In a horrific case of “almost,” a woman who aspired to be a serial killer was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Tuesday. After attempting to kill a man she had met on Craigslist, Amy Brown’s seriously disturbed intentions were discovered. Fortunately, her fantasies about becoming a murdering cannibal did not come to fruition.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes was tasked with sentencing the young woman. From the bench he said Brown’s behavior was an abomination and stated, “I’m not all that often at a loss for words but … this leaves me near speechless.” He added, “It’s cruel. It’s bizarre. It’s beyond the pale of how humans should treat each other.”
The ghastly incident Downes was referring to happened this January in Lynnwood, Washington. Brown lured her victim to a motel room where she straddled him and tried to cut out his heart using a pocket knife. The man fought and escaped, but had a punctured lung. He would have died if he hadn’t received immediate medical attention.
When police searched Brown’s bedroom, they found a life-sized coffin and a journal outlining her plans to commit more than one murder. She even had a drawing of an imaginary “murder shack.”
Brown told arresting officers after she was apprehended running across a parking lot with the bloody knife, “I decided I wanted to become a serial killer and claim my first victim. It didn’t work.”
According to court documents, Brown’s life story does read like a serial killer in the making. She was an intelligent student who actually skipped a grade in High School. The dog groomer lived with her parents and was attending community college.
However, at age ten, Brown made her first suicide attempt. At age 12, she began cutting herself. A school counselor discovered the practice when she was 18, and Brown was supposed to take medication and go to counseling for her obvious mental health issues.
By the time she was 19, Brown tried to kill herself again. She was admitted to a psychiatric facility in 2015 for her suicidal thoughts. Records show that Brown stopped taking her medication when she thought she might be pregnant in early January. By that time, she had stopped seeing her mental health professional too.
Defense attorney Jennifer Bartlett explained that “The clinic refused to schedule her an appointment until she had paid off the large balance, which she was unable to afford.” She also told the judge that Brown had a history of becoming absorbed in fantasies.
“There have been times when Ms. Brown has become so immersed in fantasy that the characters from her fantasy life have merged with her own identity,” Bartlett wrote.
Apparently, before the attempted murder, Brown became fascinated with the television show “Hannible.” It glorifies a serial killer who eats his victims. The day of the attack, Brown watched it for hours, according to dectectives who questioned her.
The victim had been encouraged by his counselor to increase his social activities, so he placed a Craigslist advertisement in the personal section that proposed someone “go zombie hunting” with him, as a joke.
Brown saw the ad and the couple decided to go out. According to the court records, Brown said that she would have sex with the victim, so they went to a motel. While sitting on the bed together, she asked him if he was a serial killer more than once. Each time the man said no.
The victim reported that after about the seventh time she asked, she jumped on him and plunged the knife into his chest and shouted, “Well, I am a serial killer!”
During the sentencing, the judge pointed to a note found in Brown’s pocket that said, “If you are wondering what I do with the heart, I eat it. I will strike again.” She told police that she planned to leave it with the victim’s body.
Judge Downes rejected the plea for mercy and sentenced Brown to 18 years, saying “You made a conscious decision to kill this guy.” He added that her behavior was an abomination and that the punishment was “well deserved.”
Fortunately, Downes’ sentence has ensured that this potential monster isn’t free to find another victim or actively plan any other gruesome acts.