Introduction to “Remember Her Eyes”

There is true evil in the world, horrors that come not from fallen angels or demons, but from aberrations in the human mind.

Where I grew up, in California, the knowledge that serial killers existed lay beyond the backdrop of normalcy like real living boogeymen. From my earliest years, I remember the television news and newspaper headlines obsessing over the Zodiac Killer.

Of course, the Manson Family and the fiendish sideshow perpetrated by Charles Manson likewise infected the collective consciousness, filling the spectrum of evil from invisible menace to audacious madman.

The Zodiac Killer was never found, and the madman Manson died of old age in prison, his murdering zealots – for the most part – either dead now or living their final days in prison. Other killers were out there, too. They still are.

Leonard Lake and Charles Ng committed crimes more hideous than the imaginings in any creative work of horror. Only outside of fiction, there are real victims of the evil unleashed by these sickening individuals.

All who were taken were real people. People as real as you and me, whose precious lives were cut short and their names relegated, inhumanly, to a list naming them as victims.

Most had families and loved ones whose entire lives are undone by these acts of evil.

Murder has touched my own world, and I have seen firsthand the ravages that follow.

When murder enters your life, there is a moment when you try to hold on desperately to the everyday, to reject that such a thing – such an insane moment in time – could have occurred. The shock of it leaves you reeling and ungrounded. Then your life goes on, and even when you are not consciously thinking about it, your mind works endlessly to reconcile the loss of the person you knew or loved to such an act of evil, and the beauty in the world is forever blemished.

I was thinking about such things when I wrote “Remember Her Eyes.”