What does the cryptic Only Joggers Find Bodies mean?
News headlines often read, “JOGGER FINDS BODY” and has become kind of an inside joke in the true crime and running community. Many of us can claim we are runners, not joggers because we have never found a body. The news hasn’t caught on that most runners don’t like to be called joggers. It brings ups images of 1970’s runners in short shorts and knee-high socks that jog for 30 minutes for health. Not us runners that deck out in the most recent high tech gear and track our times obsessively to reach that next PR.
The news headline is where my two obsessions intersect. I am a runner who loves true crime.
I can’t pinpoint a specific time when my true crime obsession started. It’s always just been there. I remember in sixth grade we had to write a report on an interesting, famous person. I picked Al Capone and dug into my research. I was fascinated with gangsters, prohibition, and flappers. I turned in my rough draft and when I got it back it only said, see me. I didn’t understand. I thought my draft was pretty good! I’d always done really well on writing assignments. After class, I approached my teacher and was told that my choice was inappropriate and I needed to choose someone “good”. Needless to say, I ended up writing about some astronaut and was not nearly as excited about it as I was Al Capone.
It wasn’t too long after this that I discovered Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood. I’m not sure it’s necessarily appropriate for most middle schoolers but I devoured it and followed it up with Helter Skelter which I had to read because I loved the Beatles. I had to know how Charles Manson used the white album (my personal fav) as the reason for his terror.
Besides school reports and true crime novels I also had a love affair with Unsolved Mysteries. I remember watching with the lights out in my bedroom and the volume down low so no one would know what I was watching. I remember some episodes scared the shit out of me and I had to watch something funny after in order to go to sleep. I don’t know if my parents knew I was watching this show in middle school. If they did, they never said I couldn’t watch it. Although I do have to say my favorite episode of all time was about spontaneous human combustion, not crime and I can still see the pictures in my head.
I don’t know if reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in elementary school was a catalyst. I don’t know if Scooby Doo instilled a love of mystery in my at a young age. Maybe it was a combination of everything that created a fascination with all things true crime. There are two cases from my hometown that have stuck with me since I was a small child. They are both unsolved and maybe that is why they stick out to me over other crimes from my city.
I grew up along the Mississippi River in one of those places that seem like nothing bad ever happens there. To an outsider, it looks like one of those peaceful, idyllic midwestern towns. And for the most part, it is. It’s a good-sized city, with good schools, and lots of friendly. But like everywhere, there is crime. There is murder.
Ed Gein was born in my hometown. His mother moved the family because it was just far too loose there. There were women out walking about and the alcohol, oh that devil drink was (and still is) everywhere! Ed Gein has always been a fascinating character for me. But this blog isn’t really about Ed.
It’s about obsession.
My obsession with true crime. My need to devour everything I can about it. Podcasts. Books. Reddit. Documentaries. Everything. I plan to delve into cases that have always intrigued me, starting with the two that grabbed my attention as a small child. I don’t know why I never thought to write about it before but I became inspired as I read I’ll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. It’s an interesting mix of the Golden State Killer and her. Her interest in true crime and the specific case. I’m not going to attempt to be like her because she is a far better writer than I am but I feel I have stories to tell.
I am working on my first “case”. I have the general story but I want to do a little research to have facts to go with what I remember. I don’t have a schedule figured out yet but I hope you check back to read more as I get them done. I am not a paid writer. I have a full-time job and run a photography business so I have limited time for research. I just want to present the best post I can about each case.