I was only 8 years old when I crept down our cellar stairs and came upon this grisly scene:

A couple of teenaged kids from the neighborhood were huddled over our utility sink—one wielding a knife, the other pretending to pour a bag of cement over an imaginary corpse—while my artist father made sketches for a magazine illustration. It was my first experience with the strangely seductive nature of suspense… and it left me with a lifelong fear of basements.