Michael Arnzen wrote about growing up in Amityville, near the house where Ronald DeFeo killed his family. Andrew Henderson unknowingly parked on “Lovers’ Lane” while the Hooker Murderer was on the loose. Claudius Reich caught a ride through Oklahoma was a self-proclaimed Crazy Mofo, who took him to an abandoned barn before letting him go. Mason Winfield unwittingly lived with the .22-Caliber Killer. And Leon Marcello’s “Torture at the Tropicana” dissected institutional violence on a grander level.
I’m not a fan of torture porn. I don’t read serial killer books. Still, I was amazed by the convergence of all these stories where men brushed against violent characters. They all escaped, but none was left unchanged.
The authors asked themselves the same questions that women are often forced to ask: What drew him to me? What did I do that sparked his violence or spared me from it? How can I live differently in the future in order to be safe?
It was a dark issue for me to assemble, since I wrote the sidebars about all of these killers. I found it fascinating, as if the knowledge I gained would somehow protect me as well as those who told their cautionary tales.
Morbid Curiosity #7 and some of the other back issues are still available, should you want to innoculate yourself as well. Here’s the link.