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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A Fractured Fairy Tale: When a Lover Hires a Hitman to Kill a Devious Woman's Husband

It started as a simple investigation about stolen property, a case where a guy broke into a school to steal a copy machine. He did so in order to sell the device, hoping for a return of twenty dollars for very little time and effort invested.…

Shop With Cops For All Your Household Needs

Police officers require certain tools and equipment to carry out their day-to-day duties, such as the obvious---patrol vehicles, uniforms, badges, bullet resistant vests, and firearms. But there are other things that make their jobs go more…
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Read Any Good Bloodstains Lately? The Endings are Killer!

Detective Sergeant Carl Catchemall studied the bloodstain pattern on and next to the ticking cow clock hanging on the kitchen wall. He stood there, staring, for what seemed like an eternity before turning toward his partner Hank Handsup. Then…

And the Cop Said, "I Gave Chase and Pursued Said Subject"

I don't know when it started, but it did and it is puzzling. After all, when did, "I got out of my car" become "I exited my vehicle." And how is it that, "Are those donuts for Ralph and me?" is sometimes spoken as, "Are those donuts for myself…

The Base: Over the River and Through the Woods, to a Terrorist's House We Go

On January 14, 2020, three members of an extremist group called “The Base” were arrested and charged with firearms offenses. One of three men charged was Brian Mark Lemley, Jr. of Elkton, Maryland. Lemley, in addition to the firearms…

New Arc Books is Open for Submissions!

The day has finally arrived! Denene and I are very excited to announce the launch of New Arc Books, a new imprint at Level Best Books, founded in 2020. How and Why Since 2006, I've spent most of my waking hours helping writers, and others,…

Postmortem Decomposition: How To Properly Rot Your Corpses

Putrefaction is the destruction of the soft tissue caused by two things, bacteria and enzymes. As bacteria and enzymes do their jobs, the body immediately begins to discolor and slowly transform into liquids and gases. The odd thing about…

The Complacency Monkey Shares Street Survival Tips

Law Enforcement. The job is dangerous, no doubt about it. Driving at high speeds. Guns. Bullets. Knives. Fights. Bombs. Well, you get the idea. So what can officers, fictional or real, do to stay safe in a world where bad guys have no problem…

Inmate J.L. Bird Flies Con Air, and Live ALL NUDE Shows for Prisoners

Inmate J.L. Bird had never heard of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), let alone be a part of their mobile inventory. And, after experiencing it first-hand, well, he didn't care if he never heard of it again ... not…

A Prisoner's Coast to Coast Journey: Three Very Long and Unusual Months

It was three-thirty in the morning when the taller of the two guards woke him by using a metal flashlight to deliver a few sharp pokes to the thigh. "Roll 'em up, Bird. You're going on a little trip," said the short one with the acne scarred…

Ten Excuses That Make Cops Say, "Hmm ..."

Any cop will tell you that just when they think they've heard it all, well, along comes something else that tops all the rest. For example, here are ten excuses people offered as explanations for why they did the things they did. All I can…
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20 Survival Tips for Real and Fictional Officers

Cops absorb lots of information during the months they spend in the training academy. Then, when they finally do hit the streets they're required to ride with a field training officer for a few months, a time when the FTO crams even more important…

Mr. X: I Was Abused By A Female Corrections Officer

A recent news story about the abuse of inmates in some U.S. jails and prisons reminded me of a conversation I once had with a former federal prisoner, a person we refer to as Mr. X. Mr. X is a former business professional who committed a…

Where's the DNA?

Can't seem to find the right clues for your current work-in-progress? Well, here's a handy guide to help with locating DNA evidence. Undergarments (boxers and/or briefs, etc.) Sweat-stained clothing Semen stains on clothing, bedding,…
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"Hanging Out" With Kat Bungler

Bad guys are often portrayed on TV, and in film, as super intelligent geniuses who're one step away from ruling the world. They're savvy and wealthy with a gang of bodyguards and accomplices who are always miles ahead of the law enforcement…
Between a rock and a hard place

Biff Steele: Have You Created A Rocky Hardplace in your Latest Book?

I cringed when I read the opening line of the first draft of the new series. She'd named me Biff Steele, as if Rod Manly hadn't been bad enough in the previous books. But names, however cheesy they may be, are not the worst thing that could…

How to Arrest a Naked Man

I've never been one to back down from a challenge. Actually, I've rarely shunned any sort of obstacle, including wading into a group of angry armed men to arrest one of their group. I like other officers, have tackled the biggest and the…

Tater Jenkins Done Killed Uncle Billy Buck Robinson: The Crime Scene

"Tater" Jenkins done killed Uncle Billy Buck Robinson. Quick, call the law afor'in' that son-of-a-biscuit-eatin' coward gets clean away!" And so it goes. Aunt Ruthie Mae runs next door to use Lula Belle's rotary phone to call the police,…