Inside the mind of Arthur Ream, convicted killer writing behind bars

Arthur Ream
Arthur Ream

A convicted killer has written what he says is the true story about what really happened to his victim. 

Arthur Ream is serving a life sentence for the murder of Cindy Zarzycki, a 13-year-old girl from Eastpointe, Mich. who went missing on April 20, 1986. Ream later led authorities to her body near a wooded area in Macomb Township. 

READ: More of convicted killer Arthur Ream's prison writings

This past year various police departments aided in the search and digging for more victims of Ream's. Many believe he is a serial killer, but he denies such allegations. 

Through hundreds of pages of writings he's done while in prison, Ream reveals he is a man who claims to know himself very well -- what triggers him into a rage of anger and how he justifies his actions. He also wrote what he calls the "Disappearance at the Dairy Queen (The True Story)." 

"I'm writing this so everyone will know the truth about what happened ... on April 20, 1986," he wrote. 

He's referring to the murder of Zarzycki. Police say it was Ream who picked up Zarzycki at a local Dairy Queen as he reportedly offered to take her to his son's surprise birthday party. She was never seen alive again. 

RELATED: Arthur Ream bragged to inmates about killing 4-6 girls, failed polygraph

In Ream's own words he writes, "I think it was just after 11 when she called and asked me to pick her up at the Dairy Queen on 9 Mile Road. I picked her up and we went back to my office and I finished some of my paperwork. Now before I go on, I want to say this, 'I did not kill (blank)." 

However, Reams continued with, " ... but yes I am responsible for her death."

The letter goes on to explain Ream's son, Scott, later showed up and Ream left his son and the girl at his office. In court, Ream's ex-wife said that was not true and testified that her son Scott was actually out of state that day. 

But back to Ream's writing: 

"When I walked in the trailer the phone was ringing, it was Scott saying (the girl) fell and was hurt. I didn't think much of it because was just a little upset and someone was always getting hurt at the warehouse playing on the carpet. When I walked in the door, (the girl) was laying on the floor, as soon as I looked at her I could tell she was dead."

Later he wrote, "I went in the office and asked Scott what happened. He said they were on the carpet upstairs and (the girl) fell off and through the elevator hole."

"I couldn't get much more out of him," Ream wrote. "So I told him we can't let anyone know what happened."

Ream continues: 

"So we took (the girl) out to a place I knew at 23 Mile Road and buried her. Keep in mind, I knew it was wrong as we were doing it but I felt it was took late to stop."

John Calabrese is a former Eastpointe deputy police chief. He worked for the Eastpointe Police Department for nearly 25 years. He's not surprised by Ream's writings. 

"I've always thought that Mr. Ream was responsible for additional kidnappings and murders," said Calabrese. 

In his writings, Ream also does a lot of self reflection and focuses on his anger issues:

"Anger can lead to re-offending because I focus my anger toward one person, and if that person is a young and vulnerable female I could re-offend. Focusing my anger at one person makes me feel better."

He also listed his "triggers:"

  • Being told I'm not getting my way.
  • Being told something bad by my boss, I'm laid off/fired. 
  • Getting in a small car accident.
  • Being told no, and not given any reason. 
  • Guys showing up late for work all the time. 

Ream also wrote about power, stating: 

"When I am in the need to feel like I have power and control I may look for someone that is impressionable that I can control, this could lead to them becoming a victim."

And then he wrote about loneliness: 

"Loneliness leads to fantasizing, and that could lead to a new victim."

A woman, who will be named "Kristin" for this story, said Ream sexually attacked her when she was a teen. She moved out of the area after the attack. 

"When he was trying to rape me, he was telling me things like, 'I've always wanted you since you were a baby," said Kristin. "I think that if he has already killed one young girl, then I wouldn't put it past him (that he's killed more). If you're gonna kill one person, you could have killed many more."

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said they are waiting for lab test results for items recently recovered from Ream's old warehouse office in Warren. It was not searched before this past summer. Dwyer said the items found during the search in August were surprising and left it at that. 

There is talk about future digs that could happen before winter. 

READ: More of convicted killer Arthur Ream's prison writings

About the Author:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.