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Serial Killers

erial Killers and Mass Murderers are a topic I've long found fascinating.  One of the first areas I sought out sites about when I first got on the Internet was serial killers.  There are tons of sites with tons of info, and I read and read, soaking up the gruesome tales.  I'm not sure why, but I find it fascinating.  Single murder murderers don't hold any interest for me, unless the crime is just inexplicable and bizarre.  But when someone kills 10 or 20 or 30 or 100 people, killing again and again for years, I become hypnotized.

I don't post about it on the site that often, just when some new case pops up in the news, mostly since I don't want to appear to be a total psycho by writing about how much I like it.



January 20, 2004

Yesterday's update driving traffic to the new and updated articles page appears to have borne fruit already, in the form of... the best... email... ever...

Sender: MccLynnt
Subject: Your stupid

What kind of sick fuck gets off in an interest in killers huh? I suppose if you had a kid and I raped him or her, you would be fascinated by how much I enjoyed slitting thier throat or chopping thier head off?You really have to be a fucking idiot and your list of slang or dirty words or whatever should have had more, obviously you need to go back to kindergarden little punk, because you would never cut in the real world....

And trust me, I would know about killers, becasue I am one...

Tuesday morning, just past midnight, I checked email and had 11 new ones to blackchampagne.com.  Of those 11, at least 8 were obvious spam/virus mails, from the subject. (I get enough to know.)  The other two were probably spam, but didn't have titles I'd already seen 500x, so I wasn't sure.  And there was this one. The instant I saw "Your stupid" as the subject, and that it was from some AOLer, I started saying, "Oh please, oh please..." hoping against hope that it would be a real mail, and not just another goddamned Viagra spam.

And it was real, and there was rejoicing.

For all the brilliance of it; the 5th grade vocabulary and grammar, the fact that he's offended by a page he obviously read and enjoyed, that it's a subject every other crime TV show and movie is about, his pathetic attempt at a personal analogy, and the weak attempts at insult... it's the closing line that truly seals it as a masterpiece.

 This mail came from the email address at the bottom of the Serial Killer Article page, which is pretty woefully out of date, and not one of the ones that I just updated; simply because I never happened to blog about any serial killer news during October-December 2002, the days I went over and added to the articles from. (Ironically enough, I know this since it came to killer@blackchampagne.com, which is the email at the bottom of that page.  And that email is only there since I didn't have anything new to add to that page in the recent round of updates, when I was removing the email link or else just changing them all to flux@ since 1) no one ever mails about the articles, and 2) I get like 14 versions of the same spam mails every day since the spiders that harvest all the different ones from all the different articles pages.

I've gotten another mail or 2 about that page, from people who had about this same attitude (though they didn't express their opinion in such humorous fashion) and that sort of puzzles me.  As I said a minute ago, there are about 4 TV shows covering serial killers a week on TV, there's always a book on the best seller list about one, fictional or real, and probably 10 movies a year come out about serial killers as well.  Monster, currently, the one that Charlize Theron is getting such rave reviews for her performance as the murderer.

So do the people who send me hate mail for having an article about spend all day, every day sending The Crime Library emails about how horrible it is that they report the details of serial killer activities?  Mailing their newspaper when there's an article about a murder that doesn't fill every other paragraph with something about how horrible the loss of human life was?  Boycotting movies and books about serial killers?  Or am I just the lucky one?

And I mean that sincerely; I relish flame and hate mail, primarily since the mailers are invariably so utterly clueless and amusing.  The above example being one of the best ever.



December 5, 2003

The German cannibal trial is ongoing, and despite the weirdness of it, I really have nothing to say about it.  The story speaks for itself.  Some guy has a fetish to eat another person, and he ran Internet ads asking for volunteers, and got quite a few of them.  He nearly did it to several other people, before rejecting them or letting them back out, but finally found a special someone who he wanted, and who wanted him as well.

They're trying him for murder, but that seems absurd, since the guy he killed came into things knowingly, wanted to be killed and eaten, and there's even video to prove it.

Meiwes filmed the killing and the video tape may be shown to the court. Defense lawyers have said the film shows Meiwes cutting off the victim's penis at the latter's request.

"It was important to him that his member be cut off and that he witness it," Meiwes said. "He screamed terribly and jumped around the table but after a while he said he was surprised it didn't hurt and was very pleased that the wound bled so strongly," he added.

"It gave him pleasure."

So then he hung him up and slowly bled him until he passed out, at which point he killed him and butchered the body.

In testimony so frank it drew gasps from the public gallery, Meiwes said he had kept his victim's skull and plastic bags of flesh in his freezer. He ate about 44 pounds of the flesh, defrosting it bit by bit.

"With every piece of flesh I ate I remembered him," Meiwes, a self-assured and well-spoken computer repair man, told the judge. "It was like taking communion."

While vore fetishism is bizarre to most of us, there are people who get off on it, both wanting to eat and be eaten, and while few of them go so far as to actually do it, some do.  This guy is just the first to be caught or tried for it, in such a ritualized fashion.

Another article talks more about dick-eating, with information you know you've been eager to hear:

After Brandes downed sleeping tablets and whisky, Meiwes cut off Brandes' penis which they planned to eat together, but found that due to its consistency, it was inedible "even when fried."

That's why they grind them up in hotdogs, junior.  Here's some more on the legal issues.

State prosecutor Marcus Koehler claimed Meiwes had always intended to kill and that he took advantage of a mental disorder in the dead man, Bernd Juergen Brandes.

If convicted, he faces life in prison. A verdict is due early next year.

Defence lawyers say Meiwes is guilty at worst of "killing on demand," which is punishable by up to five years in jail.

I suppose I should be outraged at this whole thing, but I'm not really into controlling other people's actions, so long as they're not doing anything against anyone's will.  I certainly have better things to do with my life than be killed and eaten, which is why I stay out of polar bear cages. But some people are a lot more fucked up than you or me, and so long as their fucked-ness doesn't manifest itself into anything that inconveniences me or other third parties, I'm pretty okay with letting them go their own way.  Even if it's fatal to them.  Rather libertarian of me, I suppose.



September 19, 2002

Serial killer alert.  Police in Vancouver have been finding the DNA of various missing women on a pig farm.  The owner is being arraigned on seven counts of murder, but the actual tally might be upwards of fifty, or even one-hundred, depending on which source you believe. 

Pig farm owner Robert William Pickton, 52, faces seven first-degree murder charges in the deaths of seven of the missing women. Last month, relatives of the missing women said that the DNA of an additional five women had been located without charges being laid. Both Vancouver police and the RCMP have consistently declined to comment on what is found during the continuing intensive search of the farm.

Given that pigs eat anything, and that most of us saw and/or read Hannibal, it's tempting to speculate that the guy was actually feeding the bodies to the pigs in an effort to dispose of them. However if there's enough of them left to DNA test on, perhaps not. Or if so he didn't butcher them very efficiently, or didn't incinerate or pound up the bones.

In looking for more info about the case my first stop was The Crime Library, and I wasn't disappointed.  They have a multi-page article about the case, with recent updates.

Vancouver police began their review with 40 unsolved disappearances of local women, dating back to 1971. The lost came from all walks of life and all parts of Vancouver, but the search for a pattern narrowed the roster to 16 Low Track prostitutes reported missing since 1995. By the time detectives made their first arrest in the case, that list would grow to include 54 women, vanished between 1983 and 2001

The article reports that late in 1998 the cops got a tip and searched Pickton's farm, but didn't find anything incriminating enough to arrest him on.  Read this page, it's just amazing.

The proprietors were Robert William “Willie” Pickton and his brother David, of Port Coquitlam. Hiscox’s helpful relative was Robert Pickton’s "off-and-on" girlfriend in 1997, and Hiscox picked up his paychecks at the brothers' Port Coquitlam pig farm, described by Hiscox as "a creepy-looking place" patrolled by a vicious 600-pound boar. "I never saw a pig like that, who would chase you and bite at you," he told police. "It was running out with the dogs around the property."'

I promise you I wrote that Hannibal mention long before I read this far down the article.

The cops look bad in this one, since despite solving the case, which is very hard to do with serial killers, they interviewed the guy and searched his farm three years ago, and he apparently bagged another half dozen since then, not changing his methods at all.  Oops.

This is not at all atypical of serial killer cases.  There are literally dozens of cities around the US, and probably many more around the world, where lots of junkies and whores just vanish.  The Green River Killer got upwards of 50 in Seattle in just a few years in the early 80's, and that one has never been solved.  It's obviously quite easy to kill numerous hookers and get away with it.  They are often not reported missing for some time, if at all, and are usually living under fake names with no one knowing who they really are.

I've long found serial killers fascinating.  It's horrible and wrong and all of that, and I'm often sickened while reading about their escapades, but yet I find it so hypnotic.  There is literally nothing in any horror movie or book that someone hasn't done in real life, often time after time.  The shocking tales of fetishism of bodies, torture, rape, abduction, cold-blooded body disposal, etc, that you see in movies or books are almost all taken from real cases.   I could do an update a week about one or another of them, but there's no real point.  All my info comes from Internet sites, and I might as well just post the URLs here instead; if you want to know you'd probably prefer to read the full article, rather than just my quick summary.

I'll probably put a serial killer into a book at some point.  The problem is that 1) every author does that, and 2) it's hard to do it in a new/interesting way. What I find most interesting about the cases is the psychology of the killer, and how they go about doing what they do.  How they get away with it, how they rationalize and compartmentalize it, etc.

Most serial killers in books are the bad guys, or at least the anti-heroes, and the main characters are the cops looking for them, or looking for something and encountering the killer by accident.

The contradiction in interest vs. reality is that the successful serial killers (defined by not being caught) are not very interesting.  They kill people, usually for very weird reasons and in weird ways, but they aren't making woman suits or collecting kidneys or trying to lobotomize their victims with battery acid.  Those are the headline grabbing ones, but usually it's some guy who picks up whores and kills them sometimes.  They (the killers) are disassociated from their crimes.  They do them, and live a normal life the rest of the time.  Just their way of getting off stress is to murder, rather than drinking too much.  Or both.

I'm generalizing a lot, but I don't think how I'd like to write about a serial killer would be real viable in a novel.  It would be too awful, and would be redundant, just describing hit after hit.  The ones who get away with it are the ones who don't dwell on it or spend that much thought about it.  Pick up a stranger, kill them quickly, dump the body somewhere, don't leave evidence.  The vast majority of long hunts to find the killers are ones where the killer and victim had no connection, and in ones where the killer was suspected for a time w/o being caught it's always because he was good at not getting evidence on him or his car or leaving any on the victim.

The reader isn't going to have sympathy with the killer, and if you make a victim the main character then they're dead.  Which is why most stories work in a cop looking for the killer, or else have the story take place in a very short period of time, like Silence of the Lambs.  It seems unbelievable to just throw in someone who kills for fun, even though that's what most of the big # killers are.

My point, which I'm making clumsily, is that you either have a short to the point story with a pursuit and resolution, or else it's a saga of murder, which is a true crime type story, and not one that many people want to read about.



July 19, 2002

Creepy story from the UK, one of those "angel of death" murdering nurse/doctor types has been further investigated and his current tally stands at at least 215.  Yes, that's 215+ people he murdered.

Shipman was convicted in January 2000 of killing 15 of his patients with lethal heroin injections and was sentenced to life imprisonment for each of the murders.

But an inquiry into the case, by High Court judge Dame Janet Smith, has found that a further 200 deaths were "highly suspicious" while there was a "real suspicion" he could have claimed a further 45 victims.

I do think about this sort of thing when I see a hospital or doctor, and am glad I've never needed any medical treatment to that extent.  I wasn't exactly eyeing the orderlies when visiting my dad after he had back surgery recently, but the thought did cross my mind.  I read a case study about another woman of this type recently, and have seen others in the past, and they are always so scary.  The almost total lack of oversight in terms of medical care deaths that allows them to kill dozens and dozens of people without any real suspicion is quite disturbing, and half the time they are suspected some doctor or the hospital administrator just fires them, when they move on to some smaller clinic and continue their killing.

My advice is just don't get sick or need surgery.  Ever.  Or if you do, make sure everyone near your body at the time is a close personal friend or relative.

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