Serial Killer Research

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Didn’t sleep well last night. Not sure if it was the two diet sodas I drank in the afternoon or the book I’m reading. It’s quite disturbing. I don’t know how to feel about it because when I’m reading it, I feel sorry for the notorious serial killers described in the book.

• Henry Lee Lucas 1936 – 2001 Died of heart failure while serving life in prison
• Gary Schaefer 1951 – serving life in Leavenworth, Kansas
• Carlton Gary 1952 – on death row in Georgia
• Bobby Joe Long 1953 – on death row in Florida
• Charles Manson 1934 – serving life at Corcoran State Prison in California (Up for parole in 2027)
• Richard Macek 1948 – 1987 (suicide)
• John Wayne Gacy 1942 – 1994 Execution (that had some issues that sounded similar to the lethal injection in the movie Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler)
• Ted Bundy 1946 – 1989 Execution
• Richard Ramirez 1960 – 2013 Had been on death row for more than 23 years and died of complications to B-Cell lymphoma
• Leonard Lake 1945 – 1985 (suicide)
• Antone “Tony” Costa 1944 – 1974 (suicide)
• Jeffrey Dahmer 1960 – 1994 beaten to death by inmate
• Harry F. Powers 1892 – 1932 Execution

How does a person feel sorry for a serial killer? They did heinous crimes; tortured, raped, and killed men and women, and even young children. How can you have compassion for someone like that? Yet, I read much about their young lives and how they were treated as a child, and what they endured as they grew up, and it caused me sadness. I’m not saying they should not be in prison, or on death row, or whatever punishment has been inflicted on them. I’m not playing devil’s advocate. Still, I am moved and troubled by their lives as well as the lives of people they destroyed.

I do subscribe to the age of accountability, and that a person is responsible for his or her own actions. There comes a time when life is not to be blamed on your parents. But when a child is malnourished over and over again, or a mother beats a child into a coma, or a father forces a child to have sex with animals for his own enjoyment, how can a child grow up and be emotionally and physiologically right?

Why do I read this shit that disturbs my mind? Research for my novel which is about a serial killer. I’ve learned so much about them through this research for writing my new novel. My whole attitude has changed. It’s kind of scary actually. To feel compassion for someone who has brutally raped, tortured and killed… that’s crazy. It sort of makes you realize that no matter what a person is going through, or dealing with, you never really know what’s deep inside and what demons they are trying to hide.

One should realize when you are working on a novel, sometimes you are so involved in your characters you think that you are living their lives. Could I be a serial killer? Ha ha! Hell, no! Although after reading some of the characteristics of a serial killer, it makes me watch people a little more vigilantly. All part of the package of being a writer I guess.

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