The Last Victim by Jason Moss
The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey into the Mind of the Serial Killer (1999), is a non-fiction work by author Jason Moss in which he details his fascination and subsequent correspondence with several famous American serial killers. Psychotherapist and best selling author Jeffrey A. Kottler, one of Moss’s UNLV instructors, contributes both a prologue and an afterword.
Jason was an 18-year-old college student at UNLV. While studying for his honors thesis, he established relationships with John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Henry Lee Lucas, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Charles Manson. He obtained samples of correspondence from and interviews with these men. Jason researched what would interest his subject the most and then cast himself in the role of disciple, admirer, surrogate, or potential victim.
In his book he mentioned that he was interested in a career with the FBI; he reasoned that gaining the trust of a serial killer, possibly learning more about their stated crimes or unsolved murders, was a way to distinguish himself as a job candidate.
It was with 33-time killer John Wayne Gacy, the “Killer Clown”, that Jason forged the strongest relationship. Letters led to regular Sunday morning phone calls, during which Gacy trumpeted his innocence even as he gave Jason a guided tour of his world. In the book, Jason tells the story of his correspondence and eventual live meeting with Gacy shortly before Gacy was executed.
Jason felt he became Gacy’s “last victim” after a face to face meeting in prison, in essence being overpowered by the mind of the serial killer. He felt that this misadventure allowed him to understand how a killer’s mind works in not only controlling the vulnerable but also in terms of how to break them.
Sadly, the title took on new meaning when Jason Moss committed suicide in his Henderson, Nevada home on the morning of June 6, 2006. At the time of his death, he was a practicing criminal defense attorney.