Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Alumnus Ed Coet Publishes First Book: "SLK-Serial Killer"
In the 35 years since graduating from Metro State, Ed Coet has worked as a career counterintelligence and human intelligence officer, taught kids in an alternative school and a confinement facility, written poetry, married, had children, and, most recently, published his first book. “SLK-Serial Killer” delves into the dark past of Colorado’s most prolific serial killer. The book took more than two years to research and write, was an expensive endeavor that required a lot of travel to meet with SLK, and was time consuming and stressful.
“It had an emotional price attached to it, the extent of which I did not anticipate,” he explained. Now that it’s done, he feels relief. Unfortunately, not long after publishing the book, the stress returned when he discovered that his daughter has a very rare form of cancer (Proliferal T-Cell Lymphoma). The proceeds of “SLK-Serial Killer” will be donated to help her pay off her medical bills.
Metro State recently traded some emails with this poet and author.
Metro State: Who was your favorite professor?
Ed Coets: My favorite professor back then was Professor Reed (now deceased) in the Law Enforcement and Criminology Department. He was a very tough yet kind professor. More than anything else, he was brilliant. You couldn’t possibly make it through one of his classes without becoming a whole lot smarter. It was a privilege to have been one of his students, and I signed up for his classes whenever I had the opportunity to do so. This in no way diminishes the other professors who were also outstanding. It just that Professor Reed was, well, special.
MS: What inspired you to write this book?
EC: My writing experience previously was as a poet and short story fiction writer, and I also wrote a number of non-fiction articles.
MS: Why did you choose this topic?
EC: It was never my intent to write a true crime novel. The SLK story practically fell in my lap, and I just couldn’t ignore it. I was privy to SLK’s life history and, in some measure, to the inner workings of his unique criminal mind. This special and privileged access, coupled with my own experiences, collectively gave me the skills that I needed to undertake this project. In other words, I was well positioned to reveal, in its grand scope, this spectacular true crime story.
MS: What does this book mean to you?
EC: I view it as a “mission accomplished” endeavor. It was simply a story that had to be told. If I didn’t write it someone else, without doubt, would have. The SLK case and story is just that unique and compelling. SLK is the most prolific serial killer in Colorado history according to numerous news reports. His case is so unique in the realm of true crime that professionals and students of criminology, criminal justice, psychology, sociology and other behavioral sciences will probably study this case for many years to come.
MS: How do you feel about publishing the book?
EC: The first thing that comes to my mind is “relief.” For reasons I already noted, it was a relief to finally finish this work and get it published. It was also very satisfying to know that I could complete a project of this magnitude. My only hope now is that “SLK-Serial Killer” will be widely read and that my readers will enjoy my work. After all, I believe, writers should not write for themselves. They should instead write for the benefit and pleasure of others. Writing is an art form and if others don’t appreciate it, then it’s not good. That’s why I never judge my own work. Only the reader can decide how well I write “for them.” In the end it’s all about them – the reader. So far I have had a very good response to this book and I am deeply grateful for that.
MS: When did you find out about your daughter’s illness?
EC: When I started this writing project I had no idea that my daughter would be diagnosed with cancer and how much her medical bills would be crippling to her and her family financially. For that reason this book has taken on new meaning. I hope that it will earn enough royalties to pay down a major portion of her medical bills.
MS: Is there anything I’m not asking you that you want to share with me about this book?
EC: Metro State has a large student population in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, and related behavioral sciences. Metro State also has a huge alumni base in these disciplines. It is my hope that they will especially become aware of this book and read it. For everyone else it’s just an interesting and entertaining true crime thriller but for them, and other professionals in these disciplines, “SLK-Serial Killer,” I think, offers a lot to learn from.
To read more about the book or to purchase it, please click here.