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Monday, October 31, 2011

Baseline Killer Completes A Sudden Shot Story

People who read A SUDDEN SHOT often want to know more about the "Baseline Killer" because he was attacking Phoenix at the same time as the Serial Shooter was.  Today, Mark Goudeau has been convicted and can now be officially considered the Baseline Killer.
Composite sketch--Mark Goudeau
This composite sketch, based on survivor accounts, appeared on billboards and newscasts at the same time that the Serial Shooter was also dominating the news. But there was no composite sketch of the Serial Shooter because no one had ever seen him and survived.

Dale Hausner and Sam Dieteman were arrested on August 4, 2006. But the Baseline Killer was still at large for several more weeks.

Sam & Dale, both have dyed hair in this booking photo.

With the conviction of Mark Goudeau, this horrible nightmare has reached a conclusion.  For the hundreds of people affected by these crimes, there will be no "closure." But getting the conviction is an important moment. A feeling of relief descends on the heart. The terrible tension of fearing the monster might escape justice can subside.  
This book is featured on TV!
A Sudden Shot
The story behind the headlines is here...

Mark Goudeau will go into an "aggravation" then a "mitigation" phase before he will receive his sentence. But he is already serving a several hundred year sentence and will undoubtedly get several hundred more.  Expect multiple death penalties, too.

(click on a title below to buy)
Camille Kimball's books:
**A Sudden Shot** as seen on TV!
The Mammoth Book of Tough Guys
Coming soon: Masters of True Crime-Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This is the Marjorie Orbin Book

See the tv show? Now get the real the story...

   From Ch. 6:
      Marjorie's ire returned.  How was she supposed to know what the detective was going to want? Did she have to report "the color of my nail polish" as well?
     The detective asked her to simply be honest.
    Was she supposed to be "completely honest about everything in the entire world?" Marjorie retorted.
 (click title below to buy or read reviews)

New! True Crime Short for just 99 cents!
Special for viewers of "Bridal to Homicidal" on E! Network

Camille Kimball's books:
The Mammoth Book of Tough Guys
Coming soon: Masters of True Crime-Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Casey Anthony-No Book Deal. No Boycott?

To the next person whose comment I use for a post I will send a free signed book!  (If you post as "anonymous" for convenience, try to include an identifying website or name in your remark so no one else can claim your prize!)  For an example, please click here

Please let me know your thoughts now. The comment function should be working, but if it "eats" yours, please send me your comment at: a s u d d e n s h o t (at) gmail dot com and I will gladly post it for you. 

    * * * * * * * * * * 

You know who this is.

TMZ is reporting that it has obtained strong statements from three of the biggest corporations in publishing that they have no interest in offering a book deal to Casey Anthony.  This is good news to most of us.  At the time of her astonishing acquittal, many had a fear approaching mania that through book deals she would become a millionaire off the suspicious death of her baby daughter. However, during radio interviews at the time, I urged a look at the real business of publishing instead.

In the not too distant past, publishing dynamo Judith Regan lost her literary empire by mistakenly believing a book by also acquitted O.J. Simpson would be a good idea. She not only lost her job but her entire imprint and her career in publishing over that fiasco. Judith Regan was a strange and foreign thing amongst publishers: she was a real risk taker. Now that she's been banished from their ranks, I would be hard pressed to name another.  When the fear of Casey's imminent riches-through-authorship burst into the national zeitgeist on the 4th of July, I well remembered O.J. and his affect on Judith Regan. I did not think many publishers would be willing to repeat that experiment in career hari kari.

Furthermore, publishing had changed since then. It is much, much tougher for anyone to get a book deal nowadays. Publishers are more risk-averse than ever.

Now TMZ is confirming that the biggest publishers are beginning to go on the record that Casey Anthony, whose bella vita began when her little girl's ended, is not welcome to join their rosters of authors.   This is a relief to all.  (Except perhaps my friend the lovable private investigator who has an almost pathological belief in the innocence of defendants. He told me in regards to Casey's case, "we have to start with the assumption that mothers don't kill their children." Really? Really???!!  Sigh. We love him anyway. Hire him--he will believe in you.  I promise. )

This leads me to the misguided boycott of true crime author Diane Fanning. Sometimes I get people coming to this blog seeking the answer to the question, does Casey Anthony make money from Jeff Ashton's/Diane Fanning's book?   The answer is an unequivocal NO. In order to write about a person, it is not  necessary to pay them for permission. If you had to do that, how does everybody on the internet get away with writing about everyone else, including about Casey Anthony?

Diane Fanning.  Photo from press release.

To the argument that writing a book like Ashton's or Fanning's is "blood money" let me say I understand your rage about the sickening death of this precious child. Many, many people express their rage over it by writing--in comment trails, on their blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter, and in their boycott manifestos.  Some people happen to be professional writers, trained to gather and verify facts and to develop them into a readable narrative.  Most true crime writers that I know write these books because they are also expressing their rage over crime. True Crime genre queen Ann Rule has a legion of fans, most of whom swear she has changed their lives in some way, educating them about the harmless seeming stranger or the over flattering suitor. The rest of us have our fans, too, and we touch lives. My books have resulted in donations to victims of crime and supported such things as Silent Witness.  I read Diane's book and it helped me--and thousands of others--join the national dialogue by laying out research I was unwilling to do myself because doing so is a full time job. 

Nobody who worked on the Casey Anthony case did so for free, except, murkily, Jose Baez and some of his team. No one who attended to Casey's needs in jail (guards, doctors, cooks, etc.) did it for free. The judge was paid, the prosecutors were paid, the stenographers were paid.  These people were all paid because they provide a service and are professionals who have met certain standards and are accountable. Book writers fit that category just as much.

To those people who sincerely believe that there is some blood money connection between books about crime and the criminals who commit the crimes, I hope this post helps clear up the misunderstanding. I know you have lots of things to do and it's not your job to know how a book is put together.  That j.o.b. is mine.

And Diane Fanning's.

If you followed the Casey Anthony case, you may also be interested in the #MarjorieOrbin case
A devoted father....
A happy little boy....
A woman with a chainsaw...

James Ray Sentencing Still Ahead, Sweat Lodge Still on our Minds

Questioner: I'm interested in this because what his book talks about is very good. Very real and very high minded. Seriously. I've never met the guy, am not a "new agey, self help" guy either. The stuff he teaches actually really worked. I found that it really enriched my life. There is nothing wrong with seminar leaders charging such amounts for what they do because that's what the market will bear. He isn't the only one charging that..not by a long shot. The reason they do is because people find value in it and will attend. I agree he f**ked up bigtime. I also know he could be a prick. He should own up to what he actually did and didn't do. But I've see a witch hunt mentality since the beginning of this case. Are people just trying to nab this guy to make an example? Thoughts?

Camille's answer: There is nothing wrong with charging "what the market will bear." There is something wrong with fraudulently portraying what services you will be providing. It's been heavily reported elsewhere that Mr. Ray's claims of having studied with various masters of spiritual traditions is bunk wrapped up in exaggeration. So I won't go into these details here except to say that people were being charged for an Ivy League education while getting a diploma mill curriculum and we generally call that fraud.

But it enriched your life, you say? I accept that without any challenge whatsoever. The mind can be trained, like water running down a mountain, to follow certain channels. There's research on that. If you taught your brain to default towards confidence and positive attitude, instead of fear and pessimism, I have no doubt you felt better and achieved more of your goals.  There's no need to go into the nuances of your particular spiritual path here, I accept that it worked for you. (But you could have learned this in any number of ways, including, apparently, getting a job at AT&T.  A company, which by the way, notoriously lost one of the biggest anti-trust cases in history and I can assure you there were legions of executives and stockholders who were earnestly manifesting victory in that case. Apparently the universe was perversely resistant to the principle of "harmonic wealth" until Mr. Ray started teaching sales seminars there.)

But inspiration can come from anywhere. The dance troupe Stomp found it in brooms and trash cans, Victor Hugo found it in the cathedral of Notre Dame, and you found it in Mr. Ray's writings. I sincerely respect that. I respect the journey of all the people who were looking for some kind of truth. Being a seeker is something genuine and high-minded, just as you say, and I applaud the soul reaching out.

But what's very troubling is Mr. Ray's misrepresentation of the physical consequences of his sweat lodge. He told tourists--and that's what they were, tourists--that they would "feel" like they were dying but assured them they "would not die." Using the psychological trick of charging $10,000, Mr. Ray knew people would trust that he knew what he was talking about. Mr. Ray made them dependent on his leadership by using many other psychological tricks including disorientation, undernutrition, sleep deprivation, etc. etc. etc.

I say they were "tourists" because most if not all had travelled from different parts of the country into unfamiliar terrain with little to no experience with desert conditions. Mr. Ray functioned as a tour operator, guiding them through a spiritual journey that took place in a very corporal environment.

When weakened people entering delirium reached under the tent flap for oxygen from the fresh and beautiful outdoors, Mr. Ray thundered, "that's sacrilege!" and demanded the flap be put back in place, sealing out the life-giving air.  How do you suppose a medically delirious person, pre-conditioned to trust and please him, would interpret such a statement? How does it sound to sober ears such as yours and mine when we realize Mr. Ray himself was receiving regular infusions of fresh oxygen by standing at the door flap?  That the back of the lodge, where Kirby Brown and James Shore died, was significantly hotter and more suffocating than any other spot in the cramped tent? That he told a man to urinate where he was, apparently upon himself, rather than commit the spiritual faux pas of leaving the lodge?

Investigators look over a 'sweat lodge' on the grounds of Angel Valley Retreat Center, near Sedona, Arizona
Over 50 people crammed into this small space, after being assured they wouldn't die.

A common mantra is that Ray was running a business and can't be held responsible for the bad judgment of his customers. But we do that all the time. Would a bungee operator tell his customers "you'll feel like the rope is flimsy but just jump anyway" and expect not to be indicted when people crash head first into an abyss? Does no one remember the terrible night club fire in Rhode Island when the band Great White put on a disastrous pyrotechnic display? The band manager and the two club owners each received 10 - 15 year prison sentences. At least none of them tried to thwart rescue and assistance efforts as Ray did.

Was there a "witch hunt mentality" that dogged Mr. Ray after the sweat lodge deaths?  I have seen no evidence of this. It took four months to indict Mr. Ray. Surveying the briefest of facts about the event it might be easy to wave the "he didn't force them inside" banner. Thankfully, the investigation went much much further than a brief survey. As more and more details were discovered, the narrative of that day became one of a man who gathered lives into his hands and then tossed them away.

The thing is, heat is a lethal weapon. No matter what harmony someone's soul is singing, the universe has laws that cannot be controverted. Heat kills humans. Lack of oxygen kills humans.

These tourists had no way of judging how much heat was being trapped inside the tarpaulins and willow struts. Many of them were becoming medically incapable of understanding oxygen had sunk to lethal levels.  The "spiritual warriors," with their trusted leader watching over them, had already been pushed into an abyss. For three, there was no way to haul them back out.

Finally, you ask if Ray is supposed to be an "example" to others? I certainly hope so. I do indeed.

What does everyone else think? You are invited to post below. 

Thanks to the commenter who posted this thoughtful input. It gives me an idea. To the next person whose comment I use for a post I will send a free signed book!  (If you post as "anonymous" for convenience, try to include an identifying website or name in your remark so no one else can claim your prize!)

 The comment function should be working, but if it "eats" yours, please send me your comment at: a s u d d e n s h o t (at) gmail dot com and I will gladly post it for you. 

Camille Kimball's books:
The Mammoth Book of Tough Guys
Coming soon: Masters of True Crime-Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Hosting with Jay at KTAR

Author Camille Kimball & radio personality Jay Lawrence at KTAR studios.

Had a wonderful time playing radio with Jay Lawrence at KTAR last night. Three hours! Jay is such a pro, he makes it easy. We talked about crime, Libya, the Republican debate, crime, Tohono O'odham casinos, crime and crime!
I also got a chance to talk about Silent Witness, the important tip-gathering organization, and the new wristband program. Jay was very interested in that and I'll be back to do more on that. Thank you, KTAR!

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Camille Kimball's books:
The Mammoth Book of Tough Guys
Coming soon: Masters of True Crime-Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre