Southeast Missourian reporter writes book on Timothy Krajcir

Sunday, June 28, 2009
The cover of Southeast Missourian reporter Bridget DiCosmo's book on the case of Timothy Krajcir, "Serial Murder 101."

At Bridget DiCosmo's desk in the Southeast Missourian newsroom, she has two pictures on the wall next to her computer. One is of the wrongly convicted Joshua Kezer smiling as he poses with a dog. The other is of 2-year-old Meghan Moshiri, who survived a murder-suicide in Jackson.

A face not on the crime reporter's wall is that of convicted serial killer Timothy Krajcir.

Krajcir's story, however, has prompted DiCosmo to write her first book, "Serial Murder 101," which debuts nationwide July 7. The book details the confessions of the convicted rapist and murderer to police since he was charged nearly two years ago.

Covering the story

On Dec. 10, 2007, DiCosmo broke the story of the now convicted Krajcir, who had finally been charged with the murders of five area women after 30 years.

DiCosmo originally had no intention to write a book on the Krajcir case. She said the plans for the book began after she and Southeast Missourian editor Bob Miller went to Carbondale, Ill., where Krajcir was serving time on civil commitment for child molestation. They made the trip on advice from Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

There they discovered Krajcir's civil commitment file.

"At the time, Krajcir was the only person in Jackson County to have a status of a sexual predator, where the law required saving everything pertaining to Krajcir that went through the courts," DiCosmo said.

The documents made for interesting reading, she said. Around that time she was contacted by a literary agent, Steve Harris. Harris was interested in having DiCosmo write a book proposal on the Krajcir case, then turned the proposal over to a publisher, who accepted and asked the reporter to write the book.

"It's been a really good experience," she said.

The book took DiCosmo six months to finish, writing at night after work. She said the interest to write the book came from talking to many people who were affected by the crimes Krajcir committed, including family and friends of his victims.

Finding connections

DiCosmo herself has a coincidental connection to the man she has written so much about. She shares a hometown with Krajcir.

"When Carl Kinnison told me he was from Allentown, Pennsylvania, it felt so strange," she said. "There's a lot of really weird coincidences in this case."

Detective Paul Echols, a main player in bringing the killer to justice, at one time lived on the same street as Krajcir.

Echols and Cape Girardeau police chief Kinnison went through the same criminal justice program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale at the time Krajcir was there.

DiCosmo said she was able to get a lot of help from both Echols and Kinnison while she researched her book. She said she didn't have to write differently for the book, but the task helped her tighten her writing. "I owe a lot to Bob for helping me edit my manuscript, and also to Jon Rust for his support," she said.

DiCosmo interviewed Krajcir one time in jail. When she met him, she was nervous.

"He was actually very courteous and respectful, and it was one of the easiest interviews I have ever done," she said.

DiCosmo said Krajcir was responsive and well-spoken, and answered everything she asked him.

eeaston@semissourian.com

388-3646

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