Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Why I write mysteries
For more than 35 years, her murder has haunted me. When a crazy drifter named Henry Lee Lucas confessed in the 1980s to her slaying and over 500 more – crimes he later recanted – I knew it wasn’t him. Her parents did, too, and even sold their home to finance an investigation to prove it so police would continue looking for the real killer.
And it is a grave injustice and an unspeakable tragedy that her murderer still walks free today.
I am a relative newcomer to the mystery genre, having spent decades focused on writing non-fiction articles and books. A few years ago, I decided to try writing a mystery, thinking it might be an interesting challenge and also possibly help exorcise some of the demons from my police beat days.
These tragedies never leave me. I am grateful to be able to put pieces of these heart-breaking tales into my own work, where fiction allows us to right wrongs, to make sure the killer is caught, and there is justice for the victim.
I only wish someone could do the same for Deborah Sue Williamson, her family and so many others.
Why do you write mysteries? Are you trying to right any wrongs?