This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, some big news from ConvertKit and Sgt. Patrick O'Donnell of Cops and Writers. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 76 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. In this week, I have some awesome news about ConvertKit that will be a game changer for authors just starting to grow their mailing lists.
And I brought Sgt. Patrick O'Donnell, the author of Cops and Writers: From the Academy to the Street on to the show to answer some questions about a small town with big problems in Wisconsin. But first I need to think gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson of ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp, vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. And I also want to send a huge thank you to my coffee club patrons.
You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/76 to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business or to support the show for as little as $2 per month. Visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N. Now, before we get into the questions, I want to talk to you about your mailing list. Having a mailing list of readers that want to buy your books is the single most important asset you can develop as an author.
Facebook is great, Instagram is great, but you don't own those subscribers, you don't own that list.
So when I say "mailing list" I mean your readers e-mail addresses, to make sure you comply with anti-spam and privacy laws like can-spam which by the way I think is a hilarious name that I bet some comedian bureaucrat worked really hard to sneak through for the very serious controlling the assault of non soliciting pornography and marketing act of 2003.
What was I saying? Oh, yeah. To make sure you comply with canned spam and GDPR, you need to be using a mailing list service to send your emails to reach your readers and not using that BCC, the blind carbon copy field in your Hotmail account to send your writing newsletter. I personally use ConvertKit and if you've listened to the backlist of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the early episodes, you've heard me urge you to choose ConvertKit when you were serious enough to start paying for a mailing list service.
And I recommend convert kit because they are the only mailing list provider that focuses on the needs of individual creators, like authors, not some growing app developers, startup company or a brick and mortar store that's using their email list to send out offer coupons every week. ConvertKit is designed for individual creators like us. Designed to be fast and easy for us to use. For people that create things like books or blogs or podcasts.
So, with that in mind, I have to tell you, I am really excited about an announcement that ConvertKit put out this week. They now have a free plan. It's been years that I've been wishing this would happen. So, they have finally developed a free plan. And when you sign up for the free plan, you create a free landing page. You choose from one of 36 customizable templates, which is where you will send your readers to join your mailing list even if you don't have a website yet.
And then, if you do have a website, ConvertKit walks you through how to add the landing page to your site. It is super easy. And then, your account will remain free until you grow your list beyond 100 subscribers, which if you talk to anybody who has a mailing list, those first 100 can actually take a little bit of time. So, this is actually a much bigger deal than you might realize at first. Now, the folks at ConvertKit are really smart... Continue reading...
This week on The Writer's Detective Bureau, sanctuary, off-sites, and the day after. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 75 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm answering your questions about suspects seeking sanctuary in a church, offsite offices, and what a homicide scene looks like the day after the police leave.
But first, I need to thank Gold Shield Patreon's Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my coffee club patreons. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/75. And I've had a few patreons ask about upping their coffee club pledge to a $10 a month level. So this week I will be introducing the silver cufflink patreonage tier at $10 per month. I'm not sure what perks are going to be included with that yet, but I want to thank you for your interest. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
As I record this on Saturday, January 18th, 2020, it's the first day of Sergeant Patrick O'Donnell's retirement from the police force in the state of Wisconsin. I'm not going to name the department Patrick, but you may know Patrick as the author of Cops and Writers, and the admin of the Facebook group under the same name. So if you don't know him yet, be sure to check out his book Cops and Writers from the Academy to the Street. Patrick has quickly become a great friend. And I just want to take a moment and say congratulations on retirement buddy. You really deserve it.
When a law enforcement officer has an arrest warrant for a person, they're allowed to enter that person's home during daylight hours to arrest the person. And when they do that, they do not need a separate search warrant to enter the home to serve that arrest warrant. Generally, any contraband that they find in plain view is seizable, because the officers had a legal right to be in the home. And since the officers do not have a search warrant, they can't go looking for additional evidence. They can however, use whatever is in plain view to develop probable cause to obtain a search warrant.
So if I have an arrest warrant for Joe, and I go into Joe's apartment, and I find a pile of cocaine on the coffee table with a digital scale and a box of those tiny little Ziploc baggies, I can seize those items. And more importantly, I can write a search warrant based upon that evidence, and my training and experience that those items are indicative of drug sales going on in that location. So it's only once I get that search warrant signed that I can start looking in drawers and all the other nooks and crannies of the apartment, but not before.
Okay, so let's go back to Joe and the arrest warrant with no search warrant. I go to Joe's home to serve the arrest warrant, but he's not there. Low and behold, I see Joe in his next door neighbor's apartment through the window or something. And let's say this apartment belongs to Mike. Am I allowed to go into Mike's apartment to arrest Joe? I could of course knock on the door and ask Mike for consent to come into his apartment, but Mike and Joe are friends, and Mike doesn't answer the door, or he looks through the people and says, "You can't come in." Am I allowed to go into Mike's apartment to arrest Joe?
Now five minutes ago, I legally went into Joe's apartment, literally one door over without a search warrant to arrest Joe. Well, the simple answer is no, not yet, because Mike's fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is what's at play here. Sure, I can try to convince Mike with the whole harboring a wanted person thing... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Flowers & Forensics, seeing the judge, and knock and notice. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 74 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional, quality crime related fiction. This week I'm giving you a tip on a great new forensic science resource, and I'm also answering your questions about getting a warrant signed by a judge and the realities of knock and notice. But first, as always, I need to thank my gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support. I also want to send a huge thank you to my Coffee Club patrons. You can find the links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/74, and to learn about setting up your own Patreon count for your author business, or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Before we get to this week's questions, I have a fantastic forensics resource that I'm really excited to share with you. I will include this in the January Writer's Detective APB that will be going out later this week, which if you aren't already aware is my mailing list. One of my new year's resolutions is to be more on top of my mailing list for 2020, so if you're interested in getting emails from me with curated links to writer's resources like the one I'm about to share with you, just go to writersdetective.com/mailinglist to sign up.
Okay. This name may sound familiar because she's been a long time member in the Writer's Detective Facebook group, answering all sorts of forensics questions. I'm happy to share that Melissa Kreikemeier has a brand new website and blog at flowersandforensics.com. Melissa is a former forensic scientist turned professional editor specializing in crime fiction and other scientific content. Melissa is awesome and she's already killing it with her blog by covering things like what crime scene investigators actually wear, or how long do DNA results actually take. What are the different types of crime labs and how do they work, and a whole lot more. Definitely bookmark this resource for future reference. Melissa tells me she has quite a few more informative blog posts already scheduled to go live soon. So again, her site is flowersandforensics.com
In the Writer's Detective Q&A Facebook group, author K.A. Lugo of jackslaughterthrillers.com and I had a back and forth about serving a search warrant at a crime scene. It brought up the topic of who actually gets the warrant signed. I've talked a lot about search warrants and arrest warrants on this podcast, and even how statements of probable cause are part of a warrant affidavit. How an affidavit is actually an application for a search warrant and how the one authoring an affidavit for a warrant is called an affiant, or affiant. However you want to pronounce it. But in my conversation with K.A., I realized I've overlooked a pretty important aspect of being the affiant in seeking a search or arrest warrant. In K.A.'s scene she had the detective Lieutenant bringing the search warrant to the scene where the detectives were about to serve the warrant.
From a writer's perspective, this seems like a pretty logical thing for the boss to do, right? Because getting the warrant is a very important thing and that's what bosses do, very important things. Or at least they like to think so. But here's the thing, it's the detective that gets the search warrant. It's not because it's, here we go with air quotes again, their job to get the warrant. The reason it's the detective's job to get the warrant, signed by the judge, is because the detective is the affiant or affiant. I still like affiant better. When you author a warrant affidavit, you bring that affidavit and the warrant itself, the warrant being the court ordered that the judge signs, and the affiant swears to the judge under penalty of perjury that in that affidavit the detective believes that the facts set forth are the truth as far as they know. The judge will not sign a warrant until the person who wrote the affidavit swears that what they've written to tell the judge the story of what happened so far and the explanation of how this equates to sufficient probable cause is the truth... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau. Items in Evidence, Assessing Urgency, and Police Radio Encryption. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Happy new year. Happy 2020 welcome to episode number 73 of the Writer's Detective Bureau. The podcast still dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about whether a search warrant is needed to seize evidence from another police agencies' evidence room, assessing urgency and the realities of police radios being encrypted. But first I need to thank my gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com. C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com. Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp at vickitharp.com. Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com and Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com for their support and also a huge thank you as always to my coffee club patrons. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/73 and to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, or to support the show for as little as $2 per month, visit writersdetective.com/patreon P. A. T. R. E. O. N.
As I'm recording this Australia is fighting enormous brush fires right now. As a longtime resident and first responder in Southern California, I know firsthand how devastating these wildfires can be and the size of the burn in Australia is unprecedented, far beyond anything I've seen in California. So please join me in donating directly to the front lines where help is needed most. I've listed several agencies you can donate to, whether it's a specific fire service supporting animal rescue efforts or the relief efforts through Red Cross or Salvation Army. All of those links are in the show notes at writersdetective.com/73 and if you can't donate money right now, you can help spread the word through your own social media channels. I know I have listeners and even some patrons in new South Wales, so please know that we're thinking about you all and we're doing our best to help you guys.
This week's first question comes from Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com. Hey Adam, good to hear you're feeling better. Thank you very much. The sickness over the holiday was not fun. I have a followup question on the current podcast. If police department A needs to obtain evidence that police department B has in their possession, do they need a warrant or is it sufficient that department B already had a warrant to collect it? What process and paperwork would be needed? Would it be different if the two departments are in different States? What if the feds are one of the departments and the local PD is the other? Thanks for the question, Craig.
In the United States search warrants are, as we've talked about many times, the way government is able to legally search a location based upon the framework laid out in the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution, which says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."
So the relationship the fourth amendment is talking about is the one between the people and the government. So from a constitutional standpoint, the government has already legally seized the evidence. Since your scenario you mentioned that the police department B had a search warrant when they seized the evidence. So no, a second search warrant would not be needed as we're not talking about trying to seize evidence from a private person. As for the paperwork, there would certainly be a chain of custody form to sign, which is an official record of who had the evidence and when. And then of course there would also be various reports in both agencies, normal cases that would document the transfer from one agency to the other, and there'd be an explanation in the report as to why this was a logical or needed thing to do. All those T's would be crossed and I's dotted because defense attorneys will and rightly so, scrutinize anything that might remotely appear to be evidence tampering... Continue reading...
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