Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"A Monster Of All Time" by J. T. Hunter

A Monster Of All Time:
The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper
by J. T. Hunter

A Monster Of All Time: The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper by J. T. Hunter

A Monster Of All Time by J. T. Hunter is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.
Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.
What evil lurked inside him? What demons drove him to kill? What made him “A Monster of All Time”?

January 1987
Parchman, Mississippi
The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
“When they let me out of here,” the prisoner swore to himself, “I’ll make them all pay.”
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.
Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.
Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.
Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.
In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.
Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.
Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.
“Gemini,” an eerie voice proclaimed. “I am Gemini.”
At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.
And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“A vivid and compelling account of the Gainesville Ripper, who terrorized Florida over four days in August 1990, and what happened after his arrest. JT Hunter brings his lawerly eye to a bizarre case that has largely been forgotten, following investigators as they chase the state's biggest monster since Ted Bundy.” ~ Maureen Callahan, writer at New York Post
“Well-researched and deftly told with chilling detail. Should be on every true crime fan bookshelf.” ~ Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Monster and Bogeyman
“An impressive and riveting account of one of the most prolific serial killers.” ~ The Boston Globe
“Compelling and well-written.” ~ True Crime Book Reviews
“With A Monster of All Time, JT Hunter has crafted a deep and sobering analysis of the heinous crimes carried out by the Gainesville Ripper. Citing firsthand sources, Hunter examines each crime scene in chilling detail, the sharp investigators who cracked the case, and the gripping courtroom drama that brought justice to the victims of one of America's most notorious serial killers.” ~ Gary McAvoy, author of And Every Word Is True: What the Nye Files and Hickock Letters reveal about Kansas, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and the Clutter family murders

Guest Post by the Author
The Strangest Cases
Truth really can be stranger than fiction, especially in the realm of true crime. Most everyone knows about the shocking cases of Dahmer, Bundy, Gacy, and the BTK Killer. But there’s no shortage of lesser-known cases that are equally bizarre. During my time as a true crime writer, I’ve come across a lot of strange cases. Here are just a few.
The Vampire Next Door
My first true crime book, The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist, chronicles the story of John Crutchley, dubbed the “Vampire Rapist” by the media due to his propensity for drinking the blood of his victims. He would abduct women and keep them tied up in his house where, over the course of a few days, he repeatedly raped them and drained their blood through surgical tubes. When he had his fill, he killed them by strangulation. Yet, in public he wore the mask of a hard-working family man with a wife and young son. Stranger still, he had a white-collar job with top secret security clearance at the Pentagon while working as a computer programmer on weapons communications systems for the U.S. Navy! 
A New Breed of Serial Killer
Israel Keyes, the new breed of serial killer whose story is detailed in my book, Devil in the Darkness, similarly hid his dark side behind the mask of a doting father and hard-working business owner. Indeed, after he was finally caught, Keyes gloated to investigators about how he had been able to fool everyone he knew for over a decade. Keyes used the entire country as his hunting grounds, burying “kill-kits” containing the tools to commit his crimes in multiple states, often years before returning to dig them up and use them. Investigators caught up to him only by a strange twist of fate: when he went to the car rental company to exchange the car he had been using, the only cars available were the same make, model, AND color as the one he had. A Texas Highway Patrolman spotted the car shortly thereafter and arrested Keyes. The identical car that Keyes was driving before had been recorded by a security camera and the FBI, Texas Rangers, and Texas Highway Patrol were all looking for it. But for the fortuitous lack of inventory at the rental car facility, Keyes might very well still be out there killing today!
Finding Love on Death Row
The love story explored in Death Row Romeo is another strange case. While on death row for the murders of several women, serial killer Oscar Ray Bolin met Rosalie Martinez, the wife of a prominent Tampa lawyer. Rosalie had four daughters at the time. She enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, living in an upscale suburb, driving an expensive car, and hosting parties at her home for the political elite, including the Governor of Florida. She wore designer clothes and expensive jewelry and her daughters all attended an exclusive, private school. But she gave all of that up after she met Bolin while working as a sentencing specialist on his case. She subsequently married “Bolin the Butcher” in her apartment as a camera crew from the news show 20/20 recorded the event. Bolin attended the ceremony by telephone from his death row cell. She became a widow in 2016 after the State of Florida executed Bolin by lethal injection.
Connecting a Very Cold Case to a Famous True Crime Case
As the back jacket of my book, In Colder Blood (FREE), begins: “Two families, mysteriously murdered under similar circumstances, just a month apart. One was memorialized in Truman Capote’s classic novel, In Cold Blood. The other was all but forgotten.”
The first crime is the well-known quadruple murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, on November 15, 1959. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith confessed to those murders after a jail-house informant linked them to the crime.
The second crime is also a quadruple murder, but one that few know about. On December 19, 1959, the Walker family - a father, mother, son, and daughter - were killed in their own home in Osprey, Florida. The method of killing and the isolated location of the home was remarkably similar to that of the Clutter family murder.
The Walker family murder remained unsolved for over half a century, passing from detective to detective over the decades. In 2007, a new detective took over the long-cold case. Armed with a fresh perspective, Detective Kimberly McGath pored over the case files until she became convinced that Hickock and Smith murdered the Walker family in similar fashion as they killed the Clutters. Multiple witnesses saw two men matching Hickock and Smith’s descriptions in the area at various times prior to and after the Walkers were killed, and Detective McGath developed a plausible theory as to how the Walkers could have encountered the two fugitives. Based on McGath’s detective work, Hickock and Smith’s bodies were exhumed in December 2012 to extract DNA samples to test against DNA recovered at the Walker crime scene. Due to the age and condition of the exhumed bodies, the test results were inconclusive.
Every true crime case is strange in its own way. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, I come across a new case and discover that I haven’t. That’s what keeps all of us true crime aficionados coming back for more.

About the Author
J. T. Hunter
J. T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor whose teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two $20 Amazon gift cards.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

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