Category criminal justice

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 […]

Serial Killer Pair–Bittaker and Norris

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 […]

Sacramento Serial Killer — Profile of a Second Chance

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 […]

Sacramento Serial Killer – Ted Kaczynksi

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 […]

Two of Sacramento’s Cold Case Murders

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 […]

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. […]