Name: Gene O’Donnell
Connection to Fredericksburg region: I live there.
I was inspired to write a book because: The only constant in my life since I was very young was art. Making art kept me on a path that I never strayed from. It gave me the life that I wanted, a life where I could make the world a better place by using my skills as an artist to help solve crime. Some time back it dawned on me how fortunate I was to have spent my professional life doing something that I truly loved. As a forensic artist working for the FBI, I had incredible experiences few have ever known, traveling the world and meeting a diverse cast of characters in the fulfilment of my job. This book is an attempt to share the unusual experiences I had over a long career filled with adventure, heartbreak, and victory.
Favorite time/place to write: Mostly at my home on the porch, weather permitting and a pocketful of 3”X 5” cards in my pocket for thoughts that occur to me when I’m away.
Future plans as an author: I have no doubt that I will write another book. I have more to share.
What I learned from the writing/publishing process: Putting my thoughts down seemed very easy. The real trick is to start with an eye towards commitment.
My advice for those trying to write a book: If you have something to say, say it.
About my work
Book title: “Faces of Crime”
Plot summary: FBI Forensic Artist and Laboratory Supervisor Gene O’Donnell traveled the world for 32 years to draw the faces of criminals waiting for him in the memories of their victims. Sometimes the only witnesses he had were the skeletal remains found along a lonesome highway. Spies, bank robbers, lost and missing kids, aspiring presidential assassins, rapists, anybody wanted by police, Gene drew. With few leads, these drawings were often the only thing that allowed investigators to track down suspects. This memoir takes the reader on fascinating journeys of true crimes. See how age-progressed images of two kidnapped children led Unsolved Mysteries to the Fontes boys, who, though missing for many years, were recognized and rescued, while their kidnappers were brought to justice. Experience the victory of helping to find the worst that mankind has to offer and the heartbreak over the ones that got away.
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Publication date: June 28, 2019
Genre: True Crime/Memoir
Who should read my book? Anyone interested in true crime and law enforcement.
You can buy my book: Books are available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and all good booksellers.