In Vermont, it was much harder to keep a vampire hunt hush-hush. As satisfying as such mini-theories are, Bell is consumed by larger questions. He wants to understand who the vampires and their accusers were, in death and life. Reasonable is not always rational. The enduring sadness of the vampire stories lies in the fact that the accusers were usually direct kin of the deceased: parents, spouses and their children.
The tale he always returns to is in many ways the quintessential American vampire story, one of the last cases in New England and the first he investigated as a new PhD coming to Rhode Island in to direct a folklife survey of Washington County funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. History knows the year-old, lateth-century vampire as Mercy Brown. Her family, though, called her Lena. Farmers heaped stones into tumbledown walls, and rows of corn swerved around the biggest boulders.
In the late 19th century, Exeter, like much of agrarian New England, was even more sparsely populated than usual. Civil War casualties had taken their toll on the community, and the new railroads and the promise of richer land to the west lured young men away. Farms were abandoned, many of them later to be seized and burned by the government. And tuberculosis was harrying the remaining families. By the s, when the scares were at their height, the disease was the leading cause of mortality throughout the Northeast, responsible for almost a quarter of all deaths.
It was a terrible end, often drawn out over years: a skyrocketing fever, a hacking, bloody cough and a visible wasting away of the body. People dreaded the disease without understanding it. The Brown family, living on the eastern edge of town, probably on a modest homestead of 30 or 40 stony acres, began to succumb to the disease in December As Lena was on her deathbed, her brother was, after a brief remission, taking a turn for the worse.
The neighbors asked to exhume the bodies, in order to check for fresh blood in their hearts. George Brown gave permission. On the morning of March 17, , a party of men dug up the bodies, as the family doctor and a Journal correspondent looked on. George was absent, for unstated but understandable reasons. Lena, though, had been dead only a few months, and it was wintertime. Undeterred, the villagers burned her heart and liver on a nearby rock, feeding Edwin the ashes.
He died less than two months later. So-called vampires do escape the grave in at least one real sense: through stories. The late s were a period of social progress and scientific flowering. First, a reporter from the Providence Journal witnessed her unearthing. One New York World clipping even found its way into the papers of a London stage manager and aspiring novelist named Bram Stoker, whose theater company was touring the United States that same year. His gothic masterpiece, Dracula , was published in On legend trips, Bell is largely an academic presence.
Two days before Halloween, Bell and I head through forests of swamp maple and swamp oak to Exeter. For almost a century after Lena died, the town, still sparsely settled, remained remarkably unchanged. In the s, when I was built, Exeter evolved into an affluent bedroom community of Providence. But visitors still occasionally turn a corner to discover the past: a dirt road cluttered with wild turkeys, or deer hopping over stone fences.
Some elderly locals square-dance in barns on the weekends, and streets keep their old names: Sodom Trail, Nooseneck Hill. Our umbrellas bloom inside out, like black flowers. But the Chestnut Hill Cemetery is still in use. And here is Lena. She lies beside the brother who ate her heart, and the father who let it happen.
Other markers are freckled with lichen, but not hers. The stone looks to have been recently cleaned. It has been stolen over the years, and now an iron strap anchors it to the earth. People have scratched their names into the granite. They leave offerings: plastic vampire teeth, cough drops. Some modern scholars have linked the legend to vampiric symptoms of diseases like rabies and porphyria a rare genetic disorder that can cause extreme sensitivity to sunlight and turn teeth reddish-brown.
Bell believes that Slavic and Germanic immigrants brought the vampire superstitions with them in the s, perhaps when Palatine Germans colonized Pennsylvania, or Hessian mercenaries served in the Revolutionary War. The first known reference to an American vampire scare is a scolding letter to the editor of the Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer , published in June But some modern scholars have argued that the vampire superstition made a certain degree of practical sense. In Vampires, Burials and Death , folklorist Paul Barber dissects the logic behind vampire myths, which he believes originally arose from unschooled but astute observations of decay.
The seemingly bizarre vampire beliefs, Barber argues, get at the essence of contagion: the insight that illness begets illness, and death, death. The difference is that we can get out a microscope and look at the agents. Contrary to their Puritanical reputation, rural New Englanders in the s were a fairly heathen lot. Benjamin Franklinstein Lives by Matthew McElligott and Larry Taxbury intertwines history and science to create a very light-hearted tale about Benjamin Franklin reappearing in the 21st century and his subsequent friendship with his neighbor, Victor Godwin.
Ben believes his Custodian has woken him to do the work of the Modern Order of the Prometheus, but there is no Custodian in sight, only Victor, a young scientist in the making. Lively dialogue, humorous situations, and fantastic illustrations create an entertaining read in Benjamin Franklinstein Lives. A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! Each page gives one of the rules and the page then folds out to show a devious little boy in process of breaking the rules, to the dismay of the visiting vampire.
All is well at the end as both child and vampire appear in a surprise popup, having a good old time! The art is clever and the mischievous little boy tormenting the vampire by breaking every rule is sure to get giggles out of children as they appreciate the sight gags. Contains: Rampant rule breaking! Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret. At the encouragement of a ghost dog, he starts to bring food and water to the German shepherd, and soon realizes that the dog is being abused. Peg Kehret does a great job of capturing the emotions of a dog lover. The ghost dog subplot was an afterthought at best.
Kehret does a good job of navigating the moral gray area that is sometimes associated with rescuing neglected pets. The discussion of animal abuse and rescue was a little heavy-handed at times, but it does have a lot of good tips for animal lovers. I do recommend this book for children that love dogs, but not so much for children looking for something spooky. Review by Cherylynne W.
Available: New and Used. Brief, simple text accompanies color photographs of children in the garden planting and taking care of the pumpkins as they grow. The candid photos will draw young readers into the story, and there are some good opportunities to talk about gardening, plants, and the life cycle- Pumpkin Circle is about much more than Halloween. Young readers may just love the pictures, though, especially in the last few pages, which show creatively carved jack-o-lanterns glowing in the darkness-a wonderful finish for the life of a pumpkin, as the cycle starts over again.
This is a perfect preschool read aloud that can also be enjoyed independently by children in the early elementary grades. Candlewick, ISBN The other letters appear throughout the book representing different creatures and items of Halloween. Kontis includes some alphabet book in-jokes, as when the letter J apologizes to the jack-o-lantern for picking another word, saying "J can't always be for jack-o-lantern".
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Q, always a hard letter to get creative with, successfully breaks the mold, and S and X come up with an imaginative pairing. Unfortunately for the letter B, booted from his early place in the alphabet, other letters keep stealing his costume ideas. The letter P is a pirate, with the same costume as B's buccaneer; Y's yeti is identical to B's Bigfoot. Readers will cheer and jump when B finally gets the last word! AlphaOops goes a step beyond the typical letter representing a word in that the letters themselves have been given some personality.
It is a wonderful read for kids who have become acquainted with the alphabet and is engaging enough that parents will enjoy sharing it with their kids. Once Halloween has passed, children and adults who love this book will want to check out the first book in the series, AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First. A few months ago, he could only look at the pictures, but now he can read a lot of the words, and he will look at, talk about, and try to convince me to read the recipes and make them… right away!
The introduction is dramatic and hooked him immediately, and the pictures are gorgeous. Other recipes that did allow the kids to participate a little more were still trickier that we thought they would be- when we tried making "Funny Bones" we discovered that it's a lot more difficult to dip pretzels with marshmallows in melted chocolate than it sounds. We had fun, but our final product looked nothing like the picture! Still, there are a lot of suggestions on how to create a creepy-but-not-too-creepy spread for a Halloween party, and the author's "mom-sense" attitude meant that I felt a lot more comfortable trying the recipes.
Ghoulish Goodies contains creative and easy to read recipes, attractive pictures although we would have liked to see more , and some simple ideas that could really impress guests at a Halloween party. It's a lot of fun to look at and to read. Unlike a lot of Halloween "idea" books, the recipes really are something you can see kids enjoying.
But for the recipe-impaired, don't be deceived into thinking that the author's recipes are quite as "easy" as they look. If your kids like to cook, and like Halloween, they'll get very excited about Ghoulish Goodies. My son was thrilled to see us review it here. Just make sure to supervise closely, both for safety's sake and to intervene if the level of frustration gets too high.
Recommended for families and for cookbook collections in either the children's department or general nonfiction collection in the public library. Librarians, make sure you seek it out for your Halloween displays. Not only are these titles in high demand for older children and teens, but they are an incredible storytelling resource.
Finally, there are some truly creepy and scary tales about ghosts, witches, shapeshifters, and the supernatural. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has longer stories. Many of them have sudden endings. Scary Stories 3 continues with more detailed and sometimes complicated stories. The volume wraps up with a couple of mildly funny stories.
All three books have detailed notes and bibliographies provided by the author. With just a few strokes and some shading, Gammell ups the scare level considerably. Tormented, skeletal faces, ragged clothes, distorted and indistinct figures, glowing eyes and teeth, empty chairs, empty baskets, empty clothes The Scary Stories Treasury i s highly recommended to libraries and readers who do not already own copies of the Scary Stories books, and recommended as a reference volume for school and public libraries.
Appropriate, based on maturity of the reader, for grades 4 and up. Contains: Violence, gore, cannibalism, deception, the occult, witchcraft, murder. Review by Kirsten Kowalewski. Adam Gidwitz connects several of the stories from the Grimm Brothers and original content by following two children with very familiar names- Hansel and Gretel- on a winding, terrifying journey. While some of these stories will seem familiar, and there are predictable elements, there are still plenty of surprises along the way.
Most of them are interesting and fun, and blend well into the original tale. Parents may want to read ahead. Gidwitz shows obvious enthusiasm for these stories as both a reader and as a storyteller and teacher who has thought about and seen for himself the impact these stories have on children. Grades It shows the magical equipment that will be needed before approaching a dragon, along with what is required once the dragon accepts the young girl or boy as an apprentice.
Each type of dragon is carefully examined to let the young apprentice know what to look out for and what not to do. This guide is a well thought out book about dragons that is presented almost like an enlistment guide for a dragon academy, told from they Dungeons and Dragons mythology standpoint. I could easily see this book being handed out to prospective Dragon Riders a generation or two before the story of Eragon was written. It reads like a factual textbook, though far more interesting. Twelve questions are asked and the results are presented on the next page where the child can see which dragon best fits him or her.
Finally, each page is loaded with artwork that is sure to interest anyone who loves to look at dragons. This book covers almost everything a young monster-hunting wizard might need to know before going out on a weekend of adventure. It tells what supplies the young wizard will need and gives detailed instructions on how to make things like staffs, wands, potions, clothing and backpacks.
Helpful camping tips are also provided for when the young wizard finds himself in the outdoors or in a dungeon. Not only are tips provided, but also detailed instructions are given as to how to create a lamp, put together a campsite, finding food, avoiding traps and navigating. Rotruck has done an excellent job of putting together one of the most entertaining instructional books I have yet seen. Not only are the activities illustrated, but the book is packed with original illustrations and images pulled from the later editions of the Dungeons and Dragons rule books.
Availability: New and Used In. Can Derek and Ravine help Abigail before something truly awful happens to her? Or to them? Those who read and loved the first book will definitely like this one, too. Special note for series readers: I recommend reading this series in order. Review by Stacey L. Jitterbug Jam practically begs to be read aloud. It succeeds on its own merits- the illustrations, and even the physical book, take a backseat to the narrative.
The illustrations and design of the book are absolutely worth exploring, though. Using a variety of styles, Alexis Deacon creates a vision of a monster world that will suck the reader right in. Background colors are muted grays, yellows, browns, and greens. The monsters would blend in, too, without the heavy lines that separate them from their surroundings, and their clothes, which pop out with color.
The placement of the words and illustrations on each page accentuate the narrative. For example, the illustration on the first page is a small picture of our narrator, Bobo, surrounded by empty space. Speech balloons provide an informal approach to dialogue that will be familiar to those comfortable with a graphic format as well. Jitterbug Jam is the story of a little monster hiding from the boy under his bed. Evin is a mischievous young man living in a small village who dreams of excitement and adventure.
He and his friend Jorick soon find more adventure than they bargained for when gnolls ransack their village and kidnap everyone. Nothing is what it seems, as friends become strangers, and enemies become allies. Monster Slayers is a book for young readers. There is a purpose in the shallowness though, one that should catch the reader by surprise as the plot twists and morphs into surprisingly good story. The author does a fine job of creating creatures that the young reader will easily be able to visualize. Older readers who are fond of their Dungeons and Dragons days will remember those times as they see the rogue in Evin, the fighter in Jorick and the magic-user in Bet.
Read it! They have had a lot of fun looking at the pictures, hearing the story, and chanting the words, though. The customer appears to float, rather than walk, and then he inserts a straw into one of the books and begins to suck on it! Once he notices the boy, the customer makes an abrupt exit, and when the boy discovers that the words have been sucked right off the pages, he quickly gives chase. Venturing into the cemetery, the boy realizes he has encountered a vampire! Luckily, the vampire, named Draculink, has developed an allergy to blood, and the only food he can digest is ink, sucked from the pages of a book.
Of course, Draculink's inability to drink blood doesn't stop his urge to bite, and he turns the boy into an ink drinker as well, inspiring an ironic, insatiable desire for books. This darkly funny early chapter book will be a favorite of any teacher, librarian, or parent who has ever tried to reach a child who dislikes reading, and the fast moving plot, believable voice, humor, and mild scariness will appeal to many reluctant readers.
It's a perfect short read-aloud for a younger child who has developed an attention span for longer stories than those found in picture books, and the first book that, between the action-packed story and evocative illustrations, actually created a physical reaction in my son- he ran around with his tongue sticking out, demanding a straw, for at least an hour, and begged to hear the story again.
If you can find a copy, The Ink Drinker is a must have for any library collection and nearly any reader. Highly recommended for all libraries. The Fox River flows for miles through Wisconsin and Illinois, and when Donna Latham announced that she was writing and collecting ghost stories from the surrounding towns, area residents reached out to share their tales. Others, like "Another Cup for Willa", about a woman who is visited by the ghostly presence of a dead friend on her birthday, are personal recollections.
Often the two seem to overlap. The first story, "The Train Track Ghosts" is one of these. The storyteller's voice is so vivid that you can almost see him sitting on the author's porch, but underneath the trappings of the tale he tells is a recognizable urban legend. The quality of the stories vary.
Others feel awkward- although the plotting is good, the author frequently uses complex vocabulary, and her attempts at dialogue and writing in dialect often seem forced. Latham also chose to illustrate her book with a strange and cluttered collection of clip art, which is distracting and interrupts the flow of her stories. However, she does a good job of fitting in local history and background without overwhelming the narrative, a difficult thing to do, and does a nice job at establishing the setting for her stories, so she accomplishes what she set out to do rather well.
While Ghosts of the Fox River Valley is an interesting read, there isn't enough new material here to recommend it for all libraries. However, public and school libraries and local history buffs in the area Latham describes in her book ought to take a look. In particular, school libraries and upper elementary or middle school teachers may want to consider it in connection with teaching to social studies standards that focus on local history and language arts standards focused on speaking, listening, and writing, as Ghosts of the Fox River Valley is a good resource for beginning an oral history project.
Beyond possible uses in the classroom, the same kids who love Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories books will love having ghost stories set in their area available to them. Recommended to public and school libraries and local history collections in the area of the Fox River Valley. The Nose by Nikolai Gogol , ill. It's not just any nose, either, it is the nose of one of his customers, a self-important bureaucrat named Kovaliov. Terrified to leave the nose where it can be connected to him, Yankelovich sets off to hide it, but his furtive behavior attracts official attention.
In the meantime, Kovaliov wakes up to discover he has no nose. Covering his face with a handkerchief, he starts down the street, where he spots his nose, dressed as a fine gentleman and high official. Kovaliov hesitates to approach a social superior, even a former appendage, but he wants his nose back and confronts the nose, who denies any connection with him.
Eventually a police officer returns the nose confiscated from Yankelovich, but it won't stick to Kovaliov's face! Kovaliov is unable to show his face in public without ridicule, shutting down his social ambitions, as the nose-posing-as-officer has become a sensation. Then one day Kovaliov wakes up to find the nose back on his face, firmly attached. Anyone looking for logic or narrative structure in The Nose will be disappointed. The pieces don't fit together neatly It is nightmarish in some ways- finding a nose in his breakfast must have been pretty stomach-churning for Yankelovich, and when he abruptly disappears from the story the imagination finds ominous ways to fill in the blanks.
Gogol is an important figure in Russian literature, with a talent for the surreal who wrote in a different time and a different context, and he wasn't writing for children. The setting, names, and characters may seem alien to many children, the vocabulary is advanced, and the social satire will probably fly over kids' heads. But when it comes down to it, this is one giant, horrifying, absurd joke about a nose, and kids definitely get that.
Reading it out loud, it is almost impossible not to at least giggle. Gennadij Spirin's illustrations will make certain that kids get the joke. Many pages are framed with incredibly detailed drawings of St. Petersburg, Russia, the setting of the story, and observant readers will spot the bizarre giant nose in its plumed hat traveling the streets in its elaborate horse-drawn carriage. Everything in the full page illustrations seems slightly exaggerated, so the most absurd elements aren't jarring, and readers won't even realize how far they are suspending disbelief until they are well into the story.
Spirin's representations of the nose are amazing. Some of them seem very cartoony, but in full uniform, the nose does appear to be its own person, so to speak. And, in fact, this book has been used to teach upper elementary students about personification and figurative language. Although it's a picture book, very young children won't be ready for it, but elementary and middle students may enjoy it, especially with some guidance. It's also a good choice for older students looking for a nonthreatening introduction to Russian literature, and readers of any age who like a touch of the bizarre.
Jeff Szpriglas has created a guide to fear. Phobias, superstitions, killer animals, monsters, cryptids, scary movies and more- Szpirglas examines them all in Fear This Book. The book is much more than a list of fears, though. The author also explains the physiological and psychological reactions to fright, and details experiments and therapies that have been used to understand fear. Silver Dragon Codex by R.
Mirrorstone, Jace, the young high wire acrobat must help Belen, a beautiful dancer, acquit herself of the charges being brought by a white robed mage from Palanthas. Surely the beautiful young girl cannot actually be a silver dragon in disguise Jace, Belen, and a few others from the circus head off to determine the truth behind the story. Along the way they are confronted by werewolves and a chimera, and the truth turns out to be far more complicated than it first seemed.
I say this is the weakest entry so far because the other stories in the series are well thought out and all of the varying story lines are wrapped up neatly by the end of each book. I find this to be important in a YA novel. The Silver Dragon Codex leaves many things unexplained, and also suffers from problems with continuity and weak writing. I also found this book to be a bit darker than the others, and for some reason it came across a bit dull.
Perhaps it is because the characters are less likable than the ones in previous novels, or perhaps the problem is the overly complicated plot. Although this is an okay book, and readers following the series may want to try it, it is nowhere near as good as previous books in the series. Contains: Fantasy Violence without gore. R eview by KDP. The Gates by John Connolly. Poor little Samuel is not having a good time. His parents have recently split up, he's very smart but tends to annoy or creep out most adults, and he perplexes most of the kids his age.
He decides to go trick-or-treating 3 days early in order to show initiative and he and his little four legged pal Bosworth stumble across the beginning of the end - a bored uppity couple and their equally bored friends. When boredom overtakes the Abernathys they decide to give the dark arts a try - mix in a few scientists who are trying to create an artificial black hole a few countries away and you have the opening to the gates of hell.
It may sound a bit far-fetched or over the top, but readers will find themselves engrossed by sweet little Samuel and his wonderful dog. Not to mention the demons who are having a harder time at this taking over the world thing then they expected - I mean no one ever tells demons to look both ways before crossing the street. I laughed, I smiled, I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. But at the same time I really felt that this was a novel for adults, thinking back on their pre-teen years. With a splendid use of the English language and a dry but light sense of humor, the author has written a fun book that many will enjoy.
Review by KDP. The Composer is Dead is a pretty sophisticated picture book. The humor, vocabulary, and need for context are not simple at all. My four year old, who is in the target audience for picture books, loves music, and always wants me to identify the individual instruments in orchestral music, was totally baffled by the story. What are musical notes and what do they look like? What are the names of the percussion instruments? What does a conductor actually do? What are all those names at the end of the book?
The illustrations were often confusing. Which silhouetted instrument in the illustration is an oboe and which is a clarinet? Who are all the dancing people and why are they dancing? What makes The Composer Is Dead really interesting is the audio CD that accompanies it, which actually plays music by the individual instruments as the Inspector interrogates them. This was fascinating and really brought the story to life. Recommended for elementary and middle school libraries. Aladdin, ISBN: What beasts, you ask?
Why, your standard run-of-the-mill trolls, goblins, gryphons, and fish-headed giraffes. Ulf also happens to be a werewolf. His friends include the human vet, a fairy, and a giant. They work together to keep bad guys from hunting and hurting various mythical monsters. In this book, the bad guys have rounded up some young trolls and are planning on hunting them for sport, so Ulf and the rest of the RSPCB head off to figure out what is going on. Think of the violence along the lines of reading Wile E. Coyote attempting to catch the Roadrunner- it sounds far worse then it actually is. Most of it is actually rather silly and will garner giggles from the young ones.
The book is written in a large typeface that will be appealing to many of the younger crowd, and there are occasional drawings that are quite good. The book is a fast read, and there is a lot of action jammed into a short number of pages, so as an adult, expect for it to whiz right by. As far as characterization, there really isn't much. Ulf is a boy who wants to be included and to help, his curiosity and sense of adventure gets him involved in something he was told to stay home from, and in the end he saves the day.
The morals of the tale include not judging others, not harming animals, and that everything has a right to live. In the end this is a quick read that kids a bit young for the Harry Potter will enjoy. Many adults have a vision of childhood as a time of innocence, but children have a dark side. Children push boundaries to provoke reactions- to find out where the line really is, and who cares enough to keep them safe.
Where the Wild Things Are is the story of Max, a little boy with a big imagination who is sent to his room for making mischief, and finds himself in a strange world where he easily overcomes the terrible Wild Things and becomes their king, the wildest of them all. The words are almost unnecessary- it all takes place in the imagination. The story resonates with many children but it is a journey to a dark and sometimes frightening place, and very sensitive kids may not be ready for it.
You never know, though… my own four year old, who is afraid of goblins and sleeps with his lights on, listened quietly and examined the illustrations carefully. Highly recommended for children of all ages, and an excellent choice for reading aloud. By Phillipe Goosens Clarion Books, Only Sarah can hear and see the ghost, but its mere presence gets in the way of her relationship with her parents. Seeing them in a cloud around Sarah, though, it hits home that even little lies add up to a lot of misery. Available: Used. Anne Rockwell once again presents an accessible text aimed at preschoolers and kindergarteners.
The same class that appeared in Show and Tel l Day , also a collaboration with her daughter Lizzy, is now preparing for the school Halloween parade. The illustrations are colorful, with a gentle humor, and complement the text well. The illustrations are a dead giveaway that readers should expect a tickle to the funny bone. There is a lot to see in the illustrations for those readers who really want to take the time to look. But the illustrations are just part of what makes the story work. Halloween Night will probably be most appreciated by kids in grades Review b y Kirsten Kowalewski.
Hassan, illustrated by Betsy Bowen. Dhegdeer is a monstrous cannibal woman endowed with incredible strength, speed, and hearing, whose evil ways have cursed the lush Hargrega Valley in Somalia, turning it into a desert wasteland. She builds a hut next to her house to lure and trap unwary travelers needing shelter and water, and enspells Bowdheer, a jar in which she stores human flesh, to alert her if anyone touches it.
As she looks for food for the weary travelers, she accidentally bumps into Bowdheer, who wakes a very hungry Dhegdeer. Dhegdeer is a character from Somali folklore used to scare children into good behavior. Vivid colors are painted in broad strokes over black gesso, giving the illustrations a shadowy feel. While figures are outlined in black, they are indistinct.
No child would want to see that face in person! This book is a project of the Minnesota Humanities Commission and Somali Bilingual Book Project, which is intended to preserve heritage languages there is a considerable Somali population in Minnesota and increase English literacy skills for refugees. As a bilingual title, the same text appears in both English and Somali on facing pages, and can be enjoyed in either language. Teachers may find possible curriculum connections with this book as well.
Highly recommended for folktale collections in the public library and in elementary and middle school library media centers. Mirrorstone, ISBN: A Practical Guide to Vampires presents itself as a nonfiction handbook compiled by a vampire hunter and enthusiast. The author describes their habits and haunts, and gives advice to the reader on how to track and hunt vampires, and survive to tell the story. The pages look yellowed and stained, and there are handwritten notes throughout. A Practical Guide to Vampires is visually impressive. The illustrations are beautifully done and dynamic in nature, and will capture the attention of even reluctant readers.
Interest in this book is not limited to kids, though. Adults with interest in vampires may also like it, and will note some dry humor that more literal minded kids will miss, as well as an oblique reference to Twilight. A Practical Guide to Vampires works just fine as a stand alone title, a handsome and compelling addition to the growing collection of handbooks to the supernatural.
Highly recommended for elementary and middle school library media centers and general public library collections. Contains: references to blood-drinking. Stargazer Publishing, This book has it all- secret tunnels and talking animals, mad science and real monsters. This is the perfect Halloween themed book for in class reading in elementary schools and early middle schools. Equal parts scary, mysterious, gross and silly, it's pure fun. It's definitely recommended for all collections aimed at fostering a love of reading.
Green Dragon Codex by R. Scamp is one of the smaller boys in his town, and has always been picked on by the larger boys. He has learned to be quick to run and light of foot when the bullies are about. Then comes the fateful day when Scamp flees from the bullies into the darker parts of the forest, and comes across a chest laying next to the body of a large, dead, green dragon. What is contained within the chest will take him on an adventure where he will encounter tragedy, magic, dwarves, dragons, daemons and a race more ancient then humankind.
They meet with strange and often scary things along the way. They learn that being family means being there for one another when you really need it, to trust in themselves and that perhaps nothing is "born" evil. Can they save all of Krynn before the strange black hooded, red-eyed mage gets what he wants?
This is a YA book, though it is entertaining enough for adults. Most adults will find the characters rather thin but still amusing. Green Dragon Codex is good for the 12 and up crew, and a nice introduction to fantasy for the younger generation. Contains: some mild violence, evil plots and plans, ADHD behavior saves the day.
Brass Dragon Codex by R. This is a very simple and straightforward tale of friendship, what it takes to be a friend, and how to have friends you have to make sure that first of all YOU are a good friend. Our story starts with a young Brass Dragon discovering that his parents have been done in by an evil Blue dragon.
The little dragon is lonely and unhappy now that he is living alone and looks high and low for a friend. Meanwhile a little gnome gets himself kicked out of the city for an invention gone wrong - but he has an even better idea, if only people would listen to him. The dragon and gnome cross paths in the desert and learn the truth about friendship while helping each other to reach their goals. It's a really sweet story that many will enjoy. For the adults, there may be a bit lacking in the character department, but I handed this book off to my 11 year old son and it seems to be right up his alley.
I would recommend this for the 10 and up crew depending on their reading ability. For those concerned about violence - the Brass Dragon's parents are killed, and there is a bit of violence, though none of it is overly gory. I would not give this to my 7 year old, but the middle school group should be fine. Something strange is going on at 56 Water Street. Derek and Ravine see the lights turning on and off and find out that they are the only ones who can actually see the house: to everyone else it is just an empty lot.
When they work up the courage to go into the house, they find out that the ghost of a teenaged girl in the house has made it visible because she wants their attention Strangway has created a believable world using simple and accessible language that is also creatively descriptive. Her characters are of the brave, mischievous kind that kids will identify with and love. At times, the writing is repetitious from chapter to chapter, but rather than being a detriment to the story, this makes it ideal as a chapter-a-night ghost story for the year old range.
Those anxious to find out what happens need not worry, however, as 56 Water Street is a quick read at pages. Recommended for public libraries, particularly those wishing to acquire more titles by Canadian authors. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Nobody Bod Owens is, in most respects, your average kid, except that he lives in a graveyard.
After his parents and sister are murdered when he is just a toddler, he is adopted by ghosts in a cemetery near his home and is given a rare gift: the Freedom of the Graveyard, which allows him to do many of the same things as the ghosts, including walking through walls. However, there is one thing that he can't do, which is leave the graveyard. Leaving could put him in danger of being found by Jack As always, Neil Gaiman creates an atmosphere at once terrifying and captivating for all ages.
The accompanying black and white illustrations, courtesy of Dave McKean, add to the atmosphere of the story and are placed well throughout the novel. Gaiman's characters display a greatness of depth that is not often seen in literature for this age range. The main characters are also seen at various stages of their youth, making them easy to identify with for children, teens and adults alike.
This is a page-turner that no reader will want to put down until every page has been read. Winner of the Newberry Medal, this title is recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with children's literature collections. Notes: Contains violence, murder and potentially disturbing scenes. Turn the page and even things that might be scary to kids or mice are portrayed at their most benign and cutest.
The book ends on a positive note, making it a good choice to share with first-time trick or treaters. Flashlight Press, Available: Pre-order for April 1st. Ethan has a problem. How will he ever get to sleep without his nightly scare? There is a subversive appeal to I Need My Monster. Instead, he quickly takes control of the situation. While shadowed, they are whimsical and colorful, and scary monster claws and tails turn out to be attached to bright yellow, purple and green creatures more comic than they are frightening.
Although I Need My Monster is targeted at year olds, kids at the younger end of that spectrum may not have the sophistication to appreciate or understand the humor, and some of the word choices and illustrations could have a powerful impact. Particularly with the preschool crowd, this is a book to share and discuss. I Need My Monster is a great choice for middle and upper elementary kids who have outgrown their fears of the monster under the bed, and now enjoy a delicious scare, especially one leavened with humor. Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund, ill.
Robert Neubecker. Harcourt, Monsters on Machines will be a hit with the preschool and early elementary crowd. It has plenty of monsters, both silly and scary, with gleeful delight at running construction machinery and pride in building a house. From the very first page the monsters are safety conscious, donning hard hats and earplugs, they enthusiastically eat lunch, using their monster manners, take their naps without a fuss, and clean up their construction mess at the end of the day.
Robert Neubecker skillfully uses vibrant color to bring his ink drawings to life, and his illustrations make it almost possible to imagine that the pictures were drawn and colored by a monster-loving child. Both Lund and Neubecker use every space they can to involve kids in the story, even using the inside covers, which have miniature drawings of construction machines on them, to give parents and children the opportunity to make the book a truly interactive experience by talking about and matching the machines.
All in all, Monsters on Machines is a great choice for active, mud-loving, mess-making kids, especially those fascinated by monsters, machines, or construction of any kind. Monster Musical Chairs by Stuart J. Murphy , ill. HarperCollins, The plot is pretty simple. By the end of the game and the book , your child will be saying the words with you! Monster Musical Chairs is part of the MathStart series, which is intended to get kids to see the fun in math, and the focus of this particular book is subtraction, targeted to ages 3 and older.
In the back of the book, there are suggestions for activities and additional books for parents who want to use the book for direct instruction and to extend mathematical exploration. Even if you never look at that back page, though, you and your child can still rock to the imaginary music of five whimsical monsters racing around a bunch of chairs. And who knows, maybe along the way, the kid will learn a little math. Coraline by Neil Gaiman. When I saw the advertisements for the movie Coraline , I knew that with a 7 year old I would have to watch the film so I quickly grabbed the book off the shelf to make sure I'd read it first.
How weird it all is I read it in just about a half an hour or so The intruder told them he was wanted by police in California and was on his way to New York. Kathryn, later described by friends as feisty refused. The killer left him, and Kevin re- membered hearing the man rummaging through the house for several minutes. He then returned to where Kevin was bound. It was like he'd done it before. He wasn't worried about anything that I could tell. He was methodical, is what I'd say. He didn't push me down, didn't slap me around. He laid me down on the bedroom floor, and I remember he put a pillow under my head.
He started strangling me He wasn't going to shoot me, he was going to strangle me," says Bright. Kevin struggled and finally managed to get his hands free. Imme- diately he grabbed the killer's gun. He should have been lying there dead, because I got ahold of the gun and the trigger and pulled it twice, but it didn't go off. He pulled it away from me and that's when he shot me the first time. I just went on the floor. So, he thought I was dead, I guess, and left me alone for a while. I just lay there and he went into the other room. Nevertheless, he quickly regained consciousness and heard his sister say, "What have you done to my brother?
Kevin then heard what he interpreted as the man strangling his sis- ter. Kevin managed to grapple with the man and again took the gun from him. Kevin tried to shoot the intruder, but the gun misfired. The man wrested the gun from Kevin and shot him in the face, the bullet entering just below his nose. This time Kevin feigned death un- til he could gather his wits.
So, I got up and went to the door and opened it and went out- side," said Bright. Kevin rolled over and ran out a side door, almost immediately run- ning into some passersby. There's a guy in the house doing a job on my sis- ter," he said. The passersby took Kevin to Wesley Medical Center, about a mile away. Witnesses at Nail's Automotive across the street phoned the police. At one time he just asked me, 'Haven't I seen you at the university? Kathryn was found bound and semi-nude, with ligature marks on her neck. Unconscious when police arrived, she died five hours later at Wesley Medical Center.
Though Kevin survived, he was hospitalized at Wesley for two weeks. The wounds from the gunshots and the loss of blood report- edly gave him some brain damage. Over time, Kevin Bright gave inconsistent descriptions of the man. Initially, according to police and press reports, Kevin described the in- truder as white, about five-foot-ten, stocky, with dark brown or black hair, a black mustache that reached the corners of his mouth, and wear- ing some type of uniform.
He said the man was about twenty-five years old and wearing a black stocking cap, orange shirt, and orange jacket. This description later changed, and remained firm: Kevin later in- sisted his sister's killer was a shorter "Oriental" or "Mexican" man wearing an olive-drab military fatigue jacket. By , his description had reverted nearer to his original descrip- tion. Bright described BTK as around twenty-five or thirty years old, about five-foot-ten, and pounds. He says he had a slightly darker complexion and a black mustache.
He was not wearing an orange shirt and or- ange jacket. The only other detail Kevin could remember was a watch. But there was a more sinister detail: "Even though I surprised him when I was with my sis- ter, he was in control from the time it started until I got out of there. He knew what he was doing.
He said that all of Bright's re- marks were audiotaped in the emergency room. He said that Bright's description was not something that they could rely on in court. At the crime scene the police recovered shell casings from an auto- matic pistol. Wichita Police identified the make and type of weapon, but did not publicly release that information. Kathryn's keys were stolen. A quantity of drugs was found by police in the Bright home, but details were not disclosed. The Brights' neighbor found rope and scuff marks under a tarp in the bed of his truck.
The police determined the rope was identical to that used to tie up the Brights and realized the perpetrator was proba- bly hiding when the police arrived. Police speculated that the killer must have just exited the crime scene when police entered, and he managed to hide under the tarp.
After police entered the house, the killer must have emerged from hiding under the tarp and fled. Kathryn had lived at that 13th Street address for less than a year. She worked as a metal brazer until March 11, , and as an assem- bler after that. She worked in the same department, the same assembly line, as Julie and Michael L. Williams, the supervisor who was shot three days before the Oteros.
Kevin Bright had also been a Coleman employee, from March until June , and then again during July and August of that year. Because of the killer's reported statement that he was wanted in California and was headed to New York, Wichita police did not look for a Wichita resident in connection with Kathryn's murder. They, instead, focused their attention on men who were "just passing through. He also stood outside of the Coleman Com- pany at shift change and looked for the man who tried to kill him.
It was Suspect Barbara, the same suspect that Ken Duckworth had developed as a suspect in the Otero murders within three hours of the discovery of the Oteros' bodies. However, because of the inconsisten- cies in Kevin's description, and because of his brain damage, District Attorney Keith Sanborn would not file charges against the man Kevin identified. In attorney Jackie Williams, who was Keith Sanborn's deputy district attorney and would serve as U. Attorney for the district of Kansas, told me that in practice one could not prosecute a suspect for murder based on the testimony of a lone brain-damaged witness whose story had changed.
According to some sources, the refusal of the district attorney's office to prosecute this suspect caused conflict between police and prosecutors under more than one administration. Once again, the killer slipped under the radar. Chapter 5 The Letter in the Library The manhunt continued through the spring and summer until, on Oc- tober 8, , a young man with known mental problems was picked up by police in connection with the molestation of a five-year-old girl.
The young man had been apprehended attempting to have sex with a duck while in a car. The duck protested loudly and the noise caught the attention of patrolling police. During his interrogation the young man gave "suspiciously accu- rate" information regarding the Otero murders. He eventually con- fessed to murdering the Oteros. The confessor implicated two others, one his brother and the other another male relative. The brother, who was in E.
Allen Hospital, a county hospital for indi- gents and for many with psychiatric problems, after what appeared to be a suicide attempt on a downtown street, also confessed to killing the Oteros. The third man implicated, also a relative, was sought. At that time persons had been interviewed by Wichita Police in connection with the Otero murders, many of them because of past in- volvement in sex crimes.
The police did not release their names, and Chief Hannon was quick to point out that there was no evidence other than the confes- sions to connect the men with the Otero murders. Under subse- quent separate interrogations they began to give inconsistent accounts of the crimes. The older brother changed his story at least once. The younger brother, the original confessor, was checked into a separate but unnamed hospital for psychiatric examination. The third relative, who was thirty years old, was listed as "wanted for questioning. After a brief interrogation, he too was placed in the mental ward of a local hospital.
Police were wary of these being false confessions, but took the men into custody nonetheless. The arrests made the newspaper on October 18, Cornwell said, "After we develop as much as we can develop, we're going to start trying to determine if they really did commit the crime. And if so, then we'll try to charge them. The call, in response to the arrests, was to Eagle director of community affairs Don Granger, who managed the Otero murder Secret Witness hotline. According to press reports, the man on the phone told Granger: "Listen and listen good, because I'm not going to repeat it.
Granger contacted Chief Hannon about the call. Granger said that the voice on the phone had no accent, just Mid- western United States. Not some- one who wanted to give orders. Someone who was used to giving or- ders," Granger said of the voice. At Hannon's order, Detective Bernie Drowatzky retrieved the let- ter. The letter, as it turned out, was hidden in a shelf of books on the li- brary's second-floor mezzanine.
It was typed — not a photocopy — and it contained mis- spelled words and improper grammar. Those three dude [sic] you have in custody are just talking to get publicity for the Otero murders.
They know nothing at all. I did it by myself and no ones help. There has been no talk either. Let's put it straight Joe: Position: Southwest bedroom, feet tie to the bed. Head pointed in a southerly direction. Bondage: window blind cord Garrote: Blind cord, brown belt. Death: The old bag trick, and strangulation with clothes line rope. Clothed: white sweat shirt, green pants.
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Comments: He threw up at one time. Had rib injury from wreck few week before. Laying on coat. Julie: Position: Laying on her back crosswise on the bed pointed ina southwestern direction. Pace cover with a pillow. Bondage: Blind cord. Garrote: Clothes line cord tie in a clove-hitch. Death: Strangulation twice. Clothes: Blue house coat, black slack, white sock.
Comments: Blood on face from too much pressure on the neck, bed unmade. Josephine: Position: Haning by the neck in the northwest part o the basement. Dryer or freezer north of her body. Bondage: Hand tie with blind cord. Feet and lower knees, upper knees and waist with clothes line cord. All one length. Garrote: Rough hemp rope l A dia.
Death: Strangulation once, hung. Comments: Rest of her clothes t the bottom of the stairs, green pants, and panties. Her glasses in the southwest bedroom. Joseph: Position: In the east bedroom laying on his back pointed in eastern direction. Garrote: Three hoods; white T-shirt, white plastic bag, anther T-shirt. Clothes-line cord with clove-hitch. Death: Suffocation once, strangulation-suffocation with the old bag trick. Clothes: Brown pants, yellow-brown stripe T-shirt. Comments: His radio is missing.
All victims had their hand s tie nehind their backs. Gags of pillow case material. Slip knotts on Joe and Joseph neck to hold bag down or was at one time. Purse contents south of the table. Spilled drink in that area also, kids making lunches. Door shade in red chair in the living room. Otero's watch missing.
I needed one so I took it. Themostat turn down. Car was dirty inside, out of gas. When the writer said, about Julie Otero's position, "Laying on her back," the author had originally typed the word "black" but had put a slash through the L. This is an unlikely typo to make accidentally, since the L is not adjacent on the typewriter keyboard to either the b or the a, the two letters surrounding it in that word. The Oteros were a Hispanic family of dark complexion. The letter was long and detailed. Included in the letter were "Com- ments.
The letter was determined to be genuine, as it contained details of the Otero killings that only the killer could have known. The description of the crime scene in the Oteros' master bedroom differs from that shown in police photos. I'm sorry this happen to society. They are the ones who suffer the most.
It's hard for me to control my- self. You probably call me 'psychotic with sexual per- version hang-up. How does one cure himself? If you ask for help, that you have killed four people they will laugh or hit the panic button and call the cops. I can't stop it so the monster goes on, and hurt me as well as society. Society can be thankful that there are ways for people like me to relieve myself at time by day dreams of some victims being torture and be- ing mine. It a big compicated game my friend of the monster play putting victims number down, follow them, checking up on them waiting in the dark, wait- ing, waiting.
Maybe you can stop him. I can't. He has already chosen his next victim or victims. I don't who they are yet. The next day after I read the paper, I will know, but it to late. Good luck hunting. In complying with these rules, the killer wrote in a postscript: RS. Since sex criminals do not change their M.
The code words for me will be. They will be on the next victim. BTK's letter referred to recent stories in the newspapers stating that police were close to an arrest. The killer wanted to debunk those sto- ries and make sure everyone knew the police were not close to catch- ing him. There was no mention in the BTK letter of Kathryn Bright's murder, or Kevin Bright's attempted murder, but there was a promise of future victims. Not everyone believed the letter was from the Oteros' killer.
Be- cause the description of the Otero crime scenes in the letter did not match the crime scene photos, there was strong feeling in the Wi- chita Police that the letter was a hoax. The feeling that BTK was a hoax didn't completely dissipate among investigating officers until May A lieutenant colonel, he had worked his way up through the ranks. He was best remembered for having defused a riot during the Coleman strike in the late s. Two groups of Cole- man manual laborers, one on strike, one not, were moving toward a confrontation when Jack, alone, faced the aggressors.
It was a dra- matic moment. In front of a huge crowd, a striker spit in Jack's face. With the crowd ugly, Jack did what none of them expected: with spit dripping down one cheek, he calmly turned his other cheek to the guy. When the man paused, stunned, Jack did not arrest the guy, but wiped the spit off his face and kept himself under control with a look that said, "Brother, do you realize what you are doing?
Jack thought that this letter from "BTK" was a prank from someone within the department, and he had good reasons to think so. He went and accused two officers of writing the letter as a prank. Jack Bruce, Floyd Hannon, and other investigators immediately knew what those outside the inner circle did not know: the letter had errors. Not just typos, but errors of fact. The color of some of the clothing and its description were wrong.
Joe Pickett Series in Order:
And if the unique pattern on Joey's shirt is difficult to describe, it clearly is not "stripes. Still, expert opinions were sought. Over time, up to thirty local psy- chiatrists and psychologists were asked to read the letter. Police asked that the contents of the BTK letter not be published because they wanted to avoid a flood of false confessors. There was a difference of opinion among the doctors whether to re- lease the letter to the public. The police didn't want the letter released for several reasons.
However, some doctors concluded that if this was an authentic letter from the killer and the killer received no publicity, then he would kill again. His reaction sexu- ally is to be bound, to bind other people. The ad read: B. Help is available. Call before 10 p. They received no calls. On October 31, police asked the Eagle and Beacon's community af- fairs director, Don Granger, to address a plea to the letter writer in a column in the paper.
Granger wrote: "For the past week Wichita police have tried to get in touch with a man who has important information on the Otero murder case — a man who needs help badly. There re- ally is a 'B. Because the letter stated that only one man had killed the Oteros, police reenacted the crime to determine if this was possible. Still, despite what he would later say about the letter being from a crank, Hannon had to admit that it was written by a very well- informed crank. The man had grabbed a twelve-year-old girl and, according to the girl, tried to "play" with her leg.
The assailant was quickly identified. He was a five-foot-ten white man wearing a white hard hat, dark blue-green short-sleeve shirt and pants, an olive drab field jacket with. He had dark hair and mus- tache and was medium build. When Captain Klein confronted him, the man was squatting on the floor between book stacks. Captain Klein asked, "What seems to be the problem? Initially the man nodded his head but did not verbally answer. Then Captain Klein handed him the card and instructed him to read it aloud, which he did, though haltingly. The subject remained squatting on the floor throughout this time.
According to Captain Klein's report, at the police station the sub- ject was turned over to Detective Jimmy Langford. When Captain Klein showed me his report in , he said that to this day he never heard a further word about it and never found any further record of the arrested subject, whose name I am withholding.
If the man went to court, then Captain Klein was never called to testify or contacted about the arrest in any way. It is possible that the man was released. The significance of this incident became apparent only after the s Ghostbusters investigation into the BTK case and with knowl- edge of how other killers evaded identification even when confronted by the police. These descriptions precisely match the man Captain Klein arrested. This was hardly the first time a serial murderer had escaped from the clutches of the law. Jeffrey Dahmer, Edward Kemper, Gary Ridg- way, Zodiac, and many other serial killers had, when confronted, talked the police out of holding them responsible for murder and at- tempted murder.
In Milwaukee, in May , tall, blond, handsome, well-spoken se- rial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had drugged fourteen-year-old Laotian Kon- erak Sinthasomphone into unconsciousness. Around a. While Dahmer was gone, Konerak woke, disoriented and confused, and walked naked into the street. Two women saw him and called Before the police arrived Dahmer returned and tried to force the struggling Konerak back into his apartment.
When police arrived the two women, Sandra Smith and Nicole Childress, told them what they had seen. Dahmer was calm and ex- plained to the police that Konerak was his nineteen-year-old gay lover, who was drunk. He was sorry to be a bother, and if the police would help him bring Konerak back to his apartment, they wouldn't cause any more trouble. The two women told the police that they did not be- lieve Dahmer 's story.
The police believed Dahmer, and accompanied Konerak back to Dahmer 's apartment. They noted that it smelled bad, but they did not want to deal any further with this gay couple's argument. When the police left, Dahmer immediately strangled Konerak. He then had sex with Konerek's corpse and later dismembered the body, keeping the skull as another trophy. A murder victim had escaped, but the murderer was so calm and smooth that the police themselves helped the killer take the victim back to the room where the victim would be strangled. Jeffrey Dahmer would later be sentenced to fifteen consecutive life terms.
He committed his first two murders when he was age fifteen and was sent to a mental hospital. He was released at age twenty-one on the condition he regularly meet with a psychiatrist. After he again started committing murders, he once drove to a meeting with his psychiatrist while he had a victim's head in the trunk of his car. At that meeting the psychiatrist concluded that Kemper was no danger to society.
Although Kemper was frequently seen on the University of Cali- fornia college campus, where young women were disappearing, he was never a suspect. When he called the police to confess, they did not initially believe him. Edward Kemper was sentenced to life in prison. Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, who murdered at least forty- eight women, eluded police for more than twenty years. Yet in , when a woman accused him of attempting to strangle her, the police let him go.
The woman had escaped from Ridgway as he was attempt- ing to murder her. In her struggle for her life, she bit him and fled. The police believed Ridgway's characterization of events, which was that he was the victim of a prostitute who had bit him. Later, a polygraph examiner concluded that Ridgway was not being deceptive when he answered questions about crimes he was suspected of committing, yet Ridgway, on all pertinent points, was being deceptive.
Like serial killers Dahmer and Kemper, Ridgway remained calm when ques- tioned, and the authorities believed his denials. California's Zodiac serial killer of the s and s was stopped by the police only blocks from a murder Zodiac had just committed. San Francisco police were looking for the killer of a taxicab driver. Zo- diac remained calm and the police concluded he was not the man they were looking for and let him go.
Zodiac later wrote that he was the man police released. One of the things common to serial killers who successfully elude capture is that they are able to deceive police and other authorities. Did the man whom Captain Klein arrested talk his way out of prose- cution? Was he the BTK Strangler? Chapter 6 The Murder of Sherry D. At about nine o'clock in the morning of Tuesday, November 13, Sherry D. The mother had not heard from her daughter and was visiting to see if something was wrong.
The doors were locked and Sherry did not respond to knocking.
Her mother began looking in the windows and soon saw her daughter motionless. Twenty-three-year-old Sherry was dead, wearing only a negligee and panties, lying facedown on the living room floor. A pair of scissors was protruding from the back of Sherry's head. Her hands were tied behind her back with her coiled telephone re- ceiver line. She was gagged with part of a torn towel. Another part of the towel was tied around her neck. She had been stabbed more than seventy times.
Her throat had been slashed. A bloody six-inch-long butcher knife lay at her side. The entire house was "in shambles. Bloodstains were found on the living room floor and couch, and on a bedroom windowsill and in the bathroom. The blood in the bathroom had apparently come from the killer wash- ing his hands.
Later on Tuesday, district coroner Dr. Sherry died of multiple stab wounds to the head and neck. Daniels said the most serious wound was to the jugular. The stab wounds to Sherry's head had been done with the scissors, and one of the scissor blades had snapped off in Sherry's skull. Daniels told reporters that Sherry's hands were bound together with the telephone's coiled receiver cord and that the receiver was placed back on the phone carriage. The cord was not severed. Sherry's personal life was troubled.
Return Of The Killer (Hunter Burns Investigation, Book #4)
She had a child, but it "lived with relatives. Police also learned that Sherry had been hospitalized because of being beaten up, but she refused to name the man who had done it to her. Police hauled Miller in for "routine" questioning on Tuesday, but he was released on Wednesday. Later in the week police would say that they wanted to question another boyfriend of Sherry's, one who didn't live in Wichita. Funeral services were held for Sherry at p. This was the office — separate from the factory where Julie Otero and Kathryn Bright worked — where Michael Williams' father was head of personnel at Coleman.
Sherry would tie into the BTK case through the psychiatric evalua- tion of an anonymous drawing sent in at this time. Chief Hannon wanted a mental health practitioner to evaluate the BTK letter and thought no one better qualified than Wichita's mayor, Dr. Garry Porter. Samuel Har- rell, should be consulted. Starting as a military policeman, Harrell so impressed his superi- ors that they promoted him to OSI, the Office of Special Investigations.
He became a detective and received assignments around the world, in such places as Morocco and the Belgian Congo in Africa and Ger- many. He quickly became an experienced homicide detective. As his four-year tour of duty was ending, he happened to be as- signed to a U. Sam obtained a job as a psychiatric assistant at Menninger psychiatric hospital and attended college at Washburn University in Topeka. Menninger 's psychiatrists encouraged Sam to become a psy- chologist, and Sam eventually earned his Ph. He and his girlfriend married and moved to Wichita, where Sam worked in a building with psychiatrist Garry Porter, M.
Harrell was provided access to all the police reports, autopsy reports, crime scene photos, autopsy photos, and the letter from BTK. Additionally, Dr. Harrell was shown a drawing that arrived in a sepa- rate envelope. Harrell did not know details of how the police came to receive this drawing.
In it a woman was shown with one end of a pair of scissors embedded in her skull. Harrell told me that it was a good black-and-white pen ink drawing. After evaluation and thought, Dr. Samuel Harrell was ready to present his findings and recommendations to Chief Hannon. Harvey Glatman. That was the name that came to the mind of Dr. Harrell and some of the doctors on what later became called the psychology task force.
Harvey Murray Glatman was the California bondage killer of the late s who lured his victims into a trap, photographed them, then strangled them. Glatman was an expert with ropes and bondage. He learned his craft experimenting on himself during the s. As a teenager, he choked himself to the point of blacking out, hanging himself in the at- tic of his home, as a method of enhancing masturbation. He was initially known as the "Lonely Hearts" murderer. Glatman posed as a photographer for detective magazines as a ruse to get his victims to allow him to tie them.
He photographed his victims while they were bound but before raping and killing them. Then he took photos after they were dead. He typically pulled a gun on them. Glatman murdered three women before a botched abduction led to his arrest in and subsequent execution. British crime author Colin Wilson said, "To understand Harvey Glatman is to understand the basic psychology of the serial killer.
Harrell concluded that whoever sent the drawing with the sharp scissors embedded in a bound woman's head — apparently a drawing of the murder of Sherry D. Baker — knew the victim. This drawing showed an intimacy between the victim and perpetrator. But the Otero murders were different. As a psychologist, Dr.
Har- rell was convinced that BTK must have participated in bondage for some time prior to the murder of the Otero family. He believed that these murders were not the first murders committed by this killer. He believed it possible, if not likely, that there were two people involved in the murders.
One, Dr. Harrell believed, would be the dominant per- sonality, the other the dominated personality, but they both would participate in bondage and domination of others. It is likely that one of the killers had military experience and was probably a Vietnam com- bat veteran. From Dr. Harrell's experience as a homicide detective, he thought it unlikely that someone who had gotten away with mass murder would send a letter claiming responsibility for the murders unless the letter contained crucial elements of deception.
Because the letter's author so insisted that he committed the crimes by himself, perhaps he had not. During Dr.