Novels of Suspense
  By Sean Dexter

Jackson Burke Thrillers

                       Historically Based Suspense

Who is Jackson Burke?

Jackson Burke is a reclusive former investigative reporter who feels responsible for the death of his family years before. He is a convicted felon and ex-convict. Jack Burke has paid a heavy price for the death of his family, but so did the the young thugs who murdered least most of them did. Burke has two friends: A former co-worker and lover who will risk everything for a story and a half-crazy Vietnam vet who places very few restrictions on his own behavior. Mostly Burke just wants to be left alone, but if you threaten him or someone he loves...God help you.

What is 'historically based' suspense?

These stories are not period pieces. They are based on real past events, but they are set in the present. For example, Dark Artist is based on an actual serial killer from the 1970s who was never apprehended. In the novel, he appears to have resurfaced after nearly forty years. Maggie's Drawers revolves around the JFK assassination and the individuals--now long dead--who may have been responsible for the president's murder. Think of the past as a theatrical backdrop for the present.
The Burke Novels

Maggie's Drawers

The JFK Assassination

After almost fifty years, John Kennedy's assassin is released from prison. He has a story to tell and something to recover...something that will destroy reputations and change history...
efore the death of his family, Jackson Burke, former investigative reporter and current ex-con, wrote a book about the JFK assassination. It quickly fell into obscurity. But one man took notice. Now, almost fifty years after that terrible day in Dallas, that same old man is released from prison. He is on a mission, and only Jack Burke can help him...
                     The Fact Behind the Fiction

Maggie's drawers is a military term for missing the target entirely on the rifle range. During his time in the Marines, Lee Oswald--the man who allegedly made the shot of the century when he killed John Kennedy--was known for his lack of skill with a rifle. When questioned by the Warren  Commission, fellow Marine Nelson Delgado stated the following:

Q: Did you fire with Oswald?

Delgado: Right. I was in the same line. By that I mean we were on line together, the same time, but not firing at the same position, but at the same time, and I remember seeing his shooting. It was a pretty big joke, because he got a lot of "Maggie's Drawers," you know, a lot of misses, but he didn't give a darn.

Q: Missed the target completely?

Delgado: He just qualified, that's it...

In fact, during one mandatory qualification, he achieved a score of 191. This was one point above that needed for the lowest qualification of 'marksman'.  If he had received two fewer points, he would have failed to qualify altogether.

Over the years, most people have formed some kind of opinion about the Kennedy assassination. The theories about his death range from the plausible to the incredible. There is one thing, however, that most people knowledgeable about the crime can agree on: John Kennedy had
many enemies. The anti-Castro Cubans hated him for what they perceived as his betrayal during the Bay of Pigs invasion. The oil companies hated him for his desire to eliminate the Oil Depletion Allowance thus striking a major blow to the pocketbooks of oil millionaires everywhere, perhaps especially in Texas. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hated Kennedy. The president allegedly stated that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." J. Edgar Hoover hated the Kennedy brothers for a plethora of pathological reasons.  With John Kennedy as president, the Vietnam war may not have escalated, but war is good business. The list goes on...

Oddly enough, Lee Oswald often expressed his admiration for the young president.

The only thing not in doubt about that bloody day in November is that John Kennedy was brutally murdered, and someone was responsible. After years of intense interest--and growing up surrounded by many of the principals involved in the assassination and its aftermath--I am no closer to knowing the truth as to culpability.  There are some fascinating possibilities, however.
Maggie's Drawers is the story of one of them...

                           Dark Artist
                    The Black Doodler

Young men are being brutally murdered in San Diego. Beautiful charcoal sketches of the victims are left behind as the killer's calling card...
Jack Burke--recluse and ex-con--is drawn out of his hermit-like seclusion to help a friend and former lover, Kacey Butler. Butler is an investigative reporter for a San Diego newspaper. She is being threatened by a serial killer--but not just any serial killer. She believes him to be the Black Doodler, a serial killer who murdered fourteen men in San Francisco in the mid-seventies. The Doodler would sketch his victims and then stab them to death. He was never apprehended. And now, after thirty-five years of dormancy, he appears to have resurfaced...and the police seem to be doing everything they can to cover it up. Jack Burke intends to stop the murders and protect his friend...and no one is more qualified than Jack Burke.

The Fact Behind the Fiction

In 1974 and 1975, fourteen men were brutally murdered in San Francisco, California. The victims were all homosexual men. Of the fourteen who were murdered, five were transvestites who lived in their own shadowy world and were probably easy prey. At least six of the victims were men who haunted the sadomasochism clubs and were picked up in various San Francisco ‘leather bars.’ The last six were middle-class business men who were targeted in more ‘respectable’ establishments. One of those was a prominent local attorney who was slaughtered in his ritzy high-rise apartment.

Because of the the killer’s penchant for drawing sketches of his victims and then stabbing them to death, the press dubbed the murderer “The Doodler” and later, “The Black Doodler.”
He was never apprehended.

There is no reason to believe that the suspect in these murders is dead...or even inactive.