The Denver Post
"Uncle Fester' manual shared cooking
March 17, 2002
Kevin Simpson Denver Post Staff
When the phone rings, Steve Preisler stops
typing the manuscript of his next book,
"Home Workshop Explosives," to talk
about his first counterculture best-seller.
Preisler made his name - or at least his pen
name, "Uncle Fester" -
offering the public tips on making
"I knew meth manufacture well because I
got busted for it, surprise, surprise," says
the 42-year-old chemist from Green Bay, Wis.
He borrowed a typewriter from another inmate,
tapped out "Secrets of Methamphetamine
Manufacture" and published it in 1985. Six
editions later, the book sells about 5,000 copies
a year, says publisher Loompanics, and nets
Preisler about $30,000 annually.
The book also became the centerpiece of a
Colorado court case.
The North Metro Drug Task Force subpoenaed
sales records from Denver's Tattered Cover Book
Store to determine if a suspect had purchased
Preisler's volume. The Tattered Cover has refused
to hand over sales records, and the case is now
before the state Supreme Court.
"The only way they'd pry out my customer
list is to take red-hot pliers and yank out my
fingernails," says Preisler, who
self-publishes some of his titles.
Preisler, a divorced father of two, gained his
nickname for the "Addams Family"
television character whose experiments often
ended in comic explosion.
He wrote his instruction manual on making meth
to demonstrate the futility of prohibitions on
"I view (meth) as neutral, and it's up to
the individual to be responsible for
themselves," he says. "I have no
problem with somebody who wants to make drugs -
if they make good drugs and also don't make a
toxic waste dump."