Amazon Courts Controversy By Selling A Children's Book Penned By A Serial Killer
Nestled in the Amazon store is a children's book titled The Trinity of Superkidds Book One: Quest for Water, put out by Publish America. It was published on January 10th, 2010, and is touted as an "epic adventure about the Trinity of Superkidds's daring quest for water to save a magnificent empire."
And apparently the author is a serial killer.
Charles Kembo was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder in June 2010 by a British Columbia Supreme Court jury. His victims were four adults killed between 2002 and 2005. Kembo was sentenced to life in prison, and will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
During an interview, Kembo said that the author, J.D. Bauer, is his pseudonym. He claims to have sold 14,000 copies of the book in the first two weeks that it was out, and that it's been optioned for a movie by an American movie studio (I bet!).
He also said that he prefers "to write in semi-darkness, alone in the nude." Because he is a serial killer, and they say things like that.
Parents and advocacy groups are in a tizzy over this, incensed that they could have been reading their kids a book written by hands that have taken someone's life.
Still no word from Publish America or Amazon on this. Though, Amazon should be used to it. They've been called to the carpet a few times over books they've sold, like The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct (ugh), an eBook that was later yanked from the store.
The Amazon page is already sporting some interesting reviews, like this one:
I know this book was written by a serial killer, but I will not rate it low because of who wrote it. I'm rating it by the book's own merits. It is a very interesting tale. While not the best book I've read, it was a good read nonetheless. To all those who are rating this book low and saying it should be taken off the site, just remember that some of our most famous authors were pedophiles and much much worse. If you don't like the guy, then hate the guy, not the book. If you never knew he wrote this, you would've bought it just as any other book.
No word on how much Kembo is profiting from the book (and I allow for the fact that, as a person who murdered a bunch of people, he could very well be lying, as the reporting so far doesn't seem to be rock-solid definitive). Though, I checked the Son of Sam law, which says that a criminal can't profit from crimes they've committed. So unless Kembo murdered those people on an epic adventure for water, it seems as though there's nothing barring him from seeing a profit.
So, what do you think? Should Amazon take it down?
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