This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau. Vehicle searches, case law and organizational charts.
I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 44 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. I'd like to thank gold shield patron Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, gold shield patron C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, and my two newest gold shield patrons, Larry Keeton and Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, for their support.
I'd also like to thank my newest coffee club patrons, Amanda Feyerbend and Thon Erb, as well as all of my longtime coffee club patrons for their support month after month. Please support all of these authors by reading their books and leaving reviews for them on your favorite bookseller's website. You can find links to all of their websites in the show notes by going to writersdetective.com/44.
And gold shield patrons get access to a secret Facebook group with two live streams with me per month, and direct access to me for help with their writing. So if you'd like to learn more about the gold shield patronage tier, or if you have your own author business, you should consider checking out Patreon. As a creator, Patreon is free for you, and allows your readers to support you financially through monthly micropayments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating your own Patreon account right now. To learn more, visit writersdetective.com/patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Before we get into this week's content, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Amanda Feyerbend, who is not only one of my latest coffee club patrons. She also hit me up on Twitter today. And Amanda tweeted this to her followers, "I've spent the morning reading transcripts from Writer's Detectives podcasts. I print them out because I'm a visual learner and can take notes easier. If you write mysteries, definitely check them out. Lots of great info.
Thank you so much for the Twitter love, Amanda. Amanda is the author of The Pruitt County Mysteries and The Ideal Woman. And anyone that is serious enough to print out the transcripts of these episodes to do her storytelling homework definitely deserves some credit for that. You can find her work at amandafeyerbend.com. And that's F-E-Y-E-R-B-E-N-D. And I will link to Amanda's site in the show notes at writersdetective.com/44.
As a teacher myself, I understand the importance of reaching all learner types. And that's one of the biggest reasons why I use rev.com to create complete transcripts of every episode. As I talked about in episode 43, I also used rev.com to help me dictate portions of my upcoming book. Now, most of us talk faster than we can type. And if you're on a deadline, leveraging on the go time can be priceless. So if you'd like to give rev.com a shot, you can get $10 off your first order by going to writersdetectivebureau.com/rev, and that's R-E-V.
George Carroll and John Kiro were in George's car on a highway similar between Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan, when they were pulled over by law enforcement. And the cops searched the car and discovered gin and whiskey hidden within the upholstered seat backs. I should probably mention that this was during 1921, the start of the roaring 20's, but a year into prohibition. The United States nationwide ban on alcohol that lasted until 1933.
So what's this story got to do with modern policing? Well, the automobile was still a relatively new convenience back then. And George Carroll's attorney made the argument that the cops needed a search warrant to search for the alcohol hidden in George's car. The case was Carroll versus United States, or Carroll v. United States. And it was heard by the United States Supreme Court in 1925. The supreme court ruled that there was a necessary difference between the search of a building and the search of a vehicle. And that seeking a search warrant is not practical because the vehicle can be quickly moved out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought.
But they also went on to recognize that it would be unreasonable for prohibition agents to stop every automobile on the road. Well, I guess I should have mentioned that old George, the whiskey runner, had previously been in negotiations with undercover prohibition agents to sell them some illegal liquor. That transaction never happened, but on the night he was stopped and searched by prohibition agents George was driving the same car and with the same business partner as when the undercover deal was being negotiated.
So in other words, the prohibition agents were able to articulate their probable cause for searching this particular vehicle for illegal alcohol. There've been various cases since 1925 that covered the legal complexities of warrant-less searches of vehicles and when a search warrant is required, like in Gant v. Arizona. But I won't bore you with all of those details because that won't help... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, dictating reports, domestic violence, and the third degree. I'm Adam Richardson and this is The Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to Episode Number 43 of The Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. I'd like to thank Gold Shield Patron, Debra Dunbar, from debradunbar.com and Gold Shield Patron, C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, and all of my Coffee Club patrons for their support month after month. Check out their author websites and read their books. You can find links to all of their websites by visiting the show notes at writersdetective.com/43. If you have your own author business, consider joining Patreon. It's free for you and it allows your readers to support you financially through monthly micro payments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating your own Patreon account right now. To learn more visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
Cops really are professional writers. Nearly everything we do during the course of an investigation results in us writing a report. If you want to create a truly spectacular detective protagonist, don't make them a seal or a jujitsu expert. Make them an English major with touch typing skills. Okay seriously, that's just real life. I guarantee you, you could write a more captivating scene about paint drying than you can about a cop typing up a police report. Stick with me here, because I have a little hack for your storytelling.
To get to that though, I need to explain a few things. Patrol officers and detectives are often expected to dictate their reports. When I was a rookie detective, I used a cassette recorder, both the full size cassettes like you made mixed tapes out of, and the mini cassettes. Eventually, we went to digital records, and I still have a few Olympus USB digital recorders to this day. I keep it in my briefcase, and every two years it was one of those things where the recording space increased for that $40.00 version of digital recorder, and so every few years I'd upgrade, right up until I got an iPhone, but anyway, the way it works is a department or secretary or administrative assistant will type the report that you create using what used to be a dictophone machine, but it's now, obviously, computer software. They still use that style of setup, where there are foot pedals under the secretary's desk to control the speed of the audio, allowing them to slow down or pause, or rewind without having to remove their hands from the home touch typing position.
Then within a day or so, the reports are then returned to the officer or the detective to review and then ultimately sign off on, and submit to their supervisor for approval. Dictating a report is definitely an acquired skill, and one that I admittedly was reluctant to learn for a variety of reasons. First of all, I could type almost as fast as the secretaries that I worked with in the detective bureau because that typing class that I took in high school, that I didn't want to, turned out to be one of the most important classes I ever took. Second, you have to learn to speak your report in a linear fashion, which means you have to think in the linear fashion as you're doing this.
Now, police reports often have a very specific format to them, and that format varies by department. For instance, the department's report writing manual may require you to start with a section that explains the relationships between all of the parties listed in the report. This is the husband, this is the wife, this is the CSI Tech that handled the evidence pick up. Following that section, there might be one that talks about the evidence, an evidence section that explains what was seized and the disposition of each item, such as where it was booked. Did it go to a specific evidence locker, and if so, you need to have that number in your report. At which station, if you have more than one station, or were they taken directly to the lab? If so, was it the department lab or the state crime lab? Were photos taken? How did they get from the camera to the evidence storage? It used to be film, now it's SD cards, and so how did it get into that database and stored in the cloud, or in the hard drive? Basically you have to account for the chain of custody in this section.
Then you may be required to have a short summary of the report as its own small section, before getting to the narrative. Then you have to document if this is a follow up report, what is it in reference to? What's the initial report?.. Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, licensing, AKAs and P/K/As, and end of watch. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
This is episode number 42 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. I'd like to thank Gold Shield Patron Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com and Gold Shield Patron C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, my newest Coffee Club Patron, author TL Dyer, and all of my loyal Coffee Club Patrons for supporting me month after month. Find links to their author websites in the show notes at writerdetective.com/42. And if you have your own author business, consider joining Patreon. It's free for you and it allows your readers to support you financially through monthly micropayments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating your own Patreon account right now. To learn more, visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
So what this blog is about is how the terms of service on Patreon state that they need some sort of license to use your content in use of Patreon. And I'll link to the actual article the of from Kristine's blog. So, my immediate reply to Rick, who shared this with me was, "Thanks Rick, it brings up some really good points. Like the author, I'm not concerned about my nonfiction IP," meaning intellectual property, "But this may change my tune on recommending it to fiction authors. I will do some digging. Thanks again."
So you see, I really believe in the Patreon model. It's that Renaissance Era concept of patronage of the arts. But I wholeheartedly believe in defending your rights as a creator. And I agree with Kristine Kathryn Rusch's assessment, that the terms of service are what govern what you give up and what you hold onto. But more about that in just a moment.
So, on May 14th, four days later, I received the Patreon monthly Hang Time email newsletter that casually mentioned in there, their terms refresh this month. And this is what we, in my business, call a clue. So rather than click on the link in the email, I actually went straight to the Patreon terms page, which you can find at patreon.com/policy/legal. And I read through it all and Patreon has in fact refresh their terms of service, and I suspect a lot of that had to do with Kristine Kathryn Rusch's blog post. And especially under the your creations subheading.
And this is what it now says, "Your creations, TLDR," which means too long, didn't read, "You keep complete ownership of all creations, but you give us permission to use them on Patreon. Make sure you have permission to use creations that you offer on Patreon." And then after the TLDR header, the full text is, "You keep full ownership of all creations that you offer on Patreon, but we need licenses from you to operate Patreon effectively. By posting creations on Patreon, you grant us royalty free, perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, sub licensable worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display, or prepare derivative works of your creation. The purpose of this license is strictly limited to allow us to provide and promote... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Writer's Introduction to Guns, part two, SWAT and missing persons. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 41 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. I'd like to thank gold shield patron Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, and gold shield patron C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, and my newest coffee club patron, author TL Dyer, and all of my loyal coffee club patrons for supporting me month after month. Find links to their author websites in the show notes at writersdetective.com/41. If you have your own author business, considering joining Patreon. It's free for you, and it allows your readers to support your financially through monthly micro payments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating your own Patreon account right now. To learn more, visit writersdetective.com/Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
And real quick, I wanted to mention that I just launched a secret invite-only Facebook group for my gold shield patrons to get exclusive live streams twice a month, geared towards getting your stories unstuck. So, a little more help than just answering the police work basics. If this interests you, check out my gold shield tier on Patreon, but do not worry. I am not going all subscription model on you. I'm here to provide as much free help as I can through this podcast and the main Writer's Detective Q&A Facebook group, and then, again, through my APB mailing list, which I send out on the last day of each month.
Last week, on episode 40, I talked about the nomenclature of cartridges, and how a bullet is only part of a cartridge or a round, the most common types of modern handguns, and how rifling inside a gun barrel can create striations on a bullet for forensic comparison. This week we'll start with part two of the Writer's Introduction to Guns, and before I go any further, I want to menton an invaluable resource. It's the reference book Writer's Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction, written by my friend Ben Sobieck. Ben's book is one my two go-to reference books for weapons.
Ben's also the creator of Writer's Block Coffee, which I absolutely love, and also the inventor of The Writer's Glove, for those of you trying to type in a winter or very cold environment. So, if you're interested in Writer's Block Coffee or The Writer's Glove, I will also have links to those in the show notes, which you can find at writersdetective.com/41. I'll also include links to a two-part guest blog I did a couple years ago for Ben's website at crimefictionbook.com, which covered the best handguns for detectives in fiction, and the best handguns for criminal characters.
If you're wondering what my other go-to reference book for weapons is, it's Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Jane's does all sorts of recognition guides for military aircraft, warships, tank and combat vehicles, spacecrafts, civilian aircraft, airlines, submarines of the world, special forces, trains. You name it, there is a Jane's guide. If children's picture book author and illustrator Richard Scarry and author Tom Clancy had ever collaborated on a book, it would have been a Jane's recognition guide. So, I will include links to the Jane's guides as well in the show notes.
What I want to talk about this week is the difference between a rifle and a shotgun, a machine gun and a submachine gun, but first, let's talk real quick about caliber when we're talking about ammunition. .44 magnum, .357 magnum, .38 special, .38 +P, 9mm, .357 Sig, .45 ACP, .40 caliber S&W, or Smith & Wesson, 10mm, .22, .380 Auto. There's so many different types of ammunition. Let's get the magnum stuff out of the way first, and Ben actually did a great job explaining this on his blog, which I'll also link to in the show notes. But real quick, magnum generally means that the round or cartridge that we're talking about carries more of a velocity punch, and by that I mean there's more propellant or powder in the cartridge, and the cartridge itself is usually a little bit longer, making each round a hotter load than the standard round of the same caliber.
Similarly, if we're talking about a .38, where it's a +P round. That is a designation for an overpressure or high pressure load. So, these magnum and +P designations are important to take note of as a shooter, because they produce higher pressure throughout the weapon when fired and can become really dangerous to the shooter if loaded in a firearm that isn't designed for high pressure ammunition. Just because a round fits into the gun doesn't mean it should be used in the gun. For example, a .38 Special round can be fired from a .357 handgun with no problem. But a .357 magnum round cannot safely be fired from a .38 handgun, which brings us to the concept of caliber.
Caliber refers to the diameter of the bullet, or the approximate inner diameter of the gun barrel, usually written in hundredths or thousandths of an inch. So, a .45 caliber round means the bullet is .45 inches in diameter. So, a .50 caliber is literally half an inch in diameter, .5 inches. But then, of course, there's the metric system. A 9mm round has a 9mm bullet diameter, which would technically, if we were talking in the imperial system, be a .355 caliber, but nobody calls it that. It's a 9mm round, or a 9mm handgun... Continue reading...
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, Steven Pressfield calls it the resistance. It's that, "I just don't want to," feeling. It's the negative words of self doubt. It's procrastination. It's imposter syndrome. It's laziness. It's a lack of mental discipline. It's being tapped out of willpower. It's a list of really convincing sounding excuses to let yourself off the hook. It sucks, and we all experience it.
The resistance is inside of us, and a lot of the time, it wins. It wins when we don't feel like showing up. If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall me posting about having two 18 hour work days this week that were punctuated by three whole hours of sleep. It wasn't the plan, but it's what happened. It kicked my ass, because I don't bounce back from a lack of sleep or all nighters like I used to.
School's also quickly approaching summer, and if you didn't know, I actually teach at a community college as well. This week, I get hit with 40 research papers to read and to grade. Here I sit, at about 11 o'clock at night, and ... Oh wow. Actually, it's already 1:30 AM on Saturday. Well, I've been putting this together, this week's podcast together since 11 o'clock. Time flies when you're under the gun.
But I've been putting it together on the evening it's supposed to be pushed out to you. Clearly, this wasn't part of the plan. I had to beg and search to find things to talk about for this episode. Normally, this podcast, it just feels a lot easier, but this, this is the test. Do I listen to the inner dialogue that says, "You can get this out tomorrow. It's already tomorrow. No one's going to care if this late. It's not a big deal. Do it tomorrow when you feel more motivated and you're more rested."
Does any of this sound familiar? How many of you listening right now are doing so knowing that you should be writing? "But I'm not at my computer. I don't have my hot tea. I need to clean my desk and my sock drawer and all the things before I can write. I just can't write right now." I get it, but to succeed, we need to show up. We need to show up consistently, whether that's 100 words every day or 20 minutes of talking into a mic every week. Whatever our schedule, we must show up. Showing up consistently beats down the resistance. Showing up consistently breeds confidence in ourselves. Showing up consistently brings results. Are you with me? Let's do this.
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau: Robbery versus burglary, a writer's introduction to guns, and words of wisdom for investigators. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
This is Episode #40 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime-related fiction. I want to thank Gold Shield patron Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, and Gold Shield patron C.C. Jameson from ccjameson.com, and all of my loyal Coffee Club patrons for supporting me month after month. Find links to all of these author's websites in the Show Notes at writersdetective.com/40.
And you've heard it before: If you have your own author business, please consider joining Patreon. It's free for you, and it allows your readers to support you financially through monthly micro-payments. Give your fans a chance to show their support by creating their on Patreon account right now. To learn more, visit writersdetective.com/patreon.
Chris Moody, @chrisamoody, asked, "What's the difference between a robbery and a burglary?" "My house got robbed," is one sentence that will make every cop cringe. We hear it all the time, usually from a distraught homeowner that came home to discover their house was burglarized, but why do we cringe? Well, we're writers too, you know? And we know that houses never get robbed. Technically, banks are never robbed either. Bank tellers are robbed. Robbery's the crime of using force or fear to commit theft from a person. Section 2.11 of the California Penal Code defines robbery as, "Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another from his person or immediate presence and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear."
Burglary, on the other hand, is "Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent vessel, floating home, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, any house car, inhabited camper vehicle as defined by the vehicle code... Continue reading...
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