Author: Richard Bruns

Publisher: Twin Feather Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9831665-5-9

Richard Brun, author of I, A Squealer, is a regular guy who just happened to be friends with the man he writes about in this short book. This story is set in Tucson Arizona in the 1960’s. It is a true story about two friends who finally went their separate ways. One in Prison and the other on with his life, but never forgetting what times they shared.

Charles Schmid is the young man this story highlights. He was an ordinary guy to most from outside his small circle of friends. Richard Brun and he shared many secrets. Richard admired him because many in their town looked up to him and thought he was pretty cool and he felt fortunate to be considered his close friend. He also feared him because he knew of his darkest secrets and kept them until he nearly went mad himself.

Two young pals and some friends date girls and hang out. Charles had a dark side the most did not get to see, but those who did had much to fear. He was jealous of his women and openly fought with them. He claimed to love them deeply, but his love led to the death of at least three young girls before he was turned in by his good friend and confidant, Richard.

While reading this book I was struck by how seemingly calm and in control Charles appeared to be in the midst of his premeditated killing spree. Obviously teetering on the precipice of sanity and insanity he managed to keep his friends, continue to date, and also control those in his inner circle to some degree. Richard was half insane when he felt that Charles was plotting to kill his girlfriend, Kathy. Previously she had dated Charles and seeing how jealous he had been with other women made Richard fear for Kathy’s life. After camping outside of her home her family finally sought an injunction that made it impossible for Charles to be in close proximity to her. This made him even more uptight and pensive for her protection.

As Charles planned and ultimately killed these three young women he also bragged to Richard about doing it and one time he even took Richard to see where he had dumped the bodies “out in the open”. Richard was aghast and decided to finally turn Charles in for doing these crimes. Charles tried to turn the tide by telling the authorities that it was Richard and not he who had killed these girls, but the police learned otherwise from other people who Charles had, at one time or another, told about or brought along as he killed. As the bodies were recovered and evidence stacked up it was harder and harder for Charles to deny he was the killer. Ultimately he was convicted and sentenced to death, but he would never quite make it to death row because other prisoners got to him first.

Read it in the daylight. I did because I feared it would create bad dreams. I cannot say that I enjoyed reading about a young man so deranged that he killed innocent girls, but it was insightful. In the end Richard asks that people who do such heinous crimes not be imprisoned, but instead be studied. I can see the benefits of studying these disturbed people and believe that many credible psychologists and psychiatrists do this and learn a lot about how they can so callously go about killing, but I do not think it is possible to rehabilitate them and reenter them into society as normal human beings. Don’t take my words for it. Please draw your own conclusions.