(Ed. Note: Aspire is a pseudonym for the mysterious editor of Serial Killers Unite!, a zine that collects Aspire’s correspondences with serial killers.)
Warm sunshine and a scented breeze blew as I made my way to the post office, which holds my P.O. Box. I look forward to the mundane small talk with the married couple who run it. This day they were not so talkative - slightly abusive, actually. Asking what was wrong, I was shown, not told. They had personally received mail from one of the world’s worst convicted serial killers who made thinly veiled threats on their lives if they did not share information of the true identification of the holder of 71. I laughed and told them that the letter is worth about $100 and a good dinner table story. It didn’t cheer them up at all.
I guess it is a small hobby that outgrew its comfortable fitting within my life. It’s at the point now that I lose track of who I write to, what I’ve written and just how close some of the serial killers cells are. See, I write under pseudonyms mostly, and I’ve been caught out by some really brutal killers in my tweaking of the truth. They are mostly a clever bunch and writing to them is like a game of chess, a really creepy game of chess. They take notes, cross reference and attempt to catch you out by bringing questions up from letters past. I have had a few even challenge me to a game - a game of clues and ciphers that once solved would lead to God knows what. That’s creepy movie shit and a little bit overboard, I feel. I have lowered my moral fibre and written to a couple of sex killers as a female. Sending them photos of my ex. It’s on thin ice though when they send official prison visit forms and want my phone number so we can speak on the phone. I mean, my female voice isn’t so good. Unless they don’t mind it sounding like a really bad Brazilian transsexual.
Most of the time the letters are boring and mundane. The replying is boring and mundane. The art I receive is unbelievable. Talented, colourful and sometimes really creepy. Bleak feelings descend to receive and hold art from a convicted child killer. In itself not bad, but paintings of little kids playing in parks? Yikes.
To see the progression of these killers in the letters is amazing. Starting off sweet and innocent eventually becoming controlling and crazed. Just like they would have in regards to stalking and killing. Some of the letters received from sex killers can be depressing. Especially when they have their mail censored and monitored but smuggle it out under a fellow inmate’s name. Reading the firsthand account of the sex attack and mutilation of a mother and daughter made me feel sick.
I continue to write more out of habit. I enjoy the artworks, comics and books I am sent. I enjoy it because it gives new material for my zine, Serial Killers Unite. Having created a new issue I hold it, take a deep breath and feel cleansed and purged.
This piece originally ran in Mutant #4.