Too Close to Home
Over the past several months I have come across four people who have had direct personal experience with a murder in their lives. One is an old friend, the others new acquaintances. Each story, as told to me by the person who lived it, was riveting. But I couldn’t help ask myself what were the odds? How could four more or less random people in my life all have had a murderer cross the path of a loved one? And then I realized I was one of them. At my high school reunion this past June I discovered that someone I grew up with was brutally murdered recently. And then thinking back on it, when I lived in Los Angeles years ago, a woman I knew through friends was strangled to death on a trip to Mexico: that brought the total to six. The frequency was alarming.
This series of events triggered several thoughts. If statistically murder is rare, how could I know of at least six cases that touched me and/or the lives of people in my orbit? But then, the other day, I stumbled on an article that said that if the current crime rate continues, one out of every 179 Americans will eventually be murdered. Could this be the fate that awaits so many of my fellow countrymen; that awaits me?
My debut crime thriller Premonition was meant in large part to be a tribute to all the murder victims we covered during my time at Court TV and on the Nancy Grace show. I included more than twenty true cases in the narrative to give the book a touch of realism. I tried to show the effect covering murder cases has on the producers. And yet when I wrote the book I believed murder to be rare: few and far between. I chalked my own obsession up to cases I heard about as a child growing up in the New York City area. And now as an adult, after covering crime for nearly twenty years, it seems my childhood fears are being validated.
In interview after interview, I repeatedly noted that murder is statistically rare. But now I’m not so sure. So what can the average person do to stay safe and beat the odds? After covering almost every major high-profile murder case in America, I believe the answer can be found in my novel. The cases I included in the book, in hindsight, provide the clues. Stay tuned for the sequel coming 2023!
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