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The much-anticipated day has arrived. Yes, The 2022 Writers’ Police Academy Website is LIVE, and it’s your first look at the exciting lineup of hands-on training classes available at the 2022 Writers’ Police Academy. As always, we’ve assembled an incredibly outstanding group of top instructors and presenters who’re anxious to share with you their extensive knowledge and expertise. Classes offered at the WPA (Writers’ Police Academy) include actual training that’s offered in a police basic training academy, and in advanced level classes attended by in-service law enforcement officers and other veteran first responders.

These special training sessions are offered to you ONLY at the Writers’ Police Academy.

Fox Cities Exhibition Center

We’ve expanded our facilities this year to include not only the renowned Public Safety Training Academy at NWTC and all it offers—the Universal Driving Facility (UDF), Tactical House, Burn Tower, Jail Facility, Firing Range, and more—we’ve also reserved the entire Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton, Wi., which will house an INDOOR display of various law enforcement and firefighting vehicles and equipment. You’ll have the opportunity to explore these vehicles and equipment, and law enforcement and firefighting experts will be on hand to answer your questions. All nighttime, Sunday morning activities, and registration/check-in will take place at the exhibition center, including the banquet, a meet and mingle with live entertainment, special presentations, and more. The exhibition center is owned by the city of Appleton, but is attached to our official event hotel, Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel, through a sky-walk.

We have gone beyond over the top to ensure that your experience is one you’ll not soon forget, if ever! We wanted to make the return to in-person training something quite special.

Due to the action-based nature of some of sessions, and for your safety and ours, we’ve slightly reduced the number of available spots at the event. This is to allow an appropriate instructor to student ration. You will need to act quickly to reserve your spot once registration opens.

The level of excitement will be high. There will be firearms, explosions, barking K-9s, gunfire, door-kicking, handcuffing, jail cell doors slamming, and patrol vehicles zipping through a closed driving course. You will be in the thick of it all. It will be loud. It will be and adrenaline-pumping weekend of heart-pounding, titillating, and absolutely electrifying FUN! Oh, and you’ll learn tons of information for your books along the way.

Also new this year, and it’s a real bonus, is the addition of WPA attendees earning continuing education credit and a certificate from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

As I mentioned, the 2022 lineup of presenters and speakers is stellar, beginning with the 2022 Guest of Honor, Robert Dugoni.

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington Postand #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series set in Seattle, which has sold more than 8 million books worldwide. He is also the author of The Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thriller series, and  several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novels, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell – Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award and the critically acclaimed, The World Played Chess; as well as the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He has also been a finalist for many other awards including the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

 

Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages.


Next up are two fabulous, renowned special guest experts, Dr. Katherine Ramsland and Steven Spingola, whose captivating presentations will have you on the edges of your seats.

Dr. Katherine Ramsland 

Dr. Katherine Ramsland teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where she is the Assistant Provost. She has appeared on more than 200 crime documentaries and magazine shows, is an executive producer of Murder House Flip, and has consulted for CSI, Bones, and The Alienist. The author of more than 1,500 articles and 69 books, including The Forensic Science of CSI, The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds, How to Catch a Killer, The Psychology of Death Investigations, and Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer, she was co-executive producer for the Wolf Entertainment/A&E documentary based on the years she spent talking with Rader. Dr. Ramsland consults on death investigations, pens a blog for Psychology Today, and is writing a fiction series based on a female forensic psychologist.

Dr. Ramland’s presentation – Conversations with the B.T.K. Killer, Dennis Rader

*Dr. Ramsland has been with the WPA for many years.


Steven Spingola

Known to his colleagues as “the sleuth with the proof,” Steven Spingola is as an investigator for Cold Justice, a popular Oxygen Channel true crime program. During a 2014 episode in Vigo County, Indiana, Spingola and another investigator obtained a confession in a decades-old cold case. During an intense interrogation, suspect Clint Mackey broke down and stated, “I went back, grabbed the knife and killed her.

Steven Spingola is an investigator with a national reputation for excellence. He is a 2001 graduate of the FBI National Academy, and he holds two master’s degrees. Steven is a death investigation expert, a police-related shooting reconstruction specialist, and is formally trained as a criminal investigative analyst (profiling).

Prior to his retirement as a lieutenant of detectives with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), Spingola supervised all major categories of criminal investigations, including stints in the Homicide Unit, Vice Control Division, Sensitive Crimes Unit, and Violent Crimes Division. He further served as the lead investigator for the Critical Incident Unit, a group that probes police related shootings, use-of-force incidents, and other significant events. As a detective, Spingola spent several years conducting death investigations for a homicide unit with one of the highest clearance rates in the country.

Steve has authored several books: Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes 1 & 2; Predators of the Parkway: A Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders and Staggered Paths: Strange Deaths in the Badger State.

Steven Spingola’s – The Spingola Files: An Evening with Steven Spingola


In addition are the 30 professionals who host and teach hands-on workshops and other sessions (not all are pictured).


And, three of our loyal and longtime special guest presenters …

Marco Conelli

Writer, Retired NYPD Detective

A twenty year veteran detective of the NYPD, Marco Conelli’s diverse career is highlighted by his work as an undercover where he was plugged into many investigations for the Organized Crime Control Bureau.


Rick McMahan

Detective, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office

Rick McMahan spent over a quarter of a century as a Special Agent for the ATF. During his career, Rick investigated a wide range of crimes from violent militant extremists to outlaw motorcycle gangs to murder for hire plots. Currently, he serves as a Detective for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.


Joe LeFevre

Joe LeFevre is a full-time police academy instructor in WI. His instructional focus is on investigations, forensic skills, and officer fitness/wellness. Prior to teaching Joe was a police officer, and had spent a few years involved with a volunteer fire department.


Due to the action-based nature of some of sessions, and for your safety and ours, we’ve reduced the number of spots at the event. This is to allow an appropriate instructor to student ration. You will need to act quickly to reserve your spot once registration opens.

Registration to the unique and thrilling Writers’ Police Academy opens February 1, 2022.

Please take a moment to visit the website to explore the 2022 Writers’ Police Academy, THE event of the year!

writerspoliceacademy.com


We are actively seeking sponsors for this event. If you’d like to support the Writers’ Police Academy as one of our treasured sponsors, please visit  the “Become a Sponsor” page on the WPA website by clicking here. Or, feel free to contact me (Lee Lofland) at [email protected] Please type WPA Sponsorship in the subject line of your message.

WPA sponsorships are wonderful means to advertise you and work, or product. Sponsor generosity helps the WPA continue from year to year at an affordable rate for all. Without our wonderful sponsors the WPA could not continue. I thank you all so very much!

Over forty years ago I’d made the entry in my notebook. I found my handwriting to be a bit difficult to read on some of the yellowing pages—the result of quickly-written memos then, and failing eyesight today. But I was able to make out the basics, and there was enough there to take me back to the time when I wore the brown over khaki uniform of a deputy sheriff.

Flipping through the pages of my log, one particular entry caught my eye. It was a Friday night during an unusually cool  for October. According to my notes, the skies were clear and brightly lit by a near full moon. The gas tank in my take-home car was full (as always, I’d filled it at the end of my shift the preceding morning) and the speedometer had just tripped 80,000 miles. The lights and siren were both in working order.

I’d signed on at 2342 hours that night, and in my mind I can still hear the dispatcher’s voice as she acknowledged my radio message. She spoke in a drawl that prompted a craving for mint juleps and an urge to plant a magnolia tree in my front yard.

It’s no secret that I was not born a southerner. In fact, before “the conversion,” I was such a Yankee that one of my relatives owned a house that was once used by Harriett Tubman as a stop on her vast Underground Railroad network. We lived nearby, where people didn’t say things like,  “Y’all” or “finer’n frog hair, or “fixin’ to” (going to).

“I’m fixin’ to head over to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up some chittlins’ for Sunday lunch. Y’all want anything?”

As a child born north of “the line”, the switch to the South was a major change. Everything was different, including schools and how they conducted business. Classes in our new southern location began each day with a child reading from the Bible, followed by a man’s deep but southern-twangy voice spewing from the wall-mounted speaker as he led us in prayer. We didn’t do that in my former northern school.

The thing about the South that stuck with me the most, though, was to see peanuts, tobacco, and cotton in their natural habitats—not nuts in jars or bags, tobacco rolled into cigarettes, or “cotton” as a word printed on the labels of my school clothes.

Okay, back to my notes. It hadn’t rained in nearly three weeks and the local farmers and their field hands had been hard at work for several days, picking cotton. They’d loaded large farm trailers to the point of overflowing, like giant pillows on wheels. But no matter how hard they tried, there was simply no way possible to gather every single piece of cotton, leaving lots of it scattered about in the fields. And, of course, it didn’t take long at all for the wind to blow the scraps of freshly picked raw cotton everywhere, sending it into trees, ditches, bushes, and roadways. The landscape looked as if it had been dusted by a light snowfall. You couldn’t spit in any direction without hitting a wad of the future shirts, pants, sheets, and stuffing for aspirin bottles.

Virginia cotton

At night, while on patrol, we often used our spotlights to scan fields and paths looking for illegal night hunters, or stolen cars and farm equipment that were sometimes abandoned in out of the way locations. Another target for our spotlights in those days were farmer’s fertilizer storage tanks that contained anhydrous ammonia. Farmers used the fertilizer to spray crops. Makers of methamphetamine stole it from farmers and farm supply companies to produce meth.

Meth makers siphoned the deadly liquid gas from the tanks and later used it and other hazardous ingredients, such as paint thinner, engine starter fluid, the innards of certain types of batteries, and ephedrine separated from its binding agent found in over-the-counter cold medicine, to manufacture the dangerous and illegal drug. This process required no heat since the chemical reaction was so volatile, and it is the reason clandestine meth labs notoriously and suddenly explode.


The method of making meth using anhydrous ammonia is sometimes called the “Nazi cook,” named after the meth distributed to German soldiers by Nazi leaders during World War II. For more, click here.


So yeah, that was a thing back then and it was a big reason we kept on eye on farms. And, of course, there were the people who stole livestock, such as pigs. Ah, the glamorous life of a deputy sheriff in the rural South.

In addition to highlighting stolen cars and fertilizer tanks, and the occasional “parking” teenage couples or pair of adulterers, the shining of a bright spotlight across the fields at night, the car-mounted devices also illuminated scores of wildlife—deer, foxes, raccoons, ‘possums, coyotes, and even an occasional black bear. And, on the night referenced in my spiral notebook, the light also showcased a woman’s body lying between two unpicked rows of cotton.

She was young, mid to late 30’s. Fully clothed with the exception of her bare feet. There were no shoes at the scene. Approximately 5’ 5″ tall. 150 lbs – 160 lbs, or so. Round face. Skin the color of Vermont maple syrup. Her eyes were open and without focus, and aimed toward the sky into infinity. Pupils fixed, and dilated. A bullet wound to her forehead, just above her left eye, and another near her right eyebrow, told me to save my CPR skills for another day.

Small clumps of loose cotton dotted the area around the body. Some were the brilliant white of summertime clouds. Others, the ones that clung to her wounds, were rusty red and mostly saturated with the victim’s drying blood.

Three sets of footprints entered the field—large boots, small tennis shoes, and a set ending with bare toes. Only two sets headed out. The toes remained.

The victim had two small children at home. A neighbor was called to sit with them while their father went out searching for his wife who’d called earlier to say the church meeting was running a bit longer than she’d expected. No, no need to pick her up. Wanda was at the meeting and would bring her home.

Twenty minutes later, after the husband left his children in the care of the sitter, Wanda called and asked the neighbor if she could please speak to the man’s wife. No, there was no church meeting that night.

The man knew, deep in his heart, that there was no meeting at the church and he where exactly where to look for his cheating wife.

The victim’s lover, a cotton farmer, escaped the gunfire.

There was no DNA. No fingerprints. No cell phone calls to trace, and no bullet casings.

Just a pair of womens shoes found five hours later, in the farmer’s truck. And a revolver containing four bullets in his jealous wife’s car.

If I’d kept a tally over the years I could’ve added another hash mark to the “life taken” column, and five to the “lives ruined” section.

My last notations on the page that night were four short lines that read …

“Murder warrant issued”

“17 gallons of gas, no oil”

“10-42 (off duty) – 0815”

“Sunny and warmer – a good day to pick cotton”

Boogaloo: a slang phrase used as a shorthand reference for a future civil war. (Also known as “Boog.”)

Boogaloo Boys (aka Boogaloo Bois): A leaderless group whose “members” seem to have extreme libertarian politics, with a strong emphasis on gun rights. Their objectives vary greatly, from some claiming to be strictly antiracist, while others lean toward white-supremacist beliefs. Group members often post memes to social media pages featuring neo-Nazi themes. Boogalooers love their guns and many openly carry them while wearing colorful Hawaiian shirts as part of their Boogaloo “uniform.” Their stance is anti-authority, anti-state, and definitely anti-law-enforcement. The collapse of American society is quite possibly their ultimate goal. Some members have murdered police officers. Others attempted to aid foreign terrorists.

The Boogaloo movement roughly formed in 2019 and is still developing. When 2020 rolled around, “Boogalooers” increasingly became engaged in protests about gun rights, police shootings/killings, restrictions related to the COVID pandemic and, well, basically anything that involved authority over citizens.

Typically, Boogalooers are not white supremacists. In fact, as a result of their anti-cop beliefs, many actively participated in the Black Lives Matters protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Most likely, though, the George Floyd protests were an excuse to confront and attack law enforcement.

In May 2020, a 26-year-old Texas man, Ivan Harrison Hunter, participated in one of the Floyd protests. He was seen wearing a tactical vest and a skull mask over his face as he used an AK-47 style rifle to fire 13 shots into an occupied police building. Shortly after Hunter fired those rounds the building was set ablaze. Hunter also claimed to have joined with members of the Black Panthers organization to burn other police stations.

Shortly after Hunter fired those rounds into the police precinct he sent a brief series of messages to a a fellow Boogalooer in California, a man named Steven Carrillo.

“Boog,” Hunter wrote.

“Did,” Carrillo responded.

“Go for police buildings,” Hunter said to Carrillo.

“I did better lol,” replied Carrillo.

Carrillo was referring to the fact that he’d just shot and killed Federal Protective Service officer, David Patrick Underwood, in Oakland, California.

Later in the year, Carrillo was arrested and accused of shooting and killing a Santa Cruz, Ca. sheriff’s deputy. Prior to the arrest, Carrillo used his own blood to scrawl the word “BOOG” on the hood of a white van.

Boogalooers believe in a vast assortment of causes, from “wanting the heads of politicians on spikes,” to “wanting pedophiles to die by putting them feet-first in wood chippers.”

The group is so loosely organized that one faction of Boogaloorers seem to support Black Lives Matter, while others muddy the waters by posting an opposite view on social media—“F*** BLM. They’re one of the most racist groups out there. It is ignorant to think BLM isn’t a terrorist organization filled with black supremacists, and white liberal Marxists.”

Boogaloo Michael Solomon and Benjamin Ryan Teeter have been accused and arrested for their plot to sell weapons to someone they thought to be a member of the terrorist group Hamas. The person with whom they’d planned to do conduct business was an undercover FBI agent. Prosecutors say the pair considered becoming “mercenaries” for Hamas in order to fund the boogaloo movement.

In October 2020, eight boogalooers were tied to the plot to overthrow Michigan’s state government. Part of the plan was to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Fortunately the FBI thwarted those actions by arresting Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, and Daniel Harris before the kidnapping could be carried out. The other five men involved were also arrested by the FBI. However, in addition to federal charges, the five men also face state charges of plotting to attack Michigan’s Capitol for the purpose of initiating a civil war.

The basis for the plan centered around Gov. Whitmer’s strict COVID lockdown regulations.

As bizarre as this all sounds, the Boogaloo movement is quite real.

Unfortunately, another casualty caused by the Boogaloo movement are the few brightly-colored, extremely comfortable, Hawaiian-style shirts hanging in my closet to which I must now say goodbye.

The good side to all of this, however, is that writers have more wacky fodder for stories than ever before. Strange politics, spies, moles, whistleblowers, secret meetings, etc. So a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing villain could be shaped into an interesting villain, right? Nah, who’d believe such nonsense could happen in real life?

Of course, this is, after all, 2020!

Aloha, y’all.

Working as a sheriff’s deputy in the patrol division often presents a few unique challenges as opposed to patrolling city streets, such as having lots of miles to cover when responding to various emergencies.

Other issues faced by law enforcement officers who work in rural settings may include dodging roadway hazards such as large, slow-moving farm equipment, loose cows, deer leaping into the path of patrol cars that’re traveling at warp speeds, patches of slippery ice and, at night, the “Popeye” drivers whose cars and pickup trucks have only one working headlight that somehow seems to always remain on the high beam setting.


Popeye – nickname assigned to a car having only one functioning headlight. Named after the squinting, spinach-eating cartoon sailor. Toot, toot.

 

 

 

 


“THAT” Day

I and a fellow deputy began our shift at 0800 that Saturday, and we’d decided to catch up on a bit of paperwork at the office before going our separate ways, making ourselves seen throughout the county. Nothing much happened before noon on Saturdays and that’s why, along with one deputy out sick and another on vacation, there were only two of assigned to work the roads and answer complaints.

It was 0930 when a man called the dispatcher to say he’d just killed his sister-in-law and that the “911 lady” should send “the Po-leece” right away. Then he hung up.

Q-Tips

After receiving the necessary information—location, weapon involved, male suspect—my co-worker and I dropped what we were doing and sprinted to our patrol cars. We left the parking lot with red and blue lights winking, spinning, and blinking and our tires churning up small blackish-blue clouds that reeked of burned rubber.

Throughout the city streets we blasted our sirens at intersections, and when we drove up behind the Saturday morning, slow-moving Q-tips who were on their weekly treks to town.

The “Q-tips,” bless their hearts, are the folks of a certain age. They’re the elderly women who’re on the way to get their hair styled and molded into those blueish-white helmet shapes, and their frail and rickety spouses who stop in the barbershops for a snip here and there and to have the barber apply enough smell-good tonic to keep the snow-white wispy combovers in place while they visit the feed store to browse through the rows of shiny red or green mowers and tractors.

Then, when the appropriate amount of time passes, the tractor-lookers toss their wooden canes into the backseats of their Ramblers or Buicks and head back over to Betty’s Cut and Curl or Donna’s Dipsy-Dos to pick up the wife so together they can do their grocery shopping and perhaps have a bite to eat at the Connie’s Country Diner before traveling at a snail’s pace back to the family farm.

They, the Q-Tips, are the slow drivers who never, not ever, look into their rearview mirrors. Their windows are up to prevent the wind from mussing a new “do,” or blowing the ball cap from old man Johnson’s freshly-slickered eighteen remaining hairs.

So we’d follow behind those rolling boxes of cotton swabs with full lights and sirens until we caught a break in traffic so we could pass.

White-haired retirees are sometimes referred to as Q-tips by traffic officers. This is so because a grouping of them stacked together in a sedan loosely resemble a box of cotton swabs.

That particular Saturday morning, while kids watched cartoons and the mall parking lots began to see the first cars of the day entering their lots, we were pushing the limit, zipping through the city until we reached the main county road that led us in the direction of the alleged murder. The location was 30-40 minutes away when driving the posted speed limit. We reached scene in less than 20. As the truckers’ used to say, it was pedal to the metal all the way. We straightened curves by taking advantage of “the racing line” of the roadway.

For those of you who don’t know, a driver who follows a racing line greatly reduces the angle of a curve by entering it at a the far outside edge of the roadway and then crosses over to the inside edge, the apex. The apex is the point at which you are closest to the inside of the corner. The turn/curve is then completed by moving back to far outside edge of the roadway. This maneuver is sometimes called “hitting the apexes.” Following this tactic reduces braking and “straightens the curve” which allows the officer to drive safely through even deep bends in the roadway at a much faster speed. However, it is a must to constantly remain alert for oncoming traffic, tractors, deer, cows, people on bicycles and motorcycles who sometimes ride three and four wide. Watching out for unexpected obstacle is a must because a bit of the officers’ curve-straightening involves driving on the opposite/wrong side of the road.

The Suspect From Mars

Standing beside a mailbox at the end of a long dirt drive was a man dressed in a red and white striped shirt, white pants, and brown work boots. As we turned into the driveway I noticed what appeared to be a significant amount of blood spatter on his clothing and shoes, so I stopped. He was obviously agitated, excited, and he rambled on incessantly about that fact that he’d just arrived to earth from Mars. I handcuffed him, placed him in the seat beside me (we didn’t have rear cages/compartments back in the day), and hurried to the house.

My coworker and I raced to the door and went inside, yelling “Sheriff’s Department!”

What we found in the home, in the master bedroom, was nothing short of the stuff horror movies are made of.

Blood oozed down the painted drywall in narrow but rapidly drying convoluted trails. Spatter of various sizes and shapes was everywhere—ceiling, walls, the floor. A severed human hand lay next to one wall. I’d later count 13 chop marks in the hardwood next to it. Pools of rusty-red blood separated by drag marks of the same color and substance led to the body of a dead woman, a female who died a brutal death caused by the repeated blows of an ax.

The woman’s forearms were badly cut, signs that she’d attempted to stop dozens of strikes of the ax. A large gash to the right side of her head revealed the white of her skull, bone that had been hacked and chipped away, revealing brain matter. Some of it was found stuck to the ceiling.

Small bits of splintered bone lay scattered across the floor.

Blood spatter found its way to the bedroom furniture, including a king-size bed where its dull brownish-red hue was in sharp contrast to the crisp white sheets. More spatter peppered the faces, hands, legs, and feet of the woman’s four small children who sat huddled together on the center of the mattress. It looked like a random splattering of freckles across their skin. The Winnie the Pooh and Scooby Do cartoon characters that decorated the kids’ pajamas each wore dozens of bloody dots of brownish dry blood along with larger cast-off stains.

Those tiny boys and girls witnessed the entire act. They watched the killing of their mother that occurred for the simple reason that the perpetrator had asked his sister-in-law for enough money to purchase a pack of cigarettes and she didn’t have it. So the man, their “blood” uncle, walked outside to the woodpile where he picked up the ax and went back inside to kill.

The first blow was from behind, to the head. She went down but turned and held up her arms and hands to fend off the onslaught that followed. But there was little she could do once he went to work on her, chop after chop.

When I questioned the killer he claimed to have come to Earth from Mars and that voices from a nearby power-line tower told him to kill the woman. He also said he’d cut off her hand because the fingers kept pointing at him.

He’d been tucked away in a psychiatric care hospital until two weeks prior to the murder. His release came when a sympathetic judge found him competent to return to life outside, placing him in the care of his brother. Fourteen days later the brother’s wife was dead and his four kids were scarred for life.

The killer was found to be not competent to stand trial for the murder and has remained in a psychiatric facility since.


The Art of Blood

To learn how investigators interpret blood evidence, sign up today to attend retired FBI Special Agent David Alford’s hands-on MurderCon class, The Art of Blood.

Special Agent Alford is a retired FBI Special Agent with 21 years of experience investigating violent crimes, terrorism and other cases. He was one of the founding members of the FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) and conducted crimes scene searches on domestic and international violent crimes and bombings, including the Polly Klaas kidnaping and murder, the Unabomber’s cabin and the 9/11 Pentagon scene. He worked in the Denver and San Francisco field offices and completed his career at Quantico in the FBI Lab ERT Unit. During the 6 years in the FBI Lab, he was primarily responsible for overseeing and teaching basic and advanced crime scene courses throughout the US and many other countries.

In the 6 years before the FBI, David was a Forensic Serologist, Hair and Fibers Examiner and Bloodstain Pattern Analyst for the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab. After retirement, David taught crime scene courses around the world on behalf of the FBI and US State Department. David has been with Sirchie as an instructor and sales representative for Sirchie’s RUVIS and ALS products for the last 10 years. David loves teaching and allowing students to learn through hands-on training.

FBI Special Agent (ret.) David Alford, Sirchie/MurderCon instructor.

Violent crimes and accidents frequently involve the interpretation of blood evidence. This class offers the attendee the opportunity to learn how to determine the velocity and angle in which a bloodstain impacted a surface, and the 3-dimensional point of origin – where injury or bleeding event occurred. The instruction will include presumptive testing techniques of stains thought to be blood, as well as, searching crime scenes for latent blood with luminol when circumstances dictate that the area was cleaned by the perpetrator. Attendees will participate in hands-on activities to reinforce the learning objectives.

MurderCon!

There’s still time to attend MurderCon, an event featuring hands-on workshops that are typically for law enforcement eyes ONLY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view MurderCon classes and workshops click HERE.

To sign up to attend this unique event for writers, readers, fans, and anyone who’s interested in attending actual hands-on law enforcement training at a renowned facility,  click HERE. 

Murder on Minor Avenue

Murder On Minor Avenue

(excerpt from Chapter 14 of Masters Of True Crime: Chilling Stories Of Murder And The Macabre)

James responded to his brother’s question by immediately shooting him to death. No hesitation. No brief thoughts of the “good old days.” No moment of brotherly love. Nothing. Just a couple of rapid trigger pulls, and his brother was dead. Then James quickly fired a round at Alma and another at Charity, his own mother. When their bodies hit the floor, he quickly blasted a round, point-blank, into each of their skulls.

James then killed two of the kids in the kitchen in the same manner, first a round or two to drop them, and then one to the head to be sure they were dead.

The third child made a futile attempt to escape through the back door but was gunned down before she could reach the safety of outdoors. Her body came to rest backed up to a full-length mirror hanging beside a bathroom door in the narrow hallway. The grisly reflection clearly showed an exit wound in the little girl’s back. It also doubled the appearance of the large pool of blood surrounding her head, oozing its way along the baseboard.

Charity Ruppert, the family matriarch, lay dead on the cold linoleum—her midsection a mangled mess. Her right hand rested above her right breast. The left stretched above her head, as if reaching for something just out of her grasp. Her slacks and dress shoes were painted in blood spatter. Her eyeglasses lay beside her on the floor, tangled in her wavy hair. The expression frozen on her face was one of surprise and disbelief. Her eyes stared blankly skyward.

Alma almost appeared to be sleeping, lying partially on her right side with her cheek against the cool floor. Her glasses were still in place. Her right leg was curled gently beneath her, and her left leg was extended straight to where her foot rested in one of her dead children’s blood-matted hair. Her husband’s face was a few inches away, in a puddle of their daughter’s blood.

James reloaded his guns and calmly made his way to the living room, where he began firing at each of the five remaining kids, as if he were in a field taking target practice at a row of tin cans. And to be certain that no one but him would ever receive a dime of the insurance money, he walked around the crumpled bodies of the dying children and fired a single shot to each of their heads.

Standing in the center of the living room, James surveyed the aftermath of his actions. An overturned wastebasket with its contents—wadded papers and cigarette butts—scattered across the space. The corner of a TV Guide rested against the black tennis shoe of one of the dead boys. A caricature of Bea Arthur’s face stared back at James from the cover of the magazine.

A child’s Disney book lay in the center of the carpet. Mickey Mouse’s wide smile and trademark ears were out of place among the carnage. A little girl’s body lay in a corner, her feet clad in black and white saddle oxfords, tangled in a heap of boxes that had once been stacked neatly against the wall. She’d apparently been trying to escape but had backed into the corner, trapped, where her uncle took aim and shot her. Her body fell to the floor, face-up beside a bouquet of fresh Easter flowers. Her head was a bloody mess.

Charity Ruppert’s once neat-as-a-pin living room was now cluttered with the corpses of her precious grandchildren.

With his entire family now out of the way, James was ready for the final stage of his plan: to prove he was mentally incapable to stand trial for the murders, the only way that he could legally claim the inheritance.

James moved about the house, carefully positioning each of his guns on various pieces of furniture. Two revolvers on the coffee table and another on the arm of the couch, along with a box of bullets. A rifle beside the refrigerator, and four boxes of bullets as well as several loose rounds of ammunition on the kitchen table. Yes, everything was just right. Perfect, actually. Only a person not fit to stand trial would do what he’d just done.

It was time to call the police.

*Also available as an audiobook.