get asked this a lot, especially family members. How can you research
and write about these gory crimes?
be taught a long time ago to detach myself from "what I have to
do or see". Sorry, that's vague but I'm not permitted to
elaborate. I've seen the worst of the worst in criminals, serial and
spree killers....up close and personal. The worse kind of crime
scenes you can possibly imagine. To separate your emotions is not
easy...that's why since retiring I write and publish so that my mind
is active and doesn't drift back. Most people are fascinated with
the criminal mind. That's why shows like Dexter, Criminal Minds, Cold
Cases, CSI are so popular. We don't want these killers in our
neighbourhood or course but to learn what makes the dregs of society
tick is curious to most people.
is the hardest part of writing true crime novels?
information. I've contacted the FBI and have been
given quite a bit of information, as well from their archives. You
can obtain a great deal of information from the FOIA (Freedom of
Information Act). Some things get blacked out however. The FBI policy
on extracting information is that you have to rephrase or edit every
paragraph, or, every 40 words. If the perp is captured and sentenced,
than court documentation is a great source and very explicit in
detail. If someone is interested in writing, those are two avenues
plus, contacting the local police station that investigated the crime
and if the case is closed, they will give you a summary of the crime
but not crime scene pictures unfortunately.
is the most heinous crime you've written about?
about school shootings. When I was writing No Killing in the
Hallways, I was an emotional wreck. Being a parent of two teenage
girls in school, and to research and write about what happened at V.
Tech and Columbine, was emotionally draining.
there one crime that sticks in your head and heart and haunts you?
most memorable time was writing about Jeffrey Dahmer. The following
is an excerpt from Case Closed: Serial Killers Captured and it broke
my heart to write it, it haunts me every day:
“In the wee
hours of May 27th, 1991, Konerak Sinthasomphone, fourteen, was
discovered wandering naked on the street, heavily drugged and
bleeding from his rectum. Two young women from theneighbourhood
found the confused young boy and called 911. Dahmer chased
after the boy to take him back to his apartment, but the women
stopped him. When the police arrived, Dahmer told them that
Sinthasomphone was his nineteen-year-old boyfriend, and they’d had
an argument while drinking. The two women were not pleased and
protested, but the two police officers turned the boy over to Dahmer.
The police later reported a strange smell inside Dahmer's apartment,
but did not investigate it. The smell was the body of Tony Hughes,
Dahmer's previous victim, decomposing in the bedroom. The two
policemen did not try to verify the boy’s age and also failed to
run the background check that would have revealed Dahmer as a
convicted child molester, registered sex offender, and still on
probation. Later that night, Dahmer killed and dismembered the young
lad, keeping his skull as a souvenir. Author Note: Officers Joseph P.
Gabrish and John A. Balcerzak were fired after this incident but
appealed and were re-instated.”
authors or books have greatly influenced your own writing?
and foremost, John Douglas is my favourite. Since I was a young boy,
I always wanted to be an FBI Agent from watching the show at the
time, The FBI starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (who is 93 years young).
I found out in my early teens that I couldn't be with the FBI because
I was Canadian...what a disappointment, I still remember it. Getting
back to John Douglas, I really enjoyed his books: Mind Hunters,
Inside the Mind of BTK, Obsession, and The Cases that Haunt Us. He
has other books, but those were my favourite and inspiration to
write. Other great authors are: Peter Vronsky, Michael Newton, Mark
Olshaker, Sylvia Perrini and Dane Ladwig just to name a few.
you considered writing books in any other genres?
I'm well known as a true crime writer and it would be hard to change
now. I did however write a children's book for my grandson. I'd love
to write an action packed thriller but I just don't have the
seem to label or think of serial killing and mass murder as mainly an
American phenomenon. What is your take on this?
heard that. According to the FBI, 85% of the world's serial killers
are American. Yet, the U.S. accounts for only 2% of the world's
population. That being said, the worst killers actually are from
other countries, ie, Dr. Harold Shipman killed 250 plus people. How
about Hitler as a mass murderer, and Stalin? At any given time in
America, there are between 30-50 active serial killers. That is
offer your Kindle books for free to law enforcement, firefighters,
Allied soldiers, correctional officers, EMTs, etc. What prompted you
to do this? And do you have a background in any of these fields?
dont have a background in law enforcement like a police officer per
se, but I do have a background in national security and have worked
with many alphabet agencies over the years. Sorry for being vague but
I can't elaborate. Many of my family members are or have been
soldiers, police officers and firefighters. I am a very patriotic
person. I'm Canadian, and we are part of North America so I am
patriotic to both Canada and the US. Before I published, I promised
myself that no soldier, or men and women in uniform who do so much in
protecting and serving their countries, will ever have to pay for my
books. I have gifted over 1,800 free eBooks and paperbacks to men
and women in uniform as well as wounded warriors and have gotten
hundreds of beautiful e-mails in return. I always write back and
thank them personally for their service. I've met a lot of beautiful
people this way. I've been Blessed by God with very good sales so
that I can afford to gift these books. By the way, I have to pay full
price for every book I gift.
is it like to interview a serial killer?
a serial killer is not as glamorous or intriguing as one might
think... looking into the eyes of a madman as he rambles on,
gleefully recalling one horrific scene after another, while
exhibiting zero remorse or shame. He will tell his stories to anyone
who will listen for the sheer pleasure of being able to relive his
henious killings. These madmen and women, they weren't born to be
killers. They are sculped and made into cold blooded killers.
Sculpted by society, the by-product of their parents, or lack thereof
and in particular the mother, and the life they've been dealt. You
have to talk to them on their level. Dress down, unshaved, laugh,
high-five them, all while getting them to open up. Then you go to
your hotel room and break down crying for the victims and their
are your current writing projects?
I have so many
'iron's in the fire'... I'm publishing the first ever written Serial
Killers Anthology in December, as well as, Dr. H.H. Holmes and the
Whitechapel Ripper by True Crime Author, Historian and Investigator
Dane Ladwig. As his agent, I'm working on a movie option with this
book with the most prominent actor in Hollywood. In 2014, I am
co-writing a book about 'Filicide', Parent's who killed their
children. Then there's the second annual Anthology plus a biography
about Motown that I may be producing. I'd still like to write volume
two of Top Cases of The FBI but it keeps getting pushed to the back
love weekends because?
I worked for the Feds for 25 years, I looked forward to weekends.
Now, I don't know the days of the week. Everyday is a work day for
favorite song is?
Forget to Remember Me by the Bee Gees.
want to travel to? Why?
It is warm and dry. I have bad arthritis and every specialist I've
seen said I need to move to Arizona. Winters are terrible on me here
TV Station: AETV
reading genre: Action/Thrillers
food: Porkchops smothered in mushroom soup and onions
are the optimal writing conditions for you? Quiet/being alone