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Mixed Media co-host and Dallas Morning News culture critic Chris Vognar talks with Texas Monthly executive editor Skip Hollandsworth about The Midnight Assassin, Hollandsworth's new book on Austin's infamous serial killer.
Back in 1993, when Skip Hollandsworth was still a fresh scribe at Texas Monthly (and long before he co-wrote the screenplay for Bernie with director Richard Linklater), he found himself face to face with a serial killer. He didn't realize it at the time, but he liked what he saw. His subject was Charles Albright, a debonair Dallas man who liked to excuse himself from polite society and kill prostitutes in Oak Cliff. He also liked to cut out their eyes. Hollandsworth was fascinated.
"I became obsessed with him, and I had no idea that I would become so obsessed with this kind of story." says Hollandsworth.
"I grew up [in] a very traditional way, the son of a Presbyterian minister, and I suddenly found myself mesmerized by people that walk up to this line and then cross it."
It turned out Albright was just a warm-up for the project that would consume Hollandsworth for the better part of a decade. His book The Midnight Assassin (Henry Holt, $30) chronicles the bloody deeds of a nineteenth-century serial killer who terrorized Austin just as the city sat on the cusp of modernity. The killer was never caught.