Television Serial Killers: No Such Thing as Typical (Part 1 – The Bad Seed)
My new book: “Skipping Childhood: A Novel” is one of the most unusual serial killer stories to come along. I would venture to say that my character is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to murderers. I guess that’s a good thing, at least it is in the movies. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is that there is no such thing as typical when it comes to serial killers on television.
I didn’t want to create a text book serial killer-type for my story. Instead, I made my book about a 12-year-old little black girl who solves her biggest problems by killing. The whole time I was writing the book, I had thoughts of Rhoda Penmark in my mind. She’s the little girl from the movie (and yes, it was even a book) called: “The Bad Seed.” In my book, I give a couple of shot outs to the movie, particularly the scene where my character is actually watching the The Bad Seed on television. My character even begins to worry that perhaps she is equally as disturbed as the girl in the movie.
Clearly, anyone who has enjoyed watching this classic would agree that Rhoda is not your typical serial killer. In fact, you probably don’t even think of her as a serial killer unless you take a moment and count up all the deaths that she was responsible for.
In many ways, the same thing is true about Deandra Baxter, the serial killer in Skipping Childhood. It’s really the body count that makes you stop and say, wow, she’s killed quite a few people! That’s when you stop looking at her as a poor adolescent having trouble in life and you see her for what she is; a bonafide serial killer.