IN­SIDE KLINKHAMER’S MIND

WHAT WAS RICHARD KLINKHAMER LIKE IN PER­SON? REAL CRIME TALKS TO A MAN WHO KNEW HIM: HIS BI­OG­RA­PHER

Real Crime - - Richard Klinkhamer -

What pro­voked your in­ter­est in Klinkhamer?

I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in lit­er­a­ture and crime, but it’s sel­dom they meet in such a re­mark­able way. It trig­gered some­thing in me and im­me­di­ately I saw it as an in­ter­est­ing way to com­bine my two in­ter­ests. It’s a unique case, where the per­pe­tra­tor is also an in­tel­li­gent man with the ca­pac­ity for self- re­flec­tion.

What kind of book is Wed­nes­day, Mince Day? Novel, mem­oir, con­fes­sional?

It’s a bit dif­fi­cult to pin down. It’s kind of a mem­oir, con­fes­sion… but the book has a strange his­tory. He worked on it in 1992 and 1993, writ­ing dif­fer­ent ver­sions, but un­til he was ar­rested he couldn’t re­ally write down the truth, or his truth. He couldn’t get too deep. After he was ar­rested, he rewrote it and it be­came more truth­ful. One as­pect is a satir­i­cal as­pect, where he makes fun of peo­ple, and the other as­pect is his con­fes­sion… and some­what an ex­pres­sion of guilt and re­morse, but not di­rectly. He lets the reader know he feels guilty and feels re­morse, but he doesn’t want to make a big deal about it. He al­ways thought it was [ a pri­vate mat­ter] be­tween him and his wife. Peo­ple al­ways asked him if he felt re­morse, and he al­ways said some­thing like, “It’s be­tween me and my wife, and I don’t want to get on my knees be­fore you, in pub­lic.”

What was he like in per­son? Did you get dif­fer­ent sides of his per­son­al­ity or just his tough guy per­sona?

In the begin­ning, it was mostly the per­sona. I think when he met new peo­ple, he tested them. He was rude and tried to probe you… to test if you were wor­thy of his com­pany. When he thought you were OK, he acted dif­fer­ently, and you could have a nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion.

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