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!

Miss Evelyn, R.D. (Root Doctor) and the Grave Robbers

An assignment working homicide cases is, without a doubt, a first class ticket to the bizarre and all things macabre. Cops who investigate murders for a living see it all, from poisonings to gunshot wounds to decapitation by sword. The list…
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The Johnson Vandyke Grigsbys of the World are Never Free

Depending upon which source is believed to be correct---Social Security or the census---Johnson Vandyke "Van" Grigsby was born in either February of 1888 or February of 1886, respectively. Grigsby, the son of freed slaves, however, said March…
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6 Ways to Help Your Make-Believe Evidence Collection More Believable

Proper evidence collection is a must if your protagonists have any shred of hope of winning a murder case in the fictional courtrooms you've fabricated solely from ink and paper. In fact, the only chance your DNA DA has is to present fact…
7 ways cops spot drunk drivers

8 Ways Cops Spot Drunk Drivers

The driver who turns up a fifth of Jack Black while singing Sweet Home Alabama at the top of his little redneck lungs is obviously driving while under the influence of alcohol. But what about the driver who chugs only three or four drinks before…

12 Tips To Help Your Detective Become A Real Crime-Solving Pro

Are you searching for ways to prevent the hero of your tales from becoming the bumbling, inept investigators seen on many television shows? Well, look no further. Here are a dozen tips that'll turn any fictional schmuck into a perceptive Sherlock. 1.…

Bail, Bond, or Get Out of Jail Free

When a person is arrested the court may release them under conditions commonly known as “bail.” Bail typically includes a sum of money paid to the court, a fee that's typically given back at the end of the case if the defendant follows…

A Behind the Scenes Peek at a Taboo Topic (About Cops and Romance)

Police officers face many difficult challenges during the course of their careers, challenges most people would avoid at all costs. For example, exchanging a few rounds of live ammunition with a doped-up bad guy. Or how about working really…
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Search Dogs, Search Warrants, a Search for Words, and Lies

   Writers' Police Academy Online is Pleased to Present:   "Search Dogs, Search Warrants, a Search for Words, and Lies"   When: February 27, 2021   This daylong live and interactive seminar features three renowned professionals…
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The Dark Triad: Psychopathy, Narcissism, and Machiavellianism

The “Dark Triad” refers to a group of three of negative personality traits---Psychopathy, Narcissism, and Machiavellianism. People with these traits are often cold-bloodied and insensitive, devious and manipulative. Their actions are often…
Footprints in the snow
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Making a Good First Impression: Preserving Footprints In Snow and Mud

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." The familiar phrase above is actually from an ancient Greek work of Herodotus describing the Persian system of mounted…

A Riderless Horse and Bagpipes: Police Funeral Traditions

America first heard the soulful sound of bagpipes over one hundred and fifty years ago when Scottish immigrants brought their instruments to America. It was the time when the great potato famine caused a massive arrival of immigrants to the…

What Life Was Like in Federal Prison for Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman

When Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were sentenced to relatively short sentences as a result of a college admissions scandal. Both women served their time at FCI Dublin, a federal prison in Dublin, Ca. located 25 miles east of San Francisco. The…

Prison Cooking: Cake in the Crotch – A Dessert to Die For!

It's certainly no secret that jail and prison food can be absolutely disgusting. Therefore, it is also no surprise when prisoners take it upon themselves to upgrade the quality of their daily cuisine. They do so by using items purchased from…

Reduce Speed Ahead: Becoming a New Detective

The transition from working the streets as a patrol officer to the coat and tie sleuthing of a police detective can be somewhat of an eye-opener. While definitely closely related, the two jobs differ. Patrol officers are typically responsible…
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Detectives v. Patrol: Point Your Tale In the Right Direction

Nearly all crime novels feature a muscle-bound, sharpshooting, fast-driving, marathon-running, cool-as-the-center-seed of-a-cucumber detective? What is it about the suit-wearing investigators that attracts a writer's attention? After all, detectives…
So you want to be a detective?

6 Reasons Why a Detective’s Job Isn’t As Glamorous as You Might Believe

Many people secretly long to clip a badge to their belts and then set out on the never-ending quest to save, well, everyone. But, there are a few things you should think about before you give up your day job to begin the hunt for your first…
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Inmate Healthcare: Who Pays the Bills?

There's more to locking up offenders than simply providing a place to sleep, two or three meals per day, and making certain those who are incarcerated remain behind bars until they've either served their time or a court sets them free. Jails…
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He Angrily and Loudly, and a Bit Threateningly, said, “Stop Using So Many “LY” Words!

Does your latest tall tale feature a beginning, middle, and end? How about characters, setting, and dialog? Have you been especially creative by inserting lots of sentences composed of various words with various meanings? Do you know the…