Singular, Stephen 1950–
Singular, Stephen 1950–
Born November 10, 1950, in Emporia, KS; son of William (in business) and Mary (a homemaker) Singular; married Ann Wolff (divorced, 1987); married Joyce Jacques (a restaurateur), October 10, 1992. Education: University of Kansas, B.A., 1972. Hobbies and other interests: Sports, playing guitar, caring for animals.
Home—Denver, CO. Agent—Reid Boater, P.O. Box 328, Pittstown, NJ 08867-0328. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Freelance writer, New York City, 1973-81; Denver Post, Denver, CO, reporter, 1982-87.
Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination, Mystery Writers of America, 1988, for Talked to Death.
Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg, Beech Tree Books/Morrow (New York, NY), 1987.
A Killing in the Family, Avon (New York, NY), 1991.
Mr. Notre Dame: The Moose Krause Story, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
Sweet Evil, Avon/Morrow (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Edward Krause) Notre Dame's Greatest Coaches: Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, Holtz, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.
Power to Burn: Michael Ovitz and the New Business of Show Business, Carol Publishing (Secaucus, NY), 1996.
The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, Carol Publishing (Secaucus, NJ), 1997.
Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography, New Millennium Press (Beverly Hills, CA), 1999.
(With Cherry Mosgrave and Paula Klaris) Joe Lieberman: The Historic Choice, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) A Season on the Reservation: My Soujourn with the White Mountain Apache, Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
The Uncivil War: The Rise of Hate, Violence, and Terrorism in America, New Millennium Press (Beverly Hills, CA), 2001.
(With John Douglas) Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, Scribner (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Terrell Owens) Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
By Their Works: Profiles of Men of Faith Who Made a Difference, introduction by Carl A. Anderson, Philip Lief Group (Princeton, NJ), 2005.
Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer, Scribner (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of Charmed to Death.
Talked to Death, in conjunction with Eric Bogosian's play Talk Radio, was the basis for the Oliver Stone film, Talk Radio, 1988; A Killing in the Family was the basis for the NBC miniseries, Love, Lies & Murder, 1991; Charmed to Death was the basis for the Fox-TV movie Legacy of Sin.
Borrowing equally from the fields of biography and criminal investigation, Stephen Singular has produced several books that document well-known crimes and the individuals involved in them. As a reporter for the Denver Post, Singular covered the sensational 1984 murder of Alan Berg, the outspoken Denver, Colorado, radio personality who helped pioneer the talk radio boom of the 1970s and 1980s. Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg presents Singular's extensive investigation into the crime and reveals that Berg's murder was a terrorist act of anti-Semitism carried out by a group known as the Silent Brotherhood. The book examines this neo-Nazi, right-wing organization in great detail, tracing their presence in several states in the West. Talked to Death also renders a biographic study of Berg, the controversial talk show host who became famous for his insulting treatment of callers.
Critics were generally impressed with Singular's analysis of the murder. Chris Leppek, writing in the New York Times Book Review, praised the author's "extensive research and intimate knowledge of the case." Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Daley found Talked to Death to be an unqualified success. "The book works at every level," Daley wrote, "from melodrama to murder mystery to sociology. Singular has much to tell us about here, and all of it is disturbing."
Singular has gone on to write numerous books about true crime as well as biographies of people such as record mogul David Geffen and football player Terrell Owens. For example, Singular and Edward Krause are coauthors of Notre Dame's Greatest Coaches: Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, Holtz. In the book, the authors explore what made each coach great and also write extensively about Moose Kraus, who was at Notre Dame for sixty years as a football player, coach, and athletic director. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Notre Dame's Greatest Coaches as "a book that should attract Notre Dame alumni and general fans alike."
In Power to Burn: Michael Ovitz and the New Business of Show Business, Singular chronicles the career of the powerful Hollywood agent who became second-in-command at Disney. Writing in Newsweek, Malcolm Jones, Jr., commented that the author "convinces us that Ovitz is a uniquely skillful executive." Singular stays within the realm of entertainment with his 1997 book The Rise and Rise of David Geffen. This time Singular profiles the successful record producer, who, despite early affairs with such women such as the singer Cher, eventually came out as a homosexual. The author explores both Geffen's personal life and his successful emergence in the business world of music. Brad Hooper, writing in Booklist, referred to The Rise and Rise of David Geffen as "a thorough, sensible biography."
Singular looks into one of the most highly publicized murder cases of the late twentieth century with his book Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography. In a speculative treatment of the case, the author goes against the view held by some that the parents were the strongest suspects in the murder of their child JonBenet, who regularly participated in children's beauty pageants. To bolster his case, the author offers a variety of circumstantial evidence, including pictures from the Internet in which other children were bound up just as JonBenet was when her body was found in the basement of the family's Boulder home. "Readers … will find Singular's tone and the modesty of his claims persuasive," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor.
Singular collaborated with John Douglas to write Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet. The story focuses on John Robinson, who may have been the first serial killer to find his victims primarily through the Internet. The authors profile Robinson's life as a con man who eventually began luring women to Kansas City for sexual adventure only to end up killing six of them. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "much of this is fascinating." Deirdre Bray Root, writing in the Library Journal, commented that "the book sends a clear warning about the perils of online relations with strangers."
Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer tells the story of a serial killer whose murders in Wichita, Kansas, went unsolved for more than a decade while the killer, who turned out to be the balding, nondescript, next-door-neighbor-type Dennis Rader, sent taunting messages to the police. Rader routinely killed his victims and then photographed them in various S&M poses. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Unholy Messenger "a compelling and clear-eyed portrait of a recognizable American community, devastated by the secret heart of a quintessential good neighbor." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly commented that the author "has written a solid account that will both fascinate and horrify."
Singular told CA: "I love the complexity of the human mind and emotions interacting with one another and creating either wonderful or terrible deeds. Crime fascinates me, and so does the legal system. I'm much more interested in individual people and their strange experiences of life than in any system of belief or political thought. We are more bizarre and remarkable than we know."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 1997, Brad Hooper, review of The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, p. 299; June 1, 2003, Vanessa Bush, review of Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, p. 1716; April 1, 2006, Mike Tribby, review of Unholy Messenger: The Life and Crimes of the BTK Serial Killer, p. 9.
Chicago Tribune, March 27, 1987, Steve Daley, review of Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg.
Entertainment Weekly, February 13, 1998, Carmela Ciuraru, review of The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, p. 66; April 7, 2006, Jennifer Reese, review of Unholy Messenger, p. 66.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2006, review of Unholy Messenger, p. 175.
Lambda Book Report, January 1998, Charles Krause, review of The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, p. 25.
Library Journal, January, 1998, Regina L. Beach, review of The Rise and Rise of David Geffen, p. 102; June 1, 2003, Deirdre Bray Root, review of Anyone You Want Me to Be, p. 144.
New York Times Book Review, March 29, 1987, Chris Leppek, review of Talked to Death, p. 24.
Newsweek, May 27, 1996, Malcom Jones, Jr., review of Power to Burn: Michael Ovitz and the New Business of Show Business, p. 69.
Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1993, review of Notre Dame's Greatest Coaches: Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, Holtz, p. 244; June 21, 1999, review of Presumed Guilty: An Investigation into the JonBenet Ramsey Case, the Media, and the Culture of Pornography, p. 46; May 26, 2003, review of Anyone You Want Me to Be, p. 63; January 16, 2006, review of Unholy Messenger, p. 49.
Stephen Singular Home Page,http://stephensingular.com (May 9, 2007).