Saturday I attended a full day Law Enforcement for Writers workshop.
I took my laptop along, and noted quite a few details useful to mystery/suspense/thriller writers. Some of the statements, though, were so surprising that they stuck in my mind without the aid of notes.
A crime scene investigator declared the the most common bloody footprint at Birmingham murder scenes (after the first responder’s uniform boot) is the Nike Air Force 1. In close second place is the Nike Air Jordan.
Note to violent criminals: Murder was not what “Just Do It” was supposed to inspire.
A homicide investigation supervisor explained that most Birmingham murders involve drug-related disputes. However, all crime begins with opportunity. He pointed out that when his wife remembers at 9 p.m. that she needs milk, he’s the one to run the errand.
“I’m better equipped to go to the store,” he said. “I have a gun.”
And to think all this time I’ve been using a credit card to get groceries.
A private investigator revealed a creative way to test the veracity of a common workmen’s compensation claim–the old back injury. Follow the claimant. When he stops, parks, and goes into a store, plant a five dollar bill beside his car. When he comes out, capture the instant five-dollar-cure for his disability on videotape.
I frequently find money–usually small change–in parking lots. Should I be checking for cameras to be sure I’m not destroying a clever investigator’s set-up?
A criminal defense attorney, who admits a revulsion for his practice has affected his physical health, has turned to counseling illegal aliens on their plight. His first piece of advice? “You should leave.”
He wasn’t taking a stand on immigration law. He’s simply counseling his potential client that the easiest legal defense could be compliance.
Both the criminal defense attorney and a federal prosecutor agreed that pedophiles are recognizable. Though neither could describe to the audience how to pick a pedophile out of the crowd at Wal-Mart, they concluded that pedophiles have an aura.
If only the good folks had visible halos.
I’m pretty sure the workshop sponsors, the hard-working members of Southern Magic, the Birmingham chapter of Romance Writers of America, would all have one.