Why Write about Serial Killers?

manwithmaskOne of the most common questions that I receive from readers is, “What made you want to write about serial killers?”

To answer that question, I must first answer the question of what made me study and obtain degrees in police forensics and criminology. I have a fascination with forensic science and how it is applied in order to solve a crime. Over the past ten years, there has been an incredible amount of scientific breakthroughs in DNA profiling and fingerprint identification to name a few. The other areas in forensic science must not be overlooked, such as voice analysis, impression evidence, and criminal profiling. All of these areas of forensic science are important tools for identifying and locating the “bad guy”.

A quote from Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer’s book Crime Science, Methods of Forensic Detection sums up the importance of forensics in my mind. It puts forensics in perspective.

All objects in the universe are unique. No two things that happen by chance ever happen in exactly the same way. No two things are ever constructed or manufactured in exactly the same way. No two things ever wear in exactly the same way. No two things ever break in exactly the same way.”

I have been fascinated with every aspect of forensics, well before the public ever heard of CSI and many other popular television shows, both fictional and true crime. There is so much more involved than what grazes the surface in the entertainment media. This is where my interest in criminology kicked into high gear. For those of you who do not know, criminology is defined as “the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior”. It really means the study of how a specific criminal commits their crime and why. It is the “why” that really captivates me and I want to know more.

The study of criminology also includes the serial killer phenomenon. I have spent time studying actual cases of serial crime and I have been involved in cold cases. Without a doubt, the serial killer theme makes a great background to any thriller or mystery novel. The key is to make the serial killer so incredibly creepy, unique, and extremely cunning that it is mesmerizing to the reader where they cannot put the book down.

I have incorporated into my Emily Stone Series many types of serial killers, each with their own skewed perspectives and motivations. It is a slow unraveling of their minds and killing habits that is similar to a ticking time bomb heading straight into hell.

To answer the question, “Why do I write about serial killers?” I write about serial killers because they really have not been defined in any one specific way. There are so many aspects that can be discovered inside their twisted minds and the possibilities are endless. The challenge and creativity is endless, just dive in and see what you can create.

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Research and Writing Tip:

If you want to write about a serial killer, whether it is the main nemesis or a small part of your story, make a detailed list as if you were a psychiatrist and the character is your patient. What would you observe about them? What does this person look like? What would they say to you? How would you respond? Get detailed. Be original. Write down your fictional conversation. Research specific abnormal psychology terms, such as anti-personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, socio versus psycho, attention deficit disorder, etc. ALWAYS when using the Internet as a research source verify information from at least three reputable sources/sites.

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

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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3 Responses to Why Write about Serial Killers?

  1. Sue Coletta says:

    Mind if I add a tip? Serial killers don’t “know” they’re evil lots of time. Some even think their actions are justified. So by adding a flawed reasoning you’ll make the killer more human and, therefore, more frightening. Do you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Sue🙂 Absolutely, anything to help make them more human in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

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