I have written a book about a killer. He came to Florida in 2008 and killed two women in 2009. His career as a criminal started when he was 14 and he raped a woman in Warren, MI. I am looking for an agent.
He was convicted and given two life sentences for a home invasion in Sarasota, FL. He was given the death sentence for a brutal murder in Bradenton, FL. He is now up for another trial for murder in Sarasota, FL that took place in 2008. It took from 2008 to 2018 for the forensic investigators to find a dot of DNA on the woman’s dress to identify the killer.
This is a continuation of the text in the book: Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly?
The main title (Do You Know How to Fly?) was a question posed by Delmer Smith to a woman victim as he held our out naked over her 12th floor balcony in the middle of the night and (after he had physically and sexually abused her) he asked her if she knew how to fly.
The book was developed over a period of years with interviews of not only the killer, but of his fiancé at the time, the victims who were alive and approachable, law enforcement, and the attorneys involved. If you desire to buy the book it can be purchased directly from me (I sign it) or at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or any bookstore for that matter. My website is http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com and you can make a purchase there.
Okay, so here we go:
Chapter 2 “He’s my Uncle.”
The defenses plea for mercy.
“He’s My Uncle.”
It is August 14th, 2012 and Mr. Brunvand, Delmer Smith’s defense attorney, will introduce two young women to the Court. They have traveled to Bradenton, Florida from Detroit, Michigan out of love for the defendant. Brunvand plans to show a different side of Delmer to the Court. It is an attempt to obtain some leniency for his client to avoid the death penalty. “Good morning,” he said to the first woman. She had just taken a seat on the stand and been sworn in, “Please tell the Jury your full name.”
“And Alicia, how old are you?” He smiled gently at her.
Brunvand continues with questions regarding Ms. Phillips residence and employment. She has come from her home in Bradford, Michigan where she lives with her 3-year-old daughter. She has come to Bradenton to speak in open court on behalf of a man being held on first-degree murder charges.
“How do you know Delmer Smith?”
“He’s my uncle.”
Brunvand asks her if she can point out Delmer in the courtroom “and tell the Jury what he’s wearing?”
She does so, indicating a man seated at the defense table wearing “a striped blue shirt, collared shirt.”
“And is he someone who you consider yourself close to?” Brunvand gently asks.
“Yes, I love him very much.”
“Do you recall an instance as a child where Delmer came to your aid?”
“Yes,” Ms. Phillips went on to tell about an instance where she had “been bad” and was being punished for it by getting “a spanking.” She explained that her grandmother, Velma Shelton Smith, Delmer Smith’s mother, had picked up a switch, her apparent singular choice for dealing with such issues, and was spanking her when her nose began to bleed. Delmer, she told the Court, stepped in between his mother and his niece protecting her from being struck anymore by his mother.
“And he calmed me down, and—you know, he always came to my aid.”
To Be Continued.
The following is an excerpt from Predator, The Man Who Didn’t Exist; Do You Know How to Fly? It is the first chapter. I already posted part of it and this is the entire chapter complete now.
Birth of an Evil Seed
Delmer Smith III was born July 19, 1971 in Detroit, Michigan to a couple who are now both deceased. He is one of multiple children from this mixed-race union. His mother, Velma Shelton, was white and his father was black. Delmer is light skinned, light enough to pass for being white in many circumstances. The mixed bloodlines will provoke identification confusion in the future when, as an adult, he is the suspect in several crimes.
He is given his father’s name and the family happily pronounces him to be Delmer the 3rd. His name, and that of his father, is a variant of Delmar (also used within the family) and comes from Spanish and “Old” French. It means “of the sea.” The choice is, perhaps prophetic in an eerie way.
The sea is a mercurial place. It can be calm, inviting, sublime, and soft at one point in time and then, with little if any warning, it will become treacherous, evil, violent, destructive, a merciless killer. And, so it was to be with Delmer the 3rd. As it is for the sea, he also will be a mystery to those he meets in life. Michele Quinones, his onetime fiancé, told me as she was trying to make sense of their relationship, “He was the man who didn’t exist.”
She went on to say to me, “I recall one day we were fishing and he was standing off behind me and I looked up at him. He didn’t know I was watching him. What I saw was a man stripped for a moment of what or who he was. He was so soft standing there, a little boy. So strange,” she smiled as she thought back. “He was so at peace. And yet, there is this other Delmer that I did not know or even suspect might exist. I saw him for what he might have been, what he could have been, not as he was.”
He was a burglar. He had a weird sexual appetite. He preyed on women who were elderly, or close to being so. Moreover, he was a brutal killer without compassion for his victims, or sense of guilt for what he did to them.
This is a man who is an enigma to many—perhaps even to himself. In his wake will be both terror and love as well as questions—questions that no one will ever be able to fully answer.
The newborn entered the world as all children do, coated in a wet blanket of blood and body fluids from his mother, which left his small wrinkled body coated in a shining slime that needed to be hurriedly washed off. But first, so his mother could touch him, the doctor laid him up high on her stomach. The newborn wriggled about and let go a torrent of crying while the doctor clamped and cut the umbilical cord. Then, nurses carefully lifted him and took him over to a table and water to clean him up.
He was quite a sight, all slick and slimy from the birth, his lungs sucking in huge gulps of air to expel in great rips of crying in protest for having been taken from a warm place and thrust into cool air beneath blinding lights, assaulted by monstrous noises, and unknown things touching him while his arms and legs swatted here and there and at everyone around him as he let his anger be known. Soon, they brought him back to Velma, wrapped tightly in a soft blue blanket and laid him down so she could hold him close. It was only a short while later that Velma and the baby were transported to her room where she could spend more time examining and loving on her baby. And then a small flood of waiting relatives and friends arrived to greet her and the newborn.
Exhausted, he had closed his eyes and drifted into a deep sleep ignoring the trip down the hall on the stretcher to where they lifted he and his mother onto her hospital bed. It was much later that he felt someone tugging on his blanket and holding his tiny hands.
He opened his eyes to the harsh glare of ceiling lights and a cloud of faces peering down at him all with smiles beaming well wishes. But he didn’t understand all that and he didn’t understand why they were holding his hands and marveling at how strong he was. “What a grip,” someone said. “Just look at how he holds on.” Little could the friends and relatives surrounding him then imagine that those tiny hands would grow and one day beat, sexually assault, drag, and even kill women not much older than his own mother was then.
Then he was surrounded in safety and comfort by his parents, brothers, sisters, other family members, and a handful of family friends. They most assuredly were like others when addressing a new born for the first time. They would have remarked at how tiny his fingers and toes were in comparison to theirs. Perhaps they marveled about how strong the tiny hands were as his fingers curled about theirs and tightened, never suspecting that those fingers one day would be suspected of curling around a baseball bat and beating a woman to death in Sarasota, Florida.
They would have laughed as they tried to get his attention by making odd sounds and tickling him. And he, like all newborns, probably just yawned and looked this way and that, not focusing on any one person or thing. They would have wondered about his future. They surely laughed and were excited about his prospects and, like many parents and well-wishers do, probably even imagined him becoming some famous and wealthy person, maybe even the President of the United States. However, it was not to be. A bad seed is hard to recognize when so tiny. He would become famous, in a sense, as he terrorized parts of Sarasota and Manatee Counties because of the brutality of his crimes.
It is doubtful that anyone present in Delmer Smith’s life then would have dared to predict, or could have imagined, that thirty-eight years later this then tiny bundle of life would be under arrest and accused of being a violent serial rapist, home invader, burglar, murderer, and suspected drug trafficker. All they would have seen before them then, wrapped in a soft blue hospital blanket, was a baby reaching up, sleepy eyed, with curling fingers and toes, stretching, a wonder of life.
No one could have anticipated his troubled youth or his struggle with education. This child would repeat the second grade, and then the third, the fourth, and the fifth. At age fourteen, and in the fifth grade, he was surrounded by nine and ten year olds. Then, suddenly, he was promoted to the ninth grade skipping all the years between, and placed into a special needs class. Testing would determine his verbal IQ to be seventy, one point above “retarded.”
Not one of his then admirers saw the monster he would become. However, as he grew older, there were several neighborhood events, referred to anonymously by those who knew him as a child, which surfaced in and before his teenage years, that were indicative of a troubled future. No one then recognized his lack of impulse control that would plague him. It would not be identified until he was much older and then on trial for his life.
Nevertheless, Delmer Smith has another side to him that was noted by Michele Quinones. It was also discussed in open court during the presentencing stage of his murder trial when the defense introduced two of his family members who, as young girls, had their lives significantly influenced by his interactions with them over the years.
Good morning, afternoon, or evening depending on where you are. But happy to see you stopped by, put a cup of coffee down, and sat down so we could talk about some serious things. The first is that I am almost finished with the second true crime book about a serial killer in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. It is called Predator: The Man Who Didn’t Exist, Nightmare on Terra Ceia……and some call it The Lady in a Pink Top.
In any case it is about the murder of a doctor’s wife on Terra Ceia Island just off Palmetto, Florida. It is the sister book to the one titled Do You Know How To Fly.
Sales are good! I invite you to http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com or go to Amazon and make a purchase. You can also get the book on Kindle.
Now, one last thing. I am looking for a reliable literary agent. If you know of one please write me at GKUHNWRITES@AOL.COM
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flesh laid back,
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.