SALEM, Oregon – The “Happy Face Killer,” Keith Jesperson, who was responsible for the deaths of eight women in the 1990s, has made headlines once again for his correspondence with accused “Gilgo Beach 4 Killer” Rex Heuermann. In a surprising turn of events, Jesperson revealed that Heuermann responded to his letters, despite not responding to any others, when interviewed by a podcaster from his Oregon prison cell.
Jesperson had urged Heuermann to confess and avoid a trial, citing the benefits of being in prison over jail and the reduced media coverage. Yet, Heuermann has reportedly not confessed to anything, despite expressing gratitude for Jesperson’s letters and advice.
The exchange between Jesperson and Heuermann sheds light on the motives behind such correspondence. Jesperson seems to seek attention from the media, as it has been a while since his notoriety. Additionally, there is a sense of affinity and mentorship as Jesperson claims to enjoy mentoring newly accused killers.
This type of correspondence is not unique to Jesperson and Heuermann. Other notorious killers, such as healthcare serial killer Donald Harvey and Dana Sue Gray, the killer of three women in California, also engaged in similar exchanges with fellow criminals.
The motives behind these interactions can range from seeking affirmation for their actions to finding inspiration and encouragement, as seen in the case of Liam McAtear, a 16-year-old who sought to emulate the “Moors Murderer,” Ian Brady.
The psychological implications of these exchanges highlight the desire of some killers to view themselves as part of an exclusive club, seeking affirmation and even a relationship with others who share similar experiences.
Overall, the exchange of correspondence between notorious killers provides insight into their mindset and can potentially assist with risk evaluation for aspiring killers who idolize and seek validation from these individuals. It underscores the importance of intervention and understanding the psychological factors at play in such interactions.