Obsessed with true crime. Write about parenting a child with ASD, writing tips, life issues & more. Also a writing coach — https://www.patreon.com/samharnold

True Crime

Did she take her life or was she murdered in one of the most sinister hotels in the world?

Elisa Lam — Picture in public domain

During my travels, I have stayed in some pretty grotty hotels. I have never though, stayed in anything like the Cecil Hotel. Can you imagine bathing and drinking odd coloured water and then realising it was because a dead body was contained in the water tank. It is an incident symbolic of a Stephen King book. However, this happened to more than 100 patrons of the hotel.

Holiday Plans

The body that was found in the water tank was that of Elisa Lam. She was a 21-year-old student from Canada. Her parents were immigrants from Hong Kong. Lam like many of us…


True Crime

Graham Young poisoned his work colleagues, but this wasn’t his first arrest for poisoning.

Graham Young — Photo in Public Domain

Are you reading this at work during the break, do you have a cuppa beside you? Did you make it yourself or did the office junior make it for you? Does it taste strangely bitter? I ask, because that is exactly what happened to the workers at a photographic instruments company, Hadlands in Bovington.

The bitter taste that accompanied their morning cuppa was thallium, placed in there by Graham Young the tea boy. Young went on to become one of Britains many serial killers and earned the nickname The Teacup Poisoner. However, poisoning the good folk of Hadlands wasn’t his…


Parenting

If you question if you are a good parent, then you are a great parent.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

This weekend I was searching for a post idea and I came across a video from a friend of mine from New Zealand. She is a brilliantly talented artist but has been hit with imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome for those that don’t know is the time you think you are not good enough at something. You shouldn’t count yourself in the same group as others. As a writer, this happens to me often.

The area this happens the most to me though is in parenting. Daily I consider whether I am doing a good enough job for my family. I…


True Crime

When Stephen Akinmurele, broke into the Boardman house, he had no idea it would end his reign of terror.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Eric Boardman was seventy-seven when he lost his life. He did not die without a fight. With every last breath, he fought for both himself and his wife. He was found by his daughter under a wardrobe in his hallway. His wife was found on the living room floor. Both had been viciously beaten and strangled. For his courage and act of bravery, Eric received the civilian honor of valor, posthumously. His act of courage was not completely in vain, during the struggle, evidence was left at the scene which would go on and convict his killer. It would also…


True Crime

One of the most infamous unsolved cases. Was it murder, arson, kidnapping or a tragic accident?

Sodder House — Public domain

It was Christmas Eve in 1945 in Fayetteville, West Virginia. The Sodder children were excited about the present opening of the following day. The five middle children: Maurice (14), Martha (12), Louis (9), Jennie (8) and Betty (5) had persuaded their mother, Jennie, to let them stay up later. She went to bed with George, their father. At 1230 Jennie woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. She went downstairs to answer it. On the end was a woman she didn’t recognise, she could hear laughter in the background and clinking glasses.

After hanging the phone up she…


Book Review — No Visible Injuries, Sylvia Clare

It is rare on this newsletter that I recommend anything. When I come across something worth it though I will. No Visible Injuries is a book that everyone should read.

It is a memoir dedicated to the life of Sylvia Clare and her survival against all the odds. Sylvia grew up with a mother who had NPD ( Narcissistic personality disorder. ) This is the story of her treatment as a child and the resulting PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) she suffered as an adult. This is also a story of love, and how it helped her heal.

When I…


News

The bravery of women should come with male support

Wikipedia — Public Domain

The latest Hollywood A-lister to have to face up to their behaviour is Joss Whedon. Following Ray Fisher, standing up about the toxic environment Whedon created on the set of Justice League, Charisma Carpenter has come forward to support him.

Charisma was famous for playing Cordelia Chase on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off show Angel. As an avid Buffy and Angel fan, Cordelia was my favourite character. I remember her leaving Angel and the strange direction the show took afterwards.

In an act of extreme bravery, she has spoken about her experiences in this statement.


True Crime

Mary Ann Cotton was known as the black widow.

\the ledgeand, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

For more than a century, Mary Ann Cotton was the most prolific serial killer in UK history, until Harold Shipman surpassed her victim count in 2000. She was described as beautiful, charming and ultimately deadly. Gaining her the nickname Black Widow, after the deadly spider.

It has been suggested that Cotton killed at least 21 people, many of these were her children or husbands. Records show that she had at least 13 children during her life, only 2 of these outlived her. Similar to Mary Ann Bateman, a serial killer 100 years before, her weapon of choice was arsenic poisoning…


Writing Tips

How do we ensure we get the point over to our reader, without wasting their time?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Most writers, write because they love words. Doesn’t mean you have to use them all in one article though. There is an art to being succinct at stating your points. If we are to respect the readers of our work, then we need to get to the point.

Writing should be for the reader, not the writer. Everything you do should have the reader at the centre of your work. You might want to use extravagant words, but does it improve the message you want to portray. If it doesn’t, stick to writing at an eighth-grade level.

I’m not advocating…


True Crime

Can we add the Chillenden Murders to his body count?

Screenshot from BBC Documentary 2017 — Doc : Levi Bellfield — Serial Killer Research Documentary

Levi Bellfield was born on 17th May 1968 and is a serial killer and sex offender. He was found guilty on the 25th February 2008 of murdering Marsha McDonnell and Amelia Delagrange. He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. He was sentenced to a whole life order.

On the 23rd June 2011, he was also convicted of the murder of Milly Dowler. This murder classified him as a serial killer and sentenced him to his second life order. He is the only serial killer in UK history to have two life orders.

Who is Levi Bellfield

Bellfield was born in…

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