Feb 23, 2016

Crybabies hate free speech -- Publisher yanks serial killer's book

A publisher has yanked a book supposedly written by serial killer Robert Pickton, and this couldn't be a more terrible decision. In case you're not familiar with Pickton, he's a Canadian killer convicted of slaying at least six prostitutes over a course of several years. It's believed that he may have gotten away with countless murders before he was caught, however -- as the story frequently goes with most other serial killers. Whether or not he killed an astounding number of people means little, though, considering that this man is indeed a serial murderer who is sitting behind the bars of a Canadian prison. He'll likely never again see freedom outside those prison walls, which is a relief to those who are loved ones of the women he killed. With all the free time he's had in prison, he managed to pen a sort of memoir, which was published by Outskirts Press (based in Colorado).

The book had only been published for a short time (just a few hours on Amazon, actually), before Outskirts Press yanked it under the pressure of angry readers and people who tend to get their collective panties in a wad in the name of the victims and their families. They cited that it violated their own policy of not publishing the works of incarcerated persons. However, this doesn't explain how the manuscript, supposedly written by serial killer Robert Pickton, was published in the first place. The only real explanation, in my opinion, of this incident is that this so-called publishing house caved to the negative backlash that they may not have fully anticipated by publishing the killer's book. If that's the case, then shame on them! Of course, they say that someone tricked them into publishing it, but how could that have been allowed to happen unless they never actually read the damned thing?

Look, in the realm of True Crime, controversy is as bountiful as oxygen. This is a genre that attracts people for a multitude of reasons, from having a genuine interest in the study of crime to just simple curiosity. There are also readers who may be attracted to this genre because they might be local to a high profile case about which a writer pens a book, or maybe they knew a victim that a writer mentions in their work. Because of the nature of True Crime, people's passions run high -- and because of that, writers and publishers in this genre do indeed get a lot of negativity (and of course positive comments as well!). This is a package deal. You have to take the bad with the good and not let it slow you down. It just really doesn't seem that Outskirts Press took this inevitability into consideration when they published Pickton's book.

In the True Crime genre, nothing is more prized and sought-after than the actual written or spoken words of the killers, the villains. This may come as a debatable statement to some, and that is totally fine (in fact, I expect as much), but the fact of the matter is that so many, many people are drawn to this genre to see what makes serial killers and violent criminals tick. The written and verifiable spoken words of these individuals serve as windows into their psyches.

Since this publisher has ended their involvement with Robert Pickton's book, I really hope that the person(s) responsible for it end up publishing it elsewhere. Anybody can self-publish, and this book has already gotten a little bit of publicity, thanks to reports about it being pulled from Amazon. This is a book that begs to be read.
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