If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied


Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson


Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson













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E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.


Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).


Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!


Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.


Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.


Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!


Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.


KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!


Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Ask Who, Then Why



 

Immediately after the Boston Marathon bombing, a television reporter asked a detective, not associated with the case, why someone would commit such a terrible act. The detective replied that at this point “why” doesn’t matter because when they find out “who” then they will know why.

I recalled this advice during a recent murder trial in my area.

Last year I wrote a blog about a mysterious and unsolved death of a young woman:  http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/2012/06/unsolved-murder-mystery.html

On the afternoon of June 27, 2010, nineteen year old Vanessa Pham was found dead behind the wheel of her crashed car just off a busy highway. She had been stabbed to death. Thirty minutes earlier she had stopped by a beauty salon at a shopping center and there was video tape of her driving away. Who did this and why?

The truth was more shocking than anything I could imagine.

About two and a half years after the murder, police arrested a suspect, Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia, at his construction job not far from where the murder took place. He had a short history of misdemeanor offenses and had recently stolen bottles of Moet & Chandon from a grocery store. When police ran his fingerprints from this latest theft, they made a match to prints taken from Vanessa Pham’s car. 

After his arrest, Blanco-Garcia confessed and told his version of what happened. He had smoked PCP the morning of the murder and stopped Pham in the Fairfax Plaza shopping center. He was holding his infant daughter and said he wasn’t feeling well. He asked Pham to drive them to a nearby hospital. She agreed and they all got into her car. She began driving to the hospital, but made a wrong turn. Scared she would call the police or harm the baby, (I read two different accounts) he stabbed her repeatedly. Her car ran into a ditch and crashed. Garcia exited the car via the sunroof then reached down for his baby and ran off.

I never would have guessed correctly how or why this murder was committed or that a baby was at the scene. Outside experts who theorized she was killed by a female friend, were clearly wrong too.

On August 22, 2013 a jury found Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia guilty of first degree murder and sentenced him to 30 years of jail time. They added 19 additional years—one year for each year of Vanessa Pham’s life.  In November, a judge will formally sentence him. The judge can’t reduce the sentence the jury recommended, but can add years to it.

What fictional or real crime has surprised you?

10 comments:

Shari Randall said...

I remember this terrible crime. At the time, the press and the police focused their energies on more "sensible" solutions - romantic rivals, boyfriends, the kind of thing that would make sense. The truth in this matter is still unsettling and strange.

Kara Cerise said...

Shari, I think most people look for the logic or pattern to a crime when sometimes it’s senseless or random. I had an "aha" moment when the detective said they won't know "why" until they know "who".

Warren Bull said...

A woman strangled a pregnant woman, cut the dead woman's baby out her her womb and claimed the baby was her own.

Gloria Alden said...

I get a daily newspaper, and there are all sorts of horrible and unimaginable crimes. Think of the 3 young girls kidnapped and held for years in Cleveland only a few blocks from where they lived. I think the worse crimes are when children are abused and/or killed.

Warren, after I first heard of this happening almost ten years ago, there have been more cases of this. Copycat murders, I imagine.

Kara Cerise said...

Warren and Gloria, those are truly horrific acts. If a book had a murder mystery that played out like any of those true life crimes, I think most of us would find it unbelievable and over the top. Although maybe I’m wrong about that because bestselling author, Lisa Gardener, writes about unimaginable murders that could be pulled out of the headlines.

Sarah Henning said...

Kara, I agree with you about Lisa Gardner's work. I read her books, but sometimes they're so strange and unimaginable, they feel like they were based on something real. You know, the whole, "Truth is stranger than fiction," thing.

Kara Cerise said...

Exactly, Sarah. Some things are SO strange, they can only be true.

Jim Jackson said...

In real life the who done it often leads to the why, although sometimes the why is known and that can lead to the who. As an author we need to understand the why to invent the who – but if we’ve done it right the reader will learn the who and then understand the why.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I'm in your area, Kara, and I also followed the story. Nothing about it made sense, but then many murders don't. The difference between reality and fiction is that our murders make sense in terms of motive, which is why fiction appeals to me much more than reality.

In another area crime, I couple walked in their neighborhood early on a Sunday morning. A group of young men attacked them, beating the man to death and nearly killing the woman. They were nice people. The husband had worked for the CIA until retiring. I thought that might have been a "payback" murder. No, it was a gang ritual, something they had to do. Reality makes me sick.

Kara Cerise said...

You make an interesting point, Jim. I hadn’t considered that writers need to understand the why in order to invent the who. I’ll be mulling over that for awhile.

E.B., I also prefer an orderly world where motives make sense…and justice is served.