Discovering the Background of a Child Killer

Timothy Jones, Jr. mugshot

Timothy Jones, Jr. mugshot

Whenever we see a news story about an act of violence against a child, one of our first thoughts is to wonder what could be going on inside the mind of a person who would harm one of the most innocent among us. In a story that has grabbed national headlines over the past week, the father of an accused killer is speaking out and sharing that his son’s mental issues did indeed play a role in the heinous crimes with which his son is charged.

Timothy Jones, Jr. has confessed to killing his five young children “by violent means” sometime late last month. He then placed their bodies in garbage bags and dumped their remains along a road in Alabama after several days of travel. He eventually was arrested at a police checkpoint for DUI and the story unfolded from there.

Jones’ father has told the media that his son is not the monster that is being portrayed in the public and that he is concerned his son will not get the psychiatric attention he needs while behind bars. He insisted that his son was a loving dad. But an investigation also has revealed a messy divorce that took place following an affair between Jones’ wife and a neighbor and resulted in Timothy Jones, Jr. having primary physical custody of the children, previous complaints filed with child protective services, and observations of the five children being dirty, hungry, and not in school.

There also is the detail of Jones’ use of a synthetic marijuana plant and the discussion being had in legal and medical circles about the effect that these chemicals can have on one’s judgment and even sense of reality.

The real tragedy, what cannot be forgotten, is that five little kids lost their lives. It makes no sense. But it is important that we try to understand, to look into Jones’ background and psychological history and relationships, so that law enforcement and social services will be better equipped to prevent such a horrible crime from happening next time.

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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Gearing up for the BOUCHERCON 2014 #Mystery #Thriller Conference in Long Beach, California

bcon14-logo

BOUCHERCON is the Annual World Mystery Convention, where every year readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a long weekend of education, entertainment, and fun.

What a fantastic event!

This is the first year that I will be attending the convention and I’m extremely excited.  For one thing, it’s in Long Beach, California.  It’s one of my favorite cities in my state.  The event is aptly described as “Murder at the Beach”.  I have been asked to participate on a panel “It’s not CSI Miami: How Forensics Really Work”.

Can we say I am REALLY excited!

Here’s all of the event information:

Bouchercon Website

Bouchercon Programming

Bouchercon Panels

Please feel free to leave a comment if you plan on attending.  There’s still time to register.

I hope to see you there!

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting

 

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DEAD GAME is on the Menu

DeadGameCover_Award2A BOOK AND A DISH featured Dead Game with a review and one of my favorite recipes.  Thank you Martha A. Cheves! It’s a wonderful site with authors, their books, and a recipe to boot.  If you’re looking for a new author and books to read, check it out.

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Review and recipe re-posted by permission:

California Style Mango Guacamole

3 medium ripe avocados

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

2 limes, juiced

2 tbsp. minced red onion

¼ cup red bell pepper, diced

½ small habanero pepper (with or without spicy seeds), minced

1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated

¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced

Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Cut and scoop avocado flesh into a bowl. Mash the avocados with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir in cilantro, onions, garlic, habanero, mango, and red bell pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve as a dip with chips, crackers, or French bread. It’s a fantastic accompaniment for chicken or fish.

Note: You can adjust the heat of the habanero by taking out the seeds, or omit habanero all together.

Dead Game – 5-star Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Five flat screen computers sat on a table in a semicircle configuration, each with a video playing.  Upon closer inspection, all computers had the same video performing only at different moments in the action sequence.  They kept playing through on an endless loop.  The sound was muted, but the violence was clearly evident.  It was a man being methodically strangled to death earlier in the evening.  Every detail of his extreme anguish, facial muscle twitches, and lack of oxygen was forever imprinted on the video to relive over and over again.  The intense satisfaction of watching the five videos made every nerve tingle with delicious gratification for the man that watched.  He was captivated by his clever use of direction as he savored every moment of the performance.  He was the most ingenious movie director of all time.  No one could compare to him…. It was death.  It was death by his direction.  He was the future.

There is a serial killer stalking the Santa Clare area with no indication of it stopping anytime soon.  The police haven’t a clue.  Each victim is found with a device that slowly tightens around their neck ending in a painful death by strangulation.  Santa Clair Detective Duncan is heading up the investigation with very little to go on.  That is until the death of a retired policeman is classified as an accident.  After a bit of investigating on his part he finds a connection between the victims.  They all subscribe to a computer spy game called EagleEye which the dead officer has connections to.

Emily and Rick are still on the hunt for those who prey on children.  After their last rescue Rick talked Emily into taking a break to give her body and mind to mend.  Then the nephew of a friend came to him announcing the death of his uncle who was also Rick’s friend.  Rick and Emily both agreed to jump right into the case and find the killer.  They didn’t know the dangers they were stepping into.  They would soon find themselves right in the middle of the Dead Game Serial Killer.

I allowed myself a week to read this book.  Didn’t take half that time.  I simply couldn’t put it down.  The tension of the chase, the pain felt by the victims, the fear of loss that went between Emily and Rick kept me on the edge throughout the whole book.  This book could easily go to Criminal Minds for a show or become a movie of its own.

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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Do You Escape Real Violence with Fictional Violence?

CRIMINAL MINDSWhen you turn on the nightly news, there is no shortage of stories that qualify as disturbing. From world events to the way people are treating one another in our own neighborhoods, the reality that surrounds us can be difficult to consume. So, what do we seek as our escape from the violence? Do you watch a funny movie or cheer on your favorite sports team or spend some time on the floor playing board games with your kids?

One famous actor quit a popular television show because he was concerned that audiences were seeking even more violence as their entertainment and he didn’t want to be a part of it.

Although this happened a couple of years ago, the abrupt exit of Mandy Patinkin from the CBS drama Criminal Minds came to me as I was thinking about what we turn to for recreation. Mr. Patinkin did not show up for a table reading one day and never returned to the set, saying later in an interview that, “I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality.”

And Patinkin’s regrets were not solely focused on his own participation, but on the viewers as well. He noted, “I’m concerned about the effect it has. Audiences all over the world use this programming as their bedtime story. This isn’t what you need to be dreaming about.”

I am a student of criminal behavior and find all stories featuring such psychology, if well done, to be fascinating. But is there is a reason to be concerned over this type of programming? Does it sensationalize violence or worry viewers into thinking the threat is around every corner? Conversely, does it desensitize us to the brutality when we see real violence as those lines are blurred?

I would love to read your thoughts on this topic.

If you are a fan of Criminal Minds or other such shows, what draws you to them?

Or do you find that when the news of the real world gets too tough, the last thing you want to do is watch more violence?

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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San Antonio Police Rethink How to Handle Mental Illness

blogpost1As a student of the criminal mind, I know there are some individuals who need to be placed in prison for the safety of society. They are sociopaths who know that committing rape or murder is wrong, but simply do not care. They are the child predators whose compulsion and tendency to be repeat offenders regardless of intervention must mean they are locked away from the most innocent among us.

What about the instances, though, when a man or woman is struggling with mental illness and commits less serious criminal behavior that could be treated with proper medical and psychiatric care? Usually, these offenders are placed into jail cells with the rest of the criminal population. The police force in San Antonio, Texas recently started taking a different approach and its success is gaining national attention.

San Antonio now requires all of its officers to complete forty hours of Crisis Intervention Training, and also prepares some members of its force to specialize in mental health issues. When a suspect is approached and found to have a psychological problem, be it addiction or schizophrenia (often both) or a series of other possibilities that could result in harm to self or others, officers have the option of taking the individual to a facility called the Restoration Center. Once there, the offender can receive necessary medical and detox help and the police can complete their paperwork on site and get back out on the streets, keeping the community even safer.

The initiative has saved the city millions of dollars. Nationwide, there are ten times as many people with mental issues in jail as in hospitals, costing the taxpayers a lot of money, but San Antonio is now under capacity in its prison system. This program also helps people who otherwise would move in and out the system repeatedly, never getting the help they need.

As other cities learn more about the successes in San Antonio and implement similar programs in their areas, I look forward to seeing the impact such considerations for the mental health of those we quickly dismiss will have on our communities.

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Sometimes a Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words #EmilyStone #Thriller

EmilyStone_E

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A single picture can tell an entire story.  It can inspire, frighten, enlighten, and even provoke.  Here are actual screen grabs from the upcoming Emily Stone Thriller Series “live action” trailer.  It would not have been possible without and amazing cast and crew that helped to bring my series to life.  Here’s a sneak peek.

Enjoy!

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EmilyStone_strikeFocused.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStoneADetermined.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStone_Stills_002Hunting.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStone_Stills_008Disillusioned.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStone_Stills_010-2Desperation.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStone_Stills_006AClosing-in.

 

 

 

 

EmilyStone_Stills_009Does the end justify the means?

 

 

 

 COMING SOON!

Photos courtesy of Andy Palmer and Petri-Entertainment.

 

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting

 

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A Book and A Dish Compulsion Style!

CoverImage_SmashwordsI wanted to thank Martha A. Cheves from the book review site A Book and A Dish for the wonderful 5-Star review of COMPULSION, the first in the Emily Stone Thriller Series.  It’s a great blog with new book reviews and the added bonus of a new recipe.  I highly recommend checking this site out.

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Here’s my book review and recipe reposted by permission:

3-Way Spinach Artichoke Dip
(Emily’s favorite)

1 small can (8 ½ ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

½ package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

Combine artichoke hearts, spinach, cheeses, mayonnaise and garlic in a medium bowl; mix well.

Enjoy as an appetizer, light lunch or party dip.

  1.   Enjoy with your favorite chips or crackers as a dip.
  2. Spread on sliced bread or baguette and heat in oven.
  3. My favorite – use mixture inside a wonton wrapper. Follow cooking instructions with wonton wrappers.

Compulsion – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Detective Rivas wastes no more time and clicks on the first email.  It quickly loads several photos and a video showing a man clearly digging in a deserted rural area.  The detective’s blood turns cold and he feels sweat trickle down his neck.  He watches the man in the cheap neon Hawaiian shirt talking to himself explaining how sometimes dying is the right thing to do and how brave the little boy was to die for him… clicking on the other emails, Detective Rivas obtains detailed metro-scan maps fro the Yuma county assessor’s office and clear photographs of the suspect with a complete background of criminal and personal history.  An entire detailed investigation unfolds in less than five minutes in front of him from a phantom super sleuth.  He is just one of many who has been blessed with the help of this serial killer hunter.

Detective Rick Lopez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has his own serial killer to deal with.  Women are turning up dead after being tortured.  He is convinced that this is not the work of just one serial killer but a team of two, which is extremely rare.  Apparently the killer will remove an arm from his victim and replace it with the arm of the victim before her.  This in itself is a puzzle but Lopez knows that the killing will go on until the killer is found and destroyed.

Emily Stone is a loner.  Her parents were murdered when she was only twelve and she sent from her home in Indiana to live with her uncle in California.  Over the years she has seen her share of crime.  Stone crazy men abducting and molesting children and now her attention is being turned to women being abducted in her own town by a deranged killer.  Something has to be done and soon but apparently the police haven’t a clue as to the person’s identity.

Someone is sending high-tech emails and evidence to the police departments that lead them to the arrest of serial killers.  Who, no one knows.  Could it be a policemen?  Could it be Emily Stone?  Or is it someone you would least expect?  As I read this story I had my killer nailed about half way through the book.  Well, I was wrong.  The first killer was eventually revealed but not the second.  I was firm in my decision as to who the second was.  Again I was wrong.  See if you can figure this one out before the end of the book.

This is the first in the series and I can’t wait to read the next titled Dead Game so I’ve already bought it and have it in line to read.  If it is anywhere as twisting and full of surprises as Compulsion I will find myself up late reading again.

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

***

Please join me:

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Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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