The Serial Killer Craze

When I was a kid, three things fascinated me beyond anything else.  They were, in no particular order, the paranormal (particularly ghosts), serial killers, and sharks.

The last one sounds a little funny in comparison, but it’s true.   I devoured book after book about sharks after watching JAWS approximately 150,000 times.  I memorized their scientific names, habits, diet, and where they were found in the world.  I wanted to be Matt Hooper!  I joke now that I was probably the world’s foremost 8 year old expert.

Eventually my interest in sharks died off.  I still love JAWS, and I can recall random facts here and there about great whites or threshers but, for now, there’s another 8 year old out there who deserves my old crown.

The paranormal and serial killers, however, have stood the test of time. Granted, I no longer believe in ghosts, but I still love the stories.  And I should probably mention that I host an internet radio show with my pal Bobby that explores all manner of weirdness.  (Shameless plug:  Strange Frequencies Radio)

The serial killer thing has really been coming on strong lately, though.  I’ve kept the interest overall, but of course there have been times here and there when I wasn’t actively reading up on them.  That time has passed.  I’m back full-time now and it has been going great.

I’ve taken a couple of trips to the bookstore lately; Barnes & Noble to be specific, and have picked up a few items I’ve been digging in to.  One is a DVD featuring 7.5 hours of serial killer segments.  At only $4.99 it was quite a steal.  Granted, some of it leaves a little bit to be desired.   But it’s an independently produced video and, besides that, there is some genuinely cool and creepy stuff.  For instance, I didn’t know a whole lot about Albert Fish until watching this video.  Did you know he ate the bodies of kids he killed and wrote their parents to tell them how great their child’s ass tasted?  Brutal.

I also picked up two books the very next day.  One is a biography on the life and crimes of The Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez, and the other is a study on forensic pathology from one of its foremost experts, Dr. Michael Baden, called “Unnatural Death.”

I chose the Baden book to read first and am loving it so far.  I should finish sometime tomorrow night at the latest, and I may write a quick review for the blog here.  Pretty sure that review will be largely positive.  I’ve really enjoyed the history of autopsy he has provided, as well as the case studies from his records.  For example, I knew the JFK autopsy was botched, but I never knew just how bad!  The examiner was not a qualified forensic pathologist.  On top of that, he was rushed by pressure from the Secret Service and the Kennedy family to get them the body back as quick as possible.  Unfortunately, he had never done an autopsy on a gunshot victim before.  He didn’t notice there were entrance and exit wounds.  The dude even burned his notes when he found blood on them, and tried to rewrite them from memory.  It was shockingly inept.  Reading Baden’s account of his personally led re-examination of the case 14 years after the Warren Commission report is simply astounding.

Anyway, just wanted to give everyone a quick heads up on what has been happening in my dark and depraved world.  Stay tuned for a review or two, as well as a couple more normal posts coming in the hopefully very near future.

Be seeing you.

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