I’ve had a lot of people ask what prompted me to begin writing. The truth is that this all started as a genealogical project many years ago. As a retired law enforcement officer, early in my career I worked for a college police department. We received our police authority from the county sheriff’s office. My dad would remind me that in 1897 (yes, 1897), my great-great grandfather was the sheriff of the same county I was working in. I decided to look up some old articles about him, so I went to the local library and started combing through old newspapers from that particular time period. There was on particular article that caught my eye, and it was titled Awful Deed. As I read the article, I learned of a gruesome murder in the town where I had grown up, and I spotted my grandfather’s name. As I read about the macabre murder, I instantly knew it would make a great book. Unfortunately, it took me about twenty-five years to document it.
After documenting the 1897 murder, I realized how much I had come to enjoy writing, and I decided to document a second murder. I remembered hearing about a double murder committed by an escaped convict from a Michigan prison in 1955 and decided it would make an interesting story, given the fact that the killer’s case languished in the court system for over thirty years. The killer’s case was going to be heard by the United States Supreme Court, and there was a chance he was going to be released because of a violation of his constitutional rights. Both cases were well received, so I decided to take it one step further.
For my third book, I chose to seek out a literary agent. I followed every guideline I could find, and I worked for several months to perfect my book proposal. Six weeks after I began to query agents, I had two offers. After accepting one of the two offers, it took another month or so until I was signed with Wild Blue Press.
My latest venture is the result of my thirty years in law enforcement. Over that period of time, I built relationships with people who would play a key part in this book. Police officers, investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges that I had come to know over my tenure as a police officer were all a part of one case. It was the case of a serial killer. It was the case of Don Miller.
The result of those lasting friendships has resulted in this compendium of serial killer Don Miller’s reign of terror in East Lansing, Michigan during the ‘70s. It’s the story of a predator and his prey, and it’s the story of plea deal that haunts Mid-Michigan to this day.