2004 Texas Book Festival Panel
"Inside the Mind of a Killer"
Michael McGarrity, Gary Lavergne, and David Lindsey
Gary M. Lavergne, Moderator
Good afternoon. I am Gary Lavergne and was a featured author for the 1997, 1999, and 2003 Texas Book Festivals. Today I have the honor and pleasure of moderating this session, entitled "Inside the Mind of a Killer."
What brings a person to the point of murder? For many years now I have tried to go Inside the Minds of Killers--only to unashamedly admit to being more confused than ever. Elsewhere, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, neuro-surgeons, criminologists, medical examiners, and law enforcement officers throughout the country enter that realm on a daily basis--and in our country--ultimately, real decisions about the mind of any given killer are made by common people serving on a jury, who have to sift through it all.
The wide spectrum of ideas that seek to explain murder best illustrates the extent of disagreement. On one end is the position that anyone who has reached a point where they take the life of another person is, by definition, out of control, and thus, not responsible for their actions. On the other end is the belief that everyone should be judged solely by what they have done--not why they did it--no excuses.
In the course of drawing conclusions while writing non-fiction, or developing characters while writing fiction, true crime and mystery writers face these moral dilemmas. Some writers do their homework, some do not. Discerning readers know the difference.
Today, we are fortunate to have two who do their homework.