Sondra London

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Sondra London
Sondra London 1.jpg
Sondra London in front of the courthouse.
Born1947 (age 74–75)
Florida
Occupationtrue crime author
PartnerDanny Rolling (fiancée)

Sondra London (born 1947 in Florida)[1] is a controversial American true crime author. She was the onetime girlfriend of convicted murderer and suspected serial killer G.J. Schaefer, and the fiancée of convicted serial killer Danny Rolling. She interviewed both of them about their crimes and their thinking behind them, and published the results.

Writing[edit]

In a documentary by Errol Morris, London related how she first was inspired to write about crime after reaching a plateau in her career as a technical writer. She contacted the incarcerated serial killer G.J. Schaefer (an ex-cop doing two life sentences for murder, whom she'd dated in high school) and the two began collaborating on a roman à clef book containing writings by Schaefer that were arguably descriptions of his own crimes. They released a collection of short stories entitled Killer Fiction.[1] During this period the former deputy sheriff became increasingly obsessed with London and began divulging details of his crimes to her in prison visits and handwritten letters. London terminated the professional relationship with Schaefer after he threatened her life if she were to ever show authorities his incriminating letters. London went on to file these written threats and confessions with the court in defense of a lawsuit by Schaefer charging her with falsely stating Schaefer was a serial killer. Upon reading five hundred pages of Schaefer's handwritten statements attached to London's Response, the judge threw Schaefer's lawsuit out. After his death, Sondra London's sworn testimony was used to close two cold-case murders to Schaefer in the Ocala National Forest.

Sondra London collaborated with serial killer Danny Rolling in writing The Making of a Serial Killer: The Real Story of the Gainesville Murders, a psychological memoir which included Rolling's confessions to five murders, along with other capital crimes for which he had not been charged. The book was published by Feral House, and was illustrated by 50 pictures hand-drawn by Rolling in prison. The confessions were published in a three-part series appearing in the Globe. London and Rolling were sued by the State of Florida under a version of the Son of Sam law.[2] Feral House published Sondra London's study of vampirism, True Vampires, in 2004. The book is illustrated by French killer Nicolas Claux.[3]

Sondra London on the set of Errol Morris' First Person[citation needed]

In 2016, she published Good Little Soldiers: A Memoir of True Horror, co-authored with Dianne Fitzpatrick. The book is about Fitzpatrick's father, Silvestras Griekshell aka Steve Griggs. It says that Griekshell had been rescued from a Nazi labor camp and sent on covert missions during the Cold War. The book describes sadistic violence, psychological torture, and multigenerational psychedelic experimentation.[4]

Television[edit]

In 2000, an episode of director Errol Morris' First Person television series centered on Sondra London. She has appeared on Dateline, Turning Point, Larry King Live, Geraldo, Leeza, A Current Affair, and Court TV in the United States; Channel 4 and BBC in UK; German and French cable, and Australian ABC.

AOL boycott[edit]

In September 1997, American Online (AOL) was threatened with a boycott due to London's website, "Serial Killers talk to Sondra London."[5] Then-Governor of Wyoming Jim Geringer and child advocate Marc Klaas called for the boycott. They objected to the site which included writings of serial killers including Keith Hunter Jesperson who had been convicted of three killings in Oregon and was facing extradition to Wyoming in regard to another killing. AOL took down the site within hours. In October 1997, London was interviewed by Larry King on Larry King Live in regard to the website's removal in an episode dealing with the right of free speech.[6] London said the site's information could help gain insight into the thinking of serial killers.[5][6] One document included Jesperson's answer to the question, why did he kill people? [7] Free speech advocates protested, and the website was restored.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b London, Sondra. "About Section". official website. Sondra London. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Court TV Verdicts: Florida v. London and Rolling". Archived from the original on February 2, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2006.
  3. ^ "Feral House | Titles | Crime | True Vampires". Archived from the original on October 24, 2006. Retrieved November 3, 2006.
  4. ^ "Diane Fitzpatrick Tells Sondra London". goodlittlesoldiers.com. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "AOL to Take Down Serial-Killer Site". WIRED. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Larry King Live". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Cassel, David (October 3, 1997). "A Killer Site". Salon. Retrieved August 12, 2021.

External links[edit]