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!

You Might Be Dating a Cop, If ….

Police officers, because of the nature of their business are creatures of habit, and their routines are sometimes quite obvious. Here’s how to tell if the person you’re currently spending time with is, or once was, a cop. 1. Your new…

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

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Looking Sharp: A Bowling Ball, A Shiny Badge, And … Elephant Poop?

Graveyard shift---those eight long and often mind-numbing hours between midnight and the time your relief signs on to take over your beat. It's boring. It's exciting. It's sleep-depriving. And it's getting dressed while everyone else in your…

A Deadly Game at the Old Factory

Factory. Massive, abandoned. Machinery. Metal dinosaurs. Tangled debris. Ceiling, leaking. Pitch-dark. Footsteps. Flashlights. Shadows. Graffiti. Glass, broken. Odors, chemicals. Water, drips. Echoes. Hallway. Leather, squeaking. Keys.…
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Virtual MurderCon is Scheduled for August 6-7, 2020

Over the years, many have requested that we host a virtual event. Well, those requests are now a reality! In just a few short weeks a group of MurderCon's top law enforcement and forensics experts will arrive in homes around the world (virtually) to…

Attention All 2020 MurderCon Attendees

Registered MurderCon attendees will receive an important announcement via email sometime Friday afternoon EST, June 26, 2020, or on Saturday June 27. So please check your inbox and spam mail. In addition, I'll post the details here and on my…

Imaginary Law of Fiction: The Legal Basis To, Well, Make Up Stuff

I've been doing the "help writers get it right" for a long, long time, and during all those years I've seen a ton of questions and discussions that would buckle the knees of the even the most seasoned detectives and coroners. Some of the…
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The Case of Rayshard Brooks: Just the Facts, No Opinion

The recent officer-involved shooting of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe has ignited another flame in the fervent calls against police brutality and reform. At the heart of the situation is the use of the well-known…

OMG! Death of Person Killed By Cops Ruled a HOMICIDE

Yeah, well, don't let those click-bait headlines get your unmentionables all bunched up, because ALL, and I repeat, ALL killings of human beings by other humans are homicides. And certain homicides are absolutely legal. That's right, L.E.G.A.L.,…
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Monday Morning Quarterbacks Lack Touch, Taste, Smell, and Motion

"Shots fired!" "I'm hit" "He's running." "I need backup." "In the alley behind Joe's Pawn Shop." "He's shooting again." Silence. Then, "Man down! Send paramedics ... NOW!" And then it starts. The looky-loos come out…

You Know You’re a Crime Writer If …

What is it that sets writers of crime fiction apart from, well, everyone else in the entire world? Well ... 1. The worst murder scene in the world pales in comparison with the thoughts roaming through your mind at any given moment of the…
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Reading Between the Blue Lines: Racism

It's been over a dozen years ago since I wrote the first word on this blog, and before I did I made the decision to avoid the really hot and controversial issues, such as gun control, politics, and racial issues. However, today I'm making what…

Piling On: The Death and Autopsy of George Floyd

Superhuman strength, aggression, violence, paranoia, yelling, bizarre behavior, and hyperthermia. Those are some of the symptoms of a person in a state of Excited Delirium, a condition that can, especially when combined with drug use, result…
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Shoot ‘Em in the Arm or Leg?

Police officers are not trained to shoot to kill, nor do they shoot to wound. Again, officers are not taught to kill. I know, the recent death of George Floyd was extremely disturbing, but the actions of the officers involved are NOT the result…
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George Floyd’s Death: Did Officers Cross the Line?

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died Monday night---Memorial Day---after being handcuffed and held to the ground by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Officer Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd's neck, apparently…
Firearms Evidence
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Firearms Evidence: A Top Six “How-To” List

Much of the violence that occurs in the world today involves a firearm of some type. How and what type of evidence recovered from those weapons can have a huge impact on the subsequent criminal cases. Proper evidence collection procedures ...…

The Oak Ridge Boys: “Sacrifice for Me,” a Memorial Day Tribute

Today we honor and pay tribute to the men and women who who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms. I can't think of anyone who's more dedicated to supporting our military than Joe Bonsall and his fellow members of the legendary, Grammy…
obstruction of justice

Obstruction Of Justice: No, No, No, Don’t Tell Me No Lies

Obstruction of Justice (aka perverting the course of justice) is a broad term that simply boils down to charging an individual for knowingly lying to law enforcement in order to change to course/outcome of a case, or lying to protect another…