Friday, April 2, 2010

Interview with Joe Hiles, Webmaster of Serial Killer Central (SKC)

Joe Hiles is the website owner of Serial Killer Central (SKC).  A site with a foreboding title, but a diverse following of frequenting visitors from across the globe.

     Gary Ray Bowles Art (Joe Hile's collection)

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the taking the time for this interview.

It is my pleasure, sir.

Joe, in your own words how would you describe your website SKC?

I feel that it's the most comprehensive serial killer information site on the Internet. I try to gather as much information as possible, from as many sources as possible, and keep it all in one place.

It is not very often that a website would have to have 2 different active forums. Would you mind explaining the differences between them, and give my readers an idea what they might expect if they joined one of these forums?

On the main site there's 2 links for forums..."On Topic" and "All Topics"...For the longest time I had just the one forum...the "All Topic" forum...but for being a serial killer site, serial killers were rarely discussed, so when I redid the site to make it more user friendly in 2003 or so I put another forum on it that I wanted to keep on topic so there would be more serial killer discussions.

On the "On Topic" forum you'll find more serial killer chat. There's been a lot of good discussions over the years. On the "All Topic" never know what to expect. One day there will be topics about fingernail polish, the next day raping babies...and everything in between. The all topic board has a lot of long time users, 10+ years for it's more of a close knit group than the on topic board, but both are always open to new members joining in on the conversations.

It is not much of a stretch of the imagination that there are visitors to SKC who are probably homicidal or sociopath's.
Could you share a couple interesting stories pertaining to crossing paths sometimes with people like this on your site?

There have been a few times that I've wondered about the people visiting the site. A few years back, I was served a subpoena by the state of Michigan to give them information on a user who had posted something that caught their eye about the Oakland County Child Killer case. Then there was Mictian who killed a couple women in Sweden. I'm not sure what kind of custody he's in now, but a while back he was telling me how good the site was looking these days. So, knowing that there ARE killers out there that view the site is an odd feeling. I hope they're not browsing looking for idea's, of course, but with them in the background, you have to be careful of what you post sometimes I think.

A fairly recent phenomena is the growing popularity of collecting what has been coined "murderablia." Since I am a collector myself, I can assure you that this line of questioning is not going to be biased against it, but I would like to hear what got you interested in writing and acquiring items from people who have been imprisoned for killing people.

I don't know WHY I like the stuff I like. I just do. After I got my very first letter, I just wanted to get another one, then I wanted to try someone else, and get more stuff from's just snowballed. The first time I tried to write an inmate I was in 10th grade...I guess it'd been 1993 or 1994...we had an assignment in English class on letter writing and they gave us a celebrity address book and we had to pick someone in it and write them a letter. I went to school stoned that morning and while flipping through the book I saw Charles Manson's name, I thought it'd be funny to write him...he didn't reply though.

 Roy Norris fingerprint chart (Joe Hile's collection)

Who was the first serial killer that you ever wrote to that actually wrote you back?

Besides Manson in 10th grade...a few years later, 1997 I think it was, I read Phil Carlos book about Richard Ramirez, in it it said Ramirez spends his time writing letters, so I called San Quentin and got his address, wrote a letter, and about a month later got one back from him...after him there was Berkowitz, James Munro, Keith Jesperson, David Gore...and so on...

Is there any serial killers that you have written that you would never write to again? If so, why?

Who I'd never write again.....Bobby Joe Long. His first letter to me was a 22 page long rambling letter of things he wanted me to do...things like hide a camera in my 8 year old sister's room, buy her a dildo and hide it under her pillow, then photograph her finding it and using it. Do the same for my mother...all sorts of fucked up nasty sick shit. I wrote him back a few days later...this is the entire letter...

Enjoy the chair.

Joe Hiles has promoted his website by attending a True Crime Tour with a radio personality named Shane Bugbee, been mentioned in news stories across the country, and has even appeared on The John Walsh Show.

I remember watching the clip of you on the show, and I saw John Walsh, and his guest Andy Kahan pretty much talking over you and not giving you an opportunity to speak. It seemed like whenever you tried they interrupted you.

I don't think so. Maybe I wouldn't have smiled so much haha...I understand their side of the argument, I just don't agree with their methods. It's a bit hypocritical of them to say that I'm making these guys celebrities with my little website that I've done nothing to promote, when they have TV shows where they dedicate hours of airtime to these killers and give their life stories and they go on news show after news show talking about these killers...that's giving them celebrity. I dont like how they say having the artwork on my site is just rubbing it in the face of the victims family members...I didn't ask them to come look at it. They weren't sent any invites. If they go to the site and see it, it's because they CHOOSE to. I think Andy calling all these family members up and telling them about it being out there is rubbing it in their faces more than just me displaying it. I'm not a fan of beastiality, so I'm not going to go looking for it. Problem solved.

What is your opinion of John Walsh and Andy Kahan?

I think John Walsh is a hypocrite. 
I don't think Andy's a bad person, I just don't agree with how he goes about doing what it is he's doing. He should be worried about stopping the stuff coming out of the prison, not what happens with it after it's already out.

Every collector has a certain favorite piece that they would probably never part with, do you have anything that would fit this category? If so what?

At one time it was Aileen Wuornos' prison worn shirt, but I sold it when I sold off my entire collection in 2004. In 2007 I started collecting again from my favorite item is Herb Baumeister's social security card.

 Phillip Jablonski letter (Joe Hiles collection)

What some of the things you have collected so far?

All kinds of stuff...letters, artwork, craft items, crime scene relics, personal items, clothing, court documents, case histories, books, anything I can find on the topic really. Some of my favorites....a light fixture from Herb Baumeister's Fox Hollow Farm, a peice of the front portch steps from Gertrude Baniszewski's house, a letter from german serial killer "The Beast of the Black Forest" Heinrich Pommerenke before he died, a drawing by Jeremy Bryan Jones of his version of John George Haigh's dream about blood dripping from trees into a cup, a sweater that belonged to Rod Ferrell before he was arrested with a pic of him wearing it, a drawing of Bettie Page by Wayne Henley...I could go on and on...

What kind of future ambitions do you have for SKC?

I'm not sure really. I guess just maintaining it, and keeping it up-to-date with the latest news and new serial killer arrests/trials/news. I'd like to make it more user involved, kind of like a social network type site for users interested in the topic. I sort of had that with MurderSpace, but it didn't have the information content, just the users. I'd also like more media, videos, audio, etc...When I had SKTV I had the video part down, but not the info and users...Lately I've been trying to incorporate all of them into one. I've now got more customizable profiles on the main site of SKC, and there's also a pretty decent sized video gallery. I'm considering making a Wiki like site for serial killer profiles, but I don't have the time to do the fact checking to make sure everything everybody adds is correct.

  Paul White Drawing   (Joe Hile's collection)

Thanks again Joe for the interview, and sharing some of your collection.

Click here to check out Serial Killer Central.


  1. Atheists,


    you little liars do nothing but antagonize...

    and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity...

    but you LOST...


    Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism...



    atheists deny their own life element...



  2. A very interesting interview.

    I had visited SKC before. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea but I find the subject fascinating.

    I could go on and on about the subject but there's one point which Mr Hines made which I'll comment on: I agree with his assessment of John Walsh as a hypocrite.

    He fits into what I feel is one of the more interesting aspects of the serial killer phenomenon: Families and support systems of victims.

    Granted, Mr Walsh suffered a great loss when his son Adam was kidnapped and murdered - anyone would. But it is how Mr Walsh has responded to this which raises eyebrows. He created a cottage industry for himself as the law and order rep for victims of crimes.

    I grant him that some good has come of this, but I'm somewhat incredulous at how he has managed to blur the distinction between doing good and coming out not doing to bad.

    When the whole incident of Mark Foley came out, it nailed what I always suspected about Mr Walsh - that Mr Walsh's self-centeredness and singular obsession blinds him. Here he is courting a prominent Congressmen, Mark Foley, promoting laws ostensibly to protect children, who himself has a prediliction for young men proven out in his numberous love emails.

    Makes me wonder if Adam Walsh might be alive today had his fatyher been a little less narcissistic, little less a businessman, and a little more of an observant father.


Thank you for taking the time to post your opinion. I hope you enjoyed visiting Wag The Gonzo!

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