Whatever you might think about serial killers and the vile deeds they do, there is no denying the morbid fascination they induce with their repugnant personalities and the bizarre (and often quite ordinary) reasons behind their abhorrent actions. The thing that continues to fascinate readers of true crime and global media networks is that these criminal monsters are on the outside everyday people like you and I. It is the mystery and the perversity of their inner worlds that marks them as objects of interest to amateur 'arm-chair' psychologists and detectives.
As an author who has dealt with this subject matter in my own work ('Blood Related') I did countless hours of research into both real true-crime cases and fictional accounts of serial killers. With the publication of my book and the subsequent interest in it from the reading community at large, I have also had occasion to rub shoulders with other authors who share the same morbid curiosity about these creeps. Indeed, the archetypal serial killer protagonist has become a common trope across Thriller, Action and Horror genres with no signs of abatement to date. I met Lee Mellor, the co-creator of the magazine - Serial Killer Quarterly, online through a mutual project and have stayed in touch ever since. Lee is an interesting chap and has some intelligent and profound insights into his chosen fields of study. Before you read the interview below that Katherine Ramsland has kindly given me permission to share, here is some information about Lee Mellor - a talented writer and musician and the creator of Serial Killer Quarterly.
WHO IS LEE MELLOR?
Lee Mellor is a published author, musician, and doctoral student currently based out of Montreal. Lee's books, Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder (2012) and Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing (2013) focus on the underexplored topic of multicide in Canada. Both are available in the True Crime section of most Canadian bookstores, and in hard copy and e-book form through www.amazon.com (USA), www.amazon.ca (Canada), and www.amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom).
Until his career as an author took off, Lee devoted a great deal of time to writing, performing, and recording storytelling music. He was voted among the Top Ten Singer-Songwriters in Montreal three years in a row, and in 2008 ranked #3 next to Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright. His first album Ghost Town Heart (2007) was considered one of the best “country” albums of the year by numerous indie publications and reviewers, and is notable for the songs “Liberty Street” and ”Nowhere, Manitoba.” After some soul searching, in 2011, Lee recorded ten more tracks for his second album Lose - a low key release, with the title track and “Suzy Blue Eyes” being two of the more popular tunes.
Lee also conducts historical and criminological research for several television programs.
After obtaining his Bachelor of the Arts in 2009, Lee relocated back to Brighton, ON, where he began work on his second album and first book. Originally, he had intended to write a fictional novel about a criminal profiler who tracked serial killers in Canada. Upon realizing that he was only aware of three Canadian serial murderers, Lee began researching the topic in order to avoid unintentionally copying a real life Canadian killer in his novel. Along the way, he became so fascinated by the secret history of serial homicide in the great white north that Lee decided he would write a non-fiction book about the subject.
In 2011, Lee's book Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder was picked up by Dundurn Press, and published in March 2012. Dundurn asked him to write a second, Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing, which he completed in early October. Both books are available to purchase through most major book retailers and Amazon.
Recently, Lee has entered a PhD program at Concordia University to pursue his academic interest in multiple murderers and sex offenders. Stay in touch with Lee and his various ongoing projects via the links below.
Lee Mellor interview by Katherine Ramsland.
A new digital quarterly on serial murder promises to entertain but also educate.
One of my colleagues, Lee Mellor, got it into his head that someone needed to create a quarterly magazine devoted exclusively to serial murder. So, he did it, and it’s a stunner. Beautifully designed, this debut issue features case histories written like short stories of such people as Col. Russell Williams and the enigmatic Israel Keyes. Lee, the editor-in-chief, even wrote a feature about the final words and meals of these offenders.
I asked Lee some questions, which he graciously answered below:
1. Please describe the concept for Serial Killer Quarterly and tell us what's in the first issue.
Serial Killer Quarterly is an e-magazine, the first publication by Grinning Man Press. This issue includes the killers you named above, plus the DC Snipers and the Internet's first serial killer, John Edward Robinson. We've also included some lighter sections to break things up, such as “Killer Flicks,” where we review films featuring real or fictional serial murder cases. Mr. Brooks is in the hot-seat this quarter.
I was inspired by the true crime/detective magazines of the twentieth century. Though popular in the first half of the century, by the 1970s, most had been forced out of print due to the high overhead costs of printing and distribution, along with competition from television and cinema. With the advent and increasing popularity of electronic books, Grinning Man Press wants to take advantage of the lower cost of e-publishing to resurrect the genre. We’re focusing exclusively on serial murder cases due to the immense and enduring public interest in the topic. Research has shown that 40% of true crime publications feature cases of serial killing.
The last thing Grinning Man wants to do is foster a new generation of Ted Bundys, so we take a more subtle, ominous approach to our illustrations. For example, “21st Century Psychos” features an image of Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes unearthing his “hit kit” on a moonlit night. We've also replaced the earlier magazine's tacky bright colors with a grittier more noir aesthetic.
3. What’s your vision for it?
Artistically, we aim to bring our readers nail-biting true life page turners that make for compelling reads without resorting to sensationalism. For readers who are interested in criminal psychology or criminology, we have also included a number of sidebars with descriptions of concepts such as psychopathy, sexual sadism, victimology, etc. However, this content is supplementary, and readers who are simply interested in a gripping story can ignore it. So the magazine is both entertaining and educational.
Also, I think there is a certain unwarranted stigma attached to reading true crime publications. Where I personally don't mind sitting on the subway thumbing through a paperback on Richard Ramirez (great way to stop people from sitting beside you), I feel that a lot of curious readers are very self-conscious about how this would be perceived. By bringing true crime to our readers' tablets, laptops, cell phones, and e-readers, they can enjoy this genre in public without having to worry about being unfairly judged by workmates or fellow commuters.
4. You're laying out some issues by themes. What can we expect in the near future?
This year's line-up is already finalized, and I am incredibly excited about it. Following our Winter 2014 issue “21st Century Psychos,” will be “Partners in Pain.” This issue focuses on serial murderers who kill in teams, including male-male couples (Burke & Hare/Duffy & Mulcahy/Lake & Ng), male-female (Clark & Bundy/Bernardo & Homolka), female-female (Golay & Rutterschmidt), and murderous teams of three or more people (Corll, Henley, and Brooks).
Issue #3, “Unsolved in North America,” will be published in the summer of 2014, with features on the "Servant Girl Annihilator" by the legendary Harold Schechter, with whom I had the pleasure to dine in NYC last summer, and Michael Newton's look at the compelling case of the "Cleveland Torso Murderer," which left a black stain on the career of the celebrated detective Eliot Ness.
The year will end with Fall 2014's “Cruel Britannia” – an issue devoted to British serial killers. Burl Barer will write a feature piece on the infamous “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe, Carol Anne Davis returns with a story about the grotesque Robert Napper ripper-murders, and you’ll be there with the horrific crimes and philosophies of “Moors Murderers” Ian Brady and Myra Hyndley.
5. What fresh angle on the topic does your publication bring?
As Serial Killer Quarterly is an electronic publication which can reach the world, we're striving to build a magazine which truly reflects and respects our international readership. By the end of the year we will have featured killers from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Russia, and Mexico. So we're hoping to broaden our reader's knowledge of multiple murder as a truly international phenomenon.
We will hold off on the more notorious cases until at least 2015, as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, Gein and Jack the Ripper have already been done to death (no pun intended). Serial Killer Quarterly will present cases that are equally as fascinating, but have, for whatever reason, flown under the radar of the general public.
About Grinning Man Press:
Grinning Man Press is an e-publishing company founded in 2013 by Lee Mellor (author of Cold North Killers and Rampage) and his long-time friend, Aaron Elliott. Through the advent of .PDF publications, we seek to resurrect popular fiction and detective magazine formats from the early-mid 20th century, allowing a new audience to enjoy them on their computers, tablets, smartphones, or Kindle readers.
We are proud to feature articles and stories by world-class authors such as Harold Schechter, Katherine Ramsland, and Michael Newton.
Grinning Man operates on one principle: if it’s creepy, dark, disturbing, outlandish, macabre or unsettling, we print it. Currently, Grinning Man’s sole publication is the nail-biting Serial Killer Quarterly – a gripping True Crime e-mag featuring real cases of serial killing from around the globe. Our 2014 line-up consists of:
In the near future, GMP plan to launch magazines on the paranormal, along with fiction mags featuring serials in the genres of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, mystery and erotica. For more info, please contact them.
SUBSCRIBE NOW - FREE BOOK & NEVER MISS A POST
(CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW)
(CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW)