Professor holding book smiling at camera
Profits from the book will be donated to the criminal justice scholarship fund.

Do you love a good true crime podcast? Are you a couch detective while watching the latest murder-mystery documentary on Netflix? For some UTPB criminal justice students, their dreams of diving deep into an unsolved mystery came true when their class project turned into a published book. 

In spring 2023 a criminal justice research class taught by Dr. John Fisher, Asst. Professor of Criminology at UTPB, decided to profile real life crime in West Texas. The students picked different cases including missing persons, murders, serial killers and human trafficking crimes to profile.  

“Because this project is true crime I presented the concept to Linus Learning, who published my first book, and they accepted the premise of the book. The class researched all the publicly available information on the specific cases they were going to write about,” explained Fisher. “The students were permitted to review police reports and talk about the cases with local law enforcement to be able to write their articles. Over the summer of 2023, I verified the facts and information in the articles, and submitted the manuscript to Linus Learning in August of 2023.” 

The book titled Murder and Mayhem in West Texas has officially been published. Murder and Mayhem in West Texas explores selected violent crimes. The contributors to this book explore and analyze the available public information on several cases to give the reader a better understanding of each crime. Some of the cases include Kiss and Kill Betty; The Murder of Eula Miller; Finding Monica Carrasco; The Murder of the Fieseler Family; serial murder in Odessa and more. 

Dr. Fisher adds that students interested in criminal justice should choose UTPB because of the experienced faculty and the quality of the program.  

“The criminal justice programs at UTPB are regionally supported by local stakeholders. The curriculum at UTPB is focused on helping the student be prepared to work in the field of criminal justice. Students are given the opportunity to do a 120-hour internship with the agency which they want to work. Agencies have hired many of the students that have interned with them.”