I’m of the belief that a good murder story should put you out of commission for a while. There is a storyworld to journey into, and it is a doozy. But most of what we get on a day-to-day basis is just cheap entertainment: lurid play-by-plays and gleeful reveling in the perpetrator’s villainy. In one of my favorite murder stories of 2012, Vanessa Veselka writes, ”It seems our profound fascination with serial killers is matched by an equally profound lack of interest in their victims.” The unifying theme of my 2012 picks is simply that these pieces honor the stories of the people who were wronged.
Delving into a murderer’s mind, not for kicks but for understanding
• “After the Massacre” by Lee Hancock (Dart Society)
The long view of Fort Hood, as seen by both the victims’ families and the shooter’s family
An anatomy of a wrongful execution