Unique Crime Scene Experts Every Writer Must Know About

Unique Crime Scene Experts Every Writer Must Know About

Murder. Mayhem. Suspense. Crime. Whodunits. Man, do they sell books! If you are putting some of that in your next Great American Novel, whether you write historical, thriller, romance, suspense, mystery, or anything in between, you should know the facts about how law enforcement handles these crime scenes. Who actually would come to certain crime…

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Sunriver Writers Summit

Sunriver Writers Summit

In a previous post, “10 Reasons Why You’ll Never Get Published” I was direct and to the point. If you have not read it, check it out. One of those reasons was the excuses usually given by writers for not attending writers conferences. I won’t repeat myself here in this post. But, here is a…

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Nation Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Nation Crime Victims’ Rights Week

On this website, I help writers when they are crafting murder and mayhem in their works. Pure fiction. But this week, let’s not forget the real victims of crime. Their pain is not fiction. Their pain is real. I have dealt with thousands of victims during my law enforcement career, and I know what they and their families have…

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Stomach Contents & Time of Death

Stomach Contents & Time of Death

Time of death. We have all heard about that term with regard to figuring out when a person has died. It is crucial in suspicious death and homicide investigations. If it can be determined who was with the deceased right before death, or at the time of death, then a potential suspect’s alibi could either…

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Courtroom Terms Demystified For Writers

Courtroom Terms Demystified For Writers

In a previous post on courts and criminal trials, I talked about the procedures followed in a criminal trial in the United States. From the opening arguments, to the cross examination, to the summations and charging of the jury, and the final jury verdict, we’ve now learned the truth about how these trials really happen. …

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Courtroom Facts for Writers: Write It Right & Don’t Be A Stooge

Courtroom Facts for Writers: Write It Right & Don’t Be A Stooge

You’ve come to the juiciest part of your soon-to-be-best-selling-as-soon-as-I-finish-it novel. The high publicity murder trial is at a fever pitch. The sidewalks outside the courthouse are jammed with television stations and their satellite-dish topped trucks. Inside the courtroom, the defendant is on the witness stand sweating, being forced to testify by the judge. He stutters,…

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Neighbors, Grey Poupon & Serial Killers

Neighbors, Grey Poupon & Serial Killers

It seems that everywhere you look, there’s another book out about a serial killer. One that operates in a big city. One that travels the countryside. One that eats his victims. One that is a former cop. Or a former priest. Or maybe even a former writer. These fictitious characters are based, of course, on…

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Just What Exactly is “Evidence”- Final Part

Just What Exactly is “Evidence”- Final Part

In my previous posts on evidence, I covered the definition of the term, as well as the two different types.  Now it’s time to get down on our hands and knees to find some evidence using what is called “ambient” lighting techniques (that means just what your eyes can see unassisted without additional lights), or…

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How About Some Frontal Lobe With Your Serial?

How About Some Frontal Lobe With Your Serial?

In today’s information obsessed society we are constantly being bombarded with the brutal actions that mankind is capable of. Serial Killers. Some eating their victims. Some mutilating them. Some putting the victims in underground boxes, controlling their air and food supply.   As you wade through these bits and pieces of reality, one can’t help but…

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How Police Solve Whodunits

How Police Solve Whodunits

Mystery writers, as well as other genres, have always asked me at book conferences how police investigate crimes. Do they approach a sex crime differently than a murder? What about a kidnapping versus a bank robbery? The truth is yes, they are investigated with some subtle nuances, but the overall basic Police Investigation 101 is…

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Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 3

Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 3

As a writer, you are always looking to make your sinister and criminally motivated characters unique and different than the slew of “serial killers” that permeate so many books nowadays. As an experienced law enforcement officer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered good, solid people who just explode in criminal behavior out…

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Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 2

Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 2

As we delve into this second part on the criminal mind, think about what background you’d like your criminally motivated character(s) to have . . . maybe some of the physical attributes we’ll talk about here, or some mental illness, or defect. When creating your characters, don’t be afraid to make them bizarre. I am sure you…

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10 Reasons Why You’ll Never Get Published

10 Reasons Why You’ll Never Get Published

You want to be a writer. Let’s face it. If you go into any major chain bookstore, there are literally hundreds of thousands of books there. Hundreds of thousands. Yet, you feel, there is always room for just one more. Yours. You’ve tried and done the best you could, you sigh, but nothing works. I’m sorry…

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Bouchercon – The World’s Largest Mystery Writers Conference

Bouchercon – The World’s Largest Mystery Writers Conference

The World Mystery Convention is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization  which holds an annual convention in honor of Anthony Boucher, the  distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor and author. It is the world’s premier event bringing together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction  community, and is commonly referred to as Bouchercon. BOUCHERCON 2014 “Murder at the…

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Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 1

Inside the Amazing Criminal Mind-Part 1

Whenever a particularly violent or grisly crime grabs the headlines, most people have the same thoughts. Why does crime exist? What causes such mindless violence? What type of maniac would do such a thing? Throughout history, social scientists, physicians, researchers and psychologists have struggled to answer those questions. In medieval times, it was thought that…

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Complete Crime Scene Investigation for Writers-Part 1

Complete Crime Scene Investigation for Writers-Part 1

Whether you’re writing historical, suspense, romance, true detective, mystery or anything in-between, and you are planning a crime to be committed, you’ll need to know how police investigate and “respond” to “crime scenes.” If you are aware of the factual knowledge of what is supposed to occur by police at a crime scene, your writing…

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Book Passage 20th Annual Mystery Writers Conference

Book Passage 20th Annual Mystery Writers Conference

The Book Passage 20th Annual Mystery Writers Conference! July 24th through July 27th, 2014. I have personally presented my interactive crime scene presentation, “WhoDunIt: 101 Mistakes Mystery Writers Make” at their conference in the past, and I can tell you that you won’t find a better bang for your hard-earned buck. Book Passage is a…

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How Criminals REALLY Select Victims

How Criminals REALLY Select Victims

VICTIM SELECTION  The first thing to remember is not every culture has the same type of crime, or criminals. The types of crimes that are running rampant in Russia would not be the same as in the United States. Of course, the basic crime would be very similar, but culturally each country would have variations…

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