Category Archives: Misc

My Father’s Pre-Civil War Log Cabin Survived Alabama Tornadoes

Back in the 1970s, my father, who is now 92, bought a pre-Civil War log cabin up in Tennessee. He had it torn apart and transported to Huntsville and then spent the next few years rebuilding, improving, and adding to it. He finally sold it because Mom wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of living there. Too far from the city.

The recent tornadoes that hit Huntsville and many other Alabama cities tore up the neighborhood but the house stood, protecting a family of three in the process.

Pretty cool. I’m proud of him to say the least. It’s always been his nature to “do things right.” This is an example.


Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Misc, Uncategorized


The Rural South

Finally back from a trip back to my roots. Had a wonderful time in my hometown Huntsville, AL. The crime writers workshops, book launch party, and library fund raiser went well and I saw many old friends and made some new ones. Even got an invite from NASA to come back early next year and speak at a forensic/CSI event they are planning. Can’t wait. Love those folks at NASA.

Afterward, we headed off on a book research trip across the back roads of the rural south. The third book in my Dub Walker series, which I’m currently working on, will have scenes in Georgia and North Carolina. We traveled only two-lane blacktops, no freeways, through North Alabama and Georgia, and Southwestern North Carolina, ending in Asheville at the Biltmore Inn. Saw some incredible and not exactly unfamiliar sites. Reminded me of my childhood.

Great valleys such as:

The Paint Rock Valley, between Huntsville and Scottsboro, where I hunted and fished with my Dad on many occasions and where Curley Putman wrote the famous song, The Green Green Grass of Home.

And this beautiful valley near Crabtree, NC.

Lakes like Guntersville Lake where I learned to waterski:

And Lake Burton in Georgia:

Cool small towns like Dahlonega, GA:

And Black Mountain, NC:

Interesting people such as an Amish man and his son in Georgia:

Small general stores like this one in Fines Creek, NC:

And those roadside signs that are such a Southern tradition. Some jabbed into the ground and others painted on trucks:


Posted by on April 11, 2010 in Misc, Writing


Welcome to my blog

I have finally entered the blogosphere and want to welcome you to this new blog. It is a place where I will post thoughts and comments on forensic issues that will be of interest writers and will hopefully help them make their stories that much better. I’ll chat about an ongoing case that is in the news, or about something that I’ve read in a novel or seen on TV or in the newspaper, or might discuss some issue raised in a question to me from a writer. In each case I’ll try to explain the forensic science and medical science involved in the issue so that you can consider these issues for your stories. So I hope as we go along we can have some fun and also learn some useful stuff. Most of all I hope my ramblings will help the writers out there tell better stories and get them in print. Welcome aboard and I hope you’ll check back often.


Posted by on May 8, 2009 in Misc

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