RSS

A-LIST Review and Interview in ITW’s The Big Thrill

COMING 12-12-17 from Oceanview

FROM THE BIG THRILL 12-1-17:

A-LIST by D.P. LYLE

By R.G. Belsky

Award-winning thriller author D.P. Lyle loves to write about murder – the fictional kind in his novels and the real thing too.

Lyle’s new book A-LIST is about a star actor accused of killing his young girlfriend. It’s the second in the Jake Longly series, featuring an ex-baseball pitcher and somewhat unorthodox private investigator who works (not always well) for his father.

“In this one,” Lyle explains, “Jake and girlfriend Nicole are asked by Nicole’s uncle Charles Balfour—big-time producer and director—to go to New Orleans where Uncle Charles’ franchise A-List actor Kirk Ford has awakened with a dead girl in his bed at the famous Monteleone Hotel. Oh, the girl is a college co-ed who just happens to be the niece of Tony Guidry, a ruthless, mafia-type. Things go sideways in a hurry.”

Lyle says he created the Jake Longly character, who first appeared in Deep Six last year, to make this series comedic as well as a good mystery/thriller.

“I wanted Jake, the protagonist, to have certain qualities. Good-looking, always a hit with the ladies, not overly ambitious, not the smartest guy on the planet but smart in his own way, and likable. I also wanted him to have conflicts with his father who is an entirely different person than Jake. But mainly, I wanted him to be a handsome, ex-jock who more or less skates through life, having fun and avoiding major conflicts.”

Adding to the fun is Nicole, Jake’s sexy girlfriend and partner on his cases. “Nicole is actually one of my favorite characters,” Lyle says. “She is achingly beautiful but not an airhead. Not even close. She’s focused, smart, sarcastic, and knows how to handle Jake, and just about any other situation. I didn’t want her to be the beautiful sidekick or the victim or any other one-dimensional cutout character. I wanted her to have substance and indeed in the stories, she is often the one who comes up with the solution to the problem—and is instrumental to the resolution.”

But as well-known as Lyle is as a thriller writer (he’s won numerous fiction awards), he’s also renowned for his real-life expertise in medicine and forensics. A practicing cardiologist, Lyle writes popular non-fiction books on the subject of forensic science. And he maintains a unique medical/forensic website – The Crime Fiction Writer’s Forensics Blog – where countless writers come for his advice on how to murder someone in their novels or on screen.

This has included many top-selling thriller authors as well as TV crime shows such as Law & Order; Diagnosis Murder; Monk; Cold Case; CSI: Miami; and Medium.  

“I think I have about 6000 questions on my computer from writers over the past 20 years. I work with both novelists and screenwriters. Most of the questions either have a medical or a forensic science slant such as how poisons work, what various traumas look like, how DNA works, and in each case, the questions are geared toward solving a story problem.

“I’ve been asked some amazing questions over the years including things like would Abraham Lincoln have survived with modern medicine, how did David kill Goliath, what would a corpse look like on Mars, or in a swamp or a freezer, how does vampire blood work, what poison would mimic a heart attack, is there a poison that is untraceable, what happens when someone is hanged, or drowned, or beheaded. The list goes on and on.”

There is even a story about how he once helped novelist and TV writer Lee Goldberg with his plot issues – and also possibly saved his life by diagnosing him with dangerously high cholesterol as a cardiologist.

“I love the guy. Lee and I have worked together on many stories over the years. I helped him with several of his TV scripts as well as the Monk and Diagnosis Murder books he wrote—and a couple of the ones he’s doing with Janet Evanovich now,” Lyle recalls. “As for his cholesterol, we were having dinner one night at a conference many years ago, both of us having steaks, and the subject of cholesterol came up. I asked him when he last had his checked and he gave me a blank stare. I had him tested and we went from there.”

So how did Lyle go from a career in medicine as a cardiologist to becoming a writer?

“I grew up in the South where everyone can tell a story, and I grew up in a family of storytellers. So I could always spin a yarn but I wasn’t sure I could write one. I always said that when I retired I would begin to write. But 20 to 25 years ago now I decided if not now when? I took some night classes at the University of California, Irvine writing program, joined a couple of critique groups, and began writing. I found out that spinning a yarn is an entirely different animal than writing one. But it’s been a fun ride.”

Lyle did two other mystery/thriller series before this one – the Dub Walker and the Samantha Cody series. Walker is a forensic and evidence expert, Cody an ex-cop and ex-professional boxer.

He said he loves both characters, but for now, he’s concentrating on writing Jake Longly and a lot of other new stuff.

“I’m working on the next Jake Longly story. It will be set in Florida with all the craziness that goes on down there. I’m also working on a nonfiction project as well as a couple short stories. In addition, I’m working on another book that has an entirely new main character and will be the beginning of a new series.

“Then of course, there are my ITW (International Thriller Writer) duties—putting together CraftFest, Master CraftFest, and Thriller School—always ongoing projects. So, as usual, lots of balls in the air. But I like it that way. I’m not sure whether Dub or Sam will reappear but it’s entirely possible. If I come across a storyline that best fits them then absolutely. If not, then that’s OK too.”

Original Post: http://www.thebigthrill.org/2017/11/a-list-by-d-p-lyle/

A-LIST Details: http://www.dplylemd.com/book-details/a-list.html

Advertisements
 
7 Comments

Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Writing

 

Guest Blogger: Katherine Ramsland Ph.D.: Day Pass for a Psychopath?

MothersMurderers

Day Pass for a Psychopath

Treatments are not yet sufficiently effective to engender trust.

Last week in England, the notorious child killer Colin Pitchfork – the first criminal to be identified with DNA – created a stir. Now 56, he’s been in prison since 1988 for the rape/murders of two teenage girls. At the time, he was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years. That term’s end is just months away and it appears that the system is preparing for it.

The former baker was given an unsupervised day pass. This did not sit well with the parents of his victims. They fear he’s being prepared for eventual release. Prison officials possibly believe he no longer poses a danger to the community, but British criminologist David Wilson described Pitchfork’s crimes as “pathological” and believes he should not be released.

Pitchfork raped and strangled Lynda Mann on a footpath in November 1983, while his infant son slept in his car. Three years later, he raped and killed Dawn Ashworth in nearly the same spot. Then he doctored his ID and paid someone to pose as him during a community-wide DNA screening (the first ever). That guy had a big mouth.

Pitchfork is devious. This is partly what makes him dangerous. So does the fact that he strangled his victims – a behavioral red flag for persistent violence. In a 2014 report, the U.S. Sentencing Commission recognized strangulation as a marker of dangerousness, recommending increased prison time for such offenders. Between the two murders, Pitchfork had sexually assaulted at least two other young women. His crimes were considered sadistic.

Let’s not forget when hospital staff in Ontario was so optimistic in 1991 about the progress of another child killer, Peter Woodcock, that they granted him a day pass. As a teenager in the mid-1950s, he’d killed two boys and a girl. Arrested, he confessed, but his crimes were so shocking and his manner so distant he was declared legally insane. He went to a psychiatric facility. Going through numerous therapeutic treatments for decades, Woodcock charmed the staff. He was granted the unsupervised day pass. Far from proving that he was reformed, he used the opportunity to kill again. Within hours, he murdered an inmate who had jilted him, mutilating and sodomizing the corpse.

One of the facility’s staff commented that all of the therapy they’d given him had merely made him more manipulative and able to pose as safe. He wasn’t.

Last week, we also saw news of “psychopath” Randall Toshio Saito escaping from Oahu’s Hawaii State Hospital, where he’s been held since his insanity finding in a 1979 murder. He’d filed for a conditional release in 1993 but was denied when the court found that he still had sadistic sexual urges and an attraction to necrophilia. He was denied again in 2000. Fed up, Seito decided to escape and prove that he could live normally.

“They won’t give me a chance,” he said in an interview. “They’re not going to release me. I decided to run away and come to the mainland and to live as long as I can on the money that I had in the community without getting into any kind of trouble.” He reportedly had $7,000 and some help. “I can live in a community without doing drugs, without hurting anyone and prove without a doubt I did it.”

But this sounds like Gary Gilmore. He’d spent his youth in reform school and prison for numerous delinquent activities. After being allowed a conditional pass in 1973 to attend art classes, he committed armed robbery. Incarcerated again, one day he told a judge that all he needed was a chance to prove himself. He argued that “you can keep a person locked up too long” and that “there is an appropriate time to release somebody or to give them a break.” He was sure he could make it.

Eventually, a parole plan was worked out, with family support. In 1976, Gilmore was released. Three months later, he was back for the cold-blooded murders of two men. The very chance he’d requested to prove himself had been granted twice, but he didn’t know himself as well as he believed. When life got difficult, he resorted to violence.

Prisons and other facilities must show consistent results for treated dangerous offenders before they release people whose past impulses might return. Day passes aren’t likely to demonstrate much, and some of them know very well how to pose.

SONY DSC

Katherine Ramsland is a professor of forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where she also teaches criminal justice. She holds a master’s in forensic psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a master’s in clinical psychology from Duquesne University, a master’s in criminal justice from DeSales University, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers. She has been a therapist and a consultant. Dr. Ramsland has published over 1,000 articles and 60 books.

Original Post on Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shadow-boxing/201711/day-pass-psychopath

SaveSave

 

Charlie and Me

Manson

No, I never met Charles Manson, one of the many things in life for which I’m grateful. However, he had an effect on my life. I grew up in the South. We never locked our doors. I’m not even sure we had a key. Neighbors looked after neighbors and crime was not a common occurrence. A different world.

Then, 1969 came along. With the Tate-Labianca murders, the American psyche changed and Woodstock died. Flower power took on an entirely different aura.

When it was discovered that a diminutive miscreant named Charles Manson and his so-called hippie Family were the culprits, it sent the chill even deeper into our collective bones. If this strange assortment of losers could wreak such havoc, who was safe? Then, Vincent Bugliosi’s wonderful book HELTER SKELTER came out and the real story was revealed. This group not only committed murders but they prepared for them by doing what Charlie called “creepy crawling.” They would break into people’s homes at night, creep around, maybe rearrange some furniture, and leave. This was training, Charlie-style. This is when I started locking my doors.

My encounter with “Charlie’s World” took place in 1975. I was doing my cardiology fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. I came to California for the first time to run in San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers race and then on to Los Angeles to visit my friend Ben, who lived in Marina del Rey. I got in late at night and so the next morning Ben asked what I wanted to do on my first day in LA. The conversation went like this:

Me: Do you know where Benedict Canyon is?

Ben: Sure.

Me: That’s where I want to go.

Ben: Why?

Me: You’ll see.

And we were off. As we wound up into the canyon, Ben asked what I was looking for. My response: Just keep driving and I’ll know it when I see it. We soon came to Cielo Drive and told him to turn. We followed the road to its dead-end. Ben’s little orange Fiat was pointed at a high chain-link gate. I got out and walked to it, gripping the metal with my fingers. The property was only partially visible as was the house.

Tate Gate

Ben asked where we were and what this was. I pointed to the house and said, “Rght there is where Sharon Tate was murdered.”

I had to see it. I had read the stories in the newspapers and of course Bugliosi’s book, but it all read like fiction. It was hard to believe that something like that actually happened. I had to see concrete evidence. And here it was. The scene of the crime.

So Charlie died. Good riddance. I’m just sorry he wasn’t executed long ago. He wiggled through the system thanks to Rose Bird’s court briefly overturning the death penalty in California.

But in the end, Charlie succumbed. AMF.

Charles Manson

Charlie 2012

 

DEEP SIX Now in Paperback

 

DEEP Six is now available as a paperback with an entirely new cover.

Grab your copy today from your local independent bookstore or online:

DETAILS: http://www.dplylemd.com/book-details/deep-six/

ORDER: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Jake-Longly-Lyle-M-D/dp/1608092674/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0

 

PRAISE FOR DEEP SIX

We all know Lyle’s erudition and expertise – but who knew he was this funny?—Lee Child, NY Times Best Selling Author

Corruption, vendettas, cartel killers, oh my!  Deep Six puts the fun back into late night reading with this fast-paced romp through murder and mayhem.  Prepare to flip the pages.—Lisa Gardner, NY Times Best-selling Author

I hate D.P. Lyle. He’s already the smartest, most generous, hardest working son of a bitch I know. Now, with Deep Six, he’s also one of the finest writers. His wistfully dogged, romance-challenged, wisecracking hero Jake Longly calls to mind James Crumley’s C.W. Sughrue, and I can’t think of higher praise. The story is paced like a lightning strike aimed directly at the human heart. How the hell does he do that? Read this smart, wickedly funny, extraordinary book. Then you can hate the author as much as I do.—David Corbett, Bestselling Author

D.P. Lyle returns in superb form in Deep Six. Smart, wickedly funny, expertly constructed and deftly executed, Lyle is at the top of his game as he takes his readers on a romp on the Gulf Coast that goes down as smoothly as a cold beer on a hot day at a bar next to the beach. Jake Longly is a character worth rooting for, and Lyle’s fans will be cheering for an encore. Find a comfortable chair and plan to stay up late to enjoy the ride. Highly recommended.—Sheldon Siegel. NY Times Best Selling Author of the Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez novels.

In Deep Six, gifted storyteller D.P. Lyle has crafted yet another winner.  A comedic thriller that weaves through the Gulf Coast with wild abandon.  This book has it all, memorable characters, a stunning plot, and as always, Lyle’s impeccable sense of place. Bravo!”—Philip Donlay, best-selling author of the Donovan Nash series

Readers will love Jake Longley – ex-big league ballplayer, beach bar owner and reluctant PI, and the sharply defined ensemble of characters in Deep Six is just as outstanding. Page turning action and knock out dialogue from a master craftsman and storyteller. I devoured this one!—Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Times Best Selling Author of My Sister’s Grave

D P Lyle’s latest thriller, DEEP SIX, is the first in a new series and already I’m looking forward to the next installment.  Set in Florida’s sultry west coast and peppered with quirky yet expertly-drawn characters, DEEP SIX is a fast-paced thrill ride that’s laugh-out-loud funny interspersed with white-knuckle suspense.  Readers of Nelson DeMille’s John Corey series will love Jake Longley.  D P Lyle’s latest, DEEP SIX, has it all:  white-knuckle suspense, humor, and a wise-cracking hero that makes for a fun and thoroughly entertaining read.—Linda Castillo best-selling author of the Kate Burkholder series

A true page turner, smart and stylish, with crisp prose and a cast of colorful characters who show both humor and grit. Twists and turns a plenty, Deep Six is a terrific read!—Daniel Palmer, author of Delirious, Helpless, Stolen, and Desperate

Kudos to D.P. Lyle for the fastball pitch of a new series. Jake Longly, retired Major Leaguer and reluctant P.I., is a new voice in the thriller scene. With sharp dialogue and remarkable characters, Deep Six is something Elmore would be proud of. —Terri Nolan, author of award-nominated Birdie Keane series.

SaveSave

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 14, 2017 in Writing

 

Burking Still Lives After 200 Years

Asphyxia is the interruption of oxygen (O2) supply to the body, particularly the brain. Normally, air contains O2 and, when breathed in, it passes into the blood, using hemoglobin as a transport molecule, where it is distributed to the tissues. Any interruption of this delivery chain can lead to death from asphyxia.

The air might be deficient in oxygen such as at high altitude or when another gas such as carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulates, depressing the O2 content to dangerous levels. Or flow into the mouth and nose could be restricted by smothering, choking, or strangulation, or by anything that restricts the expansion of the chest. Or the inhaled air could contain a toxin such as carbon monoxide (CO) or cyanide (CN), and these, in turn, interfere with O2 delivery to the tissues.

Burking is the term applied to asphyxial deaths that result from someone sitting on another in a fashion that restricts breathing. The victim dies from asphyxia. This is a form of Mechanical Asphyxia, where the movement of the chest wall is restricted to the point that breathing isn’t possible. Burking refers to the famous case of Burke and Hare.

 

4261a8eda2c13a9c70713c2e0ffcf2d6

 

From FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES:

Applying Pressure: Mechanical Asphyxia

Mechanical asphyxia results when some external force applied to the body prevents the expansion of the chest and leaves the victim unable to breathe. A person trapped beneath a heavy object, such as a car or a collapsed wall or ceiling, can die because the force of the external pressure prevents the victim from taking in a breath.

A boa constrictor kills in exactly this way. This muscular species of snake wraps itself around its prey. Each time the prey exhales, the snake coils a little tighter. So, each successive breath becomes increasingly shallower until the prey can’t take another breath. Death follows quickly.

 

FFD 500X629

 

Suffocation by “Burking” 

Experts have come to know a particular form of mechanical suffocation as Burking. William Burke was a merchant of sorts around Edinburgh, Scotland, in the early 1800s. In 1827, he hooked up with William Hare, who ran a beggars hotel in the village of Tanners Close. In December of that year, a resident of the hotel died, and Burke arranged to sell the body to a Dr. Knox, who needed corpses for his dissection demonstrations. Burke and Hare loaded a coffin with bark and buried it in front of many witnesses. They then delivered the body to Dr. Knox and received seven pounds and ten shillings. The men struck an arrangement whereby Burke and Hare would deliver the doctor more bodies for eight pounds in summer and ten in winter. (Apparently grave robbing was more difficult when the ground was cold.)

Burke and Hare began digging up fresh corpses for their new enterprise, but the local populace refused to die fast enough for the greedy men. They began kidnapping and killing people who were not likely to be missed. Burke sat on his victims, holding their mouths and noses closed until they suffocated, after which Burke and Hare delivered the corpse and collected their fee.

A lodger at the hotel notified authorities when she discovered the sixteenth and last victim beneath a bed. Police arrested the two men. Hare then cut a deal and testified against Burke. Burke was convicted and experienced asphyxia for himself when he was hanged on January 28, 1829, an event attended by as many as 40,000 people.

 

Burking is alive nearly 200 years later. It seems that 325-pound woman sat on her 9-year-old cousin to punish her for some indiscretion. Unfortunately, the child died from mechanical asphyxia—-“Burking.”

 

Firearm Examinations Go 3D

Unknown

People often use the term ballistics when they actually mean firearms examination. Ballistics, in its purest definition, is the flight pattern analysis of things like rocks, bullets, artillery shells, and rockets. But the term ballistics has become the vernacular for firearms examinations.

One of the important analyses that takes place in many homicide investigations, is a comparison of bullets removed from a corpse with those test fired by a suspect weapon. As the bullet travels down the barrel, scratches and grooves are cut into the outside of the bullet by the spiral rifling within the barrel and these apply unique characteristics to the bullet. If the test-fired bullet and the bullet removed from the victim can be matched in this fashion, it suggests that the bullet came from that gun to the exclusion of all others.

But, it’s not that simple. During the manufacturing process of the barrel, a tool is used to mold the shape the barrel’s lumen or to hollow out its interior. This process creates the bullet’s pathway from the firing chamber to the muzzle and also adds the rifling characteristics of the weapon’s barrel. Each is different since the molding or cutting process varies with each attempt.

As a tool is used to manufacture barrel after barrel, the tool itself also changes. It is worn, chipped, grooved, and damaged with each use. Think about your kitchen knives. Over time they become dull and must be resharpening. This is because the tool – – the kitchen knife – – itself is altered with each use. This means that as barrels are produced by a particular manufacturing tool, each will be slightly different. However, if two barrels are made by the same tool consecutively, the differences can be so small as to be undetectable. This could lead to false matches.

The same is true of the gun barrel as it is used. With each firing, the grooves are microscopically altered. If a bullet is obtained from the crime scene and is compared to one test fired from the actual murder weapon, it might not match if the weapon has been fired many times between the killing and its discovery. The barrel is altered each time a bullet passes through it and this can be enough to make a match impossible.

To help examiners, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a database of 3-D images which will hopefully help examiners be more accurate in their assessments. Obviously, this data will be subject to the same vagaries as described above but with these clearer, three-dimensional images some of the confusion might be reduced and matches might be more accurate down the road. This will be interesting to keep an eye on.

 

Can Your DNA Reveal Your face?

Parabon_Snapshot_Workflow_Diagram

You’ve seen it on TV. The CSI-types plug in a DNA sample and like magic a 3-D, holographic image of the bad guy pops up like a ghost. Or some such stuff. Pretty far-fetched. Or is it?

DNA analysis is primarily used for comparison, meaning that a sample obtained from a crime scene is compared with a sample obtained from a suspect to see if the DNA from the scene belongs to the suspect, or not. This is how many cases are solved. DNA is highly accurate for making such comparisons.

But what if there is no suspect and therefore no DNA to compare with that obtained at the crime scene? The police will then go to databases such as CODIS to see if the perpetrator has DNA on file from previous crimes. Often this helps. Often a match is made this way. But what if the perpetrator is not in the system? The police are back to square one.

DNA can of course reveal the sex of the individual very easily. It can also often determine hair and eye color and other physical features. But can it give a “picture” of the individual who left the DNA behind? Not yet, but things are moving that way.

Here are a few fun articles on this technique:

DNA Phenotyping Recreates the Face of an Alleged Serial Killer: https://www.forensicmag.com/article/2016/08/dna-phenotyping-recreates-face-alleged-serial-killer

First DNA-Phenotyped Image of “Person of Interest” in Double Homicide: https://www.forensicmag.com/article/2015/01/first-dna-phenotyped-image-person-interest-double-homicide

Phenotyping and Cold Cases:
https://www.defrostingcoldcases.com/phenotyping-cold-cases/

 
 
%d bloggers like this: