Blurb: A narcissistic professional photographer lived a dangerous double life as a serial killer. He’d focus his rage on prostitutes mostly. It wasn’t uncommon for him to bring them home then try to explain why they were there to his wife.
Sexual urges met, either via rape or after paying for kinky sex, the killer would strangle his victims and dump their bodies in places he knew the police would eventually find them. The evil murderer needed the world to know that he was smarter than the police and women meant nothing to him but a necessary sexual inconvenience.
Then, by a stroke of chance and aggressive police work, the wheels of justice stumbled upon a lead. It was nothing more than a lined sheet of paper that read, “List of 10,” but shortly after its discovery, a task force was created and a serial killer was nabbed.
This book is about the victims he left behind, not the person who took their lives. I will never condone such actions, nor will I try to rationalize his behavior. He will go to the grave, hopefully sooner rather than later, knowing the identity of four women from his fabled List of 10. It’s his sick way of showing people he’s still in charge.
His name is Joseph Naso, and this book will grip you from the beginning and won’t let you go until the final word.
My Review: ****stars!
|Astounding, truly astounding! That a monster like Joseph Naso could get by with what he did for so long! Wow, to think that there are monsters like that, running around in the world, doing the most horrific things for decades!
Joseph Naso had a serious problem– he thought women were beneath him and had no problem assaulting and raping them, hundreds of them, and even kept a “journal” documenting each one and making notes about the particular victim, i.e. “she ripped me off”, etc. That started in the 1950’s. He went to court twice for it (1955 and 1962? i think), but both women never showed up for court, so the judge let him go with a misdemeanor charge and a warning. By the 1970’s, the assaulting and raping had become blase` to him and escalated to murder. It is known for a fact he definitely killed 10 women, but is suspected of more, since his appetite and confidence seemed to increase. The most incredible part is that Mr. Naso had literally been living, for decades, on probation– as if he liked the thrill of not getting caught for the heinous crimes. As soon as he was to get off probation for a petty crime, he would (it seems) get in trouble on purpose again, and be back on probation, but it ended up his undoing (thank God). If not for that, he might never have been caught. This guy was literally like a modern day Jack-the-Ripper,– not as gory, but much more prolific. He definitely was a very disturbed individual, not only for his crimes, but his fetishes as well– his obsession with taking pictures of women in seductive poses, that were obviously frightened or dead. Scary. I would definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of true crime, or like reading about real serial killers. I applaud the author C. L. Swinney for writing the book– not to add any notoriety to Mr. Naso, but to try to give some recognition to his forgotten victims.
My thanks to C. L. Swinney for the honor of reading this book.
Interview with C. L. Swinney
twogalsandabook: Did you always want to be an author?
C. L. Swinney: I started writing magazine articles for fly fishing while in college. I caught the bug to write Crime Fiction a few years later. I started writing Crime Fiction about four years ago.
twogalsandabook: At what age did you start writing?
C. L. Swinney: 21
twogalsandabook: Do you read a lot? Do you have any favorite books, authors, poets, or genres?
C. L. Swinney: I read a ton. I’m a huge fan of Tony Hillerman, Daniel Silva, Gregg Olsen, Ann Rule, Ernest Hemingway, Socrates, John Brantingham, Tolstoy, Tolkein, George RR Martin. I read all sorts of genres. Almost everything written is something I might read.
twogalsandabook: What ambitions do you have for your writing career?
C. L. Swinney: I’d like to be a household name, at least in some circles, someday. But for now, I’m super happy where I’m at.
twogalsandabook: Is there anything you are working on now?
C. L. Swinney: I’m working on a True Crime book, a second book of poetry, and a Crime Fiction/Thriller book.
twogalsandabook: Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any favorite writing rituals or atmosphere?
C. L. Swinney: I like to write at my desk at my home, but sometimes I’ll write when ideas come or a scene comes to mind while I’m out and about.
twogalsandabook: How do you deal with writer’s block?
C. L. Swinney: I don’t experience this.
twogalsandabook: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
C. L. Swinney: NEVER GIVE UP. From the time I wrote my first book and when it was actually published, 14 years had passed. Also, be careful with your work and who you entrust it with.
twogalsandabook: How do you deal with negative reviews or criticism?
C. L. Swinney: I used to get super upset by these reviews and I made the mistake of commenting back to people in the beginning of my writing career. Now, I don’t let them bother me. If a valid review has some good points about my work, I actually consider the content of the review and I will tweak my work from time to time. But to all the haters, many of whom use fake names or are authors who can’t get published or simply cannot write well, I have no love for you.
twogalsandabook: Did you have to do a lot of research for the List of 10?
C. L. Swinney: Yes. Two years of research went into List of 10. I spoke to the original detectives from the case that began in 1977 as well as the detectives involved in the case until it was adjudicated. I had access to all court records, testimony, statements, family members and friends of the victims, police reports, and the serial killer himself. I corresponded with Naso for several months via letters. I intended to interview him personally, but things didn’t work out. I also used internet sources, media sources, confidential informants, and other sources for this book.
twogalsandabook: Is the List of 10 part of a series about serial killers?
C. L. Swinney: Yes. This book is part of a series of serial killer books that I have written over the last four years. The series is called the “Homicide True Crime Cases Book Series.” There are seven books in this series. I also wrote 2 true crime books about serial killers in a series called “Crimes Canada.”
twogalsandabook: Who would you recommend read List of 10?
C. L. Swinney: Anyone who’s into true crime, serial killers, complex investigations, or interested in learning about a creepy and sadistic murderer should read this book. I write in such a manner as to give victims of these horrific crimes a voice. Some people don’t care for this style or allege that I put too much into the books about the victims. Many of the victims of serial killers, particularly in this case, are prostitutes. Society tends to dismiss them as victims simply because of the lives they lived. I don’t think that is appropriate or acceptable. If you are a reader who doesn’t care for my style, I’m completely supportive of your opinion. There are tons of great books out there in the true crime genre that you can read.
twogalsandabook: Has a trailer been made for the book?
C. L. Swinney: There hasn’t been a trailer made for this book. But, two different agencies have reached out to me regarding the tv/movie rights to List of 10.
twogalsandabook: Was there anything you had to delete or alter when writing List of 10?
C. L. Swinney: I did tweak the book a bit trying to take into account what certain victims told their family members about a man scaring them and stalking them…The same man who ended up killing them and being a serial killer. The style is known at narrative non-fiction. It’s a common format in the true crime world. Apparently, when other authors use narrative non-fiction it’s acceptable, but when I used it for this book, some people thought I shouldn’t have. No biggie.
twogalsandabook: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
C. L. Swinney: I did not like writing the portions of this book pertaining to Naso courting his victims and killing his victims. Ultimately, I deleted many scenes because I couldn’t finish writing them. True crime books, especially involving serial killers are full of unsavory facts. In List of 10, I left some details out because I felt Naso, if he ever got his hands on the book, would revel in the chaos and drama he created.
twogalsandabook: Was it difficult to put yourself in the mind of a man like Joseph Naso?
C. L. Swinney: I wish I could say no, but I’ve become fairly verse in serial killers. Naso had warning signs 30 years prior to his first kill that no one recognized or addressed. He was left out of custody and killed to satisfy his need for dominance over women and sexual desires. I chose not to spend too much time in what I thought went on in his head.
twogalsandabook: With 5 of the victims, their deaths seemed to have occurred either in January or August/September. Do you think that this was a pattern and something at those particular times of year “triggered” Mr. Naso’s urge to kill, or do you think that that is purely coincidental?
C. L. Swinney: I didn’t see any true connection to the months and Naso would not answer the question as to whether there was a connection.
twogalsandabook: Has any more progress been made in identifying the remaining 4 victims?
C. L. Swinney: Sadly, no. It bothers me that he knows exactly where the bodies are for the four remaining victims and refuses to divulge the information. He believes he has some sort of control in this story by withholding the information.
twogalsandabook: Did Joseph Naso share many common “traits” with other known serial killers? If so, what was similar and what wasn’t?
C. L. Swinney: Naso killed over an almost 30 year period, sometimes with long breaks in between murders. This behavior is not that common with serial killers. Many serial killers go on a killing spree then get caught, turn themselves in, or are killed. Many serial killers believe themselves to be superior to others, they are narcissistic and sadistic, and they focus on prostitutes or women as targets. Naso did all of these. Many serial killers gloat and brag about their kills, Naso still has not confessed to any of the murders. Many serial killers will work in small areas, Naso worked throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley which is a large area.
twogalsandabook: If the List of 10 were adapted into a movie or t.v. series, who would you like to see play the main characters?
C. L. Swinney: I could see Naso played by Jack Nicholson and Det. Petersen played by Liam Neeson.
twogalsandabook: Is there anything you would like to add that we have not discussed?
C. L. Swinney: I hope the readers get a strong sense of what the victims in this case went through because that was my goal. I wanted to give them a voice. The Kirkus Review for List of 10 nailed what I was trying to accomplish with this project. I hope readers appreciate that all human life is precious and they don’t place people like Naso on some sort of pedestal and follow him in a cult-like manner. For the record, I have zero respect, admiration, care, or appreciation for Joe Naso or what he’s done. I thank God that good old fashion police work cracked this case wide open and Naso was sent to death row.
*Kirkus Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/cl-swinney/list-10/
The haunting stories of 10 slain women (4 of whom were never found) constitute this analysis of the hunt for serial killer Joseph Naso.
For decades, Naso photographed, raped, and murdered women, leaving no clues until 2010, when a probation officer searched his home and discovered a list of 10 unnamed “girls” whose locations in Northern California matched the crime scenes of several unsolved homicides. Swinney (Monster,2016, etc.) uses court documents and police reports, letters from the murderer, and interviews with law enforcement and survivors to retrace Naso’s steps, creating a chilling profile of a serial killer and the unfortunate women who crossed his path. The author pegs Naso, a photographer with a wife and children, as a narcissistic misogynist whose sexual urges became increasingly difficult to satisfy until “the massive urge to kill, stemming from an inner perspective to take complete control over a woman, finally overcame him.” Swinney, a police detective, offers sharp insights about the cops who failed to tie Naso to his crimes. When Pamela Parsons was reported missing, asserts Swinney, “the fact the police didn’t look for Pamela is not an indicator of negligence on their behalf…unless a person reported missing is considered endangered or at-risk, police will not search for them.” Since many of Naso’s victims were prostitutes whose deaths provoked little public outrage, Swinney’s compassionate portrayal of their struggles, relationships, and displays of courage tugs at the heartstrings: “As her mind tried to process the John’s home, she again looked at the photographs on the coffee table. Her heart jumped when she recognized one of the girls in the photos.” A collection of photos and a myth-busting chapter on the connection between Naso and the Alphabet Killer in Rochester, New York, round out this thorough, humanizing dissection of the case.
With great diligence, the author illuminates the murderer’s darkest thoughts without romanticizing them—and gives the victims the written equivalent of a proper burial.
twogalsandabook: Are there any social media websites or platforms readers could connect with you on?
C. L. Swinney: You can find me on Amazon under C. L. Swinney. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Instagram, and Goodreads under C. L. Swinney.
About C. L. Swinney
C. L. Swinney is the author of nine international best-selling true crime books. As a narcotic detective, homicide detective, and sheriff’s sergeant for the last 16 years, he brings his tenacious investigative techniques to the stories he writes. His overall goal in his books it to give the victims of violent crimes a voice- regardless of the victims’ past or choices they made.
Chris consulted for a mini-series in Hollywood based on a serial killer cold case being re-opened. He’s contributed to PoliceOne.com and regularly gives exciting radio interviews for various radio programs throughout the country.
C. L. Swinney also writes a best selling crime fiction series- The Bill Dix Detective Series- featuring his lead character, Bill Dix. With four novels in the series, and glimpses into the wild world of narcotics and homicide, the series has been a best seller for years. Characters in the novels are based on people Chris worked with, investigated, arrested, or placed in prison while working wiretaps or in an undercover capacity.
He’s also published two projects. An anthology entitled, **Justice Shall Be Served**, and a chap book entitled, **Crushing Tin**. Both are best sellers in their perspective categories.
Some Other Books by C. L. Swinney