Eyewitness Writing

Midnight in the city that sleeps, mostly at night. I sat at my desk in my office, looking over the fingerprints that I picked up that day. They perfectly matched the prints on file for Cody the Crook. Too bad Cody had a perfect alibi, sitting up with his sick mother all weekend. Hard to imagine a lug like him being that tender-hearted.

063016 prints

Footsteps climbed the stairs to my third floor, low-rent, phone-service-extra flat-slash-place of business. Was it the real murderer coming to silence me? The door opened and in stepped Louise, the cleaning lady. She stopped when she saw me.

“Oh, hey, Mac. I thought you would have gone to bed by now.” Louise kept the door open, half in and half out of the office. “You here to destroy the evidence I picked up on your boyfriend Cody?”

063016 powell

“Do I look like the kind of girl who would do that? What gives you the idea that I would help out that scum, ex-boyfriend Cody?” She looked at the floor and then at me. “I mean, no.”

“Good, then come on in. I was just about to watch my favorite show, Unsolved Crime Scenes. Pull up a chair, why don’t you?”

063016 that couple

She sat down across from me. “I can’t, Mac, I have a job to do. You pay me a thousand a week to keep your trash can empty. I respect that in a man.”

I showed her the empty can. “It’s been a slow day, sweetheart. I’ll add a little bonus just to make it all above-board and business-like.”

063016 wreath

Louise smiled and handed me the remote control. “You always did know how to sweet talk a lady.”

The above silly scene came to me as I was thinking of a good way to share information on crime scene investigations. As a member of RWA-SD in San Diego, I had the good fortune of listening to Dr. Judy Melinek, Forensic pathologist, and her writer husband T.J. Mitchell, talk about the differences between what really goes on and what Hollywood shows. But there’s way too much good information and I have a limited amount of space.

063016 working stiff

Basically, investigators don’t get results back in lightening speed. Fingerprints might come back sooner than test results for toxicology, but not in less than 24 hours. And no one believes that the crook’s mom would be telling the truth. When interviewed by the authorities, an honest person will say, I didn’t do it. A dishonest person will evade the question by saying, Do I look like a person who. . .

063016 library crime scenes

To get a better idea of how things really are, get the book Working Stiff by Julie and TJ. Not only will there be lots of great information in the book itself, you will get contact information for the authors, who are only too happy to help you keep the murder thriller romance you are writing as real as possible. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GEEB8GQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#navbar

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.


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