Vikki Petraitis

Vikki Petraitis

Melbourne, Victoria

Vikki Petraitis (born 1965) is an Australian true crime author, based in Melbourne, Victoria. She was nominated for the 2007 Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for her book Forensics. In 2007, Vikki won the Scarlet Stiletto Award for Best New Talent for a fiction piece she wrote called 'Side Window'. Vikki is also a teacher at a school in Melbourne.

In the beginning, my interest in crime was totally fiction. My first foray into crime was in about Year 7 when I plucked Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide off the shelf of my school library. From the first novel, I loved the drama and the trickery of crime fiction. I also loved that the reader was sort of the detective as well. It was up to us to try and pick whodunit before it was revealed at the end.

When I decided that I wanted to try and write one of my own – but of course it would be set in Melbourne where I grew up – I realised that I had a big deficit of knowledge about murderers and why some people killed other people. I set out for my favourite book store – Kill City in Prahran and found a book about one of the infamous Moors Murderers called: Myra Hindley: inside the mind of a murderess. Reading true crime had an instant impact. All of a sudden stories with a body in the library and seven suspects seemed trite and unreal.

True stories were full of power because they were about real people and real suffering. I read every true crime book that I could lay my hands on but most of them were from the UK or American. There was little written about crime in Australia.

From the moment I started reading true crime, I knew that if I was going to be a writer, these were the stories that I wanted to write. Back to Kill City and another book, this one by an author called Gary Provost called How to write and sell true crime. I followed Gary’s advice and produced my first book called The Phillip Island Murder. And the rest as they say is history.

Crime, Mystery, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Police Procedurals, Suspense, Thriller & Suspense

The Mysterious Phillip Island Murder (Crime Shots)

When 23-year-old Beth Barnard was discovered brutally murdered in a farmhouse in Phillip Island in 1986, her murder sparked an investigation that has haunted locals ever since. Her throat was cut, and she had a huge letter A carved into her chest. On the same night that Beth died, another local woman, Vivienne Cameron, vanished off the face of the earth. A police investigation revealed that Beth had been having an affair with Vivienne's husband. What really happened that night remains one of Victoria's most baffling murder mysteries. Welcome to Crime Shots - short, sharp, true crime stories from Australia's past and present.

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