This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, partial license plates, manner of death, and the Peter Principle. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode 99 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 running partial license plates, and then also manner of death, cause of death and mechanism of death, and using the Peter Principle in your character creation.
First, I need to thank Gold Shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, CC Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale, Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com, Terri Swann, and Rob Kerns of knightsfallpress.com, for their support, along with my Silver Cufflink and Coffee Club patrons. You can find links to all of the patrons supporting this episode in the show notes, at writersdetective.com/99. And to learn more about using Patreon to grow your author business, or to support this podcast for as little as $2 a month, check out writersdetective.com/patreon.
99 episodes, which means episode 100 is next week. I plan to record it with your help on Monday, October 26th, between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, Pacific daylight time, which means 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM on the East Coast in the United States, or in Toronto, Canada. It'll be 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM in London, England. Midnight to 3:00 AM on October 27th in Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm. 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM on the 27th in Japan, at least Tokyo anyway. 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the 27th in Sydney, Australia, and noon to 3:00 PM on the 27th in Auckland New Zealand. Why the global time zone rundown? Because the Writer's Detective Bureau is global. After the US, top downloads come from UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and Japan.
And then in the last few weeks, the Bureau has started ranking in the top 50 in true crime for iTunes in Mexico, in India. So, if you're in Wahaca, Mexico, it'll be 5:00 to 8:00 PM, and 4:30 to 7:30 AM on the 27th if you're in Mumbai, India. A half hour time difference.
How'd you do that? It's actually... I'm not even mad. That's amazing.
So, for episode 100, I will be doing a Facebook Live inside the Writer's Detective Q and A Facebook group, where I will take your questions, answer them live, and then use that live recording to create the 100th episode. I will also be doing merch giveaways of Writer's Detective coffee mugs, t-shirts and hoodies, and obviously international shipping is included for those winners. So, come join me on Monday, October 26th, unless you are on the other side of the international dateline. Just hit rewind if you need to hear those times again. And if you are not a member of the Writer's Detective Q and A Facebook group, which is different than the Writer's Detective Facebook page, because Zuck can't keep anything simple, can he? So, if you're not a member of the group, join us by going to writersdetectivebureau.com/Facebook. That will take you right to the signup page for the group. It's free, you just need to answer a few quick questions, so I know that you're you and not a spam bot.
Anyway, as we approach episode 100, I just want to take a moment to say danke, tak, arigato, gracias, sukria, shukran, merci, toda, spasibo, obrigado, grazzi, xie xie, and thank you for listening. But enough about episode 100, let's knock out episode 99 right now. This week's first question comes right from Nupur Tustin in the aforementioned Facebook group. Nupur writes, "Keyword. Information from a partial license number. How long would it take to get information about car registration, the owner, et cetera.,If you had a partial license number and the make and model of the car? How would an LE go about this process? This is in Massachusetts, by the way. And how long would this take? Thanks in advance for any information anyone here can provide."
Seems like a pretty straightforward question, right, Nupur? The reason I wanted to answer this on the podcast is that even in this prologue to a cyber punk era we are living in, our motor vehicle database is still based on 1980s computer databases that can't run partial license plates. In fact, most states don't even tell you the color of the car. Make and model? How about a make and generic description of the model, like four door or utility. It's literally coded as like four DR or UT. So, if I run a Toyota, it's going to say Toyota UT. It's not going to tell me that it's a Highlander or a 4runner. It's just going to say utility. For me to do a partial license plate search through the DMV, so that would be the California Department of Motor Vehicles, I know you're writing about Massachusetts, but it's going to be very similar. I have to call their headquarters in Sacramento for California, DMV, hope I get a civil servant willing enough to provide real help. This is the DMV after all. And pray that I get a result... Continue reading...
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This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, missing in a blizzard, rapid DNA, and sexual assault investigations. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau. Welcome to episode number 98 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 how police would handle a missing persons investigation during a blizzard with a serial killer on the hunt, NTSB investigations in the use of rapid DNA, and conducting sexual assault investigations.
But first I need to thank 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, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, Lynn Vitale, Marco Carocari of marcocarocari.com, Terri Swann, and Rob Kerns of Knightsfall Press for their support, along with my silver cuff link and coffee club patrons. You can find links to all of the patrons supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/98. And to learn more about using Patreon to grow your author business or to support this podcast, check out writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
We are two weeks away from episode 100, where, to mark the occasion, I plan to live stream in the Facebook group as I create the 100th episode with your help, giving you a little behind the scenes of my studio and the upgrades I'm making as well as some schwag giveaways, so mugs, t-shirts, and I just got the new Writer's Detective hoodie in the mail. I love it and I hope you will too. And you'll have a chance to win it. Well, you'll win your own. A new one in a size that fits you. I am really looking forward to it and I hope you'll join me, especially because I'll be taking your questions during the live stream to use for the podcast episode.
So if you aren't already a member of the Writer's Detective Q&A Facebook group, be sure to join right now so you don't miss your chance to hang out with me live and maybe even win something. writersdetectivebureau.com/facebook will get you where you need to be. Just answer the membership questions and you'll be approved ASAP. And before we get into this week's questions, I'd be remissed if I didn't wish Rick, my late best friend in what would have been his 50th birthday today. So happy birthday, buddy. I'll swing by the cemetery to hang out with you for our annual cigar later today. All right, let's get into the questions.
Author TA Munroe posted this in the aforementioned Facebook group. "I came upon this group on Facebook and I got to thinking that almost all of my novels involve the police somehow, even though I don't write crime fiction. This current women's fiction work in progress is the most crime intensive one so far. I've enjoyed and learned a lot from the podcasts. I've listened to about 70 so far. Thanks Adam, for your help and interest in our work. This probably won't be my last post." Well, I hope not, TA. So she goes on to say, "A character of mine, a young woman, goes missing in a small city in downeast Maine right before blizzard begins. She's supposed to meet my protagonist at a designated time and place, but doesn't show. My protagonist spends as much time as she feels she can before she has to start the drive home as the snow begins. Home is in the next county, over an hour away."
"My protagonist talked to the people the missing person had been with, checked in businesses and goes to the police who take down information, and of course has called the young woman's phone, but gets no answer. It sometimes gets shut off for non-payment. The young woman isn't particularly at risk that my protagonist knows about, other than the serial killer in the area who targets, go figure, women. My protagonist returns to the same police department a week later when the weather and her work schedule allow. The two are coworkers and my protagonist has taken on a mentee role in the young woman's life, who has no family other than her son who's in foster care and was the reason for the trip. When might this become an official missing persons case, and when might the state police's major crimes unit become involved, which research told me it usually does in Maine? What might the police do in the middle of a major snow storm to search for a missing person? Would the serial killer in the area change anything about the initial investigation? Thanks in advance for any answers."
First of all, thank you for your question and thank you for listening, TA... Continue reading...
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