Early pieces in the Ellroy book, like "Where I Get My Weird Shit" and "My Life as a Creep," are straight-up 100-proof Rorschach blots of his early life, which is demented enough to provide any therapist with several years' salary: he saw his mom have sex with strangers, she was murdered (a crime that has gone unsolved to this day) and an L.A. tabloid ran a snapshot of Ellroy's face after he had heard the news; he was ten. Later develops lengthy Freudian fixation on his mother and her killer. His father, for his part, seemed to like the idea that she was dead. Father's last words to him: "Pick up every waitress who serves you." Ellroy develops an early passion for fetishism, breaking and entering, dope and alcohol, and more or less manages to conquer them all when faced with the prospect of an early death; develops an Old Testament sense of justice both toward himself and others. There's something very Howard Stern about his self-absorbed self-hatred. He credits his life to Almighty God; writing novels doesn't seem to have hurt either.