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Medicine Is Strange: Stone Man Syndrome

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Medicine has a lot of very strange disorders in its catalog of maladies.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP or Stone Man Syndrome) is one of them.

http://thechirurgeonsapprentice.com/2014/12/17/disturbing-disorders-fop-stone-man-syndrome/

 

Spend a Day With the FBI at ThrillerFest 2015

ITW Black-Red

Are you going to ThrillerFest? Want to spend a day with the FBI? 

Lock In The Date!

Join us for a Pre-Conference Workshop: Today’s FBI: Crime Essentials For Writers

WHEN: Monday, July 6, 2015 (Full-day seminar, exact time to be determined soon)

WHERE: FBI Headquarters, 290 Broadway, New York, New York

WHAT: Hear from FBI experts in Cybercrime, International Terrorism, Criminal Investigations, and More

COST: $75/per person, which includes lunch, drinks, and snacks

Last year’s course was a huge success, so we are offering the seminar again this year. Space is limited.

If you have already registered for ThrillerFest, please email Dennis Kennett at registrar@thrillerwriters.org so that he can add the workshop to your registration. The credit card you used for registration will be used for payment.

In your email, you will need to provide your first, middle, and last name; city, state, and country of birth; birth date; and if you are not a U.S. citizen, your passport number. Please, no middle initials. This information is used by the FBI to vet your entrance into the workshop. Example:

John Jack Doe

Anytown, TX USA

06/12/82

If you are not registered, please go to https://www.regonline.com/TFX. You will find the workshop as one of the choices available.You will need to provide the same information as above.

Whether you are checking facts, or writing and researching your next novel, if you need a better understanding of the FBI, this seminar is for you!

Warmest regards,

Kimberley Howe

Executive Director, ThrillerFest

If you plan to attend, a response is mandatory. Your name must be on the admittance list at the FBI building, so please reserve your spot today! No Audio or Video recording, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled devices.

This workshop is limited in attendance by the FBI and is expected to sell out.

Click Here to Register

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Police Procedure, Writing

 

The Psychology of Storytelling

We writers are first and foremost storytellers. Makes no difference what the length (short story, novella, novel) or the genre (cozy, hard-boiled, YA, literary, romance), story is the key ingredient. Simply put: spinning a good yarn is a writer’s main goal.

 

CavePainting

 

This is not a new concept. Cavemen painted their stories on rock walls and sat around the campfire, sharing experiences that were key to survival. From these stories younger and less-experienced group members learned the techniques needed for hunting, protection from the environment, avoidance of predators, and later, after settling into communities, the skills needed for farming and animal husbandry.

Ancient religious texts are simply series of stories that reflect the teachings of the particular religion. Examples would be the Biblical accounts of the Garden of Eden, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Moses and the Ten Commandments, Lot and his salty wife, and the travels and teachings of Jesus and his disciples. Each a lesson wrapped in a story. Other religions are built on and shared through similar stories.

 

Bible

 

Today, the ability to tell a good story is critical, not just to writers, but also to those in many walks of life. Educators, lawyers, salesmen, virtually everyone benefits from the ability to tell a tale. Here is a fun article by Gregory Ciotti on the psychology of good storytelling:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/habits-not-hacks/201411/the-psychology-storytelling

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Writing

 

Crime and Science Radio: Watching the Detectives: Investigative Journalism and Forensic Science: An Interview with Douglas Starr

Killer of Shepards

BIO: Douglas Starr is co-director of the graduate Program in Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University.

His most recent book, The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science, tells the story of the 19th century pioneers of forensic science and the notorious serial killer who was caught and convicted with their new scientific techniques. Published in several languages, the book won Gold Dagger award in the U.K., was a finalist for the Edgar Allen Poe award in the U.S., and was an “Editor’s Choice” in the New York Times Book Review.

Starr’s previous book, BLOOD: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce, tells the four-century saga of how human blood became a commodity -– from the first experimental transfusions in the 17th century, through the collection and mobilization of blood in modern wars, to a tragic denouement during the AIDS epidemic. The book was published in seven languages, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (science and technology category) and was named to the “Best Books of the Year” lists of Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. A PBS series based on the book, Red Gold, aired on more than 300 PBS stations in the U.S. and internationally.

Starr’s writings about science, medicine, public health and the environment have appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, Discover, The New Republic, Science, Smithsonian, Public Television, National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Sunday Globe Magazine and other media outlets.

Prof. Starr lectures on the subjects of his books and on broader questions of science in the mass media, science and ethics, and the history of science. He has appeared as a commentator on ABC’s Nightline, the BBC, CNN and NPR.  He has lectured at venues as diverse as Harvard Medical School, Yale Medical School, the Royal College of Physicians in London, the U.S. Department of Justice; and at book festivals, corporate functions and scientific and public health colloquia in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.

LISTENhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2014/12/14/crime-and-science-radio-with-special-guest-douglas-starr

LINKS:

Douglas Starr Website: http://douglasstarr.com

Articles by Douglas Starr: http://douglasstarr.com/writing-articles/

The Interview by Douglas Starr: http://douglasstarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/THE-INTERVIEW.pdf

 

Murder Solved By Clever DNA Testing of an Old Stamp

DNA PROFILE

DNA PROFILE

Here is an amazing and convoluted story that involves good police work and clever DNA testing, including the use of old and very small samples and familial DNA techniques (instrumental in identifying the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper). More proof that criminals can run but they can’t hide. Not for long anyway.

 

Human Head and Leg Found Inside Tiger Shark

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Back in November, 2014, fishermen in the Philippines hooked a large tiger shark. Not all that uncommon. But what they found inside was very unusual. A human head and leg. Some believe the victim had been a passenger on the MV Maharlika 2 ferry that sank near Leyte a few weeks earlier on September 13th.

It was a tiger shark that took the arm of surfer Bethany Hamilton several years ago. But the attack didn’t run this brave young woman out of the water though as she continues to be an active, competitive surfer.

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This incident reminded me of the famous and fascinating 1935 Shark Arm Case in Australia. One that involved, forgery, blackmail, and murder and one where the shark was another innocent victim. The case was convoluted and confusing and raised many questions—-not the least of which was ”what constitutes a body?” Is an arm enough to say that a person was indeed dead?

I used this case as an example of corpse identification in my book Howdunnit: Forensics

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From Howdunnit: Forensics:

FORENSIC CASE FILES: JAMES SMITH—THE SHARK ARM CASE

In April 1935, two fishermen caught a large tiger shark off the coast of Sydney, Australia, and donated the creature to a local aquarium. A few days later the shark regurgitated a well-preserved, muscular, Caucasian human arm. The shark was sacrificed and an autopsy was performed, but no more human remains were found.

The arm appeared to have been removed by a knife rather than by the shark’s teeth. Further, the knife wounds appeared to have occurred postmortem. The arm bore a tattoo of two boxers squaring off. Through meticulous work, fingerprints were obtained, and they indicated that the victim was James Smith, an ex-boxer with a criminal past. His wife identified the tattoo.

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Further investigation led the police to Patrick Brady, a known forger and drug-trafficker, who had gone on a fishing trip with the victim just before his disappearance. Police theorized that Brady killed Smith, hacked him to pieces, and stuffed his remains into a trunk that was missing from the fishing shack the two men had shared. Smith’s arm must have slipped free in the water and been swallowed by the shark. Under questioning, Brady implicated another man named Reginald Holmes, who was himself shot to death the day before the inquest into Smith’s death was to begin. Brady’s attorneys obtained an injunction from the court, halting the inquest on the grounds that an arm was not sufficient evidence to bring murder charges. The police charged Brady with murder anyway, but a jury, likely influenced by the court ruling, acquitted him.

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5 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

MWA Announces the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominees

Mystery-Writers-of-America

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL:

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 206th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2014. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 69th Gala Banquet, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

BEST NOVEL:

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)

Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Ballantine Books)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR:

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)

Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL:

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Albani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)

Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)

The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)

The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

BEST FACT CRIME:

Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)

The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)

The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL:

The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)

James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Jim Mancall (Oxford University Press)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)

Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)

Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)

BEST SHORT STORY:

“The Snow Angel” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)

“200 Feet” – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)

“What Do You Do?” – Rogues by Gillian Flynn (Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Ballantine Books)

“Red Eye” – Faceoff  by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)

“Teddy” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)

BEST JUVENILE:

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith  (Quirk Books)

Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT:

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Amistad)

The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)

The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY:

“The Empty Hearse” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)

“Unfinished Business” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS)

“Episode 1” – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)

“Dream Baby Dream” – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)

“Episode 6” – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD:

“Getaway Girl” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine By Zoë Z. Dean (Dell Magazines)

GRAND MASTERS:

Lois Duncan

James Ellroy

RAVEN AWARDS:

Ruth & Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine

Kathryn Kennison, Magna Cum Murder

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD:

Charles Ardai, Editor & Founder, Hard Case Crime

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD:

(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Tuesday, April 28, 2015)

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books)

The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books)

Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)

Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Writing

 
 
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