From Writer to Killer: A Brief Brush with Cosmo Setepenra

I've worked with hundreds of authors and I no longer find it unusual when I meet someone who's a little outside of "normal" -- whatever that word connotes. All writers have fertile imaginations, they're people who think outside of the box, with things to say - some of them aiming to change the world with their words. The pen, after all, is said to be mightier than the sword.


Admittedly, a therapist would have a field day with many of them. But I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm a book designer, and my focus is on the writer's book. To ensure they're publish-ready. I'm not here to give therapy.

Self publishing has allowed many people, from all walks of life, to publish books. Like all things in this world, it could be a good or a bad thing -- especially since no one regulates. It's up to the reader to sift through the cacophony of words and find one that resonates with them -- one that is hopefully written well and has a lesson to share, or provide literary entertainment for a few hours.

It came as a surprise to me, when a Dallas investigative reporter emailed me about Cosmo Setepenra, asking if I knew him. I said yes, he was one of my clients, and I formatted his books, The Cosmo Way, 1 and 2. Can I share my email conversations with him? I had to ask why and was asked if I had Googled Cosmo that day.

Why would I Google him? He was just a client among many. So I did, and whoa! I told the person to wait while I searched through my email archives... I made it very clear, and the emails did too, that we only formatted the manuscript. We did not publish it.

I don't watch the news. I get to know the latest happenings through my husband, and he had discussed the shooting incident with me over dinner. But no name was mentioned, and I wasn't aware that my client's name was Gavin Long. I only knew him as Cosmo, and he ordered the formatting service through my website, payed through Paypal, as Cosmo.

As I read our conversations again, I wondered... what happened to push this man to that level of violence? He wrote about eating right, and how the proper nutrition can solve all health problems and make life better. Cosmic laws, motivations, Melanin. Sure he preached, and you can tell that he had a savior complex, and his point of view was unconventional --- but that's nothing unusual for a writer.

What struck me as I read our conversation was how polite and accommodating he was. Starting off his emails with Peace, Khaleesi, and if he had a question, he would ask my opinion about it. A far cry from many of my clients who can be rude, spoiled and demanding.

All in all, the project went off without a hitch, and he published his book, and I never heard from him again.

Incidents like this makes you wonder, what pushes people to do these unspeakable acts? Causing pain and ruining the lives of other people. Do we all have this tendency inside us, just waiting for the right buttons to be pushed? Was he crazy? Was he evil? A killer who eats kale and does Yoga... what's the world coming to...

I don't know. I didn't KNOW him. But the act was terrible and unacceptable. 3 people who were only doing their jobs are gone forever, their families asking why until the end of their days.

Maybe cutting down on meat does bad things to our brains. So make sure to eat a burger every now and then. Who knows... 😕

People are so complex. You just don't know what they're capable of doing, what's rattling around inside their brains. All I know for sure is, hate never does anything good for anyone, whether it's justified or not.

To love and to learn, that's what we're here for. To be the best person we can be, and be a small sparkling light of love and hope, before that light fades away for good.

To all writers, write on. Get your laptops, start typing... and stay away from the damn gun.

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