June 19, 2022

Sketching a Crime Scene, Immigration in 1995, and Trespassing to get the Scoop

Adam talks about sketching a crime scene, how immigration status violations were handled in California circa 1995, and what would happen if a journalist went trespassing to get the scoop on a major crime.


Adam talks about sketching a crime scene, how immigration status violations were handled in California circa 1995, and what would happen if a journalist went trespassing to get the scoop on a major crime.

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Transcript

This week on the writer's detective bureau sketching, a crime scene immigration in 1995 and trespassing to get the scoop I'm Adam Richardson. And this is the writer's detective bureau. Welcome to episode 123 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 sketching, a crime scene, how immigration status violations were handled in California circa 1995.

And what would happen if a journalist went trespassing to get the scoop on a major crime. Now, let me see if this rings a bell you're dedicated to mastering the craft of storytelling. You research police procedures, like you're a doctoral student about to defend a thesis. You've put it all into a compelling story and finally took the scary leap of putting it out to the world.

Only to get a one star review from some reader complaining about the scene, where your heroine cocks back the hammer on her Glock. If you didn't know the Glocks, don't have hammers and pay attention to me for just a second, because I've got you. If guns are not your thing, but one makes an appearance in your story. My crime fiction guns course is for you.

If you have never held a gun in your life or the thought of walking into a gun store or gun range causes your heart to race, I have the solution. I created the crime fiction guns online course, as a safe place for crime fiction writers, to learn everything you need to know about writing guns and ammunition into your stories without the politics or bravado of a wannabe middle-aged Mutan and just seal the crime fiction guns course is designed to really be a reference source that you can work through at your own pace,

and you will easily find whatever it is you're writing about time and time again, to learn more, visit crime fiction, guns.com. This week's first question comes from Lori Sibley, who asks in this modern digital age, how frequently is sketching part of the crime scene information gathering is everything photographed. Is everything sketched? Do detectives do this sketching and photographing, or is that the job of CSI is a forensic artist ever part of the CSI team.

And do you call them CSI or is that just the TV name? Great questions. Everything is photographed overall photos of the scene photos from all four angles of the scene. Like if it's in a room, the photographer will take a photo from all four corners of the room looking inward, and they will take photos of any evidence in situ where we can see the item in relation to its surroundings in place,

then a close-up of the evidence. So if there is a gun on the nightstand, let's say we would get a photo of the bed and the nightstand, and then a close up of the gun. So that way it kind of paints the picture as to where that evidence was in the room. I don't know that sketching is necessarily common nowadays, especially now that photos are free and we can take thousands if we need to.

But I was taught to sketch my crime scenes because it forced me to look at every little detail, every little nook and cranny, which could lead to seeing and finding things that might've been glossed over just by having a photographer, shoot the room and then have us, the detectives go right into searching. We obviously take a serious look around before any real searching begins,

but taking the time to sketch the scene before anything gets disturbed, can really pay dividends. Forensic artists are not used for crime scene sketches. They're usually brought in to create composites, which is what we call the artistic representation of what a victim or witness describes a suspect usually to look like. Or the forensic artists may be used to create a likeness of an unidentified descendant.

If they're so badly disfigured or decompose that we can't provide an actual photo of their appearance. I actually talked about forensic artists in detail in episode 1 0 6. And that episode is titled attaching double jeopardy forensic artists and that bloodhound story. So you can find that by scrolling down to that title, or by going to writers, detective.com forward slash 1 0 6. And although we use forensic artists,

they usually aren't responding to a crime scene, but yes, where I work, we do call crime scene investigators CSI, whether they call them that where your story is set really depends on the agency that you're writing about This week's. Next question comes from Danielle Lincoln, Hannah, and she writes, Hey Adam, thank you so much for your previous responses to questions I've asked.

I have one that could particularly benefit from a cop who works in a border state the years, approximately 1995, the places Los Angeles or one of its suburbs, still working that out a 45 year old Hispanic male is stopped by police because he matches the description of someone who held up a convenience store. The suspect resists arrest and ends up with significant injuries from the arresting officers Baton.

The man in question is later cleared of any involvement in the convenience store holdup, but here are my questions. At any point in their investigation into this individual, would the police inquire into his immigration status? If they found out the man is an illegal alien, where might that lead for him? Would he still be under arrest? Would he be imprisoned or deported?

Thanks for your help and your fantastic podcast. Danielle, thanks for the question. Danielle, 1995 was definitely a different era of policing in California compared to today. Having started my career in 1996 in California, I can tell you that his immigration status would not factor into it unless he'd been booked in jail. If he was in jail, there may have been an ins agent working in the jail ins was the immigration and naturalization service.

The predecessor to what we now call ice immigration and customs enforcement, assuming he was not booked in jail, he would likely have been let go, unless they knew he was a quote previously deported criminal, illegal alien and quote, which is a very specific term. And it means that he'd been convicted of a crime, did his time in jail or prison.

And instead of being released back to the street, he was transported back to his country of origin that would show up on his rap sheet, meaning his criminal history, which they may have checked while they were investigating, whether this was their suspect. If he was just here illegally without any record of prior arrests, they would probably have just kicked him loose.

But this is your story. So you can certainly write, however it works best for your plot. Back then we often found obviously fraudulent green cards on people all the time. If he had one of those in his wallet, that would be a pretty decent clue that the guy was not a legal resident and it could prompt him being turned over to ins,

especially if the guy was less than cooperative Before we get to our next question, I just need to quickly thank my Patrion patrons for supporting the show, especially my gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from Debra Dunbar com CC Jameson from CC Jameson com. Larry Keeton Vicki Tharp of Vicki tharp.com. Larry darter, Natalie Barrelli Craig Kingsman of Craig Kingsman dot com. Lynn Vitale,

Marco Carocari of Marco Carocari dot com. Rob Kerns of nightfall, press.com, Mariah stone of Mariah stone.com, Aurora Jacobson and Kaylee for their support. Along with my Silver Cufflink in coffee club patrons, you can find links to all of the patrons supporting this episode in the show notes at writers, detective.com forward slash 1, 2, 3, to learn more about using Patrion to grow your author business,

or to support the show for as little as $2 per month. Check out writers, detective.com forward slash Patreon, P a T R E O N. This week's. Next question comes from Patrick. Delaney, who writes would my character, who is a journalist face, any legal problems for going onto private property, a huge rural wooded property and finding proof of a major national news crime having taken place.

Could he face trespassing charges even though the property owner is guilty of a capital crime, thanks for your show. It's been a huge help and inspiration in my writing. Thanks for the question, Patrick. He might face trespassing charges, but that would be incumbent on the property owner to press charges, which I say in quotes, which technically speaking means having the journalist placed under citizens arrest,

realistically, that would look like the police coming out to the property and issuing a citation to the reporter with the date and time for him to appear in court. Now will the property owner or renter or whomever has a legal standing over the property, be able to do that if he's in jail facing murder charges, probably not. Which brings me to point number two,

when you say capital crime, that means a crime that is punishable by death. In other words, capital punishment. There are only a handful of those crimes like murder or treason. And I only mentioned that because the term of capital crime is not synonymous with serious crime. So let's say it truly is a capital crime. Like the guy is a serial killer and the reporter discovers a graveyard in this guy's back 40.

Let's say our journalists discovers the graves and reports his finding to the police, a savvy defense attorney representing Mr. Serial killer may try to argue that the reporter was acting as an agent of the police, meaning the police directed the reporter to go snooping on their behalf because the police did not have probable cause to get a search warrant. The police are not allowed to do that as they'd be intentionally trying to skirt the fourth amendment,

right? So defense attorney might make that accusation in an effort to get the evidence quashed, making some wild accusation that the police did this an exchange for scoop on the story might be plausible, right? But the police would have to show that they were simply responding to the reporters discovery and had nothing to do with this guy going onto private property to Snoop.

So I would expect the police to pull the 9 1, 1 recording as part of that proof and include that in their investigation. Now I'm going to assume for your story sake, that the reporter was acting on his or her own and not in cahoots with the police. Let's say Mr. Serial killer is arrested, but he insists on having the reporter arrested for trespass.

Anyway, the police are legally required to accept a citizens arrest of the reporter. And just as I said, issued that written notice to appear. Now imagine you're the judge hearing this trespassing case. I would be inclined if I were the judge to dismiss the case in furtherance of justice. The legal term for this is the Latin NOLA prosecute, or let's say the reporter pleads guilty,

even what would you hand down as a punishment for trespassing on a property with the intent to unveil a heinous crime? I mean, personally, if I were the judge, I might order a fine if I was required to offer a fine or a fine of one penny, but then again, that's just me. Thanks for listening this week. I know this was a bit of a quickie episode and I might sound a little different because I'm actually on the road in the south of England right now.

So I'm still dedicated to getting these episodes out to you. Even when I'm on the road. When I get back, I will be leading up to a course launch for the writer's detective school, which I anticipate starting on August 1st. So if you're interested in getting word as to when that opens for enrollment, you can go to writers, detective.com forward slash wait list writers,

detective.com forward slash waitlist. And you'll be the first to know when our enrollment opens for the upcoming writer's detective school. Thanks for listening this week. If you have any questions for the podcast, send them to me. By going to writers, detective.com forward slash podcast. You can either send me your message by text, or you can even record one and I'll include your voice on the show.

Thanks for listening this week. Have a great week and write well.