Quantico, Virginia – Jana Monroe found herself unexpectedly on the receiving end of a phone call from “The Co-Ed Killer” in the early 1990s. As a member of the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit, she was accustomed to facing serial killers, but her encounter with Edmund Kemper left her deeply shaken. “It’s very difficult in prisons or mental institutions to make phone calls. You can earn that right with good behavior. So I was surprised to hear from him. And that monotone voice – it’s very chilling. Very creepy,” Monroe revealed.
Monroe’s recent memoir, “Hearts of Darkness: Serial Killers, the Behavioral Science Unit, and My Life as a Woman in the FBI,” delves into the challenges she faced as a woman in the male-dominated Bureau and the haunting cases she has encountered. Drawing from her experiences, Monroe recalled her interactions with notorious serial killers, including Kemper, who murdered eight people in the 1970s, and Ted Bundy, one of the nation’s most prolific serial killers.
The former FBI agent, who was the model for Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs,” also described the enigmatic allure of serial killers and the unsettling fascination they hold for the public. “Why are people fascinated by serial killers? Well, it’s like a traffic accident. People don’t want to see others hurt or injured. But at the same time, they can’t stop looking,” Monroe reflected.
Throughout her career, Monroe encountered not only the dark and grotesque realities of serial killers but also the puzzling cases of women who fell in love with these individuals. She found these women to be the greatest mysteries of her career, as they defied the conventional expectations of being needy or financially dependent.
Ultimately, Monroe’s memoir offers a gripping insight into the chilling world of serial killers and the enduring impact of their deeds on those who investigate them. Her experiences shed light on the ways in which serial killers defy expectations and challenge prevailing misconceptions, providing a thought-provoking glimpse into the darkest corners of humanity.