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Leland Kent p2

Photographer Leland Kent mentions some favorite true crime authors and titles, and a favorite fiction book…

READERSVOICE.COM: The architectural styles of the houses you photograph seem so alien. Like the John McCown house in Atlanta; and the Queen Anne style house, and the eclectic late Victorian style banker’s house in Alabama; and the Craftsman houses. Then you have the Greek Revival court houses, and other styles, like the towers at the Antioch Baptist Church. Are there any styles that you find particularly appealing, and maybe wouldn’t mind living in?

LELAND KENT: I’ve always been fascinated by old houses. Each one is unique and has a story to tell. The McCown house is one of my favorites. I love its style, the wraparound porch and especially the staircase. You just don’t see that sort of craftsmanship anymore. It is one I would definitely consider living in if I had the funds to restore it.

RV: The stories behind places like the Huston House and the coke mills, Corpsewood Manor and the Loew’s State Palace are fascinating. And the swingers tiki palace. Apart from newspapers clippings about crimes associated with these locations, and advertisements, like for Jax Lanes, where do you go looking for information on backstories?

LK: I have found quite a few stories from talking with locals who live in the area, sometimes in person but also on Facebook. Google really is an invaluable source since you can pull up old books and historic records. Websites like findagrave are useful when looking for a person. For more modern places like Jax Lanes, I looked to different sources like Yelp to learn about the business and what customers thought from reviews.

RV: What are some of your favorite books of all time?

LK: When I was a kid I enjoyed R L Stine and the Hardy Boys books but today I mostly read nonfiction. As an adult I’ve enjoyed more of the true crime style books.

One fiction book I have read recently is The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett [the atmospheric sixth novel featuring forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter]. On the nonfiction side I enjoy true crime like I mentioned: I’d say Killer Clown [The John Wayne Gacy Murders] by Terry Sullivan is a favorite, as well as a lot of Ann Rule titles that involve serial killers from the 1970s and 1980s like Ramirez, Gacy, and Kemper. [including Green River, Running Red; and Bitter Harvest]. I studied these guys while in college in a serial homicide class and found it fascinating.

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