Richard Chizmar is Chasing The Boogeyman

In his novel, Chasing The Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar is the main character. The book is fiction, superbly written as true crime. The setting and Chizmar’s life events in the story are real, but the rest of the story comes from the imagination of a great writer.

I became so involved with the story I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction. The book follows the hunt for a masked murderer, known as the Boogeyman. With rich detail to the area (Chizmar’s hometown of Edgewood, Maryland) and the nostalgia of the ’80’s, the reader is transported back to a more innocent time only to be reminded that innocence can sometimes be stolen.

As mentioned above, the book is written in the true crime format. And with plenty of “crime scene” photos to set the mood, this novel is the work of a master storyteller.

With Chasing The Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar gives us all we want and more.

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary was the first Stephen King novel I ever read, and since then, I’ve read everything he’s written. He makes you care about the characters. He makes you feel their surroundings, breathe the air, and then he punches you right in the gut with the scary stuff.

With Pet Sematary, he made us believe that it’s possible to bring back those you love. But, it’s not always best to do so.

When faced with choices in traumatic situations, our judgement is sometimes flawed. And that makes for good horror. Human error, arrogance, or plain selfishness, are all great driving forces for horror stories. We have all experienced at least one of those three things at one time or another. That’s what makes us human, and vulnerable.

I’ve read many horror novels over the years, but to this day, Pet Sematary is still the scariest novel I’ve ever read. There are other great horror novels, but to me, Pet Sematary stands out the most.

Every time I read it (I’ve read it a few times), the picture it paints in my mind is too dark for any canvas. It’s art in its purest form—words on a page that scare the hell out of you. And that’s what horror is all about.


By Jim Graves

He stared into her eyes. To him it was the most intimate thing you could share with someone, staring them in the eye. It gave you an insight to the person’s soul. Or so he thought.

There were three stages to this. The first was shock. They couldn’t believe someone was actually trying to strangle them. This was the stage that involved the most resistance. The fighting and kicking. But once he had hold, well, it was pretty much onto the next stage.

Fear. That’s when their eyes open wider and they finally realize they can’t breathe. That was his favorite stage. To see that look of fear mixed with surprise. The struggling, the guttural sounds fighting to make way from their throats. He was no rapist but he definitely got pleasure from this. Their life was literally in his hands. For the next six minutes – give or take – he was God. He could allow them to live or he could and would take their life. What a rush.

It takes between thirty seconds and one minute of pressure for someone to pass out. And another four and a half to five minutes of constant pressure to ensure death. It’s not for the weak. You have to be in shape to strangle someone. You also have to be mentally strong. You’ve come too far to back out. If they survive, you’re looking at at least ten years in prison. His motto was, never start what you’re not going to finish. He always finished.

The third stage is acceptance. They realize there is nothing they can do and they just give up. Well, actually, they pass out. Same thing in his book. If they really wanted to live they would have fought harder, right? Right.

But his attention was always drawn to the eyes. You can actually see them change color. Not just the whites of their eyes, which will become bloodshot from the blood vessels bursting, no, the eyes will actually start to fade a little, lose color. And eventually, if you watch closely, you can see them start to turn a pale shade of gray. He always preferred to call that the death stare. The eyes are open but not for business. When you see that shade of gray, that’s when you know you’re straddling a dead body.

They’re so perfect at that point. No faults. No judging. No lies. Just perfect human beings, albeit dead, but still. He had strangled forty-seven at last count, but he never was any good at keeping count. You don’t really worry about the numbers when you enjoy what you’re doing. You just do it for the sake of doing it and go on with your life. After all, isn’t that what life is all about? Make time for the things you enjoy. If not for that, life would be pretty dull, wouldn’t it?

Death Of A Porn Star by Jim Graves

He was concentrating, thinking of baseball, golf. It wasn’t working. He slowed down. Nope. It was going to happen. And it did. It was obvious to anyone who had been in the business for a while.

“Cut!” The director yelled. “What the fuck, man? You just blew the money shot. You get paid for the goddamned money shot, you know that, right?”

“Sorry, I got excited,” Hank said.

“You got excited? What is this, your senior fucking prom?”

“Fuck you. You can’t talk to me that way. I’m a star,” Hank said.

“A star? Do you believe the ego on this guy?” The director said to no one in particular. “You’re nothing but a dick in a gonzo. The people want to see the girl. They want to see the girl getting fucked. And they want to see the cum on her tits. They don’t care who you are. You’re just the dick. Your days of being a star are long gone. You need to get that through both heads.”

“Fuck this shit, I’m out of here,” Hank said.

“Go on and leave. You know how much you made today?” The director said. “Not a goddamn dime. You think you’re the only nine inch dick in town? There are guys waiting in line to take your place. And they’re a hell of a lot younger than you. The choices for old timers like you are few and far between and you just blew your chance of ever working with me again.”

“He came inside me.” The girl said. “Am I gonna be okay?”

“Yeah. He’s clean. He’s just a prima donna asshole.”

Hank stormed to the closet that was used as a dressing room.

No one talked to him like that. Anyone who had been in the business long enough, knew you treated the talent with respect. He was Hank Buttler. The name alone deserved respect. More than twenty years in the business. He had been featured in Porn Superstars Of The ‘90’s, goddammit!

After he dressed, he left through the back door and got into his ‘72 Camaro. Turned the key and stomped on the accelerator on his way out of the parking lot. Macho anger. He had been in the business since the eighties, when he left his home in Arkansas. He knew then if he made it out to California, he would be a star. He was right. And he was still a star, in his own mind. Time has a way of changing things. Stars fall.

He was pulled over less than a block from the parking lot. Speeding. It’s one thing to live a lifestyle, but it’s a whole other when reality slaps you in the face.

Hank handed his license to the officer. His license did not read, ‘Hank Buttler, Porn Superstar’. No. It read his real name. Harold Jarvis. Plain and simple. Just like any other work-a-day Joe. That’s reality. Harsh and to the point.

“You were doing seventy in a forty-five,” the officer said.

“Yeah. I was a little pissed off,” Hank said. “Do you know who I am?”

“Well, according to the name on your license, you’re Harold Jarvis.” The officer said. “Is that correct?”

“Legally, yes. That’s my real name, but I go by the name, Hank Buttler, two t’s,” Hank said. “Adult film star. I’m sure you’ve heard of me.”

“I don’t watch that shit. It it were up to me, they’d run all you people out of the valley. It gives us a bad name.” The officer said. “Sign here,” he said, handing the ticket back to Hank. “Be in court on the tenth.”

The officer handed his license back and turned and walked back to his car.

“I’m Hank Buttler,” Hank yelled out through his opened window, “you’ve never heard of me?”

The officer pulled back onto the street and drove away.

“I’m Hank Buttler, goddammit,” Hank whispered.

He drove back to his one bedroom apartment on Tulsa Street. How long would he still be living here? He tried to push the thought from his mind as he walked inside and saw the message light blinking on his phone. He smiled.

He closed the door with a swing of his hand and headed toward the phone. Yeah, he was being called back. He had been in the business long enough to know that they would always call the talent back once they knew what they had lost.

His smile faded as the automated voice told him his cable was being disconnected due to non-payment.

“Fuck everybody!” His voice echoed through the small apartment he had been living in for the last twenty years. Sometimes sharing it with women, but most times, not. Relationships in the business, usually didn’t last long. Unless you could come to an understanding with others who worked in the industry, you were more or less labeled a whore, male or female. You fucked for a living.

The phone rang again. Hank hesitated.

“Yeah?” He said as he grabbed up the receiver.

“Mr. Buttler?” The voice said.

“Are you a bill collector? I really don’t have time for your..”

“Mr. Buttler, please hear me out.” The voice said.

“Who is this? I don’t have time for any bullshit,” Hank said.

“Oh, I agree completely, Mr. Buttler. Or should I call you, Mr. Jarvis?” The voice said.

Hank waited. He didn’t know what to say. They had used his real name.

He finally answered, “Buttler is my name. Hank Buttler. Two t’s.”

“Yes, I know. I just want you to feel comfortable.”

“You need to tell me your name,” Hank said.

“For now, you can call me Pete,” the voice said. “And I’m offering you an opportunity, Mr. Buttler.”

“Hey, I’m always open for opportunities,” Hank said.

“This one is a little different than those you have been offered before,” Pete said.

“Okay, let’s get this straight, I don’t do gay stuff. Okay?”

“Oh, no. That would never be acceptable,” Pete said.

“Well, then, let’s talk,” Hank said.

“Mr. Buttler, what I’m offering will last an eternity,” Pete said.

“Not sure I understand,” Hank said. “Can we meet somewhere for drinks or something?”

“I can arrange that,” Pete said.

“Cool,” Hank said, “I’m free tomorrow at about…”

“How about now?” Pete said.


It suddenly grew dark in the apartment, except for one light shining at the end of the hallway, leading to the bedroom. No sunlight shone through the blinds. A shrouded figure appeared before Hank, floating in front of him. A long flowing beard on the face of a thousand and more years.

“You’re Pete?” Hank said.

“Yes, Mr. Jarvis, I’m Peter. Keeper of The Gate.”

“Wait. Why am I seeing you? This is a dream.”

“No dream, Mr. Jarvis. Or, Mr. Buttler, as you prefer. No dream,” Peter said.

“You’re telling me I’m dead?” Hank said.

“Yes. You died two hours ago. Not long after you came home. A mixture of pills and alcohol. It wasn’t intentional. You would never take your own life. You loved yourself too much for that,” Pete said. “You remind me of that song, what was it? ‘You’re so vain’? Yes, that’s it.”

“It’s your choice, Mr. Jarvis. Your time to choose.”

“What choice do I have? You never even listened to my side of the story. You didn’t give me a chance to explain.”

“Explanations are made by decisions. If one had the chance to explain life choices then it would take an eternity to listen. One decides ones fate day by day. The choices made decide their fate. That is only fair, is it not?”

“No,” Hank said, “it’s not fair. What has God ever done for me? A father who never had anything to do with me. A fucked up childhood. Stepfathers who treated me like shit. Relationships that never lasted. What has He done for me?”

“You, like so many others, ask for so much. But did you ever give?” Peter asked. “Did you ever give thanks for the times of warmth when you were cold? Did you ever give thanks for anything?”

“No, I didn’t,” Hank said. “I was angry for the things I never had. He wants so much but gives so little in return.”

“Last offer, Mr. Jarvis,” Peter said. “I would take it.”

“No. I’m good,” Hank said.

“Fair enough,” Peter said.

Hank hit the button on his alarm at eight a.m., showered and dressed. He drove to the set to start the same day over again. It would never end.

July 14, 1962

by Jim Graves

Little Eva belted out her hit single, ‘The Locomotion’. Bill’s sister always had her portable record player on the front porch on those summer Saturdays, playing her records and dancing along.

Bill sat and watched from the porch swing. He liked the music and there was not much else to do that could keep a kid out of trouble during those lazy hot days. He could hear them arguing inside the house. Hard as he tried to block the sound—focusing on the music—he could still hear them. They always argued when they thought no one was listening. But Bill always listened.

He knew his stepfather was not a nice man. Even though everyone else thought he was a good man, Bill knew him for what he was. A user. A man who took advantage of everyone’s kindness. Someone who took advantage of situations. And in their case, a single mom with two kids? What better situation for one of his kind?

The record continued to play and Bill tried to keep his thoughts on the music as he waited for the argument to end. When he heard a door slam, he got up from the porch swing and went inside.

His stepfather sat in the dining room, eating a bowl of buttermilk and cornbread. Bill had always found that to be disgusting. But then again, he felt the same about his stepfather.

By the age of twelve, Bill had formed more than a few opinions of the world and those who filled it. These opinions were not all good. His stepfather fell into the not good category.

“Sounds like y’all are having a real party out there. Need to turn it down some. A man can’t think with all that damn noise.” His stepfather continued spooning the slop into his mouth.

Bill shrugged his shoulders and went into the kitchen. He had originally gone in for a drink of water, but during the fifteen seconds between the front door and the kitchen, his mind had taken on a whole new perspective as he heard the saxophone solo from the record. He found himself staring at the dish drainer. Turning on the tap, he filled a glass with cold water and drank.

Earlier in the day, he had noticed what looked like a bruise on his mother’s upper arm, partially hidden by the sleeve of her blouse. He had never seen his stepfather put his hands on her, but he had heard things. He had heard enough to know that sometimes their arguments became physical. The one time he had mentioned it to his mother, she had told him everything was fine and to not worry. But he did worry.

Bill finished his water, sat the empty glass down on the counter, and took a knife from the dish drainer. Walking back into the dining room from the kitchen, he grabbed his stepfather’s forehead from behind, and stabbed the knife into his neck, leaning into his ear, whispering, “You’re mean to my mother.” He shoved the knife deeper, pushed forward and twisted the blade as his stepfather struggled to stand, his feet sliding on the linoleum flooring. Bill tightened his grip on both the knife and his stepfather’s head until the man finally collapsed—lifeless—in the chair.

Bill smiled, in his blood stained T-shirt, returning to the front porch and his seat on the swing. He laughed and clapped his hands, trying to keep time with the music as blood puddled beneath a chair in the dining room.

The Snow by Flint Maxwell

“This is how the world ends: with a single snowflake.”-The Snow.

I love getting books for Christmas. If you’re looking for a nice Christmas tale, this isnt it. But, if you’re looking for a novel that will keep you guessing and wondering what’s coming next, “The Snow” is one you surely don’t want to miss.

Flint Maxwell has created characters that make you laugh and make you care, and he has put those characters right in the middle of one of the strangest snowstorms ever, in July!

“The Snow” is book #1 in the Whiteout series. A great book from a great writer.