Category Archives: Serial Killer

Dinner With Diane Brinker


Jan and I were very fortunate to have as a dinner guest yesterday evening Diane Brinker who was one of  the eight sisters of Kathleen Briles. There were 9 girls and 2 boys. Diane shared a lot of details with us and it was a pure blessing to simply be able to sit and talk with her. In some ways, having conversations with her and others, the people in these stories become family to me as I ride along listening to the fun days and the sad days. It is so sad to me to meet them with all this pain brought about by one person, and the tragedy is that Kathleen would not have died if the FBI had not failed to keep their computer data base up to date. Diane shared photos of her sister and her family with us. It was a wonderful evening but so tragically  brought about. It leaves me with a major responsibility to write Nightmare in Terra Ceia with as much sensitivity as I can muster.

ONLINE BOOKCLUB REVIEW


Official Review: Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How To Fly?

Post Number:#1 by klbradley » Yesterday, 16:21

http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/iframe-add-to-wtr.php?id=123113[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly?” by Gordon L Kuhn.]

Book Cover


3 out of 4 stars


Review by klbradley


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Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly? is Gordon Kahn’s non-fiction novel that takes a look at the disastrous turmoil that one man caused to several innocent people in Manatee County and Sarasota, Florida. The author pieces together the information regarding the attacks, and follows with an extraordinary account of the trial that followed Delmer Smith’s arrest. Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly? is a true crime story that depicts how one violent man’s actions could cause disaster for many others, and eventually lead him to death row. 

Delmer Smith was born in Detroit in 1971. His introduction into the life of a criminal was started at an early age, and by age fourteen, he was introduced to a juvenile jail cell for a rape conviction at a car wash. His eighteen months behind bars seemed to have little effect on him, as not long after he was released, he went forward with burglaries, bank robberies, and other violent crimes. Smith appeared to live a normal life to his close friends and family, but his violent assaults and robberies carried on throughout Florida starting in 2009, which is where a majority of this story takes place. 

In this riveting story, author Gordon Kahn interviews some of Smith’s victims, relating back the horrific experiences they had to endure. The story seems to come to life when it is told from a first-hand experience, so this was an excellent attribution by the author. The court proceedings were easy to follow, with the author giving an excellent recount of details, like explaining what is happening when the attorneys pause, or the looks that are being given by the jury members. I was exceptionally pleased to see that the author included vocabulary clarification page at the end of the book, and cross-referenced the usage to specific sentences. This allowed me to follow along with ease, despite having to refer to the back of the book. 

The writing style seemed to flow with ease, with only a few minor hiccups in the structure. My complaint with Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly? comes from the repetition that came along with the story. I can tell the author repeated some sections for clarity, and so that they would be easily remembered, but it seemed that the same points of evidence came in to play five to six times each. There was also a bit of jumping around with the time log, especially once the violent attacks started to become frequent. Some of the background information seemed unnecessary to the story, especially the introductory pages regarding Delmer Smith’s birth. 

My boss currently owns two homes in Florida, one in Bradenton and one in Sarasota. As I avidly watch the news, I was surprised to find that I did not recall hearing of these attacks. I was curious with how closely this story followed along with the news articles, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the information in the story follows along well with the news articles. There was a mention of another book that continues with this story, and I am looking forward to the release of it as well.

This book has earned a 3 out of 4 star rating from me. The plot moved forward smoothly, but the numerous repetition seemed to make me feel as though I had accidentally lost my place in the book and read the same paragraph numerous times. I can understand the thought behind it, as a way to give clarity and serve as a reminder, but it became an issue with the numerous mentions. This book comes as an excellent recommendation from me for readers who enjoy true crime novels. Because the story depicts fairly recent events, it may be hard for some to read, given the violent nature and attacks that are detailed.

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Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly? 
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

 

KIRKUS REVIEW OF DO YOU KNOW HOW TO FLY?


KIRKUS REVIEW

Kuhn’s debut true-crime story shows how a violent man’s life led him to death row.

The author uses interviews and other sources to piece together the life of Delmer Smith, a seasoned career criminal awaiting execution in Florida. Smith was born in Detroit in 1971, on the cusp of the city’s economic decline. By age 14, he was convicted of raping a woman at a carwash where he worked. The 18 months that he spent in a juvenile reformatory dashed any possibility of rehabilitation; instead, he learned “how to be more proficient as a criminal” as he became “a creature without a conscience.” As a young adult, Kuhn writes, Smith carried out burglaries, carjackings, and bank robberies, which eventually led to a 15-year incarceration. After his second prison stint, he moved to Florida; there, Kuhn writes, Smith assaulted and beat multiple women—all the while leading a double life as a “wise and loving uncle” to his two nieces. Eventually, the violence led to a murder conviction. The author interviewed many of Smith’s victims and found that the women were now “desperately seeking someone or something to fully trust again.” Thanks to these firsthand accounts, readers receive a nuanced portrait of a predatory man. Kuhn’s decision to jump between accounts of Smith’s early life and present-day interviews is an effective one; by regularly pulling readers back to the present, he reminds them of the painful, enduring impact of his subject’s actions. Moreover, Kuhn shows a great deal of sensitivity when recounting the crimes, evoking deep pathos instead of graphic sensationalism. That said, the book does include some unnecessary background information, including three pages on Smith’s birth alone; it also bafflingly overuses section breaks, which disrupt the otherwise strong narrative flow.

A thoughtful, engaging account of a brutal life and the carnage that it left behind.

PREDATOR: The Man Who Didn’t Exist, The Woman in a Pink Top


So here I sit with the majority of Book Two done and I am procrastinating. Call it what you will, but I just can’t seem to get myself going. I am within reach of being done with Book Two and I just can’t seem to push myself over the edge. Maybe it is a case of fear. Yes, fear.

I have been working on this for 6 1/2 years and to let go of my baby, so to speak, is frightening. Not only that but is it a good book or is it shit?  I don’t know. I feel it is a good book but at the same time I am concerned that the author, me, is just delusional. That happens to everyone I think that has created something and who has this ache in their hearts to be looked upon as an artist, relevant for the current times and yet building a legacy for others to look up at and marvel at the work done so far.

So, anyway, I met with retired Sheriff’s Detective Ned Foy who solved the Briles’ murder case and had coffee with him. I gave him a copy of Book One and he said he is excited to read it. He is also looking forward to Book Two.

Now the pressure is on. Actually it had already started this morning at breakfast when Sherry Call Roberts walked up to me and poked me in the stomach asking how close I was to finishing  Book Two .  Of course she was being playful but the point was simply this: get going and get finished and stop  procrastinating. It is easy to fall into that trap. So I am grateful to Sherry and to Ned and to everyone who is bugging the hell out of me to finish the book.  It needs to get done.

The other nice thing, and I mean that really, is that Ned told me that he would join the readers I have now and review Book Two. After all, he is the main man on that. It was his case to solve and he did. He can provide me with even more insight than I have now. He’s excited. I’m excited. And, I know that everyone else will be excited too as we all move forward with this. I know I am not alone.

Poem from Standoff: Bare


STANDOFF  is a book of poems that I will be publishing soon. This poem is one of them: BARE. I simply decided that I would post this one for the time being. I hold the copyright on this. 

BARE

Flesh laid back,

Bare!

Raw, no cover to protect

From salt thrown upon there where the whip struck

Beneath the layer thin and thick

Atop with matted hair that hides

Emotions deep run and amid course shall stall

As the owner fails to know the path laid out

Laid out, but not in common diagram of visual plane

Leaving the direction needles spinning mindless there

Nor can one tell or master the storms drifting path

Should path be there hiding beneath a lacquer veneer while

The stronger weather yet to come as emotions gather

As they gather well before the bow that dips deep

So very deep, and then sliding down the hill so steep

Deep down, deep down, falling into the trough beneath emotions towers

Towers without sight of top, nor bottom have

Crashing then they upon decks wet awash with memories tossed

As the pilot fights to stay the line invisible before them

And fails to see the coming of the loss of light

As clouds of thought weigh down the saddened soul

While deck and hold covers fail to stop the rushing waters in

The ship stalls, shudders, shatters from within, rolls, and sinks beneath a wall of tears.

10/3/2016 Copyright GORDON KUHN ass rights reserved.

PREDATOR: Book One, Do You Know How to Fly?


The book is out and can be found at Amazon Prime. It is also onlinbook-cover-predator-one-scan-front-page-11-18e at Barnes & Noble. Price is $15 plus shipping ( in some cases). It is also available thru me at $18 which includes shipping and my signature on the inside of the book.

Predator, The Man Who Didn’t Exist, Book One, Do You Know How to Fly


PREDATOR ….. Book One is now in print. You can find it on Amazon in print or download to a Kindle. You can order it through your favorite bookstore. OR, you can order it here and now and I will send you a signed edition for $15 plus $3 for postage = $18.

Book two is in production and will be done and in edit and review within 10 days. Publishing will take about two weeks after that. I am anticipating that the price on that book will be about $10.

Book One goes into  his early life and his coming to Florida to meet a woman 20 years his senior who thought she was being humanitarian. He dumped her for a young model and resumed his career as a criminal.

This is a narrative nonfiction true crime. It contains some graphic detail. Book two discusses the autopsy report on a woman killed on Terra Cela Island in Manatee County and it will also be a bit graphic. Continue reading Predator, The Man Who Didn’t Exist, Book One, Do You Know How to Fly

PREDATOR: The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Book One; Do You Know How To Fly?


Do You Know How to Fly? is now on Kindle.

This is a true crime book. It took me six years to write this book. Book number two will be out soon in paperback and on Kindle through Amazon.

The book is about a man on death row in Florida. He is a career criminal whose life in crime started as a youth. His first conviction occurred when only 14 for the rape of a woman who was in her 30s at a car wash. He would have murdered his victim but she managed to get away. He later was arrested as an adult at age 18 for home invasion robbery and spent another 18 months in jail.

After that he was arrested for bank robbery and spent 15 1/2 years in prison. Following being married to a woman he had never met, he was granted parole and he came to Florida and continued his life in crime here. He assaulted mainly older women who lived alone. He is a suspect in one murder in Sarasota County and was convicted in another in Manatee County. I spent six years working on two books. The first book is Do You Know How to Fly. The second will be titled: The Woman in a Pink Top.

These books will be available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and all other book stores. But, Do You Know how to Fly is the first and you can now download through Kindle for $3.00. You can order paperback copies through the locations listed above or by contacting me for an autographed copy.

You may also get an eAutograph on Kindle by requesting it.

I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoyed writing them for you.

Best to you,

Gordon Kuhn

 

 

 

PREDATOR: FOUND:ONE


CAUTIONARY NOTE:

The following is about a violent and horrific murder. It is a real story about real people. Parts of this are very graphic. Please have respect for the victims, their families, and their friends.

———————————————————

PART ONE—Face Down

CHAPTER 1—911 Operator # 143

She lay face down.

At least, that is how they found the body—face down.

They being the hastily-established Manatee County team of sheriff’s deputies, forensic personnel, fire department paramedics, and the county coroner’s office staff that had been called into service on August 3rd, 2009, in the middle of the night. It was their job to descend on the horrifying scene at a residence in a quiet neighborhood in response to her husband’s frantic 911 call.

Manatee County 911, what is the nature of your emergency?

The operator’s voice was calm, well-practiced, having responded thousands of times in the same cool manner during stressful telephone calls as this would soon become.

Caller: (Unintelligible) I just got home, my wife is on the floor!

The voice was breathless, filled with shock and terror.

Three years after the Manatee County 911 system recorded the emotion-filled phone call from a distraught man, the prosecution introduced the tape as evidence in Case No. 2010-CF-000479, The State of Florida vs. Delmer Smith, a murder case.

The Court, jury, and gallery would sit and listen completely absorbed by the conversation being played back for them. While the horror of the night slowly became indelibly evident for everyone else in the room, the defendant appeared indifferent. He spent most of his time looking at the highly-polished wooden conference table-top where he sat, or at his handcuffed hands which were kept low behind the table so the jury could not see them.

He focused on them, turning them over, then right side up. He twisted them one way, then another, carefully examining each hand like a person would checking to see if they might need to wash them. Perhaps, in this case, to remove the invisible stain and erase the scent of his victim’s blood that only he was conscious of.

The act was eerily reminiscent of the scene in Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the Thane of Fife’s wife spoke those incredibly memorable lines, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say! … What! will these hands ne’er be clean? … Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”

PREDATOR (Forward & The cast) 12.14.15


FORWARD CONTINUED:

A short-lived smile touched her lips. Her voice lowered, softened. She lit a cigarette, busying her fingers, took a deep draw on it, then blew the first exhale up and away from my direction. “My friends,” she inhaled again. “My family,” she said quietly, more to herself than to me. Her eyes were still looking down and with the palm of her free hand she absent mindedly smoothed her dress. “It was like, you know, I was at fault for some reason. I was the guilty one. That is what they wanted to know.” She took a sip of her tea and looked around at the other lunch customers seated at tables near ours who were, like she and I, enjoying a soft Florida breeze. “Every one of them.” She paused, then added, “‘He was your boyfriend,’ they said to me,” her voice climbed with passion. “Like that gave me some kind of magical insight into the man. It’s all bullshit.” Her eyes dropped to the pavement, then up, fierce, black.

“‘You lived together. And, you are telling me, telling us you didn’t know?'” She thumped her chest with a thumb and turned her head quizzically to look at me. Our eyes met and once more I could not look away. Her chin was high and her eyes, moments before warm and friendly had grown suddenly cold, hard, flinty.

I could see, could feel the emotional intensity that burned inside her. She felt wronged by the very people she thought would have been there for support. She wanted to say to each of them, “What about me? All these questions are about why I didn’t know. What about me? Don’t any one of you who are aware of the relationship that I had with Delmer recognize that I had feelings in this? Don’t you recognize my fear? My bewilderment? My sense of betrayal? Is it only that you want to know why I didn’t know? Well, better yet, if you were around him, why didn’t you know?”

She didn’t need to say those words. I felt them emanating from her heart and soul. I saw them in her eyes, the way she held her head, the silence that surrounded her as she sat and stared into her tea.

This was our first meeting, Michele and mine. However, it would not be the last.

************************************

MAIN CAST OF CHARACTERS 

SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Sergeant J. Blessee, Patrol Supervisor District Two

Miss Farnsworth, Victim’s Assistance

Detective Rhonda V. DiFranco, Forensics

Detective C. Dusseau

Detective Michael “Mike” A. Dumer

Jessica Hendrickson, Crime Scene Technician

Jessica Jarecki, Crime Scene Technician

Detective B. Keane

Detective M. LeFebvre

Detective K. McGath

Deputy Mrzuack, K-9 Officer

Deputy Josh Pelfrey

Deputy B. Pollock

Sergeant Sirran

Deputy John Swinney

Jessica Sawyer, Forensic Technician

Deputy John Thomas

Detective D. Tuck

Sergeant Daniel Tutko

Detective Sergeant John Walsh

Deputy Wineka, Helicopter Pilot

SARASOTA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Detective DeFrancisco

Detective Linda DeNiro

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT

Rochelle Gatemen, Supervisor FDLE Bio-Lab, Fort Myers, FL

Shana Hayter, FDLE Crime Laboratory Analyst in Biology and DNA

Michael Rafferty, FDLE Chief of Forensic Services

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Special Agent G. Sandoval

FEDERAL PAROLE OFFICER

Gerri Cotter

CITY OF VENICE, FLORIDA POLICE DEPARTMENT

Sergeant Jason Adams

Officer Guinart

Officer Long

FAMILY, AND ACQUAINTANCES OF DELMER SMITH

Shannon (Bodell) Barrett, landlady

Michele Quinones, former fiancé

Alicia Phillips, niece

Christina Smith, niece

Martha Tejeda, personal friend

STATE OF FLORIDA PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS SARASOTA OFFICE

Elizabeth Scanlan

Earl Varn

DEFENSE ATTORNEY SARASOTA COUNTY

Marjorie Bender

MANATEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Detective Kumiko Carter

Detective Edward “Ned” Foy

Robert Feverston, Latent Fingerprint Examiner

Grace Givens, Crime Scene Technician

Andrew Hasty, Deputy

Hurley Smith, Crime Scene Technician

Richard Talbot, Crime Scene Manager

Adrianne Walls, Crime Scene Technician

FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF KATHY BRILES

James A. Briles, MD

Calvin Briles, MD

Kristie Gish

Mary Wanser

OTHER MANATEE COUNTY WITNESSES

Michael Bierds, Publix Store Manager

Wilson A. Broussard, Jr. M.D., Forensic Pathologist

Armenouhi Comstock, Owner Armiks Fine Collectibles

Stanley Grubbs, Atrue Lock Service

Kevin Noppinger, DNA Laboratory Manager, DNA Labs International

Istvan Szecsenyi, Owner Roadkill Auto, Inc.

Oliver Young, Duct Tape Product Manager

Victoria Marshall., Sarasota County Victim

STATE OF FLORIDA PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS MANATEE OFFICE

Suzanne O’Donnell

Brian Iten

DEFENSE ATTORNEYS IN MANATEE COUNTY

 Daniel Hernandez

Bjorn Brunvand

This material is protected by a copyright  by Gordon Kuhn