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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"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,…

Write Slower 'Cause I Don't Read as Fast as I Used To ... Y'all

It's Saturday night, almost midnight, and your California protagonist has arrested a couple of strangers who sorta-kinda sound as if they're speaking English, but not quite. Sure, every third or fourth word is recognizable, but phrases such…

Break the Plastic Straw Law and Go to Jail, Where You'll Sit, Eat, and Sleep ... on Plastic

Serving time in a jail or prison can certainly be a stressful experience, even for the toughest of prisoners. After all, they must be on constant high alert for potential violence against them, such as a stabbing because they failed to show…

An Officer's Perception: Sound Before Sight, Motion Before Color, and Color Before Shape

"Perception is key. How did the officer perceive the encounter? Did she fear for her life or the life of others?” Before we delve into the topic of perception, please allow me to set the stage by using an experience from my past. I apologize…

Madam Zelda's Top 16 Predictions for 2020

Each year on the last day of December, I travel to a secret location where I meet with my friend Madam Zelda to learn her predictions for the coming year. The mysterious clairvoyant is so good at what she does that she’s rarely, if ever,…
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Why Do Police Have Different Siren Tones?

I'm sure many of you of a certain age fondly recall thumbing through the latest Sears catalog, a printing large enough to be used as the cornerstone of a NYC high-rise. Inside were images of practically everything imaginable---coats,…
Ray Krone: Decade on death row
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Ray Krone: Innocent of Murder But Sent to Death Row, and He's Here Today to Tell All!

It's my please to introduce you to Ray Krone, a man who served ten long years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. Ray was … well, I think I’ll sit back and post Ray’s tale as he told it to me. The floor is yours, my friend. Ray…

The FISA Court: A Rubber-Stamping Operation, Or Not?

In 1978, congress approved and enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In addition, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established to review applications submitted by the federal government regarding electronic…
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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…

A Cop's Christmas Eve: Crying, Bleeding, and Dying

Candies and cakes. Eggnog too. Turkey, ham, and stuffing. Pumpkin pie. Gingerbread and chocolate fudge.   Family and friends. Around a warm fire. Dancing flames. And sizzling cedar logs. Stockings hanging from…

The Twelve Nights Of Christmas Graveyard Shifts

The Twelve Nights Of Graveyard 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 ghetto whores and a car-tri-idge and a cuff key. On…
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Christmas PC is Out of Control!

There's a current PC craze that's attacking practically everything on the planet, from condemning anti-animal language, the lyrics of Christmas songs, and even the coloring of cartoon vegetables. So let's poke around to see if we can find a…

How To Order a Book Online, and a Hitman While You're At It

I'm sure most of you have heard of the "dark web," the creepy and ooky, mysterious and spooky part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines. It's the place where interested parties can buy credit card numbers, usernames and passwords,…
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It's Almost Golden Donut Time, and Here Comes the Judge!

As many of you know, each year the Writers' Police Academy hosts a fun and challenging writing contest called the Golden Donut 200-Word Short Story Contest. Contest rules are simple. Write a complete story about the photograph we provide, using…
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OMG, the Writers' Police Academy's 2020 Anthology Features a Foreword By ...

It's is with great pleasure that I announce that the Writers' Police Academy will soon begin work on a new anthology. This new collection of mysterious stories (details below) comes on the heels of the successful publication of the 2019 book,…