Why Do We Kill?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday March 15, 2011
Contact: Stephen Janis
BALTIMORE HOMICIDE DETECTIVE JOINS AWARD-WINNING INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER AND NATIONAL CRIME WEBSITE TO PEER INTO THE MINDS OF KILLERS
Baltimore MD — Former Baltimore City homicide detective Kelvin Sewell has seen it all.
Gang members burned alive; a baby unceremoniously stuffed into the ground by its own mother; a sex offender who killed a child in a delusional jealous rage.
The constant grind of bearing witness to violent death has given Sewell an unprecedented perspective into the minds of killers.
He sat in the Baltimore Police Department’s interview room with 14-year-old Devon Richardson as the teen tried to explain why he shot a woman he didn’t know in the back of the head. He watched the father of 17-year-old Nicole Edmonds cry over the corpse of his dead daughter, murdered for a cellphone.
But now for the first time Sewell has decided to share the insights and the pain, the dehumanizing effects of crime and waves of psychic despair and social dysfunction in his groundbreaking book, Why Do We Kill?
“I think people deserve to know the truth,” said Sewell, a 20-year veteran of Baltimore City’s police department. “They need to get a sense of why people kill in Baltimore.
“I want people to see what we see as detectives,” he explained. “I think there are misconceptions about crime in Baltimore, and I hope this book will clear them up.”
The book recounts some of the most notorious homicide cases in Baltimore in the past decade, all told from the perspective of the cop who worked them.
Joining forces with Sewell is award-winning investigative reporter Stephen Janis, who covered City Hall for the now-defunct Baltimore Examiner and is founder of the award-winning news website Investigative Voice.
“What makes this book different is the collaborative voice,” said Janis. “Kelvin would discuss his thoughts on the cases and I then tried to tell the story by adding the context that comes naturally with being a reporter.”
Janis’s colleague at Investigative Voice, reporter and political scientist Alan Z. Forman, served as editor for the project.
Janis is no stranger to the Baltimore crime scene, winning a string of prestigious awards for his crime reporting, including two consecutive Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association awards in Category A for his series on the murders of sex workers and his investigation into the high number of unsolved killings in Baltimore.
The book is now available in mini digital e-book format, first featuring three homicide “case files.” Among them is the murder of Petro Taylor, a member of the notorious Baltimore Bounty Hunters gang, who was ruthlessly beaten by fellow gang members in a Reisterstown Road motel room and then driven to nearby Leakin Park where they stabbed him and burned him alive.
The “minibook” will be available in digital format only and will be followed by both a regular book and e-book release of the entire work, which will not only include more case files but a behind-the-scenes unvarnished look at the Baltimore City Police Department, making the critically acclaimed TV show “The Wire” seem relatively tame by comparison.
“We always used to say there are more problems inside police headquarters than on the streets,” said Sewell.
Throwing its marketing muscle behind the project is crime-data powerhouse SpotCrime, the largest crime-mapping company in the U.S.
Founded by Baltimore resident Colin Drane, SpotCrime provides up-to-the-minute interactive crime maps to communities around the world.
“This is simply a natural outgrowth of overall strategy, to give people direct access and knowledge of not only where crime occurs, but why,” said Janis.
This summer Sewell and Janis will be making appearances around the country to promote the book.
The mini e-books will be available on amazon.com next month, in April 2011.
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