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Arrest in the Stockton Serial Killer Case

Stockton Police made a dramatic arrest in the case that plagued the city in recent weeks. On October 15th, Wesley Brownlee was taken into custody while authorities believe he was out hunting for another victim in the central California city. The city of Stockton is not unfamiliar with gun crime and homicide. The city of […]

A New California Serial Killer on the Prowl

We know California has been a serial killer’s paradise since the 1970’s. More serial killers hunted in the state than all the others combined. While others may have racked up higher body counts, (think Ridgway and Dahmer) we seem to have lived with more than our share. The Sacramento region attracts the most with 15% […]

A Conversation with Author James L’Etoile – I Read What You Write!

IR– What inspired the idea for your book?

James– The inspiration for Dead Drop didn’t come from a single source. I worked in the California prison system for nearly thirty years. I met up with a few colorful characters—characters who have inspired some of my crime fiction work. There were thousands of men in prison with what we called “Immigration Holds,” which meant when they were done with the prison sentence for their state crimes, they would face deportation back to their home country.

Before they committed their crimes, most of them crossed the border in search of a new life, free from the crime, drugs, and corruption they faced back home. Many of the men I encountered turned to crime out of desperation, or were extorted by criminal organizations like the Mexican Mafia or the Cartels.

I took this background and put together a story where the influences behind the border violence and corruption don’t come from the usual sources.

Guest Post: James L’Etoile – DEAD DROP – The Book Diva’s Reads

It’s all about character! Many thanks to The Book Diva Reads for allowing me to return to the blog. This time around, I wanted to focus on one element of writing that can make or break a story–character. I recently had a chance to teach a session on character development at the Gold Country Writers […]

Getting Back in the Water Again

When Left Coast Crime in San Diego was abruptly cancelled after a single day in March 2020, many of the attendees left wondering when and if we’d be able to gather again. We learned more than we ever wanted to know about Zoom, remote working, vaccines, and quarantine workarounds. When we had a dip in […]

BLACK LABEL

Book Release! Coming out of the lockdown and COVID restrictions makes me feel a little like a groundhog squirming out of its burrow. What to do with all the left over masks and hand sanitizer? Not to mention all the toilet paper some folks hoarded early on in the pandemic that’s now turning into dust. […]

Virtual Bouchercon Panels

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 […]

The Lockdown Continues : Lessons From Behind the Wall

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 […]

Surviving the Virus Lockdown: Lessons From Behind the Wall

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 […]

California’s Recently Uncovered Serial Killer

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 […]