After studying to be a
Catholic priest for five years while earning a B.A. in English Literature from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio,
Texas, Tom Basinski traded his Roman collar for a badge and gun, patrolling the mean streets of hometown Flint, Michigan.
After a year and a half in Flint,
Tom moved to California where he worked for the Chula Vista Police (17 years), and as an investigator for the San Diego District
Attorney (17 years). While a homicide detective for Chula Vista, Basinski began writing true crime stories
for various pulp magazines, eventually selling over 125 true crime stories. Tom Basinski is the author
of No Good Deed and Cross-County Evil.
According to the book description
of No Good Deed, it “is a true story of jealousy, rage, steroids, voodoo, strippers, and murder.
The charred remains of 38-year old nice guy David Stevens are found in his incinerated Chrysler convertible December 23, 1998
in upscale La Jolla, California, with two bullet holes in his head.
San Diego Homicide detectives work every angle imaginable but get
nowhere. Leads are uncovered, but dissolve. Stevens’s family in Nebraska hires a private investigator who slings mud
at the police in whatever publication will listen to him.
Then, in November 2001, Ny Nourn
supplies police with enough information to solve the case. Knowing who killed someone, and proving it in court are distinct
entities. Two people stand trial for this sex-charged homicide. One defendant proves especially difficult as he attempts to
contract for the execution of the other defendant’s attorney after the preliminary hearing. The defendant believed the
attorney was trying to put most of the blame on him. With the execution thwarted, new attorneys take over. The difficult defendant
fires his attorney and represents himself.”
According to the book description of Cross-Country Evil, “The first sentence
in CROSS-COUNTRY EVIL reads: “It was just another murder.” Over 300 pages later, the last sentence is: “Janet
Moore’s was not just another murder.” Packed between the first and last sentences are 18 years of a sometimes
routine and sometimes harrowing police investigation in San Diego, California and Daytona Beach, Florida.
Many things happen during
those years. A group of artists criticize and ridicule the police for not caring when a woman is murdered. When the San Diego
Police do arrest a serial murderer of women, the artists criticize the cops for only properly investigating the deaths of
respectable white women inside their homes.
The homicide sergeant's wife, who is
also a police officer in another division, dies at an early age during the investigation causing additional stress on the
sergeant. One of the other homicide detectives dies prematurely too. The rest of the homicide team either retires or is transferred.
Prospects of solving the murder look bleak.
DNA comes of age during
the investigation, and plays a part in the apprehension of the killer, but DNA is not the only part. Good, old-fashioned police
work, surveillance, and cunning play an equally large role in bringing the rapist-killer to justice.
The book features exclusive interviews with the cops, prosecutor,
defense attorney, family of the killer, and even a disturbing interview with the killer himself inside prison walls.”