Author Archives: James L'Etoile

A Killer Couple

Sacramento’s history of prolific serial killers roaming our streets is bad enough, with the likes of Puente, Kibbe (the I-5 Strangler), Solomon, Corona, DeAngelo (the alleged Golden State Killer), Chase (the Vampire of Sacramento), and Leonard (the Thrill Killer), but when they team up, it makes for an exceptionally deadly outcome. A husband and wife […]

So You Married a Murderer

I met with a group of wonderful ladies at a Shalom Women’s Group this week and talked about crime fiction, Sacramento’s dark history of violent crime, and some of our more notorious serial killers. We had a wonderful discussion and the attendees asked some great questions. One question, and it’s a subject that comes up […]

Sacramento’s Thrill Killer — Eric Royce Leonard

Determining what drives people to kill has captured the minds and imagination of sociologists, criminal justice professionals and scholars since Cain took the jaw bone of an ass to his brother. Murder, the of taking an innocent life, is the most extreme act known to human kind. What drives someone to that irrevocable decision? Greed, […]

The Vampire of Sacramento — Richard Trenton Chase

It somehow seems appropriate to talk about a character named the Vampire of Sacramento as we approach Halloween. This vampire didn’t go from home to home looking for full-sized Snickers or KitKat bars. The Vampire of Sacramento went from door to door in search of victims… Richard Trenton Chase is an example of the failings […]

Mystery Writers of America – Mystery Week

Mystery Writers of America is hosting a series of events featuring member authors during October. The Northern California Chapter, to which I proudly belong, is sponsoring an entire week with events in the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. Please join me and NorCal MWA members, Robin Burcell, Lillian Bell (Eileen Rendahl), Catriona McPherson, and […]

Sacramento’s Other Forgotten Killer

Sacramento has proven to be a magnet for serial killers over the years. From Juan Corona, to Dorothea Puente, and The I-5 Strangler in between, the Golden State’s capitol city attracts more than it’s share of serial killers. As we’ve seen, there have been times when the work of one killer gets overlooked because of […]

Serial Killer Profile – Morris Solomon, The Sacramento Slayer

In this installment of the Serial Killer Profile series, we will dive on one of Sacramento’s “forgotten serial killers,” The Sacramento Slayer — Morris Solomon Jr. In any other city, Solomon’s killings would have captured national attention. However, the regional media was busy covering another serial killer, Dorothea Puente, who had been burying seven victims […]

Bouchercon 2018

It’s that time again–the annual pilgrimage to the worldwide mystery convention known as Bouchercon. The moveable Mecca of the mystery writing scene sets up its tents in St. Petersburg, Florida this year and it’s always a big draw bringing writers and avid readers together.   Last year’s convention in Toronto drew over 1,400 participants to […]

Serial Killer Profiles – the I-5 Strangler

Northern California killers have popped up in the headlines again with the announcement of new murder charges filed against Joseph Deangelo, Jr., the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist. Sacramento District Attorney Ann-Marie Schubert also revealed this week that all of the murders attributed to DeAngelo will be prosecuted in Sacramento. The trial will […]

BURY THE PAST Earns a Killer Nashville Award Nomination

I’m honored to announce that BURY THE PAST has been nominated for the annual Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award as the best procedural mystery of 2017. The procedural mystery genre is a thriller and suspense story in which a professional protagonist (detective, journalist, attorney, physician) solves a crime, usually gruesome and with graphic detail. Subgenres […]