Murder. A popular and gruesome subject. Since “Making of a Murderer” came out it seems the public has become obsessed with the macabre. A good thing for Kelly since that’s her business. While Kelly isn’t herself an axe wielding murderess she loves to write about them as a freelance crime writer. Her site, “The Woman Condemned” focuses wholly on her work with women on death row for murder.
Kelly’s connections with the justice system started with her father who was frequently incarcerated. Her mother also had a dim view of the justice system leading her to grow up among a criminal group of family, friends, and peers dogged by a constant fear from the criminal element who associated with them.
As Kelly grew as a writer she often connected with both sides of the justice system and quickly saw that many crimes were preventable. Her first writing assignments included the local crime beat that had her interviewing all sides which helped her understand more. One of the things she realized was that there was always a trigger, something that the criminal may not have had control over, that led to the crime. Her understanding of crime and causation coupled with her past allowed her to see that what the world noted as merely statistics – had real people and faces behind them. It became part of her life’s passion to help make prisoners who wanted to reform and step away from their past mistakes more acceptable to society.
Kelly has three books at the moment – Voices from Death Row, Serial Killers True Crime Anthology 2015, Taking Tori, and Shirley Turner. The last two are part of the Crimes Canada series about true crime in Canada.
Part of Kelly’s work has been to connect with prisoners herself. This book details her conversations with some of the most notorious killers in the country and their crimes. The book has information on how crime and punishment has evolved, especially death row, into how the prison system treats them now while they await their fate. Her interactions with them through letters and personal interviews are part of what makes up her blog – A Woman Condemned.
While the book doesn’t contact the actual transcripts of the interviews it has a deep truth – that many of these killers acted for such random reasons (the trigger Kelly identified) that their victims often had no chance to know it was coming. A truly disturbing book.
A Woman Condemned
The blog that goes with the book. If you love true crime then this is the blog for you. Focusing on murderesses on death row, the page has updates about each of them and their cases both from personal and legal standpoints. Each post has Kelly’s analysis of the case and connection with the inmate on a human level. However, some of her posts are as short and shocking as the case itself, drawing you in with the “wow” of punchy headlines so you have to know more about the story behind them.
Her posts have little tidbits about the people and their lives, and there’s also a way to check them out by state location as well. She’ll update you on their cases, execution dates, and whether or not they’re even willing to talk. The blog also has a thriving comment section where other enthusiasts can discuss the crimes.
Interested in a more personal side to Kelly? Read more about her intimate dealings with some of America’s most notorious killers: Start with It Could Have been Me by Kelly Banaski