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!

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Renowned Toxicologist Dr. M. Fredric Rieders Joins 2021 MurderCon Lineup!

We are pleased to announce that renowned toxicologist Dr. M. Fredric Rieders has joined the 2021 MurderCon stellar lineup. This is an unbelievable opportunity to learn from one of the world's leading toxicology experts! His session, "Forensic…
Cop, crook

Here’s Your Street Slang, “Shorty”

The world of cops and robbers is an entity all its own. It’s a culture that lives and breathes in every neighborhood of every city. And, within each individual subgroup comes a separate set of traditions, rules, regulations, and even their…

Nanoarchitectured Materials: The New Kevlar

Scientists at the U.S. Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech, and ETH Zürich fabricated a revolutionary new material that's stronger, more durable, and far lighter than…

Inside The Four Corners: Search Warrants

Our law demands that searches and seizures of property and people must be reasonable and based on probable cause, not mere suspicion. Actually, the 4th Amendment is pretty specific, stating that no warrant shall issue without probable cause.…

Forensic Terminology, Illustrated

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so this is me with too much time on my hands. Forensic Terminology External Ballistics - characteristics and behavior of a bullet after it leaves the muzzle of a firearm, but before…
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MurderCon: It’s a Killer Event!

Welcome to MurderCon. It's a killer event that features renowned experts who train top homicide investigators from around the world. Writers, please take advantage of this opportunity to learn from those who are the best in the business of…

Independence Day: The Right to Life, Liberty, and Happiness

Today, July 4th, is a celebration of national independence, and our freedom to barbecue.

Too Stupid to be True; However … 911, What’s Your Emergency?

How many times have we all heard that truth is much more difficult to believe than actual events? Well, let me be the next person in line to confirm that statement. Just when you think you've seen and heard it all, these folks picked up the…

Seriously, Keep Your Shirt On … OMG!

The hero of your story had a long night answering call after call---he-saids, she-saids, chasing a Peeping Tom through back yards and alleys, a couple of drunks arguing over a near-empty bottle of Ripple, kids spray-painting Smiley Faces on…

Murder Investigations Are So, Well … “Fly”

Homicide investigations are the crème de la crème of all investigations. To solve a murder, investigators use all available resources. No sparing of the horses. Sometimes it's a race to catch the killer before he strikes again. But detectives…

How To Tell Who’s Who: Behind The Pins And Medals

How do officers know, at a glance, when they're addressing a ranking officer from another department? Well, the answer is as clear as everything else pertaining to law enforcement...it depends. Police departments use many symbols of rank…

Write Slower ‘Cause I Don’t Read As Fast As I Used To … Y’all

It's Saturday night, almost midnight, and your hero has just arrested a couple of strangers who sort of sound as if they're speaking English. Sure, every third or fourth word is recognizable, but phrases such as, "If'n you don't let me go I'ma…

Reserve Your Spot at the THRILLING 2022 Writers’ Police Academy!!

Exciting News! The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to announce the June 2022 return to in-person, hands-on training in Green Bay, Wi., at one of the country’s top law enforcement training academies. Registration for this action-packed,…
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Transferring DNA Evidence: 8 Things Your Protagonist Should NOT Do

Leading characters should be written as real people with real problems and real goals. They're people a reader wants to care about. Protagonists are likeable and smart, yet flawed in some way. Sure, the hero will win, we know that, and we…

Mr. X: My Life in Federal Prison – Bocce, Bunkies, and Books

Mr. X is a former business professional who committed a crime that landed him in federal prison. He's out now and agreed to share his story with the readers of The Graveyard Shift. Off we go ... GYS: Describe your first day in prison. Mr.…

Understanding The Old Guy at the End of the Street: The Rest of the Story

I'm the old guy at the end of the street. The Grumpy Gus who doesn't want kids in his yard. In fact, I don't want to hear their squeals and the squalls or their giggles and games. I don't want to see their toy cars and trucks, their skateboards,…

Politically Correct 10-Codes

Has political correctness gone amuck in the world of cops and robbers?  After hearing this radio transmission, I'd say yes. "Be on the Lookout for a morally challenged subject who's a rube-esque prone repetitive exterminator of respirations…

Investigating Crimes in Indian Country

There's been quite a bit of recent discussion among writers about which agencies investigate crimes that occur on tribal lands. Therefore, I thought you might be interested in seeing a few of the May, 2021 indictments handed down by a federal…