I wanted to cut her body so she would not look like a person, and destroy her so she would not exist.

— James Lawson
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Memoirs of a Serial Killer

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Memoirs of a Serial Killer by Daniel Brian, is a book about ‘Romeo,’ the Valentine Serial Killer, a fictional character made out of numerous real-life interviews, court transcripts and eye witness accounts. This thrilling book gives an unflinching look into the mind of one of the most vicious serial killers in American history. ‘Romeo’ was ritually abused by his parents as a child and the book allows the reader to accompany him on his quest to kill as many women as possible – women that remind him of his mother.

Daniel Brian was kind enough to do an exclusive interview for readers of twistedminds.com. Also, don’t forget to check Memoirs of a Serial Killer on Amazon

Memoirs of a Serial Killer is a drop dead frontal assault that provokes, rather than patronizes its reader, and is truly the most dangerous kind of true crime genre book in existence, pulling no punches and telling no lies – and narrated by one of the most dangerous men in existence; Romeo could be your next door neighbor, the guy that could be your best friend, but who secretly slaughters women with about as much remorse as Jack the Ripper, robbing, raping, burning and killing, attacking America more like an epidemic plague than a human being.

What got you interested in this grim world of serial killers and their twisted minds?

Daniel Brian:The fact that your average serial killer continues to get away with murder for so long without being caught. I mean, if you stop and think about it, it’s terrifying to think that some of these men – and women – went undetected for so long. They can be your next door neighbor or your mailman or the pizza delivery guy, but who secretly slaughters other people with about as much remorse as Jack the Ripper. On the average, there are close to 90 active serial killers at one time each year, and you don’t hear anything about most of them – getting caught, that is. I was hoping my book might help shed a light on just how active they really are – and how sly and normal they seem on the outside – so more folks will be more leery of strangers. I’m not saying to be paranoid, just be careful.
Which also brings to mind how serial killers are often times glamorized and even romanticized in film and TV; serial killers, in reality, are anything but charming. Saying one was charming would be like saying that Hannibal Lecter merely suffered from an ‘eating disorder.’ It’s total crap. People need to look at serial killers for they really are; monsters, one and all.

What was your starting point and how did you decide to write this book? Did you ever meet a serial killer in person?

Daniel Brian:The starting point for the book began after I watched a low budget – but very well made – film entitled Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It was {loosely} based on the real life exploits of Henry Lee Lucas, aka ‘the confession killer,’ who claimed to have killed more than 600 people, although the actual number of victims is most likely closer to thirty.
Henry Lee Lucas was born in a one-room log cabin in Blacksburg, Virginia, the youngest of nine children to Viola Dixon Waugh and Anderson Lucas. His alcoholic prostitute mother often beat him and dressed him up in girl’s clothing and made him watch her service her johns while his crippled father watched on helplessly.
His ‘buddy’ Ottis Toole, born at the bottom of the gene pool, retarded and illiterate, had been out of control since early childhood. A severely drug-dependent individual as well as an arsonist and cannibal, he was unsafe under any conditions outside of a secure prison, and perhaps unsafe there. To him, life itself was so unmeaning, and the distinction between living and dead people so blurred, that killing another human being was no more than swatting an annoying fly. I have no doubt that they killed quite a few people, just nowhere near 600 – I hope.
Anyway, watching that film as well as doing some extensive research into Henry’s past prompted the idea for the book, and I just sort of went from there. My lead character, ‘Romeo,’ is actually a cross-breed between Henry and another serial killer I researched that had been posing as the Pastor of a church. And in answer to your other question, no, I have never met a serial killer in person, nor would I want to. Now, if you asked me to attend an execution of one, and asked me to pull the switch, I’d be on board in a New York second.

How did you feel and what were your thoughts while you were doing a research for Memoirs of a Serial Killer?

Daniel Brian: Sort of creepy, naturally, but otherwise just fine – most of the time, that is. I mean, what I try to do when writing a book like this is place myself in the ‘mindset’ of the killer, and his victims, and feel the fear and terror they must have felt at the time of their death. That’s not an easy thing to carry around in your own head for weeks or months at a time. So what I do is, as soon as I’m done for the day and I turn my PC off, I think of happy things; I pet my cat and take a walk in the sunshine or watch a good comedy on DVD. It not only takes my mind off of the book, but it also helps me to ‘recharge my batteries’ too.

‘Romeo’ is showing a lot of hatred towards womankind. Do you think that can be justified with his hard childhood and the relationship he had with his mother?

Daniel Brian:Could there be any sort of valid justification for what he did to all those innocent people? Not really. It wasn’t his victim’s fault he suffered as a child. Romeo could be the guy next door, at times wearing an almost pleasant, trusting expression, with the guileless face of a well scrubbed angel, clean shaven and inherently honorable, betraying the well-hidden face of pure, unadulterated evil and menace underneath – as he trolled for his next victim. In other words, outright, premeditated murder and slaughter can’t be justified by his past. I’ve known other people who’ve had a terrible life but they’ve managed to rise above it. Romeo could have done the same, but chose not to, chose taking it out on other people instead. Justified? I don’t think so.

Do you think that his violent/killer tendencies could have been controlled if someone dealt with his strange behavior in time?

Daniel Brian:Now there’s a good question. There are actually doctors that believe that some killers are born with a ‘killer gene’ and it is, in some cases, a hereditary condition that makes the child in question grow up to be a serial killer. I, myself, believe that’s a load of crap. I do not believe that an innocent baby, a child, is born with the urge to kill. Now I do believe that one’s environment and what they are subjected to as a child may have some effect, yes. For example, it is a known fact that a child who is ritually abused growing up can tend to become abusive toward others as they grow into adulthood.
In answer to your question, yes, I believe that if Romeo had been taken from his mother’s custody in time and raised in a totally different environment, one of kindness and nurturing and love, he’d have stood a chance of becoming a productive member of society. Unfortunately for him – and his victims – that’s not the way it happened.

Do you plan on writing about serial killers more in the future?

Daniel Brian:As a matter of fact, I’m working on a new book right now, which was originally intended as a screenplay for film, entitled Henry: an American Monster, which will chronicle the life and exploits of Henry Lee Lucas. The difference in my book and a lot of fictional stories and films about Henry will the fact that it will be much more detailed and researched. I have a friend and fellow true crime writer who lives in the UK that has helped me a lot by emailing me some real transcripts from actual interviews he conducted with Henry back in the late 90s. I have another fellow that was the arresting officer in 1984 when Henry was picked up on a routine traffic violation – and then they realized who he was. That, along with a lot of other reference material I have collected on my own, court transcripts, eye witness accounts, etc., should make for a good book. And this will not be, in any way, ‘fictionalized’ or ‘loosely based’ on anything, either. This will be the real deal. It’s going to be a really neat little book; Cormac McCarthy style prose that reads like a screenplay but written in manuscript format. I’ll keep you updated.