Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Holding Hands with Evil - a true story

I'm going to tell you a story.

A true story.

True but horrifying.

I am sharing it with you because I met the killer, spent several hours talking to him, face-to-face, just days before he was executed.

I first wrote about this in 2008, October as it happens. I wrote it before I came to work for the DA's office, for a book that never materialized. This was going to be the opening chapter.

I will tell it over the course of a couple of weeks, in serial form (appropriate, as you will come to see). I encourage you to read and share it with others, but know before you begin that it is the story of a murder.

And not just any murder: it is the story of a man who killed a very young girl. It is also a story of the man who caught him, who I also interviewed for the book.

But it begins from the perspective of the murderer, as I'm going to tell it to you just as he told it to me. His words.

The story takes place in 1995.

And it begins tomorrow.


  1. Tomorrow?! Aww, come on! You give us that great teaser and then you make us wait till tomorrow? :) I'll be back.

  2. How many details of the crime are you planning to describe?

    I'm very interested in reading your thoughts on this, especially if (per the title of your blog post) you plan to provide reflection on whether this person was evil; whether everyone who has committed murder is inherently evil; and if not, what distinguishes those who are evil/unredeemable from the others. These are questions I spend a lot of time wrestling with as a capital habeas attorney, and it would be really interesting to hear a capital trial prosecutor's perspective (I know you don't only do capital work by a longshot, but you mentioned an upcoming capital case.) I'm also interested in hearing the inmate's perspective on his own actions, especially if it reflected any degree of self-awareness or emotional growth while incarcerated (which I am well-aware does not occur in every case...)

    However, I find that immersing myself in the details of capital crimes takes a significant psychic toll, and I have made the decision not to engage with the "gory details" of such crimes when outside the scope of my employment. To the extent you intend to provide any graphic specifics of how your interviewee murdered his victim, I wonder if it would be possible to segregate those in a separately marked post. I understand if this is not possible or you don't want to bother, but I just thought I'd ask.

  3. Anon: thanks for the post. I do intend to address my reactions to him, and his own perspective of his crime and sentence. To the extent those things are not covered in the story as-written, I will tackle them in a final post after it's all up on the blog.
    As for gory, I understand what you mean. In fact, while the subject matter of this story is distressing, I do not intend to give any gory details. There will be a description of how the young girl was killed, and where her body was placed, but I do not intend to glorify his awful crime or capitalize on it with excessive description. Doing so would be, to my mind, disrespectful to the memory of his victim.
    I hope that answers your concerns, if not do let me know. :)

  4. Thanks, DAC. That addresses my concerns, as does your first post about the crime made today. I look forward to your future updates.


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