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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Dream On: When Punctuation Visits Your Nightmares

Dreams and even nightmares are often great fodder for a story or scene. Sometimes, though, those nocturnal fantasies are absolutely bizarre and offer no help whatsoever. Not even a tiny twist for an ending.The image above---a questionable…

Secrets of the Graveyard Shift: The Experts Behind Our Scenes

Today I'd like to take a moment to recognize some of the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes of this blog. Yes, this site has tons of moving parts that require many creative minds and many hands to turn the dials, push the buttons,…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey, 25Gilchrist County Florida Sheriff's OfficeApril 19, 2018 - Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey and Sergeant Noel Ramirez were shot and killed from ambush as they took their lunch break in a local restaurant.   Sergeant…

The FBI is for the Birds!

Did you know ...The FBI maintains an Anonymous Letter File. The file is searchable and contains images of anonymous and threatening letters. Letters may be examined and compared to those from other cases. Original documents are preserved…
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A Cop's Nighttime Melody: The Sounds of Graveyard Shift

Many writers have never, not once, set foot inside a police car, nor have they climbed out of bed at 11 p.m. to swap pajamas for a police uniform, Kevlar vest, gun belt, sidearm, and spit-shined shoes. And they've not headed out into the night…

A Bear, a Rabbit, and a Bird Visit the Writers' Police Academy. Isn't it Time You Did the Same?

Are you having a bit of trouble with those pesky scenes that involve cops and their wacky shenanigans?What's that you say? One of the folks in your writers' group said he could help because he was once friends with a guy who once dated a…

Can't Find a Fingerprint? Well, Here's Why ...

Sometimes, no matter how experienced and how hard investigators try, they're simply unable to find a fingerprint.They dust and they dust and they twirl and whirl and spin animal hair brushes and brushes made from stork feathers, and nylon.…

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…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Officer Sean Gannon, 32Yarmouth Massachusetts Police DepartmentApril 12, 2018 - Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed while he and his K-9 assisted with the search of a residence for a wanted man.Officer Gannon located the suspect…

Two Drunks and a Writer Enter a Bar ... and More Eye-Rollers

 Being a writer is like being a politician. You get to make up @#$! and your fans love it. Being a writer is like being a plumber. Somewhere around the middle of the job you find yourself elbow deep in @#$! Writers are like…

Impact Weapons: An Aluminum Shampoo ... OUCH!

Times sure are a-changin'. Why, I remember the days when we cops carried only our sidearms, handcuffs, a portable radio that only worked when you were near civilization, and a leather SAP or blackjack to help fight off people who wanted to do…

Stephon Clark: Did Police Fire Too Many Rounds?

Stephon Clark, 22, was fatally shot by two Sacramento, Ca. police officers.The officers fired twenty rounds during the incident. Of the twenty rounds, eight struck Clark---three in the lower back, twice near his right shoulder, once in his…

Voice Stress Analysis: Ain't That What You Said, Liar?

In 1957, University College London researcher Olof Lippold discovered that all muscles in the human body, including the vocal chords, vibrate within the frequency range of 8-12 Hz range. This vibration, of course, occurs as muscles tighten…

FREEZE! I'm the Police, Animal Control, Garbage Collector, and ... Meter Reader?

Police officers in large cities become highly specialized in their areas of expertise. Patrol officers there are often assigned to section of the city, a precinct, and they know that area like the back of their hand.  They're on a first name…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Corporal Dale Hallman, 30Saluda County South Carolina Sheriff's OfficeApril 6, 2018 - Corporal Dale Hallman was killed in a single-vehicle crash while en route to assist in a search for a person who'd fled into a wooded area. He was…

Trapping the Trappers: Police Integrity Tests

Integrity tests are designed to watch and evaluate an officer’s conduct in various situations.The purpose of these exercises to determine if an officer's conduct is appropriate. A few departments incorporate these evaluations into their…

My Audio Tip of the Day - Handcuffs

Okay, today I decided to do something different. To give your weary eyes a brief break from writing and reading, I've added a small bit of audio (my voice) to the blog. Please click to play the clip before moving on. Yes, that's me and yes I'm…
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Want Superstar Author Tami Hoag to Read Your Story? Well ...

Okay writers, it's time to sharpen the pencils and get busy studying the above image and then assembling a grouping of words that'll knock the socks off our mega-famous judge, Tami Hoag.Yes, you heard me, Tami Hoag---THE Tami Hoag---will…