This is the Updates Archive page. To read the latest updates, click here.
This past Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the state of Illinois has been paying sex ofenders to babysit children. Where do you think those sex offenders learned that this was a safe (and profitable) way to access victims? If you've been listening to the whisper-stream, you'd know.
From Andrew Vachss' Terminal: "Hobbyists troll the Internet pretending to be children to attract
pedophiles. Some pathetic first-timers actually show up at the
'girl's' house, looking for the hot underage action they've been
promised. Naturally, the camera crews are waiting. Nobody ever
goes to jail, but it makes for nice low-budget TV. Another public
service, brought to you by the network."
And now ... "Accused pedophile sailor kicked out of Navy after 'To Catch A Predator' sting has case tossed out."
We're seven months away from the release of Andrew Vachss' next novel, That's How I Roll. That's a long lead time. But it's already up on Amazon, and at 34% off cover price, with one of those guarantees that if the price gets lower before the release, your price will also drop. So ... click here to read about the book and get a first look at the cover.
If you haven't been following Andrew Vachss on twitter, you've been missing his thoughts on the US financial crisis: People are supposed to eat promises while Congress is getting fat on bribes ... Americans need a true "stimulus"—the only way to "bail out" our country is to throw Congress out of the boat ... I have yet to meet a raise-taxes liberal who gets it: fundamentalists will drive a bus off a cliff even when they're the only passengers. Click here to follow Andrew Vachss on twitter.
If Caylee Anthony is to leave any legacy aside from floral tributes and notes, Florida must do for her now what it did not do during her life: appoint a law guardian to protect her interests. Click here to read "Getting to the truth about Caylee Anthony's death," a dispatch from Andrew Vachss, originally published August 07, 2011, on The Zero's Tumblr page.
Wayne D. Dundee (see Righteous Reading) has been nominated for more awards than you could imagine, but few know that he was the innovator in giving new writers their chance to be read ... a little magazine called Hardboiled that was hand-typed, mimeographed, and mailed with stamps. Yeah, that was eons ago ... all the way back to 1985. Even ... wait for it ... before the Internet. But although Wayne made his bones with so-called "PI fiction," his real love has always been the West. And now, with the publication of Dismal River, Big Wayne is where he belongs, and doing it just right. Anyone who believes there's no such genre as "Hardboiled Western" would be well-advised to check it out for themselves.
Over on our Facebook page, our gal Shawna suggested that maybe Burke has been composing Andrew Vachss' tweets lately. We'll let you decide. Here's one of the latest: "The only difference between the Oslo pervert and the Unabomber is that the internet enables much longer manifestos."
Congratulations to Phil Gigante, winner of a 2011 Audie Award! His next work: audio adaptations of Shella (Brilliance, October 25, 2011) and The Getaway Man (Brilliance, December 01, 2011).
The way our business usually works, you throw a punch, then another punch, then another ... and you keep throwing, until you get a result. But our man Trey Bundy threw a knock-out punch last week. Five days later, he had his result. We talk a lot about the death of journalism; Mr. Bundy is one of the few who gives us hope.
The jury in the Casey Anthony case found she was "not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." If you want to know what that actually means, you can listen to the bobbleheads polluting the air with their "insights," or you can click here....
There's an email making the rounds, offering "five simple rules to be happy." Andrew Vachss has his own five rules. Click here to read them.
If you haven't yet checked our Twitter-feed or Tumblr links ... jump in here.
A few weeks ago, we told you about the crime-fiction videogame L.A. Noire, and how the producers commissioned eight authors—including Andrew Vachss—to contribute stories to an anthology. That anthology is now available, for free, for a short time, from Amazon.com, BN.com, iTunes, and Sony. And if you want to know what Mr. Vachss thinks about "noir" ... click here.
In his 2000 Burke novel, Dead and Gone, Andrew Vachss
fired the warning shot: "[The Catholic church] know exactly how to play it. First, you make up some 'syndrome' or 'disorder' that covers the crime. Then you give it some fancy-sounding name, and count on the whores and fools to spread the word." Click here to see how the whores and fools have been spreading the "gospel."
Diane Millman Beck, the widow of Iceberg Slim, checked in with this message: To loyal fans of Iceberg Slim, and to a new generation of readers, my late husband's books have a new publisher, Cash Money Content. Slim's first book, Pimp: The Story of My Life, launched this month. Trick Baby will be released in September, with the rest of the books to follow. There also exists a spoken word CD if anyone wants to hear his voice. It's called Iceberg Slim: Reflections.
If you've never read Iceberg Slim, you should. Andrew Vachss describes his books as "Raw, innovative, and ringing with blue truth." And if you already know the books ... you'll want to check out the packaging on these re-issues.
Mikey's got a brother, and we've got a new Dog of the Zero. Everyone, please welcome May Fly!
Anytime anyone wants to know why the National Association to Protect Children exists ... show them this.
In case you're wondering ... no, we never used GoDaddy.com to register our domain names or to host our websites. But our SSL certificate (which ensures the security of the server that accepts all email coming in to The Zero) was purchased from them, and just renewed a couple months ago. So we ate the renewal fee and instead purchased a certificate from DomainDiscover.
This week, Mandy Ginsberg, president of Match.com, said the company would start running background checks on its members, using sex-offender registries. But Ginsberg "does not [want to] provide a false sense of security to [her] members." Maybe she picked that up in the whisper-stream.
There's been a lot of talk in the media about GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting an elephant—and it's all been a bunch of PETA nonsense. Boycott? Hell, yes. But ... this is not about elephants, or even about narcissistic twits with elephant-sized egos. It's about how journalism continually fails to ask the right questions and confuses press releases with fact-finding. Click here for the story all of the media missed.
Back when Heart Transplant first came out, Andrew Vachss and Zak Mucha had a conversation about it. We've (finally) got a clip from that conversation. Click here to listen to it. And while we're on the subject, check out the latest endorsement for the book—from Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jim Borgman.
Andrew Vachss first wrote about online child molestation occurring in "real-time" in his 1998 novel, Safe House. The overwhelming reaction from the public was disbelief, and the same accusations of a "sick mind" that he heard when he wrote about modem-trafficking in kiddie porn back in 1987's Strega. But evidence in the press has been mounting since 2003, proving that what Vachss wrote about wasn't from his imagination at all, but what he saw down here. Check it out....
In Louisiana, a convicted pedophile has volunteered to be castrated in exchange for early release from prison. To read the whole story—what was printed in the Daily News, and what was left out—click here.
How intrafamilial pregnancies affect the DNA ... advances in eliminating spina bifida ... those are some of the things we've seen in the news recently. But before we ever read those stories, we picked up the current in the Whisper-Stream.
Andrew Vachss' 2004 Parade article referenced former Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt's rape of a 14-year-old girl. That girl died recently, and Fred Leonhardt wrote an obituary to the woman. It's an important piece of journalism, naming many who were complicit in Goldschmidt's crime. It will break your heart and bring you to tears, and cause your anger to overflow. Click here to read that obituary.
In Terminal, Andrew Vachss wrote, "It's just a matter of time before some marketing degenerate wires up a halfway house for sex offenders and makes a reality-TV show out of it." And just two weeks ago, that degenerate surfaced.
In his 2005 novel, Two Trains Running, Andrew Vachss speculated about how exactly Al Capone contracted syphilis. Now a report about medical experiments conducted by US government doctors between the 1920s and 1970s brings to surface some of the information that reached Mr. Vachss through the whisper-stream. Click here to read it for yourself.
From a 1990 interview with Andrew Vachss: "Are [court-appointed advocates, such as guardians ad litem, useful in protecting a child's rights and guarding against what might be called judicial child abuse]? The answer is, they can be. Are they ever a substitute for actual representation by lawyers? No. Underline no. Repeat, NO. ... There are states—and Florida is an excellent example—where a child who is the victim of abuse will not be represented by a lawyer but will be represented by a 'court-appointed special advocate' [CASA]. These people are not lawyers. Because they're not lawyers, they can't represent a child in terms of the totality of that child's needs. They can't file a motion. They can't argue before a court with any kind of force. ... You look at a state like Florida that could provide a stream of attorneys for a Ted Bundy and can't provide one attorney for an abused child. I think there's such a moral difficulty with that, that it's unresolvable."
Now, from a story in this week's Miami Herald, we see the very real consequences of Florida's failure to hire lawyers for child-abuse victims: State agency had many warnings during abused girl's life.
Next time you hear a story about government corruption—a story that sounds so absurd that it could never happen—just refer back to this Daily News article about Colonel Nyati Bolt, one of Andrew Vachss' clients from the mid 1970s through 1992. It can happen, it does happen, and it will continue to happen, until we make it stop.
Animal Planet's "Pit Boss" show has Andrew Vachss listed as the eighth most popular pit bull advocate. Eighth?!? Click here to see the page ... and check out the column to the right of it, where you can vote to make Andrew Vachss number one.
"Rippling with the whip-smart dialogue we have come to expect from Vachss, The Weight is yet another classic from the master." Click here to read Ian O'Doherty's complete review, as published January 25, 2011, by the Irish Independent.
"Advice [for children who are struggling with issues of abuse in all forms]? How would I get access to such children? I've not been offered a slot on 'Sesame Street.' If you mean teenagers, I have no generic advice ... and would not trust anyone who presumed to hand it out. Believe it or not, children are individuals, and any 'advice' must be individualized to be worth transmitting. What I would avoid is garbage like, 'To heal, you must first forgive.' That's in the same class as 'Just Say No.' And, thus, simple-minded enough to be 'popular.' " Click here to read the entire interview, published by The Damned Interviews on January 21, 2011.
Eric Holder was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia by Bill Clinton. He was later elevated to Deputy Attorney General in 1997 ... and, thus, was in office when Clinton shortened the sentence of Mel Reynolds, who sexually assault/abused a 16-year-old campaign volunteer.
When Clinton suggested a pardon for Marc Rich—who fled the US after being convicted on 65 counts of tax evasion—Holder's response was "Neutral, leaning towards favorable." And now? For two years (and three budgets) Holder's Justice Department has refused to so much as ask Congress for the full funding of law enforcement authorized under the PROTECT Act of 2008. How do you convince Congress of the urgent need for child rescue funding, when the Obama administration doesn't even care enough to ask for it?
Here's what Grier Weeks writes, in his piece in The Daily Caller:
Congress needs to fully investigate what the Justice Department knew and when it knew it. It needs a full accounting of what evidence resides in Justice Department-sponsored databases that could locate both child predators and their victims. It needs to demand that the full resources of the federal government are immediately deployed for child rescue in every community across the U.S. Every child victim who has been, or can be, identified should be brought to safety now, before they come to further, grievous harm.
"Queens woman facing infant kidnap rap posed as film casting director to lure tots" and "Mayor Bloomberg under fire for handling of blizzard"—both recent headlines, and both totally predictable, to anyone listening to the Whisper-Stream.
"Vachss is an attorney specializing in child abuse and neglect. He's capable of dragging the reader through the horrors of that world on trips that leave scars. He doesn't go there this time. But Sugar keeps you turning pages and The Weight is a good, bumpy ride." Click here to read Bo Petersen's review of The Weight, published January 02, 2011, by The Post and Courier.
"Few plumb the relativistic integrity of the 'honourable' criminal mind like Vachss, but these brutal insights provide only the lexicon for what is really a battered and bruised romance — a salvation, of sorts, for those who shoulder life's true weight." Click here to read John Sullivan's review of The Weight, published December 18, 2010, by the Winnipeg Free Press.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said, "Based on the work for animals [Michael Vick] has undertaken since his release from prison, I don't believe he should be forever banned from adopting a dog for his two daughters." We couldn't disagree more with Pacelle, and so long as he has anything to do with the Humane Society of the United States, we'll have nothing to do with them. But the Humane Society of Canada? That organization is completely unaffiliated with HSUS, and is run by our great pal, Michael O'Sullivan, one of the most valiant protectors of animals ever to walk the earth! Click here to read Macleans' interview with Michael O'Sullivan!
We made one statement——about people in absolute agony getting babble about "the war on drugs" instead of pain relief——in Pain Management. And anyone who has read Heart Transplant knows how we feel about bullies. So here's a story——an important story——that brings those two elements together. Siobhan Reynolds founded the Pain Relief Network, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of pain patients and physicians, when her late ex-husband Sean was denied pain medication for his congenital connective tissue disorder. Her advocacy has earned her some seriously dedicated fans ... and the scorn of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Laws that were established to protect people like Reynolds are being used to instead silence her. And the result is that these bullies are going to bankrupt her nonprofit. Read the whole story here.
From Terminal (2007): "The Wall Street Journal had a little squib about some big players in the Netherlands—neutral territory?—putting together a consortium to run a natural-gas pipeline from the Russian icelands all the way down to a Y pipe. One channel to go to countries where they paid in euros, the other to one that paid in anything you wanted, from warplanes to harvested organs." And from The Daily News (2010): "Prime Minister of Kosovo is head of organ harvesting and drug ring in Eastern Europe." Check it out.
"I don't meet a whole lot of people without an agenda, so I don't know what's really in their mind. All I can do is be consistent and truthful. Am I shocked that the NAMBLA bulletin called me a fascist? No. But do I think they're objective reviewers? Of course not. Any more than I think most book reviewers could be objective, I don't know how they could be. The whole concept of book reviewing is, 'You people are a bunch of sheep and I know what's best and I'll point you in that direction.' What are the qualifications for being a book reviewer?" Click here to read the entirety of Rob W. Hart's interview with Andrew Vachss, published by The Cult, the official website of Chuck Palahniuk, on December 15, 2010.
From Blossom (1990): "He was the kind of man who'd use vanity plates on a getaway car." And from Boston's WCVB-TV (2010): "A Hooksett woman was arrested and charged with robbing a pharmacy after a witness jotted down the vanity plate on her car as she left the area." Check it out.
"A lot of people have asked me why I care so much about the issue of child abuse, since I don't have kids and am not really close to any other children. Part of it is sociological. ... Part of it is hatred, pure and simple. ... The real reason, though, stems from an experience I had when I was 22." We didn't all take the same path to get here. To read about the path Roland Murphy took, click here.
Our rule is simple: If you've got our back, you're in our Pack. And even by his choice of reading material, Blanco has proven in.
Okay, so now the Chicago Tribune has joined the New York Times in recommending Heart Transplant as a top holiday gift pick. Of course, that doesn't make it any easier to find the book in your local bookstore—the solicitation and distribution have been failed since the start. So if you're looking to give Heart Transplant as a gift, what to do? Well, here's one solution: buy the book online. Buy.com, Amazon.com, and BN.com all list the book as in-stock, will ship it wherever you want, giftwrap it, even include whatever note you want, and all for around $20 (for a book with a cover price of $25). Don't get us wrong—we're big fans of brick-and-mortar bookstores, especially independent bookstores. And you have options if you're near Colorado Springs or Lincoln (NE). But until the books are available in stores, we're going to promote those forms of distribution that we're aware of. (And if you're in the UK, try Page45.com.)
From Two Trains Running (2005), page 269: "What is it this time? Nazi scientists, working in a secret lab to send rockets to the moon?" And from the Associated Press last month (11/15/2010): "Arthur Rudolph, one of hundreds of scientists brought to the U.S., told investigators in 1947 he had attended a hanging of inmates accused of sabotage at a German V-2 rocket plant he ran. U.S. immigration officials knew he had been a Nazi party member, but he was admitted to the U.S. anyway. Rudolph became father of the Saturn V rocket, enabling the U.S. to reach the moon." Click here for the complete article.
You might have read about the cell phone in Charles Manson's prison cell earlier this week. Or you might have picked it up from the whisper-stream last month, in The Weight.
"Across the globe criminals are using technology to facilitate the sexual exploitation of children. Police are overwhelmed and outnumbered. These Oak Ridge scientists are the good guys we've been waiting for. Their computers will become child-rescue engines." That's from Grier Weeks, Executive Director of Protect. Click here to read what he and all of us are excited about.
In his column in BookPage, Bruce Tierney says The Weight is "exceptionally well written and should appeal to longtime fans and new readers alike." Click here to read the entire review.
In the November 20 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Paula Woods gave Andrew Vachss' latest novel, The Weight, five stars, writing, "To read Andrew Vachss at his best is to take a ride on the dark side, where the plight of the oppressed and vulnerable—most notably abused children—becomes the catalyst for revenge-fueled street justice."
Click here to read the entire review.
"A lot of anti-bullying work says, Let's teach bullies empathy. But a lot of people actually enjoy hurting other people. So we're not talking to the bullies, we're talking to the targets. We're saying we think you can stop this, we think we all can."
Click here to read all of Zak Mucha's interview with Jonathan Messinger, published November 18, 2010, by Time Out Chicago.
You can hear what Andrew Vachss has to say about The Weight—and you can have your own say. He'll be a guest on Dave Marsh's political call-in show, "Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams" (Sirius Left Channel 146), this Sunday, November 14, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm Eastern.
In his weekly column in The Bay Citizen, Trey Bundy calls Heart Tansplant "a gloves-off indictment of culturally sanctioned bullying." Click here to read Trey's column.
We need your help! The distribution of Heart Transplant has been hosed from day one. On the one hand, the distributor is trying to tell us that no library wants this book. On the other hand, our man Trey Bundy sold out of all 50 copies he had available at the punk-rock show he held last Friday. Not only do we believe this is a book people want to read, but also, we have the evidence of Trey's one-day success that proves it.
We're not asking you to buy a copy. What we are asking you to do is make a bigger commitment than that. We want you to go to your local public library and ask to speak to the person in charge of purchasing books for the library. Ask that person if they were offered Heart Transplant; give them a copy of this brochure; then check in with us to let us know who you contacted and what they said.
The goal of this book is—always has been, since Andrew, Frank and Zak conceptualized it—to recode the cultural software as it pertains to bullying. It's an effective tool for doing that, and the timing couldn't be better. But any tool left in a drawer can't get the job done.
A Bomb Built in Hell is available now as a Kindle, with an original cover by the one-and-only Geofrey Darrow. For years you've been telling us you wanted to see it as a hardcover, a limited, a trade paperback ... voting has always been split. This is the only egalitarian way we could see to make it available. Costs you $5, and you can download Kindle software to any computer.
Original Andrew Vachss short story! "A dog is like a person—he needs a job and a family to be what he's meant to be." Mulholland Books—a new crime-fiction imprint at Little, Brown and Co.—is offering free on their website a new short story by Andrew Vachss. Read "As the Crow Flies" by clicking here.
Thee Parkside (1600 Seventeenth St., San Francisco) is hosting a Heart Transplantlaunch party, featuring live music from Grass Widow, the Bar Feeders, and Lou Lou & the Guitarfish. On Friday, October 29, the Bay Area's best punk bands will celebrate the release of the book, and help us get copies into circulation. None of the authors will be in attendance, but actual copies of the book will be available. The $8 cover will get you access to a night of great music, and you'll be able to purchase a copy of Heart Transplant. More information here.
Zak Mucha on the radio this morning! On Wednesday, October 27, Zak Mucha will join "Doctor Radio" host Dr. Carol Bernstein for an on-air disucssion about bullying. Dr. Bernstein, who is also President of the American Psychiatric Association and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at New York University School of Medicine, hosts her weekly show on Sirius Channel 114 and XM Channel 119. Mr. Mucha will be on from 9:00 to 9:30 am Eastern.
Heart Transplant went on sale yesterday ... and promptly sold out, both online and, from what we're hearing from Zero visitors, at many brick-and-mortar locations, too. We're grateful for all the support, and apologetic for the frustration many are experiencing. To be sure, everyone is working hard to rectify the situation, and we expect the pipeline to reopen in a couple of days. In the meantime, if you're willing to wait until the end of November to read the book, you can get a copy signed by Andrew Vachss for cover price here. And below are two more opportunities to get copies. Again, our apologies—and our gratitude, for making this book such an overwhelming success.
On September 22, 2010, 22-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide. Two other students had taped Clementi having sex with another man, and posted that video on the Internet. In the wake of that tragedy, youtube was flooded with "It Gets Better" videos. The movement was well-intentioned, if not entirely on target. In a guest dispatch to The Zero, Zak Mucha explains "The Problem with 'It Gets Better.'"
"Perhaps the baddest car in detective fiction belongs to Andrew Vachss' outlaw protagonist, Burke." Those aren't our words—they belong to Bruce Tierney, from his column on BookPage. Click here to read the whole round-up!
From Ingram's iKids newsletter: "It seems that every year one graphic novel stands out in my mind from all the rest. ... This year it's Heart Transplant. ... Although not completely a graphic novel or a self-help book this gripping story crosses both formats and categories in an attempt to get to the heart of the complex type of abuse known as bullying. It examines it from all sides and gives parents and teens the real facts. Some pages are completely wordless; others contain much text. Regardless, the striking color illustrations dramatically expose the full range of developing emotions in Sean, ultimately revealing a heart inside. ... Highly recommended for all school and public library YA collections." And while Ingram's recommendation carries a lot of weight with public libraries, it doesn't carry as much as your recommendation. (That's why they call them public libraries.) So click here to print a request you can bring to your public library. With Heart Transplant less than two weeks out from its on-sale date, now is the time to hit.
Here's an update for audiobook fans: MPformance.com has added three new short-story performances to their offerings: Daniel Boice performs Andrew Vachss' "Cripple" and "Value Received," and Chet Williamson performs his own story, "A Lover's Alibi." These audio shorts cost less than a dollar each, so ... check them out!
For some time now, we've been telling people that the key word in public library is public. That word tells you who funds the library ... and therefore who gets to decide which books should be purchased: you. To make it easier for you to tell your public library which book you want ordered, we put together this Library Request Form for Heart Transplant. Please print it out, fill it out, and take it to your public library—and help us recode the cultural software regarding bullying.
Although the book is not due to be released until October 19, our sample copy of Heart Transplant arrived recently. Take a look at the photo of the package—a beautiful presentation of Frank Caruso's stunning artwork—by clicking here.
An anonymous blogger is given up by Google for libeling a former model. An 18-year-old woman is jailed in Britain for posting death threats to another young woman on her Facebook page. And a 17-year-old girl is found guilty of aiding and abetting the death of a young man for filming her friend delivering the fatal beating. Cyber-geeks are crying "censorship." But Andrew Vachss responded to that outcry back in 1994.
In a 2006 interview with Protect, Andrew Vachss said, "Why do I feel 'simple possession' [of child pornography] is so critical? ... [C]rime chases dollars. Although the huge networks grab all the headlines, without individual customers ... the networks are out of business. They run continuing criminal enterprises which are rooted in the desire of individuals to possess certain images. If those individuals were facing felony convictions, with actual prison time, and were forced to register as sex offenders, some deterrence would immediately ensue. For every 'collector' deterred, less money goes to the syndicates. If we don't stop the buyers, there will always be sellers." One of those buyers—Gerald Aumais—has been stopped. In October 2009, he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe to ten years prison. Then, in August 2010, U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Homer ordered Aumais to pay $48,483 to one of the victims photographed in several of the thousands of images he collected.
Vintage's trade-paperback edition of Haiku will go on sale November 2, 2010. Click here to go to the Haiku page and see the cover of the trade paperback—and click on that cover if you want to see how it looks front and back.
Our mission at The Zero is to change behavior that threatens our species. One of the ways we try to do that is by changing the language people use. That can be like planting a firecracker and waiting for it to grow to a bomb. Well, one of those bombs was just harvested. Check out our "Sick vs. Evil" page, and be sure to scroll down to the bottom, to read about how this bomb blew up all over a child rapist named William Irey and U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell.
One of Italy's major newspapers, Il Giornale, interviewed Andrew Vachss on that country's publication of The Getaway Man. If you read Italian—or just want to see the illustration they made of Mr. Vachss—click here!
"Kiddie porn on the Internet serves the same two major purposes it serves in any other forum ... and one unique to the medium. First, kiddie porn tells the child molester viewing it that he or she is not a freak, not alone in his degeneracy. ... Second, kiddie porn is used to desensitize potential victims." That's what Andrew Vachss said in 1998, in his testimony before the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Now compare that to this, from a New York Times article published this week: "[Stacey] Springer [a vice president at Caleris, a firm that is hired by social networking sites to review photographs for inappropriate content] says she believes that content moderators tend to become desensitized to the imagery, making it easier to cope. But she is called on to review the worst material, like sexual images involving children, and says that she finds some of it 'hard to walk away from.' "
Here's an update on the Death of Journalism: John Conroy has been on the story of police torture in Chicago since 1990. His articles are credited as sparking the Police Dept. Review Board investigation that led to the 1993 firing of Jon Burge as Commander of Chicago's Area 2 police force. But Mr. Conroy didn't close his file there; he saw more to the story. He continued writing, and the revelation that so many people had been convicted based on confessions obtained through torture resulted in former-Governor George Ryan declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois. That was 2003, and Mr. Conroy kept writing. Just over two weeks ago, on June 29, Burge was convicted. Not of the torture itself—the statute of limitations expired decades ago for those crimes. He was convicted of perjury—lying about not torturing suspects, in testimony during civil cases. More than twenty years after Mr. Conroy's articles began seeing print. And, again, all of it credited to those articles. So ... how is this about the death of journalism? Mr. Conroy was laid off as a reporter in 2007. Even without the regular paycheck that should come with this kind of work, Mr. Conroy has continued reporting on police torture, on his blog at vocalo.com. That's a Journalist, following a story to its end. And when someone like that is replaced by AP wires and interns who just print press releases, we should all be worried. Mr. Conroy has our deepest respect and admiration.
In his 2007 interview with PulpPusher.com, Andrew Vachss said, "How come the same people who demand the government stay out of their personal business when it comes to gun ownership are so silent about the government telling people what they can do with their own bodies?" Now check out "Basis of Ruling on Gay Unions Stirs Debate," from the July 10, 2010, edition of the New York Times.
Can a tongue be registered as a lethal weapon? Join us in welcoming Maggie Estep's Mickey the Pit Bull to the Zero Pack!
Speaking of Maggie Estep ... her audio performance of Andrew Vachss' short story "Reaching Back" is the latest offering from MPformance. Joining Maggie is longtime Zero visitor Dan Boice with his performance of "Dead Game." At less than $1 each, you can't ask for a better MP3 value!
In False Allegations, Andrew Vachss wrote, "[T]he whisper–stream vacuums up everything, gold to garbage." Sometimes, it can be a bit of both. Read Lynda Edwards' article, "Myths Over Miami," from the June 5, 1997, edition of the Miami New Times.
Andrew Vachss, Frank Caruso, and Zak Mucha collaborated on an antidote to bullying: it's called Heart Transplant. We announced the project back in April. But since then, we've been sending preview copies around and getting back some endorsements that demonstrate that leaders in the fields of psychiatry, child development, child protection, education, social work, journalism, self-defense, and community policing agree with the solution. Click here to read the endorsements, a description of Heart Transplant, and an excerpt from the book.
Heart Transplant is all about helping, and there's always ways that you can help. If you bought this book and donated it to a library, that would be huge. If you bought it and gave it to a kid who is being bullied, that would be fantastic. If you simply buy it, that would be a great help. But if you can't do any of that, here's something you can do that won't cost a dime: go to Amazon.com and "tag" the book (in the section immediately beneath Andrew Vachss' picture) as "bullying," "school bullying," "parenting," "young adult," "bullies," "bullied," "emotional abuse," and "bully." This will help put the book in the top rankings when someone searches these various tags. An antidote doesn't mean anything if it doesn't get to the person who needs it—your tags will help ensure it does.
Here are Andrew Vachss' words from 1983: "This is the type of kid who will kill three people on separate occasions for no apparent reason, commit a subway robbery, do a push-in mugging, blow somebody away because they 'looked at him wrong.' He will show no remorse, and then come into the office of an institution just enraged, veins bulging out of his neck, sweat pouring off his forehead, eyes wild, incoherent almost to the point of tears . . . all because someone broke his portable radio. And he'll see no contradiction whatsoever. He simply does not feel anyone's pain but his own. . . . To this kid, life is a lottery. Everyone rolls the dice, but not everyone pays the price." Compare those words to this June 3, 2010, story from The Washington Post: "The Southeast Washington drive-by shootings: Prelude to a tragedy."
You probably know Alison Arngrim as Nellie Oleson, once voted the meanest child star ever for her infamous nastiness on one of the most beloved shows in TV history: "Little House on the Prairie." We know her as a truly valiant warrior for PROTECT. And now you can know all about her—and see the reality behind the glitz of TV hits—because her take-no-prisoners memoir, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, is about to hit bookstores. And we do mean hit!
Anyone who has read the books of Andrew Vachss knows how we feel about journalism: it's our only real form of protection. But journalism has been sadly degenerating in the last couple decades. So we're really glad to see that Trey Bundy—as serious a journalist as we've ever read—not only has a new regular, weekly column in The Bay Citizen, but that its focus is child welfare. Click here to read the first column, "The 'System' and its Discontents," and check in every week for the latest!
"When police fired off a flash grenade and stormed into an east-side flat, film was rolling. Now some are questioning whether that influenced the events that led to the death of a 7-year-old girl. The killing of Aiyana Jones during a police raid being filmed by a camera crew for the show 'The First 48' raises concerns for some over the relationship between police departments and reality television shows, a relationship that trades exciting video for the promise of positive publicity and improved morale." Read the whole story, from the May 18, 2010, Detroit News, by clicking here. Then go read Andrew Vachss' 2002 warning: Only Child.
We've been hearing from a lot of people who are celebrating the Supreme Court's ruling that 'sexually dangerous' inmates can be imprisoned indefinitely. Well, we're here to tell you: stop the celebration. The ruling has made matters worse. The poison pill is that the inmate can only be detained if s/he "suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder." This means we don't win; they do. Because the Court has not ratified the concept that one can "suffer" from a "mental illness." GUARANTEED: this will become the new defense strategy. If the U.S. Supreme Court says that the "disease" exists, no lower court can refuse when the same conduct is offered as an INSANITY DEFENSE! The perfect irony: what keeps some freaks in will let many more off the hook. Too bad the Justices never read "The Difference Between 'Sick' and 'Evil,' " huh?
Two Trains Running, when you boil it down, is about the importance of journalism. Same case with the Underground short stories. So when we see articles like "Pornland, Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland" (Dan Rather, Huffington Post, May 18, 2010), it makes us angry. Why? Well, we can forgive Rather for not reading Pain Management (2001), in which Andrew Vachss writes about Portland's trade in child sex. But as a "journalist," you'd expect Rather to at least have read Vachss' article "Watch Your Language," which appeared in every major newspaper in America (including The Oregonian) via Parade in 2005. Here's part of what he would have learned:
"Years ago, I participated in the rescue of a child from bondage. Destiny (not her real name) was 13. She had been repeatedly raped by a pair of predators to 'educate' her. Then, along with several other young girls, she was forced to sell herself to strangers. ... What was wrong with calling Destiny a 'child prostitute'? After all, she was a child, and she was engaged in prostitution. First, the word itself implies a judgment of character. Don't we call people who sell out their moral convictions in exchange for personal gain 'whores'? More important, prostitution implies a willing exchange. Ultimately, the term 'child prostitution' implies that little children are 'seductive,' that they 'volunteer' to have sex with adults in exchange for cash (which, of course, the children never see).
"The difference between calling Destiny a 'child prostitute' and a 'prostituted child' is not purely semantic. It is more than the difference between a hard truth and a pernicious lie. It not only injures the victims; it actively gives aid and comfort to the enemy."
So Rather writes, "We all [emphasis ours] are ... in denial [about sex trafficking in children in America]," and that he "ran across [this story] late last year." Well ... thank goodness Dan Rather is on the job. And he proceeds to contribute to the problem by using the term "child prostitute" and using salacious images with his "story." Rather isn't a journalist—he's a guy selling advertising. And selling advertising isn't a crime. But posing as a journalist and (further) prostituting children for the purposes of ad sales ought to be.
Every so often, a news story strikes us as so wrong that we have to dissect it. That's what we've done with "2nd Circuit Faults Pornography Enhancements, Vacates Sentence" (Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal, May 14, 2010). The emphasis throughout the story is that "mere possession" of child pornography could result in a higher sentence than the actual sexual assault of a child (for pleasure and/or profit). But the emphasis should be on why the latter are not eligible for much longer sentences. Click here to read our view of what this story misses.
Maybe you read Andrew Vachss' 2007 novel, Terminal? If so, it won't surprise you to read this quote from the April 12, 2010, Connecticut Law Tribune: " 'Tony' Bryant ... a private school classmate of [15-year-old Martha] Moxley and [the person convicted of killing her, Michael] Skakel ... said his friends told him a few days after the murder that they assaulted Moxley. Defense attorney Sherman did not introduce Bryant’s statements during the 2002 trial." Click here to read the rest of the article ... or click here to read the end before it's written.
When we talk about people who are homeless, we tend to talk about them like they are a singular population: they came to be homeless the same way, and there's a single solution to resolve their homelessness. That's what Haiku is about—and that's what this story from WPIX.com demonstrates. Until we start talking about the different ways people come to be homeless—and until we stop juxtaposing "homeless person" with "good samaritan"—we won't be able to talk about real solutions.
The Supreme Court says it's legal to make movies of animals being tortured. That was their ruling yesterday, by a count of 8 to 1. So what we want to know is, if we make a film of ourselves killing a couple people who are making a film of themselves torturing an animal, is that legal? Because those torturers are lower than animals.
Our regards to Samuel Alito for being the only judge to vote humanely. As for the rest of them ... our motto is Replace All Eight.
Last week, as a response to the latest wave of news about predatory priests, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said "[T]here is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. ... That is the problem." We've been saying our piece for years—and have interlineated some of it into the Daily News article from April 13. Click here to read the whole deal.
"Just weeks after Chris Goehner, an Iraq war veteran, got a dog, he was able to cut in half the dose of anxiety and sleep medications he took for post-traumatic stress disorder. The night terrors and suicidal thoughts that kept him awake for days on end ceased. Aaron Ellis, another Iraq veteran with the stress disorder, scrapped his medications entirely soon after getting a dog — and set foot in a grocery store for the first time in three years. The dogs to whom they credit their improved health are not just pets. Rather, they are psychiatric service dogs specially trained to help traumatized veterans leave the battlefield behind as they reintegrate into society." Click here to read the rest of Janie Lorber's story "For the Battle-Scarred, Comfort at Leash's End," as published April 2, 2010, by the New York Times.
Amazon is also now listing Vintage's trade-paperback edition of Haiku, due to ship November 02, 2010. A large-print edition of that book was published March 02 of this year by Thorndike Press. And ... there's another book by Andrew Vachss due out in October 2010, and that's not listed on Amazon. Head back here next week for a first look at that book, a collaboration with cartoonist Frank Caruso. The target: bullying.
In her article "Another girl's death, another law" (Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2010), Cathleen Decker quotes a January 2010 report by California's Sexual Offender Management Board: "The hypothesis that sex offenders who live in close proximity to schools, parks and other places children congregate have an increased likelihood of sexually re-offending remains unsupported by research. On the contrary . . . there is almost no correlation between sex offenders living near restricted areas and where they commit their offenses." Ms. Decker writes, "California spends an estimated $80 million annually on ankle-bracelet monitoring of high-risk offenders, but the report suggested that there is no indication that the public is safer from felons monitored by global positioning systems than from those unmonitored. 'The law was passed with little information about how it would be implemented or evidence of whether GPS technology would protect Californians from sex offenders,' the report said."
If you caught the Family of Choice webcast back in January 2009, you would have heard Andrew Vachss say the former; if you missed it, watch that clip by clicking here. As for the latter, here's what appeared in the 2007 Burke novel, Terminal: "Some other geniuses are pushing GPS cuffs for the freaks. Won’t stop them from doing what they do, but it’ll save a lot of money on cadaver dogs."
"As sex abuse scandals rock the Vatican, the results of an investigation into a rich, ultra-conservative and secretive Roman Catholic order founded by a priest accused of pedophilia and incest are due to be filed in Rome on Monday." That's from an AOL news story published March 14, 2010. And if it sounds familiar, go grab your copy of Andrew Vachss' 1996 novel, False Allegations, and read about "the Gospel of Job's Song," beginning on page 150.
"The school board held one of their little coffee-klatches and decided they're going to ban what they call 'bullying' at the high school. Maybe if they spent a few hours in the real world, they'd understand that what they're all hyperventilating about is nothing more than Darwinism. The strong are always going to assert themselves over the weak—that's what keeps a species viable. Look at a wolf pack. If one of them's too weak to pull his weight, it's better the rest find out while he's still a cub."Click here to read more of Roger's pontifications in "Choice of Weapons," an original short story by Andrew Vachss.
"A former Ohio emergency room physician was convicted of aggravated murder Friday in the 2005 poisoning death of his wife. .. One female juror noted that throughout the trial, Essa did not display any emotion, not even when a picture of his wife and children was shown in court. 'When your kids ain't there, you're gonna miss them. You're gonna cry. [But he had] no expression at all. He hadn't seen these kids in five years, no expression, no tears, no nothing,' she said." That's from CNN from March 5, 2010. This is from Andrew Vachss' 2007 novel, Terminal:
Jurors were being interviewed. Must have been some kind of major case. They all agreed it was just disgusting that the killer hadn’t shown the slightest trace of remorse. “He never shed a tear for her, not once,” one blobby woman in a blue dress with a white Peter Pan collar said. Her own piggy eyes dutifully welled up as she reached for her personal Oprah moment.
I didn’t know if the guy they were talking about was guilty or not, but I felt a wave of disgust for that jury, anyway. TV trials have turned jury service into a media opportunity, and the slugs know their lines by heart: If the poor bastard says he’s innocent, they want to fry him because he’s not “sorry.” And if he blows any chance of appeal by admitting he did it, any tears that come out of his eyes are dismissed as phony.
Language is a tool: one that predators use to weaken their victims, and that we use to fight predators. Like many other tools, the more you use it, the more effective it is. Back in 1996, Andrew Vachss wrote, "If we allow the term 'child prostitution' to gain a sufficient foothold in our language, we surrender precious, hard-won ground to the enemy. There is no such thing as 'child prostitution.' That term contradicts itself, 'proving' a lie. Trafficking in prostituted children ... is slavery—any other description is a grotesque euphemism or an outright lie." In 2005, he wrote, "The difference between calling Destiny a 'child prostitute' and a 'prostituted child' is not purely semantic. It is more than the difference between a hard truth and a pernicious lie. It not only injures the victims; it actively gives aid and comfort to the enemy." This past October, in TheNew York Times, reporter Ian Urbina wrote, "[M]any child welfare advocates and officials in government and law enforcement say that while the data is scarce, they believe that the problem of prostituted children has grown, especially as the Internet has made finding clients easier." Add to that a headline from the February 27, 2010, edition of The Washington Post: "Two charged ... with prostituting girl." The cultural software is being recoded....
For decades, Andrew Vachss has been asked: "Who would you like to play Burke on the screen?" His answer has never varied: "I'd want an open casting call, because I know there are better 'undiscovered' (meaning 'unconnected') actors out there than you've ever heard of. Me, I'd want the best. And I know I'd have the best chance of finding the perfect dog in a shelter than I would at an AKC show." We've now set up that "open casting call." Ten Angry Pitbulls is selling mp3 audiofiles of performances— not "readings"—of short stories by actors who may not be household names ... yet. For openers, they present Andrew Vachss' "Step on a Crack," as performed by Ean Sheehy (Law & Order: Criminal Intent). It's a 99-cent commitment for you to check out this first one. And if you want to participate in the open casting call, click here to get details.
In a story last week about the military coup in Niger, the BBC reports, "[Under overthrown President Tjanda] ... China National Petroleum Corporation signed a $5bn deal in 2008 to pump oil within three years." A year earlier, in his 2007 novel, Terminal, Andrew Vachss wrote, "The teleprompter-reader announced that Nigeria and China had just signed some sort of treaty, the centerpiece of which was cooperation between their governments. Nigeria announced it was irrevocably committed to a 'one-China' policy, meaning, the day the Chinese decide to attack Taiwan, they could count on Nigerian oil to keep flowing to their war machine. Nice two-way street: if Biafra—or any other separatist movement—ever tries to rise again, and the Nigerian generals go back to their genocide program, China’s going to veto any UN Security Council vote to intervene."
"A patient at the Bronx Psychiatric Center claims he was molested by an employee who was a registered sex offender in Florida when he was hired." That's the first line from a February 5, 2010, article published by The (New York) Daily News—click here to read the whole piece. And then compare it to Lou Bank's guest dispatch, "Are Children Safe in Our Hospitals?," originally published on The Zero back in 2000, which begins, " 'Volunteer accused of molesting children at Doernbecher!' That headline has not yet run on the front page of The Oregonian, but it will. It's just a matter of time." Nobody uses these sex-offender registries in a way that truly protects the public. Unless and until we make institutions, agencies, and organizations strictly liable for any crimes committed by those they hire (or allow to volunteer), nobody will.
In his February 2006 Parade article, Andrew Vachss wrote, "[W]e must begin to treat so-called 'simple possession' of child pornography as the heinous crime it is. Every purchase of child pornography encourages further growth of this evil business: from 'custom' child pornography—the sale of images of child rape created to order for the consumer—to 'real-time' child pornography, where subscribers pay to watch the streamed online rape of children as it occurs." He clarified that statement in an interview with Protect, saying, "I specifically want the federal government to be able to sue, because it has both the resources and the mandate. I am not advocating 'class action' suits on behalf of unidentified victims. The goal is not enrichment of individual lawyers. The goal is to benefit child pornography victims, penalize the profiteers, and add assets to the agencies charged with enforcing the law." Now, four years later, someone is doing exactly that. Read "Child Pornography, and an Issue of Restitution," from the February 2, 2010, edition of the New York Times, by clicking here.
"MSNBC is reporting child abuse rates in the U.S. have dropped sharply. ... [A]buser-apologist group the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform wants to use the reduction as an excuse to gut investigation and prosecution of abusers." To read the rest of Roland Murphy's guest dispatch, click here.
Last week's update took a square shot at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (see second update below this one). This week, the National Association to Protect Children steps into the ring. Click here to read their piece on the matter.
01-20-10 On the occasion of the release of Haiku, renowned music critic Dave Marsh—cofounder of Creem magazine, columnist for Rolling Stone, and author of biographies of Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley—welcomed Andrew Vachss on his Sirius Satellite Radio show Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams for a two-hour interview. In case you missed that November 1, 2009, interview, the folks at Sirius have made the audio of the conversation available for free download from The Zero. Click here to listen to that interview.
01-06-10 Ian O'Doherty at the Irish Independent calls Andrew Vachss' latest, Haiku, "a story of loyalty and honour that is simply brilliant." Click here to read the item from today's column—as well as an interesting piece about global warming and the Pope.
01-06-10 At 100 years old, Theodore Sypnier is the oldest registered sex offender in New York State. He's described by The Buffalo News as "highly alert, physically active and very capable of living alone and taking care of himself." He's described by Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III as "an unrepentant child molester who has been doing this or trying to do this for 60 years. He can't be cured. He's not sick. He's evil. He's not old. He's evil." If that's not enough for you, you can read the whole story by clicking here. And if that's still not enough, you can read the graphic-novel adaptation of Andrew Vachss' short story "Treatment" by clicking here.
12-09-09 If you prefer listening to reading, you'll be interested in the updates to the audiobook page, where you'll see that Brilliance has announced adaptations of Safe House and Choice of Evil for October 2010, and has provided covers for Blue Belle, Hard Candy and Blossom. (And, no, we don't know where the cover to Strega is, either.)
by Undergroundresister on Nov. 9, 2009 If it were not for Polanski, the anti-satanic-cult would never started. Satanic Ritual Abuse would have gone unnoticed. Satanic Cults have tried to silence Polanski before – the Charles Manson Family even tried to assasinate him, but only succeeded in murdering his wife, Sharon Tate, and their unborn child. The International Satanist Movement has struck again, framing Polanski for the “statutory rape” of a 13-year old girl. This is a lie. ROMAN POLANSKI IS INNOCENT.
If that were included in one of Mr. Vachss' books, "reviewers" would fall all over themselves going on and on about his "sick imagination."
12-09-09 Jack joins the Pack! Click here to welcome the newest member of the Dogs of the Zero!
12-02-09 Ghost stole hearts, and Donna Brilmayer nurtured them. They were together on this earth and now they have gone . . . wherever you go when you're not here. Wherever that is, they are together. To read about this great dog and this incomparable woman, click here.
11-25-09 The longer the Web is around, the more it reaches into the past, with media of all sorts getting their archives online. One of those archives has unearthed a 1993 photo of Andrew Vachss from Life magazine. Check it out.
11-25-09 "A German shepherd named Vachss led the way in courthouse therapy, comforting children when they testified in abuse cases in Jackson, Miss., in the 1990s. In 1994 Vachss was named Hero of the Year in for his role, according to report in the American Bar Association's GPSolo magazine, and the success of his work led other courthouses around the country to consider therapy dogs. This great program has arrived in Centre County [PA], with the introduction of a courthouse canine to work with the District Attorney's Office and help ease stress on child victims." Read all about it, in an editorial in the Centre Daily Times, by clicking here.
11-04-09Andrew Vachss' latest, Haiku, is on sale now! Here are some details you might have missed:
• The ebook editions—from Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble ... everybody—include Andrew Vachss' original screenplay "Underground," adapting forscreen the concepts he created for the short-story series in Born Bad and Everybody Pays. It chronicles life in the "Underground," a society built by survivors of a cataclysm known only as "The Terror," where the wrong side of the human race came out on top. The world is hyper-controlled. The only "news" is on the omnipresent Info-Boards. Scrolling across each is the reward for capture of any Book Boy, the last journalists. Their truths are sprayed on the walls in their unique shade of blue: IF IT'S WRITTEN IN BLUE, IT MUST BE TRUE.
10-21-09 In his 2002 novel Pain Management, Andrew Vachss commented on the Bush Administration's embrace of "state's rights" when it came to some states attempting to make abortion illegal via ballot initiative, and their total contempt for same when they used the DEA to bust people with medical prescriptions for marijuana on the ground that Federal law always supercedes State law. The passage reads like this: "All I get for [the pain] is the medical marijuana—it's the only 'illegal' drug I’ve used since I got pregnant, and Tam's eighteen now. And in college. ... But even that doesn’t always work. ... And that slimy Supreme Court just struck down the law that allows medical marijuana." So everyone here was glad to read that the Obama Administration is taking a more humane approach. (Updated 10-21-09)
10-14-09 By the time your average interview sees print, it's been edited down, rearranged, and "normalized" to fit within the parameters of the media that's publishing it. If you want a taste of what goes on before that process, and an insider view of what occurs in an interview, click here to read "Crime Is On My Side," by Ross Thompson, published October 12, 2009.
10-14-09 Almost a decade ago, in Dead and Gone, Andrew Vachss wrote, "The church doesn't call them child molesters, or baby-rapers, or anything so terribly stigmatizing. No, predatory priests were 'ephebophiles,' part of the church's PR campaign to 'dimensionalize' its own degenerates. They know exactly how to play it. First you make up some 'syndrome' or 'disorder' that covers the crime. Then you give it some fancy-sounding name, and count on the whores and fools to spread the word. You don’t have to prove anything, just repeat it often enough, preferably through a good media machine. Doesn't matter if the entire scientific community sneers at it. What counts is that it gives defense attorneys an argument for a 'nonincarcerative alternative.' And black-robed collaborators all the excuse they need." And, sure enough, "ephebophilia" is being trotted out again, this time in defense of Lawrence Scott Ward, a former Ivy League professor who manufactured child pornography and lied to bring one of his young victims into the US. Click here to read the entire AP story, as published by Comcast.net News on September 29, 2009.
10-07-09 Here's how Clayton Moore begins his review of Haiku in Bookslut: "Sometimes a break from a series can be not only a diversion, but a downright epiphany. That’s been my experience with the non-sequential novels of Andrew Vachss. Don’t get me wrong — I do like a good Burke novel now and again, and last year’s series-capping novel Another Life was a sweet ending to a killer series. But somehow I’ve always found more satisfaction in the writer’s alternative work, maybe because the non-necessity of sticking to the familiar tends to lead him in interesting directions." Click here to read the entire review.
09-30-09 We've had a whole bunch of questions about a tour for Haiku, so we wanted to set the record straight: there isn't going to be any tour. The Family of Choice webcast, arranged for the release of Another Life, was our shot at giving everyone a fair shot—we didn't know we were handicapped going in. And we won't tie our hands again by going the same route. But we're not going back on the road if we can't hit every town that's asked us to come. When we find an equitable way to take care of everybody, we'll let everyone know, right here.
09-28-09 The Human Society of the United States may have adopted Michael Vick, but they're not our Humane Society. That distinction goes to the Humane Society of Canada, a different organization entirely that has no connection to the other, and where chairman and CEO Michael O'Sullivan has distinguished himself by his response to dogfighting and his response to people confusing the two organizations. As for our stance regarding Michael Vick, see page 80 of Another Life.
09-28-09 To all who have contacted us regarding the arrest of Roman Polanski: There is no point expressing your outrage to us ... you're preaching to the choir. You think Polanski went to Zurich by mistake? Come on! If you had to pick one country on the entire planet where money talks, where would you go? Switzerland, remember, is "neutral" ... they are equally willing to take money from anyone, whether it's drug cartels or Nazi-looted artworks. The whole thing feels very engineered to us, set up way in advance. They either have a side deal in place guaranteeing Polanski's return to France—the country which proudly housed that pile of toxic waste called Ira Einhorn, "heroically" protecting him from the "gross injustices" of the American criminal justice system—or there is already a deal in place for extradition. Then, a kindly judge could re-sentence Polanski ... taking into account his advanced age, being the child of Holocaust victims, the trauma of the Manson murders, and his "contribution to culture." Don't forget the "forgiveness" of the victim, probably pre-announced in an Oprah Magic Moment ... ah, the ratings! Result: poor tormented Roman does some Paris Hilton time, and gets a ticker-tape parade back where he "belongs." Maybe he can collaborate (his years in France should have made him highly skilled in that department) with Victor Salva on a movie that would finally surpass Lolita.
09-23-09 Back in 1998, in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Andrew Vachss said, "Clearly, the difference between raping your own baby and raping the guy next door's baby is that you can do as you wish with your own property." That lesson played out for Roger Stephens: same tune, different lyrics, same conclusion. Check it out.
09-09-09 The Zero wishes to express great respect for Anna Katterjohn at Library Journal. When we pointed out the error in her prepub annotation for Andrew Vachss' Haiku, she took the matter very seriously—and demonstrated her professionalism by her behavior.
08-19-09 If you're looking forward to Andrew Vachss' forthcoming novel, Haiku, you can get a first look at the full cover—front, back, spine and flaps—by clicking here.
08-12-09 In Only Child (2002), Andrew Vachss wrote, "[Y]ou see quasi-Chinese ideograms on everything today, from clothes to skin. They usually don’t mean anything, but people who read comics for the ancient wisdom think they look cool. There's a tattoo artist Mama knows in a basement off Mott Street. He always has a vast display of the symbols for customer viewing. They pick the one they like, and Hop Sing or Wo Fat or whatever he feels like calling himself that day makes up a story about what it stands for: Truth, Justice, Integrity, Honor, Power, whatever. Mama says there are hundreds of different symbols for 'sucker' in Chinese, and this guy knows them all." Maybe the the editorial board of the Max Planck Institute, one of Germany's leading science institutions, should have read that novel. Click here to read "Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad," as originally published December 9, 2008, by The Independent.
07-29-09 Over the years we've received a bunch of emails asking about or commenting on the dedications Andrew Vachss includes in his books. To make it easy for readers to find those dedications, we're now making them all available in one place, and adding links where appropriate.
07-15-09After reading Andrew Vachss' books, plenty of people ask what they can do. Here's what one man did:
07-15-09 What do freaks use "training" for? From an August 8, 2005, Associated Press article by John Miller: "William Buie, 64, of Boise, most recently worked as an investigator for the Idaho attorney general's office. He was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to a year in prison on one count of possession of sexually exploitative materials involving minors. He had pleaded guilty in March. Buie told agents with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that he learned to access child pornography Web sites while attending a seminar on preventing child exploitation as part of his law enforcement training in 2000 or 2001."
07-08-09 Whether you like your dogs with some meat on their bones or you like 'em skinny, you'll find the duo of Bruno and Oosa are the kind of dogs you like. Click here to meet the newest members of The Zero's back-up pack!
07-01-09 "Andrew H. Vachss, counselor at law, and a 6-year-old client in a Met cap went to Family Court in Westchester County last week. It was the happy resolution to a series of ugly proceedings that began four years ago when Mr. Vachss represented the boy in an abuse case against his parents. Now he was about to be adopted." Click here to read Georgia Dullea's recently unearthed 1988 New York Times article documenting the early days of children's law.
06-03-09 "[Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald,] founder of a Roman Catholic religious order that ran retreat centers for troubled priests, warned American bishops in forceful letters dating back to 1952 that pedophiles should be removed from the priesthood because they could not be cured. [He] delivered the same advice in person to Vatican officials in Rome in 1962 and to Pope Paul VI a year later ... . Father Fitzgerald, who died in 1969, even made a $5,000 down payment on a Caribbean island where he planned to build an isolated retreat to sequester priests who were sexual predators. His letters show he was driven by a desire to save the church from scandal, and to save laypeople from being victimized." Click here to read Laurie Goodstein's complete article, as published April 2, 2009, by the New York Times. Then go back and read Dead and Gone ... and especially page 222.
04-29-09 If you're one of the many readers who scans each of the Burke novels for musicians and songs, then we have a treat for you. Zero regular Jamie Burg and the Zero staff have put together a "playlist" for each of the 18 Burke books. Click here to start the music!
04-22-09 "When author Andrew Vachss looks into the crowd at a book reading, he'll spot bright red T-shirts claiming readers 'finished three bowls at Mama's Restaurant.' Only, Mama's Restaurant doesn't exist. At least, not outside Vachss' novels featuring Burke, a lone-wolf vigilante with no first name." Read the entire story about Protect's Novel-Tees program, as published April 14, 2009, in the Chicago Tribune.
04-15-09 If you've been to Pansy's MySpace page recently, you've probably noticed that one of her top friends is a pony named Andrew. We've been getting questions about Pansy's new friend, so ... click here for answers.
04-08-09 Social Workers are horribly misperceived, and the stereotype of the young white woman doing "counseling" with people from another planet (experientially) has deep roots. But the whole profession just got a desperately needed upgrade, with the University of Denver's appointment of Frank R. Ascione, Ph.D., to the inaugural American Humane Endowed Chair in their School of Social Work. This honor will also bring greater light to the ties between animal abuse and child abuse. And if you don't know what that means, you can read Dr. Ascione's guest dispatches to The Zero here, here, and here. Congratulations, Dr. Ascione!
03-25-09 From Andrew Vachss' final Burke novel, Another Life, published December 30, 2008: "You can usually turn stupidity into money, but any good 419 man knows it takes more than stupidity alone to sell the heavier schemes. That recipe always needs at least a pinch of greed to make it palatable enough to swallow. Nigeria originated this con: '419' is a section of their criminal code, so they get scam-trademark status, like 'Ponzi scheme.' " And from CNN.com, published March 17, 2009: "Scammers in Nigeria have gained a reputation for using the Internet to con foreign nationals out of money. Some of the scams have earned the name '419' after the clause in the Nigerian criminal code that deals with obtaining property under false pretense."
03-18-09 Join us in welcoming Ginger, a malamute/shepherd/wolf mix, to the Back-Up Pack!
03-11-09 Raina Kelley at Newsweek made a call to all media this week to Watch Your Language. Read her article by clicking here, and read Andrew Vachss' 2005 article on the subject by clicking here.
03-04-09 "I made a commitment when I started writing the series that it wasn't going to be this stupid, plastic private eye crap where somebody stays 35 or 40 years. ... This is a family of choice, which means that their highest commitment is to protect their children, and the only way to do that is to make their children go on to another life. They cannot bring those children into the family business. That's where that decision has to be made and that's where the series ends." Click here [pdf 211 KB] to read the entirety of Ross Thompson's interview with Andrew Vachss, as originally published February 2009 by Scottish entertainment magazine AU.
02-25-09 For all you Protect members who visit The Zero ... congratulations on your $50 million victory last week! And for all of you who have not yet joined ... click here to read how the members of America's first political lobby for child protection managed to badger their politicians into finally funding our nation's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. And then watch the video to hear what Andrew Vachss thinks of Protect.
02-25-09 Hillary Clinton says human rights aren't as important as business. Yahoo!
02-18-09 "To say that Vachss' writing is 'hard boiled' is a bit like saying that Raymond Chandler once made a wisecrack or that Volkswagen once made small family cars." Click here to read Mike Ripley's entire review of Another Life, as originally published February 2009 by Shots: The Crime and Thriller eZine.
02-11-09 A couple of regulars, Patricia Jarnigan and Angie Jenkins, sent a treat for all you Pansy fans. Click here to check it out!
02-04-09The Calgary Heraldsays, "If an egg were this hardboiled, it would obliterate plate glass." The Free Lance-Star says, "Burke is the most likable criminal you'd ever want to meet." To read these two reviews of Another Life, the 18th and final Burke novel, click here and here.
01-28-09 Get shut out of the Family of Choice webcast? We're trying to make good in a small way to the many who were. We have ten copies of Another Life signed by Andrew Vachss that we're raffling off to those who were shut out. We'd like to send one to each of you, but it's just not economically feasible. If you were unable to log in (and, really, if you are not one of those who were violated by this error, please be respectful) click here to go to an entry form. We will not ever use the information for anything other than this make-good. Once done, we'll destroy your information. Again, we extend our deepest apologies.
01-28-09 One of Pansy's Top Friends and someone special to The Zero needs your vote(s)! Kasey Lansdale needs to remain in the top four, click here to help her do so! Once you're on the page, click on the yellow button "Demand it!" You can vote once a day, as many days as you can stand.
01-21-09 Do you use Flash or QuickTime? Because we finally have an archived version of the Family of Choice webcast that so many of you were shut out of. The key is, to access it, you need to read the instructions very carefully and choose based on your system. There are low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth options for both Flash and QuickTime. Click here to view the archive, and if you've read the instructions carefully and you still can't access it, click here to send an email to The Zero's webmaster, and be sure to include which program you're using, which version of that program you're using, on what operating system, with what kind of connection. Enjoy!
01-21-09 "Over the course of 18 novels and 24 years, this lawyer, child protection activist, rescuer of dogs and keen social commentator has been shining a torch into the darkest areas of human depravity. And, in Burke, he has created the perfect avenging, fallen angel. And now, it's all come to an end." Click here to read Ian O'Doherty's article about the end of the Burke series, as originally published January 19, 2009, by The [Irish] Independent.
01-19-09 If you're one of the many people who attempted to log on to the Family of Choice webcast and was unable to get in, you have our deepest apologies. More people logged in than we ever expected, overcrowding the server. We were able to change servers, but not until almost the second hour. The entire event was recored, and is being parsed out into smaller pieces that will be accessible to all. We'll update everyone once available.
01-14-09 NOTE TIME CHANGE: Andrew Vachss is interviewed by German journalist Martin Böttcher in a one-hour radio show, which will air at 5:00 p.m. German time on Monday, January 19, on byte.fm. Much of the music referenced in the Burke novels is featured, and Mr. Vachss talks about why the blues is important to him, why he finished the Burke series, and how that affects his primary work fighting predators. If you can make heads or tails of the time difference, click here to go to byte.fm. If the time issue hasn't already chased you off ... don't let the German confuse you: just click the "play" button in the upper left corner of the main page and the sound will start.
01-07-09 Why is there no tour for this book release? What's this webcast all about? Hear Andrew Vachss explain it all, on "Conversations Live!" with C. A. Webb, by clicking here!
12-31-08Another Life, the 18th and final novel in Andrew Vachss' Burke series, went on sale yesterday. That's led numerous people to ask if it's also Mr. Vachss' final book. The answer is, it's not. And for a glimpse into what is coming next, click here to read "Sure Thing," the short, short story Andrew Vachss wrote to help him develop a voice for a character in his next project. "Sure Thing" appears in the January 2009 issue of Esquire.
12-31-08 "I, along with the rest of the civilized world, believe that child pornography is a Bad Thing (TM), and those who create or traffic in it are evil people. However, just as one can still support the troops while criticizing the war, I too have an objection to the way we're fighting this war. Actually, to be more accurate, I support the war on child porn, but object to the fact that it's been outsourced to Blackwater the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children." Click here to read Christopher Soghoian's entire post, published on cnet.com on December 9, 2008.
12-31-08 The large-print edition of Another Life is available now! Click here to order a copy of the Thorndike Press publication.
12-24-08 "Several years ago, CPS removed children from a home in Brazoria County. The father, a Mr. Gates, went on a crusade to punish CPS and filed a civil suit against CPS because he felt CPS abused its power. Gates lost in trial court, lost on appeal and lost again in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals three months ago. That's where the case went terribly wrong." Click here to find out what went terribly wrong, in a guest dispatch from Justice For Children founder Randy Burton, originally published December 8, 2008, by the Houston Chronicle.
12-24-08 Janie Jones, JD and Harley--the Deluxx Pack--join *our* Pack! Click here to view our newest members.
12-24-08 Mikey paid his dues--won money for his former owner by running around a track at 45 mph. And when he stopped winning, well ... the owners weren't interested any longer. They discarded him and replaced him. But Maria was quick to pick him up. Click here to read about the newest member of the Pack.
12-17-08 "[Andrew] Vachss has surpassed Ian Fleming in the serial department by four novels--there are 14 original Bonds. ... Now it's the eve of his 18th and final Burke novel's release--Another Life. Why end it now?" For the answer to that question, read the entirety of Mark Rahner's profile of Andrew Vachss, as published in the seventh issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' crime-fiction comic book, Criminal, on sale now. Click here to see the cover.
12-17-08 Longtime Zero stalwart Antoinette Ledzian has a new book--another ideal holiday gift, ideal for anyone who has ever lost a loved one. It's a beautiful book about grieving, fashioned as a children's tale in a comforting manner that will help anyone dealing with loss. And contributions from the sale of the book are being donated to the National Association to Protect Children. Click here to preview or order this beautiful book.
12-10-08 We're proud to announce that one of our own, Trey Bundy, has just been awarded the Hearst Journalism Award! You can read about that award here, and you can read the piece that earned him the honors by clicking here. In an age when journalism is on a resuscitator, our man Trey is summitting mountains--and he's only just beginning.
12-10-08 Edward Kastenmeier has been editing Andrew Vachss' books for almost as long as he's been writing them. Now Mr. Kastenmeier is the Vice President/Executive Editor at Vintage Anchor Books. Click here to watch a video of Mr. Kastenmeier discussing his favorite authors, originally produced for Amazon.com.
12-03-08 Before Andrew Vachss writes a novel, he'll often develop the voices of new characters by writing short stories. If you want to read one of those shorts--an extremely short short--to get a taste of what's coming after Another Life, you'll want to pick up the January cover-date issue of Esquire.
12-03-08 Jeff Steen has sent in a tribute to his beloved Jake, who passed in 2005. Click here to read about this Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.
12-03-08 Last we heard from Minnie the Pit Bull, she was not quite five months old. That was six years ago. Click here to see how more than half a decade can change a puppy to a dog.
11-26-08 SAVE THE DATE! Readers in Defiance, OH; Germantown, TN; Edina, MN; Overland Park, KS; and Holmen, WI, will finally get to attend an Andrew Vachss event and ask a question ... and get a book signed. In fact, readers everywhere will be able to do this. To celebrate the final chapter in the Burke series, Pantheon is hosting a three-hour live Web cast featuring Andrew Vachss. The event will be held Wednesday, January 14, starting at 8:30 PM Eastern time, with the second hour launching at 8:30 PM Central, and the third at 7:30 PM Pacific. It's absolutely free to tune in, and absolutely free to ask a question. In two weeks, we'll have the pre-registration set up; you'll want to come back here to find the link to that pre-registration page. Pre-registrants will be able to send questions in advance, and will get special pricing on a signed or inscribed copy of the book. (And with this worldwide event taking the place of a tour, this is the only source for signed copies of Another Life.) So enjoy your Thanksgiving, and be sure to stop back in two weeks to register!
11-26-08 For those who have been asking about the audiobook adaptation to Another Life, the final chapter in the Burke series, here's the scoop: It's been adapted by Christopher Lane, and will be released by Brilliance on December 30--the same day that Pantheon releases the novel. You can listen to a sample by clicking here.
11-12-08 We're celebrating the signing of the PROTECT Our Children Act with a signing of our own! It's a limited-edition print of Geofrey Darrow's cover to Andrew Vachss' Hard Looks graphic novel, hand-signed by both Mr. Darrow and Mr. Vachss. Measuring 13.75" x 18.5", it's printed on 65# Bright White Sundance Cover Felt Finish stock made from 30% recycled fibers by a Kodak NexPress 2100 digital production color press. The profits from the prints will be donated to Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection--so that they have funds to get them through the next lobbying effort. Click here to get your print!
11-05-08 "[A]nybody who has served in combat in any way understands that words are weapons. And I'm in a war. The war hasn't stopped. I've always used the books as a blunt instrument." Click here to read Dan Webster's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, originally published June 19, 2005, by the Spokesman Review, during the release of Two Trains Running.
10-29-08 We're two months away from the release of the final chapter in the Burke series, Another Life, so you'd expect we'd have news about the events we have in store to promote the book. But ... hang tight. You can click here to see the catalog page from Pantheon, and we can tell you that there will be audiobook and large-print versions released. And we can tell you that Pansy will be making a special offer to her friends. Come back here in a couple weeks, though, and we should be able to tell you plenty more.
10-22-08 Not a week on the books, and the PROTECT Act is already having an impact. Click here to read "ISPs are pressed to become child porn cops," published October 16, 2008, by msnbc.com.
10-15-08 PROTECT Our Children Act is law! President Bush signed into law this week the PROTECT Our Children Act, which will direct $60 million toward investigating and prosecuting the hundreds of thousands of individuals identified as trading child pornography over modems, and will require the federal government to establish its own internal division to pursue child pornographers on the Web. It's the latest--and biggest--victory for Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection. If you haven't joined yet, join this successful group now and be part of the force that is changing the way this world treats children! Click here for more information.
10-15-08 Looking for a good horror book to get you in the mood for Halloween? The Horror Writers Association has forty suggestions, listed here alphabetically by author. Be sure to make your way to the end of the list, for authors whose last name starts with "V."
10-01-08 PROTECT Our Children Act passes Congress! America's first political lobby for child protection has made incredible strides since its formation in 2002, including closure of the incest-exception laws in California and New York. Yet as incredible as those successes were, this latest victory is greater still. The PROTECT Our Children Act, among other things, will direct $60 million toward investigating and prosecuting the hundreds of thousands of individuals identified as trading child pornography over modems, and will require the federal government to establish its own internal division to pursue child pornographers on the Web. It's passed the House and the Senate, and now is simply waiting for President Bush's signature.... Click here to read the detailed breakdown of the benefits of the PROTECT Our Children Act!
09-24-08 Andrew Vachss wrote, "What we see reveals us. And what we do with what we see distinguishes us." Tasha distinguished herself, and her person continues to do the same. Read Connie's tribute to her beloved German shepherd by clicking here.
09-17-08 Zero visitors learned about the new T-shirt from the world of Burke back on August 27--and Publishers Weekly told the rest of the world on September 2. Click here to read that story ... and click here to see the revised Mama's Restaurant T-shirt!
09-03-08 In 1995, Thailand was the world center for child-sex tourism. Today, they've refused entry to Gary Glitter, who was convicted of child sexual abuse. A number of things occurred in the intervening years--including the Don't! Buy! Thai! boycott. Before that campaign, Thailand would have been this creature's natural habitat--that much is indisputable fact. Can we prove the campaign caused the change? Not possible. But to regard such things as "coincidence" strains even the meaning of the word "logic." If you punch a wall long enough, either you'll drop trying, or the wall will fall. So pick a wall.
08-27-08 With a new Burke novel on the way, the Novel-Tees program has a new shirt on the way, too. This one features the out-of-gas service station where Burke parks his car: Peligro's Automotive. Click here for a sneak preview of the design, which will be offered for sale later in the year, with all proceeds going to Protect.
07-30-08 Miramar Police Sgt. Jeff Armiento says, "[T]here's no doubt in my mind that Aaron Mohanlal is a dangerous person." Yet Mohanlal, convicted in the summer of 2007 of 13 counts, including child abuse, molestation, and lewd battery, and sentenced to 43 years in prison, is a free man. Why? The judge who presided over the trial, Broward County Circuit Judge Marc Gold, granted Mohanlal "a rare bond that allows him to remain free while his case is tried on appeal, a process that could take years." Click here to read the full story--a lesson in knowing who your elected officials are, how they perform, and holding them accountable--as published July 24, 2008, on CNN.com.
07-23-08 Since the announcement of Another Life, some Zero regulars have looked up the title on Amazon and seen the listing for the audiobook ... and noticed that, while the novel has a publication date of December 30 of this year, the audiobook is listed as shipping September 1. For the record, no, audio will not have a four-month lead on the print edition. We don't know yet what the true release date is for the audio edition, but we know it will be either at the same time as or after the book--and will let you know once we know.
07-16-08 There's been a schedule change! The trade-paperback edition of Mask Market, the 16th Burke novel, will be released by Vintage on August 19, 2008. If you've not already picked it up in the hardcover edition or the mass market edition, here's your chance to read what Publishers Weekly calls "sharp-edged prose and cutting insights into New York's underbelly." Click here for more information.
07-16-08 Next time someone tells you that the U.S. ought to boycott the Olympics in China, ask them if they have a Yahoo email address--then send them here.
07-09-08 If you've been following the news out of Memphis recently, no doubt police brutality is on your mind. Frequent Zero contributor Dr. Joel Dvoskin—one of America's leading forensic psychologists—has filed this Guest Dispatch on the matter.
07-02-08 The ground-breaking work of Dr. Frank Ascione has made the connection between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. But neither the US government nor the Canadian government have yet caught up with Dr. Ascione. Click here to read how one human received a 25-percent steeper sentence for distributing marijuana than he did for dogfighting, and click here to read the story of another human, this one a Canadian facing a maximum of six months behind bars for killing a dog with a machete.
06-25-08Click here to see the cover of Another Life.
06-18-08Another Life is the end of a journey that began with Flood, Andrew Vachss' first novel featuring career criminal Burke and his Family of Choice. "I didn't set out to write a series. Who but a terminal narcissist would?" the author says of his 1985 debut. But twenty-three years--and seventeen Burke novels--later, Andrew Vachss is finally bringing down the curtain on a series that has been described as "urban nightmares" by Publishers Weekly, and "strong, gritty, gut-bucket stuff" by the Chicago Tribune. Anyone who has felt a part of the family that includes recurring series characters Max, the Mole, Michelle, the Prof, Terry, Clarence, and Mama--characters the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says "are as sharply defined as if they were etched in steel"--will want to be there for the end of the journey, as best-selling, award- winning author Andrew Vachss ties up the loose ends, and sends his Family of Choice off to ... Another Life.
06-18-08 If you're interested in mental health issues, child development, or developmental psychopathology, you'll be interested in this. Dr. Frank Ascione, the world's leading authority on the connections between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence, has edited a handbook containing articles on animal abuse and cruelty, written by more than two dozen leaders in the field. To learn more about The International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Cruelty: Theory, Research, and Application, just published last month by Purdue University Press, click here. [pdf/1.5M] To purchase the book, click here.
06-18-08 He looks like a bag of rope, but he's a pedigree toy poodle with the heart of a terrier. He's Coco, and he's the latest addition to Dogs of the Zero! Click here to read all about him.
06-11-08Flower came from inside Immaculata's body; Michelle had taken Terry's shivering little body into her arms and never let him go. That happened in the backseat of my car, as I was driving away from what I'd left of the pus-sack who'd been renting the kid out. Come from, come to--no difference. They're both ours. Our blood. How you look at it doesn't matter to us. Citizens think a trial verdict depends on the evidence; we know all that counts is who's on the jury. Some of you get to visit our world, but none of you really see it. Some of you try too hard, stick your nose in too deep. Then you don't get to leave.
06-11-08 With the news that Terminal, the seventeenth Burke novel, is to be released this December as a trade paperback in the series format, we've received questions about plans for Mask Market, the sixteenth novel in the series. Released last year in mass market paperback, some readers were concerned that they'd be unable to obtain the entire Burke series in a single series format. So we're glad to be able to announce that in 2009, Vintage will release a trade-paperback version of Mask Market. Click here to see the cover.
06-11-08 Jim Adams checked in to give us the sad news that his beloved Alex-- one of our beloved Back-Up Pack--passed away recently. Click here if you want to read the news; and click here if you want to see the work Jim is doing on behalf of the North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue.
06-11-08 At 135 pounds of sculpted muscle, and with a mechanical brain, we (belatedly) welcome to our pack Ina the Rottweiler!
06-11-08 In 2006, Andrew Vachss wrote, "Today's children are creatures of the media. What they see in the movies must be 'what other kids do,' and the predatory pedophile skillfully introduces child pornography ... during the 'grooming phase.' This allows him to gradually lower the child's resistance." In 2008, CNN reports that "[Todd B.] Barkau began training the girl in 2000, when she was 12, and forced her to engage in sex acts with him and with other men. According to the indictment, he also had the girl watch pornography on the Internet as a teaching tool." Click here to read Andrew Vachss' 2006 Parade article, and click here to read "Feds: Girl, 12, trained to work as dominatrix," as published May 13, 2008, by CNN.com.
06-04-08"Only thing that's true is what you do." I live that.
That's how I found the one place I rightfully belong. My heart and my
life. Your life doesn't mean any more to me than I ever meant
to any of you. Trespassers should bring their own body bags.
06-04-08 "I can no more accept a child pornographer saying he is a victim of censorship than I could a mugger claiming his field of activity was performance art." That's what Andrew Vachss wrote in 1994, in an opinion piece for the London Observer. Now, in 2008, the Supreme Court has seconded that opinion. In the matter of the U.S. v. Williams, the Supreme Court upheld a provision of the 2003 PROTECT Act, which made it a crime to offer child pornography, even when those images advertised turn out not to be actual child pornography. In upholding the law, Justice Scalia wrote, "Offers to engage in illegal transactions are categorically excluded from First Amendment protection." Read the article, "Supreme Court Upholds Child Pornography Law," as published by The New York Times on May 20, 2008, by clicking here. And learn about Protect's crusade in Congress to win funding to combat the proliferation of child pornography by clicking here.
06-04-08 Behavior is the truth--always the truth. So while a non-profit may say in their mission that their goal is to help children, you can only measure the veracity of their words by objectively viewing their behavior. There are a number of such organizations that do not even perform proper background checks on their volunteers, thus allowing predatory pedophiles access to vulnerable children. In their May 27, 2008 report, "No One to Turn to," Save the Children documents allegations that members of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Volunteers, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and the United Nations World Food Programme, among others, are sexually abusing children in several war-ravaged and food-poor countries, such as Sudan and Haiti. A 15-year-old Haitian girl said, "My friends and I were walking by the National Palace one evening when we encountered a couple of humanitarian men... . They offered us 100 Haitian gourdes and some chocolate if we would suck them." Read the story, as reported May 27, 2008 by CNN, by clicking here, and read Save the Children's report by clicking here.
05-28-08I don't walk the mean streets, I live below them. I'm not an ex-cop with friends on the force; I'm an ex-con who knows the cops for what they are. I'm not a war hero; I'm a man for hire.
05-28-08You know why we hate you? Not because you don’t know what we know, but because, if you did, you wouldn’t give a damn. So I’m sitting here, waiting to commit extortion, and planning a lot worse. I’m what you’d call a criminal. That’s why I’ll never be you. And I’m proud of it.Time Out calls it "a propulsive, cleanly limned thriller." The Associated Press describes it as "taut and street-wise." It's Andrew Vachss' 17th Burke novel, Terminal, and it will be released in trade paperback by Vintage on December 2, 2008. Click here to read about--and read an excerpt from--the story that prompted author Joe R. Lansdale to declare, "[Andrew Vachss'] books never graphically display abuse, never wallow in it, but they always force us to look at the results of that abuse, how it changes, demoralizes, and destroys the innocent. Long may this man write. Long may he protect children."
05-28-08 From the May 15, 2008, The New York Times: "New York City has enacted a tough new policy that allows the authorities to remove newborns from their parents' homes ... if the parents previously had children taken from their custody and their case is still open." That may be a tough new policy for New York City, but it's some twenty years old for Andrew Vachss. Click here to read "The Story of Unborn Baby B.", and then click here to read "Child Welfare Tightens Law on Removal," as published in May 2008 in The New York Times.
05-21-08Humans who could flat-line a polygraph wouldn't get past
the first round with me. All it takes is a few minutes of
conversation, and I know you. Not because I have X-ray eyes. Not
because I have powers. Because, whoever you are, I've met you before.
05-21-08 "Members of the loose-knit group, which investigators have nicknamed 'the Spanking Club,' harshly beat children--often their own--with paddles, canes or other devices, and then exchanged videos of those spankings through the mail, officials said. The videos also featured close-ups of genitalia and other pornographic elements." This 2002 article is six years old--but Andrew Vachss' novel Down in the Zero warned of this in 1994. Click here for the whole story.
05-14-08Revenge is like any other religion: There's always a lot more preaching than there is practicing. And most of that preaching is about what not to practice. "Vengeance is mine" translates to: "It's not yours." The karma-peddlers will tell you how doing nothing is doing the right thing, reciting, "What goes around comes around," in that heavy-gravity tone reserved for the kind of ancient wisdom you find in comic books. Every TV "counselor," every self-help expert, every latté-slurping guru ... they all chant some version of the same mantra: "Revenge never solves anything." Their favorite psalm is Forgiveness. And their hymn books are always open to the same page. Get it? When you crawl away, you're not being a punk; you're just letting the cosmos handle your business. Whoever hurt you, they'll get theirs, don't worry. Just have a little faith. Down here, we see it different. We don't count on karma. And you can count on this: hurt one of us, we're all coming for you.
05-14-08 In 1995, the Thai government would not enforce its child-protection laws. A grass-roots boycott of the country was put in place, under the banner Don't! Buy! Thai!. And now, in 2008, the Thai government is behaving entirely differently. Click here to read the latest update on Thailand.
05-07-08 "With the Burke series, Vachss chronicles a world as harsh as any imagined by Jim Thompson and a character more intelligently brutal than those created by Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald . . . put together. If Vachss leaves no other legacy behind him, he has secured his niche in the pantheon of noir novelists. But if that happens, you can bet he'll be very damned pissed-off." Click here to read Chuck Thurman's recently discovered interview with Andrew Vachss, originally published April 16, 1998, by Monterey County Weekly.
05-04-08 The stereotype of the child rapist trolling online for eight-year-olds has been debunked, and the face of the real online predator has been revealed. Click here to read the "news," published February 19, 2008, by the American Psychological Association; then click here to read Andrew Vachss' testimony before the United States National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, presented November 10, 1998.
04-25-08Seems like everyone's got something to say about the Olympics in China. We said our piece back in 1999: "The next morning was so bright and crisp it made the badlands look pretty through my window. Until you looked close. Like those magazine photos of Tibet. The ones that don't show the Chinese troops." Choice of Evil, p. 140.
04-15-08"Andrew Vachss ... wants to raise the stakes for people who look at child pornography online. He wants mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of possessing child porn. He wants the government to negotiate treaties with foreign countries to shut down servers that host child-porn sites. He wants child abuse to be part of the debate in this year's presidential race. What Vachss does not want is to hear arguments like the one made by the attorney for former Pfizer executive Alan Hesketh, who ... said at a bond hearing that his client should be released from prison to get help for a 'sexual disorder.'" Read the whole story, as published April 11, 2008, by The Day, by clicking here.
04-10-08 If you read Andrew Vachss' Only Child, you read about "noir vérité.” And if you read about that, then you weren't surprised to read this.
04-04-08 Another presidential election is upon us, and we already know where each of the candidates stands on the issues of healthcare, gun control, taxes, and the war in Iraq. For that matter, we know where a bunch of also-ran candidates who already dropped out of the race stand on those issues. But child protection? Literally dozens of debates into the process, and that issue hasn't been raised in any meaningful way. All we know is that every candidate "loves kids," and believes in "the importance of family"—whatever the hell that means. If you really care about child protection, you have an opportunity to force that issue into the national debate. The only reason the candidates are talking about healthcare, gun control, taxes, and the war in Iraq is because each of those issues is important to a group of lobbyists, and those lobbyists are cornering the candidates and delivering their messages—and making it clear that the candidate's response will deliver votes: either to that candidate, or to his opponent. Well, there's a very real child-protection lobby now—has been, since 2001—and the voice of that lobby gets stronger every year. And it will be loud enough to bring the issue to the national agenda. But the sooner you join—the sooner you add your name and money to that lobby—the sooner we'll achieve that goal. Every day we delay is another day that a child who deserves protection is not receiving it. So click here, join Protect, and count yourself among those who could be counted on.
03-19-08 He's been called everything from the next Charles Dickens, to the king of slasher porn; an investigative novelist, to a writer with a twisted imagination; a queer lover, to a homophobe. But we're pretty sure this is the first time anyone has referred to him as a "self- help guru."
03-06-08 German visitors take note: This August, Rowohlt will be publishing a translated edition of Andrew Vachss' The Getaway Man. The 224-page trade paperback has been translated by the incomparable Georg Schmidt, a favorite among German readers. Click here for more information.
02-08-08 "I would never put 'family' in quotes. My family is the one I chose … and the one that chose me. The only DNA Burke cares about is what might be left at a crime scene. Me, too. In my world, you are what you do. If you ever run across one of my brothers or sisters, you'll understand that. Quickly." Read Tony Black's extensive interview with Andrew Vachss, as published originally in four parts on PulpPusher.com.
01-31-08 Audio feature! "[Burke's] a thief. He hates people who prey on children. Not because he loves children—because he was preyed on. He wants to get even, that's his revenge. And his revenge and his religion are exactly the same thing. He sees it as an 'us and them' world. He's not really concerned if you're rich or poor, black or white—if you prey on children and you cross his path, it's going to be bad for you." Click here to listen to Ed Goldberg's 26-minute interview of Andrew Vachss, broadcast January 1, 2008, on KBOO radio.
01-25-08 Audio feature! "We're the only species on the planet that not only tolerates predators of our own kind, but fails to protect our young ... [A]ll the things that you see happening that are being blamed on this, that, or the other all trace to the same tiny little group, which is ... the family—the sacred family that no politician talks about except in very globalized terms. Child abuse is the greatest single danger to every American." Click here to listen to a twelve-and-a-half minute interview with Andrew Vachss, produced by Barnes & Noble as part of their Meet the Writers series for 2007.(Note: link will open a new browser window)
01-17-08 Shelby was the nemesis of the squirrels that dared venture into her yard, and tolerated the cats with an aloof disdain. She passed away earlier this week, and belatedly joins The Zero Pack. Click here to see her memorial written by Mike Black, her best friend for 10 years.
01-17-08 When Andrew Vachss coined the term "cyber-chumps" in 1997, he warned that "the real danger [of the Web] is to that vast army of mostly (but not exclusively) young people who affect an oh-so-blasé cynicism but are, in fact, the newest breed of volunteer victim… [who believe] if it's up there, it must be true." And ten years later, a child was killed as a result. Read it here.
01-09-08 On their Web site, the San Francisco Zoo professes to have designed their zoo "with the underlying belief that interaction and activity lead to conservation action." Their goal is a good one; but their strategy is horrible. An "interaction" with the zoo's tiger left one 17-year-old dead and two others severely mauled last week. There's a better way to achieve that goal—click here to read all about it.
01-09-08 Yeah, sure, plenty of dogs sun themselves. But in the pool? Check out Svach, a Boxer-and-something mix we're proud to add to the Dogs of the Zero!
12-12-07 "Dakota was an exceptional dog. He loved what he did, and he was very good at what he did." Those are the words of Clark County [WA] sheriff's Deputy Ed Bylsma, praising the police dog who was shot in the head as he tracked an armed suspect who allegedly threatened to "kill a cop." Learn more about this exceptional German shepherd, who served with distinction, by clicking here.
12-12-07 The prosecutor's office in Washington state's King County has two employees who are making big headlines for their work with children. Click here to read about the dogs Ellie and Jeeter—then go read about Sheba and about Vachss, two hero dogs who preceded Ellie and Jeeter in this important work.
11-29-07 "I like the idea of writers actually supporting each other for a change instead of kissing each other's behinds for blurbs or stabbing other people in the back." That's Andrew Vachss, speaking about fellow author Michael A. Black. Click here to read more about the pair in Dan Pearson's article, published October 10, 2007, by the Pioneer Press Group.
11-29-07 Following on the success of the large-print edition of Mask Market, Thorndike Press will release a large-print edition of Terminal on December 5, 2007. It's a great gift for anyone in your life who loves reading crime fiction, but has limited choices due to limited vision. It's also a great opportunity to help people with visual impairment connect with Andrew Vachss' novels: Ask your local library to order a copy. They're a public institution, and they're supposed to react to public demand. So make your demands heard!
11-27-07 The ordering window for the Mole's Junkyard T-shirt is closed! T-shirts will ship out December 3, for arrival before December 25. Did you miss out? If you want to ensure you don't miss the next shirt, sign up for the Zero email list by clicking here.
11-21-07 If you missed Dave Marsh's two-hour show with Andrew Vachss, you missed a tremendous event. But, thanks to the folks at Sirius Satellite Radio, you didn't miss out forever. The interview portion of the show is available for free download on this site. Dave Marsh—the renowned music critic, cofounder of Creem magazine, columnist for Rolling Stone, and author of biographies of Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley—interviewed Andrew Vachss for almost an hour, for broadcast on his Sirius Satellite Radio show, Kick Out the Jams. It's a great interview, and a great introduction to Mr. Marsh's unique radio program. Click here to listen to this tremendous show!
10-31-07 Michael O'Sullivan, chairman and CEO of the Humane Society of Canada, is an internationally respected figure on the matter of dogfighting. While the Michael Vick case is old news, dogfighting is an ongoing issue. Mr. O'Sullivan was kind enough to allow The Zero to feature his writing on the matter. If you care about dogs, click here to read his call to action.
10-17-07 "Reading an Andrew Vachss thriller is like a surprise slap in the face: It stings, the ache lingers, and it definitely wakes you up. The pleasure comes from a renewed clarity when you realize just how polished a writer Vachss has become. His prose has teeth; his dialogue has bite. Together they bury themselves deep inside your brain. ...Whether skittish publishers will allow new voices to be as dark as Vachss's is something that only time will tell. For now, Vachss stands alone as a unique voice in a troubled, battle-scarred landscape." That's what Grant McKenzie wrote in his review of the 16th Burke novel, Mask Market, for the Vancouver Sun. That book has just been released in a $7.99 paperback format, so, if you haven't already been "slapped in the face," now's your chance to do so at a very low price.
10-12-07 Last night's tour event in New York City was not cancelled! Unfortunately the management at Barnes & Noble had incorrect information and turned away several fans before they could be corrected. For what it's worth, click here to read Barnes & Noble's apology for their "mistake."
10-10-07 "Those who have read Vachss's previous Burke novels will find [Terminal] a more-than-worthy successor, and for those who haven't yet made the acquaintance of this unrelenting, frightening and compelling character, there's no better time to start." Click here to read Chet Williamson's entire review on Rambles.net—and click here to read more information on Andrew Vachss' latest novel, including tour information and an exclusive excerpt!
10-10-07 Want to hear David Joe Wirth's dramatic adaptation of the latest Burke novel, Terminal? Here's a way to do it that won't cost you any money: Borrow it from your local public library. If they don't have it in stock, ask them to bring it in—many libraries are happy to do just that. And if your library isn't happy to do that, ask them how they choose the audiobooks they bring in. It should be by public demand—it is a public library, after all, and your taxes pay for it. So find out how many requests they need to get the audiobook in—and then get your friends to request it, as well. If they still won't bring it in … the local library board holds public meetings, at which you can bring up any questions you might have about how they choose what books to stock.
10-06-07 If you're planning on going to one of Andrew Vachss' tour events, please be aware that the policy still stands: He will only sign his most recent hardcover and audiobook, Terminal, or his most recent paperback, Mask Market. Some may have interpreted otherwise from the Chicago Tribune's listing for the October 12 event. No one should even think about claiming they "drove all the way there" in the expectation of getting their eBay stock signed; it won't happen. Also, the $5-per-book fee that is being charged on books not purchased at the October 12 event is the policy of the store, not Andrew Vachss.
10-05-07 What kind of dogs live in Zanzibar, Africa? More importantly, what kind of dogs earn the right to protect the family of The Zero's own design guru Olaf Havnes? Click here to find out!
10-03-07 Bruce DeSilva, of the Associated Press, calls Andrew Vachss' writing in Terminal "as taut and street-wise as ever, drawing his readers again into an evil underworld that is at once impossible to look away from and horrible to behold." Click here to learn more about the latest Burke novel, in stores now!
09-25-07Terminal goes on sale today! In his review of Terminal published in Time Out Chicago, Mike Newirth writes, "[Andrew] Vachss portrays the criminal underworld with a grimy, exacting realism matched only by 'convict writers' like Edward Bunker, and the writing is more incisive and less pulpy than earlier efforts. Although the action seems relatively restrained, Burke's verbal fury ensures a propulsive, cleanly limned thriller that illuminates both the darkest excesses of criminality and, in counterpoint, the slack-jawed solipsism of the law abiding. Vachss's literary chops continue to mature, even as his lawyerly rage remains undimmed." Click here to learn more about Terminal, the 17th book in Andrew Vachss' Burke series.
09-21-07 We've received a ton of emails from readers interested in our opinion of the reality-TV show, "Kid Nation." Our own Dragon Lady has the answer, in her interview with the BBC. Click here to see it for yourself!
09-20-07 Looking to buy a signed Andrew Vachss book? Well … then you better look real close. Click here for more information.
09-20-07 "[Leslie Simon is] a professor and Women's Studies chair at City College [of San Francisco] and Project SURVIVE is the peer education program she created to teach students to teach each other about preventing rape and domestic violence. Active since 1993, Project SURVIVE will visit 200 classrooms this year." Click here to read the entire article by musician, child counselor, and PROTECT member Trey Bundy.
09-12-07Exclusive! We're proud to be able to bring you an exclusive excerpt from Andrew Vachss' latest Burke novel, Terminal, shipping from Pantheon on September 25, 2007. Click here to be able to tell your friends you got in on the action early! (But if your friend is on The Zero email list, they'll have beaten you to it. Click here to subscribe to the insider list that read this excerpt days ago!)
09-07-07Sure, you can see the cover of Terminal all over the internet. Or … the front cover, at least. To see the whole cover (including the new author photo) weeks before it hits stores, click here!
08-22-07 We've had a lot of people asking what Andrew Vachss thinks of the Michael Vick case. He answered that question long before it was ever asked. And, he answered it again, before Vick was even charged. But, because of the lag time in publishing, you won't get to read it until the next Burke novel, Terminal, is published. You can, however, hear the answer by clicking here and listening to The Zero's exclusive audio excerpt from Terminal, performed by David Wirth and due from Brilliance Audio on September 25, 2007.
08-15-07 The new Burke novel, Terminal, is hitting stores next month, and that means Andrew Vachss is hitting stores, as well. Click here to see if he's coming to a store near you. (And if you want to be kept abreast of any changes to the schedule, click here and you can sign up for our email updates list. Members of that list will receive a special treat tomorrow!)
07-19-07 Some journalists aren't journalists—they write thinly disguised opinions. Click here to read a classic example of the "bend-to-fit" mentality of one such "reporter," as he bends Andrew Vachss' quote to fit his own agenda.
07-16-07 First look! Vintage will release Mask Market—the 16th Burke novel—in a $7.99, pocket-sized (or mass market) paperback edition next month. Click here for a first look at the complete cover! This is the first pocket-sized Burke paperback since Sacrifice. The smaller size will allow the book to be distributed to far more venues, and allows for the lower, introductory price. But don't worry—a trade paperback-edition in the format of the rest of the series will be released shortly thereafter.
07-11-07 Did you miss the latest T-shirt from Mama's Restaurant? Well … you may not be out of luck! To ensure orders could be filled, the manufacturer produced over-runs, some of which have been signed by Andrew Vachss and are available now (while supplies last)! For $65 plus shipping, you'll get one of these autographed shirts, plus a one-year membership in Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection. One hundred percent of the purchase price—all $65—goes to Protect to support the group's efforts to change child-protection legislation in the US. Click here to get your signed Mama's shirt!
07-05-07 Last year, we were proud to announce the release of the first Burke audiobook: David Joe Wirth's adept dramatization of Mask Market. Your response we so positive that Brilliance has contracted Mr. Wirth to adapt the next Burke novel, Terminal, as well, and will make it available on CD and as downloadable MP3s. Enjoy!
06-20-07 "Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson recently wrote a column describing a meeting I was party to on March 29, 2000. Mike was a facilitator and I was a witness; the meeting was between Oregonian columnist Steve Duin and Andrew Vachss. That Duin—a journalist by trade—would 'reconstruct' an event … to make him look like a person of great importance who regally consented to 'hear out' Andrew, says everything you need to know about his character. But I have some things to add to further illustrate that character." Click here to read Lou Bank's account of the 2000 meeting, and the events leading up to it.
06-13-07 On Wednesday, March 29, 2000, a meeting took place between Andrew Vachss and Oregonian columnist Steve Duin. Years later, Duin wrote about that meeting for The Oregonian; you can read Duin's fabrications here. Here's the truth of what occured, as reported by Dark Horse Comics publisher Mike Richardson, who was also at that meeting. There was a fourth person at that meeting, and you'll be able to read that account by coming back here next Wednesday.
06-07-07 If you've got an older German shepherd, you'll want to read about Tasha, the newest addition to the Zero Pack, to learn about the amazing underwater treadmill that's helping her regain much of her mobility.
06-07-07 It's a couple weeks past Mother's Day, but it's never too late for a great story about motherhood—or a story about great motherhood. In Another Chance to Get It Right, Andrew Vachss wrote, "We call birth a miracle. What greater word fits adoption?" Click here for a beautiful example of that: Huani, a mixed breed dog who has adopted three newborn tiger cubs who were abandoned by their biological mother.
05-09-07 The seventeenth Burke novel is less than 20 weeks away! Get a first look at the cover—and a first-read of the story summary—by clicking here.
04-19-07 If you've already read Mask Market, and are awaiting word on the 17th Burke novel — here it is. Terminal will be released in hardcover this September, from Pantheon. Stay tuned for more details.
04-12-07 There hasn't been a pocket-sized (or mass market) Burke paperback since Sacrifice. But that will all change this August when Vintage releases Mask Market in a $7.99 edition. The smaller size will allow the book to be distributed to far more venues, and allows for a lower, introductory price. (And don't worry—a trade paperback edition in the format of the rest of the series will be released shortly thereafter.)
04-05-07 A few years back, Lisa and her family made contact to let us know the pit bull Angel—a puppy playmate for their eight-year-old Bear—had joined their clan. Click here for a sad update, with an uplifting ending.
03-28-07 W. Scott Fuhrman pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, but contended he was "merely viewing" the images, not creating them, and therefore requested that he should not be subject to the statutory maximum sentence of ten years in prison. In denying Fuhrman's request, Federal Court Judge William C. Lee cited Andrew Vachss' 2006 Parade article, "Let's Fight this Terrible Crime Against Our Children," and noted that, "[b]y his conduct, Fuhrman created and sustained the market for internet child pornography.—[C]hildren, the most vulnerable and innocent members of our society, are victimized. And, even a 'passive' consumer who merely receives or possesses the images directly contributes to this continuing victimization." Judge Lee certainly knew he was citing Andrew Vachss' 2006 article in his response; but he wrote, "Fuhrman admits that he is making steady progress through his counseling and thus, he will have the opportunity to continue down that road by availing himself of the treatment opportunities available to him while incarcerated," he was probably not aware that he was echoing Andrew Vachss' statement, "Let all 'rehabilitative' experiments with predatory pedophiles continue. But let them continue behind bars." (From Parade, Aug. 20, 1989) A trail may not be a search for truth but, sometimes, a sentence finds it. Read all about it here.
03-21-07 If you've read or watched the news in the last week, you've heard about the tragic death of two auxiliary police officers in New York. One of those officers was Nicholas Pekearo. From those reports, you'd know that he had given his life in a fight to protect the people around him. And you'd know that he was too young and full of humanity to be taken so soon from his family. But what you probably didn't know was that Nicholas Pekearo has been taken from our family, too. Nick was a card-carrying member of the National Association to Protect Children. Those of us who work on The Zero send our deepest sympathies to the family of Nicholas Pekearo. Over the coming days, PROTECT will be sharing what Nick and his legacy mean to our family and to the cause of child protection for which he fought. Click here to send your memories, tributes and suggestions for recognizing Nicholas Pekearo.
03-21-07 Maryland House Judiciary Chairman Joseph Vallario is putting your child—and every child—at greater risk of being raped. In Maryland, possession of child pornography is a misdemeanor, like jaywalking or driving over the speed limit. Because the crime is categorized as a misdemeanor, child sexual predators have no fear of being caught with the contraband; and because they have no fear, the market demand for new images is huge; and because the market demand is huge, child pornographers everywhere have a huge monetary incentive to rape more children, to create more product. Judiciary Chairman Vallario is blocking at least 29 House members who want stronger laws. The only legislation Vallario will allow out of his committee is a weak and watered down bill (H.B. 285) that keeps child pornography a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. Tell Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch and Majority Leader Kumar Barve to protect children, and that you will hold them responsible when you next vote. Tell them to join 45 other states by making possession of child pornography a felony. And do it now!
03-15-07 "[A]llegedly cured of his penchant for [homosexual sex, once-Reverend Ted] Haggard and his wife are reportedly headed out of town, because the evangelical Christian community of Colorado Springs can't seem to forgive him. As the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, Colorado, put it, 'It's hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It's like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed.' Apparently, a Christian community isn't a good place to heal. Go figure." Read all of Dr. Joel Dvoskin's guest dispatch by clicking here!
03-07-07 Looking for the perfect soundtrack for your next independent movie, spoken-word performance, poetry reading, or any artistic project? We suggest you check out the work of The Zero's long-time pal, Anthony Annucci. Head on over to livebodyproductions.com. Tell them we sent you and, if you're for-real about a project, they might even send you a sample CD.
02-28-07 In May 2006, the Social Science Research Network published a research paper by law professor Ruby Andrew that details the A to Z on the incest loophole. That paper, entitled, "Child Sexual Abuse and the State: Applying Critical Outsider Methodologies to Legislative Policymaking," was recently listed on SSRN's All-Time Top Ten download list for Legislation & Statutory Interpretation. The Zero commends Professor Andrew on her outstanding paper, congratulates SSRN on their wise decision to publish the paper, and encourages anyone interested in child protection to go check it out!
01-31-07 When New York's infamous incest loophole was finally destroyed last year, after decades of destroying the lives of child victims, it was the cumulative result of a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of work over a whole lot of years, and will change the future for eons to come. Once the battleground was set in New York's legislature, one woman led the charge: our very own Dragon Lady, Kim Talman, web mistress of The Zero. Ms. Talman has just been awarded the first-ever Circle of Trust Award by Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection, as recognition of "the highest individual contribution of a Protect member to the goals and ideals of our organization." Asked how proud he was of Ms. Talman's achievement, Andrew Vachss said, "I don't write well enough to even try that!" Everyone at The Zero feels exactly the same way.
01-24-07 The movie "Hounddog" premiered Monday night at the Sundance Film Festival, but Hollywood insiders—and the Catholic League—have been talking about it for weeks. The talk centers on a scene in which 12-year-old actor Dakota Fanning is raped. The Catholic League wants the film investigated as possible child pornography. Andrew Vachss calls that "nonsense," and asks some [unanswered] questions of his own. Click here to read the entire story, as published January 22, 2007, in Variety.
01-09-07 "The work of Bruce Perry—healer, discoverer, teacher—has been revered by those in the child protective field, from social work to law enforcement, for many years. He has been a laser of justice in the darkness of child maltreatment, a smasher of myths, and, perhaps most important of all, a giver of hope. Bruce Perry's work has not just crossed a new frontier; it has established a unique outpost to which acolytes from all over the world travel to learn how to decode childhood trauma … not from some self-appointed guru with a new "program," but from a man of science, a compassionate genius who can prove how the human brain develops around its experiences, and that "destiny" is a lie. For all of this, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog is Bruce Perry's finest achievement, because it gives us all the opportunity to unlock the deepest mystery of our species: Why do some children "turn out" to be heroes, and others to be predatory sociopaths. This book is nothing less than the Rosetta stone of childhood trauma. Although presented in clear, accessible language, this is not one of those ubiquitous "self-help" books. You won't find slogans or stories here; you will find truth. Anyone who wants to understand childhood trauma (and its multi-faceted consequences) must read this book. Any parent, professional, or politician who does not read The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog is volunteering to be ignorant. And, when it comes to our own children, such ignorance could be a fatal mistake." —Andrew Vachss Click here to purchase Dr. Perry's book now.
12-27-06 Thanks for making 2006 a great year! You helped close the incest-exception loophole in both California and New York. We look forward to working with you to make 2007 an even better year!
12-27-06 Do you want to help people with visual impairment connect with Andrew Vachss' Burke novels? Here's your chance. Ask your local library to order the Large Print edition of Mask Market, being released by Thorndike Core in January 2007. Click here for more information!
12-20-06Publishers Weekly calls David Joe Wirth's performance of Mask Market "an insightful mixture—tough, unruffled, pensive, dangerous and, considering the character's past hard-boiled appearances, surprisingly tender at times. …Wirth rises to the challenge, softening Burke's hard edges … without turning him into a sentimental sap." Click here for more information about the audiobook!
12-20-06 Andrew Vachss' books have been described as investigative novels, because they often reveal news before you can read it in your newspaper. Case in point: In Dead and Gone (2001), he wrote about a shoe waiting to drop on people selling merchandise on online sites. Last month, the IRS dropped that shoe. Click here to read the details.
11-21-06 The O.J. book and interview may have been canceled. But, Mr. Vachss' response to the many that have asked him his opinion of the previously planned publication (and publisher), and of the "interview" remain unchanged. We wonder if any copies of this filth survived, and when some human will offer them for sale. And we remain quite confident that tapes of that "interview" were not all destroyed, too.
11-16-06 Thanks to all of you Zero visitors who ordered the Mama's Restaurant T-shirts! You helped raise $3,679.36 for Protect with this shirt (which makes more than $10,000 raised from the Novel-T program).
11-16-06 Back in 1989, Andrew Vachss took a reporter on a tour of New York: through Times Square, the Badlands, Wards Island … all the places Burke might go. Click here to join the tour!
11-09-06 Congratulations! You helped ensure the safety of children! With votes still being counted in a few key races, the 2007 Congress will include at least 29 House and Senate members who have pledged their support to Protect's War on Child Predators—a national commitment to build the largest law enforcement army ever created to protect children. And in California, PROTECT supported a bipartisan slate of candidates for the California Assembly and won four big victories: two Republicans and two Democrats. Click here to read the full story!
10-25-06 While on tour for Mask Market in September 2006, Andrew Vachss was interviewed by Peter Bochan for the radio program, "All Mixed Up," broadcast in New York City on WBAI. It's 18 minutes of conversation: the first nine are about music, the last nine are about Mask Market, the latest in the Burke series. Click here to hear!
10-04-06 Frequent Zero contributor Dr. Joel Dvoskin—one of America's leading forensic psychologists—visited New Orleans recently. He saw heartbreaking squalor, and it had nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina. Click here to read Dr. Dvoskin's account of the experience.
10-02-06Two Trains Running—which was named the #1 mystery of 2005 by Amazon.com—is now available in trade paperback. Click here to see the cover!
09-27-06 "The Karr case did nothing to solve a murder, but it has shown pedophiles where to find a safe harbor for their "hobby.'" Click here to read Lyric Wallwork Winik's interview of Andrew Vachss, as published in the September 24, 2006, issue of Parade.
09-27-06 "Mask Market is a gypsy cab ride down the streets of New York at their most gritty. Andrew Vachss brings pathos and irony to the table, served up by bad guys who are really the good guys, seeking reparations from the vermin disguised as solid citizens." Click here to read the entirety of JC Patterson's review of the latest Burke novel. Published September 7, 2006, by The Madison County Herald.
09-20-06 The Mask Market Tour has ended, but autographed copies of the book may still be available at these stores.
If you've been reading Mask Market and are anxious to hear some of the music Burke's listening to, iTunes is offering the antidote! Click here to be sent to the iTunes page that offers the Mask Market soundtrack. And we find it's best to listen to the Mask Market soundtrack while wearing a Mama's Restaurant T-shirt. Click here to order yours now! (Updated
09-06-06 "Embedded in Mask Market ... is a political book of surprising sophistication. ... Throughout, Burke implicates just about every complicit sector of society, including the media, cops, feds and the well-to-do. That Vachss pulls this off in a pulpy, mass-appeal crime series is perhaps his greatest trick." Read Jonathan Messinger's entire review of Mask Market, as published August 31, 2006, in Time Out Chicago.
09-05-06 It's another first for Burke! Hot on the heels of the release of the first Burke audiobook, we're proud to announce that Mask Market will be released in a large-print edition. The large-print edition will be published in hardcover by Thorndike Press around February 1, 2007. Check back here for updates!
08-23-06 "I'm an American, I know what's required for Americans to take action. They need to get angry. The books are vehicles to make people angry." Click here to read the entirety of Peter Pavia's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published August 13, 2006, by the New York Post.
08-15-06 "Gets cold enough in this town, people die. Some freeze to death waiting for the landlord to get heat back into their building. Some use their ovens for warmth, and wake up in flames. Some don't have buildings to die in." The 16th Burke novel, Mask Market, is in stores now. Click here for more information!
08-15-06 Attention iPod owners! If you've always wanted to hear a real performance of a Burke novel, this is your chance. David Joe Wirth has performed the entirety of Andrew Vachss' latest Burke novel, Mask Market, as an audiobook, and the publisher, Brilliance, has made it available as an mp3 CD. Purchase the disc here, and get ready to load Burke onto your
07-31-06 PROTECT's 2006 legislative victory in New York state began with a very influential Op-Ed article in the New York Times by Andrew Vachss. So PROTECT asked Mr. Vachss to write an article about the final passage of this landmark reform. To read Mr. Vachss' thoughts and reactions on this victory and what it means for children, click here!
07-26-06 "City people call winter the Hawk. Not because of the way it swoops down, but because it hunts. Gets cold enough in this town, people die. Some freeze to death waiting for the landlord to get heat back into their building. Some use their ovens for warmth, and wake up in flames. Some don't have buildings to die in." Click here to read an excerpt from Mask Market, the 16th book in Andrew Vachss' Burke series, due in bookstores everywhere this August.
07-26-06 Congratulations to Geofrey Darrow, who was just awarded the 2006 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist of a comics series for his work on The Shaolin Cowboy! Mr. Darrow—like Mr. Vachss—is also on the advisory board for Protect. Click here to see the wonderful endorsement Mr. Darrow developed for inclusion in The Shaolin Cowboy!
07-12-06 Join us in welcoming Sadee, Missee Mae and Trixee to the Zero's Backup Pack! Click here to read about Lyn Marker's pack of beautiful beasts.
06-30-06 Last month, The New York Times ran an Op-Ed piece supporting the notion that sex offenders should receive treatment after being released back into the community. Frequent Zero contributor Joel Dvoskin agrees, but not for the flawed reasons published in the Times, and he points out those flaws in "Sex Offender Commitment Laws: A response to LaFond and Winick." Click here to read Dr. Dvoskin's article!
06-02-06Kirkus Reviews called it "dark, violent, blood-drenched, page-turning." The Wall Street Journal called it "gripping." If you missed Two Trains Running in hardcover, you'll have your chance to read Andrew Vachss' novel about two weeks in 1959 that changed the course of history when it's released in trade paperback on June 6.
05-31-06 A month ago we gave you the scoop on the Brilliance Audio release of the first-ever Burke audiobook. Now we're giving you a taste. Click here to listen to an excerpt from Mask Market!
05-31-06 For years, Andrew Vachss has described the disastrous effects of the infamous "incest loophole"—state laws that allow child rapists who are related to their victims to escape serving serious time in prison. Now law professor Ruby Andrew has written a research paper that gives you the A to Z on the incest loophole. She examines the legal history behind the incest laws and their collision with the developing law on child sexual abuse. The paper details the multiple types of special, preferential treatment that state criminal codes give to child rapists who "grow their own victims." She includes a bill specifically drafted to end the remaining preferential treatment in California, but also offers a blueprint for writing legislation to close incest loopholes in any state. Professor Andrew's paper will be published in the University of California Davis Law Review late in June, but you can download the full article now at the Social Science Research Network (free registration required).
04-26-06 Not only is the next Burke novel scheduled for release, but also, we have a special treat for fans: the first-ever Burke audiobook! Brilliance Audio will release both an abridged and an unabridged audiobook adaptation of Mask Market, both of which will be performed by Andrew Vachss' hand-picked actor, David Joe Wirth. The Mask Market audiobooks will be released in August, at the same time as the hardcover novel. Check back for more information soon!
04-19-06 Burke is back—stalking the dark alleys of his past in search of a vanished woman …
and some truths about himself. Andrew Vachss' forthcoming novel, Mask Market, will be released August 2006! Click here to view the cover and read more about the book.
04-05-06 When pit bulls are banned, we predict a great increase in the number of Taurus Uniquos who are licensed. Confused? Take a look here.
03-30-06 "Investigative journalism is, in my view, all that protects American democracy, and I believe it to be at risk. I speak to audiences all the time, and when you speak to audiences of young people and you say, 'Name a famous journalist,' you get Jason Blair, you get Stephen Glass. And when you say to them, 'For crying out loud, why do you see these people as famous icons?,' [the answer you get is,] 'Well, they made movies about them, didn't they? I mean, they wrote books, didn't they? They're actual celebrities, aren't they?' If anybody else had so grossly betrayed the credo of their profession, you wouldn't think they'd be lionized. But journalism? Hey.… So blogging, for example, which, because it's unregulated, is supposedly the antidote to 'government-controlled journalism'—and by unregulated, I don't mean the government's not involved but [that] there are no standards for it—this one's fantasy and this one's truth are indistinguishable by the blind consumer at the other end of the computer." Click here to listen to Patty Satalia's entire 30-minute interview with Andrew Vachss, originally broadcast on Take Note, November 20, 2005, on WPSU-FM, the public broadcasting station out of Penn State University.
03-16-06 Of all the response to Andrew Vachss' recent PARADE article, the overwhelming majority had to do with the public's disbelief that "real-time" child pornography was happening on the Internet. News out of the U.S. Department of Justice on March 15, 2006, corroborates exactly this. Click here to read that news, and an accounting of the warning.
"A 'people's' encyclopedia sounds like an egalitarian endeavor offering a degree of power to those of us without the access to influence culture and disseminate information." But the reality of Wikipedia is, in fact, ugly. Zak Mucha lays out the facts in "Expert Opinions," a guest dispatch that's an exclusive to The Zero. Click here to read the article.
03-02-06 Andrew Vachss' dear friend, the infamous Kelly Justice, has a treat for Zero visitors this week: a piece of art she commissioned that redefines the concept of the Dogs of the Zero. Check it out!
02-26-06 "[I]f we are to wage war [against child pornographers], we must know our enemy. We need to know more about those who create this unspeakable 'product,' why they do it and the various ways it is used ... The question then becomes: What can we do?" Read Andrew Vachss' latest cover feature for PARADE—and get all the information you need to take action now—by clicking here.
04-12-06 Children don't always tell the truth—but neither do adults. And the tremendous cost of ignoring what children say simply because they are children is a burden we all bear, as a society. But some bear more of the cost than others. Click here to read about the 911 operator who ignored two calls from five-year-old Robert Turner … and the horrible cost of that operator's decision.
03-24-06Two Trains Running is scheduled to be published in trade paperback in June 2006. If you missed the hardcover release of the novel that the Wall Street Journal called "gripping" and Publishers Weekly called "riveting," reserve your copy now!
02-08-06 Dr. Joel Dvoskin is one of America's leading forensic psychologists. He is certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, President of the Psychologists in Public Service division of the American Psychological Association, and President-elect of the APA's American Psychology - Law Society division. Dr. Dvoskin is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, New York University Medical School, and Louisiana State University Medical Center. Since 1995, he has operated a full-time private practice of forensic psychology, including consulting and testifying in trials of major importance. We are proud to announce that Dr. Dvoskin will be contributing a regular, monthly column to The Zero. Click here to read the first of those columns, an essay on the execution of Crips gang co-founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams.
01-25-06 If you missed KCRW's Thanksgiving broadcast of Mean Streets, you missed Kevin Tighe's reading of Andrew Vachss' short story "It's a Hard World." But KCRW has made the reading available—for free—via Real Player. Click here to listen now!
01-11-06 "[With Two Trains Running,] Vachss is doing no less than taking aim at a collective villain far above pedophiles and maniacs—the government, a vast amorphous coercion machine whose very figurehead (the president) obviously doesn't have both hands on the wheel. And Vachss' remedy (or at least his last line of defense) against this is: Journalism." Click here to read all of Adam Dunn's article, "Reinventing Vachss," originally published January 6, 2006, on Cobrapost News Features.
12-29-05 The Zero's tenth anniversary celebration concludes with a beautiful illustration by Geofrey Darrow. Click here to view "Honey's Butterfly!"
12-29-05 What Olaf Havnes has done with The Zero is nothing less than amazing. The same can be said for "Dog Boy," an excerpt from Olaf's forthcoming book, The Last Nightwarrior. Click here to read the excerpt, Olaf's contribution to The Zero's tenth anniversary celebration!
12-22-05 The tenth anniversary of The Zero continues, with two art contributions from two long-time friends of The Zero. First, you'll want to click here to see a series of original multimedia collages by Antoinette Curtis Ledzian. Then click here to see one of TKO Tony Fitzpatrick's Chicago collages, taken from his critically acclaimed collection, The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Vol. 1. Enjoy!
12-14-05 "If 'punk' means music, I can't play. But if 'punk' means a rage for change, count me in." Click here to read Andrew Vachss' entire Op-Ed piece, as published in the December 2005 issue of AP International.
12-14-05 If you weren't in Pennsylvania on Monday, October 3, 2005, you missed Andrew Vachss speaking at the Penn State Speakers Forum. But if you click here, you can hear the entire presentation now.
12-07-05 If you've ever used The Zero's Resources section, you've been the beneficiary of (some of) the outstanding work that Rose Dawn Scott has contributed to this ten-year-old website. Click here to read Rose Dawn's essay about how she began volunteering with the site, and what it's meant to her, as we continue our celebration of a decade of The Zero!
11-30-05 We've celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Zero with words and pictures. Now we add sound! Sugardope is a four-piece rock band from Oslo, Norway who describe their music as "influenced or inspired by Andrew Vachss' work and writings." Click here to listen to their song "Down in the Zero"!
11-21-05 We've had a number of complaints from those who don't wish to register with The New York Times just to read the Andrew Vachss attack on New York's infamous "incest loophole." So here's the article itself—no registration required.
11-16-05 "It's hard to explain a site that honors our dogs and provides academic research on human trafficking." That's what Zak Mucha writes—and, yet, exactly what he does—in "Gestalt," his essay in celebration of The Zero's tenth anniversary. Click here to join the celebration!
11-09-05 "I have no idea why people check out The Zero the first time. But I know well why they come back, at least those that do. People come back to The Zero because they can handle the truth. And the best of you don't just handle the truth, you wield it like an ax." Click here to read the entirety of Dr. Joel Dvoskin's essay, celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Zero!
11-02-05 Artist Judy Ness joins the 10th anniversary celebration with a series of tapestries based on feathers. Take flight by clicking here.
10-19-05 We continue celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Zero this week with Frank Caruso's moving illustration of an Andrew Vachss quote. Click here to see this magnificent piece!
10-18-05 The punk rock world is buzzing over PROTECT, a compilation CD featuring 26 cuts, including 15 that have never appeared anywhere else. Participating artists include Against Me!, Matt Skiba, NOFX, Coalesce, Anti-Flag and MxPx, among others. Fat Wreck Chords will release this CD on October 18. Every band on this compilation has donated their songs, including all royalties, and the proceeds will go straight to PROTECT! Click here for more information.
10-12-05 Ten years is a long time by anyone's standards, but by Net standards, it's a lifetime. And that's what we begin celebrating this week: The tenth anniversary of The Zero! We'll be celebrating by posting some interesting thoughts and great works by Friends of The Zero in the coming weeks. We start this week with the person responsible for starting The Zero: Greg Bueno. Click here to read his retrospective on the site he started in 1995. And come back in the coming weeks for features by Zak Mucha, Frank Caruso, Geof Darrow, Judith Ness, Antoinette Ledzian, Tony Fitzpatrick, Joel Dvoskin, and more.
10-05-05 You're not likely to see it on the evening news. It might not even make it into your daily paper. Nevertheless, the passage of the California Circle of Trust bill is a landmark event, potentially affecting far more children, all across America, than the headline-grabbing laws named after murdered children so popular in the news these days. Read all about it by clicking here. And if you were part of that campaign, thanks for helping to PROTECT children everywhere.
10-05-05 "What does the California victory mean to children in America? It means that all those fatuous little pseudo-cynics are wrong: you can fight City Hall. It means that a grassroots movement—one so new you can't even see the first green shoots in most places—can make lasting, fundamental change. It means that the professional apologists for sex offenders don't win every time. It means that those who think watching a movie about social injustice is fighting social injustice and the bloggers who sneer at the very idea of taking on "the system" are finally getting the message that narcissism and intelligence are not synonymous. Those who struggled for this victory have proven you can make your own reality, instead of just watching some facsimile on TV." Click here to read Andrew Vachss' entire article about the Circle of Trust victory, as published October 4, 2005, by Protect.
09-28-05 If you're a fan of The Matrix, or, more precisely, a fan of Geofrey Darrow, the artist who designed the look of the Matrix films and has illustrated a number of Andrew Vachss stories, then you're in for a treat! Click here to hear an hour-long conversation with Mr. Darrow, during which he discusses his collaborations with the Wachowski Brothers, Frank Miller, and Andrew Vachss, as well as his latest comics: Shaolin Cowboy and Doc Frankenstein.
09-21-05 Why would people loot TVs during an emergency? Why would people in need shoot at those who are trying to help them? Frequent Zero contributor Joel Dvoskin offers an explanation, and a solution. Click here to read, "Flooded Streets and Flooded Emotions: The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."
09-14-05WE WON! After two years of struggle, the Circle of Trust bill has just passed the California legislature, adding another victory to Protect's growing list of accomplishments, and another victory for the safety of children. The Circle of Trust bill strikes a powerful blow right at the heart of our nation's worst laws. These laws, dating back to 1981, have hurt children not just in California, but all over America. By dismantling them where they started—in California—all involved with Protect have set in motion a movement that will protect children across America. If you're a member of Protect: Thanks! It could not have happened without you. If you want to be part of this important movement, click here to find out how you can become a member.
09-14-05 "It seems to me that he exposes you to the truth, that he puts you on the spot, that he interviews you, all of these things, so that he can affect some change in you. It is the reason he writes, after all." Read Thomas Scott McKenzie's article about meeting Andrew Vachss, as posted at SlushPile.net on September 2, 2005.
09-06-05 "We understand broken buildings; we do not understand broken children." Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally recognized authority on traumatology, especially concerning children in crisis. In addition to heading the ChildTrauma Academy, Dr. Perry has consulted on such tragedies as the Columbine school shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Branch Davidian siege. Click here to read Dr. Bruce Perry's latest essay, "The Real Crisis of Katrina."
08-24-05 For many years, most of the best writers of the English language found their way to Don Swaim's CBS Radio studio in New York. Andrew Vachss was on Swaim's show in 1988, for the release of Blue Belle. Click here to listen to this historic, forty-minute interview, in which Vachss talks about all the things he still talks about today—plus rare insight into his own life.
08-10-05 If you're looking for a great audio interview with Andrew Vachss, you won't find a better option than Bill Thompson's interview for Eye On Books. Mr. Thompson's been interviewing Mr. Vachss since Flood was released, so his latest—an interview about Two Trains Running—has some real perspective to it. Click here to hear the interview!
08-03-05 "I see 1959 as the fulcrum year in American socio-politics. If you go back a few years, and forward a few years, seeing the 1959 run-up to the election as the lever between them, you have the blueprint for exactly what has occurred since and continues to occur today. Names change; games don't. People are more familiar with the flowers than the roots, and I wanted to make some contribution toward changing that." Read Rob Holden's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published August 2005 at ReadersRoom.com.
07-20-05 "In his autobiography, former President Bill Clinton credits [Andrew] Vachss with [writing the National Child Protection Act] and notes how important it was to him and wife Hillary. But there's a catch, according to Vachss: 'It's never been funded.'" Read the entirety of Craig McDonald's article, as published in Ohio's ThisWeek newspaper.
07-20-05 "I stopped [singing] because the first time I put my kid in nursery school, she came out with red hands and told me the teachers had hit her. I decided in that moment to become a full-time mother." Read J. Poet's interview with Judy Henske, as published in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 10, 2005.
07-13-05 Most interviews on TV and radio are edited down—you're not getting the whole thing, just the pieces someone wants to share. Rick Kleffel at The Agony Column, however, offers you the entire, unedited audio file of his June 30, 2005 interview with Andrew Vachss. Click here to hear the whole thing.
07-13-05 "Andrew Vachss has always been able to make other writers look candy-assed." That's just the beginning of Elizabeth M. Tamny's review of Two Trains Running. Click here to read the entire review, as it appeared in the July 8, 2005, issue of The Chicago Reader.
07-06-05 If you haven't already done so, rush to your local comics store and grab the third issue of Geofrey Darrow's critically acclaimed Shaolin Cowboy. Besides being one of the best comics ever published, it also includes an excerpt from Two Trains Running and an ad for Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection!
06-22-05 If you were wondering what Andrew Vachss' take is on the Michael Jackson trial, but were unwilling to register on the New York Times web site, then click here. We're making available "Unsafe At Any Age," Andrew Vachss' Op-Ed piece, as published in The New York Times on June 15, 2005.
06-22-05 "While sex offender registries are cheap, easy, popular and always good for media coverage, they are not—even by the most widely optimistic standards—any kind of substitute for real surveillance, supervision, or public safety." Click here to read the rest of our own Kim Talman's testimony before the New York State Senate regarding the need for maximum security parole, then click here to read about Protect's national position on the matter.
06-12-05 Headlines in the daily paper in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, include such gross phrases as "kiddie porn actress." And it's not just the Edmonton Sun. The media calls the sexual assault of a child "fondling," and they term incest a "nonviolent crime." So what harm does that do? Read "Watch Your Language" by Andrew Vachss, as published in the June 5, 2005, issue of Parade.
06-08-05 You can't yet read Andrew Vachss' latest, Two Trains Running, but you can have it read to you! Random House Audio has provided us with an excerpt from the audiobook release of Two Trains Running, as performed by David Joe Wirth. Visitors to this site will remember Wirth from his performance of "Placebo" on Proving It and people hearing him on this Two Trains Running excerpt will remember him from here on out.
05-25-05 If you give a damn about providing services to the visually impaired, here's something you can do about it. Andrew Vachss' latest novel, Two Trains Running, is available to libraries in several forms that are accessible to the visually impaired. It will not cost you a dime and will take you less than a minute to contact your local library and ask them to order the Library Package (unabridged audiobook & large-print edition) of Two Trains Running. This can be done via the Internet—each public library has its own website. It takes you about a minute. But it could mean hours and hours of enjoyment for dozens if not hundreds of visually impaired people.
05-16-05Two Trains Running is a book that requires its own dedicated website. Why? We trust both the website—available today, right here—and the book—available June 14th—will answer those questions, and we hope to get your feedback on both soon.
05-04-05 Zero visitors have been asking about audiobooks of Andrew Vachss' novels for years. Now we finally have a good answer. Click here to see information about the audio of Two Trains Running, read by David Joe Wirth (who performed "Placebo" on Proving It).
04-27-05 From NBC4 News in Columbus, Ohio (April 2005): "Witnesses said several students saw a girl being punched and forced to engage in videotaped sexual acts with several boys in the Mifflin High School auditorium...." From the New York Daily News (April 2005): "A Queens teen ... was sexually assaulted at a party—as others videotaped the attack...." From The (Colorado Springs) Gazette (June 2004): "Sams ... is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in December while three women videotaped the attack..." And here's where Andrew Vachss readers found out about "noir verite" first: Only Child (October 2002).
04-20-05 Congratulations to Geofrey Darrow on his dual Eisner Award nominations! The man who Andrew Vachss calls "the undisputed king, after whom all else follow" is up for Best New Series and Best Penciller/Inker in the comics industry's version of the Emmys. The furor is for Geofrey's new series, Shaolin Cowboy, which also picked up a nomination for Peter Doherty as Best Colorist—click here to check it out!
04-13-05 Why did Jeff Weise kill nine people and injure seven more before taking his own life? He was emotionally abused, and no one reached out to him. His step-aunt, Kim DesJarlait, told a reporter, "The clues were all there. Everything was laid out, right there." But instead of doing something herself, she expected "the school or the authorities in Red Lake to see it coming ... This kid was crying out, and those guys chose to ignore it. They need to start focusing on their kids." The problem is that the people who can do something—the schools, the authorities, and, by and large, families—don't see emotional abuse as "counting." Everyone saw "the signs." But because of the kid's family history, they just ignored him, figuring he would become an alcoholic, then commit suicide. If they thought, for a minute, homicide was a possibility, they would have "intervened" a long time ago. Someday, kids like him will be wearing T-shirts: If you won't "see" us now, you'll never see us coming.
04-06-05 For another example of something Burke readers learned before their newspaper-reading friends, click here.
03-23-05 Across America, over 373,000 convicted sex offenders are listed on state and local sex offender registries. In many states, one in every four—sometimes one in every three—registered offenders is classified as an "absconder," his whereabouts unknown to authorities. Click here to read what one organization is doing about it.
03-23-05 "As said many times in the 'Burke' series of books, family is not necessarily the group you're born into but those you keep around you." Click here to welcome Justice, Faust, and Cockroach—the family with which Dean surrounds himself—to the Dogs of the Zero.
03-09-05 Last week, we wrote about proposed legislation in West Hollywood that would make it illegal to surgically alter animals. This week, we're going to show you how the EU has had that law in place since 1987. Click here to read the "European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals," and pay particular attention to Article 10 - Surgical operations.
03-09-05 Andrew Vachss' most recent novel, Down Here, has Burke searching for a way to prove Wolfe is innocent of a murder rap. Bookpage called it, "tautly written ... ultimately triumphant. Burke is the uncrowned king of the lawless good guys, and Down Here will advance his legend." If you missed it in hardcover, here's your chance to get it in trade paperback or ebook.
02-23-05 Andrew Vachss' books have been described as investigative novels, because they often reveal news before you can read it in your newspaper. Case in point: In Only Child, Burke hunts down a new kind of filmmaker, one who uses money to arrange a murder in a "reality" film. That story, published in 2002, reads an awful lot like the February 9, 2005 article about Brian Bates, a videographer who received national exposure for his "video vigilante" campaign to expose street prostitution—and who was arrested for allegedly paying prostitutes to do their work in an area where he could easily film them ... and "directing" their car-stop activities. Read the full story here.
02-10-05 This is what Andrew Vachss wrote about Judith Moore's just-released new book: "Fat Girl is a black diamond, revealing its hard brilliance only when you accept its invitation to descend into the soul of the loneliest little girl in the world. When you reach the center, the microscope becomes a wide-angle lens, suffusing your spirit with rage and mourning. Fat Girl is to-the-marrow honesty and monumental courage. It stuns, shocks, and saddens. It's the true blues ... because you know it's the truth. A magnificent achievement." This isn't a book about dieting; it's a book about Emotional Abuse. But, in accordance with Zero policy, we don't ask you to take our word for anything. So here's an excerpt. And if you want to read the author's own essay on why she wrote this book, we've got that for you too ... right here.
02-02-05 Over the years, The Zero has brought you a wide range of Andrew Vachss interviews. This week, we feature one that's a bit of a departure from what you may be used to, but nonetheless quite clearly illustrative of the Vachss perspective. You can find it here.
01-26-05 There's no city like Chicago, and no artist who can capture the city like TKO Tony Fitzpatrick. In his latest book, The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Vol. 1, Fitzpatrick takes a look back at the city of his youth through a series of astonishing collages. The Chicago Tribune describes it as "masterful compositions that achieve balance between fragmentation and wholeness, the sacred and the profane, frenzy and meditation." The Sun-Times says the book "display[s] a gritty, broad-shouldered majesty, it captures an urban reality born out of both darkness and light ... Scour the images over and over and something new pops out relentlessly at each examination. With his vibrant colorful work, Fitzpatrick creates a feast for the senses." And you can dig in by clicking here.
01-19-05 Every loyal reader knows it wouldn't be a Burke book without an appearance by Judy Henske. And now, finally, there's a new CD to celebrate. Andrew Vachss says, "If you want to hear the all-time best version of one of the best all-time blues songs, just listen to Magic Judy tear up Easy (C.C.) Rider on this one!
01-12-05 "My position on pornography is quite simple. You can argue about Penthouse or Playboy or things of that ilk. But child pornography, a picture of a child engaged in a sexual act, is a photograph of a crime and you cannot argue about that. It is, per se, illegal, illicit and immoral. It is unfortunate that my work is taken up by people with whom I am not allied." Read John Williams' entire 1988 interview with Andrew Vachss, published in the January '89 issue of The Face, about the time that Blue Belle was released.
01-12-05 "What drives me is real simple, one word: anger. I'm absolutely, morally convinced in my mind and my heart that child abuse is a greater cancer in this country than cocaine or communism." Read Garry Abrams' entire 1988 interview with Andrew Vachss, published in the December 11, 1988 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
01-05-05 The first dog to make our Backup Pack of the Zero was Lily the Dachshund. We've got an update on Lily. To see how the most noble of ratters celebrates the holidays, click here!
12-29-04 "Most people need to rethink family, because family should be defined operationally, not biologically." Click here to hear the entire audio interview Diana Jordan, from "Meet the Writers," conducted with Andrew Vachss for the release of Down Here.
12-29-04 One Zero regular was visiting a chat board for expectant mothers and discovered that many of the moms-to-be were afraid to let their babies near pit bulls. So she asked for the opportunity to set the record straight. Click here for the update on Angel and Bear, two members of the Backup Pack!
12-22-04Son Seals left us Monday to work a better room. The room he left behind is emptier, now.
12-08-04 Thanks to visitors of The Zero, the auction of Geof Darrow's cover artwork for Another Chance to Get It Right raised over $600 for Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection. (Thanks to Peter Larsson for
making the winning bid, and thanks to Geof Darrow for his very kind donation of artwork!) Watch for more auctions in the near future!
12-01-04 Thanks to the support of Zero visitors, another pit bull has found a home! Valentine was a stray pit found in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. She was being fostered by Zero volunteers, and sponsored by the Furry Friends Foundation. Valentine found a home last week, and it's a home for life! But there are plenty of other pits looking for people to protect. If you live in Chicago and are looking for a new best friend, check out the Furry Friends Foundation. They've got just what you're looking for!
11-17-04 Mama was so pleased with how well her shirts and hats sold, that she's authorized us to make more—and to add sweatshirts, mugs, and more merchandise to the mix. Click here to see what you missed the first time around, and to see what you can get this time.
11-10-04 Brett Popplewell and Lee Wilson are using their talents—writing and illustrating, respectively—to improve the environment of schools across Canada. The pair have produced Bully-Boy & Gossip-Girl, a comic book and lesson plan that teachers can use with their students. If you're a teacher searching for a way to improve relations among your students—especially students in 6th grade and younger—click here.
11-03-04 "I believe this book conclusively makes the case for sharing of reports between child protective and animal protective agencies." Read the entirety of Andrew Vachss' foreword to Frank Ascione's latest book, Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty, by clicking here.
11-03-04 For any pit bull owners who are exhausted from telling people it's not the breed, but the deed that needs to be examined, we have Yashima Williams and her pit, Princess, who found a newborn baby abandoned on a rooftop. Animals don't "magically" imitate their owners. This is the story of values reflected, then proven.
10-27-04 "We don't distinguish between the various forms of child abuse. Emotional abuse is pretty much ignored. When someone spends their life being told, 'You're stupid, you're a disgrace, I should have aborted you, you ruined my life,' it scars them in ways that are almost impossible to describe with words. And yet, such a person describing their life would be told, 'Oh, you weren't an incest victim? Oh, you weren't burned with cigarettes? So, how abused were you really?'" Listen to the entirety of Patty Satalia's "Take Note" radio interview of Andrew Vachss, as broadcast on NPR affiliate WPSU on October 24, 2004, by clicking here. [RealAudio]
10-13-04 Case Western Reserve University—one of America's premier academic institutions—picked eight of their most distinguished alumni to discuss "The World As They See It," saying: They are doing work that affects our lives, even though we may not be aware of it. Some have literally changed the world. Others are in the process of doing so. Some are pioneers, while others are part of pioneering projects. Andrew Vachss is one of those alumni, and you can read his answers, published in the Fall 2004 issue of Case Magazine, by clicking here. Note, although termed an "interview," the technique utilized is to strip the questions, leaving only the responses.
10-06-04 Our regular visitors will have noted that The Zero was not updated for September 13th and 20th. This was due to the impact of the hurricanes and the death of someone close to us. As you have seen, we are now back to our regular service. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
09-29-04 Identity theft it is an especially pernicious type of crime—it can cost victims tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours just to prove they themselves are not criminals. To learn more about it, how to avoid it, and how to address it if you become a victim, click here to read this primer on identity theft by Houston police officer D.H. Domagas.
08-30-04 As promised, we have the Andrew Vachss article which appeared in last Sunday's Parade magazine. And this one's not just for those of you whose Sunday paper doesn't carry the magazine. In response to a seemingly-endless stream of requests, our version features all of the following: (1) You can email copies of the article to as many people as you wish; (2) A printable version for hard copy; (3) Direct links to the email forms for each presidential candidate, so you can ask them to respond to the article's challenge. You can find it all here.
08-04-04 Honey Pit Bull is not allowing her skills to erode while in semi-retirement. She has expanded her range of interests and now works as a personal trainer, specializing in species not generally regarded as pugilists. Check out Honey coaching her latest protégé, Aggresso the Hummingbird, and watch what happens when Aggresso spots an intruder!
07-28-04 When humans' relationships with animals become distorted, they turn into examples of malevolence and cruelty. The perpetrators of such inhumane treatment are often children and adolescents, but adults sometimes join their ranks. How common are these incidents? What motivates human maltreatment of animals? How early in a child's life does cruelty to animals emerge and are these incidents always a sign of future interpersonal violence? Are there ways of preventing such cruelty? Frank R. Ascione explores these questions and more in his latest book, Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty. Andrew Vachss calls it a "stunning new work—the crown jewel in a career Frank Ascione has devoted to demonstrating the importance of understanding animal abuse in a developmental context." To find out more, click here. [Note: this is a PDF file, get the free Adobe Reader here.]
07-28-04 "Children of violent marriages may be more than twice as likely to set fires intentionally or be cruel to animals than those from nonviolent homes." Click here to read Jennifer Warner's entire article, "Violent Marriages May Make Violent Children,"as published July 2, 2004, on WebMD.
07-28-04 If you read German, you're in luck: Andrew Vachss' very first novel, A BOMB BUILT IN HELL, has just been published in Germany, under the title EISGOTT. For more information on obtaining that book, click here. To read a [glowing] German review of the book, click here. And if you're feeling left out and want to read the book in English, click here.
07-28-04 The Zero sends its congratulations and respect to hangedwoman for her
fund-raising, first-ever "Blogging for Protect" marathon. As we always say, "If you can't be counted on, you can't be counted in!"
07-14-04 For politicos and people "in the know," Bill Clinton's autobiography, My Life, is divided into two sections—the actual text and what has become known as the "Clindex." Apparently, this is the only part of the book some people intend to read. If you want to see if we "made the cut," check it out here. For a few books we do recommend, check out The Zero's Righteous Reading.
06-23-04 If you've already read Down Here, you know about the database that Burke's family developed. If you want to know what that database could mean to society, click here.
06-09-04 "In order for me to be in control of my own destiny, in order for me to have full responsibility for good or for bad for what happened, I needed to be in business for myself. And the only business to be in for myself was what I cared about which was—well, when you strip away all the rhetoric, fighting." Read Night Watchman's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in the June 2004 issue of Tastes Like Chicken.
06-09-04 If paper never existed, what would books be printed on? Our guess is chocolate. And if you want to know what that would look like, click here.
06-03-04 "If you wanted to see my best writing, you'd have to look at briefs or appeals. Because there you're playing for high stakes. You can't let yourself get into sloppy habits. You can't be extraneous." Read Judith Moore's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in the San Diego Reader on April 15, 2004.
06-03-04 "[Vachss has designed] a comprehensive survey for law enforcement to use that would lead to pattern rapists being 'identified earlier and convicted more easily,' he said." Read the entirety of Dan Pearson's interview with Andrew Vachss—and review of Down Here—as published May 23, 2004, by the Daily Southtown.
05-26-04 On May 16, 2004, Andrew Vachss was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by his alma mater, Case Western Reserve University. Click here for the details.
05-26-04 K-9 Gero was a police dog who took his job seriously. He died May 6 after taking a bullet intended for a Colorado officer. Read about this hero dog in Dogs of the Zero.
05-19-04 We've demonstrated it dozens of times: Andrew Vachss isn't psychic and doesn't have an overactive imagination—he writes what he knows. But Britney Spears wasn't paying attention, and so now she suffers the consequences. Click here for details.
05-12-04 As a detective, Mike McNamara usually investigates child abuse or sexual assault cases. But in his off hours, he talks with kids about the dangers of driving drunk. Click here to hear Sgt. McNamara tell the story of why he founded Licensed For Life, a great Chicago-based non-profit that helps keep kids from making life-ending decisions. Originally broadcast on "Chicago Matters: Seeking Justice," a production of WBEZ National Public Radio. [Please note: You need the free RealPlayer to hear the presentation.]
05-05-04 Photographer Yancy Mendoza and model Angelique LeBugle show off the latest T-shirt for the well-read Vachss fan. Check it out!
05-05-04 "Many of Vachss' books spring directly from his work representing abused children. It's rare he does a straight-up mystery that doesn't involve a missing or murdered child. But [Down Here] stands as his greatest literary accomplishment to date and as his most powerful statement yet on the choice between good and evil." Read Jason Tippitt's entire review of Down Here, originally published at The Jackson Sun website.
05-05-04 Grendel is living proof that the stereotype of the dangerous pit bull is about as accurate as the socially conscious politician. He's also the latest member of the Dogs of the Zero. Check him out!
05-04-04 "Andrew Vachss' Burke books [are] like one lengthy, continuing story, each book another chapter in the story arc of Burke's life. Some chapters are naturally more interesting than others, but all have been well worth reading, and Down Here is one of the more effective ones." Read Chet Williamson's entire review of Andrew Vachss' latest, Down Here, as published in Rambles on April 17, 2004.
04-28-04 Public campaigns cannot run on slogans; they always need a "face," an individual who puts themselves out there and puts the issue in sharp perspective at the same time. The California campaign against the hated "incest exception" has a face ... and it's a beauty.
Alison Arngrim appeared on Larry King Live, April 27 to expose the hidden truths about the "incest exception." The little girl you loved—or hated—when she was Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie is all grown up. And she's not playing around. Click here to read the transcript of the show.
04-21-04 The New York State Assembly is considering a bill that would require dog owners to carry liability insurance on all dogs over the age of 4 months—and, of course, that insurance would be higher for certain breeds, like pit bulls. Want to know more about it? Know what you can do about it? Read Joseph Steinfeld's Guest Dispatch on the matter.
04-21-04Meet Hopper, a pit bull who has had all the luck, both good and bad. He's the latest addition to the Dogs of the Zero!
04-14-04 "I promise you, there are people in America whose only problem with the Taliban is that they did it for the wrong god. Whether it's incest, rape, terrorism or Nazism, it's all the same thing—accumulating and abusing power." Read Andrew Vachss' interview with Ian Spiegelman, as published in the New York Post on April 11, 2004.
04-14-04 If you're looking to update your spring wardrobe, look here! We're offering via CafePress.com an assortment of clothing items and merchandise (available at cost) featuring the cover to Andrew Vachss' latest, Down Here, which is in stores now.
03-24-04 Anyone who has worked in the Domestic Violence field knows of cases where a victim chose to remain with a batterer rather than abandon a beloved pet, because so many DV Shelters will not allow those fleeing a violent situation to bring their pets with them. Dr. Frank Ascione, the world's leading authority on the connections between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence, has provided a real solution in his ground-breaking Safe Havens for Pets: Guidelines for Programs Sheltering Pets for Women Who Are Battered. The entire print run has been distributed, but you can still get it FREE, via a downloadable PDF, right here at The Zero.
03-24-04 For (all!) those fans of "Little House on the Prairie," you know how formidable Nellie Oleson could be when riled. Well, Alison Arngrim, the actress who made Nellie Oleson a household name, has turned her fire on California's notorious "incest exception" law. Check it out here.
03-24-04 World-renowned artist Tony Fitzpatrick is a former prizefighter who just stepped into the ring for PROTECT! Tony has donated 20 copies of his award-winning book BUMTOWN, to be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to PROTECT. Each book is not only individually signed by Tony, but he has also added "Protect!" in his own hand to these copies only. So you not only contribute to a wonderful cause, but you acquire one of a unique limited run of a magnificent book in the process. Watch for the auction to start on eBay soon. And bid high!
03-17-04 As promised, here is the first addition to the tour schedule for Down Here. Because we were so impressed at the distance some folks drove to make the last event in Cleveland, we've put it back on the schedule. We also have the promised info on the LA Times Festival of Books appearance. Just click here for all the details.
03-09-04 Anger is a fuel, and like all fuels, it's combustible. But channeled properly, it's a tool to get you where you want to go. The Zero sends out Respect to a punk rock band who's using their anger to make a difference: The Bar Feeders. Check it out!
03-09-04 The fight to eliminate California's incest-exception law is raging—and it has the support of The Matrix's director/writer team of Andy and Larry Wachowski. Click on the green box at the bottom of The Matrixhomepage to see how you can join them in the fight!
03-03-04 As always, when it comes to a new Vachss project, Zero visitors get the true clue first. So here's the opening piece of the tour schedule. Note: the tour is going to be truncated this year, because we wanted the book to sell at a price low enough to make a statement. Right now, you can pre-order for less than 14 bucks. Pretty good for a brand-new hardcover, huh? Also, you can find the first review of Down Here ... (no, we are not going to start running reviews, but since this one also serves as a plot summary without spoilers, we're making an exception). Check it all out here.
02-25-04 It's been a long time coming, but we finally have the chance to strike down California's odious "incest exception" law. New legislation has just been introduced that will stop providing special benefits for predators who target their own children for sexual abuse. You can participate in the campaign directly, and it won't cost you a dime, or more than 10 minutes of your time. You don't even have to live in California to join the fight to protect our most vulnerable victims. If you want to learn about this filthy law, and how you can help wipe it off the books, just click here.
02-18-04 "NAMBLA has no place in gay culture. Gay culture celebrates everything, as long as it is consensual. Fucking kids is not consensual." Those are the words of one gay man—and the sentiment of many more. Click here for the full story.
This being a Leap Year, The Zero's own pit bull is getting the jump on Valentine's Day. Click here for another Honey-coated valentine—one you can actually download yourself to make the perfect card for your sweetheart!
02-04-04 "My mother was a teenage bride whose husband was thousands of miles away, on the battlefields of Europe. She read to me every day, without fail. And it was my mother's father, my beloved grandfather, who introduced me to the magic kingdom on Fifth Avenue, that huge monolith guarded by stone lions." If you've ever wanted some real insight into the life of Andrew Vachss, you'll find it, in amazing detail, and in his own words, by clicking here.
01-21-04 (We're not saying we agree with all of it, but) if you want to read the in-depth analysis of Andrew Vachss' body of work just released by Contemporary Authors, click here.
12-31-03 If you're one of the many visitors using The Zero as a source for your research paper, we've just made your job easier. Click here to learn "How To Cite The Zero." Thanks to Ms. Lin Ryan-Thompson for suggesting this upgrade.
12-24-03 And we have a winner! Twenty winners, in fact. Congratulations to the twenty Zero visitors who won our Only Child contest, and thanks to all who entered. Winners have been contacted via email, and books will go out next week. If you want to be in line for bonus contests in the future, sign on to our Updates List by clicking here.
12-17-03 On October 25, 2003, St. Vincent's Center honored Andrew Vachss with their first Illuminations Award. Check out the award—and learn about the Center's unique National Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program—by clicking here.
11-26-03 The media has finally arrived down in the Zero. Five years ago, in Safe House, Andrew Vachss wrote about on-line molestation broadcast in real time. Earlier this month, London's Observer reported on a group committing that very crime. Check it out.
11-26-03 Raw meat and vegetables fuel the latest member of The Zero pack! Meet Spike, a Rhodesian Ridgeback/pit bull mix, by clicking here.
11-26-03 Our old friend Mark Hennessy [of Paw] checked in—with a couple of big friends. Check out those beasts in Dogs of the Zero!
11-26-03 A great dog has left the earth, but not before leaving her mark. Meet India, and read about her here.
11-19-03 When Alice Vachss wrote about the Kobe Bryant case for the Washington Post, readers had questions—and Mrs. Vachss had answers. So the newspaper arranged an online chat. Read the transcript from that chat by clicking here.
11-19-03 The latest issue of Bandit-Lit has just been released. If you want to see what's being done with cutting-edge literary magazines today, take a look here.
11-12-03 "[O]ur society harbors some deep-seated rape myths—cultural misconceptions about sexual violence that interfere with our adequately addressing the prevalence of sexual assault. In recent years, most of these rape myths had gone underground, seemingly because it would have been unpopular to express them. But now, distressingly, the Kobe Bryant case has granted them all permission to resurface." Read Alice Vachss' entire article, "The Charge of Rape, the Force of Myth," as published Sunday, November 2, 2003 by The Washington Post.
11-12-03 The 15th round in the Burke series, Down Here, is scheduled for release in April 2004. But you can get a look at the cover and read an excerpt from the book by clicking here.
10-29-03 If you want to know about education in Germany, the place to go is Chances. The German magazine has articles about universities, courses of study, course contents, degrees, PhDs and cooperative programs between international universities. Recently, they also had an interview with Andrew Vachss. [Note: the interview was originally published in English. For those who want to read it in German, click here.]
10-22-03 The Dogue de Bordeaux joins the Dogs of the Zero! Click here to meet Piglet and her uncle Pellefant.
10-14-03 Nesna University in Norway hosted a conference titled "The Internet - a hiding ground for pedophiles?" At the invitation of Professor Per Arne Godejord, Andrew Vachss participated in an online discussion with the students, meant to be an experimental example of how to interweave ethical considerations with technological expertise. You can read the transcript (in English) by clicking here.
10-01-03 On October 14, Vintage will release Andrew Vachss' 14th Burke novel, Only Child in trade paperback. Click here for more information.
09-25-03 As regular Zero visitors know, our Debunking Disinformation pages have proven to be the source for killing rumors (and unmasking deliberate disinformation) concerning the crimes of certain celebrities, consistent with our attempt to bring the truth to the cyber-chumps of the world. Here's a new column about convicted child molester, Victor Salva. If you're one of those "judge the art, not the artist," folks, you might want to take a look.
09-17-03 "The Net is paradise for lurkers: nameless, no-scent psychopaths. That's the way camouflage works—by blurring the outlines. Most people look to the edges for definition—when it's not there, they don't see anything at all." That excerpt is from Andrew Vachss' False Allegations. Read the article from the Sun-Sentinel for proof.
09-10-03 "CPS has called [the death of 2-year-old Linda Gloria Padilla] a horrible, horrible mistake. This statement gives the wrong impression that such mistakes are isolated examples of poor judgment, and, thus, are unpredictable. In fact, they are symptomatic of system-wide problems at CPS—problems that have not been cured since a statewide investigation into CPS in 1988 at the request of Houston-based Justice for Children." Read Randy Burton's entire guest dispatch, as originally published by the Houston Chronicle, August 22, 2003.
09-03-03 Good books are published every day. Great ones less frequently. But life-changing books come along very rarely, and we don't want Zero visitors to miss this one. If you want to read a genuinely heroic account (by a genuine hero) of transcending a malevolent childhood, starting with his leaving one war zone to volunteer for another, struggling his way to a position of enormous power and influence, and, finally, searching for the truth of his life, go and get a copy of Meant to Be by longtime editor of Parade magazine, Walter Anderson. You'll thank us, and so will your children.
09-03-03 Everyone knows pit bulls are extremely protective of their owners. Here's one that protects an entire record label. Click here to meet Sarin, the latest addition to the Zero Pack!
08-13-03 Valida was just supposed to be temporary. But Joe and Chopper couldn't give her up. Check out the latest addition to the Dogs of the Zero, and the latest addition to the Neo-Pack here!
08-06-03 World-class illustrator Geofrey Darrow has always stood up. Now that he's hit big-time fame as conceptual designer for The Matrix trilogy of films, he's not changed—he's still standing just as tall. Geofrey has arranged for an amazing donation to be made to Protect, America's first political lobby for child protection—one of two prototypes of The Sentinels made (from Geofrey's designs) for use in filming The Matrix Revolutions. Check it out!
07-30-03 Andrew Vachss' latest, The Getaway Man, is garnering positive reviews everywhere, but they've especially taken to it in Norway, where (although it's available only as an import) it's been honored as one of the "10 must read crime stories for the summer" by Dagbladet, the country's biggest newspaper. Check it out!
07-16-03 If you can make music, you can make children safer. PROTECT, the political lobby that's eliminated the incest exception laws in North Carolina, Arkansas, and Illinois, has put a call out to musicians for help in eliminating those laws in 35 more states. If you can carry a tune, carry yourself over to Protect.org to see how you can join the fight!
07-09-03 "I didn't take my commitment [to the sex predator treatment program] as a joke. I went there to learn, to take what the program had to offer and apply it to my life," said Michael T. Crane, who chronically exposed himself to strangers. On June 18—eighteen months after he was released from prison and the program—Crane was arrested and charged with attacking a woman in her car outside an apartment. Stacey Herman, public information officer for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which operates the predator program, said, "The program is so new, it's hard to make a general statement." We say it's easy to make a general statement: Sex predators can't be saved. Read the recent story of Crane and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services here, and read Andrew Vachss' 1993 editorial here.
07-02-03 A Zero exclusive! People always want to know what's "left out" of a print interview—now we're going to show you. In Spring 2003, RainTaxi ran an interview with Andrew Vachss. Journalist Clayton Moore sent us the entire, unedited transcript of the interview that provided the foundation for that piece, and we present it here, in its entirety.
06-25-03 Justice for Children, the leading national advocacy organization for abused and neglected children, recently honored Andrew Vachss with its first annual Harvey R. Houck Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to Children. The presentation was made at JFC's 15th anniversary gala, in Houston, Texas. Check it out here.
06-25-03 The Zero sends out [still more] Respect to Commander Mike McNamara, who was awarded the Illinois State Bar Association Law Enforcement Award on June 18, 2003. Commander McNamara was nominated for the honor by the South Suburban Bar Association Criminal Law Committee, who recognized his work organizing Licensed for Life; his 22 years of distinguished service as a police officer; his 1999 Park Forest Jaycees "Citizen of the Year" award; and his 2002 Cook County Judges Award, bestowed for the endless hours he has applied toward preventing underage DUIs. Congratulations, Mike, we're proud to know you!
06-04-03 "You can't fight City Hall!" Once the battle cry of the middleclass non-combatant, it has become the mantra for a whole generation of oh-so-cynical people who might show up for a demonstration (especially if there's music) but don't see the point in going the distance. The good news is that there is a counterforce, growing throughout the nation. People dedicated to change, and willing to pay what it costs. You could not find a better example than PROTECT. Take a look here to see the latest triumph of the National Association to Protect Children and please consider joining us on the front lines!
05-21-03 Thanks to all you Zero visitors who responded to Sgt. Cameron Lefler's call to action on behalf of Wolftown! With your support, the land for the 501(c)3 USDA Wolf Sanctuary has been purchased and the project is safe. Sgt. Lefler is still overseas with the Marines—in fact, his last communication was sent from one of Saddam's palaces—and he sends his great thanks for your help. If this is the first time you're learning about Wolftown—a wolf rescue operation with a mentorship program for youth—you can find out more by visiting www.wolftown.org.
05-07-03 As a writer, Andrew Vachss has been characterized (and mischaracterized) by a number of labels, the generic "noir" being the most common. But what even the most loyal readers of the Burke series and the standalone novels may not realize is that Vachss has also written so-called "speculative fiction," most notably in his Underground series. For those who may be interested, we present here the opening episode to that series, "Bum's Rush." (And for those who stay interested, the remaining episodes can be found, in sequence, in Born Bad and Everybody Pays.) Don't pick the wrong tunnel!
04-30-03 From time to time, Zero visitors send us clips of old interviews and "profiles" about Andrew Vachss. Here's the latest batch:
Not exactly "news," but, as we know from our mail, certainly of interest to some of our regulars. Don't worry, we'll have some current state for you soon enough.
04-23-03 Victory in Arkansas! Thanks to the hard work of PROTECT and Senate Majority Leader Percy Malone (D-Arkadelphia), Arkansas has overhauled its incest law. Read all about it here.
04-23-03 At a time when Hollywood is best known for voting Polanski an Oscar, it's more important than ever to recognize those members of that community who stand up. Andy and Larry Wachoski—the Wachowski Brothers, who wrote and directed The Matrix and its coming sequels—are standing up strong by joining the Board of PROTECT. We know all you planned to go see The Matrix Reloaded when it comes out—so go see it twice now.
04-16-03 "For his whole life he wanted to get away from where he was and be bonded with others. There is nothing stupid about Eddie. He is an inexperienced person who is certainly capable of all those human emotions that make up a good person." Andrew Vachss speaks about The Getaway Man. Read Dan Pearson's entire piece, as published in The Daily Southtown, March 30, 2003.
04-09-03 If you're one of the many readers who scans each of the Burke novels for musicians and songs, then we have a treat for you. Zero regular Jamie Burg put together a "play list" for each of the books. And you'll find it by clicking here.
04-02-03 "I don't have much respect for lawyers who use the profession as a way of expressing themselves. My job is protecting children. It's not about my ego, how I express myself, but how well I express what that child needs." Read Robert Masterson's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published by the Fairfield Weekly on February 26, 2003.
03-26-03 Andrew Vachss never reads from his work. Or, rather, he almost never reads from his work. He's done it maybe four times. We recorded one of these rare events [March 10, 2003 at Barnes & Noble in NYC] and present that reading—and the Q&A afterward—here.
03-26-03 "Eddie doesn't want to steal anything. His vision of the end of the road is not living in Vegas with cashmere suits and rooms full of hookers—he wants to be the driver, so he can actually go someplace." Read Adam Dunn's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in Publishers Weekly on March 17, 2003.
03-19-03 "When someone asks me, 'Why do you write comics?' I tell them, for the same reason I write editorials, essays, and articles; the same reason I give speeches; the same reason I appear on TV programs, and give interviews. Same message; different forum. There is no universal forum, so the more outreach we can do, the better the chance of forming coalitions." Read the entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published by Borderline.
03-12-03 The Zero Pack grows stronger with the addition of Dax, a four-month old Rottweiler who's not waiting for full growth to start her work. Check her out!
03-05-03 "No one's saying I'm revisiting anything. They're saying how can you make this stuff up? And each and every time, a year later—two years later, they say, 'Oh my God, this was happening.'" Read the rest of Jon F. Merz's interview with Andrew Vachss from Planet Pulp Magazine right here.
02-27-03 The Getaway Man is getting rave reviews! Rambles calls it "a terrific book that ends with a perfectly measured body blow to the gut." Citypages says it's "a book about innocence" and an "existential oneness with the road." Read an excerpt here.
02-19-03 Whether you visit The Zero because you're a fan of Andrew Vachss' writing, you're a supporter of his work fighting predators, or you're in the fight yourself, you will find something you like at Bandit-Lit.Com. You can read an interview with Andrew Vachss, as well as read works by him and other authors, including Maggie Estep, Kent Gowran, Sheryl Johnston, Joe R. Lansdale, John McNally, Zak Mucha, and Rennie Sparks.
The ruling queen of love, Honey Pit Bull, invites you into the dog house for her annual Valentine's greeting! Click here for her message of love!
02-05-03 "The Internet is a piece of technology. It's absolutely neutral. It's like a scalpel, a surgeon can use it for surgery and a serial killer can use it to take someone's life. The idea that we should be attributing child abuse to the Internet is bizarre. The Polaroid camera was probably a bigger boost in kiddy porn than the Internet ever was." Read Daniel Robert Epstein's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as published at UGO.com.
01-29-03 "Spectators don't win fights, and the one fighting technique I have never seen fail yet is to just keep getting up." Read the rest of Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in The ASJA Monthly, Volume 52, Number 2, February 2003, right here.
01-08-03 "There is no border between my writing and what I do. My goal is that of a journalist. I am simply trying to get a bigger audience than I could get in a courtroom and that has worked." Read Aleksandrs Rozens' article about Andrew Vachss, as published by Reuters, January 6, 2003.
01-01-03 Because there are so many cyber-chumps who "trust the Web," and because rumors, myths, and outright disinformation are the order of the day on the Net, The Zero established a "one-stop shop" for purely factual information on certain individuals whose conduct demands our attention. One of those is Roman Polanski. And the international media have come to recognize the value of The Zero's database, as seen in the footnote to David Edelstein's review of Polanski's new film, The Pianist. While clearly conflicted in his feelings, "I think it's also important to add that this great and moral movie—the best of 2002, and one of the most indelible Holocaust films ever made—is the work of a sex criminal, a man who fled this country after drugging and molesting a teenage girl in the mid-'70s. I frankly don't know how to reconcile my feelings about The Pianist with my feelings about Polanski," Edelstein is to be commended for adding, at the bottom of his lengthy review, "This site explains why Polanski fled the United States." A review is opinion. Adding a source for the facts is the highest form of journalism, and The Zero extends its congratulations to David Edelstein for doing the right thing so publicly.
01-01-03 Turns out Chet Williamson, one of our favorite writers, is also an accomplished musician. If you like traditional Scots-Irish and Celtic music, you can't go wrong with Fire in the Glen. The band's latest CD, Pirates, Wakes & Whiskey, features studio work by another Zero favorite, Tim Truman. Check it out right here.
'Tis the day before Christmas,
And here at The Zero,
We've got a new excerpt,
From our hero!
Check it out: An excerpt from The Getaway Man, a stand-alone novel by Andrew Vachss. Watch for this paperback original from Vintage, in stores in February.
12-18-02 At long last, the new and improved edition of Another Chance to Get it Right is ready to go to the printer. It'll be in stores in about six weeks—but you can check out the finished cover now by clicking here!
12-18-02 Anyone who mistook Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for a "cozies only" compilation will be disabused of that notion with the February 2003 issue. If the two thugs on the cover aren't enough of a hint for you, check out "A Piece of The City," an original story of New York street gangs by Andrew Vachss. Click here for a look at the cover!
12-11-02 In the right hands, anything can be a weapon, even digital art. In this case, the hands belong to Byron Taylor—and we're glad to have him on our side of the battlefield. Check it out.
12-04-02 "I met a person—I don't know if you want to say he's crazy or just psychopathic—but he told me this whole story about these crime-scene tapes that you get in the 7-Eleven. From the security cameras. [He talked about] how if you could only 'direct that scene.'" Read Judith Moore's interview with Andrew Vachss, published in the San Diego Weekly Reader, October 24, 2002.
12-04-02 Rapists, child molesters, domestic violence perpetrators, and others of that ilk terrorize more than just their individual victims; their presence in the community endangers us all. Alice Vachss, former Chief of the Special Victims Bureau for the Queens County (NY) District Attorney's Office, wrote a non-fiction account of her experiences on the front lines of the war against such criminals. In it, she coined the term collaborator to describe those who, by their attitudes and actions, aid and abet them. What follows is a series of news accounts, all featuring the same protagonist. You be the judge
11-27-02 "Vachss doesn't strive for authenticity by barraging the reader with lurid details. He doesn't need to. Yet in addition to the street talk his books come with plenty of allusions to nasty situations. You're not going to leave skipping. He doesn't want you to. He's going for rage. He doesn't want you to like him—he wants you to be like him." Read the entire article from the Anchorage Presshere.
11-27-02 As all those who have been with us for some time know, The Zero is an all-volunteer organization. The author of this week's Guest Dispatch, Cameron Lefler, gives new meaning (and brings great honor) to that term. Cameron was a police officer with the Kings County (Washington) Sheriff's Department, serving with distinction until September 11, 2001. Immediately after that fateful day, Cameron shifted from one frontline to another, re-enlisting with the United States Marine Corps. He is currently stationed stateside, awaiting overseas assignment. Cameron Lefler doesn't just write about our obligations as citizens; he lives those obligations. The Zero is privileged to provide a showcase for his concerns.
11-20-02 "Eric Harris predicted, only weeks before the [Columbine] massacre, the behavior of the national print and electronic media; he knew that he and Dylan Klebold would be made famous, and that others would emulate them. There is little doubt that this provided at least part of the motivation for the murders at Columbine." Read Dr. Joel A. Dvoskin's editorial, "How Fortunetellers and Media Contribute to Murder."
11-13-02 A good education is a terrible thing to waste—a great education refuses to be wasted. Read Andrew Vachss' tribute to his alma mater, Case Western University, as published in CWRU Magazine this month.
11-06-02 The sweetest Vachss book ever! During his stop in Chicago on the Only Child tour, Andrew Vachss was given an amazing gift by the Four Seasons hotel: a reproduction of Only Child in chocolate. Check it out here!
11-06-02 Shiwa's a retired pit fighter. Rocco's a rescue from an abusive home. Together they're a protective unit that'll keep their new home safe from whatever may come. Check out the latest addition to Dogs of the Zero.
10-30-02 If the wait for the new edition of Another Chance To Get It Right is too painful, here's a first look at Geofrey Darrow's new illustrations for the book!
10-25-02 "It's really difficult to ask people to step forward if they believe they're going to be standing alone. Unless and until America supports [its mandated reporters—]its teachers and its social workers[—]in all the appropriate ways, including compensation, training, supervision, and respect, America cannot criticize those within the professions that don't live up to their ideal." Read the entire transcript of the USAToday.com chat by clicking here.
10-23-02 The response to our Only Child T-shirts has been tremendous—but some of the response has also been, "Why aren't there pictures of guys in T-shirts on the site?" If you're one of those asking, check out Zero volunteer Mike Lowry in our "Behavior is the Truth" shirt!
10-23-02 And if you think Mike's got the goods, check out Tribe, his dog. This Doberman mix has such horsepower, they had to give him a license plate—and a more appropriate one we can't imagine.
10-16-02 "The politics of child protection are awfully strange. Try to get a law changed to punish a hated crime like incest, and you'll start to see why." Or take the faster route: Read Grier Weeks' article about how he took the CARE Act to North Carolina to close that state's incest exception loophole!
10-16-02 The difference between a great dog and a dog with great potential is often the trainer. Here's the story of one of those dogs—a German Shepherd who worked with abused children—and one of those trainers—a warrior named James Colbert.
10-09-02 If you've been hunting for the comics adaptations of Andrew Vachss' short stories, your hunt is over. And if you're a fan of The Matrix, you're in for a treat. In November, Dark Horse releases an updated edition of Hard Looks, featuring "Half Breed," a never-before-published prose story by Vachss with illustrations by Geofrey Darrow, conceptual designer for The Matrix. Check out the finished covers and Darrow's amazing pencil sketches (not available anywhere else!) by clicking here.
10-09-02 "All things come to those who wait. Some of us wait in ambush." The latest in the line of Burke T-shirts is available—check it out! All profits from every purchase go to Licensed for Life, an organization out of Chicago that works to interdict teenage drunk driving.
10-09-02 Zeus and Xena are a pair of Rotts that got saved, and believe the way to pay back their people is by keeping them safe. Check out the latest additions to the Backup Pack!
10-08-02Only Child—Andrew Vachss' latest Burke novel—is on sale in bookstores across North America beginning today! Get more information by clicking here.
10-02-02 If you're anxious for the next novel from Andrew Vachss, we've got news for you: your anxiety is about to double. You've probably already heard about Only Child, the forthcoming Burke novel [Knopf, October 2002]. But there's also a new standalone novel in the pipeline. Look for The Getaway Man, a paperback original to be published by Vintage/Black Lizard in February 2003. Want to know more? Click here.
09-25-02 Thanks to the relentless, against-all-odds work of Grier Weeks and a group of determined volunteers, the children of North Carolina—from today on, forever into the future—are safer. On September 23, 2002, at 7:59 PM, Governor Michael F. Easley of North Carolina signed House Bill 1276—the "Close Incest Loophole" bill—into law. Humans who rape their own children in North Carolina are no longer given any special bonuses for growing their victims—they're subject to the same punishment as the stranger who rapes a child. That's one state down, 37 more to go.
09-25-02 Publishers Weekly writes that Only Child "has a compelling plot line (like a police procedural without the police) the noirish prose (a man's eyes are "the color of old dimes") is a pleasure, and Burke is an antihero of the old school another harrowing glimpse of the urban underworld from an author who clearly knows his terrain." Kirkus Reviews chimes in, calling it "Vintage Vachss, with hell-for-leather pacing." And Rambles describes it as "highly entertaining and involving intensely character-driven to the point where what happens in the plot isn't nearly as interesting as how it's happening a gem, tough, tight and terse ... heavily dependent on the kind of icy dialogue Vachss writes better than anyone else, but though a chill wind blows, Vachss relieves it with the warmth of the unconditional love Burke's family shares with each other, and the glimpses we get of Burke's true humanity." Want to know more? Click here.
09-25-02 To celebrate the release of the updated edition of Another Chance to Get it Right, we're making available a series of T-shirts and sweatshirts—even a mousepad!—featuring Frank Caruso's illustration of Andrew Vachss' "Behavior is the Truth" haiku. All profits from every purchase go to Licensed for Life, an organization out of Chicago that works to interdict teenage drunk driving. Click here for more information!
09-18-02 When you drop a stone into water, it sends out ripples. When you drop an article into the cover slot of Parade, the same thing happens.
09-09-02 "Just past midnight, I slipped back over the border, moving downwind out of the darkness. Because Hollywood's got one part right—the dirty, scheming, heartless bitch never does sleep. Especially now." Burke's back in New York in Only Child, the forthcoming novel by Andrew Vachss. Find out all about the book—read an excerpt, check out the cover—and find out all about Mr. Vachss' signing tour by clicking here.
09-09-02 "Burke's world is harsh and unforgiving, but so is Burke. It's a match made in hell, and a growing contingent of dedicated noir fans wouldn't want it any other way." That's what Booklist said about Pain Management. Library Journal called it "another winner," and Publishers Weekly says it "keep[s] [the Burke] series alive and vigorously kicking." Vintage releases it in paperback October 8. Check out the cover here.
09-04-02 Andrew Vachss writes, "The Mojo Crow series of children's books is just plain wonderful. Brilliantly-written and lavishly illustrated, each one is both a treat and a superb learning experience. The Mojo Crow series is endorsed by The Zero, Andrew Vachss, Honey, and our great pal, Michael O'Sullivan not just because the books are superb, but because its profits go toward supporting the Wild Bird Care Centre. Buy one for a kid you love. Better yet, buy a couple for your local library." For more information—and to find out how to get these books—click here.
08-14-02 Anyone who is heartened by animal protection will be heartened by the O'Sullivan family. Check out their story here.
08-09-02 I stood up, joined her under the light. She thumbed through rapidly, looking for the ad. It was marked with a red ink star, handdrawn. I held it close to read the small type:
Proverbs 13:24(!) Next time your kid has a good one coming, make a fullsize cassette of the chastisement and send it to me. I pay $50 for fifteen minutes, more for longer. Good sound quality a must. I travel frequently, with my own equipment. Write to make arrangements.
Only a P.O. box was listed, no name. A new kind of kiddie porn, legal too—I'd never heard of it before. Freaks carefully recording their own children getting whipped. To entertain other maggots. For money. I felt icepicks of fire in my chest. "Why did you show me this?" I asked her, my voice flat and level. "Cherry told me. A long time ago. She said that's what you do." "That?" "No. She said you … hunt people like that. ..." —Down in the
Zero, pg. 101.
When these words were published in 1994, Burke's statement that this reprehensible form of child pornography was generally considered "legal" was tragically valid. We have made great progress since then: not only in bringing recognition to the fact that there is no form of consensual adult sexual behavior without its foul complement among those who prey upon children, but that practices involving acts other than actual child-rape can be a form of child pornography...and thus, emphatically not legal. To learn about the authorities' breakup of a child pornography ring trafficking in this "new kind of kiddie porn," click here, (note, especially, the final paragraph), and here.
07-31-02 Another Chance to Get it Right debuted in 1993 on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and sold in numbers the publisher never expected. Finding it has been difficult—until now. In February, 2003 Dark Horse will release a new edition, featuring everything from the first edition PLUS 20 never-before-seen pages of prose and illustrations wrapped in a stunning new cover by Geofrey Darrow. You can view an unfinished version of that cover here.
07-21-02 Andrew Vachss' cover story in last Sunday's Parade has created a firestorm. The response has been so overwhelming, and so overwhelmingly positive that our Volunteers have been putting in very long hours. The question most asked is: "What can I do?" Photocopying the article and mailing to friends is laborious (and costly). And rebutting nonsense "interpretations" of the article on newsgroups, or posting it to message boards, is very difficult when there is no online version. The Zero now has the answer. Starting today, the article is available on our site right HERE, in a special "forwardable" version, together with all the information you need to find your state legislators. So "doing something" is no more than a couple of mouse-clicks away. And, as you all know, Behavior is the Truth.
07-17-02 Minerva and Juno of the mighty Neo Pack check in. Check it out!
07-03-02 "It has long been recognized that child welfare agencies are rewarding but very difficult places to work—agency resources are usually inadequate, client numbers and needs are great, demands for speed and productivity are high, and salary/benefits are usually very low. But there is a new understanding of the challenges of child welfare work. We know that frequent and prolonged exposure to traumatized individuals, families, and communities inevitably creates secondary traumatic stress for the helper. This article discusses the common sources and signs of secondary traumatic stress in child welfare and how individuals and agencies can more successfully cope with these challenges." Read Dr. Roger Friedman's article, "The Importance of Helping the Helper," originally published in Trauma and Child Welfare, Winter 2002.
06-27-02 True to The Zero's tradition of promoting the work of others, Andrew Vachss has prepared his "Summer Reading List," which you can find here.
06-26-02Alex and Chief back-up each other, and their person, Jim, backs us up. No surprise, then, that they're the latest addition to Dogs of the Zero.
06-12-02 "In People v. Wutzke, SO92179, Wutzke was found guilty of molesting four—yes, four—granddaughters of the woman he'd lived with for nearly 20 years.
"The issue before the justices was whether Wutzke's longstanding, quasi-familial relationship with the girls, who called him by such affectionate names as 'Grandpa' and 'Papa Jim,' qualified him for a lighter sentence."
Andrew Vachss has commented repeatedly on the absurdity (and obscenity) of giving breaks to those who "grow their own victims"... this case illustrates the point perfectly.
05-29-02 Abuse isn't the only threat to children. This week The Zero foregoes updates to honor Donald Thomas, a good young man who was robbed of the chance to be a good old man—robbed by the genetic disease known as cystic fibrosis. Read about Donald here.
05-08-02 How do you manage pain when the patient can't say what hurts or how much it hurts—when the patient is a newborn baby? Suzanne D. Tietjen, RNC, BSN, CCRN, NNP, explains how the forward-thinking healthcare professionals at Children's Hospital of Illinois handle the problem, in "Consistent Pain Assessment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit."
05-01-02 In 1994, the London Observer quoted Andrew Vachss as saying, "Child pornography should not be attacked on the grounds that it causes crime, but that it is a crime. Photographs, videotapes or any other means of recording and reproducing children engaged in sex (whether with adults, other children, objects or animals) is a picture of a crime, period." On April 24, 2002, BBC News ran this: "It's important to realise that behind every image of child porn is a child who has been sexually abused." Read the entire article here.
04-24-02 "Child sex abusers seek solace in [the term 'pedophile'], and it is easy to see why it is to their advantage to embrace the label. If they were called by their real name—child sex abusers and child rapists—they might be seen as dangerous criminals and not 'ill.'" Read the entire guest editorial by Julie Bindel here.
04-17-02 In the language of the legal profession, "res ipsa loquitur" means, literally, "the thing speaks for itself." Any Zero viewers concerned with issues such as protection of our children from serial child molesters, law enforcement attitude toward religious figures sexually abusing minors, and even the Constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state will be fascinated by this letter from one politician (the elected head of law enforcement in a major New York county) to another (the Majority Leader of the State Senate for New York). The Zero's commentary is interlineated throughout.
04-03-02 Andrew Vachss says, "Eddie Little's Steel Toes makes you a passenger in a hellbound car—nitro in the tank, amphetamine in the driver's veins, and 'Don't Mind Dying' blasting on the radio. The scenery's a blur, and all you can do is hang on and wait for the crash. If you ever wondered why 'reform schools' produce the most dedicated criminals, look no further." Read an excerpt here.
03-27-02 "Andrew Vachss shows no patience for people who confuse pedophiles with homosexuals. 'A homosexual is no different from a heterosexual: A normal one has sex with adults,' he says. 'Indeed, a significant number of pedophiles have no sexual preference. What attracts them is children, period. But it is this kind of pernicious mythology that has enabled the pedophile to work so well.'" This intrinsic truth from an article in the Case Western Review University Magazine has been often repeated by Mr. Vachss. However, recent statements by Vatican representatives that abuse by clergy may be combatted by attempting to ban gays from the priesthood clearly illustrate that there are those who continue to disregard the point. Read more about the Church's policies, and researchers' cautions, here.
03-27-02 Like his literary namesake, Burke the dog carries the scars of his childhood with him. Unlike the Burke of the novels, however, this Malanois/Rottweiler mix was fortunate enough to be rescued, and repays his human, William, with love, loyalty, and the self-appointed task of keeping stray werewolves out of the neighborhood. Take a look at our newest Backup Pack member here.
03-13-02 Knucklebone-chewing war mongers have a new ally: Minnie the Pit Bull! Check her out in the Zero Pack.
03-13-02 Matt Kinney's infamous Hoss had a contest with Andrew to see who could look the friendliest. Click here to see who won!
03-06-02 Antoinette Curtis Ledzian shares with us an amazing pastel of Honey Pit Bull ... and an insight into how she uses art to heal and nurture.
02-27-02 Great news! Joseph Steinfeld, long-time staunch friend of The Zero, and head honcho of the Neo Pack reports that Miss Nellie the Neapolitan Mastiff, has been adopted by a great family and is doing wonderfully. Thanks to all who were concerned about this beautiful Neo, and all the best to Miss Nellie and her new folks!
It's mid-February, and that means it's time for a greeting from America's sweetheart, Honey Pit Bull! Click here to receive your 2002 Honey Valentine.
02-06-02 "I've been broke all kinds of different ways ... But the one thing I try to keep from being broken is my spirit." So says Son Seals, legendary bluesman, long-time friend of and some-time musical collaborator with Andrew Vachss. To learn more about Son, and—for those in the Chicago area—have a chance to hear him perform live Friday, February 8th, click here.
01-30-02 "The Zero has added a new section to our MISSION category: Debunking Disinformation. This is the section of the website where you will find factual, fully-sourced information only, regarding matters pertinent to our Mission which tend to generate more rumor and speculation than fact. Currently, you will find information regarding both Victor Salva, director of Disney's "Powder," and the horror films "Jeepers Creepers" and the upcoming "Jeepers Creepers 2," as well as media reports from the 1970s through present, containing the facts about director Roman Polanski's conviction for crimes against a child. As other such cases arise, "Debunking Disinformation" will be the place to count on for locating the truth."
01-30-02 The question of whether parents who have abused their children can be rehabilitated, and under what circumstances, is an endless topic of debate among the "experts." While many in the helping professions profess that the "cycle of violence" absolves abusive parents from blame, "[Andrew] Vachss, the New York lawyer who represents children in abuse cases, pounces on the victim theme: 'Sure, I've seen people's lives spin out of control. But I've seen women literally risk their lives to protect their children. The idea that [the responsibility] to protect your child is waivable if your life is unhappy frankly spooks me a little.'" Read the entire reprint from the January 23, 2002 Chicago Tribunehere.
01-23-02 Anyone who has been a regular visitor to The Zero for a while has heard the name Zak Mucha. His debut novel, (The Beggars' Shore) impressed Andrew Vachss so greatly that it led to the creation of Red 71 Press—as Mr. Vachss says, "if you like something ... you back it with more than your opinion. You ante up."
In addition to writing about these issues, and working on his next novel, Zak has also worked at an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children in Chicago ... and is now assisting the shelter in building up their library—"any reading material that might get a kid to open a book."
If you're interested in how you can help with this most worthy project—or if you're wondering why this is discussed in an article by a sports columnist—then "Borrow a Page From the Philanthropic Bears" and you will find the answers.
01-16-02 The second beneficiary of the Safe House soundtrack, Community Works, sends their thanks. You're the ones who made this possible, so we wanted to share! (And let you know that since this first soundtrack worked so well, we're talking about taking another shot.)
01-09-02 Big Wayne Dundee, a staunch friend of The Zero, (and personal favorite of Andrew Vachss), has just released a new entry in the Joe Hannibal series, And Flesh and Blood So Cheap (Design Image, 2002). Look for it at your local bookstore, or get it online at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.
01-09-02 "I don't believe this country will ever come to grips with child abuse until they make the obvious, simple connection between today's victim and tomorrow's predator. As long as they believe a Ted Bundy or a John Wayne Gacy is a biogenetic mistake as opposed to a beast that was built and a monster that was made, they'll continue to blithely walk around, saying, 'I'm against child abuse.'" Read Todd Taylor's entire interview with Andrew Vachss, as originally published October 23, 2001, on Razorcake.com.
12-26-01 Back in 1998, the Safe House soundtrack was released by Relativity/Sony. We promised that a portion of the royalties would go to charity. Three years on, the first royalty check has been received, and 80% went to organizations we support. We were able to send thousands of dollars to places like Licensed for Life, at a time when such organizations are having a hard time getting funding. Read the thank you letter from Sgt. Mike McNamara of Licensed for Life.
12-26-01 Several of our regular visitors pointed out that with all the free features on The Zero—the writing samples, music, animations, and the new "Replay" radio drama—it was hard to keep track of where to find each. So we've put together this Free Downloads page. If your friends are looking for an easy way to sample Andrew Vachss' work, this is the page to point them to.
12-19-01 The Pain Management sweepstakes is over! The Zero wishes to congratulate all of the winners, and thank each of our prize sponsors and all of you for entering. Keep watching for future sweepstakes!
12-19-01 Looking for a great, last-minute holiday gift? We've just added boxer shorts to the Pain Management store. You can view them—and the assortment of shirts—here.
12-05-01 "I am trying to get you to swallow a meal, and all I care about is the spice that I am putting in there. But if the rest of the meal is not good, you are not going to finish it." Read the entirety of Dan Pearson's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published October 24, 2001 in The Daily Southtown.
12-05-01 Andrew Vachss' books may be shelved in the fiction section, but there's more truth to them than most of their counterparts. Check out this review of Pain Management posted to PainOnline.org, a resource for information about Central Pain Syndrome.
11-28-01 "It is no longer socially acceptable to openly condone sexual assault, so many distinguish between 'real' rape and what they insist are 'gray areas' such as 'date rape.' Those who make the distinction are, in effect, collaborators." Read Alice Vachss' entire article, "All Rape is 'Real' Rape," originally published as an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, August 11, 1993.
11-28-01 Anyone who's ever read an Andrew Vachss novel has heard of singer Judy Henske. But most have never heard her. Now two of her early Elektra albums have finally been released on CD, in one, great package. Hear the music that Burke is hearing—pick up Judy Henske's High Flying Bird.
11-21-01 Nothing truly great ever comes easy. Check out Jax, the latest addition to the Backup Pack, and find out what it takes to own an American Staffordshire Terrier!
11-21-01 Bill Thompson has been interviewing Andrew Vachss on his radio show since the release of Flood. Listen to the latest interview, about the release of Pain Management, at EyeOnBooks.com.
11-21-01Pain Management T-shirts, sweatshirts, and mousepads are beginning to roll out across the country! Check out the beautiful Angelique in her Pain Management gear.
11-14-01 Looking for photos of Andrew Vachss? The Mug Shots section of The Zero has undergone some significant improvements, check it out!
11-14-01 Andrew Vachss and The Zero would like to congratulate Frank R. Ascione, Ph.D., on his receipt of the 2001 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations and the International Society for Anthrozoology. We have been honored to feature Dr. Ascione's work regarding the links between personal violence and animal cruelty on the website, and add our respect to that of the Society's.
11-14-01 Proving it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog, Angel and her friend Bear join the Backup Pack. Check it out!
11-07-01 If you're one of the crowd that's been asking about Pain Management T-shirts, we finally have your answer—and it includes sweatshirts, baby-doll shirts, and more. We've set up shop through cafepress.com, and are selling merchandise at cost, no profit to us. We're only offering those items made in the USA, which limited our options—but in reaction to the September 11th attacks, we're including a US flag on each item, and it seemed disingenuous to have such items manufactured anywhere else. So ... go check out the Pain Management store.
11-07-01 Einstein and Maximus join the The Zero's Backup Pack! Check it out!
10-31-01 If Proving It put you in the mind for more of Andrew Vachss' short stories, we've got good news: "Blood Test," a new short by Mr. Vachss, can be found in the December 2001 issue of Playboy (US edition).
10-17-01 Read what the Seattle Times says about Pain Management right here.
10-17-01 The Zero's Backup Pack gains a new member this week: meet Zeus, companion to Paul and Sandy Cancro and family, and one oustanding AmStaff/Shepherd cross.
10-13-01 "There's one emotion, and one emotion only, that Vachss wants to elicit from readers: anger." Read the rest of Regis Behe's article about Andrew Vachss from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewhere.
10-10-01 If you missed the October 9 interview with Andrew Vachss on New York & Co., you can listen to the audio archive here.
10-05-01 If you missed Andrew Vachss' October 4 online chat on USAToday.com, you can read the full transcript here.
10-3-01 Most all of Andrew Vachss' books—including the latest, Pain Management—are now available as downloadable eBooks. Go to any of your regular eBook sources to find them, including: Peanut Press and Barnes & Noble.
09-26-01 Pain Management, Andrew Vachss' latest novel, started hitting US and Canadian stores this week, and will be available throughout both countries by Thursday, October 4. Pain Management is also available via online purchase.
09-19-01 If you're looking to add a security system to your home, and want one that will love you as well as protect you, take a look at Miss Nellie. She's a 105-pound Neopolitan Mastiff in need of a home.
09-19-01 The concept of "family of choice" won't be new to anyone visiting The Zero. But for a great illustration of the concept, check out the latest addition to The Zero's Backup Pack: Baby, Lucy and Misty.
09-26-01 The Zero has added another category to its comprehensive RESOURCES section: Pain Management.
09-19-01 By special arrangement with the Publishing Mills, The Zero is now able to offer a free audio selection from Proving It, the first Andrew Vachss audiobook. To hear Burt Reynolds perform "Dope Fiend," click here.
09-12-01 September 11's terrorist attacks were not just aimed at buildings, or at people ... their goal was to destroy the perception of personal safety for every adult and child in America. Donna Schuurman, director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children, has put together some information to assist your response to children in your care, and some tips for reacting to their needs. You'll find it here.
09-12-01 We extend our thanks and our gratitude to those who have written to express concern from all over the world, and take this opportunity to inform everyone that Andrew Vachss is unharmed—he was on the other coast when the act of war was unleashed on the World Trade Center—and all of The Zero's volunteers in the New York area are also safe.
We extend our deepest condolences to all those who lost family and friends on September 11, 2001. Our thoughts, our hopes, and our profound best wishes are with those still awaiting word about their loved ones.
09-05-01 The release of Andrew Vachss' 13th Burke novel, Pain Management, is just weeks away. But you don't have to wait that long to start it. Read the first several chapters here.
08-29-01 Andrew Vachss and Joe R. Lansdale aren't just friends-to-the-end, they've also collaborated on a number of projects, such as Drive-By. Each has a new book coming out in September, Andrew's is Pain Management and Joe's is Captains Outrageous, starring the infamous Hap & Leonard. To celebrate the release of Joe's new book, The Zero offers a Hap & Leonard short story, co-written by Joe and Andrew. Veil's Visit has previously appeared only in a limited edition; this is its first "public" debut. If it makes you want to see more of Hap & Leonard, you know what to do!
08-22-01 "The NACC believes that state criminal statutes should not provide for lesser penalties for intra-familial child abuse (physical and sexual) than for extra-familial child abuse." The National Association of Counsel for Children was inspired by incest exception laws to amend its Policy Agenda by including the above provision, and advised in its policy discussion by Victor Vieth, Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. Mr. Vieth discusses equal justice for child victims in this article.
08-15-01 The Publishing Mills has just released Proving It, a collection of 27 stories from Born Bad and Everybody Pays as performed by Burt Reynolds. The four-tape release also includes a bonus track: David Joe Wirth reprises his stage performance of "Placebo." Check it out here!
08-08-01 This week the Dogs of the Zero's Backup Pack gains another member: Zeke, a Rottweiler/ Shepherd/ Dobie cross who shared his life with Sally Giovine-Kerr and family for 13 years.
08-01-01 "My anger plateau is everybody else's peak.... This is very depressing work. Depression knocks you down. You get down far enough and those little springs that are anger get accessed—and bang, you can fight again." This Newsday article from October, 1987 discusses Andrew Vachss' life and life's work. Includes sidebar describing the Appellate Court decision permitting civil suits for damages in child abuse cases—reversing a New York State Supreme Court's original denial of what was to become one of Vachss' most monumental cases: Doe v. Esposito, 495 N.Y.S.2d 432 (1985).
08-01-01 "The books are an organic extension of the work I do. If there was no work, there'd be no books." In this 1989 article from the Courier-Post, journalist Kevin Gonzalez examines the impact of Andrew Vachss' work representing abused children on his first four novels and his "non-fiction" writing.
This week, we are honored to present "Parole as Post-Conviction Relief: The Robert Lewis Decision," originally published in the New England Law Review in 1973. What makes this article crucial today, almost 28 years after publication, is that "Robert Lewis" is not merely the title of a legal decision, he is a man who suffered extraordinary hardships, and went on to accomplish extraordinary things. To learn about the case, the individuals involved, and updated material on the man behind the Decision, click here.
07-25-01 As our regular visitors already know, Andrew Vachss' new novel, Pain Management is being released by Knopf this fall. For a look at the new author photo, check out our latest addition to Mug Shots.
07-18-01 "Perhaps most frightening is the predatory pedophile's ability to blend into our society 'They look like you, they talk like you, they dress like you,'" notes Mr. Vachss. "Despite the myths, they don't dress up in ninja outfits and jump out of trees. They work in day-care centers. They work as big brothers, as scout leaders, as coaches. This remains as tragically true today as when this article was originally published in 1990, in Case Western Reserve University's CWRU Magazine.
07-11-01 "It's interesting how harness racing protects its animals better than this country protects its people. If you are a convicted felon you cannot own a racehorse, but you can open a daycare center." This week, the Zero presents an article originally published in the Trotting Times, June, 1991, in which Andrew Vachss discusses his child protective work, his novels, his lifelong love of harness racing and his foray into racehorse ownership as part of a syndicate partnership.
07-11-01 Andrew Vachss first visited Northwest Indiana in 1970, as an organizer for the Calumet Community Congress. This 1989 article from the Post-Tribune describes Vachss' return to the area to reacquaint himself while researching Blossom, the first of the Burke novels to be set outside the New York City area.
07-11-01 "Did you know that it was possible to steal a child's soul? You see, I believe that many of our great myths have their roots in psychiatry. There are such things as werewolves and there is such a thing as demonic possession. In this country you can grow your own victim; have a child and he's yours, abuse and confuse him and he's still yours. What is that if not possession?" Originally printed in the London publication Time Out in 1990, this interview between Steve Grant and Andrew Vachss covers the evolution of Vachss' life's mission, and contains a sidebar on the state of London's child pornography industry and its Child Pornography Unit at the time of publication.
07-04-01 Originally posted at The Bone Palace, Spring 2001, read an interview between Alexander Laurence and Andrew Vachss that ranges from child protective work to prison reform to corruption in the sport of boxing.
06-27-01 Licensed for Life founder Sgt. Mike McNamara grabs the gold at the 2001 World Police-Fire Games! Get the whole story here.
06-20-01 Knopf has finalized the cover to Andrew Vachss' next Burke novel, Pain Management. View it here.
06-13-01 The Zero is proud to welcome Keiko Pearl to our Pack! Check her out here.
06-13-01 What kind of a lawyer would go into criminal court and oppose the dismissal of his client's case? Read Jimmy Breslin's account of the People vs. Joe Williams, for a look into the complex, high-stakes strategy involved in "child advocacy" litigation in New York City's "rough justice" courts.
06-06-01 In response to many requests, we have added some samples of Mr. Vachss' legal work, covering criminal defense, civil litigation, and child protective work. We will be adding more. Today, we add the Matter of Michael G., a case which illustrates how laws are interpreted and, over time, changed. This case dealt with the then-uncharted area of "corroboration" in child sexual abuse trials.
05-30-01 The Zero sends its congratulations to Troy Wayrynen! The Society of Professional Journalists, Pacific Northwest Chapter, awarded him first place for portrait photography in 2001 for this photo of Andrew Vachss.
05-09-01 Zero users are always telling us they've vacuumed information out of Resources for inclusion in their own sites. Problem is, Resources gets updated constantly, so the information on our users' sites is quickly outdated. But for every problem, there's a solution. Here's ours.
04-25-01 Back in November 2000, Andrew Vachss was interviewed by Steven Nester for the radio program, "Poets of the Tabloid Murder." Download an MP3 audio file of the interview here.
04-25-01 Andrew Vachss' short story, "Lynch Law" has been added to The Zero. Enjoy!
04-11-01 Mandy McCartin paints people living on the edge of society. She captures them in a truly unique way. Check it out for yourself.
03-28-01 "[Son Seals'] razor-sharp guitar and gruff voice are back on the scene, fortifying anyone hungry for a good story and hard-driving musical expression." Read Owen Cordle's interview with Son Seals, as published in the News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), March 16, 2001.
03-21-01 "I try to take my behavior from my pit bulls. They don't give up, and I don't either." Andrew Vachss, from an interview with Trish Choate. Read the entire interview, as published September 30, 2000, in the Times Record News.
03-21-01 "I'm not looking to raise consciousness. I want to make people mad." Andrew Vachss, from an article by Laurence Shames, originally published way back in February 1986—during the release of Flood—in Playboy. Read the entire article here.
03-14-01 One of Andrew Vachss' favorite broadcast journalists is Bill Thompson, who's been interviewing Mr. Vachss for just about every book since Flood. You can listen to the most recent interview—conducted October 2000, during the release of Dead and Gone—here.
03-07-01 Buster joins the ranks of the Backup Pack. Check out this mighty Doberman!
03-07-01Max the Pit Bull has found a home! Max is living on a cat-free farm in Missouri. His host is home due to disability, so he and Max have had lots of time to get acclimated, and love hanging out together. Thanks to all for their concern ... it looks like Max has his happy ending (or maybe he's finally been granted a happy beginning)!
02-27-01 The amazing Rose Dawn has added a new category to Resources: Human Trafficking.
02-21-01 Because so many have asked about the order of the Burke novels, we've added a gallery with the new Vintage covers—displayed in order, for those wanting to read from start to finish—here.
02-21-01 If you've noticed your link graphics have changed, it's because Olaf Havnes and the Org. Consortium have updated their brilliant graphics for linking to The Zero. And if you don't have a link to The Zero on your web page, now is the time to get one—right here.
02-21-01 Dogs of the Zero gets a major addition this week—Michael O'Sullivan, head of the Humane Society of Canada, shares with us a picture of his family, both furry and not so furry.
02-07-01 In response to all those who have asked about (and strongly supported) "Don't! Buy! Thai!" while it was still operational, we want to say that many things have changed since we began our effort. Get the latest word—and the (now) complete history—here.
02-07-01 Excerpted from Ian Spiegelman's Intelligencer column in New York Magazine ... "[Andrew Vachss' next novel, Pain Management] finds Burke tracking down a missing girl, only to uncover a group of adults fighting to get pain-killers to terminally ill patients by any means necessary ... The writer got the idea for the novel after 'Dope Fiend'—[his] short story about medicinal morphine use—drew a particularly strong response." Read Mr. Spiegelman's entire column here, and read "Dope Fiend" here.
02-01-01 While in Italy late last year, Andrew Vachss spoke with Antonello Catacchio of Il Manifesto, the local daily newspaper. If you can read Italian, you can enjoy an edited version of the result here.
01-31-01 We're honored with three more dogs this week, as Belphoebe and Cody join the Backup Pack, and Share joins the Zero Pack.
01-31-01 Visitors looking for easy access to an archive of Andrew Vachss' online chats will want to send their thanks to Dragon Lady's Web Designs. She's put it all together here.
01-24-01 The Zero is vastly improved by a major renovation to Resources this week. The frames version has been taken down, since most users have shown a clear preference for the non-frames version—which moves faster and is searchable. And Rose Dawn has added an entire new section: Pets/Assistance Animals. If you want to know about either animal abuse or about assistance animals, you'll find everything you need to know right here.
01-24-01 "Whenever there is a child born into this world that isn't being attended to, we all pay a price. We have to understand the simple spiritual truth that we really are bound together. If we ignore someone else's suffering, then ultimately that suffering is going to come to our door." Rabbi Yehudah Fine speaks with Chris Mercogliano in an interview with the Journal for Living.
01-24-01 A recent study in the journal Pediatrics reviewed the deaths of 119 sleeping infants; only 8.4 percent of these deaths involved infants who were sleeping properly (i.e. alone, on their backs with head and face uncovered, and on a firm mattress in a safe crib). Dr. Mark A. Brandenberg explains how to minimize the risk of infant death, excerpted from his book Child Safe: A Practical Guide for Preventing Childhood Injuries.
01-17-01 "Plenty of states, like Florida, still don't have [law guardians]. What does that tell you? Because with non-attorney guardians there's no attorney-client privilege. There's no ability to cross-examine witnesses, to subpoena evidence, to appeal. Basically you serve completely at the pleasure of the judge. And if you don't please the judge, you're history. What more of a message do kids need?" Andrew Vachss speaks with Tom McPheeters and Ellen Becker in an interview from late last year, as published in the Journal For Living.
01-17-01 Since its inclusion on The Zero, Andrew Vachss' "Cyber-chumps" article has become one of the most frequently-accessed texts on the site. Additional information supporting the article's merits is now available.
01-17-01 Two additional short stories have been added to Dog Stories: "Mad Dog" and "Cain." Enjoy!
01-17-01 Lots of Zero visitors have asked for a simple way to locate samples of Andrew Vachss' short stories and novels. Now, Dragon Lady's Web Designs has given us the perfect answer. Click here to view this new menu.
01-09-01 Here's your chance to do something good: For yourself and for a pit bull who needs a home. Take a look at Max, and then make room for the only home security system that can lick your face.
01-09-01 From Blue Belle (Knopf, 1988): "People steal babies, Belle. And they never bring them back... Some of the pretty white kids, they sell them to nice rich folks who want a baby of their own. Black-market adoption. [But] the others? You know what a chop shop is ... Where they steal cars, break them down for parts? They have them for babies too. They sell the white babies. The other ones, they're not worth too much for adoption, so they cut them up for parts. Rich baby needs a heart transplant, a new kidney, you think they care where the organs come from? The world I live in, it's a lot deeper underground than any subway. It's a world where you can buy a baby's heart." From CNN.com (2000): "Russian grandmother 'wanted to sell child for organs.'"
01-03-01 "I was telling [my friend, Doc Pomus] about a letter I got, a diatribe from a fan saying, 'I used to love your books, but now you've created this impossible, ridiculous character, Belle. There's no such woman like that.' I said, 'What do you think, Doc?' And he said, 'What are you getting mad about? I feel sorry for him. He's never known a real woman, and you're going to get mad at him?'" Read Judith Moore's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in the San Diego Reader on September 28, 2000.
12-27-00 Andrew Vachss describes Ellis Amdur's book Dueling with O-sensei as "brilliantly-rendered, extraordinarily courageous, and a clear challenge to would-be warriors to become their envisioned selves." Read an excerpt here.
12-27-00 "You've got to remember, I'm in the business of revenge." Read the entirety of Jody L. Ipsen's article about Andrew Vachss and Dead and Gone, as published in Albuquerque's The Alibi, here.
12-20-00 Last week Dragon Lady's Web Designs made The Zero faster and easier to navigate. This week, she's making it easier to search! The search box on the main page now searches all of The Zero; the Resources section now has its own
search engine; and there's an advanced Search
Page that allows for more refined searches of the entire site. Check it out!
12-20-00 The Zero's already-enormous Resources section just got bigger, thanks to the hard work of Rose Dawn. If you haven't visited in a while, now's the time to check it out.
12-20-00 What is the current status of the Don't! Buy! Thai! campaign? Read it here.
12-13-00 Andrew Vachss received the Raymond Chandler Literary Award last week in Courmayer, Italy, where he was a guest at the Noir in Festival. You can view photos from the event and listen to sound clips from his panel discussion, "Juvenile criminality, child abuse and new techniques in the era of the Internet," by clicking here.
12-13-00 "Our reasons for critiquing the [child protection] system [are] pointless. To analyze the system and point out what's wrong with it, without the power to alter it, is masturbatory. The whole concept behind analysis is the concept behind consciousness-raising. Which is, if I show you that something is terrible, you will do something about it. That's not reality. Reality is, it's about power. It's not about education, and knowledge is not power." Read Trey Bundy's interview with Andrew Vachss, as published on FatFreeRadio.net.
12-11-00 Welcome to the new, improved Zero 5.0laf! Dragon Lady's Web Designs has upgraded the speed and navigation of the site. Check it out and let us know what you think.
12-06-00 Andrew Vachss says that author James Colbert is "a magnificent
stylist with a sweet, hard-core soul." We're proud to be able to present his first short story, "The Vibration of the U.S.S. Chickasaw Nation," which has earned multiple honors.
12-06-00 As we're nearing the launch of a faster, more efficient version of The Zero (be here December 11 for the historic occasion!), we thought you'd enjoy reading Joseph Szadkowski's Washington Times article about an older version of this site, back in April 1999, when 7500 page views per day was a lot.
11-29-00 Andrew Vachss' US tour is over. You can find pictures of his stop in Austin, TX here.
11-21-00 Plagiarism is a fact of life, as is the fraudulent assumption of someone else's credentials. But thanks to The Zero's dedicated visitors and volunteers, we've been able to deal with another instance swiftly and efficiently. Our deepest gratitude to all who helped! (And to those who are tempted to flame the plagiarist, Jennifer Wood: don't waste your time!)
11-20-00 Congressman Robert Ney has, once again, stepped up to the plate in a major way. "Eliminating the incest exception is an important change that needs to be made. While The CARE Act of 1999 didn't get passed in this last session of Congress, I'm committed to supporting this important piece of legislation until it does get passed. When the new Congressional session begins this January, I'll reintroduce The CARE Act, and redouble my efforts to get it out of committee, onto the floor, and passed into law. I thank all of you for your support in the past; ask you to renew that support in the future; and promise to match your actions with my own." If you want to receive an email when The CARE Act has been reintroduced, click here.
11-20-00 "Its an extremely profitable thing to be 'concerned' about drugs. You don't just have treatment programs, you have law enforcement programs, you have entire industries that could not function but for drugs. Including the prison industry. I think America has gone psychotic... there are human beings—even as we speak—dying, in the kind of shrieking, tormenting pain you couldn't inflict on a P.O.W., because America doesn't want them to be drug addicts." Read the entirety of Pete Humes' interview with Andrew Vachss, published by Punchline in October 2000.
11-20-00 "The child most at risk [to be accessed by a predatory pedophile] is the child not bonded deeply to anything or anybody. Children who are most deeply bonded with parents, parents who are protective, it's almost like, I don't know if you've seen predatory animals that put a kind of smell on their young to protect them? Okay? I think your 'luck' was much more likely due to your parent[s] than it was to any blind confluence of the planets." Andrew Vachss talks with Spence Abbott in a two-part interview, published on IGN.com. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here.
11-15-00 "One doesn't have to be a history buff to know that the root of the blues is human misery." Read Steve Byrne's article "Son of a Son," about Andrew Vachss' collaboration with blues legend Son Seals, as published on Clevescene.com.
11-07-00 "[T]he greatest danger of the Internet to vulnerable children is not the display of kiddie porn ... it is the very real potential for enticement." This is what Andrew Vachss said in his testimony before the US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science in 1998. His words were prophetic.
11-07-00 The Quality Paperback Book Club is offering Down Here, an omnibus trade paperback collecting Strega, Blue Belle, and Hard Candy, the second through fourth of Andrew Vachss' Burke novels. Check out the cover here.
10-31-00 Honey's new friend, Daisy Mae, joins the Backup Pack. Check it out!
10-27-00 USAToday.com invited their readers to chat with Andrew Vachss on Friday, October 27, 2000. You can read the transcript here.
10-25-00 "[My books] may be gritty and hard core, but [they're] about gritty and hard-core things. I'm certainly not amping it up. In fact, if I had a wish, it would be that what I write about was fiction." Read the entire transcript of Bryant Gumbel's interview of Andrew Vachss, as broadcast on The Early Show on October 20, 2000.
10-25-00 New pictures of Honey—and her pals Derrick and Forrest—display the truth about pit bulls. Check it out!
10-25-00 "There's no biogenetic code for evil. We make our own monsters." Read the entirety of Stephen Lemons interview with Andrew Vachss, as published in New Times Los Angeles.
10-25-00The Capital Times calls Dead and Gone "one of the best Burke novels in years, gritty and violent as ever but also philosophical and even moving." Read Rob Thomas' entire review.
10-18-00 "The sweetest thing I could say about my mother and father is that if I had the choice, I would have picked them. But I don't have any belief in biology or DNA as compelling conduct." Read the rest of Mark Rahner's article about Andrew Vachss as published in The Seattle Times.
10-11-00 "Other writers might pick up pen and paper because they have a story to tell, a point to make, an ax to grind. They might write because it seems glamorous, or lucrative, a lifestyle that will let them explain away their eccentricities - 'oh, he's an artist.' Andrew Vachss has no such pretensions. He writes because he has a mission." Read Jennifer Weiner's primer on Andrew Vachss, as published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
10-04-00 "It is not hyperbole to say that Andrew Vachss' passion for helping people, especially those without a voice, like children, has helped to create a website that is a real service to the Web community and the non-virtual world." Duff MacDonald at the Santa Monica Mirror gives his thumbs up to The Zero! Read the full story here.
10-04-00 Andrew Vachss' first novel, A Bomb Built in Hell, may have run its course on Amazon.com, but that doesn't mean you missed your chance to read it. It's available in a pdf file here.
10-04-00 Joe Lansdale and Jack Olsen are two of Andrew Vachss' favorite living writers. He says of them "they come from opposite directions and meet at the intersection of truth." Each has a new book out. Look for The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale and Last Man Standing by Jack Olsen. Both are available at bookstores everywhere.
09-27-00 A new novel means, of course, new photos of Andrew Vachss had to be taken. Check out the updated Mug Shots.
09-27-00 If you didn't make it to New York is Book Country, you missed an amazing sight. A big, blue sight. Here's your make-good.
09-20-00 Meet Pae, an Australian Shepherd who works out of the Legal Services office in Hazard, Kentucky. He's the latest addition to the Backup Pack!
09-13-00 "Once I got [to Biafra], I realized it was too late. I mean, I wasn't on the ground for 30 seconds before I realized it was too late. You could never have gotten enough food in there, unless the fighting stopped that day." Read the entirety of Zach Dundas' interview with Andrew Vachss, as published at Mumblage.com.
09-06-00 If you've been searching for the Safe House soundtrack, Hard Looks, Another Chance to Get it Right, or any of the other hard-to-find Andrew Vachss projects, search no further. Amazon.com has made it easy to order everything in one place. Check out the Andrew Vachss Store.
09-06-00 The reviews for Dead and Gone are starting to roll in! Playboy describes it as "red-hot and serious as a punctured lung"; Booklist calls it "crime fiction with a powerful moral"; "lean and tough" writes Publishers Weekly; About.com says it "should not be missed"; and the Denver Rocky Mountain News says it's "like putting a vial of nitroglycerin into your pocket and going for a jog. You just know things are going to get interesting. Usually sooner than later."
09-06-00 Jessica is a one-woman pit bull rescue team! Check out her reward: Clay Moore, the latest member of the Backup Pack.
08-29-00 "Dead and Gone is a defining chapter and an enlightening moment of transition in the long, hard story of Burke. At the same time, it is a stark, compassionate and strangely different novel by one of the most original and ferocious voices in American fiction." Read the rest of Chet Williamson's review, as published in Rambles.
08-29-00 "Andrew Vachss is going one better than Stephen King and giving away a new novel on the World Wide Web. Free. No honor system. No download charges. No strings attached." Read Jeff Baker's coverage of A Bomb Built in Hell, as published in The Oregonian.
08-23-00 "In life there are the commandos, the enemy and the non-combatants, and in my view there's far too many of the latter. If you allow yourself to be engulfed by consumerism, to stand by and ignore the hard truths, then the world will not have been enriched by your presence. You have to leave footprints behind, even if it's only by standing up and saying 'no—this is not acceptable.'" Read Iain Bruce's complete interview with Andrew Vachss here.
08-23-00Publishers Weekly weighs in on Vachss' latest, Dead and Gone: "Vachss' voice, as always, is one of the most distinctive in crime fiction—lean and tough, heavy on vernacular, notable for what's not said rather than for what is ... Burke fans may find the inner character work fascinating, as Burke reveals far more of himself and his sordid past here than in previous books." For more on Dead and Gone, click here.
08-02-00 Michael Dewes has done a great service for the Mission, and especially for our German visitors. Check out his special German-language version of The Zero at http://www.vachss.de.
07-19-00 "[The prisoners at the violent-youth prison Andros] needed to learn how to read," Vachss says. "They already knew how to hit people." He illustrated this by explaining that more could be stolen with a briefcase than with a pistol. "I wasn't trying to create perfect people," he says. "I was trying to create non-violent people. We had realistic goals." Read Zak Mucha's entire article as originally published in Gallery Magazine, April 2000.
07-05-00 Everyone can do something to contribute to the Mission—it's just a matter of applying your unique talents. The latest example: Judy Ness' beautiful hand-woven tapestry, "Resolution." Check it out.
06-28-00 Are battered women in domestic violence shelters forced to chose between their personal safety and that of the pets they left behind when they fled? What policies and procedures do enlightened shelters employ to deal with the issue of pet abuse by batterers as a means of manipulation? What assistance can be provided? What are the psychological ramifications of pet abuse in a domestic violence context? Dr. Frank Ascione, the foremost authority on the connections between animal abuse and social pathology—see Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence and Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Animal Abuse—provides the answers in Safe Havens for Pets. This vital work is available FREE to any domestic violence, animal welfare, or related agency, thanks to funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Click here for all details. This book is must reading for every domestic violence worker, advocate, student, and supporter. If you know of a qualified agency, please be sure they get their free copy.
06-28-00 "Everything that’s in [my] books comes out of what I’ve seen, or touched, or felt, or smelt, and if I had one wish it would be that the books were fiction." Andrew Vachss talks with Dave Thompson in this interview for The Bird.
06-28-00 The Oregon Alliance of Children's Programs has presented its third annual Rose Otte award for significant achievement to Arnie Green, the executive director of Community Works! in Ashland, Oregon. Check it out!
06-21-00 If you want to be a writer, the man to talk to is Charles de Lint, who Andrew Vachss calls "the finest fabulist alive." Charles offers up a free introductory lesson for all—read it here. And be sure to check out Charles' latest novel, Forests of the Heart, on sale now at bookstores everywhere.
06-21-00 Congratulations to Zach Dundas, who won the award for Best Arts Feature (Non-Daily Papers) from the Greater Oregon Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his November 1999 interview with Andrew Vachss. Read the award-winning article here.
06-14-00 "Silence in families always produces secrets, and secrets are toxic timebombs that can effect generations. Traumas that are buried have an uncanny way of surfacing and detonating in succeeding generations." For the rest of the article, read Rabbi Yehudah Fine's "Ignorance is not bliss: Teens in crisis want answers."
05-24-00 Readers of Andrew Vachss’ novels have come to understand that everything he writes is based in reality. So we receive messages to The Zero asking where you can find Judy Henske CDs, what a mastiff looks like, and ... how you can own your own racehorse. Read all about Gypsy Flame to find out the answer to that last question.
05-17-00 Sometimes, the dissent in a child abuse case rings much more powerfully than the majority decision. Sometimes, that dissent "plants the flag" in new territory, and signals that a change is coming. Justice Sondra Miller of the New York State Appellate Division has just planted such a flag in an important case with national ramifications, one involving so-called "clergy malpractice" and child sexual abuse. Read her ringing dissent here.
05-17-00 "I don’t know that you could do what [Andrew Vachss] does and have a huge emotional investment. He once told me, ‘If I go into court on behalf of a particular child and lose, I’m condemning that child to be a P.0. W. I can’t lose. It’s not even part of my equation.'" Read the rest of James Colbert's quote, and the entirety of Annia Ciezadlo's article, as published in the January 2000 issue of Shout.
05-10-00 Andrew Vachss’ books have been called "investigative novels"—they’re about the truth, and the foundation is facts. Want an example? Read Choice of Evil (Knopf, 1999), then read "Pink Pistols", an article published by Salon.com in March 2000. And for a hint of what the next novel—Dead and Gone—is about, read this.
05-10-00 Vintage is re-jacketing the trade paperbacks of all of Andrew Vachss’ novels, giving them a single, unifying design, as seen in Choice of Evil. This is the third redesign. To see samples from all three stages, and for collector's notes, click here.
05-10-00 "The way religious people talk about getting a call—that's what it felt like to me. It was a message I couldn't ignore. I couldn't have lived with myself." Read the entirety of Nick Hasted’s interview with Andrew Vachss from the April 22, 2000, issue of The Guardian.
05-03-00 Back in November, 1998, Andrew Vachss testified before the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science [NCLIS] regarding public library-supplied access to the Internet. Now the NCLIS has officially issued its findings, including Policy Issues and Potential Solutions, which include a number of Vachss' recommendations. Read the Foreword to the Report by clicking here. Read Vachss' original testimony by clicking here. And if you want to download the entire document, click here.
05-03-00 Andrew Vachss and Son Seals are donating their royalties from the songs "Doc's Blues" and "Bad Blood" to Licensed For Life, a unique organization teaching high-school kids the dangers of drunk driving. To learn more about Son Seals, click here. And to learn more about Licensed For Life, click here.
05-03-00 "Choice of Evil takes Burke into new territory, dealing with a homophobic serial killer and the possible resurrection of the only man who truly scares him, Wesley, a genuinely terrifying character." Read the entirety of Ian O'Doherty's article from the August 12, 1999, issue of Irish Independent.
04-26-00 "I've always felt that I'm giving people information. Reviewers never understood that I wasn't just making this stuff up for shock value, but that I was seeing this every day in my work. Anybody who is in my business knows these things to be true." For the rest of the story, read Jerome Boyd Maunsell's article as published in The (London) Times.
04-19-00 If you've wanted a taste of the blues as Andrew Vachss writes about it in his novels, you'll want to check out the latest release from Son Seals, Lettin' Go. The album features two songs co-written by the pair, and an excerpt from Dead and Gone is included in the package.
04-19-00 Andrew Vachss has a new novel on the way: Dead and Gone. The latest Burke novel will be released in hardcover by Knopf in September 2000. But you can get all the latest by reading this article from The Columbian.
04-12-00 "At the dawn of the new millennium, probably no one will claim that we should maltreat or humiliate our children. But almost everybody still seems to recommend spanking as an effective and harmless means of raising them." Read all of Alice Miller's "Open Letter to Politicians."
04-07-00 As many as 50,000 women and children from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe per year are brought to the U.S. under false pretenses and forced to work as prostitutes, abused laborers or servants. Read these reprints from the Herald Tribune and Time Daily for more.
03-29-00 The state legislature of Maine just unanimously voted to pass a law which would eliminate the statute of limitations in civil cases involving adults with histories of child sexual abuse. This change will allow suit to be brought at any time by the former child victim. This is great news for the children of Maine—and for caring people everywhere!
03-29-00 Calling all martial artists! If you're interested in learning more about the art of Shen Chuan, as conceived and taught by Andrew's brother, Professor Joe R. Lansdale, click here.
03-29-00 The Andrew Vachss short story "Big Sister" has just been selected for inclusion in Creme de la Crime (Winners of the World's Top Mystery Awards), just published by Carroll & Graf, 2000.
03-22-00 "I wanted to show you what hell looked like and I didn't think an angel would be the appropriate guide. I wanted to do the anti-Chandler. I didn't want like this handsome, intellectually-gifted, well-dressed, morally superior white knight who does everything for the right reasons. I just thought that would trivialize my subject because no one accepts that as reality. And reality is what I really wanted to show folks." Andrew Vachss, from an interview in Nth Degree.
03-15-00 "Andrew Vachss: think Lee van Cleef crossed with Raymond Chandler, with the dystopian touch of Escape from New York thrown in for good measure." Read all of Leslie McDowell's article, from The Herald (Glasgow).
03-08-00 "If I were to tell you that one of the best single-disc blues anthologies ever is on an obscure label and was created as a companion piece to a crime novel, you'd probably raise your eyebrows. Start raising." Read Chet Williamson's entire review of the Safe House CD as published in Rambles Magazine.
03-08-00 "It's not that Andrew Vachss isn't angry; it's more, I'd judge, that he's trained himself to turn that anger cold and redirect it toward the victimizers of children." Read Bob Reidel's entire editorial on modem-trafficking of kiddie porn, as published in the Genesee Country Express.
03-01-00 "We are taking in our first foster child. He is 14 and was abused in previous foster care. If we get him involved in bodybuilding, will it build up his self-esteem, or will it make him overly conscious of his body?" For the answer, read Dr. Daniel Gwartney's column from Ironman magazine.
02-03-00 There's a man who has come through for endangered children literally more times than we can tell you about. His name is Dan Cook. And he's been Updated to RESPECT.
02-02-00 Judge Robert L. Goza said it is "quite an honor to have a dog like (Vachss) named after you." And His Honor couldn't be more correct. Read this excerpted court transcript and see for yourself.
01-26-00 When a system is bad, are you doing more harm than good by staying? Frequent Zero contributor Dr. Joel Dvoskin offers his wisdom on the matter in "Confessions of an Incrementalist."
01-24-00 "The only reason I can fathom legislators not wanting to sponsor the CARE Act would be because they are trying to protect themselves. Could there be any other plausible justification?" Marilyn Van Derbur (former Miss America, incest transcender, child advocate) weighs in with her support of The CARE Act. Read it all here.
01-03-00 "[T]his country's not obsessed with most serial killers—only the ones that have the 'good taste' to kill young women. Look at John Wayne Gacy versus Ted Bundy. Bundy outsells Gacy a hundred to one. Why? Because he was more of a monster? Of course not. He was more interesting? No. He killed young women. You can find all kinds of books about the joys of torturing women. But you won't find many about the joys of torturing men. And that's why the fascination with serial killers is aimed more at a Richard Ramirezor a Ken Bianchi than a John Wayne Gacy." Andrew Vachss, from an interview published in this month's issue of The Wag.
12-13-99 Another Chance to Get it Right (1993), Andrew Vachss wrote "Biology does not make a man a father, nor a woman a mother. We are what we do." Now a Pennsylvania court has agreed. Read the story from The Legal Intelligencer.
12-13-99 The Millennium Edition of Who's Who in America is out. Read the entry for Andrew Vachss here.
12-13-99 "(Andrew Vachss is) after the predatorsthose who commit crimes of abuse and sexual offense against childrenand fiction has become a potent armament in his war against 'the Beast.'" Read this primer by Paula Guran of Horror Online.
11-30-99 "The Internet gives people the illusion of anonymity. It's astounding to me. More freaks have been captured because of their use of the Internet than were ever captured before while trying to use the standard methods." Andrew Vachss, in a Wired article about online kiddie porn. Read the rest here.
11-30-99 "Andrew Vachss is exactly the same every single day. Enraged. 'I've learned to ice the rage,' he says. 'So I don't act out, like I did plenty of times when I was younger.'" This week's Willamette Week cover features a primer on Andrew Vachss. Read the whole thing here.
11-16-99 What do authors Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, and Zak Mucha do when they have spare time? Read Mark Rahner's article from the November 15 Seattle Times, which begins "Andrew Vachss watches as my arm is cranked behind my back and my wrist is bent so that I want to plant my face on the carpet. Urgently." The rest is here.
11-05-99 A special treat for our Italian visitors: an interview with Andrew Vachss conducted by IT Horror magazine, based out of Italy. Read the interview here!
11-01-99 Andrew Vachss says the CARE Act of 1999 has "the potential to, literally, change the world for so many Children of the Secret." If you want to be a part of the force that makes that change, come here.
11-01-99 "I am wary of 'experts' who assume a quasi-scientific mantle of moral neutrality, as if they can run between the ethical raindrops by calling everyone a 'client.' I guess when you live in such a little paperweight village, where the normal weather is amorality, it's frightening when someone who lives in the real world gives your domed enclosure a good snowy shake." Richard Hoffman, from his article "Coming to Terms." Read the rest of the article here.
10-11-99 Andrew Vachss on Zak Mucha's first novel, The Beggars' Shore: "Growing up where I did, I learned one lesson fast: if you like something (a racehorse, a prize fighter, the chances of the guy kneeling on a blanket in the alley making a hard eight) you back it with more than your opinion. You ante up. I believe Zak Mucha will be an important voice in American literature. And I'm backing that opinion the right way. Full disclosure: I'm a player in Red 71. And I think this kid's a surer thing than political corruption."
10-07-99 Andrew Vachss says, "Maggie (Estep)'s got the magic. (Soft Maniacs, her latest book) is an amazing, astounding piece of work (but, then again, so is Maggie). The book is loaded with colossal feats, performed casually. The mastery of 'voice,' the narrative force, the interstitial tissue between the stories, the sex-as-communication thematically played out from subtle to piledriver, the gut-level understanding conveyed so powerfully that it evokes something ever rarer than genuine praise: empathy. Ah, it'll blow you away." To read an excerpt from Soft Maniacs, click here.
10-05-99 Magic Judy's Back! Get the details... and order the CD here!
09-01-99 "The child molester has found a home in the world of youth sports, where as a coach he can gain the trust and loyalty of kids—and then prey on them." Sports Illustrated steps up in a big way with a cover feature titled "Every Parent's Nightmare." Read an excerpt from the article—a checklist intended to help you protect your child—here.
08-25-99 "Andrew Vachss is a practicing attorney ... who also happens to write bestselling crime novels. And beginning this fall he will don yet another hat — that of publisher — when he and a small group of investors publish The Beggars' Shore, a first novel by Zak Mucha and the initial release from Vachss' new publishing venture, Red 71 Press." Get the full story, as seen in Publishers Weekly, here.
07-26-99 "Vachss' books are as much manifestoes against social pathology as they are hardboiled fiction. The violent mystery-thrillers are his way of grabbing readers by the throat and shouting in their faces about the evils done to children." A primer on Andrew Vachss, from a 1989 article in the Los Angeles Times.
07-08-99 Andrew Vachss calls Eddie Little's Another Day in Paradise "an over-amped coming-of-age tale, told in convict-code, thief-speak, and a "don't mind dying" blend of truth, wish, and pain." Read an excerpt here.
07-07-99 "Queer bashing flourishes in environments where the perpetrators feel safe. I know of no other oppressed group without a physical safety zone. I don't see Klansmen burning crosses in black housing projects. [But] I see freaks deliberately going into gay areas to practice violence." Andrew Vachss, from an interview with Dave Ford in the June 8, 1999, issue of The Advocate.
06-23-99 Want to know how you can help children? Andrew Vachss suggests a donation to Licensed for Life, an organization that prevents tragedy by educating children on the dangers of drinking and driving. Read Zak Mucha's article to learn more.
05-17-99 "To truly protect children from sexual predators on the Internet as well as off we must consider crucial changes in our thinking, our laws and our tactics." Andrew Vachss, from his May 2, 1999 Parade article, "If We Really Want To Keep Our Children Safe."
04-27-99 "These kids who clearly entered the school with the intention of dying, I think in some way were motivated by the attention and focus that others got for similar acts, but lacking the perception to see what it would cost in real terms." Andrew Vachss on the tragedy in Littleton, from an interview with Salon.
04-21-99 Anyone following the news will want to read Andrew Vachss' Dress-Up Day. Mr. Vachss takes us into the mind of a disturbed child, in this marvelous tale.
04-17-99 "There is no evidence that demonstrates a significant increase in the danger to children caused by [child] pornography." British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Duncan Shaw makes a ruling allowing for possession of child porn—watch for the freaks of the world to migrate north, and the righteous to publicly skewer Shaw.
04-17-99 "While we endlessly debate the 'right' of pedophiles to post kiddie porn on the Internet, our species moves farther away from its biological roots. We must take the abuse of a child as an offense against (and threat to) our survival." Read "Our Endangered Species" by Andrew Vachss, from the March 29, 1998 issue of Parade. And read about the concrete, quantifiable effect this article has had.
01-6-99"What are the Odds on Predicting Violent Behavior?" Dr. Joel Dvoskin approaches that question—and the question of what to do should you fear the violent behavior of a mentally-ill family member—in this article from The Journal of the California AMI.
Walter Anderson's The Confidence Course "For those afflicted with self-doubt, The Confidence Course is as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel and as sweet as salvation. It shows you how to reach down into your own pain and mine it for the jewels within"
— Andrew Vachss
12-16-98 "I believe we have been misled by the language we use, by the way we talk about those who would harm our children. We talk of them as 'sick.' We use names that accept their denial and distortion. We become tangled in language that does not reflect reality, but hides it until, over and over, child after child, it is too late." Richard Hoffman, from his essay "The Hatred of Innocence."
12-09-98 "One of the things I wanted out of [the Safe House soundtrack] is that no one who hears Son Seals can say that Eric Clapton is the king of the slide guitar." Andrew Vachss in an interview with The Alert.
Our greatest congratulations and respect go out to Zero volunteer and master web-designer Olaf Havnes, who has just been awarded a prestigious grant for literary merit from The Norwegian Authors Association for his new book, Malurt Heter Stjernen. This is especially remarkable for two reasons: (1) Such a prize is rarely awarded to one so young; and (2) Olaf and his "orgdot" consortium published this book themselves! The book is so physically beautiful that you'd want to own it as an object d'art, and the Norwegian Authors Association Award speaks volumes for its contents ... proof that, even as multi-nationals subsume publishing into one giant mulch, individual initiative and creativity will always triumph! Righteous Reading indeed!
11-14-98 Alice Miller, described by Andrew Vachss as "a legendary figure ... in the war against child abuse," has just released her latest book, Paths of Life. To celebrate, we're pleased to present a transcript of a recent lecture by Ms. Miller. "To those who already know her work," Vachss continues, "this new lecture is pure gold. And to those who don't ... prepare to become a convert."
10-12-98 "You can't say devil lyrics don't drive kids to commit crimes and simultaneously claim that Luka made people stop beating their children." Andrew Vachss from his editorial in the October 1998 issue of Pulse! magazine.
08-03-98HITS magazine, the leading trade publication for the pop-radio industry, talks to Andrew Vachss about the Safe House soundtrack in "Burke's Lore."
07-26-98 "[N]ow we're bleating about taking [kiddie porn] off the Internet. We haven't ever taken it off anyplace." Andrew Vachss talks with Wired News about the Supreme Court's latest hollow promise: eliminating child pornography from the internet.
07-07-98 Earlier this year, Doernbecher Children's Hospital was made aware of the poor state of security at their facility. So what have they done about? Nothing. Read Lou Bank's article "When Bureaucracy Replaces Responsibility" for the update.
07-07-98 When a child is placed in foster care, the primary goal of the system is to reunite him with the biological family. But shouldn't the goal be the establishment of a nurturing environment for that child? Read all about it in Andrew Vachss' 1984 essay, "Permanency Planning: Sword or Shield?"
07-02-98 "I am not showing people the darkness of life, I am showing them the light." Andrew Vachss, from an interview with Deseret News from January 1997.
07-02-98 "I've never said that what I do is because I have a particular love of children. What I have is a particular hatred for predators." Andrew Vachss, from an interview with The Contra Costa Times.
07-01-98 "Every line Andrew Vachss has ever written is pure blues." Famed music reviewer Dave Marsh has grand things to say about Vachss, the Safe House novel, and the Safe House album. And important things to say about child abuse. Read "The Hero and the Blues."
06-17-98 "Unlike a POW, who at least has an ideology to cling to, at least has the hope of rescue—the abused child is so encapsulated, that he believes he's seeing the world. And the world will hurt him, unless he manages to figure a way to hurt it." Andrew Vachss, from a 1993 interview with CBS This Morning.
06-10-98 Suzanne Stutman, Professor of English American Studies & Women's Studies, Penn State University, urges fellow abuse victims to "make the day bright." She urges them to march, protest,and legislate, so that "no [more] children be allowed to fall, no victims suffer in silence and shame." She urges that we "Take Back the Night."
05-20-98 "If you marble in the truth like fat on a great steak, [the public] will swallow it." Read this primer on Andrew Vachss, published in the May 19, 1998 Los Angeles Times.
05-09-98 "If enough people stood up and became obsessed about ... one issue, Congress would roll over like so many trick dogs. " Andrew Vachss talks about the power of focus in this Gannett News Service article.
05-09-98 "[Safe House] gets Vachss' message across with his trademark mixture of ice-cold action, unwavering empathy and grim humor. The prose is accomplished, stylized and flinty; the plot is direct and commanding." Read the review from The Seattle Times.
05-08-98 "The kids who are abused and raped today are tomorrow's murderers,rapists and arsonists. You learn empathy if you're socialized, not if you're sodomized." Andrew Vachss outlines the basics of crime prevention for USA Today.
04-27-98 "All the pious rhetoric on the planet will not save one child. And while we endlessly debate the 'right' of pedophiles to post kiddie porn on the Internet, our species moves farther away from its biological roots. We must take the abuse of a child as an offense against (and threat to) our survival." Read "Our Endangered Species" by Andrew Vachss, published in PARADE magazine March 29, 1998.
04-04-98 "I used to abuse children in the same room with their parents and they couldn't see it or didn't seem to know it was happening." Learn the predators' secrets—and learn how to shield against them—in "Grooming Children for Sexual Molestation," an article by Gregory M. Weber, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin.
11-18-97 "When Charles Manson said, 'You can see me in the eyes of your ten-year-olds,' that was not an original line. We have been producing the life-style violent criminal for generations, and the factory has been the child protective and juvenile justice system." This 1982 speech by Andrew Vachss was so radical that people got up and left.
11-10-97 The complex and seemingly overwhelming issue of false allegations is presented in an incredibly easy-to-understand form in this message from Joel Dvoskin.
11-04-97 "[Child molestation is] a cheap buy-in, a very low-risk activity. There's something nuts about a country that will give you a life sentence for possession of a piece of cocaine and give you probation for sodomizing your child and filming it for sale." In this 1992 interview with Sober Times, Andrew Vachss discusses the failures of the criminal justice system and the changes that could help fix it.
10-13-97 "A Conversation With Andrew Vachss," originally published in Mean Streets. Read it here!
08-03-97The story of Vachss, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America's Hero Dog of the Year 1994.