I am drawn to the workings of the criminal mind. That’s certainly no secret, as the psychological profiling of serial killers, rapists, and other violent predators has been an important focus of all of my published novels. While the acts they commit are horrific and never can be reasoned away, don’t we want to know what propels such acts? That is why an article with the title, “FBI Shares Last Thoughts of a Murder Addict” is going to grab my attention.
I have written about serial killer Israel Reyes on this blog before.
He committed suicide a couple of months ago while in police custody, held in a prison cell for the abduction, rape and murder of an eighteen-year-old woman who was working at an Anchorage, Alaska coffee stand. His young victim, Samantha Koenig, was not Reyes’ only murder, as he admitted to taking at least eight lives.
Some of Reyes’ final thoughts were captured in his own hand on four pages from a legal pad. He writes morbid poetry about turning beauty and innocence into fear and death. He shows a disdain for consumerism and the idolization of celebrities that he appears to equate with American society. He seems convinced that neither he nor his victims have any existence waiting for them after their time on earth. He never mentions any victims by name or why he chose the targets he did.
There are those who argue publishing the ramblings of a killer just bring him fame that he does not deserve; his self-inflicted death should have begun his descent into obscurity. Others believe any details that let us into the mind of a terrifying criminal may lead to better understanding and treatment for future cases. (And, to counter that, one could wonder if these notes should be restricted to academic and research institutions and kept away from the CNN comments page.)
What do you think – should the media share the words of a killer or not?
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