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.
Good morning to all my readers. It is 0512 and I have been up for a few hours working on Nightmare in Terra Ceia. It is the true story of the murder of Kathleen Briles on 8/3/2009. It is the followup to Do You Know How To Fly?.
Do You Know How To Fly is the first book in the two book series of Predator; The Man Who Didn’t Exist.
This book was reviewed by Kirkus Reviews and also by Onlinebookclub.org. It can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and also on my web page: http://www.authorgordonkuhn.com .
It is available in print and also in ebook fashion.
Goodreads has a contest running on my book Do You Know How To Fly which is a true crime novel. It is the first of two books about a career criminal who came to the Tampa Bay area after being placed on parole for bank robbery and sentenced to 15 1/2 years in Federal prison.
Shortly after his arrival here he dumped the woman who married him sight unseen while he was in prison and who helped his being released from prison and moved in with a woman much younger. Shortly after that he began a series of robberies, assaults, and home invasions. It ended with his capture after a bar fight but too late for the murder of a local doctor’s wife. Sadly had the FBI’s CODIS program for DNA been up to date he would have been stopped months prior before two local women (one the doctor’s wife) was brutally murdered.
The poet speaks in voices unheard
Their words are spread upon a page unread
within the confusion of mind speak
the poet’s pen travels on, and on, and on
and where from does the lighted darkness come
where from does the need arise
to shake the hand of God, I suppose
and yet no one shall ever know.
What haunted inquiries doth possess
The soul of a single man
What creatures known but by him
Shall raise their faces from the darkness
From the vault kept locked within
Where memories persist to crawl
And slither then upon the walls
Where with a sublime poison touch the soul from within
To cradle him and bath him in memories of his sins
Cannot the treasure once spoken of so profound
See past the surface marred with scratches
Caused by the fight for life and light within
The casket of memories held tightly unexposed
Nails seeking a spot so soft to break into the day
And yet, my friend, darkness looms ahead
Darkness seeks the firm foundations grown so weak
Where only memories of evil purpose takes to peak
On a mountain never climbed and waiting
Waiting for the final curtain to descend
Upon the poet whose voice is silent from within. 02/02/17
I will never forget the day that Hemingway died
Nor of how he died on ‘61’s second day of July
I was sixteen years old way back then
And far too much to the universe tuned in
I will never forget the shock that filled me as I cried
Deep inside a wounded creature not knowing why
Not even knowing much about the man I stood
Alone in silence surrounded by living woods
That were more than silent that day he died
To me they were, to me they were and yet
The world still moved and went its passing way
But in my heart, I knew something broke that day
Something strange that day had come and gone its way
The day that Papa died, yes that day on ‘61s second day of July 1/14/17
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.
Eric sat up in the smother of hay and looked at the two other mice whose faces had emerged from behind a pile of damp fiber. “I told you he would wake this day,” said the one to the right. “I cast stones and they said it would be today.”
“Oh shut up,” said the one to the left. “What do you know about stone casting.”
“Ha, more than you.”
Slowly the both emerged from the shadows. “You’ve been asleep a long time,” they both said almost in unison. “Mind if I touch you,” the one of the right said and extended a paw.
“Who are you and where I am I,” Eric said pulling back as he realized that both of these field mice were much larger than he, almost like rats.
“Ah, you don’t need to worry yourself about who we are but as far as where you are well, that is another matter.”
“And the time. The time and day of the year is important.”
“Fine,” Eric said angrily. “Where am I. Isn’t this Farmer Gragers’ farm?”
“Yes, but another time and day and you’ve travelled here. You would think you have come forward a hundred years but in reality you slid sideways. We tell every arrival that they have gained a hundred years. It is just easier that way.”
“How so? Well, when are able to you will see and find you are different.”
“Yes,” the one on the right said excitedly.
“Can I tell him where he is?” The two looked at each other and then said, “Outside, just down the road is the town of Llandia. Do you know it?” 1/13/17 Copyright Gordon Kuhn Unedited Text.
And so as evening fell fully away from the day and
Those watching went their separate way
Speaking not of evil left there cloaked in dark wings
And left behind small Aleen to sit high upon the hill
The rocky hill that overlooked the city of LLandia
Where the mission keeper sat and looked past them as they left
Brooding about the mission sent him on
And snarled at those who turned to look back at him
For what was their want? Could they have found a better one.
His dark fangs revealed his mood and waited for the taste of blood.
That would run from throats slit by fingernail and dragon tail of wingspan spread
He would wait till fully dark and then mount his quest and deliver the blows
While the silly younger ones left behind who groveled at their teachers feet
Waited for a tasty treat and yet
And yet he recalled Anlock the Strong who spoke to him so long before
Long before the mission clear was in his mind and vision spell
There he had lain away so many days and nights until it became so very clear
That death, dear death would somehow come once again near
And as told when Anloch’s face was close, so close he could hear
The breathing from the lungs deep behind the lacquered armored hide
“Kill them swifty, little one. Surprise those of your kind larger than you.
Surprise them at your strength and keep in mind,
There will come a day when you will have to kill them too.” 1/12/2017
Angels or demons cast their nets
Wide caught those with memories
Memories of rights and wrongs, I think
Those with recall so sharp and clear
Memories of thoughts themselves cursed
Cursed as were the moments in time brought forth
Forth brought the issues as played out in life complex
Angels or demons, I know not which crawl through my mind
And pull me from the present to the past intense
Visions not wished to replay
But seen there on the big screen
Unable to stop them from their haunting. 1/10/17