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), theĀ 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 […]

Sacramento has experienced more than its share of notorious murders and serial killers. This one often slips under the radar, but is one of the most brutal cases I’ve come across. I’m always amazed by the media interviews after a murderer is discovered living next door. It’s always some form of, “He was such a […]

Another year gone and another silent anniversary without answers. Twenty-eight years have passed since the 1991 slaying of an entire family in the upscale Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento. On January 15, 1991, Marcy Jacobs didn’t show up to work as a data processing technician at the Department of Justice. A concerned co-worker called the […]

The muse is a fickle creature. A few authors I know claim their muse guides their creative energy, breaking through self-imposed writer’s blocks, and delivering them safely to the land of a finished pristine manuscript. To them, I proudly give back a big fat jealous raspberry. I don’t have that relationship with my muse. Sure […]

I’ve written about Sacramento’s serial killer connection with notorious murderers who hunted in the city, like Morris Solomon, and The I-5 Strangler. With 15% of the nation’s serial killers roaming our streets, it comes as no surprise that the number of unsolved homicides in the county is an astonishing 431 unanswered deaths. In the last […]