|Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons from the public domain.|
Why am I fascinated with serial killers? I don’t know. You know, I’d never heard of the BTK killer until I researched serial killers several years ago. The story got to me so much that I stopped doing what I was doing that night and prayed the killer would get caught. The next day they arrested the guy. After years of looking for him. Was there a connection between my prayer and his arrest? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was just his time to get caught. Or maybe, like they say, God works in mysterious ways. Whatever the case, I’m glad the killer is locked up.
Real life is a lot different from a television show or a novel. Real people died at the hands of BTK. Real people lost loved ones. Fiction is a lot easier to handle. You can distance yourself from the horror of it by telling yourself it’s not real. Sometimes. One of my favorite shows is Criminal Minds. Every episode is about a serial killer or a spree killer. Yesterday, I watched several episodes back to back. I had to stop watching after a while, because that much twisted stuff can get to me. After a few episodes, I started wondering if that kind of stuff can really happen. And then I thought about BTK.
They caught that guy through his computer. Imagine. What would my computer say about me? If a forensic computer geek were to check my Google history, he or she might find some interesting searches. In my quest to add a bit of authenticity to my writing, I’ve asked some questions that might look...I don’t know...questionable. I’m no criminal mind. The thought of hurting another living thing makes me cringe. But certainly my Google searches might appear a bit...criminal. Here are a few examples:
1. Has anyone ever hid a meth lab in a cave?
2. How does one fire a gun properly?
3. How can you tell someone has been in prison by their body language or mannerisms?
4. How long does one stay in prison for possession of meth with intent to distribute?
5. How long does it take for a body to completely decompose?
6. How does one acquire a permit to carry a gun in Arkansas?
7. How long does a body stay in the water before it floats to the surface?
8. How long before the tracks of someone’s drug addiction disappears?
Of course, my obsession with serial killers might arouse suspicion. Then, there’s my frequent searches for abandoned buildings in various locales. Or my search of the various canals in New Orleans. Whatever do I intend to do with this information? The searches for how different drugs interact with each other doesn’t look good for me either.
So here’s my disclaimer. I’m a writer. I research weird stuff. That’s what I do.