This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, sex registrants, trust issues, and reinterviewing a witness. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 87 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. And this week I'm answering your questions about sex registrants using third parties to help get a witness to give a statement, and whether scenes like a second witness interview should be cut from your story.
Huge thanks to 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, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale, Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com, and Robert Mendenhall for their support along with my Silver Cuff Link and Coffee Club patrons. You can find links to all of the Bureau's patrons in the show notes at writersdetective.com/87.
As I mentioned last episode, April's Patreon money was donated to Masks For Docs to provide PPE to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I will be doing it again in May. So if you have funds you'd like to donate, a box of N95 masks you'd like to get to those who need it most, or you're a first responder or medical professional that's in need of PPE, go to masksfordocs.com to get connected right now. And to learn more about patronage through Patreon, go to writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
This week's first question comes from author L.K. Hill, who you can find at authorlkhill.com, and L.K. writes, "Good morning, Adam. This will be multifaceted. There is a 2007 Richard Gere film called The Flock, kind of a B film. But my question concerns the premise, Gere is a retiring cop whose job it is to keep an eye on violent sex offenders in his area. The film deals with something they call domains, which are basically secret underground gathering places for sex offenders and those with strange fetishes, i.e. foot fetishes. Understand, this was largely for the rise of the dark web. We actually see foot fetish magazines in the film, but when I've tried to look up information on such things, my Google searches don't yield much.
"So my question is, are there really underground domains that police departments know about and keep an eye on? Would they be called something else, or is this purely a construct of Hollywood? And if so, can you talk about how police departments keep eyes on known violent offenders in the area? Would detectives even know anything about them, barring them becoming involved in one of the detectives cases? And if a child abduction happened and for any reason the police suspected a local sex offender might be involved, what would the procedure be? Thank you so much for all you do."
Thank you so much, L.K. and thank you for the questions. There's a lot to unpack here. Like you said, it's multifaceted, so let's start with the sex offender stuff first. In the United States, defendants that have been convicted of sex related crimes are required to register as sex offenders. In California Section 290 of the California Penal Code governs sex registrants, and we actually refer to these people as 290s. The most important aspect of being a registered sex offender came about in a 1995 to 1996 era amendment to the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. That amendment, which is more commonly known as Megan's Law, required law enforcement to make that sex offender registry available to the public, which you now know as the Megan's Law database.
So on the surface it seems pretty straightforward, but depending on the crime or crimes the sex offender was convicted of will change whether he has to register for life. And similarly, not all sex registrants are listed on the public-facing side of the Megan's Law database. The ones we're most concerned about though, are definitely on the list for life and the public can see that they are on the list. But if your arrest was for a misdemeanor like indecent exposure, then you'll only have to register for a minimum of 10 years. So, if you're a sex registrant, you're on it for 10 years, 20 years, or you're on it for life, depending on the crime or crimes you're convicted of... Continue reading...
4/9/2020 0 Comments
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, the Newhall Incident, undercover reasoning and third party justifiable homicide. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 86 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm talking about how the Writer's Detective Bureau is raising money for those that need help the most during our current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as marking the 50th anniversary of the Newhall Incident and answering your questions about the reasons for a detective to go undercover, as well as whether a homicide can be ruled justifiable if it's committed by a third party.
But first, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from Debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicky Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of Nataliebarelli.com, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale, Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com and Robert Mendenhall for their support along with my Silver Cufflink and Coffee Club patrons. You can find links to all of the bureau's patrons in the show notes at writersdetective.com/86.
This month's Patreon deposit just hit my account and 100% of that money was donated to Masks for Docs to provide PPE to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have funds or N95 masks you'd like to donate or you're a first responder or medical professional that is in immediate need of PPE, go to masksfordocs.com to get connected right now. And to learn more about Patronage through Patreon, go to writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Speaking of worthy causes, reviewing this podcast on podchaser.com will raise money for the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 response fund. Podchaser has pledged to donate 25 cents for every podcast review left at podchaser.com and they will double that pledge if the podcast owner replies to the review. So let's do this. I created a quick link to make this super easy. Go to writersdetectivebureau.com/review to get to my podcast page on Podchaser and then click on the review tab. And once you've left a review, I will reply. And each time we do this, that's a half dollar towards getting food delivered to homebound seniors that are most at risk for COVID-19. Podchaser is running this pledge campaign through April 15th of 2020 so let's get after it right now, writersdetectivebureau.com/review and then click on the review tab.
As I record this, it is the evening of the 6th of April, 2020 which happens to be the 50th anniversary of a watershed moment in policing. Just after midnight on April 6th, 1970, four California highway patrol officers were murdered by two gunmen in Newhall, California, which is not far from where Magic Mountain amusement park is currently located. All four of those officers were killed in less than five minutes and the two gunmen escaped that night. They were subsequently identified with one killing himself in a hostage standoff with the LA Sheriff's department and then the other spent the rest of his life in a California prison.
But every cop in California has learned about the Newhall Incident because it reframed how we think about tactics and training. You may have heard the saying as you train, so shall you fight. It was through studying the Newhall Incident that law enforcement, especially in California, learned this the hard way. These brave young officers in this moment of crisis relied on their training as we do in these kinds of crisis situations and their training failed them, but their deaths were not in vain as this incident sparked dramatic changes in how law enforcement trains their officers, especially when it comes to the officer safety tactics.
And those changes still remain to this day and they have without a doubt saved the lives of thousands of cops in hundreds of thousands of instances where this post Newhall incident modern understanding of how training translates to real world situations has prevented more cops from being murdered. On this 50th anniversary of the horrific Newhall Incident, we are still honoring the legacy of CHP officers: Frago, Gore, Alleyn and Pence. You have taught us all that as you train, so shall you fight.
This week's first question comes from Rhys Lawrence who asked, do detectives often go undercover and if so, what are usually the reasons? Undercover work is certainly a specialized type of policing, Rhys, but it's usually done as a last resort. The benefits of having a police detective go undercover are that when it's used in court, it's firsthand knowledge and firsthand testimony. And also detectives are trained in understanding the laws about entrapment and coercion so they know how to avoid saying or doing anything that could lead to any crimes they witnessed from being thrown out in court... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Masks for Docs, Inmate Release after Acquittal and CSI, the TV show. I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 85 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. If this is your first time listening to this podcast, this is the part where I'd normally give shout outs to my amazing Patreon patrons for supporting this show. I have a few different support tiers at 20, 10 and $2 per month and I love my patrons, but right now as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes a critical strain on the world's healthcare system. I'm donating 100% of the money I get from my Patreon patrons to an organization called Masks for Docs. I'm sure you've heard the stories of frontline healthcare workers having insufficient PPE supplies. Heck, the N-95 masks I've been using at work were ones I bought a couple of years ago at CVS during the wildfires that we had here in California. But when it comes to personal protection equipment, the situation really is dire, especially because on a global scale we're starting to see countries horde PPE and medical supplies for their own citizens, sometimes blocking exports of those supplies, which I can understand, but it puts us in the United States in a precarious position.
Over the last several decades, the US has been largely unable to compete with overseas manufacturing prices, so American factories have folded and entire cities and towns crumble across the country as a result. And that's true for most physical products, not just medical supplies and PPE, but Masks for Docs is addressing the PPE shortage head on. They have one goal, get protective supplies into the hands of healthcare workers as quickly as possible. If you have supplies, you can donate them. If you are a maker or have a 3D printer, you can fabricate them. Or in my case, if you have the money that can be donated, that always helps to.
Conversely, if you are on the medical front lines and are in need of PPE, Masks for Docs, we'll get you matched with supplies. Masks for Docs are a community of volunteers from around the world, from the tech, business, design and nonprofit community and as it says on their guiding principles page, anything donated is given away, period. You can learn about this initiative by going to masksfordocs.com. Groups like this should give us hope. We are smart, strong, capable and kind. We will get through this by stepping up and doing what we can.
This week's first question comes from Rob Kerns and you can find his work at knightsfall.press and that's knight like knight takes king, checkmate. Rob writes, "Firstly, I want to thank you for all you do, both for the author and writer community as well as people in general as a police officer. I've been an avid subscriber of your podcast since I discovered you through your interview on Joanna Penn's podcast." Thanks, Rob, I appreciate that. "My question relates to the outcome of a trial. Here's the scenario. A person is arrested for a crime for the sake of conversation, let's say murder, and is remanded to custody while awaiting and during trial. During trial, the person is allowed to attend court in regular clothes, not a jail jumpsuit or uniform, and the jury acquits the person of the crime. As the defendant is standing there in the courtroom wearing a suit, will he or she be taken back into custody and returned to the jail to be processed out or will the defendant just have to appear there within a certain amount of time to fill out the paperwork and such? Thanks again regards, Rob."
Excellent question, Rob, and thank you for the kind words. The defendant will have to return to the jail to be processed out, but it would happen in a pretty short amount of time. Usually within just a few hours. When the defendants are in court for trial and they are wearing a suit, they're often wearing some sort of hindrance that will prevent them from escaping easily underneath their suit. So normally during the trial, the defendant is brought into the courtroom before the jury... Continue reading...
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