Occasionally, folks will ask me why I write true crime. And without missing a beat, I always tell them that before I composed my first sentence describing the murder and mayhem that is such an ever-present reality on our planet, I’d been a student of these strange happenings for over three decades. You see, the first true crime book I ever read was Charles Franklin’s, The World’s Worst Murderers.
It was 1965, I was ten years old, and I became instantly fascinated by the diabolical deeds that had been committed by often seemingly normal individuals. The acts they committed were always horrific, unfair, and final. Indeed, the levels of depravity displayed in many homicides seem like the stuff of fiction. But even as a small boy, I knew it was all too real, and it was birthing wisdom in me far beyond my years.
There was so much to be gleaned from these books beyond just the facts of each murder, and the more I read, the more I understood the true nature of humans, both the guilty and the innocent. The guilty, those reprobate “monsters” who seek to destroy and defile their fellow earthly travelers (particularly women), and the innocent, many of whom who go about their lives with such confidence that not locking their car doors or securing their homes at night, has become a well-entrenched habit. A habit, I might add, that could have deadly results.
So when reading true crime, peruse it with an eye towards the predator. Get to know their world, sharpen your vision, for their habitation is our habitation, and it’s important to never forget that evil really is in the world. Make your life safer by understanding the darker side of humanity, and by doing so, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding it.
Murder has a lot to tell us, my friends, if we’ll only take the time to listen.
Kevin Sullivan’s, Vampire: The Richard Chase Murders, WildBlue Press, is available now for Kindles and Kindle reading apps.