Book Showcase: TORTURED WITH LOVE by JT Hunter

Tortured With Love

The True Crime Romance of the Lonely Hearts Killers

by JT Hunter

on Tour August 1 – September 30, 2020

Tortured With Love by JT Hunter


What is the price of passion? What is the power of love?

Meet Martha Beck, a young nurse dedicated to healing others, until her own hurting heart lured her down a darker path. Loneliness led her to Raymond Fernandez, but love led her all the way to the electric chair.

This is the tragic story of the Lonely Heart Killers.

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime
Published by: JT Hunter
Publication Date: May 15th 2020
Number of Pages: 210
ISBN: 9798646112720
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


On an otherwise mundane March day, a peculiar piece of paper arrived in Martha Beck’s office mailbox. It came with the usual medical correspondence and junk mail, giving no indication of its importance. Yet, this one particular envelope would change Martha’s life forever.

The envelope arrived on a cool afternoon, the temperature hovering just below 60, the highest it had climbed all day in the Pensacola area of the Florida Panhandle. But Martha was not in the mood to enjoy the weather. She was still down in the dumps about her recently finalized divorce from Alfred Beck, a Pensacola bus driver who had married her when she was six months pregnant with another man’s child. Although she had been separated from Alfred since May 1945, nearly two years earlier, the formal entry of their divorce had the nearly 27-year-old Martha feeling like an old maid doomed to live out the rest of her life alone.

Martha was not unique in that respect in post-World War II America. With well over a million more women than men, the United States population of the mid and late 1940’s left many lonely women in its wake.

A visit from Elizabeth Swanson, one of the nurses she supervised at the Crippled Children’s Home, temporarily distracted Martha from feeling sorry for herself. She considered Elizabeth her closest friend. When Elizabeth knocked on her office door, Martha had just started going through the mail. As the two engaged in the latest gossip and friendly chit-chat, Martha resumed sorting through the assortment of envelopes. The first was an advertisement from a Jacksonville company selling medical equipment. She quickly flipped past it as well as a few other pieces of junk mail until a mysterious envelope caught her eye. It was made of thin, pale-brown paper with the name, Mrs. Martha Jule Beck, typed prominently on the front.

“What’s this?” she asked, the question directed more to herself than her friend.

“What is what?” Elizabeth replied, sipping from a mug of coffee.

“This . . . this odd envelope,” Martha said, holding it up to show her.

“Beat’s me,” Elizabeth remarked coyly. “I wonder who sent you that.”

“I’m sure I don’t know,” Martha remarked, her curiosity now piqued. She turned the envelope over to inspect it further, and seeing nothing hinting at its contents, opened it to find a thin, paper pamphlet inside. It was a promotional mailing and application for the Standard Correspondence Club, one of many “lonely hearts clubs” operating across the country. The return address gave Standard’s location as Grave Lake, Illinois.

LONELY?, the pamphlet asked in large, bold letters, Let us help you find that certain someone. Join old reliable Club, 50 years of dependable, confidential service. Correspondents most everywhere seeking congenial mates, proven results. Interesting photos, descriptions FREE. There were several pictures of women spaced throughout the page, each next to a testimonial about a happy marriage brought about by contacts made through the club.

“Now why on earth would they send this to me?” Martha wondered aloud, taking a little offense that such a “lovelorn club” would be contacting her.

Elizabeth’s coyness now morphed into a broad grin that spread across her face.

“Now why on earth would they send this to me?” Martha wondered aloud, “I have a confession to make,” Elizabeth said as she started giggling. “I wrote the club and asked them to send you information and an application.”

Martha studied her friend’s face, deciding whether she was serious.

“Whatever for?” she asked in a tone matching the astonishment in her eyes.

Still giggling, Elizabeth moved to a chair closer to Martha and sat down beside her.

“I originally did it as a joke,” she explained, “but the more I thought about it,  the more I decided that you should give it a try. Three of my daughters are writing to me that they have met men through this correspondence club, and this is the very same club that I met my husband through thirty years ago. And after all, what do you have to lose?”

Martha rolled her eyes.

“I may be a little lonely,” she acknowledged, “but I’m not THAT desperate.”

She glared with some annoyance at Elizabeth. “I swear, sometimes I really wonder what’s going on in that head of yours.”

Martha tossed the pamphlet onto a pile of papers stacked on the side of her desk and made no more mention of it for the rest of their time together. But the seeds of intrigue had already been planted in her mind.

Later, after Elizabeth had left, Martha retrieved the discarded pamphlet and read it more closely. Part of the pamphlet contained a form asking her to fill out information about herself and write a letter detailing what kind of men she would like to meet. Sitting down at her desk, she carefully completed the form and took her time crafting the letter, being sure to mention how people often commented that she was witty, vivacious, and oozed personality. She also emphasized that she was a trained nurse with her own pleasant apartment. When she was satisfied with what she had written, Martha carefully folded the papers, enclosed $5.00 for the required membership fee, and licked the envelope to seal it. That evening, she dropped it in a mailbox on her way home from work.


Years later, when asked whether she had experienced any misgivings about joining a lonely hearts club, Martha candidly replied, “Yes, as soon as I’d put the letter in the mailbox, I began thinking I’d made a mistake.”

Questioned about what kind of man she hoped to meet through the club, Martha took a little more time before answering.

“Well, I don’t know,” she confessed. “I guess I hadn’t thought about it much.

But I sure didn’t think I’d ever meet anyone like Ray.”


Excerpt from Tortured With Love by J.T. Hunter. Copyright © 2020 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter

JT Hunter is a true crime writer with over fifteen years of experience as a lawyer, including criminal law and appeals. He also has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He enjoys being a college professor teaching fiction and nonfiction to his creative writing students.

Catch Up With J.T. Hunter:, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter The Giveaway!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020, and runs through October 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: JT Hunter – A MONSTER OF ALL TIME

Hello, book people. If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably noticed that I read from a variety of different genres, and enjoy fiction and nonfiction. My first foray into true crime was in the mid-1970s as a teenager when I read Helter Skelter. There’s something about reading about the monsters in our society after they’ve been caught that is intriguing. Perhaps it’s because we want to know with hopes we won’t be faced with another monster like that one ever again. It is because of my fascination with true crime that I’m incredibly pleased to welcome today’s guest, J.T. Hunter, author of A Monster of All Time and more. Mr. Hunter will be discussing this fascination with true crime. I hope you’ll enjoy his words of wisdom, follow along with the blog tour, and purchase the book to read. Without further adieu, I give you Mr. J.T. Hunter.

Why True Crime?

Not everyone loves true crime like we do.  Some people don’t understand why we enjoy immersing ourselves in a world dedicated to the darker side of human behavior. Is there something wrong with wanting to read about crimes of passion and serial killings? Are those of us who self-identify as true crime junkies lacking the proper moral compass that would guide us away from these depraved interests? Are we some sinister minority that deserves a good whack on the knuckles for even thinking about such things?  

I think not.  

The current wave of commercially and critically successful true crime books, TV series, and movies is testament to the broad appeal and powerful allure of such stories. Why are they so popular? Here’s what I believe are two of the primary reasons.

Human Beings are Fascinating Creatures.

As the soon-to-become-monstrous Creature ponders in Frankenstein, how is that human beings are “at once so powerful, so virtuous, and magnificent, yet so vicious and base”? This inherent duality of humanity never ceases to shock or amaze us.  Each of us – every single person on the planet – houses an inner Dr. Jekyll in a perpetual struggle with our personal Mr. Hyde.  

It is this innate duality that draws us to true crime tales. It is what makes serial killers, rapists, child molesters, and even white-collar criminals who conceal their secret selves behind seemingly benevolent masks such compelling subjects.  

My first true crime book, The Vampire Next Door: The True Story of the Vampire Rapist, chronicles the story of John Crutchley, dubbed the “Vampire Rapist” by the media due to his propensity for drinking the blood of his victims. What drew me to Crutchley’s story, and what still fascinates me even today, was how he balanced two sides of his life. His Hyde side entailed abducting women, tying them up, and repeatedly raping them. Throughout their confinement, he drained their blood through surgical tubes. He then killed them by strangulation. All this, yet his Jekyll side presented a family man with a wife and young son holding a white-collar job with top-secret security clearance at the Pentagon while working as a computer programmer on weapons communications systems for the U.S. Navy.  

Israel Keyes, the new breed of serial killer whose story is detailed in my book, Devil in the Darkness, similarly hid his dark side behind the mask of a doting father and hard-working business owner. Indeed, after he was finally caught, Keyes gloated to investigators about how he had been able to fool everyone he knew for over a decade. This was a guy who used the entire country as his hunting grounds, burying “kill-kits” containing the tools and the weapons to commit his crimes in multiple states years before returning to use them.

True crime writing giant Ann Rule points to this duality as a determining factor for the crimes she chose to write about. The stories that stood out to her centered on the “psychopathology of the criminal mind,” with criminal subjects who wore a “perfect mask” to disguise their inner evil. Exploring the psychology of monsters in disguise, trying to understand how their inner Hyde outbalanced or destroyed its Jekyll counterpart, cultivates a fertile field of fascinating stories.     

No One Wants to be a Victim.

Another reason for reading true crime is the desire to avoid becoming the victim of a horrific crime in the future. Part of this involves learning about serial killers and psychopaths in the hope that doing so will arm the reader with the knowledge of their methods and the wherewithal to avoid falling victim to them. Similarly, learning about the background of violent offenders might reveal clues as to how they became murderers and rapists. To quote Rule again, “we are all tremendously curious about what makes some babies grow up to be savage criminals and others law-abiding citizens.”  

When you consider that women make up 75% of true crime podcast listeners, and a similar majority of the readers of true crime books, this reason makes perfect sense. Women fear crime more than men because they are more likely than men to be victims of crime, so it follows that a motivating factor for reading true crime is the desire to acquire survival skills that could be literally life-saving.  

In A Monster of All Time: The True Story of Danny Rolling, the Gainesville Ripper, I include the story of a woman who survived a sexual assault by Rolling (just days before he murdered several other women) by drawing on the lessons she learned while watching her favorite true crime TV show.  Rolling had every intention of killing her that night, but her quick thinking and knowledge of how best to handle the situation saved her. Likewise, as narrated in my book, Deadly Deception, the only young woman to survive an abduction by serial killer Bobby Joe Long did so by learning beforehand about what to do, and just as importantly, what not to do in such a situation. 

Learning what type of person is more likely to be a rapist or murderer, and knowing how such crimes happen, provides a sense of comfort that one may have the ability to avoid crossing paths with a criminal, or to at least survive such an encounter if it were to occur. 

I’ll add a third reason, which applies as much to why I write true crime as it does to why I think a good number of readers are drawn to it. And that reason is the hope of helping out with unsolved cases, whether it be to help identify the perpetrator in a cold case or to otherwise help bring some closure to the victims’ families. This reason is a particular motivating force for my current project writing about a decades-old cold case involving the abduction and murder of a twelve-year-old girl who never made it home from her bus stop after school one sunny afternoon. 

True crime is a genre that, at its best, rewards its reader with tales of fascinating characters, astounding plots, and universal themes. By sharing stories about monsters, true crime offers us some insight into what it means to be human. By giving us a glimpse into the human heart, it reveals truth that is indeed stranger than any fiction. 

Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter

J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.

JT’s bestselling true crime books include:

Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

A Monster Of All Time

by J.T. Hunter

on Tour July 1-31, 2019

A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter

The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.

What evil lurked inside him?

What demons drove him to kill?

What made him A Monster of All Time?

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter Giveaway!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019, and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway