This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, vehicle tampering clues, trademarks, and notice of warrant service. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 96 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 what kind of clues an investigator might find in a vehicle tampering, a question totally outside my expertise about trademarks, and why sidebarsaturdays.com is the place to go. Then a follow up question to last week's GPS warrant, having to do with notifying the car owner about the tracker.
First, big thanks to Gold Shield Patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson of 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, Robert Mendenhall of robertjmendenhall.com, Terri Swan, 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/96. To learn more about using Patreon to grow your author business or to support this podcast, check out writersdetective.com/patreon.
Hello from the fiery blazes of California, where nearly the entire state is on fire again. It was 110 degrees today, which if you're from the much more sane parts of the world, that would be 43.3 degrees Celsius. Thanks for giving me a reason to stay inside with the air conditioning on. Can you believe we are four episodes away from episode 100? I feel like we're going to need to celebrate this. Not sure how. Maybe give away some mugs, do some behind the scene stuff, maybe a live stream. I don't know. I would love to hear your suggestions, so whatever you have in mind for episode 100, send them to me at writersdetective.com/podcast
Enough about next month, you're here for this week's Q and A. Let's do this. Bella Elwood-Clayton of debella.com.au, writes, "Does tampering with someone's car, attempt to harm, happen in real life or mostly in movies? I read that it's often hard for investigators to find proof. Were they to, what kind of tampering leaves the most clues? Thank you." I'm pretty sure every action oriented TV show of the 1980s, including my favorites, had an episode where someone's brake line was cut. Dukes of Hazzard, Chips, Rockford Files, MacGyver, and who can forget Bob and Doug's van in Strange Brew? Take off, you hoser. Just like quicksand, it isn't nearly as common a life threatening hazard as I'd anticipated it would be as a kid. By the way, you can find a great page index of vehicular sabotage examples at tvtropes.org. It's a website I know I've mentioned before, but it's a great writing resource for becoming aware of common writing tropes, of which vehicle sabotage has its own page.
The realities of malicious vehicular sabotage are that it's hard to know, kind of like spotting someone wearing a wig. We only see the bad ones. How many are getting past us? If you think about the typical problems you've had to deal with in your own car, how many are issues that could have been catastrophic? Brakes worn out, tires blowing out or coming off the car altogether while you're driving, the list is probably endless. By all means, don your chapeau de saboteur and have some fun. I haven't written a vehicle accident report in over 20 years, but I do know one major change has happened since then, and that's the installation of EDRs in vehicles. Those are the black boxes. EDRs or event data recorders have come a long way in recent years, as far as the data they collect... Continue reading...
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