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In the beginning…

I’ve asked myself a thousand times how a simple newspaper article of fewer than one-hundred words had started my heart racing, fired my imagination, and steeled my determination locked and loaded. But why him and why me? What was there about that story about a...

Rocks and Sand

August 31, 1984. I wrote about this trip to the Miller/Campbell crime scene in the first chapter of my book. But now that I have a blog, I decided to include a few photos so readers could get the look and feel of what it was like for me to be there. John let me go...

The Peanut Wars

About halfway through my collaboration, lunchtime had become an uneasy truce. Most of my adult life, I never paid much attention to eating lunch at a certain time. If I was playing tennis or out with friends or working around the house, lunch happened when it...

The Cop and the Coroner: Part Three

Same Day: Philippe’s Restaurant, LA.  John and I walked into Phillipe’s lunch hour crowd, put in our order, and headed for a back booth. Within five minutes, Dambacher sprinted in, spotted John, and shook his outstretched hand. He turned to me, smiled with a megawatt...

The Cop and the Coroner: Part Two

I expected the usual ten minute-drive from the Parker Center parking lot to Philippe’s in lunchtime traffic to take just a few minutes. Normally, he’d zip through traffic like Mario Andretti at the Indy 500. Instead, we were stuck behind what seemed a never-ending...

The Cop and The Coroner: Part One

September 20, 1985.  I stepped into our master bedroom closet, dodged the wicker laundry basket, a pile of clothes and stack of shoeboxes. My brain buzzed with one question. What would I wear to a meeting between LAPD Detective John “Jigsaw” St. John and Chief Medical...

“They Shot and Killed My Parents!” – The Menendez Murders

I sat on a cold, hard bench in a crowded courtroom listening to testimony about the mental state of two teenage boys who murdered their parents. This “law and order” experience was different from all the other mornings I’d spent in courtrooms, because Jeff, my...

“Don’t Worry. It’ll All be Over in a Couple Minutes.” -The Petit Murders

Peter Vronsky, author of Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present, wrote this about how the term ‘serial killer’ evolved: “Before the term was coined in 1981, there were no ‘serial killers.’ There were only “monsters”- killers...

A Double Tragedy: Steven and Carl Wood

January 1989, Los Angles California. Walking into Taylors Steak House on a chilly afternoon reminded me of the Oxford winters when Jim and I lived in England. A big treat would be lunch at our local pub. I’d open the heavy oak door of the Clifden Arms Pub, walk into a...

Bill Bonin’s Pickup Line “Hey Kid, Want a Ride?”

Back in the beginning of this journey, I wasn’t sure if me–a newbie writer who’d only met Detective St. John twice–had the chutzpah to approach him with a favor. I had nothing to lose. My interview with Barbara went well, and he didcompliment me on doing my homework....

Barbara Bien Talks About Her Peanut-Butter and Jelly Son

January 2021. Camarillo, California. Thirty-eight years have passed since I interviewed Barbara Bien, mother of Steven Wood, the seventeenth victim of Freeway Killer, Bill Bonin. The memory of that interview is still fresh in my mind. The day I met Barbara, we sat in...

Two Intruders, Four Victims, and A Brilliant Storyteller

I remember the chilly night in San Francisco, with the Bay Bridge off in the distance, when Truman Capote’s classic, In Cold Blood, lured me from a tiresome television program and into my reading chair wrapped in a blanket. I expected a fast-paced, true-crime thriller...

What are you doing here?

Summer, 1958. I was a thirteen-year-old geek with thick glasses, frizzy hair, a scruffy dog named Laddie, and two girlfriends who lived up the street. Our family lived in Wilmette, a suburb of Chicago. My father was a corporate attorney; my mother was a housewife and...
In the beginning…

In the beginning…

I’ve asked myself a thousand times how a simple newspaper article of fewer than one-hundred words had started my heart racing, fired my imagination, and steeled my determination locked and loaded. But why him and why me? What was there about that story about a...

read more
Rocks and Sand

Rocks and Sand

August 31, 1984. I wrote about this trip to the Miller/Campbell crime scene in the first chapter of my book. But now that I have a blog, I decided to include a few photos so readers could get the look and feel of what it was like for me to be there. John let me go...

read more
The Peanut Wars

The Peanut Wars

About halfway through my collaboration, lunchtime had become an uneasy truce. Most of my adult life, I never paid much attention to eating lunch at a certain time. If I was playing tennis or out with friends or working around the house, lunch happened when it...

read more
The Cop and the Coroner: Part Three

The Cop and the Coroner: Part Three

Same Day: Philippe’s Restaurant, LA.  John and I walked into Phillipe’s lunch hour crowd, put in our order, and headed for a back booth. Within five minutes, Dambacher sprinted in, spotted John, and shook his outstretched hand. He turned to me, smiled with a megawatt...

read more
The Cop and the Coroner: Part Two

The Cop and the Coroner: Part Two

I expected the usual ten minute-drive from the Parker Center parking lot to Philippe’s in lunchtime traffic to take just a few minutes. Normally, he’d zip through traffic like Mario Andretti at the Indy 500. Instead, we were stuck behind what seemed a never-ending...

read more
The Cop and The Coroner: Part One

The Cop and The Coroner: Part One

September 20, 1985.  I stepped into our master bedroom closet, dodged the wicker laundry basket, a pile of clothes and stack of shoeboxes. My brain buzzed with one question. What would I wear to a meeting between LAPD Detective John “Jigsaw” St. John and Chief Medical...

read more
A Double Tragedy: Steven and Carl Wood

A Double Tragedy: Steven and Carl Wood

January 1989, Los Angles California. Walking into Taylors Steak House on a chilly afternoon reminded me of the Oxford winters when Jim and I lived in England. A big treat would be lunch at our local pub. I’d open the heavy oak door of the Clifden Arms Pub, walk into a...

read more

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