If fiction were fact, America would be flooded with maniacal, smart-but-evil murderers who lead the police on macabre chases that follow some twisted idea of order evident only to them, at least until some smart cop/P.I./amateur figures it out.

Reality is, of course, that most murderers are stupid, illogical, impulsive, and easily caught. A cop at a con I attended attested to this, citing the example of two drugged-out men in a shelter who got into a fight over a cheap pendant. One of them later killed the other over a two-dollar necklace.

It's more fun for a writer to invent and then reveal a crazed and clever killer. Why does he kill? Whom does he hunt? How does he cover his tracks? In writing HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER, I enjoyed creating the killer's character, setting the "rules" for his crimes, making him appear normal, and then revealing his ugly underside.

Reality shows us what the mind does, all on its own, to some people. Through drugs, brain anomalies, and even stress, it is truly possible for otherwise normal people to become convinced that they are threatened, persecuted, or even under orders from God. I don't know what the line is between guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, but I am convinced that, whether the culprit is clever or klutzy, a great number of murders stem from causes that exist only in the mind of the killer.

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Comment by Peg Herring on July 11, 2010 at 9:09pm
Stacy, I'm doing well. New ebook (different publisher) and new print book contracts. I'm busy getting ready for a big con at the end of this month, so I haven't paid much attention to the numbers! (I know, it's a business, but life keeps getting in the way.)
Comment by Stacy on July 11, 2010 at 12:41pm
There have been stupid killers yet, but the majority of killers (especially serial killers) are very clever. In fact, most times when they are finally caught it's because they wanted to get caught in some roundabout way. I also think any killer who can kill people and not get caught for more than 20 or more years is a genius. Killers are very clever, most masterminds. The only thing that helps the cops these days is science and technology. But they didn't catch half as many killers as they do now back in the days when they didn't have these devices. Sure some killers are stupid, but so are some cops, so are some teachers, so are some singers, etc. Anyone can be stupid no matter what they are doing. But I definitely think most killers are very smart and clever. You gotta be the way some of them hide things. Like I said, most of killers were caught back in the day because they gave up, not because they were stupid. A lot turned themselves in when they got tired of running.

By the way, I emailed you a few weeks ago and just remembered. Did you get it? I emailed through the site. I believe I asked you how things were going with your ebook and all.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net
Comment by Patrick Balester on July 10, 2010 at 5:18am
A few serial killers have been smart (or lucky). Ted Bundy comes to find. And occassionally, a killer will taunt or contact the police, and this usually results in their capture (BTK, for example). But most killers are stupid. Even with that, only two-thirds of murders are ever solved. Considering the low quality of the typical criminal, that is a frightening statistic.
Comment by Benoit AKoa on July 10, 2010 at 12:21am
America does harbor the greatest number of deviant psychopathic serial killers who tend to be extremely elusive. At least two who have been active for a very long time are caught every year. That is a minimum of 2 serial killers a year. People who cannot stop killing and who evade the law for decades. Most are common folk, and most do not to "play" with law enforcement because they want to keep on killing. But fiction, though it emulates reality, needs a glamour twist in order to entertain.

Your assessment may be the one of an ostrich with its head in the sand. Name a year, and I will name at least two serial killer caught within those 12 months.

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