It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these. I’ve built up a lot of things, but I’ve actually felt a little weird about posting some of it. I’ve censored myself a fair bit, just because it’s getting to the point now where I feel like it’s easier to see where the story is going, so I don’t want people to see these as spoilers. A lot of this stuff I’m researching is either incredibly minor information, information that it’s really only for me to know about what’s going, or information that I ultimately don’t even use. Most of it, honestly, are related to incidental factoids and off handed comments. Very little of what I research is directly related to major story points.
I’m writing two stories at the same time right now (don’t ask why, I don’t know. I just keep going back and forth between them) so I’m kind of all over the place with my research. A lot of this was for the Vickie story that I just published as well.
Cleveland Torso Murders (supposedly there’s a theory that the unknown serial killer who dismembered a bunch of people in Cleveland in the 50s is the same person who killed Elizabeth Short. The brutality of the crime seems to be about on par, but they seem far more… random. Like, the Black Dahlia murder strikes me as very deliberate and methodical. Her hair was washed and her blood was drained and the cuts and dismemberment seemed to have purpose. The Torso Murders appear, to me, to be just kind of hack and slash. But I don’t know enough about it to have a reputable opinion on it.)
Peter Kürten (German serial killer in the 20s. I guess this wasn’t directly related but sort of tangential to the fucked up stuff I was already researching. I’d heard the Randy Newman song In Germany Before the War a thousand times before and never knew what it was about. Turns out it was about this dude. Randy Newman is awesome and all the haters can eat a row of dicks.
Oh, and one more thing about Peter Kurten… apparently he was executed by guillotine and his mummified head is on display at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum in Wisconsin. WTF is up with Wisconsin?
Still trying to figure out how filming 16mm in color with sound (Cinecolor was a 16mm format with sound used in the 40s and 50s. That works. That’s feasible.)
Prostitutes in Glendale, California (for some reason I’ve set a lot of my story in Glendale. I have no connection to Glendale and I can’t even say for sure that I’ve ever even been there. If I have, I certainly don’t remember it. For whatever reason, it’s where a lot of the vampire action is taking place. I guess it seemed like a good middle of the road Los Angeles suburb. Not a complete ghetto but not very nice either. I was curious about prostitutes in Glendale (you know, for a thing) so I googled “Glendale, Ca prostitutes” and got a bunch of Yelp reviews about places in Glendale that mention the word “prostitutes” and it’s pretty great. So yes, it appears that Glendale has it’s share of sex workers)
The Le Brea Tar Pits (is it a good place to hide a body? Well, fairly recently the LAPD sent a diver into the pits to recover evidence from a murder investigation, so apparently they aren’t the bottomless pit I want them to be. But fuck it, I’m hiding a body there anyway. The LAPD isn’t the boss of me)
The MacArthur Park tunnels (apparently after the song was written, MacArthur Park went downhill and became a cesspool of gangs and junkies. Apparently Anthony Kedis wrote the song Under the Bridge about a tunnel in MacArthur park. Seems like another good place to stash a body)
Can you die of carbon monoxide poisoning riding in the trunk of a car for two hours? (It’s possible but also might be alright. Either way, it’s not a good idea to ride around in the trunk of a car. It’s also not a good idea to get your throat cut open by vampires, but here we are)
Improvisational theater (was it around in the 40s? Well, “improv” as a comedy performance technique really got started in the 40s, but improv theater has been around since pretty much the dawn of time)
Vicks VapoRub (when it came out, when it came into use. 1890s. Good to go)
Rapist vs Raper (George R.R. Martin has me all confused about the word “rapist” because in the Song of Fire and Ice books, they never use the word rapist, and only use the word “raper” to describe someone who has raped another person. Aside from the fact that this subject comes up enough in those books to notice a clear trend,it got me wondering about the etymology of the word. Apparently, the word “rapist” didn’t actually really come into use until the 40s, as I’m reading it. So I guess before that, raper was the normal use. I’m assuming. I got a lot of mixed information on it. Either way, I’m going to stick with rapist just so people don’t think I’m riding on George’s rape-tails)
Castle Alley (an alley in Whitechapel where one of the ripper victims was found. I’m going to have to dive headfirst into Ripper history before too long)
Dopamine (just how it works and what it does. It’s stuff I already knew, but I needed to check my info)
Syphilis (bad shit, but not easily transmittable via blood, so not relevant)
Malaria (also bad shit. Transferable by blood but mostly cured in the western world, so only partially relevant)
Smallpox (super bad shit, but also cured and also not transmitted by blood. It’s actually transmitted by just being near someone who has it, which is scary as shit)
Mulholland Drive (the road itself, not the amazing David Lynch movie. Specifically what freeway you can see from it. The Ventura Freeway AKA the 101)