Crime journalist Steve Lillebuen painted a complex and spooky picture of a killer in The Devil’s Cinema: The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell’s Kill Room.
We caught up with the journalist to find out what digital tools he used to build his book. Lillebuen explained how he used valuable tools like OCR software and the Wayback Machine to explore the killer’s life. We’ve embedded the complete interview below, but here’s an excerpt:
My advice, however, is to treat the Internet as just another tool and not abandon old research and journalism skills. You still have to get out there and have good contacts, speak to a lot of sources, ask them questions, door knock, be very patient, and be prepared to be yelled at. Nobody loves a police reporter, as Edna Buchanan liked to say. You’re prying into people’s lives during their most traumatic moment. You’re bound to face a lot of abuse. My book research ended up straddling both the digital and the real world. I spent a year interviewing the killer in prison. He didn’t have access to a computer and could rarely make phone calls, so he ended up sending me more than 350 pages of hand-written letters.