I am a writer who has a PhD in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture, but when people ask “So what does that mean?” I tell them that I’m interested in how we talk and write about crime, both true and fictional.
It started with my dissertation, “Identity and Ritual: The American Consumption of True Crime,” which looked at the way Americans have been writing about crime since the very beginning – Puritan execution sermons printed in the 1600s. (Librarians are wonderful at helping you track down the only surviving copies of execution sermons, although many of them are hard to read.)
I’ve written about multiple true murderers — like Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes, and Steven Avery — and also fictional murderers written by Stephen King. I’ve been presenting on King at the National Popular Culture Conference since 2014 with other amazing researchers who like to geek out over the Master of Horror. It’s a good bet that I’ve pre-ordered his next book as soon as it’s announced.
In my free time, when I’m not writing or reading about the history of true crime, I like to knit. There aren’t many serial killer-based knitting patterns (for some reason …) but I’ve got an awesome pair of mitts that look like the carpet in some famous horror movie. (I used to have a hat, too, but I’ve lost it somewhere …)
Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to have you along for the ride as I explore more about the history and rhetoric of true (and fictional) crime.