5/31/2020 0 Comments
This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau; investigating a murder of one of your own, filming props, and testimony dialogue. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 90 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 who investigates the murder when the victim is a police officer of your own agency, as well as how to best secure realistic props for filming and tips for creating realistic testimony dialogue.
Big thank yous go out to my Gold Shield patrons Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson from ccjamieson.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, Robert Mendenhall of robertjmendenhall.com, and Terri Swann, for their support along with my Silver Cuff Link and Coffee Club patrons. You can find links to all of the authors supporting this episode in the show notes at writer'sdetective.com/90.
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This week's first question comes from Ryan Elder. And Ryan rights, "Thanks again for your advice before. I have an idea for a screenplay and I was wondering if it was realistic or not. If a police officer is murdered, is the same police department he worked under allowed to investigate it, or would a more impartial division such as Internal Affairs or any other agency come in and take over the case? The officer was killed while he was off duty and there are clues to suggest it may be linked to a case he was part of investigating in the past.
Would that make any difference as to whether or not an outside department would take the case? If an outside division would take over the case, is there any way the police department the victim worked under could be in on the loop or still part of it in any way? Thank you very much for any advice."
Interesting question, Ryan. I've actually seen both, where the same agency that had an officer killed work the murder investigation, and I've also seen another agency handle the murder investigation on behalf of the victim's agency. But the latter has tended to be when the victim's agency is quite small. If the murder happens within the city limits of that police department's area of responsibility, then that is still their murder case. The conflict of interest concept might be something the defendant, meaning the suspect in this murder case once he's captured, might be something the defendant's attorney tries to argue at trial if the defense strategy is to allege that an overzealous detective bureau is framing his client.
But to my knowledge, there's nothing that makes for a conflict of interest by having a police department investigate a murder in their city, even if it's one of their own that died. So by all means, write it as you see fit. You could plausibly write it so that another investigative unit within the department might take over the case. But if your victim was a detective within the homicide unit, the homicide unit would still likely be the one working the case. You mentioned Internal Affairs in your question, and just real quick, the job of Internal Affairs is to investigate police wrongdoing... Continue reading...
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