclothes were ripped off me and then it began. The more I cried and begged him to stop, the more he seemed to enjoy it. In the past Peter had always been quick to express his regrets, but a day or two after this latest attack I realized he hadn’t apologized.

Just 48 hours after raping me in my own lounge, it was as if he’d forgotten the whole episode.

Over the next weeks and months, there were several new faces in the house — sometimes Lisa, sometimes other girls my age or younger.

Sometimes I was forced to watch them, sometimes they were forced to watch me being subjected to Peter’s violent fantasies.

I began to plan my escape. I had my secret bag of 10ps, scrounged and found, and I had my plan. I just needed the opportunity.

Then one afternoon Peter told me: “I’m going to a car auction. I’ll be an hour and a half.”

And he forgot to lock the door. I flew round the house, grabbing clothes, toys, essentials — as much as I could stuff into a holdall.

Then I grabbed Daniel and ran as fast as I could to the bus stop. After a ride and a long walk we arrived at Glasgow’s coach station.

It was nine hours to London Victoria. Nine hours of staring out of the coach window, paranoid that every set of headlights overtaking us would be Peter’s van, dreading each pit stop in case he stepped on.

But Cathy’s escape succeeded, though Tobin soon contacted her via her grandparents in Portsmouth, Hants. Reluctantly she allowed him contact with his son — and he promptly abducted Daniel back to Bathgate. She flew north and had to agree to submit to Tobin’s perversions once more to lure him and Daniel back down south, where he set up home in Margate, Kent. Cathy continues:

At weekends Peter began to spend whole days with Daniel and me and when he offered to have him for sleepovers, I agreed. He even impressed me by making Daniel a sandpit in the garden.

Even so, it was a relief when Peter found a two-bedroom council flat in Leigh Park in Havant, Hants. He and I then split childcare duties and for a year it was fine.

Then he began phoning me in the middle of the night, claiming he was having a heart attack and had called an ambulance, and that I needed to collect Daniel.

The morning after the fourth time it happened, in 1993, I had a call from Havant police. Peter Tobin, they said, had lured two 14-year-old girls back to his flat, where he had plied them with cider and vodka then violently raped them.

I later learned they had knocked on his door and he had invited them in while they waited for a neighbour to return. He even suggested they could play with Daniel, which put them at ease. And so began 16 hours of torture.

Peter had beaten them, tied them up then turned on the gas and left them to die. He’d jumped in his blue Metro and driven away, just after handing my son over to me.

Fortunately, one of the girls had got free and called for help. Peter was found and jailed for 14 years.

He was freed in 2004, then in 2006 he was arrested for the murder of a young Polish girl called Angelika Kluk in Glasgow.

In November 2007 police found a dismembered body, this time under the sandpit in the garden of Peter’s old home in Margate. Yet again, he had used his son to put his victim at her ease.

DNA tests established the body was that of a young girl from Scotland, Vicky Hamilton, who had gone missing in the Bathgate area in February 1991.

Perhaps she normally wouldn’t have accepted a lift from a stranger but it was snowing and seeing the man’s young son next to him must have reassured her. If it was Daniel in the van, it must have been the weekend Peter had abducted him.

The police were confident he did not see anything happen between Peter and Vicky, but he must have been in the house with the girl’s dead body. And when I flew up on my rescue mission, so must I.

When police in Margate dug up Peter’s sandpit, it was in the hunt for young hitchhiker Dinah McNicol who, they concluded, had been picked up by Peter on the A3 out of Hampshire in August 1991.

The child’s booster seat in the back of the car would have pushed any fears out of the 18-year-old’s mind but she was not seen again until her body was dug up 16 years later in the same Margate garden.

It made me sick that Daniel and I were the reason Peter had been on the A3 that day.

Adapted by MARTIN PHILLIPS from Escape From Evil by Cathy Wilson with Jeff Hudson, published by Pan Macmillan. To order a copy for £6.64, call 0845 271 2136 or go to

Also available on kindle uk.

Even in this small excerpt you can see how he manipulated people and how important control is. This is common in serial killers not just Tobin. You can see how the people in his life are just there as tools, things to help him get what he wants.

I hope that Daniel is getting help, extensive counseling. I can only imagine the guilt, confusion and fear that has to have developed in him.

I have not read the book yet but I do plan on it.

A BBC interview with Ms. Wilson.

”John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster.”

The attorney who defended John Wayne Gacy talks about the serial killer in a new book, ”John Wayne Gacy: Defending a Monster.”

Book signings:

August 9, 2011 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Old Orchard Mall
Skokie, Illinois

August 10, 2011 – 12:30 p.m.
144 S. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois

August 12, 2011 6:30-9:00 p.m.
D’Vine Wine
742 E. Dundee Rd., Palatine, Illinois


When was the last time someone you knew asked you for a favor? What if that favor was defending a man who you later discovered to be guilty of crimes so grotesque they make your blood curdle? Can you guarantee him a fair trial without the influence of hate, revenge, media or an outraged public?

In the new book, JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER, (Skyhorse Publishing, August, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-61608-248-2) Judge Sam L. Amirante and writer Danny Broderick tell this fascinating story for the very first time. In a compelling first person account, Gacy’s defense attorney for the internationally reported trial of the century tells the chilling and gruesome tale of how Amirante came to defend America’s most infamous serial killer.

Writer Danny Broderick pens the story to rave reviews comparing his work to Stephen King and John Grisham combined. JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER grabs the reader with terrifying detail and makes them witness to the last horrifying hours of a madman’s final victim. Without a breath, the reader is thrust into a fast paced police investigation and trial drama rivaling any crime film, television show or documentary. Set against a ticking clock, in which our nation’s most dearly held constitutional tenants and protections are at issue, the case of the century puts our most basic core beliefs as Americans to the test.

With breakneck pacing, true-life dialogue, chilling photography, Amirante and Broderick propel us through a story so powerful that we often forget that it is one hundred percent true. The book includes never before seen drawings and photographs, along with shrewd insight into the man behind the murders that only his lawyer-the closest person to him during the trial-could have known. Among the fascinating, unexplored topics examined in this shocking courtroom drama are:

The true David and Goliath saga of a young lawyer, fresh from the Public Defender’s office, desperately trying to ensure a fair trial for the most hated and feared man in America. Authentic photographs, court documents, and letters and drawings by Gacy to his friends and family An insider’s look at the man who murdered over thirty young boys and was ultimately sentenced to death as the entire country watched. A deeper look at how the trial of this magnitude affected the young lawyer representing the worst criminal of our time and the toll it took on his family, his livelihood and his health. The creative approaches that were taken to ensure that even a mass murderer received the fair trial guaranteed to him by the U.S. Constitution. How Amirante sought to protect children with the Missing Child Recovery Act of 1984 (I-Search) to protect future abducted children from succumbing to a fate like Gacy’s victims. The lingering scourge of homophobia as it exists in American society and its worst case The current status of the death penalty in the United States.

JOHN WAYNE GACY: DEFENDING A MONSTER is a true crime story in which Broderick positions himself amongst other greats like Grisham, Turow, or Martini. It approaches the well-known genre of writing taking an angle never before seen, shedding new light on the trial itself, as well as the events leading up to and directly following it. Broderick’s success in creating a momentum that builds with the suspense, terror and intrigue of the original case, while adding Amirante’s passionate, driven, emotional, conflicted yet powerful voice, is spellbinding.

About the authors

Judge Sam L. Amirante is a retired judge and current lawyer with his own law firm, Sam L. Amirante & Associates. In 1978, his first case after leaving the office of the Public Defender was The People of the state of Illinois vs. John Wayne Gacy. He co-founded the law firm Amirante and Etchingham. In 1988, he was appointed to the bench as an Associate Judge of The Circuit Court of Cook County where he served until his retirement in 2005. Amirante authored the procedures adopted by the Illinois General Assembly as the Missing Child Act of 1984 (I-Search), which eliminated the twenty-four hour waiting period of initiate a search for lost children. A graduate of Loyola University (1970) and The Loyola University School of Law (1974), he also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves from 1970 – 1976.

Danny Broderick is a graduate of Southern Illinois University (1977) and The John Marshall Law School (1982). He served in the United States Army, with commendations. (1972-1974) He is a former associate attorney with the law firm of Amirante and Etchingham. In 1988, Broderick founded his own firm The Law Offices of Daniel J. Broderick. During his twenty years of private practice, Mr. Broderick represented thousands of persons charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. He is the author of the novel When Money Talks: Buford Tucker Listens

 Video here.

Zodiac Killer: Massachusetts Man Says He’s Cracked the Cipher


A Massachusetts man says he’s cracked the Zodiac killer’s cipher that has befuddled law enforcement agencies for the last 40 years since the enigmatic serial killer went on his Bay Area killing spree. The amateur sleuth says the 340-character code sent to the San Francisco Chronicle declares at the end “My name is Leigh Allen,” one of the principal suspects in the case who died in 1992.

Corey Starliper of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, became obsessed with the Zodiac case and decided he could break the code, according to news reports.

“It was just instinct,” he told the Burlingame Patch. “I have a gut feeling that it could be cracked.”

Not to say it wasn’t a complex process. Starliper did it in two sessions — one that was six hours long and another where he spent three hours on it.

According to the Patch:

According to Robert Graysmith, in “Zodiac” tips received by police after Darlene Ferrin’s murder indicated that the killing was connected to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Starliper believed that the “340” of the 340 cipher was significant, and had some tie-in with the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was then that he found out that 340 is the area code for a portion of the U.S. Virgin Islands — not an insignificant connection.

“So that’s what I started with,” said Starliper. “I thought, there’s no way … that Zodiac is going to be prosaic enough not to mention the U.S. Virgin Islands in this code. This is where it gets even creepier. 3+4+0=7. Right. So you get 7+0=7. 707… 707 are the area codes for Vallejo, Napa, and Solano. So I figured, why not start this with Caesar code using 3,4.”

We’re no cipher experts, but it Starliper’s result is at least highly readable:


















Starliper told the Patch that he’d contacted various Bay Area law enforcement agencies, but has only gotten a tepid response. SFPD Homicide Inspector Kevin Jones told SF Weekly he never heard from Starliper, but would send the code onto the FBI, which has the experts to check Starliper’s method.

“There’s people who over the years think they’ve come with answers to the cipher but the FBI hasn’t been able to validate it,” Jones says. Could this be the one?

I do not think that Arthur Leigh Allen is the Zodiac. I guess that means that I doubt this guy actually cracked the code.

Arthur Leigh Allen

Here is info on why I do not think Allen was the Zodiac:

The police sketch of the Zodiac Killer.

UPDATE: In October 2002, Allen’s DNA was compared to DNA obtained from a confirmed Zodiac letter. There was no match. In 2003, due to Allen’s alleged habit of having others lick his stamps and envelopes (he claimed the taste of glue made him sick), SFPD obtained a voluntary DNA sample from Don Cheney. The results were negative.
From Wikipedia:
Arthur Leigh Allen was the only suspect in the Zodiac murders to be served search warrants by police. He was never charged with any Zodiac-related crime and his fingerprints did not match those left by the killer of taxi cab driver Paul Stine. In 1991, 22 years after the shootings, survivor Michael Mageau identified Allen as the man who shot him, from a photo lineup of 1968 driver’s licenses. Mageau stated he had never been shown a photo line up prior to that appointment in 1991. Allen, who suffered from diabetes, died on August 26, 1992 from kidney failure.
In 2002, SFPD developed a partial DNA profile from the saliva on stamps and envelopes of Zodiac’s letters. SFPD compared this partial DNA to the DNA of Vallejo Police Department’s lead suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen. A DNA comparison was also made with Don Cheney’s DNA, who was Allen’s former close friend and the first person to suggest Allen may be the Zodiac Killer. Since neither test result indicated a match, Allen and Cheney were excluded as the contributors of the DNA, though it cannot be stated definitively that it is DNA from the Zodiac on the envelopes.Additionally in 2002, a partial palm print (called “Writer’s Palm”) was lifted from “The Exorcist” letter and then compared to a palm print of Allen’s. Again, test results showed the palm prints did not match. Even though DNA samples taken from the letters sent by the Zodiac ruled out Allen as the person who handled them, neither the Vallejo nor the San Francisco Police Departments have ruled out Allen as a suspect.
I kind of hope that I am wrong and that the cipher has been solved, meaning the killer is exposed. I just really doubt it.
I think that Mr. Starliper started out with Allen as a suspect and with that in mind (and believing the Hollywood hype) he fit his solution around that.
The Zodiac Killer was boastful. He enjoyed killing, tormenting , threatening the general public and he liked playing mind games, especially with the police.
This ‘solved’ cipher does not sound at all like the first. It sounds more like a Son of Sam letter.

The Author of Dexter Speaks About Serial Killers

Sympathy for the Devils


I MAKE my living writing about a serial killer. It’s a pretty good living, and quite frankly, that surprises me. When I wrote my first book, “Darkly Dreaming Dexter,” the story of a sympathetic killer, I thought I was writing something creepy, repellent, perhaps a little wicked. To balance that, I also made him vulnerable and funny, I gave him a fondness for children, and I wrote in the first person — all elements intended to bridge the gap between a homicidal psychopath and readers, who I assumed would, nevertheless, be appalled.

They weren’t; they liked him. Before publication, a nice-looking yenta from marketing took me aside and confessed, “I maybe shouldn’t say? But I have such a crush on Dexter.” So did other readers. The book took off like a dark little rocket. One of the early reviews even said it “breathes new life into the genre,” which meant there was a serial killer genre.

I found that amazing: I had done the darkest, least lovable thing I could think of, and a whole genre was there ahead of me.

People, I realized, like to read about serial killers. And as I found myself on the telephone with Hollywood, arranging for Dexter’s translation into a series for Showtime, I began to think that was pretty funny. “Lovable serial killer.” Ha ha ha.

And then bodies turn up in real life and it isn’t funny anymore.

This time, it’s along a beach on Long Island. Our shock blooms as phrases pop out from the news coverage: “at least eight bodies” and “three or even four killers.” We read more — we can’t help it. We’re sickened and disgusted, but we need to know. And the more we know about the scene, the more we really are horrified. The ghastly image of this beach as a dumping ground for bodies is bad enough. But then four of the bodies, wrapped in burlap, are thought to be the work of one person: a serial killer.

There’s a special sense of dread that comes with that phrase, “serial killer.” It represents an inhuman psychology that is beyond us, and because of that, we can’t look away.

We can all conceive of killing someone in self-defense, or in combat. But to kill repeatedly, because we want to, because we like to — that’s so far outside ordinary human understanding that we can’t possibly have an empathetic response. The word “evil” seems a bit quaint and biblical — but what else can we call it?

I was brought up to believe that death and money are private, and I was taught to have only contempt for people who slowed down to gawk at an accident. I can’t help feeling that this is similar — but I watch, too. Have I become what my mother called a rubbernecker and what my father, more bluntly, called an idiot?

Maybe so, but I have lots of company. Not just Americans, either; the Dexter series has been translated into 38 languages, and sensational news of serial killers regularly floods in from Russia, China, all over the world. People everywhere are willing voyeurs to mayhem. And when we learn of serial murders like the recent case at Gilgo Beach, our “dark watcher,” that small part of us that just can’t turn away, perks up and pays attention.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We don’t become evil because we dwell on it. In fact, one reason we gawk is to reassure ourselves that we could never do such a thing. When we stare at carnage we feel fear and revulsion, and that tells us with certainty that creating this kind of horror is beyond us.

And it is. Serial killers are psychopaths, and current research in brain mapping indicates that psychopaths are born, not made. There is an actual, physical, difference in their brains; you can’t become a serial killer by reading about one, any more than you can get magical powers from reading “Harry Potter.” You can watch “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” 20 times and it will not inspire you to butcher the neighbors. We can no more move from watcher to killer than we can breathe water.

But a homicidal psychopath — a serial killer — delights in killing. He often taunts the rest of us in some way as part of his fun. The evil creature that has been dumping bodies on Gilgo Beach has used his victim’s cellphone to call her sister.

It’s inhuman cruelty, but the research I read to write my “Dexter” books predicts that, when they catch him, he will probably look just like us. He will be known as a charming and thoughtful co-worker, a nice man who helps his ailing neighbor carry her groceries, and no one will have suspected what he really is.

This is the theater of paranoia, and it grips us, too, because we need a way to see the clues that must be there. Who among your friends and colleagues might be staring at your back and sharpening a knife?

You can’t know; but by watching, you know it could never be you. I think that’s good. We can’t deny that evil exists — but it’s not who we are. And the existence of evil implies its opposite: there is good, too.

As ordinary human beings, we live somewhere in the middle, jerked back and forth by circumstance, never quite reaching either extreme. And if you never understand someone who lives at the evil pole, no matter how much you rubberneck, that’s good.

It means you’re only human.

Jeff Lindsay is the author, most recently, of “Dexter Is Delicious.”

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 25, 2011, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Sympathy for the Devils.

NY Times

Killer’s daughter objects to docudrama

I am having a hard time writing this article. It is always hard to find a balance between intellectual ideas and emotional reactions, so often they clash.

The victims of crime are always forward in my mind when I write, and I believe that their voices should always be heard and counted when they speak an opinion or comment on the crimes and criminals.

In the case of Fred and Rosemary West their most susceptible victims were their own children. What they made these children see, hear, do and know was beyond horrible.

Fred raped the girls as Rosemary held them down. The one daughter who mentioned it to a friend was killed and her brother was forced to help bury her in the yard.

The children knew of the other murders, one of which was one of Fred’s daughters from a previous relationship. Rosemary murdered her while Fred was in jail.

The kids were constant victims and pretty much prisoners in their own home by the people who were supposed to love them the most and protect them from as much as possible.

In 1976, the Wests enticed a young woman, designated as Miss A by the courts, from a home for wayward girls. At Cromwell Street, Miss A was led into a room with two naked girls who were prisoners there. She witnessed the torture of the two girls and was raped by Fred and sexually assaulted by Rose.

One of the girls that Miss A saw was probably Anna Marie, Fred’s daughter who was a constant target of the couple’s sexual sadism. As if Fred’s rape and torture of his daughter was not enough, he brought home his friends to have sex with her.

In November of 1978, Rose and Fred had yet another daughter who they named Louise, making a total of six children in the bizarre and unwholesome household. Fred also impregnated his daughter Anna Marie, but the pregnancy occurred in her fallopian tube and had to be terminated.

The children were aware of some of the goings on in the home. They knew that Rose was a prostitute and that Anna Marie was being raped by her father. When Anna Marie moved out to live with her boyfriend, Fred focused his sexual advances on Heather and Mae. Heather resisted her father and was beaten for it.

In July of 1983, Rose gave birth to another daughter who they named Lucyanna. She was half-black, like Tara and Rosemary Junior. Rose became increasingly irrational and beat the children without provocation.


West’s sexual interest in his own daughters didn’t wane either, and when Anne-Marie moved out to live with her boyfriend, he switched his attentions to younger siblings, Heather and Mae. Heather resisted his attentions and, in 1986, committed the cardinal sin of telling a friend about the goings on in the house. The Wests responded by murdering and dismembering her, and burying her in the back garden of No 25, where son Stephen was forced to assist with digging the hole.


In England they are about to release a docudrama about Fred West and his relationship with Janet Leach, a social worked to whom he confessed. It is called Appropriate Adult.

Producers have spent three years painstakingly researching the ‘docu-drama’ that focuses on the period between monster West’s arrest and his suicide in 1995.

The two-part show, which is due to be aired next month, tells the ”untold story of how Fred and Rosemary West were brought to justice”.

It also shows the role of Janet Leach, played by Emily Watson, who was installed as an ”appropriate adult” – who represent the interests of accused during police interview – to extract information on the killings.

Mrs Leach was a voluntary worker who listened to the horrific confessions in spring 1994. During her time as appropriate adult she listened to over 40 interviews and West refused to talk to anyone else when she was not present.

Executive producer Jeff Pope said: ”Our intention is to produce a sober and thought-provoking drama based on a true story.

”We have developed the script over the past three years and it provides a unique insight into the police investigation which led to the conviction of Fred and Rose West and the crucial role Janet Leach played as the ‘appropriate adult’.”


One of Fred West’s daughters has come forward with her objections about the show. She has not seen it but she does not want it aired.

Anne-Marie Davies said the ITV programme ‘Appropriate Adult’ would ”open old wounds” and affect those who had lost their ”loved ones”.

She was raped and beaten as a child by her dad and attempted suicide by drowning in 1999 by throwing herself from a bridge in Gloucester, but was rescued.

Anne-Marie’s partner, who asked not to be named, spoke out as she was ”too upset” over news of the programme, which is due to be aired next month.

He said: ”We feel sorry for all the family members and people who have lost loved ones who will be affected by such programmes.

”When this rears its ugly head again it just opens old wounds and prevents those who suffered from being able to put it to bed.

”Sadly these programmes are more about making money than making a point and it has a detrimental effect on us.”

Appropriate Adult executive producer Jeff Pope said: ”Our intention is to produce a sober and thought-provoking drama based on a true story.

”We have developed the script over the past three years and it provides a unique insight into the police investigation which led to the arrest of Fred and Rose West and the crucial role Janet Leach played as the ‘Appropriate adult’.”

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said they had been consulted with by ITV over Appropriate Adult.

She said: ”We are assured that the producers are sensitive to the continued distress experienced by those who were both directly and indirectly affected by the horrific crimes committed by the Wests.”

Film director Derek Jones, who made a Channel Five documentary on Fred West in added: ”Anything that rakes up the story is going to be upsetting to the family (of West) and to the families of the victims – I completely understand that.”


I understand the wish and want to sweep the past under a carpet. I know that with every mention of the crimes the victims have to relive some of the pain. This has to be horrible for them.

I also know that even if no one ever mentioned the crimes again they would still suffer. The memories would not erased by society not speaking of what happened. The pain and emotional scars would still creep into the daily lives of the victims.

I think that is important for people to remember. I think we all need to know that the tidy house next door might not be so bright inside. We need to learn to look for clues, for hints that there things wrong. We need to open the eyes of some to the fact that humans wear masks and if they do not look close enough they could be missing a chance to save a life, perhaps even their own.

As a society we need to recognize the fact that monsters do not have green skin and bolts in their necks.

Think what could have been if someone, a neighbor, a postal worker or dog walker had noticed something was amiss. Perhaps some of the horrors could have been prevented if the somebody rallied for the children, and victims, that were unable to speak for themselves. If someone knew what to look for, if someone felt that they could trust their feelings and speak out to the authorities. I know that even when things are said the authorities do not always listen, but it still gives a better chance than ignorance does. The more people who know, that watch, that speak out, the more that there is a chance things like this can be stopped. Not only in this case, but in so many others.

I am also against censorship even though that bares very little weight in this case.

I do think that this show and others about serial killers need to be shown. I hate the exploitative ones but they have a touch of truth and education in them. I do not know how profitable they are but I guess profits are expected. It would be nice if the people profiting would give something back to victim’s groups but I do not think that should be forced, just hoped for.

I wish that there was some way to protect the victims from the advertising and viewing of shows that depict their pain but that is not really possible. I guess all we can do is hope that she does not watch. That someone close advises that she not watch. That she protects herself and spends the nights that the show is on taking a bath, having a glass of wine and being with a loved one.

I know that it is so much easier for me to say than for her to do.

I wish her well and my heart goes out to her.

Original article about the docudrama.

Article about daughter slamming show.

Wikipedia article on Fred West

Biography Of Fred West

Ian Brady WOULD kill again……..

The Moors Murderers.

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady

Original Article


By Patrick Sawer 7:45AM GMT 09 Jan 2011

The 73-year-old convict “wishes the world ill” and expresses no remorse for killing five children with his lover Myra Hindley between 1963 and 1965. If he had the opportunity, he would be likely to shoot people he had a grudge against.

The conclusions emerged from an unprecedented six-year dialogue between Brady and Dr Chris Cowley, which provide the clearest insight into Brady’s mindset since he was imprisoned in 1966.

In letters and in interviews carried out at Ashworth high-security hospital in Merseyside, Brady:

* Dismisses the Moors murders as “an existential exercise” with their own ‘value’.

I would love to know what frigging value he puts on these horrific acts!

* Compares himself favourably to statesmen including Tony Blair, claiming they have committed worse crimes than his.

* Says he turned down several opportunities to escape shortly after his arrest in October 1965.

Brady – who has been told that he will never be released – emerges from the study as a sociopath with few redeeming features, showing no compassion or feeling for anyone other than himself.

He has been confined to Ashworth since 1985, when was declared criminally insane after spending twenty years in normal prisons. He and Hindley were sentenced to life for the killings of Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17; Brady was also convicted of killing John Kilbride, 12.

Later the pair admitted two additional murders, of Pauline Reade, 16 and Keith Bennett, 12.

For the past eight years Brady has been on hunger strike, insisting he wants to die and surviving only by being force fed twice a day by staff at Ashworth. In 2000 a judicial review refused to overturn the decision to keep him alive.

IMO, this is one guy that should be allowed to off himself.

Dr Cowley, who runs courses for police officers and social workers, began writing to Brady six years ago as part of his research on the profiling of serial killers.

After gaining Brady’s trust Dr Cowley held a number of face to face meetings with him at Ashworth, from which he wrote a book published this month, Face To Face With Evil.

I want  to read this book. If anyone has read it I would love to hear your comments on it.

In it he concludes that if Brady was ever released from custody – something no Government has been prepared to countenance – he would “probably” resume killing.

I am willing to bet that Brady would kill as long as he was physically able. He states above that he would likely shoot people, makes me think that even as he sits in an institution he is wanting and planning on the next kill. His fantasies still playing in his mind.

In the interviews, Brady told Dr Cowley that paintballing is “no substitute for the real thing”, that  “at least Columbine [the massacre of US high school students by two fellow pupils] demonstrates that there is some spine left in America” and that “I wish this place and this country and this world ill.”

He seems to be connecting killing with bravery? I wonder if he actually followed the killings or if he only heard that there were shootings. I also wonder if knowing the details would change anything in his mind?

On one unsettling occasion, Brady suggested that Dr Cowley should kill his own boss over a minor bureaucratic dispute. At another point he stated: “There is no great gulf between the criminal and others except the will to enact.”

Dr Cowley told The Sunday Telegraph: “Ian Brady is a sociopath who shows no remorse and no compassion. He will only do things for other people if he has something to gain. He intellectualized his murders, calling them his ‘existential exercise’ – which he planned in advance in careful detail – or ‘that Moors business’, as if they were a glitch in his great criminal career.

“His only thought for the victims or their families is what he can get out of it. He would kill again without a thought for anyone who gets in his way.

For him it’s like swatting a fly, which is how he regarded the children he murdered.

In his letters to Dr Cowley, Brady repeatedly dismisses the scale and significance of his crimes in comparison to the killings carried out by Governments and political leaders.

Justifying and trying to excuse his brutal child murders by comparing them to political issues and wars. I hope that people do not buy into this. I don’t believe he believes it.

In one letter he states: “The politically chosen establishment judge for the judicial review [of his force feeding] was the one who, weeks prior, allowed [Chile’s General Augusto] Pinochet to flee the UK and escape charges of war crimes.

“He found Pinochet unfit to stand trial for the torture and murder of 4,000 political prisoners, and me not fit to die by voluntary starvation, refusing to halt Ashworth force feeding me.”

I am all for allowing him to starve to death! I do want to add that if he decides the last minute to not die, tough. Let him make his own bed the allow him to lie and die in it!

When Dr Cowley asked Brady about his murders his frequent response was that British forces had killed far more people than he had during the invasion of Iraq.

Does not matter, one does not, can not, will never cancel out or excuse the other.

Asked during one conversation why he does not publicly express any remorse for the Moors murders Brady says he does not see the point, stating defiantly: “It is just bringing up ancient history and revives, openly, old wounds and sores.

“Nobody is going to gain by it, nobody.”

The only remorse he appears to feel is for Hindley’s capture and imprisonment until her death in 2002.

Dr Cowley believes Brady still “carries a torch” for his former lover, despite the fact she blamed him for the murders in an attempt to win parole from prison.

At one stage Brady tells him: “The line between remorse for the victims and remorse for being captured can be somewhat blurred.”

I think that is one thing that is true and common among serial killers. Often what their friends, family and sympathizers think is remorse for the murders is actually just remorse over being caught, it is a form of self-pity.

Dr Cowley states that the only regret felt by Brady for his crimes is “because of the consequences that have to be endured [by him] not because they were truly wrong in themselves from any kind of moral perspective”.

Brady and Hindley were eventually arrested at his home following a tip-off to police.

Brady, who turned 73 earlier this month and is suffering from cataracts and severe weight loss, told Dr Cowley he would have shot his way to freedom when police arrested him – had he not left his handgun in an upstairs room because it was getting in the way of moving the body of his last victim.

Farcically, Brady forgot to destroy lists reminding himself to destroy any telltale evidence of the murders. One list even included a note reminding himself to destroy such notes.

These were subsequently found by police in his car and formed a key part of the evidence against the couple.

But, intriguingly, Brady told Dr Cowley he had several opportunities to escape immediately following his arrest.

While at Hyde police station in Manchester he was left alone in a canteen with an unbarred window, while his police guard took a phone call.

A second opportunity presented itself when he was escorted on foot, without handcuffs or police dogs, to the women’s section of Risley remand centre for an interview with his solicitor.

Thick fog meant all he had to do was step sideways to disappear from sight.

“It was a cinch,” said Brady.

Dr Cowley suspects that loyalty to Hindley and the hope of acquittal, or even the delusion they might only receive a normal ‘life’ tariff, prevented Brady seizing his opportunity.

Again, not uncommon. Serial killers often consider themselves much smarter than the police, juries, judges and all other people in general. They get sloppy and get caught as much due to their own arrogance as due to police work and forensics.

His study of Brady leads him to argue that the criminal profiles of killers drawn up to aid their capture are frequently too one-dimensional.

According to Dr Cowley profiling is usually attempted too late, when police have exhausted other lines of inquiry, rather than from the start of an investigation, when evidence is fresh on the ground.

He told this newspaper: “Profiling should begin at the very start of an investigation, not when everyone else has trodden all over the evidence.”

Dr Cowley is forgetting that profiling is a tool, just one tool of many that police use. Profiling is not THE biggest part of any investigation, it is just a part of it.

Also, evidence is needed to make a profile, the more evidence the better and more defined the profile can be.

Furthermore, Dr Cowley says that with both contemporary and present-day profiling techniques, someone like Brady would probably have been excluded from the Moors murders inquiry, as he did not match several of the characteristics regarded as central to any suspect.

While there are ‘starting’ points in any profile those points are not set in solid stone. Yes, we hear white male late 20’s to early 30’s very often, especially in popular television shows and novels but that is not a set profile. If crimes happen in a primarily all black area a white person would stick out so you start with a Black male and using the victims and the evidence available you build from scratch based on what we know.

He did not have a history of mental illness or of failed relationships, and he was not a loner uncomfortable in social settings.

There have been many serial killers without the traits above and profilers know that. Also, MOST serial killers do not have a history of mental illness.

“Brady would probably have been quickly eliminated from the possible suspect pool if his data had been included in an investigation using the above criteria,” said Dr Cowley. “Hindley would have been eliminated at the very first step.”

Dr. Cowley is assuming that had a profile been made it would have stated those things. He obviously doesn’t understand profiling at all. He does not seem to understand how a profile is made, what it is based on or even how it is supposed to be used in an investigation. Most people don’t, but usually they do not write books that seem that they do!

As it was, the couple were caught because they allowed Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, to watch the murder of Edward Evans. On leaving the scene Smith simply turned the two killers in.

* Face to Face with Evil: Conversations with Ian Brady, by Chris Cowley is published by John Blake and is out now.

I do not think that Dr. Chris Cowley really understands the law enforcement side of things, but I still want to read his book. Not for what he says but for what Ian exposes about the mind of a serial killer.

Wiki article on the Moors Murders

Ian Brady ; The Right To Die

See No Evil. A movie about the murders.


Book Review

by Peter Vronsky

Serial Killers the Methods and Madness of Monsters

Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky.

This was not a bad book for someone that has just begun reading on serial killers. For people who have already investigated the subject it is a bit repetitive.

It a had a great deal of information on both well known killers and lesser known killers. Mr. Vronsky covered different types of killers and explained why they were classified the way that they were.
He did quote a few authors and gave the different opinions on many things from the views of criminal justice and mental health. He also discussed multiple books and the opinions and ideas of the various authors.
He touches on some of the techniques and systems used by different agencies from different countries. He points out the strengths and shortcomings of them but never gets boring or overly technical.
If you are just curious and do not want to buy multiple books then this is a good one that has a wide blanket of information and also has many good references if you decide to read more.

The bad is that for those that have read many cases the book does follow very closely what has been written by people like John Douglas, Ann Rule and Robert Ressler. Many time I felt that I was re-reading Journey Into Darkness, The Stranger Beside Me or I Have Lived in the Monster.
When I read his chapter “Surviving a Serial Killer” I knew I had read it before and sure enough it was an elaborated version of what John Douglas says in Mindhunter.
There were also many references to the FBI’s Serial Murder Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives for Investigators without a reference to it.

The author did do basic research but I do not think that he really went deep enough into subjects to have any new insights or to even give an opinion on technical things. His descriptions of procedures is either quoted from others without any other insight or it is just skimmed on with no real depth leaving the reader with questions rather than insight.

Even when writing about the killers themselves he comes across as almost lazy. He has 40 pages on Ted Bundy while describing the organised killer but only 2 short paragraphs on the disorganized killer using Miguel Rivera.That pattern is repeated throughout the book. Popular and easy to find information is written about with many quotes and references at length while other, equally important topics that are not as easily accessible are touched on but not delved into.

To be fair, he admits right off that he is not an expert. He became interested in serial killers after he realized he had bumped into 2 of them in his lifetime. Richard Cottingham in New York City in 1979 and Andrei Chikatilo in the Soviet Union in 1990. That introduction gives an insight as to how easy it is to overlook these killers. It is chilling actually.

I did enjoy the book overall.
It was a bit too gore happy for me, for example, the photos in the book are mostly crime scene shock type photos. I do not get squeamish by those photos but I do not think that the photos of bodies really added anything besides shock value.
I am happy to add it to my collection but I do not think that it is in anyway a complete study.
I also will not buy his book on female serial killers.

Peter Vronsky

R.I.P Philip Carlo

Philip Carlo, who produced novels and nonfiction accounts of serial killers and hit men before writing about his own struggles with disease, died on Monday, 11/08/10 in Manhattan. He was 61.
The cause was a combination of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cancer, said his wife, Laura Garofalo-Carlo.

His site

“Dear Friends and Family,
Philip Carlo, born in Brooklyn, New York on April 18, 1949 and died on November 8, 2010 in Manhattan after long struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Carlo became known as an author of several bestselling books including Stolen Flower, Ice Man, and the forthcoming memoir The Killer Within. Carlo was considered an expert on serial killers, Mafia culture and sexual predators and appeared on numerous television shows and documentary films. He leaves behind his devoted widow, Laura Garofalo-Carlo; his parents, Nina and Dante; his sister Doreen; brother-in-law, Joey; niece, Vanessa and many others. He enriched the lives of those around him with love and selfless generosity and will be greatly missed.”

N.Y. Times article Here.

Currently Reading

I am one of those annoying people that marks her books up underlining, highlighting, writing motes in the margins and sometimes arguing with the author.
Right now I am reading Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky. It is not a bad book, it is a little dated (BTK was still unidentified) and I have made many notes in the margins with updates.
I am going to write more specifics as I read along but right now I want to say that the book is very swayed by the author’s experience. When he writes about the serial killers in the 1960’s you can tell that the book was not written by an expert in sociology or in criminal behavior. He talks about some events as if the entire world saw it that way, but in reality it is his opinion. Usually rather than take away from the book it adds to it with a personal perspective that ‘expert’ authored books sometimes miss.
The biggest problem with his lack of expertise is that he concentrates more on the ‘popular’ Serial Killers and often quotes or references other true crime writers rather than official sources. When explaining the Organized Serial Killer he has 40 pages on Ted Bundy and mostly refers to things written by Ann Rule. I am not saying that is a bad thing in itself but the author then spends a mere 1 paragraph explaining the disorganized killer by using Miguel Rivera. The fact that the author choose to delve so deeply into Bundy, even after admitting that there are volumes upon volumes already on Bundy and then only glossing over on the opposite side is telling.
In all fairness Mr. Vronsky admits right off that he is not an expert. His interest in the subject was spurred by having fleeting meetings with 2 serial killers in his lifetime. He bumped into Richard Cottingham (nicknamed the New York Torso Killer) in a motel in NY and spoke briefly with Andrei Chikatilo (The Rostov Ripper) in Russia while making a documentary.

I am still pretty much in the beginning chapters. The book is a good read but it is definitely not a deep probe into the mind of serial killers as of yet.

I’ll write more later.

On The Farm gives voice to Pickton’s victims

On The Farm

Interview with the author and information on Robert Pickton and those he killed.

I have not yet read it but I hope to soon.

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