Bouchercon is the annual gathering of the world’s mystery writers and serves as the high point of the year for many of us in the writing community. I was especially excited when the 2020 edition of Bouchercon was slated for Sacramento, California, a place I lived and worked for many years. Not to mention the […]

Extended lockdowns like the six-month slog we’re going through can take a toll if you’re not prepared. As we talked about in March when the COVID lockdown orders were popping off across the country, a little prison wisdom can help ease the pain of long-term confinement. In prison, when the place comes off lockdown, it’s […]

So, here we are, a month into our shelter-at-home exile from society. The virus, or more accurately, the response to it, has been difficult for some folks to wrap their heads around. One particular group seems to have coped exceptionally well during this isolation and quarantine — the convict. Shelter-in-place orders and doing time have […]

Serial killers are creatures of habit. It’s part of what often keeps them undetected for years. That same habit, often turns into a pattern, and patterns are a serial killer hunter’s best friend. Patterns helped to unmask the Golden State KiIler, Joseph DeAngelo, Jr, ¬†and the Toolbox Killers, Bittiker and Norris. These killers sought specific […]

With winter starting to slowly fade away, it means one thing. It’s book convention time again! The first gathering up is Left Coast Crime (LCC), the¬†annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. LCC is held during the first quarter of the year in Western North America. Last year was in Vancouver, […]

This week gave me another example of the death of customer service in our society. And it came with a connection to fiction, specifically, Rob Hart’s latest work, The Warehouse. I’m a home DIYer with enough experience to get by in a pinch. This time, my furnace was acting up and not heating when the […]

On December 16, 2019, an inmate housed on condemned row at San Quentin State Prison died while awaiting execution. Lawrence Sigmond Bittaker, known as one of the “Tool Box Killers” was sentenced to death in March of 1981 the kidnapping, murder and sexual assault of five young women. Bittaker and his crime partner, Roy Norris […]

Digging around in Sacramento’s history isn’t for the faint of heart. The Gold Rush town was lawless and bloody with a reputation for quick frontier justice. Yet on a few occasions, the hand of mercy reached out and offered a second chance to a killer. Ida Brewer was a sex worker in the 1850’s who […]

It seems every day in the news, there is another radical group looking for recognition, money, or power. Unfortunately for us, one very common method to gain what ever it is that the cartels, jihadists, revolutionaries, or terrorists want is the time-tested kidnap and hostage ploy.   Snatch something, or someone, of value and hold […]

Depending on the definition used, a serial killer is one who murders two or more victims, in separate instances (FBI Serial Murder Symposium – 2005). Theodore “Ted” Kaczynksi meets this standard as a serial killer in the classic sense–three victims were killed during his sixteen bomb, seventeen-year long domestic terror campaign as the Unabomber. One […]