this day in crime history: may 26, 1977

Can you imagine doing this?

Nobody Move!

On this date in 1977, police in New York City arrested George “The Human Fly” Willig on the 110th floor of the World Trade Center. His crime? He climbed the South Tower from the outside. He accomplished this feat, which took him 3 1/2 hours, using clamps he had fashioned to fit into the channel that ran the entire height of the tower for window-washing equipment.

The City, sensing they had a new folk hero on their hands, decided against a hefty fine for Willig. Instead, he was fined $1.10 — one cent for every floor floor of the tower.

Further reading:

New York Press“WTC Climber George Willig Would Do It All Again”

GothamistGeorge Willig’s 1977 WTC Climb

Wikipedia – George Willig

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Review of “Bleed” by Ed Kurtz

Ed Kurtz
March 24, 2017
Trepidatio Publishing
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

You never forget your first house. Unlike apartment living or hiding in your parents’ basement, this is a big deal. Many people equate becoming “grown-ups” with owning their first house. Now when stuff breaks, or the lawn needs to be mowed, it’s all you. Nobody is going to take care of all the necessities anymore. It is also a vastly exciting time and Walt Blackmore has just purchased his first fixer-upper. He is super jazzed! Look at the classic lines, the gable front, the peeling paint, and rotting wood. Some folks really dig making their place personal by putting in the sweat equity. That is Walt to a T. He is happy to do the work and is excited for his new “grown-up” life. Soon Walt is going to be teaching ninth grade English and if the stars fall right, proposing to his girlfriend Amanda. Life is looking really good!

The only problem is that there’s this odd stain on the ceiling and no matter how Walt and Amanda try to clean it up, it keeps on coming back. Not only that, but the damn thing is growing and leaking blood all over everything. Talk about your first time home owner blues! Since they’re failing in their attack from below, Walt decides to try and clean things from the other side by getting up into the rickety attic. He sure does find some gross stuff, including some dead rats and other critters. Problem solved, right? Wrong! The dripping stain just gets bigger and smellier. It also seems to be…Alive?

Yes indeed folks, the stain comes to life and develops into much more. Not only that, it gains control of Walt’s already eccentric brain and chases off the girlfriend. Soon he’s a slave to the developing thing and has to keep coming up with ways to feed it. Problem is, the creature doesn’t want a bowl of mac n’ cheese or an egg sandwich. The only things it wants are live flesh and fresh blood. Since you can’t run down to the supermarket for that, Walt has to get creative and that lands him in a whole mess of trouble. He’s stuck living a duplicitous life of the genteel school teacher in public and a crazed murderer at home. That can be tough on a person and soon things start to slip.

Walt is so involved with his new companion that the rest of the world seems unimportant. He does his best to keep the charade going even though it is obvious that he’s on very thin ice. There are many times in the book that the reader will think that Walt is going to be caught for sure. But somehow the chips fall his way and he squeaks by. The result is strong suspense that kept me turning pages until two in the morning! Good stuff! I also found myself rooting for Walt and the monster instead of humanity a lot and then flipping back to the human side. Am I just a twisted freak or is it that Kurtz is such a good story teller? I’d like to think the latter.

Bleed is a great book and I highly encourage you to buy a copy soon, because once the secret gets out, it might be hard to find! This my first experience with the Trepidatio imprint and I am now a fan. Ed Kurtz really knows how to tell a twisted tale! He keeps messing with the reader all through the book. While your brain thinks it knows how things are going to turn out, the story goes running in the opposite direction. It works great, keeping you constantly off balance until the surprising conclusion of the book. Nicely done! Feels incredibly natural and possible. You’ve got to love small towns! They’re so…Tasty.

this day in crime history: may 18, 1927

I don’t like school tax increases either, but seriously? I just vote no and leave it at that!

Nobody Move!

On this date in 1927, Bath, MI became the scene of the largest school mass-murder in U.S. history. The massacre began when school board member Andrew Kehoe became upset over an increase in the school tax that he blamed for his financial ruination.

Kehoe began by killing his wife and detonating fire bombs in his farm buildings. While firefighters worked to put out the fires on Kehoe’s property, Kehoe went to the Bath Consolidated School, where he detonated bombs he had previously planted in the school.

Kehoe left the scene after the explosion, but returned a short while later. He saw the school superintendent standing outside the school watching rescue and recovery efforts and called to him. As the superintendent approached the car, Kehoe detonated a bomb inside the car. The blast killed Kehoe, the superintendent, two local men, and an 8 year old boy who had managed to escape…

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Black Lung Hay Fever- Short Story published at Aphotic Realm online

Check out this awesome story by S.E. Casey on Aphotic Realm!

S.E. Casey Author


My latest short story “Black Lung Hay Fever” (click title to read) is now online at Aphotic Realm.  A scarecrow and a small town engage in a silent, passive-aggressive chess match in a race to determine who is more evil.  Who wins the battle of quiet villany?

Aphotic Realm is a fairly new website whose motto is “Home for the strange and sinister”.  That really says it all and I am happy to place this particular story here as it fits their slogan.  Aphotic Realm has also featured me in an author spotlight on their homepage interviewing me about my story and writing background.  The interview can be read here ⇒ Aphotic Realm Author Interview – S.E. Casey.

Happy reading!

BlackLung_Color_update.png BLACK LUNG HAY FEVER – S.E. Casey story on Aphotic Realm

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It’s No Fun Writing a Bad Review


Burning Skull w flashing eyes

Yesterday, I finally turned in a review on a book that had been sent to me for that purpose. I’d been dragging my feet for a bit because frankly who wants to be the bearer of bad news, or “that asshole who gave me a bad review?” Not me! I really want to help the authors that I’m reviewing by offering a credible voice and showing people that are afraid to stray from the major publishing houses, how damn good Independent and Self published books are. Honestly, I often think the books I get to read are fresher, sharper, and Hey! Let’s just say it! BETTER than the books from the big three or four publishing companies.

Alright then. The bad review (which was pretty gentle) was for a book that violated what I think most of us hold up as the writer’s/artist’s/musician’s code. When we write books or stories or songs or create art, we spend a LOT of fucking time doing it. We want that thing which we are going to share with the world be the best possible representation of US. For writers, we do a million re-writes, have our friends read it, read it out loud to our pets. Basically, even if it’s a funny book, we don’t want to throw any old piece of trash out there. It has to be right and we drive ourselves nearly insane to make it so.

Enter The Unnamed Book (TUB). This is not the author of TUB’s first book, so we can’t blame it on that. TUB violated all that stuff. Tenses were wrong, spellings were wrong, and there was this odd deal of throwing random elements into the mix that was wrong. In Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” he talks about this stuff a lot and how it really pisses him off when he has to endure it. He talks about starting books that do these things, closing them and dropping them into the nearest bin. I remember reading his book and thinking, “C’mon man! Loosen up a little! Everybody can’t be as great as you!”

Until TUB came along. Then it was my turn to be annoyed. Obviously I do not hold the same stature in the literary world as Stephen King and I did agree to do the review. Usually reviews are fun for me and there’s lots of cool stuff to talk about. I want to interest the public in making a purchase without being a spoiler and I think I do a pretty good job at it. As a writer, I’ve certainly had plenty of hard rejections. I think my favorite so far had to be a note in red ink on my returned cover page that read, “We’re DEFINITELY NOT publishing this !!!” Well okay then! Message received!

Everybody hits a book they don’t like, but when you get a book that says to you, “Hey dude! I um…didn’t really feel like proofing this…BUT, it’s great! So here you go!” Plop! To those few people, my answer is: If it wasn’t worth the trouble for you to make your book worth reading to the rest of the world, then it’s not my responsibility to give it a good review! This isn’t a high school term paper, it’s the real world and if you don’t give a fuck about how your writing reads, then neither do I! There are way too many people writing awesome stuff that would appreciate a boost. So in the future, unless my editor insists there must be a review of a TUB, I will handle them in the same way Mr. King does.

Review of Mechanisms of Despair by Gary Buller

Mechanisms Of Despair cover shot

Mechanisms Of Despair
Gary Buller
March 31, 2017
Dead Man’s Tome
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis


There are a lot of cool things about Gary Buller’s new short story collection Mechanisms of Despair. So let’s plunge right in and check it out! Something very generous and kind hearted of all the people involved in this project is the fact that all the proceeds from sales of this very fine book or e-book are being donated to The Alzheimer’s Foundation USA and The Sarcoma Foundation UK. This means that every book you purchase is going to help people out. Both those who are fighting against bone and soft tissue cancer and those trying to stop the loss of people’s memories to the point of constant confusion and being unable to connect with their loved ones. These guys are using their dark fiction and art to help those who live a horror story every day but don’t have the option of just shutting a book and walking away from it. Big Hearts-Gary Buller-Jesse Dedman-Shawn Langley-Calvin Demmer and company. We and your families salute you!

The stunning cover art is the work of Shawn Langley and while it prepares you a bit for the contents inside Mechanisms Of Despair you still get a shock with story number one. The Way Out sets the tone with how this collection of stories is going to scare us readers and screw with our heads. A gent by the name of Dan is stuck in some kind of freaky hotel and is trapped in his room. He tries to appeal to other guests and passersby for help, but-they’re all scary freaks doing stuff like blowing their own heads off with shotguns and razor-blading their wrists. What the Devil is going on in this joint? Read on and you will find how Dan trapped his own despair filled self in a room with no way out!

Another story, Time To End It, seems to be cut from the same cloth as the first. Or is it? A young woman commits suicide again and again and…too many ways to count. Amazingly, every time she fails and rises again to try another method. Jumping from bridges, jumping in front of cars…Is this woman unbreakable? No. All the doctors need to cure her is the flick of a switch. Speaking of female people, the last story in this collection is Dog of The Dead by special guest author, Holly Buller. This young lady writes a fine story and I think we’ll be looking forward to more great writing from her in the future. Thanks for encouraging her, Gary! Here’s a great example to show the world that we writers of dark fiction are kind, warm hearted people who love our families. Just don’t let it get around. We don’t want people to think we’re too nice!

However, to get to Holly’s story, we still have to travel through some truly frightening territory. Into The Fire is going to make you scream! Not just because your face has been severely burned by hot fryer grease either, like the main villain-victim, but that certainly contributes. Is there a place that you used to go as a kid with your family? A favorite place with warm memories? Wouldn’t you just love to go back there as a grown adult and say hello to all the nice folks? Have your favorite meal of fish and chips? NO. No you wouldn’t want to do that because things have changed a LOT. Instead of a friendly handshake, you’re grabbed by a huge behemoth wearing a mask made of human skin over a ruined face while your car is destroyed so you don’t rush off too quickly. It’s Play Time! Well, not for you. No, you’ve become a toy for this imbecilic giant to destroy. He tortures you by ripping pieces off of your screaming body until you die. Then he throws you away for a new toy. “Daddy?”

If that didn’t make you lose it, then it’s time for Gary to give you The Present, a tale about Christmas and gifts. Except that one of the presents is going to make you lose your bleeping mind! Soon everyone in a nice happy family is figuring out unique ways to off themselves. All thanks to a simple looking box that “doesn’t do anything.” Hmm…For more details, get yourself a copy of Mechanisms Of Despair. Happy Holidays!

You won’t believe it, but this is Gary Buller’s first book and it is powerful stuff! While it is very important to know that buying this book will help people who really need it, I want to make sure that the actual writing and art is recognized. Gary and his crew of evil henchmen (and one young lady) have created something darkly beautiful. Let’s all encourage them to do it again real soon! I highly recommend this book and that cover, man it is awesome! You can feel the hours of care that went into this project. I warn you that these stories will haunt you, no matter how hard you try to forget them!  For sale on in both e-book and paperback versions, pick up a copy today and tell them that the Damaged Skull Writer sent ya!