Tag Archives: 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 […]

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, […]

The Vampire of Sacramento — Richard Trenton Chase

It somehow seems appropriate to talk about a character named the Vampire of Sacramento as we approach Halloween. This vampire didn’t go from home to home looking for full-sized Snickers or KitKat bars. The Vampire of Sacramento went from door to door in search of victims… Richard Trenton Chase is an example of the failings […]

Serial Killer Profile – Morris Solomon, The Sacramento Slayer

In this installment of the Serial Killer Profile series, we will dive on one of Sacramento’s “forgotten serial killers,” The Sacramento Slayer — Morris Solomon Jr. In any other city, Solomon’s killings would have captured national attention. However, the regional media was busy covering another serial killer, Dorothea Puente, who had been burying seven victims […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

All The Justice You Can Buy

I had a bit of a “Get Off My Lawn” moment this week. When we last circled around the campfire, we talked about the tale of convicted drug trafficker, Alice Johnson and a push for clemency on her behalf by the Queen of the Selfie, Kim Kardashian. There’s the link, if you want to check […]

Celebrity Prison Reform

This week, in the bizzaro world of celebrity political influence, Kim Kardashian had a meeting in the White House to discuss prison reform. Yes, you read that right, the Queen of vapid, self-absorbed empty brands, met to discuss of all things–prison reform. Not that we don’t have a national system that is overdue for a […]

DNA and the Search for Justice in the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer Case

A little over a week ago, DNA evidence was used to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. for a laundry list of crimes that occurred from the early 1970’s through 1986. The series of rapes and murders were savage, and captured the imagination and fear of Californians. When would the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer strike […]

Getting Your Hands Dirty–Prison Reform

You hear the expression all the time–“Getting your hands dirty.” A yuppie call to get in the trenches and act like you’re doing the work, just like the common folk. It’s a trite little phrase used frequently by the likes of Martha Stewart, political figures, and CEO’s who haven’t looked at an assembly line since […]