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Crime and Science Radio: The Skeleton Crew: A Conversation with Deborah Halber

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The Skeleton Crew: A Conversation with Deborah Halber on the Amateurs Who Are Finding the Missing and Solving Cold Cases

For decades, all across the United States, tens of thousands of missing persons cases have grown cold. At the same time, a mounting number of unidentified remains have been discovered and have been stored in coroner’s offices or buried in potter’s fields. But the Internet has been changing all of that. We talk to Deborah Halber, about some of the challenges and changes in the world of the unidentified dead and those who try to name them.

BIO: Deborah Halber started out as a daily newspaper reporter, then turned to the dark side to do public relations. She worked as a writer and editor for Tufts and as a science writer for MIT, where she chronicled everything from quantum weirdness (that’s the technical term) to snail slime. A freelance journalist since 2004, her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, Inked, Technology Review, and Symbolia. Her narrative nonfiction book, THE SKELETON CREW: HOW AMATEUR SLEUTHS ARE SOLVING AMERICA’S COLDEST CASES, is just out from Simon & Schuster. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Association of Science Writers, she lives near Boston in a house with a lot of former pets buried out back.

 

LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/06/29/crime-and-science-radio-with-deborah-halber

 

LINKS:

Deborah Halber http://deborahhalber.mit.edu/

NamUs: The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System http://namus.gov

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children http://www.missingkids.com/home

NOKR: The Next of Kin Registry http://www.nokr.org

Black and Missing Foundation http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad

Clark County Nevada Coroner’s Office: Las Vegas Unidentified  http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/coroner/unidentified/Pages/default.aspx

Provincetown Site for Lady of the Dunes http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/index.aspx?NID=618

Todd Matthews Tent Girl Site http://www.angelfire.com/tn3/masterdetective2/

Porchlight International http://z10.invisionfree.com/usedtobedoe/index.php?showforum=41

The DOE Network http://www.doenetwork.org

The Charley Project http://www.charleyproject.org

America’s Missing Adults http://americasmissingadults.com/

California State Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit http://oag.ca.gov/missing

Ohio Missing Adults http://www.ohiomissingadults.com/

WDAZ: Remains Found 31 Years Ago in Wyoming Identified as Missing Minnesota Native http://www.wdaz.com/content/remains-found-31-years-ago-wyoming-identified-missing-minnesota-native-0

People Magazine: Murdered Teen’s Remains Given to Her Family 46 Years Later http://www.people.com/article/philadelphia-missing-girls-jane-doe-identified-family

Story About The Skelton Crew by Deborah Halber in Time Magazine: How to Solve a Murder With Just Your Computer http://time.com/2973705/how-to-solve-murder-with-computer/

 

Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference Begins July 24th

The 21st Annual Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference will take place from July 24-27 in Corte Madera, CA. This conference has a strong tradition of great authors and teachers. Mystery writers learn all the clues to a successful writing career. Editors, agents, and publishers share with participants what they need to know to get published. Authors offer classes on setting, dialogue, suspense and point of view. Panels of detectives, forensic experts, and other crime-fighting professionals provide invaluable information that allows writers to put realism into their work. Faculty members this year include Valerie Plame, Anne Perry, Tom Rob Smith, Isabel Allende, Cara Black, D.P. Lyle, John Lescroart, David Corbett, George Fong, Laurie King, Otto Penzler, Jacqueline Winspear, and many more!

 

Link to register: http://bookpassage.com/mystery-writers-conference

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Writing

 

Visine and Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

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Visine is a useful medication. I use it all the time. When the Santa Ana’s blow in SoCal and the temperature rises, the humidity falls, and eyes dry out, Visine works very well. When used properly it is very safe and effective—-but, if used improperly, it can be a deadly poison.

Actually, anything can be deadly. The difference between a drug and a poison is simply a matter of dose. What can cure, can harm; what can harm, can kill. It’s really that simple.

The active, and dangerous, ingredient in Visine is tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride. If ingested in sufficient amounts, it can cause an elevation in blood pressure, a drop in heart rate, a reduction in body temperature, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, blurred vision, seizures, coma, and death, to name a few effects.

The case of Samantha Elizabeth Unger underlines this danger. Seems she poisoned her two children by adding the medication to their juice. And may have done so multiple times—-which could indicate that this is a case of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy—a psychiatric disorder in which parents harm children in order to garner attention and sympathy. Odd, but not rare.

Recently on Crime and Science Radio, Jan Burke and I interviewed Beatrice Yorker, the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Los Angeles and a renowned expert in Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. Take a listen and check out some of the links for more info on the fascinating topic.

 

 

Samantha Cody Trilogy Giveaway Begins Today

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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Writing

 

Book Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Cop Town

 

 

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Delacorte Press

June 24, 2014

ISBN-10: 0345547497

ISBN-13: 978-0345547491

416 pages

 

Unblinking and in your face

Karin Slaughter writes tough, gritty crime fiction. Unblinking and in your face. Always filled with tough and committed characters who are deeply flawed. Her villains are always well-drawn, evil, and totally believable, with clear agendas that drive their actions. Cop Town is such a story and just might be her best yet.

Set in 1974 among the mean streets of Atlanta and within the corrupt, racist, sexist Atlanta PD, the story revolves around two female officers, one seasoned, one a rookie, who essentially serve as co-protagonists. Each has easily exploited weaknesses, while possessing skills and a toughness that drives the story.

Maggie Lawson comes from a cop family. A family that is dysfunctional on many levels. Maggie tries to live up to the standards demanded by her hard-nosed uncle and brother while trying to retain her own humanity. She is thrust into the chase of a brutal cop killer, whose motives aren’t readily apparent, the only thing known for sure that he will kill again. The clock is ticking and Maggie feels the pressure at every turn.

Entering this pressure cooker is first-day-rookie Kate Murphy. Jewish, strikingly beautiful, privileged from her tony digs in Buckhead Atlanta, and completely over her head. Yet, when she and Maggie team up, they create a powerful symbiosis that proves to be more than capable in the good-old-boy world of Atlanta cops.

The story is fast-paced, with unexpected twists and turns, and a climax that is shocking yet inevitable. A great read.

 

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Book Review, Writing

 

Crime and Science Radio: You’ll Tell Me No Lies: An Interview Paul Bishop, Interrogation Expert, Author, and Retired LAPD Detective

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Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. PDT, join DP Lyle and Jan Burke as they learn about the art and science of interrogation from renowned expert Paul Bishop, who will also tell us about his long and successful career as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he worked in the Anti-Terrorist Division and in the investigation of sex crimes.

BIO:  A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul Bishop’s career has included a three year tour with his department’s Anti-Terrorist Division and over twenty-five years’ experience in the investigation of sex crimes. His Special Assaults Units regularly produced the highest number of detective initiated arrests and highest crime clearance rates in the city. Twice honored as Detective of the Year, Paul also received the Quality and Productivity Commission Award from the City of Los Angeles.

As a nationally recognized interrogator, Paul starred as the lead interrogator and driving force behind the ABC TV reality show Take The Money And Run from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  Based on his expertise in deception detection, he currently conducts interrogation seminars for law enforcement, military, and human resource organizations.

Paul has published twelve novels, including five in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series.  He has also written numerous scripts for episodic television and feature films. He currently writes and edits the Fight Card series of hardboiled boxing novels under the pseudonym Jack Tunney.

LISTEN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/06/19/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-paul-bishop

LINKS:

Paul Bishops’ Blog: www.bishsbeat.blogspot.com

Fight Card Books: www.fightcardbooks.com

Paul Bishop on Twitter: @BishsBeat

The Los Angeles Police Department Website http://www.lapdonline.org

Take the Money and Run  http://www.tv.com/shows/take-the-money-and-run-2011/

How Police Interrogation Works: http://people.howstuffworks.com/police-interrogation.htm

Behind the Scenes of Take the Money and Runhttp://bishsbeat.blogspot.com/2011/08/behind-scenes-take-money-and-run.html

Find Law: FAQs: Police Interrogations: http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-rights/faqs-police-interrogations.html

NPR: “Beyond Good Cop/Bad Cop: A Look at Real-Life Interrogations”: http://www.npr.org/2013/12/05/248968150/beyond-good-cop-bad-cop-a-look-at-real-life-interrogations

TED Talks Video: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

Nonverbal Communication: Improving Nonverbal Skills & Reading Body Language: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

PLOS One: Richard Wiseman, et al: The Eyes Don’t Have It: Lie Detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040259

Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming in the Interview Room (From FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2001) http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/fbi/nlp_interviewing.htm

The Police Chief Magazine: Perspective on Neurolinguistic Programming (December, 2011) http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2268&issue_id=122010

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence: Karen Rich and Patrick Seffrin,  “Police Interviews of Sexual Assault Reports: Do Attitudes Matter?” http://www.oaesv.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Police-Interviews-of-Sexual-Assault-Reports-Do-Attitudes-Matter.pdf

 

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Book Review: Terminal City by Linda Fairstein

Terminal City

 

 

Terminal City by Linda Fairstein

Dutton Adult

June 17, 2014

ISBN-10: 0525953884

ISBN-13: 978-0525953883

384 pages

A wickedly intelligent thriller

International bestseller Linda Fairstein’s newest novel, starring Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper, is a winner on every level. A wickedly intelligent thriller that crawls through the underbelly of NYC as well as the courts and law enforcement agencies of the Big Apple. Alexandra is a wonderful series character that reflects Fairstein’s own career as Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit for the Manhattan DA’s Office. She knows of what she writes. This story begins with a carved-up corpse in a high-dollar suite at New York’s posh Waldorff Astoria Hotel. And from there it only gets worse. A thrill ride that is not to be missed.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Book Review, Writing

 
 
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