Monday, November 23, 2009

serial killers

anyone who has read more than a few entries here can probably tell i have a slight obsession with dead things, creepy things, dark things...and serial killers. i always have and my mom recently joked that i "worry her" (to which i replied, "when I'M the one who starts keeping skulls in buckets, THEN you can be worried!")

so it comes as no surprise that i was intrigued with the recent news that cleveland apparently has a serial killer that the press has dubbed "the cleveland strangler." it has been all over the news so chances are most people know what i'm talking about...if not, here is an article about the cleveland strangler. last i heard, there were 11 confirmed victims, including a skull in a bucket sitting in the basement. the creepy thing is that josh worked about 5 minutes away from the house where all the bodies were found! eeek.

amazingly enough, some people (even fellow clevelanders!) don't know that cleveland had a serial killer on the loose back in the 30s that was never caught. these killings became known as the cleveland torso murders. also referred to as "the mad butcher of kingsbury run" because of the area where the bodies (and body parts!) were dumped, the torso killer claimed 12 victims, most who are still unidentified to this day. eliot ness was safety director of cleveland during this period and although he appointed a special task force to catch the butcher, they were never able to. eliot ness has a memorial stone at my favorite place lakeview cemetery, to mark the spot where his ashes were scattered in a nearby lake.

here i am at lakeview cemetery. the caption should be "don't worry, i forgive you for not catching the torso killer!"


recently, a friend of mine gave me some penpal letters belonging to someone he knew. i guess he does a lot of trades for weird, random stuff and got these letters from the guy who was writing them to several serial killers in prison. my friend decided that they were "too dark" for him to have in his possession anymore, and he gladly handed them over. is it totally creepy that i was so stoked to get these?? wait, don't answer that...

so i did some research about the guys that authored these letters and it was truly fascinating what i found out. morbid, awful and heinous...but also fascinating. here are short bios of the five guys i have letters from, followed by a summary of their letters. it's spooky just holding them in my hand, knowing who wrote them and what they did with those very hands that touched the paper i am now touching...

roy norris and lawrence bittaker

these two dudes drove around california in one of those stereotypical rapist vans, abducting 5 young women in 1979. they nicknamed their van "murder mack." they tortured the girls by duct taping their mouths, tying them up, raping them, and sticking ice picks in their ears until they bled. then they would tie wire hangers around their necks and tighten them with pliers until they strangled them to death. one of them used a sledgehammer to bludgeon one of the girls in the head while the other guy strangled her. they also tape recorded most of the torture/murder sessions.

richard ramirez

richard ramirez is one of the most well-known present day serial killers. also known as "the night stalker," he was convicted of 13 murders in the los angeles area although it is believed he committed others. among his victims was a woman with her throat slashed so violently that she was almost decapitated, one woman whose eyes had been gouged out, two women who were beaten with a hammer, one woman beaten with a tire iron, and a husband and wife who were shot to death and then mutilated with a machete. ramirez was interested in satan and the occult, and left pentagrams at several of his crime scenes.

elmer wayne henley, jr.

henley was a teenage accomplice to serial killer dean corll. henley and another teenage boy would help lure other young boys to corll's house, where he would then murder them. the two teenage accomplices would help corll bury the bodies, which totaled 27 by the time they were discovered. henley ended up shooting and killing corll, believing he was about to be the killer's next victim. he then contacted police and revealed their involvement in the murders.

jack trawick

trawick is believed to have murdered at least 5 women (although he claimed as many as 14 without providing proof), including one college student that he kidnapped, choked, hit on the head with a ball peen hammer, and stabbed. trawick was put to death by lethal injection in june 2009.

so those are the dudes i have letters by. they were all written to the same kid (a friend of my friend). most were pretty nondescript, although the ramirez one made me giggle and the tranwick one was kinda disturbing. quite a terrible bunch, eh? here is a little about the letters...

the norris letter: he has crazy-neat writing that looks like type. he says that he will write to anyone that writes to him, no matter if it's hate mail or not. he feels that he has a "responsibility to society" to answer any questions about the crimes he committed (but he does admit there are some aspects of the crimes he is "reluctant" to talk about in his letters). i wonder if he still feels this way and writes just as many letters, as this one was from 10 years ago. he mentions charles manson in his letter and says he will be transferred to the same building soon.

the henley letter: considering the nature of his crimes, i'm not sure if henley is being ironic or not when he tells the letter recipient "happy belated birthday! honestly, be glad you aren't a teenager any more - people don't take teens as serious, ya know?" he also talks about preparing for an art show that he says is a big deal for him. i like that he ended the letter by saying, "you take care and smile lots" like some kindly old grandma would write.


the ramirez letter: i thought it was funny that ramirez talks about a new ozzy/black sabbath album that came out and wants to how how it is so he can order it later. articles that i read about him kept mentioning that he was a big ac/dc fan as well. he mentioned that he is allowed to get "nude pictures of women" and asks for some to be sent. he signs the letter, "yrs cruelly richard."


the bittaker letter: bittaker's letter is the only one that is not hand-written. he mentions that he used to make "interesting pop-up greeting cards" which i wish he would have included. unfortunately, none. he mentions that he is listening to a page/plant tape he borrowed from a neighbor while he writes the letter. heh. he also says that ramirez was his neighbor a few months earlier.

the trawick letter: this letter is the only one that mentions explicit details of a crime that was committed. trawick opens the letter by saying that one thing that is true about death row is that you can never have too many penpals (you might recall that i mentioned earlier that he has since been put to death -- no more penpals for him). he describes himself as a "sexually motivated serial killer" who has "more murder cases than you have fingers." he claims that he never wanted to be caught and enjoyed his "reign of terror" -- and that he would continue, if allowed. he said that since being locked up, he attacked 3 female prison guards/health officials. he talks about how his favorite thing in the world is cars, and says he built his first hot rod at age 14. he mentions that he likes to paint in prison and add his body fluids to the paint, "especially blood." he gives the letter recipient a choice of what he wants to talk about in their letters, citing topics like "violent sex murders, travel, hot rods, food, cooking or art." for some reason i find it funny that he cites his favorite music as "soft classic rock and roll like fleetwood mac or jefferson airplane." then it takes a turn to CREEPYVILLE when he says "if you are a chubby, blonde sexie female - you usually don't live long after meeting me." again he lets the recipient know that it is up to him what topics they want to talk about in their letters. trawick writes, "i can graphically describe how i kidnapped, butt raped, strangled and sexually mutilated a cutie pie in a crowded bank parking lot or i can tell you how i built an ass-kicking chevy." pretty open guy, right? sheeeesh. he signs the letter "your new psychotic penpal, j."


i always wanted to start penpalling serial killers myself, but i never went through the trouble of getting a p.o. box. now that there is a post office right down the street from me, maybe it's about time...

to close, i'll share a few serial killer things i have for sale in FRENZY!

a new design in the "cuddle with a serial killer!" pillowcase series: richard ramirez, the night stalker!


you can also get charles manson:


or john wayne gacy:


there is also a listing right now for a "choose two" set of pillowcases where you pick which two serial killers you want. they are gold pillowcases with pretty floral borders :)


also in the shop is this vintage book about angelo buono and kenneth bianchi, better known as the hillside stranglers:


hope i didn't creep you out TOO much. stay tuned for more pillowcase designs >:)


  1. hey girl, whats with the freaky pillowcases? dont be dark, be you, the rest is easy! xx

  2. that's rather presumptuous. maybe i am dark, david.