National speaker trains officers on serial, school killers

Serial killers spoke with local law enforcement officers, mental health professionals and others during a safety presentation by Phil Chalmers, a true crime writer who has interviewed hundreds of killers.

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July 30, 2021 - 1:12 PM

Phil Chalmers, left, speaks to local law enforcement officers and others about serial killers, school shootings and how to be prepared for dangerous situations. Photo by Vickie Moss

Phil Chalmers lives in “condition yellow.” 

He stays alert and aware of his surroundings, ready to react if something should go wrong. 

Most people, he warns, stay in “condition white.” They’re not paying attention. They’re not prepared. 

That makes them vulnerable to “condition black.” When something bad happens, they go into shock. They can’t react. They’re sitting targets.

Chalmers, a true crime writer and television personality who has interviewed hundreds of killers, spoke to local law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, and others Wednesday at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

The training was organized by Allen County 911 emergency management.

CHALMERS has studied killers for 35 years. He’s interviewed hundreds of teen killers, school shooters, mass murderers and serial killers.

His experience helped him develop a program filled with warning signs, causes and triggers of teen killers and school shooters. He’s learned about their motives.

His presentation includes graphic photos and videos, including interviews with killers. Training participants had the opportunity to interview serial killers live by phone.

Jessica McGinnis, attending on behalf of Drug Free Communities and Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center, listened to Dellmus Colvin, dubbed “The Internet Stranger,” talk about killing prostitutes and asked if only targeted prostitutes.

“You hear these stories about serial killers, and hearing them live on the phone was way more personal than a documentary,” McGinnis said.

THE NUMBER of school shootings has dropped in recent years, and not just because of the pandemic, Chalmers said.

The efforts to prepare and protect students are working, he said. 

“Can we save all the kids?” he asked the crowd.

“No. Can we save some? Yes.”

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