Jana Monroe, a former FBI agent, found herself receiving a phone call from “The Co-Ed Killer.” In the early 1990s, she was part of the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit at Quantico, Virginia, and was not expecting to engage with the serial killer Edmund Kemper. This encounter left her shaken, as she recalled the chilling and creepy nature of Kemper’s voice.
Monroe, who was the inspiration for Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs,” wrote a memoir titled “Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI.” In this book, she delves into her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated FBI and the impact of some of the cases she consulted on, including those involving serial killers such as Kemper.
Kemper, also known as “Big Ed,” committed his first homicide at the age of 15, and later went on an 11-month killing spree in the ’70s, culminating in eight murders. Described as highly intelligent, with no conscience and diagnosed with schizophrenia, Kemper was able to mask his emotions and engage in conversations, a fact that may surprise the public.
Monroe’s encounters with other notorious serial killers, such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, provide a unique insight into their personalities and behaviors. She also shares her observations on Aileen Wuornos, a woman convicted of murdering six men and later executed.
The fascination with serial killers, Monroe reflects, stems from a morbid curiosity, comparing it to the way people can’t stop looking at a traffic accident. This book aims to shed light on the cases Monroe studied over the years, dispelling misconceptions about how serial killers look and behave.
The details shared by Monroe provide valuable insights into the psyche of these notorious figures, unraveling the mystery surrounding their actions and motivations without making broad or generic statements.