MONSTROUS

Tommy Walker

No Apparent Motive

A terrific documentary apparently from the mid-1980s, No Apparent Motive dated enough that you can actually see there’s a difference between that time and now. Especially enlightening for its inclusion of an interview with Ed Kemper, a very insightful fellow and very recognizably human.

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October 20, 2013 Posted by | Serial Killers | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Becoming Mary Bell’s Mom

As in Mary Bell, the 11-year-old girl who murdered two boys. Her prostitute mother used to carry around a scrapbook which she seemingly always had her nose in. I have long seen the resemblance but today took an ominous, accelerated turn when I began reading Monstrous again after last finishing it in the past week.

I wanted to try something different, and was eager to accept the homeless kid’s recommendation of H.P. Lovecraft, but all my local library had was an anthology of stories inspired by Lovecraft, rather than written by him. None of the thousands of other books, either there or here at home on mainly my wife’s bookshelves, has had a force behind it pushing it forward for me.

A paragraph once in my doghouse is starting to look good again. Recently I’ve seen the Howard Hughes story being framed in terms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, as opposed to the rich-guy-lazing-around explanation I had grown up with. With the acceptance of this new truth came the begrudging acceptance that I had gotten it wrong, a particularly acute embarrassment in that this paragraph immediately followed the single most beloved paragraph in fifteen years of one of my readers. But now I am being reminded that I personally know someone who has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and you could substitute his name for ‘Howard Hughes’ and the paragraph would still hold true. It was true of him before the obsessive thoughts got him sent to a psych ward, and has been true of him in the many years post-crisis, suggesting a phenomenon deeper than OCD can explain.

Me and Howard Hughes. He didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want, and since he was free from want he did nothing.

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Monstrous | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brudos Before Chase

The sooner I get this done the sooner I can watch the Richard Trenton Chase documentary. That ought to wake me up. I’ve read a bit on him as a chapter in larger books.

The one I just finished was on Glen Rogers, called My Brother the Serial Killer. In theory, its most electrifying claim was that Rogers was responsible for the O.J. murders, but when I heard it my interest waned. Later, it perked up again and I heard the claim out. Who the hell knows, I guess.

Occurs to me that for all the ink I spilled, I never actually watched the Jerry Brudos doc– better rectify that.

August 24, 2013 Posted by | Serial Killers | , , , | Leave a comment

Rambling

My one-a-day ambitions are being strained to the limit; I’ve slipped past 24 hours and am re-defining a day as concluding when I go down for the count. I thought that I would be a good citizen and post Israel Keyes’ suicide note in its entirety with no commentary, but it truly is hard to read, and for once I agree with those who call a killer’s writings “rambling”.

Normally the term “rambling” sends my eyes rolling, off the table and onto the floor, much like the word “chilling” does. Where the talking head is telling me in advance how I am going to feel, and they always get it wrong. Incredibly, the stock term “rambling” was oft-used in describing the Unabomber’s manifesto, when in reality it is as cogent a writing piece as one would expect from a man with a 170 IQ. So many of these horseshit (Happy-Face homage) descriptors stem from the reasonable belief that nothing about a killer should ever be viewed in a positive light, but also there’s a chasm in understanding where the outlier is coming from when he speaks, that tends to get blamed on the other rather than on oneself. Ted Kaczynski was an outlier twice over: a murderer who wrote over your head.

August 7, 2013 Posted by | Serial Killers | , , | Leave a comment

Potshots

Sending My Regrets

Please share the frothy hatred regarding ‘Titanic’. I loved that movie like almost no other. I think of the old couple in bed that didn’t even try to survive when I need a good cry.

But I’m with you about the uncalled for criticism of a killer’s gravedigging skills and what have you. I understand about not wanting to give a killer credit for anythng, but so often the mainstream look like idiots if you take them at their word that they actually believe their lines about the attributes of killers in areas having nothing to do with why they oppose them. The talking heads are idiots if they are honest, and dishonest if they know what they’re doing. If you’ve never harmed anyone and are idealistically against idiocy and dishonesty, and on one side you have somebody who did their best under circumstances you don’t understand, while on the other you have a fellow taking potshots, stuff like that can persuade the idealist to join the true Good Guys.

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Comments Around the Web | , , , | Leave a comment

If You Were a Serial Killer, You’d Probably be BTK

Bind Torture Kill

Dennis Rader named his ‘Sparky’, while ‘Petey’ is what I named mine. And neither of us cared much for being interrupted by the damn telephone. Undoubtedly he was the healthiest psychologically of any prolific serial killer I’ve ever come across (if a well-adjusted personhood is considered some kind of ideal), again putting him within handshaking distance across the aisle from myself. He distinctly did not like body count on a project by project basis, preferring to concentrate on only one victim though he sometimes didn’t get what he wanted, and moreover the signs were there that his dark and light aspects were integrating while he was still on the loose. He was remembered as a nice guy during his most murderous period, and as a complete asshole only once his murders had all but stopped. Sports fans know that the earlier they start, the higher their peak will tend, and Rader was late onset, never in practice enough to ever get past being lovably bungling at killing (although he had his trumps) and virtually hung it up altogether on his own, much like Ted Kacyzinski.

Yes, he continued in his halfhearted way to elude the authorities to the end, but only after progressively stacking the game in the cops’ favor as he approached the point of feeling that he would get more out of the notoriety of being found out than he would out of killing more people anonymously, especially since the public wasn’t with-it enough to add his most recent kills to the legacy of BTK. Without his direct input no one would ever know that he had made it to double digits, not that anyone was counting.

Yes, Dennis Rader, you had to draw them a picture. And yes, you had to be persistent in calling people up and saying “Hi, I’m BTK”, as any telemarketer must after being hung up on, again.

(By the way, do you know what the ‘T’ for ‘torture’ meant to Mr. Bind them, Torture them, Kill them? There was nothing medieval about it. All it meant was allowing a breather while strangling, because strangling/killing’s hard work.)

Lieutenant Ken Landwehr didn’t play Cops and Robbers fair, either as a kid or adult. As a child he’d walk away whenever it was someone else’s turn to play the Good Guy for once; all of his playmates had to stay consigned to their Bad Guy boxes if they wanted to have any fun. Likewise, telling BTK that correspondence via floppy disk couldn’t be traced, when BTK had kindly asked Landwehr to be honest, was a case of unsportsmanlike conduct.

When I was an adolescent I had an imaginary friend name of Ronnie who killed three people while I sat in the getaway car, and who later negotiated a conditional surrender to a General Sanford, his nation’s top cop. Sanford was a gentleman:

The titans came together in the same room, no guards poised to take Ronnie by force. Sanford, always the sportsman, agreed it must be this way.

Ronnie surrendered on his own terms, the General got a benny in the process that he hadn’t dreamed of beforehand, the two of them went out for beers, and ultimately everyone lived happily ever after. I’m convinced nowadays that all of us essentially use the same playbook, and I’m not so sure it was cosmically wise to deviate from the script.

March 31, 2012 Posted by | Reviews of Others | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monstrous Lifetime First

And first thought: ‘What the?’, followed by a dawning that it might be a practical joke, but now I think it’s for real. I just saw my own book advertised in the sidebar of a regular website.

I was looking for fresh talk regarding Mr. Anime/Trey Sesler, for something that I might play off of so I could be a ratings whore and further capitalize on the biggest news item I’ve ever helped to cover.

(Suddenly have become the kind of guy who looks at ‘Anime/Trey’ and wonders if the slash will make both keywords harder for engines to find. Yes, Tommy Walker is learning, if perhaps the process is slow; it’ll be another day that I act as result of my wondering, if I ever do).

I figure it was Google AdSense sniffing out Monstrous as appropriate to associate with the Mr. Anime story, based on my own act of writing halfway voluminously about Mr. Anime on a blog ultimately devoted to making you all aware of my book.

Stay tuned for future earth-shaking reports (the earth shakes when my mind boggles), as perchance when one of these days I might catch an actual reader writing about Monstrous without having first been jollied into it by either Amazon or myself.

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Monstrous | , , , , | Leave a comment

Birth Order Thoughts about Wichita’s BTK

Or maybe this is more about me.

What Your Birth Order Says About You

I’ve been meaning to do a proper review of Bind Torture Kill, or an assessment of Dennis Rader through the book which I just finished reading, but maybe it is meant to come dribbling out sporadically over a period of many days.

Often I have wondered what birth order has meant in distinguishing my experience growing up from that of my younger brother’s. We are similar psychologically, but why aren’t we even closer to being identical twins? And why, in the world at large, is a Ma Barker gang not the rule in dysfunctional families?

Dennis Rader was the eldest of five children, and in a book that offered next to no insight on the matter of Rader’s development (because it wasn’t and probably couldn’t be that kind of book), there was one tantalizing offering about his family environment. Namely, that while the mother was loving, the father was “strict but fair”.

Happens that words of this very sort have been used to describe my father’s father, who also had five kids. “Strict but fair” has been the testimony of all or most of his children, who at the same time acknowledge that he beat them often. An example of my grandfather’s ‘fairness’ was his now and then whipping his kids without cause on the grounds that they had probably done something wrong that he hadn’t caught them for since the last time they had been whipped. It is only recently that the mother of this clan has come forward with accusations that he beat her as well, but she is almost universally dismissed as being batshit crazy. I personally don’t find the charges too farfetched, knowing for a fact he could get a good laugh out of walking on my adolescent back while I was sleeping on his floor over a holiday.

Two things birth order related that could have tipped the scales, persuading the eldest Rader kid to veer down a criminal path. One is that Dennis more than anyone, as a first and briefly an only, was in position to partake in the drama of competing Alpha Males, ready to displace his father as Man of the House should his father be judged as unworthy. If Dad only won under protest– and a ‘good’ kid like Dennis might have had cause to protest that he didn’t do anything wrong in the periods between presumed beatings– then an entire childhood might have been frittered away, waiting for the decision to be reversed.

The other factor is really more about the age of the parents when a child is very young. The firstborn gets the youngest, healthiest, most energetic parents, and when we’re talking dysfunctionality, that means they get the parents who have the most piss and vinegar in them. How Rader experienced “strict but fair”, if that was indeed his take, might have been very different from how his siblings experienced it after their father had mellowed.

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A post script on descending IQs by order of birth. I have heard tales of one family with five children that illustrate this tendency dramatically. Fetal alcohol syndrome was at the root. The firstborn was MENSA material, the second toward the top of her field, but then the third kid wasn’t much more than functional, the fourth one retarded, and the fifth child unable to function outside an institution.

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Comments Around the Web | , , , , , , | Leave a comment