Very soon, my true crime tome, KENTUCKY BLOODBATH, will be released by WildBlue Press. It’s a trip into the odd, fascinating, and often shocking world of true crime. As such, a few words from yours truly are in order…
Having grown up reading true crime, it wasn’t at all surprising that one day after I’d begun my writing career that I dove into true crime, putting onto pages those strange and terrible events that are part and parcel of this macabre world. And so, after finishing a book on George Armstrong Custer – a personality study of the man -, I turned towards true crime, knowing there was much to write about in my home state of Kentucky. I was also aware, that, to my knowledge, no previous writer in the state had ever conducted such a thorough search for strange Kentucky murders such as I was undertaking.
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As I began my research into past Kentucky killers and their victims, I was well aware there were a good number of very unusual homicides from the Bluegrass State, as I’d read about them over the years in newspapers accounts, heard the strange tales from relatives and friends, or watched the occasional newscasts on TV (remember, if it bleeds it leads!). But these sources were never in-depth studies of the cases in question; and worse still, very often, erroneous information came forth, and it wasn’t until I began the research, using the original case files, that I’d find out what really happened. And it would be in these moments of discovery, that an accurate picture of each individual tragedy would rise and take shape from the seemingly innumerable police reports and interviews of those involved.
Indeed, many of the stories I’ve “unearthed” would have been lost forever had I not sought them out from the dusty archives and storage facilities scattered throughout the state; stories that would, ultimately, be destined for obscurity and eventual disposal as the decades dragged on. One case in particular, took weeks to locate, and finally came to light only through the staunch determination of the archivist who kept digging and refused to give up. That case (previously published as an article), is now in book-form as The Valley Drive-In Double Murders, and can be found, along with five other Kentucky murder cases I wrote, in Death of a Cheerleader, published in Gregg Olsen’s very popular Notorious USA series. Recently, one radio interviewer, contemplating their bizarre aspects, quite rightly stated how all of these Kentucky murders resembled something out of The Twilight Zone, and I quickly had to agree with his assessment. That’s the nature of these cases, and frankly, it was what I was looking for in my quest to uncover true crime in Kentucky.
While most of the murders I penned were intended for future book publication, some were picked up by Snitch, a weekly print newspaper devoted to issues of crime and the law that began in Louisville, Kentucky, and, at its height, was published in five states. All were feature articles and were well-received – no surprise here, as many folks seemed to have only the vaguest of memories pertaining to some of the more long-ago murders before the newspapers hit the stands. As a writer, I found it very gratifying to be able to bring this information to the light, knowing it was, and will continue to be preserved for a very long time.
And now, in that same spirit of satisfaction, I’m pleased to announce that my publisher, WildBlue Press, will be publishing ten wildly bizarre Kentucky homicides from my very own case files, with the exceedingly appropriate title: Kentucky Bloodbath. All of these stories are being published for the first time, and those readers who find themselves turning these pages are in for a real excursion into the weird and the bizarre: from the medieval type murder that occurred in a small town museum early one morning; to the brutal killer of a little girl who walked free and remained a constant danger to other little girls; to the jilted boyfriend who decided that his former girlfriend needed to die on her twenty-first birthday.
Suffice it to say that KENTUCKY BLOODBATH is not for the faint of heart.