For The Love Of Gossip And Serial Killers

Why can’t I look away?

Daniel Williams
5 min readJul 30, 2022


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My little family drove to Maine and back, and both ways, while my son was safely hooked up to an intravenous drip of Marvel, my wife and I listened to a serial killer podcast.

Jack the Ripper, Edmund Kemper, H.H. Holmes, the Eyeball Killer, and Elizabeth Báthory: The Blood Countess.

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“Who’s next?” I said.

Mindy scrolled. “Okay, this one poisoned 3 people.”

“Poison? Boring. And only 3?”

“You’re right. How about…oh, this one used his car. He liked running over people.”

“I’m listening.”

“He killed…it says he killed 5.”


“What should I be looking for?”

“Something insane!”

Onward she scrolled then stopped. “Ooo, this one drained his victims’ blood somehow then pickled their bodies in steel drums behind his house. 23 people!”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

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And I know you’re the same way. We prefer our countesses dipped in blood. Also, we like our gossip hot.


My wife will leap into the room, whisper-shouting, “Guess what!”

I know this tone. I drop everything and whisper-shout, “What!”

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“It’s Tony,” she says.

“Yes! We hate Tony.”

“You bet we do. Well, I just found out…”

In the pause between “out” and the rest, my mind hopes for the worst. It dreams big.




Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.