For speaking engagements, personal appearances, private functions, lectures, interest in film rights or any branding and/or television/film/book business, please contact Phelps’ entertainment attorney/manager, Matthew Valentinas, through his website, phone (857.636.0875), or email.
For producers seeking interviews/appearances, fans or simple queries, don’t hesitate to email Phelps directly or call his Connecticut office and leave a brief message: (860) 870-7247.
Smack in the middle of a trend in which “true crime” seems to be the go-to topic/subject for television, Hollywood and most major media (including NPR!), a genre no longer defined as “trashy” and “black and red,” there are lots of talking heads out there claiming to be true-crime experts. Whenever we encounter “breaking news” on cable TV networks, a host of people come out of the woodwork and begin commenting on this sociopath and that psychopath, tossing these personality disorders around as if they are common words to be tied to anybody. Much of this discussion is simply nonsensical psychobabble. All it does is fill airtime with hot air. It does not further the narrative, increase the understanding, or educate the public on the mind of the criminal, which is what everyone is most interested in. The dreaded “why did s/he do it?
“If you tangle, or cross paths with a psychopath/sociopath,” Phelps says, “your entire life will be turned upside down, inside out, like that of which you have never seen. These people don’t give a shit about you. They care only about themselves and their narcissistic needs and wants. They will strike a match, light the world on fire, turn around and—laughing like a villain—walk toward their next conquest with a smile on their face. … The public has a skewed and cartoonish understanding of the psychopath, and a lot of it is the fault of inexperienced, fashionable, uneducated verbiage tossed around as though it’s just another day in Crime TV Land. People will say anything these days.”
As a film/TV consultant on the true mind of the serial killer, female murderer or “one-off” male killer, Phelps has written 22 books about female killers, six books about serial killers, and has corresponded with and interviewed an infamous serial killer who has killed scores of women. Phelps has spoken to this particular psychopath for four years, in depth, and has amassed hundreds of hours of tapes, audio and video, along with over one thousand pages of letters from this serial killer.
“The industry is in great need of quality consulting and dialogue on serial killers and murderers of every type, their everyday existence, how they think, how they feel, what made them who they are … and I’ve focused my research on those questions. … We cannot just create murder dramas and nonfiction crime TV anyway we want to—we need to take responsibility for how we portray killers and—especially—their victims in fiction and nonfiction. It is imperative to our collective understanding with regards to how to better protect ourselves against violence.”
Phelps has spent his career devoted to victims’ rights and how a psychopath’s behavior affects the family, the community, and the individual.
“We need to get this right. I save film producers and TV people lots of time and money by advising them on the right way to do ‘Murder TV and Film,’ mainly so it’s does not come across as tawdry and unsympathetic—but most importantly, when talking drama, unbelievable. Sure, in drama, there needs to be a certain amount of fiction. But fiction can be bolstered by honest research. Definitive, subtle changes in a script or a documentary can make all the difference on set, changing the entire dynamic of a crime film or television series. The devil is in the details.”
Read Phelps’s articles on real world serial killers:
I love this photo from the road. I believe we were in Colorado near New Mexico in one of those back country motels on the side of the only road for as far as the eye can see. You know the motels I am speaking of: the type where you expect some dude, bleeding from being shot, holding onto his guy with one hand, gun in the other, rolls up, falls out of the car, manages to stumble into the room holding his side, closes and bolts the door locked, stares out the window, moving the curtain aside with the barrel end of his gun, waiting for whomever is chasing him. That’s the type of motel this was! I slept on top of the bed, fully clothed.
Anyway, I love the photo a mate of mine took because it shows how immersed one is on the road when researching a case and tracking a story/killer. It’s all-consuming. No rest. This was the evening, after dinner. We’d been working all day already, mind you.
“You get on the scent of a cold case and a madman,” Phelps says, “and there’s nothing like it. You actually get a high. You have a need to figure out who this sick sonofabitch is, tell his story, and pull in the public to see if he can be caught. There’s a spiritual and physical longing to get the job done.”