Once upon a time baseball was America’s favorite past time. Somewhere along the lines, We became enthralled with the serial killer. American Crime Story and How to make a murderer are two on the most popular television shows, the former nominated for and won a bunch of Emmys. Before that, it was fictional serial killer, Dexter Morgan. Although to be fair, he only killed bad guys but that’s hardly the point.
People are genuinely intrigued with the sociopathic nature. The BBC airs a version of Sherlock Holmes who is a private detected and self-proclaimed “fully functioning sociopath. And where is the best place to find out how a serial killer ticks? You get inside their brain, of course! Here is a list of eight serial killers who not only confessed to their crimes, they went into explicit detail on how they did it publicly.
A Question of Doubt
John Wayne Gacy was a notorious serial killer who took the lives of 33 people between the ages if 9-22. Culling a few from his inner circle, Gacy, also known as the Killer Clown, roamed the streets in search of drifters and runaways in order to perform his ghastly acts. He lured them in with the promise of performing magic, locked them in handcuffs, and proceeded to rape and torture them before he killed them and stuffed them in his crawlspace.
Gacy, with the help of Shane Bugby, wrote a tell-all book claiming innocence of all his dastardly crimes. In the preface, Gacy is quoted as saying:
This is not an autobiography covering my entire life, but a detailed account of the nightmare I lived from December 11, 1978, until March 13, 1980. This is the history of the concoction of lies and calculated deceit created by the police and the news media
Today, the book is out of print but on occasion those really hardcore to find it may search eBay. This too, however, is extremely rare.
The Final Truth
Donald “Pee Wee” Gaskins killed 13 people in South Carolina where he buried the bodies in the woods. Standing at 5’4″, he claims to have killed as many as 110 people but was only convicted of eight of the murders. His close friends and family members described him as a hard-working, helpful man. Perhaps it was the fact that he drove a hearse that made them just a bit uncomfortable. Initially sentenced to life in prison, he was upgraded to the death penalty after killing one of his fellow prisoners.
Before Gaskins was electrocuted in 1991, he conducted interviews with Wilton Earle who then published Gaskin’s autobiography. Gaskins told Wilkins that he was cursed with a “bothersomeness” that could only be dealt with through violence. The Final Truth is currently out of print but hardcore fans of the genre can purchase the autobiography from third party sellers starting at $145.
While Gerard John Schaefer claimed to have killed upwards of 80 women, he was only convicted of two murders. His actual kill count may never be known. In 1973, Schaefer was convicted of killing two teenagers, Susan Place and Georgia Jessup. After police searched his house, various items were found that were connected to many missing women. Schaefer was contacted by an old girlfriend, Sondra London from high school, who wanted to publish his story. Schaefer instead sent her a collection of his fictional work. After the book was released in 1990, police got hold of a copy and started to read between the lines. revisions of the book even contain letters that Schaefer wrote as part of his confessions.
What crimes am I supposed to confess? Farmer? Briscolina? What do you think [Murder Demons] is? You want confessions but dont recognize them when I anoint you with them and weve just gotten started.
The Making of a Serial Killer: The Real Story of the Gainesville Murders in the Killers Own Words
The Gainesville Ripper, AKA Danny Rolling went on a two-day killing spree in which four women were raped and murdered as well as one man. Following in Ted Bundy’s footsteps, Rolling would mutilate the corpses and position them in disturbing ways like placing one of their heads on a shelf so that it could look at its own body.
When he wrote The Making of a serial killer, he went into graphic details of the five college students he had murdered. He also detailed his difficult childhood for his actions. he had help in writing it in the form of his then current fiancÃ©e, Sondra London (remember her? She was G.J. Schaefer’s ex-high school sweetheart. Beginning to see a trend?). Rolling was put to death via lethal injection in 2006.
The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and Its Analysis
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were the famous “Moor Murderers” in the 1960s. The killed three children in England and buried them in the Moors. After being convicted they confessed to two more murders. Brady wrote The Gates of Janus in an effort to explore the mind of the modern serial killer. Using Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, he theorized about the birth of the modern-day serial killer. Although Brady doesn’t use his own crimes as examples, reading The Gates of Janus gives one a sense that he can relate to the serial killer mentality.
The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes
Herman Webster Mudgett, more famously known as H.H. Holmes, is considered to be one of America’s first serial killers. in 1890, he was suspected of killing up to 200, although there is no conclusive proof. Despite many mysterious disappearings, Holmes only admitted to killing 27 people.
Several tabloids of the era tried to pay him for his confessions, however, all he gave up was wild stories about his childhood that didn’t check out and claiming to be possessed by Satan himself. The book begins with his autobiography written in 1895 and his confessions a year later.
Son of Hope
David Berkowitz, AKA the .44 caliber killer, shot and maimed 13 people between 1976 and 1977. more famously known as Son of Sam, targeted women with long dark hair. The infamous killer had New York City so afraid, that women were would cut their hair and dye it in order to stay safe. This book does not detail any of Berkowitz’s killings but instead offers his road to salvation as he became a born-again Christian.
The book does, however, talk about how Berkowitz empathizes with his parents on raising a troubled youth. Berkowitz legitimately believed that he was possessed by Satan and that he would never be forgiven for his sins. Berkowitz is unable to make any profit off of the sales of his book, however, profits are donated to his victims. Son of Hope is available on Amazon from third party sellers for around $60.
Pickton: In His Own Words
Robert Pickton is serving a life sentence for murdering six women in 2007. He was a millionaire pig farmer. Those that testified at his trial claimed that he bragged about killing many more women and afterward feeding them to his pigs by mixing their remains in their feed. He described himself as a “bad dude” and would be convicted for all 48 women he had slaughtered. Originally published under the pen name of Michael Childress, the truth eventually surfaced that he wrote the book, himself. The book has become somewhat of a collector’s item after a 50,000 signature petition had the book removed from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Unlike the Son of Sam Law in the U.S., Canadian law does not prevent criminals from profiting off of their crime so if you can find the book, you will be rewarding a murderer.
In the information age, reading has become a lost art, especially anything not presented on a screen. The books presented here are the works of the insane criminals that took the lives of innocent people. Certainly, they may be famous and will definitely offer a point of view that is more accurate than any speculation on the subject. But these people committed heinous acts that do not deserve any kind of reward, be that monetary or attention.
True some of the killers are dead, either due to the time of their killing or put to death for the very crimes they committed. For those that are interested in this type of “entertainment”, perhaps you should look into your heart and ask yourself, just why you like reading this type of material.