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Letters to the Purple Satin Killer by Joshua Chaplinsky




About Letters to the Purple Satin Killer


Jonas Williker is considered one of the most sadistic serial murderers of the modern era. This epistolary novel explores the aftermath of his arrest and the psychological trauma of those who lived through it.

The Pennsylvania native brutalized his way into the zeitgeist during the early part of the new millennium, leaving a trail of corpses across five states before his eventual arrest. All told, Williker was responsible for the rape and murder of 23 women, and is suspected in the deaths of dozens more. His calling card—a torn piece of fabric found on or inside the bodies of his victims—helped popularize his now ubiquitous nickname.

The Purple Satin Killer.

In the years following his arrest, Jonas Williker received hundreds of letters in prison. Collected here, these letters offer a unique glimpse into a depraved mind through a human lens, including contributions from family, the bereaved, and self-professed “fans.” They represent a chilling portrait of the American psyche, skewering a media obsessed culture where murderers are celebrities to revere. What you learn about the man from these letters will shock you, but not as much as what you learn about yourself.



Praise For Letters to the Purple Satin Killer


“This book. It made me wince, cringe, chuckle, guffaw, check the locks on my doors, shake my head, and maybe utter a few swears at the author. Letters is a unique satire of an American nightmare.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

“Chaplinsky breathes some much-needed life into the serial killer genre, taking the unique and utterly brilliant angle of turning the focus onto us, and our morbid fascination with these depraved individuals. This book ought to come with a bottle of bleach, to dip your soul in after you’re done.”
—Rob Hart, author of Assassins Anonymous and The Warehouse

“Akin to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer fucking Les Liasons Dangereuses, then strangling it, this sadistic epistolary novel reads like a crime scene smattered in the DNA of Richard Chizmar and Thomas Harris. Better wear rubber gloves when you crack open this brutally captivating book.”
—Clay McLeod Chapman, author of What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters

“Remnants of Dennis Cooper and Bret Easton Ellis at their finest, Letters to the Purple Satin Killer is Chaplinsky’s best book yet. Cleverly inventive and perfectly perverted, it is deceptively difficult to put down once you get started. Clear your schedules and silence your phones. You’ve just found your next obsession.”
—Max Booth III, author of Abnormal Statistics and We Need to Do Something

“Letters to the Purple Satin Killer is a morbidly intense and psychologically thrilling page-turner. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.”
—Stephanie M. Wytovich, Bram Stoker award-winning author of Brothel

“Joshua Chaplinsky’s Letters to the Purple Satin Killer is the freshest, most inventive, and easily the funniest serial-killer novel in years. It says something scary and profound about America itself.”
—Nick Kolakowski, author of Absolute Unit and Love & Bullets

“A wicked feast of serial killer psychosis, Letters to the Purple Satin Killer steeps us in the lives of those who accidentally, and purposefully, love a bad, bad man. Told in blistering letters that heap hope, blame, lust and insanity on a monster, Joshua Chaplinsky’s haunting new novel will dazzle and trouble you in equal measure. An elegant and horrific epistolary of murder.”
—Brian Allen Carr, author of Bad Foundations

“A fascinating flip of the script here, think In the Belly of the Beast in reverse, where a reader doesn’t satisfy their morbid curiosity from an incarcerated killer’s insight, but instead derives a more dubious satisfaction by stealing the monster’s mail. All the expected epistolary pleasures are intact, but here it’s highlighted by a more perverse voyeurism, as well as some surprising character arcs from the obsessive penpals and rubberneckers, maybe less an arc but more like that inevitable trajectory that curves down down down into the cognitive gutter.”
—David James Keaton, author of Head Cleaner

“Filthy, shameful, and so much fun, like an ill-advised late-night tryst with your favorite toxic, psychotic lover. Letters to the Purple Satin Killer is a monster in the glossy black mirror reflecting our collective disease, and Chaplinsky catalogues humanity’s mordant cruelty with acerbic aplomb.”
—Chandler Morrison, author of Dead Inside and American Narcissus

“The range of emotions that seep into these letters—hatred, love, vengeance, desire—makes for a fascinating (and unsettling) epistolary novel. Transgressive and depraved, funny and sweet, it’s Dracula via Chuck Palahniuk with a Jack Ketchum chaser.”
—Richard Thomas, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson finalist

“By turns frightening and funny, Chaplinsky twists the true crime format into an immersive exploration of celebrity worship and humankind’s addiction to being heard.”
—B.R. Yeager, author of Negative Space and Burn You the Fuck Alive

“Unlike any other serial killer novel you’re likely to ever read. Brutal, original and unflinching, it holds the mirror to who we have become, and who we choose to obsess over.”
—Todd Robinson, Author of Rough Trade and The Hard Bounce





(to come)



About Joshua Chaplinsky


Joshua Chaplinsky is the author of ‘Letters to the Purple Satin Killer’, ‘The Paradox Twins’, ‘Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape’, and ‘Kanye West—Reanimator.’ His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, PMMP, Expat Press, and Broken River Books. He was the Managing Editor of (2011-2023). Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, & TikTok at @jaceycockrobin. More info at