Author Archives: James L'Etoile

Sacramento Serial Killer — Profile of a Second Chance

Digging around in Sacramento’s history isn’t for the faint of heart. The Gold Rush town was lawless and bloody with a reputation for quick frontier justice. Yet on a few occasions, the hand of mercy reached out and offered a second chance to a killer. Ida Brewer was a sex worker in the 1850’s who […]

Hostage Crisis – Day 25

It seems every day in the news, there is another radical group looking for recognition, money, or power. Unfortunately for us, one very common method to gain what ever it is that the cartels, jihadists, revolutionaries, or terrorists want is the time-tested kidnap and hostage ploy.   Snatch something, or someone, of value and hold […]

Sacramento Serial Killer – Ted Kaczynksi

Depending on the definition used, a serial killer is one who murders two or more victims, in separate instances (FBI Serial Murder Symposium – 2005). Theodore “Ted” Kaczynksi meets this standard as a serial killer in the classic sense–three victims were killed during his sixteen bomb, seventeen-year long domestic terror campaign as the Unabomber. One […]

Killer Mom

Sacramento has experienced more than its share of notorious murders and serial killers. This one often slips under the radar, but is one of the most brutal cases I’ve come across. I’m always amazed by the media interviews after a murderer is discovered living next door. It’s always some form of, “He was such a […]

Sacramento Unsolved

Another year gone and another silent anniversary without answers. Twenty-eight years have passed since the 1991 slaying of an entire family in the upscale Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento. On January 15, 1991, Marcy Jacobs didn’t show up to work as a data processing technician at the Department of Justice. A concerned co-worker called the […]

When the Muse Is A Crack-Addicted Mess

The muse is a fickle creature. A few authors I know claim their muse guides their creative energy, breaking through self-imposed writer’s blocks, and delivering them safely to the land of a finished pristine manuscript. To them, I proudly give back a big fat jealous raspberry. I don’t have that relationship with my muse. Sure […]

Two of Sacramento’s Cold Case Murders

I’ve written about Sacramento’s serial killer connection with notorious murderers who hunted in the city, like Morris Solomon, and The I-5 Strangler. With 15% of the nation’s serial killers roaming our streets, it comes as no surprise that the number of unsolved homicides in the county is an astonishing 431 unanswered deaths. In the last […]

Prison to the Page Newsletter & Book Giveaway

Now’s your chance to enter the book giveaway, before the next Prison to the Page Newsletter drops. At least three subscribers will be selected at random and receive a signed copy of Little River: The Other Side of Paradise, At What Cost, or Bury The Past. But you have to subscribe to the newsletter to […]

SHU Basics for the Crime Writer

Recently, I attended ThrillerFest in New York and the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas. Both great venues for talking the craft of writing and picking up a few tips on making your crime fiction true to life. During conversations at both of these very different gatherings, the topic of solitary confinement and […]

To Pee or Not To Pee…

Family squabbles can be downright testy affairs. When family members pretend not to know one another, the outcome is a long blessed silence. When they take too much interest in the goings-on of a sibling, or an adult child, the results can take a nastier turn. From the “Things Criminals Do” files, we have the […]