There may be things that crawl and slither and shrink back into the darkness before we become fully aware of them. This is not about those things. Perhaps there really are monsters, not the fleeting shadows that you may think you see when you are all alone, but real ones, living, breathing and existing among us unnoticed. It was once written that evil sleeps in our bed and dines at our table, and perhaps this is true.

When you are alone in the dark you may be alone with the ghosts and skeletons of your past or present. When I am alone in the dark, I am alone with real monsters, ones that can never be denied their existence. They roamed among us and roam among us still. They strike like a snake, insidious and quick, and quietly slip back from where they came. They do not disappear. They are only waiting for the next time to bite. I have seen the damage they cause, shattered bodies and extinguished lives, stopped dead like a broken watch. Their victims' beginnings are often unknown and their ends are often scenes of chaos. At times they go quietly, while others fight death when it comes calling, marking the place of their departure and the monster who stole them away, leaving blood and body fluids, hair and fibers, shell casings and knife blades. Some are found intact, some are found as merely a scattering of weathered bones. Some are never found at all.

This is as much about the monsters as it is those they kill. I have peered very closely at these killers and their victims, and I have learned much about the idiosyncrasies of evil and its many faces. I have learned much about the people this evil, for lack of a better word, has taken away. I have learned that at times, the two may be almost indistinguishable from another.

I am often asked why I write what I write, how I can tolerate delving so deeply into the minds and lives and actions of those who kill for pleasure, an act I cannot fathom. I do not know why nor do I pretend to know, but I want the knowledge that comes from observing so closely. With knowledge comes truth. With truth may come a solution. So far, there is much knowledge, some truths, and still a vast universe of uncertainty and unknown stretches before us. I am going to share some of that knowledge with you now. It may color your view of the world and humanity. This is not my intention. My intention to let you explore a place you might not otherwise venture, to go to a place where you are allowed to leave at any time. While on your journey I ask that you not forget those who will never be able to turn on the light and go back home.

"Caressing the marble and stone
Love that was special for one
The waste in the fever and heat
How I wish you were here with me now
Body that curls in and dies
Heart shares that awful daylight
Warm like a dog round your feet
How I wish you were here with me now
Hangman looks round as he waits
Cord stretches tight then it breaks
Someday we will die in your dreams
How I wish you were here with me now."

- Joy Division/'In a Lonely Place'