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Author Archives: D.P. Lyle, MD

About D.P. Lyle, MD

Author, Lecturer, Story Consultant

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

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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/

 

Is Fingerprint Analysis Becoming More Automated?

automatedfin

Each person possesses their own unique fingerprint pattern. No two prints have ever been found to be the same. This includes identical twins, who have the same DNA profile but different fingerprints. Not sure why this is, but it is. This means fingerprints are the perfect tool for identification and comparison.

But fingerprint analysis has a problem. It is subjective, in that it depends on the skill and dedication of the examiner. Another important factor is the quality of the print obtained from a crime scene. Those done in the police station, where the suspect’s prints are rolled in ink or obtained by a digital scanner, are clean and clear for the most part. Each of the ridges is easily visible and all of the nuances of prints are readily apparent. But at the crime scene, criminals refuse to cooperate in that way. They leave behind partial, smeared, and unclear prints that make analysis difficult. They also leave prints on surfaces that aren’t the best for retaining latent prints.

This makes the examination process tedious, time-consuming, and difficult. But what if computer techniques could enhance an unclear or partial print to the point that it could be compared by the computer itself? This would narrow the choices and lighten the burden on examiners so they would have more time to focus on the details and make sure the print indeed matched or didn’t.

A new technique for automating fingerprint analysis is under development. It’s pretty cool and promises to be helpful.

 

IT’S ALL IN THE STORY, a Short Story Anthology From the SCWA: Details and Events

IT’S ALL IN THE STORY

A Short Story Anthology From the Southern California Writers Association (SCWA)
DP Lyle, Editor and Contributor
Release date: 10-21-17.

Grab your copy today from your local independent bookstore or online at:
https://www.amazon.com/Its-All-Story-California-Anthology/dp/0999124331/


SUSPENSE RADIO
:

Join Maddie Margarita, Steven Jackson, and DP Lyle on Suspense Radio
Saturday, October 7, 2017, at 9 a.m. Pacific
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine


LAUNCH PARTY:

Thursday 11-2-17 at 7 p.m.
Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Street
Orange, CA
714-538-3210
Book Carnival: http://www.annesbookcarnival.com
SCWA: http://www.ocwriter.com


IT”S ALL IN THE STORY: CALIFORNIA

INTRODUCTION

Everything begins with an idea.

Whether it’s building a skyscraper, walking on the moon, or creating a work of art, the idea comes first. The dream, the vision. Then the hard work of bringing the idea to life begins.

So it was with It’s All in the Story.

The idea to publish an anthology began in late 2016 when the Southern California Writers Association (SCWA) Board of Directors approved this project, and the work began. When I was asked to serve as editor for this anthology, I was honored and enthusiastically accepted.

The SCWA provides a forum for encouraging and promoting the welfare, fellowship, spirit, and continuing education of published and unpublished writers in the Southern California area. Monthly meetings feature world-class instructors of all genres, experience, and skill levels who share their knowledge and expertise with the members.

And now, an anthology.

Sixty-four stories were submitted for evaluation. The quality of these submissions was exceptional. An editorial committee read and ranked each manuscript, and though each was worthy of inclusion, ultimately 24 were chosen for publication in this edition. During the ranking process, author identities were carefully hidden from the committee, and all rankings were based solely on merit. The result is an amazing collection of stories.

Everything begins with an idea.

This is particularly true in storytelling. It’s the classic What If? What if this happened? Or maybe that? What would happen next? How would this, or that, affect the protagonist? What responses would it invoke? What feelings and emotions would it stir? What pressures, complications, and obstacles would test the hero? This is the stuff of great fiction.

This is how every story begins, and develops.

Many believe that writing a short story is easier than

writing a novel. I mean, doesn’t creating 3000, 5000, or 10,000 words require less effort than hammering out

100,000? In many respects, this is true. A novel takes more time, there are more elements to weave together, and characters and plots must be developed more deeply.

But, with longer fiction, the writer has more “room.” Room to thoroughly explore characters, to devise more complex plots, to offer brighter descriptions, to write longer dialog exchanges, and to craft more exposition that deepens and cements the story.

In shorter fiction, there is much less room to maneuver. Each of the above elements must also be addressed but the reduced word count puts significant limitations on the author. Developing empathetic characters, interesting plot twists, sparkling dialog, and vivid settings is no less important but in shorter fiction, the telling must be economical, concise, and chiseled. No easy task.

Each of the authors who submitted stories for this

anthology faced this challenge head-on and all acquitted themselves well. Whittling the 64 submissions down to the 24 selected was a difficult process. But, in the end, the result is a compelling collection.

Each included story roots itself in California—-the

history, geography, culture, and the wonderfully quirky

folks who inhabit the “Left Coast.” The stories span from 1812 San Juan Capistrano to the California gold rush to the modern-day Newport Coast.

In this collection, you will find heroism, tragedy, humor, and both realized and broken dreams. You will “hear” many voices, and meet a host of memorable characters, each facing unique personal challenges.

A young woman, struggling with her past, unsure of her

future, and looking for that interpersonal connection that will allow her to smile again. A couple, both damaged. She by abandonment and a fractured heart; he by war, a broken body, and undeserved guilt. Can love survive that? A would-be photographer who shoots aging surf musicians and a famous-for-being-famous star, each making their own “California Promise.”

We will meet three Cal Tech nerds as they plan to break

Vegas; a concert pianist who is damaged both physically and emotionally; a pair of bank robbers who get much more than they bargained for; siblings who take their high desert “full service” gas station to an entirely new level; and even William Randolph Hearst, the vampire.

You will encounter star-crossed lovers divided by culture, race, and social standing; a fallen angel on a quest, and on the run; a demon who devours souls; and a “Kick The Bucket” tour operator as she ferries tourists past famous LA murder sites. You will meet a young boy who seeks the impossible pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only to cross paths with a digger of long-forgotten Orange County graves and a killer who must dispose of a body in a Disneyland motel. Who’s the real victim here? And so many more wonderful characters and fascinating tales.

So, I invite you inside. Get comfy, sit a spell, and enjoy these remarkable stories. Each is beautifully written, thought-provoking, and will linger with you long after the last page.

Welcome to It’s All in the Story.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction by D. P. Lyle

After the Wave Breaks—-Jo Ellen Pitzer

Angel of the Morning—-D. J. Phinney

House at Pooh Corner—-Julie Wells

California Dreamin’—-Casey Pope

Christmas in Santa Ana—-Biff (Harold D.) Baker

Earth Angel—-Maddie Margarita

Filthy Lucre—-Andrew R. Nixon

Full Service—-Steven G. Jackson

I Love California, Except for the Flakes—-Wanda Green

Just for Fun—-Glenda Brown Rynn

The Kick the Bucket Tour—-Jo Perry

Life Dies and Then You Suck—-Steven G. Jackson

Magdalena—-Lani Forbes

Solving for X—-Anne Moose

Splash—-D. P. Lyle

Steps—-Phyllis Blake

The Inevitable Avocado—-Jeffrey J. Michaels

The Quest for Avalon—-Catheryn Hull

The Unpleasantness in Room 27A—-Dana Hammer

The Untimely Death of Sweet Mims—-David Putnam

Verity’s Truth—-Maddie Margarita

You Can Bank on the Breeze—-P. J. Colando

Zolota: Another Gold Rush—-Rose de Guzman

The Mighty and Me—-Janis Thomas

BOOK DETAILS: http://www.dplylemd.com/book-details/its-all-in-the-story.html

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Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Writing

 
 
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