The Graveyard Shift Blog

Since 2008, Lee Lofland has written over 2000 articles on his blog, The Graveyard Shift. Topics such as police procedure, forensics, criminal behavior, and what it’s like to be a cop has helped countless numbers of popular and aspiring writers.

His life’s mission – to remind writers that cordite is dead and gone. Just say no to cordite in your books!

2023 Writers’ Police Academy Registration Opens February 1, 2023 – Event Sponsors NEEDED!

Registration for the 2023 Writers' Police Academy (WPA) is scheduled to open February 1, 2023, at noon EST. Space is limited so please be ready to register on February 1 at noon EST. You do not want to miss this event! This, our 15th year…
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New Writers’ Police Academy Online Class – “Bring Your Narrative Problems to Lisa Unger”

This live, dynamic session is a rare and unique opportunity to present your questions to one of today’s most skilled practitioners of the psychological thriller.   New York Times and internationally bestselling author Lisa Unger offers…
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40 Police Terms, Acronyms, and Slang

Cops and bad guys often speak in unique language, and without a translator citizens sometimes feel left out of the conversation. To help you understand and to incorporate that special language into works of fiction, here are a few terms worth…

2023 Writers’ Police Academy Guest of Honor, Special Guest Presenters, Instructors, and Classes

Registration for the 2023 Writers' Police Academy (WPA) is scheduled to open February 1, 2023, at noon EST. This, our 15th year of delivering hands-on training classes and sessions taught by leading law enforcement and forensics experts, scientists,…
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Would Sir Isaac Newton Reject Your Shooting Scene?

Experts are often asked what kinds of entrance and exit wounds are produced by various types of ammunition. The answers to those questions are simple ... it depends. The rounds in the photograph below feature hollow point bullets similar…

Facts About Fentanyl – One Pill Can Kill

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat patients with chronic severe pain or severe pain following surgery.  Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance that is similar to morphine but about 100 times more potent.  Under…
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It’s Christmas, So Let’s Pull a Fat Guy Through a Car Window

It was on a cold Christmas night, several years ago, when my wife Denene decided that she'd like to ride along with me during my shift so we could at least spend a part of the evening together. It would be her first and last first-hand experience…

An Officer’s Christmas Eve

Candies and cakes. Eggnog too. Turkey, ham, and stuffing. Pumpkin pie. Gingerbread and chocolate fudge.   Family and friends. A warm fire. Dancing flames. Sizzling cedar logs. Stockings hanging from above.   Family…
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The Christmas Orange

It was a Dark and Stormy Night ... I know the general rule of thumb is to not begin a tale with the weather, and I humbly apologize for violating protocol. It's just that the elements are such a crucial part of this story and, well, please…

Christmas For Jimmy Lee Bailey: A Child in Need of Love

The call---a child in need of services. What I found was a child in need of love. His house sat at the end of a hard-packed red clay path. It was a shabby structure---a notch below "shack" status--- that was clad in random lengths of mismatched…

It’s Almost Christmas, But They’re No Longer Here

It seems like just yesterday when they were last here, Sharing their laughter and their love, Playing silly games and offering warm hugs.   Telling bedtime stories, Of giants and beanstalks, Jack Horner and Miss Muffett…

The Twelve Nights Of Christmas Graveyard Shift

The Twelve Nights Of Graveyard Shift On the first night of graveyard my sergeant gave to me, a car-tri-idge and a cuff key. On the second night of graveyard my sergeant gave to me, two prostitutes, and a car-tri-idge and a cuff key. On…
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Isotope Fingerprinting: Storing Food and Water in Your Hair

Isotope fingerprinting can be used to analyze a single strand of human hair for the purpose of determining a person’s location during recent weeks, months, and sometimes years. Obviously, this type of geographical tracking can be extremely…

Leilani Simon: Charged With Murdering Her Son – Remains Identified Today

This is a case that shocks the conscious. It goes against the grain of a normal society, of human nature, and what should be a mother's unconditional love for her child. Until October 5, 2022, Leilani Simon, 22, her boyfriend Daniel (Danny)Youngkin,…
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Dream On: How Works of Fiction Can Prevent an Overfitted Brain

Do dreams and nightmares influence the work of writers? Does writing influence the dreams experienced by authors? How does reading fiction prevent an overfitted brain? There are several theories about why we dream, the different types of…

A Cop’s Thanksgiving: Save a Drumstick for Me

Morning parade. Smiling faces. Squealing children. Marching bands.   Turkey. Pumpkin pie. Eggnog. Football.   Pistol. Badge. Vest. Kiss the kids, please. And save a drumstick for me. I'm almost…

Thanksgiving Eve: Lights in the Abandoned Textile Mill

Graveyard Shift ... 0246 hours Thanksgiving Eve. Weather ... Clear Location ... Abandoned textile mill Victim ... Unknown/TBD Suspect ... Unknown/TBD Dispatch. "Caller reports seeing light, possibly flashlights, inside…
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A Path of Evil and Carnage: Darrell Brooks Sentenced to Six Life Sentences Plus 762 Years

On November 16, 2022, Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced Waukesha WI parade attacker Darrell E. Brooks, Jr. to serve six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of extended supervised release/parole. These six life sentences…