Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and forty-fourth, is of historical novelist and crime author John Foxjohn. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/author-spotlights.
John Foxjohn grew up in rural Nacogdoches County, deep in the heart of East Texas and the pine forests. In fact, John often says, he was raised so far out in the country they had to pump sunshine to them. As he grew up, he developed an intense love for reading—a love that would never leave.
Books opened a new world and adventures for John that he imagined being a part of. He wanted to see that world, be a soldier, a cop and a detective, a coach, and yes, he even wanted to write books. When he was twelve, John decided then that he would write a book about Crazy Horse, the great Lakota war chief.
Of course these are the dreams of most boys and after they grow up they realize that they can’t do them all. However, John says, “Hey, I never grew up.” Maybe that’s the reason he actually has seen the world, been a soldier, a cop, and a homicide detective. He followed that by becoming a highly successful coach and teacher. Then when he retired, he began to write books. One of the first of many books he has published is a historical fiction about Crazy Horse.
And now from the author himself:
My name’s John Foxjohn, and in April of 2008, I was a successful fiction writer living in Lufkin, Texas. I’d toyed with the idea of writing a true crime, but there weren’t any cases sensational enough to write a book about, and living in a small town didn’t give me hope that a one would drop in my lap.
Kimberly Clark Saenz changed all that. The moment I heard that a DaVita nurse was being investigated for killing patients—a lot of patients—by injecting them with bleach, I knew that if these allegations were true, I not only had the case to write about, but I was the only one in a position to write it.
Because of my background as a detective, I knew that serial killing females were rare, and Lufkin or East Texas, had never had a serial killer, male or female.
As it happened, I knew people in the police department, and knew that the police would eventually charge her. However, my experience told me that this would not be an easy one. An internet friend who writes true crimes told me to try to get as much from the suspect, her family, and friends as possible because after the police brought charges they’d clam up. While the media wondered and waited, I was interviewing people. This turned out to be important because a lot of the people I interviewed before she was charged would no longer talk afterward.
It also gave me a chance to track and follow the family and friends of Saenz on Facebook and Myspace. Again, this would prove vital for obtaining information about them that they wouldn’t provide. The 237 interviews for the book Killer Nurse don’t include the information obtained by social media.
As it turned out, I was correct that it wouldn’t be easy to convict her. One of the huge problems the district attorney and detectives had was two witnesses saw Saenz inject patients with bleach. They also had scientific evidence that backed up what the witnesses said. The problem: the ones injected with the bleach that time, lived. The most she could be charged with in Texas was aggravated assault—a serious charge, but investigators thought she’d murdered several people.
The lead detective collected a lot of evidence—more than most would, and some might have even thought too much. But there is seldom too much ever collected. Because he went the extra mile in the investigation, prosecutors ended up with evidence to convict her of five murders and three aggravated assaults.
In Killer Nurse, I detail the extraordinary efforts the detective and the prosecutor went through to bring Kimberly Clark Saenz to justice and convict her in one of the most unique murder cases in history. This was the first time, at least in the United States, that someone used bleach as a murder weapon—a weapon at first blush that appeared to be a perfect one.
You can find more about John and his writing via…
If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog (the spotlights are option (a)) or email me for details.
** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!
or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel, which is being serialised on Novel Nights In!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.
As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.