The Alcohol Murders
The Alcohol Murders is a book about one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers – Gilbert Paul Jordan and his insatiable taste for drunken sex that led to at least ten cold blooded killings. The author of this book is Harriet Fox who was kind enough to give an exclusive interview for Twisted Minds’ readers. This is volume 10 in the monthly issue of Crimes Canada: True Crimes That Shocked The Nation. This is a fascinating read and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, and please don’t forget to check the book out on amazon.com.
Unlike any others in the known history of serial homicide, Jordan used alcohol to murder his victims. All of these young women were found dead with blood-levels many times over the safe range. The driving force behind Jordan’s evil was his egocentric desires that led him on a fifty year criminal record path causing havoc along the way. Delving into Jordan’s crimes, alcoholism and mental illnesses, his life tells a story all his own, and it is no wonder why, Gilbert Paul Jordan became one of Canada’s most notorious serial killers.
What made you interested in writing about serial killers and why did you choose to write about Jordan despite having little info about his life?
Harriet Fox: Meeting my publisher actually kick-started my fascination into the serial killer world. Bestselling author and my publisher RJ Parker from Canada is a serial killer expert. I have always been intrigued by the criminal mind and why people commit the crimes they do. I have also always been interested in one’s upbringing and personal life and how dysfunction, mental illness or addiction affect one’s life.
I chose Gilbert Paul Jordan because he took a different route. He is a unique serial killer, if there is such a thing. As you’re well aware of, serial killers commonly use a more violent means of killing. When we think of killing, we usually think of a smoking gun or a bloody knife.
I became fascinated into how and why Jordan took this unique approach to his killings and what his reasons were for killing. I really desired delving into his mind to try and understand the whys as there were no answers why. I wondered if Jordan’s first killing in 1965 was accidental. I wondered why Jordan was killing women who were giving him the company he longed for. I wondered how he selected his victims.
You’ve spent a lot of time investigating Jordan’s life without getting an opportunity to meet him. What would you ask him if he were still alive today?
Harriet Fox: Had Jordan been alive today, I would have no doubt gone to the prison to meet with him. Since Jordan always maintained his innocence, I am sure he would have continued to do so but I would have tried to make him talk. The one thing that leaves me unsettled after writing this book is the why. I have said it many times but Jordan remains a mystery.
Many serial killers admit their whys. Jordan was the classic example of having never taken responsibility for his actions or the impact he had on the lives of the innocent women who crossed his path.
I would ask Jordan about the childhood he lived as I was left with huge gaps and questions. I believe childhood, family life and social environment as a teenager since each of these play a part in one’s development. There was something in his world that fueled his anger towards women and his alcohol problem. His family life, from what I revealed, does not paint a picture as to how one becomes a serial killer.
The Alcohol Murders does though uncover as much about Jordan as anyone today would be able to do.
He was arrested a number of times for sexual assaults, even murders but as soon as he was released he would keep doing the same things. So obviously a prison was not a good punishment for him?
Harriet Fox: In my opinion, prison is not a punishment for criminals. Of course if they had a choice, majority, if not all of prisoners, would say they do not want to be there, but jail and prison does something internally to those who are institutionalized.
Prison is not a rehabilitating environment but instead forces prisoners to devise creative ways to beat the system and causes them to glamorize and further explore criminal behavior. Being incarcerated teaches prisoners to become more sophisticated over time and to continue activity within the criminal element.
Prisoners also adjust their mentality when they’re locked up and have lost their freedom. Many numb out and they grow accustomed to being away from family, their children, their outside lives. They just become accustomed to being on the inside looking out.
Since it is such complex reasons as to why human beings become criminals and attach themselves to addiction, violence, gang banging, or any other form of dysfunction that lands one in jail or prison, it is hard to break the cycle once someone is released from their incarcerated stay. Many return right back to their old environments and old ways. Jordan indeed did this. Some like Jordan emerge a monster.
I am certain he was unable to fight his severe alcohol addiction, his mental illness, his sexual addiction, and continued on where he left off each time he stepped outside the correctional walls.
He was diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder and was obviously an alcoholic; do you feel that this kind of behavior is something that could be cured in any way?
Harriet Fox: I believe there are no cures for most of mental illness conditions, including Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). While there is no cure, APD can be managed if a patient chooses to. There are many people who suffer from mental illnesses but live a life of controlling them and even functioning as a normal member of society. Recovering alcoholics can function without alcohol if they work at it, but an alcoholic is never fully cured either.
Jordan may have been self medicating to avoid his APD and may have been checking out or he may have been drinking to numb pain in which he suffered from some form of trauma or life experience years before.
Why do you think he choose vulnerable victims, was it because he was vulnerable himself or because they were easy targets?
Harriet Fox: Jordan was a predator taking advantage of women in many ways therefore he was not vulnerable in any form. Jordan had an insatiable taste for drunken sex and was with approximately 200 women a year. Jordan was fully aware of the victims he groomed and chose to surround himself around while hanging out in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Canada’s Vancouver.
Jordan was a deluded loner but used his charismatic traits to get women to keep him company. He preyed on the lower class, the addicts, the homeless, and the prostitutes of the DTES. Since Jordan had money, he could afford alcohol and provide drink to the women he associated with. Jordan found who he felt was vulnerable which made his job easier finding women for company. These women probably could not afford an endless supply of alcohol as Jordan could.
Throughout the book there are a lot of references to alcohol that was consumed both by Jordan and his victims. Would you say the alcohol was the trigger or just an excuse?
Harriet Fox: Jordan was a severe alcoholic and he began drinking at a young age. I believe alcohol was more than a trigger or an excuse. I think alcohol and partying was a common theme for Jordan and the women he associated himself with. Most of his victims were alcoholics and addicts. Jordan provided alcohol and possibly drugs for the company of women. Both Jordan and the women benefited from their needs which were being fulfilled.
The alcohol definitely triggered the deaths of Jordan’s victims as they each died from alcohol poisoning. At these times, Jordan used alcohol poisoning as an excuse for these women dying instead of taking responsibility for having killed victim after victim. He found his way to satisfy his need to kill and found a way to avoid responsibility by blaming the alcohol. Jordan never felt responsible even though he was pouring alcohol down the throats of these women straight out of the bottle.
Do you have ‘a favorite’ serial killer that you would like to write about in the future?
Harriet Fox: I am fascinated with a serial killer that must remain anonymous at this time. He is housed in the jail where I work and definitely has an incredible story to tell. He has yet to admit any involvement in the murders he is suspected to be involved with. Maybe after he concludes his court proceedings and if he is sentenced to prison, maybe he will be willing to finally talk after almost 40 years of silence.
I am also fascinated in the Drew Peterson case and several other police officers who have been deemed serial killers. These stories are about someone who is capable of living the life of a true double identity. I would love to get to know the real Drew Peterson and hear why he is who he is and why he is in prison today.
Overall I would be incredibly interested in any serial killer who would like to share their life story and admit to why they are who they are and how they became the evil voice in their head.