On Being A True Crime Writer

Jayne here – at book signings I get asked how I chose the stories I did for my book, True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder and Mayhem. I tell them that some (almost half) of the stories were cases I actually worked on. The others were ones that were in the media (like the Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff) and the rest were ones that I just did a search for online for unusual cases. The most unusual? Online cannibals. Yep, you read right. I came across a story of a man in Germany who posted in the German equivalent of Craigslist looking for fit, young men who wanted to be killed and eaten. Seriously.

What boggled my mind was that many men actually responded to this ad. And many of those went so far as to go to this man’s home, where he had a basement “killing dungeon.” He even convinced some of the ones who came to his home to let him string them up, then draw on them with a marker the cuts of meat he would take from them once he killed them.

That spooked the lot of them, until one man answered the ad, came to the man’s home, and let him go forward with the killing and eating. The first part to go was his, ahem, manhood. He was still alive as the cannibal cut it off, sauteed it, then tried to eat it. It was nasty (duh), so he put it in the dog’s food dish. There was no word if the dog ate it.

Then the cannibal proceeded to read a Star Trek novel while his victim bled out in a bathtub nearby.

Needless to say, the cannibal slipped up at some point and was arrested.  He is in jail and hopes to write a book about what he did. And I bet it would be a bestseller.

Another question I get asked is if I watch the crime series on TV, like Law & Order and CSI. Nope. The closest is Rizzoli & Isles, only because I love the friendship between the two main characters. The same with Bones. The only episode of Law & Order I ever did watch was one from many years ago that a friend sent to me on a VHS cassette (remember those?).

He had emailed me and asked if I’d seen the night before’s episode. I told him no. He said it was based on my cyberstalking case. Intrigued, I couldn’t wait to watch the show. And it was about me and my cyberstalking case, which garnered headlines back in the late 1990s. Except, on this episode, I died at the end.

What I do watch, besides comedy like Psych and sci-fi like Revolution and Haven and Under The Dome, is the ID channel (Investigation Discovery). My husband found it one day and we were hooked. I especially love “I Almost Got Away With It.” The only that bothers me about that show is the criminals showed how they could have gotten away with it and makes me wonder if someone else will actually do the crime and indeed get away with it. My head is going to explode just thinking about it!

But watching the shows I do does give me ideas for other stories.

What inspires you to write?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply