An autobiography is an account of a person’s life in their own words. Everybody has their own story to tell – but what happens when a serial killer wants to write a memoir?
Just one look into their evil eyes can prompt feelings of sheer terror to curiosity. What really goes on in their minds? Why did they do it? Do they feel remorse? In the following cases, these killers let us directly into their inner-thoughts and the result was chilling…
(Appearing in The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes by John Borowski)
Herman Webster Mudgett is more commonly known as Dr. H. H. Holmes – one of the first serial killers in America. In Chicago, during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built with the intention to murder people. The hotel had bathrooms fitted with gas pipes, corridors made into mazes and traps under the beds. He confessed to 27 murders, but the real body count could be around 200.
In The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes by John Borowski, Holmes’s Own Story appears written by the serial killer but credited under his real name – Herman W. Mudgett. It is his own autobiography, written in 1895, where he speaks of his childhood, life and personal struggles. This is a chilling look into the mind of one of the worst men that ever lived.
10. Pickton: In His Own Words by Robert Pickton
Robert “Willie” Pickton was a former multi-millionaire and pig farmer who became a convicted serial killer in 2007. His victims were six women, mostly prostitutes from Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, whose remains he fed to the pigs on his farm.
It is believed he could have killed up to 49 women after The Crown reported that Pickton confessed to an inmate he was aiming for the “big 5-0”. He also added, “I made my own grave by being sloppy. Doesn’t that just kick you in the ass now?” His confession was caught on tape as the inmate was actually an undercover investigator. He also confessed how he committed the murders. Revealing, “I filled the syringes up with antifreeze and you inject the stuff and you’re dead in about five to 10 minutes.”
Then in February 2016, there was a huge public backlash when online retailer Amazon released a book titled Pickton: In His Own Words for $14.99. Publisher, Outskirts Press, received a lot of complaints after they had printed the 144-page memoir, but they quickly pulled the sale from the website. They claimed, “We have a longstanding policy of not working with, nor publishing work by, incarcerated individuals. Outskirts Press apologizes to the families of the victims for any additional heartache this may have caused.”
The publishers were under the impression the book had been penned by author Michael Childres, but this was actually a manuscript written entirely by Pickton, which he had somehow managed to smuggle out of prison. Pickton pleads his innocence throughout the book, which is now out-of-print and no longer available online.
9. Son of Hope by David Berkowitz
David Berkowitz, also known as the Son of Sam, shot and killed six victims, and wounded seven more, in New York City, between the summer of 1976 and July 1977. As the police hunted him down he wrote taunting letters and achieved worldwide notoriety. When he was finally arrested in August 1977, he claimed he was obeying the orders of a demon, which took the form of a dog named “Harvey” that belonged to his neighbor, “Sam”.
Intense coverage of the trial earned him celebrity status and almost every media outlet wanted to interview him. Publishers also offered him huge sums of money for his story. In response, the New York State introduced the new “Son of Sam laws”, which stops criminals from profiting financially from any publicity surrounding their crimes. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
After years of believing he was part of a satanic cult, Berkowitz has since penned a new book in prison: Son of Hope. 10 years into his sentence, he met a fellow inmate who encouraged him to share “Christ’s love, hope, and forgiveness.” Berkowitz now claims he has fully accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and has been a Christian for more than 18 years. The description reads that this “prison journal offers irrefutable evidence that God has indeed done a marvelous and miraculous work in this man’s life.”
All proceeds go to the victims of his crimes or their families.
8. The Trinity of Superkidds: Quest for Water by J.D. Bauer (a.k.a Charles Kempo)
In June 2010, Charles Kembo was found guilty of killing his wife, business partner, mistress and stepdaughter – all on separate occasions between December 2002 and July 2005, in Vancouver.
His business partner, 38-year-old Ardon Samuel, was found strangled and castrated in Vancouver Park. The body of his mistress, Sui Yin Ma, had been stuffed into a hockey bag and found in Richmond slough. Then his stepdaughter, 20-year-old Rita Yeung, was found wrapped in garbage bags and dumped in Richmond. The body of his wife has never been found. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after the judge called him, “a serial killer, a very dangerous man.”
Which is why people find it very disturbing that he is also a children’s author, with novels published under the pen name “J.D. Bauer.” His novel The Trinity of Superkidds: Quest for Water, which was released in 2010, is as described by the author about “teenage heroes gifted with a variety of exotic superpowers which they use to inspire, raise awareness and vanquish water waste and pollution in a fun, fast-paced adventure.”
Kempo created the identity of the female writer during his trial. On the fake Facebook profile page he created, he wrote that “she” lives “elsewhere in the United States,” and that “she” “prefers to write in semi-darkness.” The book was available for sale and one customer review read: “A great YA novel; however, parents may want to read the second half of chapter 3 before giving it to their children, as it includes a moderately disturbing rape scene of one of the “bad” kids. My 5-year-old and 10-year-old loved it – we look forward to future entries in the series!” There will not be any further titles in the series as the book has since been removed for sale by Amazon.