It has appeared in the news recently that Amazon have removed a self published E-Book titled A MAD World Order. The fictional spy thriller “revolves around a geopolitical plot that, between armed drones, dirty bombs, and thermonuclear devices, ultimately appears to level much of the developed world, all in service of a prophecy involving the Illuminati and Knights Templar.” according to VICE.
The author? One convicted murderer by the name of Paul Bernardo.
Where does the law stand on this? Toronto Criminal Lawyer Ari Goldkind explained when speaking to to Global News:
Ontario passed the Prohibiting Profiting from Recounting Crimes Act in 2002, which prohibits prisoners from receiving money for writing about the details of his crimes.
…“There is no reason, as it distasteful as it may seem, why any profit made from this book or the publishing of this book would be payable to anyone other than Paul Bernardo,” Goldkind said.
Goldkind added that material written by Bernardo would be screened by the Correctional Service of Canada before it goes out, but there would be nothing in their purview to censor the content, particularly since he is not recounting his crimes specifically.
And of course Bernard is not the first, nor will he be the last who uses their infamy as a source of income.
Sakakibara Seito’s (an alias) autobiography Zekka caused controversy in Japan when he released it without informing his victim’s families; instead he sent them a copy complete with a hand written note of apology.
Charles Kembo is currently in prison serving time for the murders of his wife, his girlfriend, his step-daughter and his business partner.
The Trinity of Superkidds: Book One: Quest for Water by J.D. Bauer is a children’s fiction book that was published during Kembo’s trial and it has since been admitted that Bauer is Kembo’s pen name.
The novel is still available to purchase on Amazon.com
Perhaps one of the most famous murderous authors is Son of Sam David Berkowitz. The killer of 6 people found God during his imprisonment and penned a book titled, Son of Hope, which contains his prison journals, describing life behind bars and sharing his rebirth into Christianity.
Berkowitz does not profit from the sales of this book and a portion of the profits made from any sales go to his victims and their families.
These aren’t rarities; there are plenty of books out there written by Serial Killers, both fictional and autobiographical so why has Amazon removed this one? Who knows.
Of course crime must never pay and anyone who takes a life should never profit from what they have done but I am curious, why is Bernardo any more dangerous than Berkowitz? Any more foul than Brady? Any more dangerous than Kembo?
Amazon have declined to comment on the removal of the book, or denied the veracity of the claims that Bernardo did indeed manage to publish an E Book and present it for sale via their sites. The book itself is no longer available, all traces of its existence have disappeared.
And good riddance in my opinion!