When I first was approached to help write THE SHAWCROSS LETTERS I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew it to be the story of Arthur Shawcross, one of America’s most notorious serial killers, and his friendship with a man named John Paul Fay.
As a fan of true crime, I have read books before where a famous killer befriended a member of society, and I always found them lacking, they always seem to be reaching for something, promising some sort of payoff that the book never actually achieves. When someone tries too hard to be dark and scary, one can sense it.
I soon found out this book was different than any true crime book I had ever read. This book consists of numerous letters from Shawcross, and offers terrifying and disturbing glimpses into his mind. There may be a collection of letters from a serial killer that has been published that is more depraved and more fascinating, but if so I haven’t read it.
And what of my co-author John Paul Fay? While most books of this nature show the person who has befriended the serial killer as either a dupe or a victim, Fay is practically overjoyed to make the acquaintance of Arthur Shawcross, and exults in their burgeoning friendship.
After reading all of this one might think that this book glorifies serial killers, that Shawcross and Fay are treated as heroes through their own words. The truth is actually far different. What this book does is offer a peek into a world that while we all knows exists, none of us ever get to see at least those of us that survive. If you dare read this book you will never look at serial killers, or the guy sitting next to you on the subway, quite the same way.