A Night in Denver
Originally published in `Bukowski and Serial Killers'
as `At The Point of Murder'
Advisory: This article contains accounts of necrophilia, sodomy, animal brutality, rape and murder. The author has striven to give an accurate account, and has attempted to make quoted statements faithful to the language and intent of the quoted speaker. Obscene words and usages are therefore unavoidable. The subjects and the treatment of the subject may be offensive to some readers. The events related here are true.
The events described here occurred in 1975. This story was written nearly twenty years afterwards, largely due to the intense interest of a small-press publisher, Robert Howington. In the course of our correspondence, he expressed his interest in the subject of serial murder. In my following letter I replied to him that this was a subject I once had the opportunity to study on something more than an academic basis.
Howington pressed me for details, wanting to learn about my experience with a sexual sadist. These details I was happy to provide, for I had long felt an obligation to share what I had learned with others who may someday find themselves in similar situations. Tragically, there are many sadists in our world. Of my friends and acquaintances who also ever traveled by hitch-hiking, each one could tell a similar story - sometimes not so violent, others times, more so. Each day, the newspaper headlines point out to me that my experiences in Denver were not unique. They are relatively common. Thus the need to document a `successful' experience with a homicidal personality.
Before my correspondences with Howington, the words did not come. Though I had tried many times to put the experience on paper, the words were stiff and empty - I could not bring myself quite to relive it, and without reliving the experience, I was simply `talking around it'.
Howington's detailed interest made it possible to write this story. Through a series of letters written over the course of six months or so, each in response to specific questions he asked me, each following up on the previous letters, and each fleshing out ambiguities left by my words, we - together - committed this story at last to paper. Going down this road the first time was hell enough. I could not have gone down this road the second time, without Howington's company.
It was also Howington who edited this story, cutting it down to its essentials from an original manuscript of, I believe, over a hundred pages. A masterful piece of editing on his part. The work of an editor is a generally maligned and misunderstood craft, and I am happy to express my appreciation here not only for Howington's editing of this particular manuscript, but more generally for the contributions of all the fine editors I've worked with in the small and independent presses.
I must say a word about the title. Though I proposed to Howington that we call it, `A Night in Denver', he preferred the title, `At the Point of Murder'. I finally agreed to his title, as it appeared in his now-notorious `zine, "Bukowski and Serial Killers", but I was never entirely comfortable with it - a bit purple for my tastes. So I have resolved this inflexible disagreement between the two of us by including both titles.
I am extremely grateful to Robert Howington. My gratitude for him is not only for the interest he expressed in this story, which gave me what I needed to walk through that wilderness a second time, but also for his heroic job of editing a hundred page manuscript down to twelve pages, while sacrificing no significant details.
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A Night In Denver ęGreg Bryant 1998 All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction of this material is prohibited. Unless authorization is given via Knighmayor Productions.