Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Release in SA - Killing Kebble

New Release - Killing Kebble

In September 2005, Brett Kebble, a prominent South African mining magnate, was killed on a quiet suburban street in Johannesburg in an apparent “assisted suicide”. The top-level investigation that followed was a tipping-point for democratic South Africa. It exposed the corrupt relationship between South Africa’s chief of police and Interpol president Jackie Selebi and his friend Glenn Agliotti, and revealed a shadowy underworld dominated by drug lords, steroid-fuelled bouncers, hitmen for hire, an international smuggling syndicate, a dubious security unit moonlighting for the police and sinister, self-serving sleuths abusing state agencies. It even cost the country’s most senior prosecutor his job.

Indemnified by an agreement struck with the state, Mikey Schulz, Nigel McGurk and Fiazal “Kappie” Smith come clean to Mandy Wiener in exclusive interviews about the chilling events leading up to the night Kebble was shot dead and the life paths of the “bungling assassins”. Glenn Agliotti, the man once accused of orchestrating the hit, has also provided Wiener with unlimited access to his story, as have other characters whose versions of the events are previously untold.

This true-crime tale is set against the fascinating background of political interference at the highest level, a bitter feud between two arms of the country’s law-enforcement authorities, a festering police service tainted by dirty cops and the shady relationships between the magnate and aspirant young political turks who were ready recipients of his largesse.

Killing Kebble is not the story of one murder. It’s a gritty, fast-paced chronicle of how one death blew the lid off Johannesburg’s underworld.

About the author
Mandy Wiener is an award-winning Eyewitness News reporter. She has been covering this gripping story for five years and has unrivaled access to the main role players  
Book Details

ISBN-13: 9781770101326
Format: Paperback
No of Pages: pp
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: April 2011
Country of publication: South Africa
Get this book here:

Today in History - 2 April

Today in History - 2 April 1992

A jury in New York finds mobster John Gotti, nicknamed the Teflon Don for his ability to elude conviction, guilty on 13 counts, including murder and racketeering. In the wake of the conviction, the assistant director of the FBI’s New York office, James Fox, was quoted as saying, “The don is covered in Velcro, and every charge stuck.” On June 23 of that year, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, dealing a significant blow to organized crime.

John Joseph Gotti, Jr., was born in the Bronx, New York, on October 27, 1940. He rose through the ranks of the Gambino crime family and seized power after ordering the December 1985 murder of then-boss Paul Castellano outside a Manhattan steakhouse. Behind closed doors, Gotti was a ruthless, controlling figure. Publicly, he became a tabloid celebrity, famous for his swagger and expensive suits, which earned him another nickname, the Dapper Don.

During the 1980s, Gotti’s lawyer Bruce Cutler won him acquittals three times. A jury member in one of those trials was later convicted of accepting a bribe to acquit the mob boss. In December 1990, Gotti was arrested at the Ravenite Social Club, his headquarters in New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood. The ensuing trial, which started in January 1992, created a media frenzy. Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, one of Gotti’s top soldiers, made a deal with the government and testified in court against his boss. Gravano admitted to committing 19 murders, 10 of them sanctioned by Gotti. In addition, prosecutors presented secret taped conversations that incriminated Gotti. After deliberating for 13 hours, the jury, which had been kept anonymous and sequestered during the trial, came back with a verdict on April 2, 1992, finding Gotti guilty on all counts. The mob boss was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, where he was held in virtual solitary confinement. On June 10, 2002, Gotti died of throat cancer at age 61 at a Springfield, Missouri, medical center for federal prisoners.

John Travolta to play Mafioso John Gotti in biopic
John Travolta to play John Gott John Travolta

Nick Cassavetes, who worked with Travolta in the thriller "Face/Off," is set to direct the Fiore Films project, which will shoot primarily in New York.

We smell a "Godfather"-like classic in the making! It'll be fun to again see Travolta as a villain. The Leo Rossi screenplay is supposed to explore the father-son relationship in the Mafia family, specifically Gotti's relationship with his son John Gotti Jr. who last told his father  that he'd be leaving the business before his father died in prison.
The real Gotti Jr. has signed off on the project, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Producer Marc Fiore announced it in the fall when he secured the rightes to Gotti's story.
On April 12, Travolta, Cassavetes, Gotti Jr. and producer Marc Fiore will give a news conference about the project at the Sheraton New York Hotel.
We can be certain -- or at least hope -- that this film will probably go over much better than the A&E reality series "Growing Up Gotti," which followed Gotti's daughter Victoria and her three sons.
is revving up to play John Gotti Sr., the mobster who headed the Gambino crime family, in the biopic "Gotti: Three Generations."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today in History - 21 March 1963

Alcatraz closes its doors

Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closes down and transfers its last prisoners. At it's peak period of use in 1950s, "The Rock, or ""America's Devil Island" housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable.

The twelve-acre rocky island, one and a half miles from San Francisco, featured the most advanced security of the time. Some of the first metal detectors were used at Alcatraz. Strict rules were enforced against the unfortunate inmates who had to do time at Alcatraz. Nearly complete silence was mandated at all times.

Alcatraz was first explored by Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who called it Isla de los Alcatraces (Pelicans) because of all the birds that lived there. It was sold in 1849 to the U.S. government. The first lighthouse in California was on Alcatraz. It became a Civil War fort and then a military prison in 1907.

The end of its prison days did not end the Alcatraz saga. In March 1964, a group of Sioux claimed that the island belonged to them due to a 100-year-old treaty. Their claims were ignored until November 1969 when a group of eighty-nine Native Americans representing the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the island. They stayed there until 1971 when AIM was finally forced off the island by federal authorities.
The following year, Alcatraz was added to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is now open for tourism.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Q&A with Thomas Amo - The Zodiac Killer

The wonderful author of An apple for Zoe, Thomas Amo, has agreed to do another great Q&A with me, this time about the unsolved case of the Zodiac Killer... trust me, this could give you chills.

The Killer has never been caught, so lock your doors friends.

There might be a follow up on this one as Thomas has lots of info about him... please ask questions and tell us what you know about it?

Tell me a bit more about the Zodiac Killer?

One of the most famous unsolved cases in American Criminal History. This case ranks with, Lizzie Borden, Jack The Ripper and Black Dahlia.

The Zodiac was like Jack The Ripper and BTK because he openly communicated with police. What started out as what appeared to be attacks on lovers lanes, turned into full scale terror when he talked about killing a school bus full of children. 7 murders are positively attributed to him, but he claimed to kill over 30. Zodiac proved that serial killers weren't these slobbering maniacal monsters, like a Charles Manson. They were calculating and intelligent.

How long was his killing spree?

Known killings began December 1968 last known official victim was October 1969, less than a year. Although a murder in southern California in 1966 has been long considered what may have been his first, but there is no solid proof, only circumstances that are similar to later killings. His letters to the police do go as far 1978, however those later letters are thought to be forgeries or hoaxes.

Was he really a male?

We can say, yes to that answer as he was witnessed by two survivors of his attacks. Both survivors were able to give very accurate details about his height, body build, voice.

How sure are we that he acted alone?

 I would say in full confidence Zodiac did work alone. These are the types of murders where I don't believe a second killer or an accomplice would have been able to stay loyal. Once the pressure was on by the police the accomplice would have most likely turned himself in, therefore tipping police off to the real identity of the killer. Even the closest of killers who murder as a team will turn against their partner in order to save themselves.

Zodiac killings are very similar to BTK killings. They are motivated by ego and the power to scare. Keep communities terrified. The difference about Zodiac's killings, they weren't sexually motivated. He never makes any attempt to do anything with the victims other than kill them.

First victims: Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday: Teens out on a first date. Park on Lake Herman Road in Benicia,CA. Zodiac parks behind them and fires into the car from the drivers side, which causes the two teens to try to escape from the passenger side. Instantly he kills the boy, reducing the threat of a fight and allows Betty Lou to run.  However she never has a chance, because he has a sight on his gun that can pinpoint his target. He shoots her no less than 5 times in the back.

Seven months later: Darlene Ferrin and Mike Mageau 4th of July 1969 park alone when again Zodiac parks behind them walks up to the passenger side this time and shoot the boy first then the girl. He goes back to his car, perhaps to reload, returns shoots the boy some more,  rounds the car to the driver’s side to the girl and shoots her several more times. Quietly walks away and drives off never being seen by anyone, except the boy who amazingly survives after being shot in the face, knee, and body. After the attack, the Zodiac goes to a payphone and calls the police and tells them where they can find the two victims and relates he's also the killer of the two kids at Christmas. (BTK would do this same thing with victim Nancy Fox) about 5 years later.

September 1969, Brian Hartnell and Cecilia Ann Shepard take an afternoon at Lake Berryessa,CA where alone by the water a man approaches them wearing a black hood in the shape of a box
and a black cover of his torso with the Zodiac cross symbol emblazoned across it. He pulls a gun and this time takes his time. He forces the girl to tie up the boy and then Zodiac ties up the girl. They then have a long conversation according to Robert Graysmith author of Zodiac. Zodiac relates to the couple he needs their car to go to Mexico. He escaped prison from Montana. (Interesting side note  Unabomber Ted Kazinsky was considered a Zodiac suspect and planned his bombings from a shack in Montana). Brian Hartnell relates the man was calm and in control the entire time he had them tied up and talked with them. After the long conversation Zodiac said plainly, I'm going to have to stab you now. Hartnell asked to be stabbed first because he couldn't bear to see Cecilia stabbed. Zodiac agreed and stabbed him and then the girl. He then quietly walked away. Later police got a call telling them of the killings at Lake Berryessa, only Hartnell had survived. On the door of Hartnell's car was a note that gave the dates of the previous two attacks with the date of the current attack and the addition of saying "by knife” This time he changed his attack from just shooting to stabbing. This is curious because, to murder with a gun, it's not personal. Not to say that it doesn't affect you, but to kill with a knife...that is very personal, not only are you involved in the killing but you feel the knife stabbing. This seems to be something he needed to experience. Shooting wasn't enough; he needed to feel the terror all the way.

One month later October 1969, he shoots cab driver Paul Stine in San Francisco. Again he walks away without any worry of being caught. He is seen by a little girl from a house across the street of the attack but she never sees his face clearly. He tears off a piece of Paul Stine's shirt that he cuts into swatches to include in his communications with police as proof he is the killer. BTK did this with the driver’s license of a victim when he contacted KAKE TV all those years later to prove it really was BTK.

Zodiac sent coded ciphers to newspapers that purported to reveal who he was. FBI, CIA, NAVY were unable to crack these codes. Ironically it was a high school teacher and his wife who managed to break the first Zodiac cipher. It didn't give his name but it gave a small insight to his ego and his showing off of his brilliant mind. How his ego must have increased when he learned FBI, CIA and Navy were unable to break his codes.

Summation: All in all, The Zodiac seemed outside of wanting to prove his was smarter than anyone and couldn't be caught, displayed some very telling signs. In all the attacks but the last one he focuses his attack on the girls. He quickly disarms the threat of the males but his overkill frenzy is focused on the women. This sounds like revenge for rejection. Rejection most likely from what he feels all women. He's not a homosexual, he's an alpha male, strong sex drive and as I said these killings weren't sexually motivated, by that I mean there was no rape, he seems to want to kill the kind of women he feels he can't have, or might have been rejected by in past attempts to date. I think he saw the kind of women he killed as women he wished would be his girlfriend, someone he would have wanted to have a relationship with, but maybe girls of this type may have made fun of him, growing up, he may have been an overweight kid in school and was awkward with girls. Most likely if this is the case then I would say there was ONE GIRL in particular that made him feel this way. So his focus goes from blowing off immature high school behaviour to taking it so personally he feels he has to make her pay for what she did. So if indeed the girl killed in 1966 was the catalyst of this...then it becomes his mission to keep killing her over and over or girls he thinks are like her. Also the letter writing is to prove to her, he's not dumb, he's not just some fat ugly kid...he's so smart even the FBI, CIA and Navy can't break his codes... And so Zodiac slips off into the darkness as quietly as he emerged into the lives of the bay area of 1968, keeping central California terrified over the next ten years. Never to be caught.

Today in History - 17 March

The Night Stalker terrorises Los Angeles

On this day in 1985, Richard Ramirez, the infamous Night Stalker, buys a gun and then kills two women in separate attacks in Los Angeles. These murders started an incredible spree that panicked the entire city during the summer of 1985. Ramirez, who swore allegiance to Satan, killed over a dozen people.

Ramirez, dressed in all black and wearing an AC/DC cap, cruised the freeways of East Los Angeles looking for a victim on March 17. As he drove, he listened to AC/DC's Highway to Hell album over and over again; his favorite song was "Night Prowler." Finally, he spotted Maria Hernandez and followed her as she drove home. As she was opening her door from the garage, Ramirez walked straight at her, pointed the gun at her head and fired.

Remarkably, Hernandez put up her hand in front of her face and the bullet deflected off her keys. In the dark, Hernandez played dead while Ramirez entered her home. Unfortunately, roommate Dayle Okazaki was not so lucky. Ramirez shot her in the head and killed her. He left behind two clues: his AC/DC cap and a footprint from a size 11.5 Avia sneaker.

That same night, Ramirez began to follow law student Veronica Yu as she drove home. Yu realized that she was being followed and confronted Ramirez, but he jumped into her car and shot her to death with the .22 caliber gun.

On March 26, Ramirez began to establish a pattern. He burst into homes in the middle of the night, immediately shooting the men and then tying up the women for rape. He made his victims swear to Satan and carved pentagrams on walls. Though the press initially called the killer the Valley Intruder, the Night Stalker name stuck.

In early August, Ramirez decided to go to San Francisco to continue his killing in a less security-conscious environment. However, after he hit his first home, detectives discovered size 11.5 Avia footprints. Amazingly enough, Ramirez was the only one on the entire West Coast who had a pair of those exact sneakers. When San Francisco's mayor announced that the Night Stalker was responsible for this attack because of the shoe evidence, Ramirez threw the shoes off a bridge and returned to Los Angeles, where he was captured on August 31.

On September 20, 1989, Ramirez was found guilty of forty-three crimes, including thirteen counts of murder, five attempted murders and eleven sexual assaults. As of 2011, he was still awaiting execution in California's San Quentin State Prison.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

True or Not... what do you think? (Ted Bundy)

So recently I came across these pictures on the Internet.

Do you think their the actual photos taken after his (Ted Bundy) execution? Or are they fake?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today in History - 12 March 2003: Police recover Elizabeth Smart

Police recover Elizabeth Smart and arrest her abductors

On this day in 2003, 15-year-old Elizabeth Smart is finally found in Sandy, Utah, nine months after being abducted from her family s home. Her alleged kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell, a drifter who the Smarts had briefly employed at their house, and his wife, Wanda Barzee, were charged with the kidnapping, as well as burglary and sexual assault.

In the middle of the night on June 5, 2002, Elizabeth Smart, then 14 years old, was taken at knifepoint from her bedroom in her parents house in the upscale Federal Heights neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Her captor slid into the house undetected after cutting open the screen of an open window. Elizabeth s younger sister, Mary Katherine, with whom she shared her bedroom, was the only witness to the kidnapping. Mary Katherine did not inform her parents until two hours after the incident, frightened that the man might return for her if she called out to alert them. She was initially unable to identify her sister s attacker.

Elizabeth was taken to a crude campsite in the woods just three miles from her family s home--close enough that she could actually hear the voices of searchers calling for her in the days following her abduction. There, it is alleged that Mitchell, who calls himself Emmanuel and professes to be a prophet with his own Mormon sect, sexually assaulted her.

After two months, Smart?who was forced to wear a wig and dress in a robe and veil?was taken to Salt Lake City and appeared in public, but was not recognized. From there, Mitchell and Barzee took Smart to San Diego, where they lived in a series of campsites and under bridges. Finally, the group returned to the Salt Lake City area and, just a couple of hours later, several people recognized Elizabeth. They reported their sightings to police, who immediately followed up on the lead and pulled over a car carrying Mitchell, Barzee and Smart.

Most of the early police investigation into Elizabeth s disappearance had focused on another suspect, Richard Ricci, who had also once worked as a handyman in the Smart home. Serving time in prison for a parole violation during the investigation, Ricci denied having any involvement in the kidnapping. The trail grew cold after Ricci died in prison of a brain hemorrhage on August 30. Finally in early February 2003, Mary Katherine Smart told her parents she believed another former worker at the Smart home, who called himself "Emmanuel," might be Elizabeth s captor and the Smarts relayed the information to authorities. On February 3, believing that the police were not taking Mary Katherine s tip seriously, the Smart family called their own press conference to release a sketch of Emmanuel. Several days later, a man contacted police to inform them that Emmanuel was his disturbed stepfather, Brian David Mitchell, and that he believed him to indeed be capable of kidnapping. In the days before finding Elizabeth, the Smarts continued to criticize police for failing to devote enough energy to following up on the lead.

When found, Smart, who called herself "Augustine" most likely at the behest of Mitchell, initially denied to police that she was in fact Elizabeth Smart. Undeterred, police took her and her captors in separate cars to the Salt Lake City Police Department, where she was reunited with her family. On March 18, 2003, after Mitchell and Barzee were formally charged, Mitchell s attorney announced that his client considered taking Elizabeth "a call from God." It has since been reported that Mitchell believed Smart was his wife and that the young girl may have suffered from Stockholm syndrome during the nine-month ordeal, answering questions as to why she did not try to escape even though it seemed she had been presented with several opportunities.

Police later discovered that Mitchell had also attempted to kidnap Smarts cousin several weeks after taking Elizabeth and added that crime to the list of charges against him. Both Barzee, who filed for divorce from Mitchell in December 2004, and Mitchell were declared mentally unfit to stand trial in January 2004 and July 2005 respectively.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today in History - 9 March 1997: Rapper B.I.G is killed

Rapper Notorious B.I.G. is killed in Los Angeles

Christopher Wallace, a.k.a Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., is shot to death at a stoplight in Los Angeles. The murder was thought to be the culmination of an ongoing feud between rap music artists from the East and West coasts. Just six months earlier, rapper Tupac Shakur was killed when he was shot while in his car in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Ironically, Wallace's death came only weeks before his new album, titled Life After Death, was scheduled to be released.

Wallace was the most prominent East Coast practictioner of "gangsta rap," peppering his song with profane, violent and misogynistic lyrics. His 1994 record Ready to Die sold millions. That same year, Shakur, the West Coast's leading rapper, was shot several times in a robbery at a recording studio in New York.

Shakur claimed that Wallace was partially responsible and later taunted Wallace on one of his songs. He claimed to have slept with Wallace's ex-wife, singer Faith Evans, and insulted the overweight rapper for his ample girth.

Wallace's raps about violent street life were not completely fiction. He grew up in a poor section of Brooklyn and had many run-ins with the law growing up. Even after he reached stardom in the music world, his legal woes continued. In the summer of 1996 he was arrested when police found marijuana and firearms at his New Jersey home. He also gave a new meaning to fan appreciation when he assaulted a pair of admirers with a baseball bat.

The murder of Wallace has never been solved, though it has been suggested that either Marion "Suge" Knight, the former head of Death Row Records, Shakur's label, or the Crips gang may be be responsible. Knight was also shot (but not wounded seriously) in the fatal Las Vegas attack on Shakur and is rumored to have engineered a retaliatory strike against Wallace, whom he held responsible for the Las Vegas shooting. Since Wallace's death, Knight had been in and out of court and prison on a variety of charges.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Dynamic Duo's

This is the awesome weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's topic: 
Top Ten Dynamic Duos
Wow, and what a fun one for crime right?
So here is my list of Dynamic Criminal Duos (a little change, sorry :))
1. Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez - The Lonely Hearts Killers
2. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka - The Ken and Barbie Killers
3. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley - The Moors murderers
4. Bonnie and Clyde - No need for mentioning, duh
5. Fred and Rose West - Gloucester House of Horrors
6. Reggie and Ronnie Kray
7. The Menendez brothers - The Parent killers
8. Caril Fugate and Charles Starkweather - Natural Born killers is based on them
9. Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono - The Hillside Strangler cousins
10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Who do you think is the most famous?
What's your top ten?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today in History - 8 March 1951: The Lonely Hearts Killers get Executed

The Lonely Hearts Killers get Executed...

The Lonely Hearts Killers, Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, are executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. The strange couple had schemed to seduce, rob and murder women who placed personal ads in newspapers. Beck and Fernandez boasted to killing as many as seventeen women in this manner, but evidence suggests that there may have been only four victims.

Martha Beck was an extremely overweight, and by all reports, unattractive woman when she joined a lonely hearts club advertised in a romance magazine. Her first letter came from Ray Fernandez in Brooklyn. After World War II, he suffered a serious head injury in an accident that left him bald and with serious headaches. He became a petty criminal and wore a cheap black toupee to cover up his baldness. He convinced himself that he had a power over women that could turn them into his sexual slaves.

In 1946, Fernandez found his first mark in a lonely hearts club. He dated the older woman until he had gained enough of her trust to loot her bank account.The next year, he took the latest in a line of victims to Spain, where she turned up dead in a hotel room.  Fernandez responded to Beck's note with the intention of conning her, but after a brief affair, Fernandez and Beck apparently fell in love. When he confessed his original idea, Beck liked his scheme so much that she decided to join him.

Over the next two years, Beck posed as Fernandez's sister as he seduced older women before stealing from them. By 1949, they had murdered one victim and killed another accidentally with an overdose of sleeping pills. The end came when Fernandez hooked up with a younger woman in Michigan. The woman was a bit suspicious of the "brother and sister," and although she allowed them to move into her home, wouldn't marry Fernandez immediately and provide him access to her funds. When the jealous Beck got tired of waiting, the pair killed the woman and her two-year-old daughter and buried them in the basement.
Police officers, challenged by Fernandez himself, searched the home and found the makeshift grave. Beck and Fernandez confessed readily in the belief that their lives were safe in the non-capital punishment state of Michigan. But they didn't count on being extradited to New York, where the electric chair was an option. At the last minute they attempted an insanity defense, but were unable to convince the jury.

Their depraved story was the subject of a particularly sordid 1969 movie The Honeymoon Killers. Another movie called the Lonely Hearts Killers was also made more recently.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Upcomming James Patterson...


I thought it would be fun to add some great books that involve crime to my blog.

There are some truly great authors out there (and keep your eye on the blog, our resident author Thomas Amo is writing his next novel!) and I taught I'd try and showcase some of their upcoming work.

This might have been released already, but bare with me, South Africa is usually a bit late.

NYC's #1 detective, Michael Bennett, has a huge problem--the Son of Sam, the Werewolf of Wisteria and the Mad Bomber are all back. The city has never been more terrified!
Tick--a killer's countdown begins
A rash of horrifying crimes tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and terrorizing everyone living there. Immediately, it becomes clear that they are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind.

Tick--Michael Bennett is on the chase

The city calls on Detective Michael Bennett, pulling him away from a seaside retreat with his ten adopted children, his grandfather, and their beloved nanny, Mary Catherine. Not only does it tear apart their vacation, it leaves the entire family open to attack.

Tock--your time is up

Bennett enlists the help of a former colleague, FBI Agent Emily Parker. As his affection for Emily grows into something stronger, his relationship with Mary Catherine takes an unexpected turn. All too soon, another appalling crime leads Bennett to a shocking discovery that exposes the killer's pattern and the earth-shattering enormity of his plan. "

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blog hop and Follow Friday

Hey everyone...

Book blogger hop is hosted by Crazy for Books, and because this weeks question involves villains I thought it would be a great idea to post this on my Crime blog...

This weeks question is:
"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"
Well on this blog it's easy... there are a few:

1. Ted Bundy - The stranger beside me: Wow I mean he is the ultimate villain!

2. Jack the Ripper - The Complete Jack the Ripper: there have been so many stories about him that you kind of love him like a celebrity now...

3. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley - The World's Most Infamous Murders: Ok, so their not favorite's but I love to do research on them, couple killers are very interesting.

I've always been facinated by killers, doing loads of research on them to find out what they were like, why they did it, so if you have any great recommendations on books, please let me know?

Who is your favorite villain...

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee...

Quotes with a criminal feeling

"Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if, for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house, and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it would be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Q&A #2 with Thomas Amo - The BTK Strangler

Thanks for stopping by again... today Thomas and I are talking a bit more about Dennis Rader aka the BTK Strangler...

But first, lets meet Thomas Amo, my dear author friend who is always willing to do these Q&A's with me:

Thomas is into crime, just like me, not committing it, but fascinated by it. He is currently busy writing his second installment on his novel series, and you should look out for his first, An Apple for Zoƫ.
He's also a really nice guy, so check him out on Goodreads: Goodreads Profile: Thomas Amo

But back to business, and our Q&A of BTK:

The BTK has long interested me, because if you had seen him in the street you would never think he could do any harm, yet he was a killer...

Thomas: Hello again Niecole, so today we are covering Dennis Rader : The BTK Killer. aka The BTK Strangler.

Niecole: Explain to us what BTK stands for?

Thomas: Bind, Torture, Kill
Right from the outset this killer wants everyone to know exactly what he is all about. He revels in what he is about to bring to the table of serial killers before him.
This is interesting as he begins killing in 1974 at exactly the same time as Ted Bundy.

Niecole: How long did his killing sprees go on for?

Thomas: The actual killing timeline went from 1974 to 1991. But it would be another 13 years before it ended 100 %.  This is absolutely amazing, as a man as calculating as BTK, he has an ego that he managed to stop killing and go back to his normal everyday life as if nothing had ever happened. And over the next decade he doesn't even troll for a victim. There are a couple of factors as to why this may have been.

1. He's passed the age of 35. Most serial killers loom around the age span of 21 to 35. These can be known in men as the aggressive years. A time when men feel invincible. Also it's a time when they seem to have the most rage. It's also a time when men are most sexually active, as the sex drives wanes the rage subsides as well. Most men stay sexually interested very late in life, but the degree of desire isn't as veracious at 65 as 30.

2. After the killings stopped in 1991 he's in his late 40's moving into his 50's. Physically he isn't the same man he was in 1974. While he may still be threatening in some ways, he may be thinking if he gets into a situation where a boyfriend or husband comes home he may not be able to control the situation.

Niecole: Why do you think he used these methods of murder?

Thomas: This goes back to Bundy for me. It's something that turned him on sexually. He actually took Polaroid photos of himself bound in ways he wanted to do to the women he killed. The question goes back to why did he use these methods? BTK each one gave him sexual satisfaction. They were also about instilling fear not only in the victims but the community at large.
How excited do you think it was for him to be in a grocery store line and hear people talking about how scared they are of the BTK killer? He gets to see the results of his killer persona first hand.
The thought of knowing he has an entire town in fear of him...yes Dennis Rader...but more importantly The BTK Killer the monster he created with his ego.
Niecole: The BTK was such an ordinary looking man, why do you think he had such a great secret? Why do some murderers appear so normal? Do you have any theories on it?

Thomas: Once again, like Bundy, he is able to stay in the blind spot of the community. In fact he becomes involved in the community in many ways. Where he is unlike Bundy, Rader was confrontational. He wasn't always very well-liked by people who worked with him. His neighbours didn't complain about him, as who wants to draw attention to themselves when they have a storage room full of things he took from victims. Because as I stated earlier what sets him apart, his ego really makes him dangerous. Yet he's very cautious about every move he makes. Sometimes
having a great secret makes you feel superior to others. "I know something you don't know!" the though I'm smarter than you, you're all so stupid I'm BTK and you don't even know it!  The fact that he does appear normal and no one suspects him, makes him feel even more special. He enters into the "God complex" as BTK decides who lives and dies. Like the Zodiac, Rader wrote letters to the police and to a local TV station. He enjoyed the media attention. For the most part, he got away with it. The police could never find him, couldn't link him via letters or through the clues at the crime scenes. He must have thought by 2004, wow I was the BTK killer and no one ever knew.
I murdered 10 people right under their very noses. And while everyone suspected he was either dead, in jail for something else or simply moved away...he was right there all along. This must have given him tremendous satisfaction.

Niecole: He had a family right? Do you think that they ever suspected?

Thomas: This is a really good question. Not only a wife but children as well. I've never seen any details on his family, but your initial thoughts are his family must be completely stupid to not have known. But consider this...if he could fool an entire town, of course he could keep the secret at home. There comes the question if his wife did suspect, she may have been the kind of woman who knows her husband cheats on her. She's aware of it, but if she doesn't confront it, she doesn't have to deal with it.

But let's talk about his final undoing, as this is worth mentioning. After more than 25 years and 10 murders later, it seemed the story of BTK was going to be like Zodiac...the police were no closer today than they were in 1974. Rader, even telephoned  the police (like Zodiac) after a murder and told them where to find the victim. One of the most chilling things he did was, he lay in wait one night for a woman he had been planning to kill for some time … and coincidental she didn't come home that night. A few days later she got a letter from BTK asking why she wasn't home. Imagine her terror in knowing that by simply not coming home that night, she was still alive. But even more chilling, he's sent her a letter telling her about it...this means he could have come back for her. But it's scarier letting her wonder and worry if he ever will. Again this goes back to his love of instilling fear.  2004 TV station KAKE decides on a whim to run the BTK story on the anniversary of the first murders. Wondering what became of the BTK....well whatever was in Rader that had lay dormant for those 13 years came alive. That ego was stroked and he had to let them know he was still there among them. A day or so later KAKE TV receives a letter printed from a computer with an item from one of the victims to prove it is him. The letter states he never left. One again BTK has everyone scared! Those old feelings have come back… he's actually thinking about killing again. His ego thinks he's gotten away this long; no reason to think anything should change. But once again he contacts police and this time it's via a computer disk. In the letter he wants to know if there is anyway of tracing a computer disk...the police of course telling him no... and blindly he believes them...he is caught! The police trace the disk to a computer used at a local church where Rader is the church president. After all is said and done, he is indignant with police that they lied about the computer disk. His ego once again made him feel that there was an understanding between himself and the police.

Today he sits in prison life without possibility of parole. Should he get death? My initial instinct is to say yes....However living the rest of his years in punishment of what he did should only serve to remind him...all he did was kill innocent people....his career as a serial killer...will at best only be a footnote, as in all these types of cases, when we find out who these monsters are… we learn for the most part, they are pathetic men who lead unremarkable lives.

A very scary man, with a very scary secret... beware of your neighbours friends...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I'm waiting for on this blog ties in a bit with fictional crime... and the book is Angel by James Patterson

Angel (Maximum Ride, #7)
"In the seventh book in the bestselling series, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they're trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it.

Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans. And this time, the true heroine, for once, might just be little Angel."
I love James Patterson, he's one of those authors that you can just read...
So tell me, what is your waiting on Wednesday?