The Last Victim–Jason Moss

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This book made me a little queasy.

John Wayne Gacy always does, but this was especially awful.

In this book, the author, Jason Moss, as a freshman in college, decides to do his independent project on serial killers, and so he starts writing letters to serial killers. He designs each one to appeal to each killer specifically and got some good responses.

He started with Gacy, but he also wrote to Manson, Ramirez (the night stalker) and Dahmer.

In the end, Gacy was taking up so much time he had to let the other ones languish for a bit. Gacy was sending him letters every day. He was calling him frequently. He was sending him money and presents.

Finally, Gacy invites Moss to come spend three days visiting him. You would think a serial killer on death row would have a very secure visiting situation but apparently not so much at that location and time. Gacy would bribe the guards for privacy. Moss was alone in the cell with Gacy, Gacy was touching him, exposing himself, threatening to rape and murder him, the entire gamut of awful things.

Moss made it two days out of the three.

He had nightmares for a long time afterwards, even (especially) after Gacy was executed.

In the book he talks extensively about wanting to work for the FBI, maybe as a profiler, and that this is part of his attempt to show them he’s good. Naturally, I wondered if he did make it to the FBI, so I googled him.

He did not. He became a defense attorney. And he killed himself at the age of 31. I can’t help but wonder how much Gacy factored into that. He set himself up like a victim to lure Gacy, but did he actually become the last victim of Gacy’s murderous insanity? I don’t know, but it’s distressing and disturbing regardless.

I don’t really want to recommend this book. It’s interesting but so sad. So creepy. If that’s your thing, maybe this is a good choice. Otherwise maybe not. I’m not squeamish–I read true crime, I listen to true crime podcasts, I watch true crime documentaries, I can even look at the crime scene photos without too much of an issue (mostly) but this, despite not being that graphic, was just so disturbing to me.

 

Bitter Blood–Jerry Bledsoe

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Another true crime book!

This book is excellent and the story is CRAZY.

This woman marries a dentist, they have two kids. He moves to New Mexico with them, which she HATES, because she wants to be home in North Carolina where her family is well known and people treat her like she’s special. She’s abusing the kids, too, but the husband apparently doesn’t notice that.

Eventually she leaves him and goes back to North Carolina with the kids. She files for divorce and he’s ok with letting her have primary custody but she starts saying she doesn’t want the kids to go to New Mexico at ALL, that he should have to come to them for visits, and just generally being terrible about everything.

The fights are bitter and expensive and eventually he gets a month in the summer, but he has to pay for transport and also her transport to an airport where the kids can fly direct to his house from, since there was no direct flight from her city to his and the kids are too young to make a transfer by themselves.

Meanwhile, she’s getting way more paranoid and jumpy and starts hanging out with her cousin who is also full of problems, being as he’s the son of a white supremacist who thinks vitamin C shots can cure everything. Her cousin is also faking being a doctor, after having faked his admission to and enrollment in medical school.

And then her ex-husband’s mom and sister are shot to death at their home in Tennessee.

He decides to use the money he inherits to fight to have custody switched to him. To this end, he starts visiting North Carolina and talking to her family and the kids’ schools. Eventually her dad agrees to testify that more contact with their dad would be a good thing.

By now, she and her cousin are living together and lamenting the fact that it’s illegal for cousins to get married in their state. Ew.

And then her parents and grandmother are shot to death.

At this point, the police start to find her complete lack of reaction to the deaths of her parents and grandparent suspicious and when they find out her mother and sister in law were also murdered within the year, they start to be really suspicious. They start moving on the cousin, whom they believe to be responsible for the shooting of her parents.

It does not end well.

 

Green River, Running Red–Ann Rule

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Another true crime book. If you’re not into true crime, avert your gaze now.

The Green River Killer was a hardcore serial killer–he has been confirmed to have had more kills than Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy, but do you know his name or anything about him? I doubt it. I pay attention to true crime and even I mostly only knew that the Green River Killer was a thing that existed. And honestly I didn’t even know where the Green River was, I thought it was in the midwest somewhere, but nope, it’s in Seattle.

Basically, this guy would pick up women, mostly sex workers but not exclusively so, and rape them and then strangle them and then dump their bodies somewhere in the nearby open natural areas around the city.

He got his name because the first five victims were found in the Green River, in late 1982.

He was caught in 2001.

Let that just sink in for a minute.

He was convicted of 48 murders, almost all of which occurred between late 1982 and 1986, with a couple more as late as 1998.

Here’s my theory: there are WAY MORE MURDERS on his hands than that. What are the odds that he killed 40 odd people in 4 years and then just stopped? I’m going to go with, not freaking likely. He did get remarried in 1987 and his wife thinks that she saved lives by making him happy, which…maybe? But I’m thinking not.

But here’s the thing. He made a deal that he would confess to everything and help them find the bodies, and in exchange he would plead to the murders but not get the death penalty. The caveat was, if he was later found not to have told them about a murder or if he was discovered to have killed outside that county’s borders, he was on the hook for those murders separately and the death penalty was a likely option.

This means that he had every incentive to tell the truth about how many people he killed. Unless he was killing them in neighboring counties, where some bodies were discovered.

Also during his last interview with the sheriff, he casually said, we’re up to 71 bodies now, and actually, no, they were up to 48. Why would he say that suicidal thing, except possibly as an ego booster? More likely, this man (with an IQ of 82 which I think is relevant to this) slipped up and gave his real total of kills and not the amount that they’d found.

Anyway, he was under suspicion in the 80s when the murders were happening and was arrested twice in connection with picking up sex workers, and that’s how they caught him in the end. They were so sure it was him that they got a judge to sign a warrant for hair and saliva samples, which were held and stored and in 2001 when DNA testing became available, they tested the samples against samples from the victims and nailed him.

Let this be a lesson to potential murderers: even if you can figure out how to avoid detection at the time you commit the murder, there’s no way to ensure that you can avoid future technological advances. And there’s no statute of limitations on murder, so you can go down at any time.

I’m not going to write his name here. He wanted to be famous like Bundy and I have no interest in gratifying that. You can google it if you want.