Walker's original intention in writing the book was to focus on the lives of the women who were murdered so that they could be remembered for who they were and how they lived as opposed to how they died. He presented the publisher with the concept and suggested the title, "Nine Lives." Kensington jumped on the chance to publish the book, and Walker was the first author in the country to secure a contract to write a book-length work about Timothy Krajcir.
Walker lives in Pennsylvania near where one of Krajcir's victims, Myrtle Rupp was killed, but he traveled to Missouri and Illinois to get to know the surviving friends and family members of Krajcir's murderous rampage that took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the residents of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and surrounding communities were terrorized by a series of unsolved homicides. Five women, Mary and Brenda Parsh, Sheila Cole, Marjorie Call and Mildred Wallace, were brutally murdered in Cape Girardeau. Across the Mississippi river in Illinois, Deborah Sheppard and Virginia Witte were also killed at the hands of the same perpetrator, and a few miles south in Kentucky, Joyce Tharp was kidnapped and murdered. Krajcir confessed to all of these killings and has been convicted of murder in every case except for Joyce Tharp and including that of Myrtle Rupp in Pennsylvania.
Walker said that "I am grateful to the friends and family members of Krajcir's victims who opened up and invited me into their lives so I could get to know them and gain a better perspective into the lives of the women that this horrible person killed."
Kensington wanted Walker to focus more on Krajcir instead of his victims. They wanted a shocking true-crime book about a serial killer. The author struggled hard against them and tried to keep his original focus as a priority. His second suggestion for a title of the book was, "Trail of Tears." That was also rejected.
"They (Kensington) had already given me a very modest advance, and I was locked into a contract that I had to fulfill. I had also spent a couple of thousand dollars of my own money to fly back and forth to Missouri and stay in hotels while I investigated the story. I did compromise in the end, but I still feel like I have accomplished my goal of providing a face and personality to all of Krajcir's victims. The readers will know that Margie Call was the glue that connected three families together. The Parsh's were modest, hard-working individuals with dreams that they weren't afraid to pursue. Mildred Wallace was a giving person who contributed to her community. College students who were just on the brink of living their lives and contributing to society. All of these people were good people that didn't deserve to taken away the way that they were," Walker said.
After a murderous rampage that went unsolved for nearly 25 years, Krajcir was eventually arrested by the Allentown, PA police department for sexual assault, and he has been incarcerated ever since. He was later caught during an attempt to escape Lehigh County Prison in Allentown before he was transferred to Graterford Prison. Krajcir is currently serving 13 consecutive life sentences in Illinois.
Predator not only chronicles the lives of Krajcir and those he murdered, but it also delves deep into the events and lives of the people who survived his attacks, which makes the reader feel even more connected to his victims and accomplishes what the author of this intriguing book set out to accomplish.
Walker has approximately 1,500 published credits to his name. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany and started freelancing professionally in 1989, beginning mostly with short horror fiction pieces for small press publications. In 1996, Walker had his first horror novel, Desmodus, published. Touted as a combination of Playboy and Poe, this graphically horrific novel about cannibalistic, vampire-like creatures quickly found a niche market after the book release party was held in Gramercy Park in Manhattan by the National Arts Club on Halloween, which was attended by Georghe Lupes, Consul General of Romania and televised internationally.
Shortly after that, Walker opened up the Quakertown, PA chapter of Active Voice International, and was pivotal in the creation of The Writers Room of Bucks County in Doylestown and Bucks County Writer Magazine. In 2001, Walker founded the Lehigh Valley Writers Academy based in Allentown. He worked as a reporter/photographer for The Morning Call newspaper (a division of The Tribune Company) for three years. He has had nonfiction pieces published in newspapers and magazines and has received several awards for his macabre style of poetry. His book, Blood Trail (2005) is a true-crime story about a confessed serial killer from Indiana. It has been so well accepted that it was listed as an available textbook for criminal justice courses at the University of Indiana and at IVY Tech Community College in Evansville, Indiana. Due to its unprecedented popularity, it has been re-released as of June 2009.
More information about Walker and his books can be found at http://www.steven-walker.com .