A Surrey man who was convicted of murdering four people has written and published a novel for young adults under a female pseudonym.
In June 2010, Charles Kembo was found guilty in B.C. Supreme Court of killing his wife, 44-year-old Margaret Kembo of Richmond, his step-daughter 21-year-old Rita Yeung of Richmond, his mistress, 55-year-old Elvie Ma of Ladner and his business partner and friend, Arden Samuel, 38, of Vancouver.
However, while in prison, Kembo took creative writing courses and according to an online interview, published a novel in March 2010 – right in the middle of his murder trial – posing as a female author named J.D. Bauer.
The Trinity of Superkidds, Book One, Quest for Water is billed as book with a strong environmental theme featuring a trio of teen super heroes.
In an interview with Julie Bertinshaw for the website suite101.com, Kembo (answering questions as Bauer) said the novel was launched on World Water Day and that proceeds would be donated to charity.
The message of his book, he said, is for everyone to pitch in to help the environment.
“Unless you do your part, don’t expect the next person to do theirs,” he told the interviewer. “That to rob a person of their ‘gold’ is theft but to rob them of ‘hope’ is murder. Doing nothing about water waste and pollution is the same as robbing those yet unborn of hope – survival – somebody say genocide?”
Kembo explained J.D. stands for Jeunesse Delegue, French for “Youth Delegate” or “Youth Rep,” and when asked if he thought being labelled “reclusive” was fair, he said he declines interviews because his family faced extortion and death threats.
He also said he likes to write in semi-darkness, alone in the nude.
J.D. Bauer has a Facebook and Twitter accounts. The last Twitter post in June 2010 said, “Sorry everybody my legal team says to remove my pictures due to threats on my life. Muslim fans have taken offense to parts of my new book.”
A Surrey man who helped Kembo with his writing prior to his trial said he recalls encouraging the author to do a better job with his female characters, but that Kembo did well promoting his book while in jail.
“Writing helps inmates, not just pass the time, but someplace in writing, they discover themselves,” said Ed Griffin, who has been teaching creative writing to inmates for many years.
Kembo’s conviction on four counts of first-degree murder carried an automatic sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.