I’ve recently been reading ‘The Man in the Rockefeller Suit’ by Mark Seal after having finished “Blood will Out” by Walter Kirn. The subject of both of these books is a serial imposter, con-man and murderer who called himself, variously, Chris Chichester, Chris Crow and Clark Rockefeller. His real name is Christian Gehartsreiter and he is originally from a small town in Bavaria, Germany.
The story is fascinating, but Gehartsreiter is obviously a deeply disturbed narcissist who lies compulsively, even when everyone else knows the truth. Maybe he is the consummate real world doppelganger. Maybe he was such a convincing con-man because he actually believes the con. The most interesting part of the story is no one other than Gehartsreiter really knows what his motivations in spending his life impersonating rich people beyond the obvious (wealth and fame). His need to pretend he was someone else seems compulsive.
There’s a fantastic horror story lurking in here — perhaps a kind of diseased monster that resembles a human so closely that no one can tell the difference — not even the monster itself?
The other day I posted that Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, had died and I mentioned that I had done a drawing of him but couldn’t find the scan. Well, I discovered that I had never finished the Ramirez drawing; I started it over a year ago, then set it aside and forgot about it. This weekend I finished it:
I like the ‘rotten teeth’ border and think the likeness is pretty good — not sure about the pentagram on the forehead, though — might have to white that out.
Richard Ramirez, aka the “Night Stalker,” has died in San Quentin. I did some drawings of him a while back; I’ll have to find them and scan them for public consumption. Bet it’s hot as hell down there, eh Richie?
In the meanwhile, here are drawings of Albert Fish and Earle Leonard Nelson I did a while back:
Another drawing I did of a serial killer: Earle Leonard Nelson (1897-1928). Nelson was nicknamed ‘The Dark Strangler’ and ‘The Gorilla Man’ by the press:Nelson was called ‘The Gorilla Man’ because he strangled women and usually stashed the corpse in some out of the way place in the victim’s own home before leaving (an M.O. that apparently reminded some newspaper readers of Poe’s story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue“). He eluded capture for over a year, murdering at least 22 women across the U.S. and Canada. He preyed mostly upon women who ran boarding houses or who wanted to rent rooms to lodgers. He was well spoken and polite, ofter claiming to be a weary traveler who needed a place to stay. When he got a woman alone, he would attempt to convince them to look at the ceiling, saying something like, “Is that water damage? I think that plaster is about to go…” and then grab them from behind and strangle them. After she passed out, he would knot a cord, cloth or clothing tightly around her neck and then have sex with the corpse. After stealing cash and valuables, he would visit pawn shops, second hand clothing stores and barber shops and change his appearance before moving on.
His early life is filled with examples of bizarre behavior, but, when traveling or setting up a victim, he was always polite and well spoken and made a favorable impression on people. He enjoyed talking at length about religion and usually carried a Bible.
Nelson was skilled at picking locks and slipping away. A Canadian sheriff captured Nelson and put him in a cell fastened with two padlocks. After the deputy left the room for less than two minutes, Nelson picked the locks and escaped. He was recaptured the next day and handcuffed; Nelson was able to slip out of the handcuffs right in front of his captors and hand them back with a smirk.
When he was hanged in Winnipeg for the two murders he had committed in Canada, Nelson maintained he was innocent and claimed to have never visited many of the cities in which murders credited to him took place.
Recommended reading: Bestial by Harold Schecter (2004)
Here is another drawing of one of the world’s most evil people, Albert Fish. I’ve been working on drawings of Fish and Peter Kürten lately; Fritz Haarmann, Peter Stubbe, Armin Meiwes, Alfred Packer and Andrei Chikatilo and others are all eventually due for their portrait.
Besides murdering and eating people, Fish felt compelled to shove needles so deep into his gootch that he could not pull them back out; there were 25+ needles and pins permanently embedded in his pelvis when he died. Fish was executed by electric chair in Sing Sing prison in 1936. Rumor has it that his crotch lit up like a Christmas tree covered in blue lights when the juice hit him because of all of the metal in there, but that can’t be true, can it?
Dylan Williams, founder of Sparkplug comics, is battling a serious case of cancer and his friends have contributed artwork for sale on ebay to help pay for his treatment. If you have some extra money burning a hole in your pocket, go here and bid away. I already placed my meager bids and saw the prices rise beyond my pathetic limit, so, since I can’t pay what I think some of these artworks are worth to help, I’ll just try to spread the word.
Edit (9/12/2011): I just read here that Dylan Williams died this weekend. R.I.P.
I don’t know Dylan personally, but have a couple Sparkplug books in my collection (they have published books by both Chris Cilla and Tom Neeley; artists I admire)… plus I was in Dylan’s shoes several years ago (cancer + bills = serious stress). Thirteen years later I think I’m only alive because of the help and support of family and friends (as well as some creative treatment options thought up by my care provider).
If anyone wins that mask at right, I’ll trade you something for it. It looks like a cross between an Ultraman space villain and an African mask; I just love it.
In other news, I just finished reading “Deranged” by Harold Schecter. This is the story of Albert Fish, the serial killer/cannibal/pedophile/sadist/masochist/child murderer/every other horrible thing you can think of who was executed for the murder of a 10 year old girl in NYC in the 1930s. Creepy.
Edit: Here is a very NSFW drawing I made about Albert Fish. Note that Albert Fish was a seriously fucked up dude; don’t click if you are offended by images of masturbating old men whipping themselves.