Category crime and punishment

SHU Basics for the Crime Writer

Recently, I attended ThrillerFest in New York and the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas. Both great venues for talking the craft of writing and picking up a few tips on making your crime fiction true to life. During conversations at both of these very different gatherings, the topic of solitary confinement and […]

To Pee or Not To Pee…

Family squabbles can be downright testy affairs. When family members pretend not to know one another, the outcome is a long blessed silence. When they take too much interest in the goings-on of a sibling, or an adult child, the results can take a nastier turn. From the “Things Criminals Do” files, we have the […]

Local Police Use of Spit Mask Comes Under Fire

Sacramento is once again in the spotlight for an incident with a citizen. Fresh off the unrest from the officer-involved shooting deaths of Joseph Mann, and Stephon Clark, the media and the ever-circling attorneys feeding on the seeds of racial unrest, were quick to condemn the officers for excessive force. This time the citizen in […]

Death Penalty Deception

I do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the State of California… I took this oath a few times in my career. […]

Serial Killers in Sacramento–Why here?

News headlines and social┬ámedia feeds were buzzing after the long-awaited death of notorious serial killer, Charles Manson. His personal role as the mastermind of the 1960’s murder spree in Southern California has been long debated, as he is quoted saying that he didn’t personally commit any of the crimes. Manson and his dysfunctional “family” of […]

Solving 40 Year Old Cold Cases

The unmasking of the Golden State Killer came by unusual means. Unusual in that Joseph DeAngelo Jr. wasn’t caught through surveillance, or from a tip that came through a jail house snitch, or from an eyewitness account of the crime. The murders and rapes suddenly ended decades ago and the trail went cold. When a […]

All in the Family

Murder is all around us. Sacramento’s long list of serial killers have reached out and claimed victims from all walks of life, some random, a few by means of opportunity, and others who were close at hand. It’s particularly troubling when this latter group–victims known to their assailants are family members. Sacramento has more than […]

A Killer Couple

Sacramento’s history of prolific serial killers roaming our streets is bad enough, with the likes of Puente, Kibbe (the I-5 Strangler), Solomon, Corona, DeAngelo (the alleged Golden State Killer), Chase (the Vampire of Sacramento), and Leonard (the Thrill Killer), but when they team up, it makes for an exceptionally deadly outcome. A husband and wife […]

So You Married a Murderer

I met with a group of wonderful ladies at a Shalom Women’s Group this week and talked about crime fiction, Sacramento’s dark history of violent crime, and some of our more notorious serial killers. We had a wonderful discussion and the attendees asked some great questions. One question, and it’s a subject that comes up […]

Sacramento’s Thrill Killer — Eric Royce Leonard

Determining what drives people to kill has captured the minds and imagination of sociologists, criminal justice professionals and scholars since Cain took the jaw bone of an ass to his brother. Murder, the of taking an innocent life, is the most extreme act known to human kind. What drives someone to that irrevocable decision? Greed, […]