The Serial Killer Next Door
243 pages

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243 pages

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How well do you know your neighbors? Maybe you should get to know them better! Growing up, we are taught that monsters are easy to identify, but the truth is very different. Too often, the serial murderer does not stand out. Otherwise, he, or she, would get caught.

The contrast between the ordinary-seeming lives that provided cover for their cruel secrets is exposed in The Serial Killer Next Door: The Double Lives of Notorious Murderers. To their coworkers, neighbors, and others who knew them, they led unremarkable lives. They had careers as military pilots, police officers, landscapers, small business owners, farmers, realtors, reporters, authors, veterinary technicians, nurses, doctors, handymen, painters, and chefs, while they simultaneously stalked city suburbs, college campuses, trailer parks, and red-light districts. This chilling book looks at the horrifying stories of nearly 30 malevolent killers (and hundreds of innocent victims) who were mistakenly trusted, including …

  • Genene Jones, a nurse responsible for the murder of 60 infants and children in her care. She’s said to be the inspiration for Stephen King’s iconic character of Annie Wilkes, in Misery – and her nephew broke into King’s home, threatening to blow up the writer and his family because of it!
  • Robert Lee Yates, a helicopter pilot in the Army National Guard who, when caught, buried one body outside his bedroom window as his wife slept.
  • Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer, went undetected for 20 years, working for 30 years as a painter for a truck company and married for 17 years.
  • Kathleen Folbigg, whose three children were at first thought to have died from natural causes. She only got caught when her husband found her personal diary.
  • Joseph James DeAngelo, who worked various jobs, including as a police officer and a truck mechanic. He went on a decades-long crime spree and was finally caught with the help of DNA evidence. His case was instrumental in the establishment of California's DNA database.
  • And dozens of other serial killers!

It’s chilling to realize that many serial killers have created second lives that are completely divorced from the brutality and evils they commit. It’s incomprehensible to think that they are able to flip a switch, transforming them from apparently loving, ordinary men and women into torturous, homicidal slaughterers. With more than 120 photos and graphics, The Serial Killer Next Door is richly illustrated. Its helpful bibliography and extensive index add to its usefulness. We trust our neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances. Of course, we do. It's ominous to think that we can't!



Clad in a dark blue prisoner’s uniform, Genene Jones cut a pathetic figure as she sat in San Antonio’s Bexar County courtroom on 16 January 2020. To the casual eye, the heavy-set, matronly 69-year-old looked like nothing more than a particularly morose grandmother. In actuality, she was one of the most prolific child killers in the history of the United States, and a black mark on the medical profession to which she belonged. 

Peering at reporters and photographers from behind thick-rimmed black spectacles, the stone-faced former nurse was still absorbing the fact that she had just been sentenced to spend, at the very least, the next twenty years of her life in prison. 

Although some serial killers derive enjoyment from the fact that their victims put up a fight, others prefer to prey on those who are defenseless and vulnerable. There are few who are less capable of protecting themselves than young children. As a pediatric nurse, Jones had the sacred duty of healing those infant charges who were entrusted into her care. Instead, she deliberately snuffed out dozens of innocent lives during a medical career which would be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Abandoned by her biological parents and placed into the care of a couple who adopted her. As a child, Genene Jones never quite fit in anywhere. She was born on 13 July 1950, in Texas. Little is known about her childhood, other than the fact that she had three other adopted siblings, one of whom — a younger brother — died in an explosion at the age of 16. Genene never got over his death. 

In 1968, at the age of 17, she married a young man her own age. Four years later, they had a son together. In order to help support their family, Jones took a job in the field of beauty and cosmetology. A second child followed (a daughter this time) in 1977. This was the same year that Jones decided to pursue a career in medicine, enrolling in nursing school. She and her husband divorced, on the grounds that he abused her physically and emotionally, but Genene did not let that prevent her from finishing up her education. 

After completing her schooling, Jones earned the credential of licensed vocational nurse in the state of Texas and began looking for work. Although an LVN is not trained to the same level as a registered nurse, they perform skilled and important work, much of it in the form of hands-on patient care. Just as today, there was no shortage of work for licensed nurses.

From the very outset, she earned herself a reputation among her colleagues for being something of an unusual character. She was boisterous and loud, never missing the opportunity to tell a crude or smutty joke, preferably one laden with profanity. That’s not necessarily unusual in the medical field, where a black and often highly inappropriate sense of humor is sometimes a necessary coping mechanism. Jones liked to relate stories with a sexual bent to them, tales of men she had supposedly slept with, or wanted to, replete with lurid and graphic details. She was nothing if not an attention seeker. 

She also had a hot temper and was not the sort of person to take a perceived slight or insult lying down. Nobody pushed Genene Jones around. She could be argumentative and confrontational when provoked, quick to anger and slow to forgive. Her co-workers were sometimes wary of “poking the bear.” More than one doctor or nurse had gotten on the wrong side of her abrasive personality. 

The fall of 1978 saw her being working at new job in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) at San Antonio’s Bexar County Medical Center Hospital. Typically, the sickest and least stable children are admitted to PICUs; those who require round-the-clock treatment and monitoring. The nurse-to-child ratio is usually very low. The latest addition to the nursing staff worked the night shift and made a name for herself as being technically adept, clinically proficient…and confident to the point of arrogance. PICU nursing is some of the most difficult, challenging, and high-stress work in the medical field. It drew Genene Jones toward it like a moth to a flame. For all of her issues, she was regarded as an excellent nurse, knowledgeable and dependable. 

Nobody suspected that she might also possess murderous tendencies. And so it began … 


In April of 1991, a 26-year-old man broke into the Bangor, Maine home of acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King. The author’s wife, Tabitha, had the terrifying experience of being confronted by a stranger in her own house. The man claimed to have a bomb in the backpack he carried. After confronting Mrs. King, he locked himself in the attic and refused to come out.

Fortunately, the police were able to take the intruder into custody without any further incident. The backpack bomb proved to be nothing more than a hoax. 

The reason behind the break-in was bizarre. In 1987, King had published the bestselling novel “Misery.” It tells the story of Annie Wilkes, the self-proclaimed “number one fan” of a writer of historical fiction named Paul Sheldon. By turns charming and psychotically deranged, Annie kidnaps the author and keeps him captive in her home, forcing him to write a sequel to her favorite series of novels. When Sheldon attempts to escape, Annie — a former nurse — hobbles him in a truly uncomfortable scene which made readers and viewers of Rob Reiner’s movie adaptation wince. As the story progresses, it also transpires that, during her nursing career, Annie was a serial killer. Many of her victims were infants. 

Whether written on the page by King or portrayed on screen in a powerhouse performance by Kathy Bates, Annie Wilkes is a truly iconic, larger-than-life character. She has come to define the crazed, obsessive “super fan” that all celebrities fear. 

What does this have to do with the break-in at the Kings’ home? The intruder was convinced that Stephen King had based the character of Annie Wilkes on the life of his aunt and wanted the writer to help him publish a sequel that he had written himself. 

The man was Genene Jones’ nephew, thus proving that sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

About the Author




1. Ronald Dominique

2. Jack Unterweger

3. Mikhail Popkov

4. Gerard Schaefer

5. Levi Bellfield

6. Joseph James DeAngelo

7. Russell Williams

8. Robert Lee Yates

9. Vickie Dawn Jackson

10. Michael Swango

11. Genene Jones

12. Elizabeth Wettlaufer

13. Bruce McArthur

14. Robert Pickton

15. Israel Keyes

16. Gary Ridgway

17. Paul Bernardo and Karen Homolka

18. Todd Kohlhepp

19. Stephen Port

20. Robert Berdella

21. John Norman Collins

22. Joanna Dennehy

23. Kathleen Folbigg

24. Pedro Lopez

25. Robert Maudsley

26. The Snowtown Killers

Further Reading




Publié par
Date de parution 31 janvier 2023
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781578598175
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0950€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


In loving memory of Richard Hitchcock. Your body may have been confined to a wheelchair, but your heart and mind wander the stars.
Table of Contents
Photo Sources
The Bayou Strangler: Ronald J. Dominique
The Austrian Ripper: Johann Jack Unterweger
The Wrong Arm of the Law: Mikhail Popkov
Killer on Patrol: Gerard Schaefer Jr.
The Bus Stop Killer: Levi Bellfield
The Golden State Killer: Joseph James DeAngelo
The Killer Colonel: Russell Williams
Killer Pilot: Robert Lee Yates
Angel of Death: Vickie Dawn Jackson
Paramedic, Physician, and Poisoner: Michael Swango
Suffer the Children: Genene Jones
The Red Surge: Elizabeth Wettlaufer
Toronto s Gay Village Murderer: Bruce McArthur
As Greedy as a Pig: Robert Willie Pickton
Slay at Random: Israel Keyes
The Green River Killer: Gary Ridgway
The Ken and Barbie Killers: Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
Murderous Realtor: Todd Kohlhepp
The Hookup App Killer: Stephen Port
The Butcher of Kansas City: Robert Bob Berdella
The Ypsilanti Ripper: John Norman Collins
The Peterborough Ditch Murderer: Joanna Dennehy
Child Killer-Or Falsely Accused Mother? Kathleen Folbigg
The Monster of the Andes: Pedro Lopez
Britain s Hannibal the Cannibal: Robert Maudsley
Bodies in Barrels: The Snowtown Murders
Further Reading
Photo Sources : p. 64 .
Associated Press: pp. 11 (Alex Brandon), 15 (Ronald Zak), 20 (Julia Pykhalova, Komsomolskaya Pravda ), 42 (London Metropolitan Police), 71 (The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette), 78 (Bruce Kellman), 85 ( Wichita Falls Times Record News , Gary Lawson), 101 (Ed Betz), 112 (Texas Department of Criminal Justice), 124 (Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press), 135 (Alexandra Newbould/The Canadian Press), 144 (The Canadian Press/Jane Wolsak), 190 (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press), 202 (John Byrum/ The Spartanburg Herald-Journal ), 210 (Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire), 248 (Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire).
Dwight Burdette: p. 234 .
CMGlee (Wikicommons): p. 38 .
Federal Bureau of Investigation: pp. 56 , 157 . : pp. 51 , 58 .
James Heilman, MD: p. 109 .
Jorobeg (Wikicommons): p. 14 .
King County Sherriff s Office: p. 173 .
Kingston Penitentiary: p. 192 .
Library of Congress: p. 247 .
NotFromUtrecht (Wikicommons): p. 245 .
Sydney Oats: p. 276 .
Pwojdacz (Wikicommons): p. 232 .
Rama (Wikicommons): p. 240 .
Santa Barbara County Sheriff s Office: p. 46 .
Sdgjake (Wikicommons): p. 94 .
Shutterstock: pp. 2 , 4 , 8 , 18 , 19 , 24 , 27 , 29 , 34 , 35 , 40 , 48 , 53 , 67 , 69 , 74 , 76 , 82 , 83 , 88 , 89 , 91 , 96 , 99 , 104 , 106 , 114 , 116 , 119 , 121 , 128 , 132 , 138 , 140 , 143 , 148 , 150 , 153 , 155 , 162 , 164 , 167 , 171 , 175 , 177 , 180 , 184 , 186 , 188 , 194 , 196 , 199 , 200 , 206 , 207 , 212 , 217 , 219 , 220 , 223 , 224 , 226 , 229 , 236 , 237 , 245 , 250 , 253 , 255 , 258 , 263 , 266 , 268 , 270 , 272 , 279 , 281 , 282 , 286 , 288 , 290 .
The Chemistds (Wikicommons): p. 182 .
Toronto Homeless Memorial: p. 130 .
Martin Zeise: p. 261 .
Zheng Zhou: p. 11 .
Public domain: p. 242 .
The author would like to thank the following people: India, for suggesting many of the serial killers covered in this book; the publishing team at Visible Ink Press, particularly Roger and Kevin, for working to make the book better than I left it; patreons for their unflinching support; and Laura, for tolerating a grouchy writer who was researching some terrible things.
They walk among us, living alongside us in the same apartments and neighborhoods as we do. Some farm the food that we eat. Others take care of us when we are sick, diagnosing our ailments and helping nurse us back to health. Still others sell us the homes in which we live or wear the uniforms of the armed forces men and women who protect our national liberty.
They socialize in the same bars as we do or serve us drinks with a knowing smile. Some feel lonely and use online dating apps to meet people like us.
They even look like normal, everyday human beings who seem to have the same hopes, fears, and dreams as the rest of humanity.
Yet they are not us.
They are serial killers.
Growing up, we are taught that monsters are easy to identify. Fairy tales and movies depict them as ugly, grotesque creatures with telltale signs of their evil nature such as a physical deformity or perpetual scowl. The truth is very different. The serial murderer does not like to stand out. He or she wants to survive, if for no other reason than to continue killing and abusing their fellow human beings.
Their number one rule: don t get caught.
There is an art to blending in with the rest of humanity that the serial killer must master if they are to have any sort of longevity once they begin to murder. The trick is to not stand out from the crowd, or-if one simply cannot help it-to not stand out for the wrong reasons.
As a means to an end, creating a second life is a strategy employed by many serial killers. In this way, they can completely divorce themselves from the brutality and evil of their primary interest. More often than not, it is a smokescreen, a part of the mask that is utilised to help them fly under the radar. Some are loners, but others cultivate a family life, marrying and raising children. They settle down, possibly in suburbia, mowing their yards and exchanging small talk with the neighbors.
There is a significant degree of compartmentalization involved with this process, the construction of an entirely separate persona that is walled off from its murderous counterpart. The serial killer is able to switch between the two, flipping the equivalent of a mental switch that invokes the transformation from apparently loving family man or woman into a sadistic, homicidal beast.
As time passes, however, the line between the two lives is increasingly prone to blurring. Elements of the murderous persona bleed across into the life of the mundane. Cracks develop. Red flags appear, sometimes subtle, sometimes gross, but increasingly frequent until they can no longer be missed. Then comes discovery, capture, and, ultimately, if we are fortunate justice.
It is this duality of identity, the disparity between public and private lives, that many of us find so fascinating. In my first book for Visible Ink, Serial Killers: The Minds, Methods, and Mayhem of History s Notorious Murderers, I explored this theme as it relates to many different offenders. Most were well-known criminals such as John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, and Ted Bundy. These names are iconic; their faces and list of atrocities infamous throughout modern popular culture. For this second volume, my intent was to put some lesser-known serial killers under the microscope. The names that comprise the chapter list for this book tend toward the obscure, but they are no less fascinating and, unfortunately, every bit as appalling.
The serial killers on whom this book focuses are grouped together in a loose sequence based upon the nature of their public lives. Within its pages, we will meet paramedics, physicians, and nurses; painters, gardeners, and handymen; chefs, accountants, and real estate brokers. There are even entertainers and media personalities such as the author and TV presenter Jack Unterweger. Many were veterans, having served in their country s military-some, such as Colonel Russell Williams, were even on active duty at the same time they were committing murder.
A career is not necessary for a serial killer to maintain a separate life. Steady employment is helpful, true, but hardly essential. Neither is being a lone wolf always the case. We will look at murderers such as Australia s notorious Snowtown Killers, who formed a clique, and couples who killed together, as in the case of Canadians Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka-the so-called Ken and Barbie Killers.
Ranging from drifters to high-ranking military officers, it is clear that serial killers can be found in all walks of life. In addition to profiling 30 of them in this book, I have tried to address their motivations for doing what they do. The reader will undoubtedly notice that in many cases there is a sense of deep resentment and anger either at the world and humanity in general or directed at a specific human being-a parent, a spouse, or lover-which is then projected upon innocent victims.
The age-old debate of nature versus nurture arises again and again within these pages, and each individual chapter provides a slightly different answer. Some serial killers seem to be born broken, and whether they were raised in a warm and loving environment or grew up in an abusive, toxic nightmare they would probably have turned out the same way regardless. They are, to put it succinctly, born with bad wiring.
Others seem to be more a product of their environment and might not have grown into killers if they had gotten a better start in life. For every serial killer coming from a broken home, however, there is one whose family loved them and even doted upon them-perhaps even, in some cases, a little too much.
The reader will notice that the sections in this book vary in length. As I immersed myself in legal documents, reports, and other resource materials, it soon became clear that certain individuals were more suited to getting a deep dive than others. Shorter chapters are interspersed with longer ones in an attempt to break things up somewhat while still maintaining a structure that groups similar cases together.
Lastly, a word about the level of depth and description in the book seems apropos. The author of any true-crime book walks a fine line between providing an appropriate amount of detail in order to catalog the subject matter and not providing so much that the end result appears both lurid and in bad taste. I have striven to strike a balance to the best of my ability, and if the text errs too far on one side or the other, the respo

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