Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category
Crime scene investigators have a huge assortment of tools at their disposal. Sure, we’ve all seen the TV shows where detectives use fancy lights and magic wands to lead them to the mysterious killer of the week.
But what about the stampers, quilters, dog walkers, and realtors who stumble onto murders during their everyday routine? What about the part time PI’s? How do those civilian investigators go about solving the crime? Are there any tips and handy tools of the trade that can be utilized by amateur crime-solvers?
Sure, and they’re practical, while still pretty cool. And they’re cheap! And our top expert, Ida Figuritout, knows all the tricks. Such as…
Remember the last time the cops dusted your light switches for fingerprints?
What a mess, right? Black powder everywhere! Ida suggests having your sleuth show the boys in blue how to make a wall protector using a piece of cardboard.
Better still, advise the homeowner to make one for each switch in their house and keep them in a nearby drawer.
Then, the next time your sleuth or the CSI team shows up to investigate, they’re all set. No walls to scrub down.
Next up – Is your sleuth too tired to bend over to cover her pumps with shoe covers?
No problem. Have her sidekick place this handy device—the step-n-go—on the floor, and with two quick steps she’s all set.
Perfect for the investigator who simply doesn’t have the time to stand still even for a second.
Is your “Ida” flustered because she can’t get to the fingerprint that’s trapped inside a piece of wadded tape? The one piece of evidence she knows will put the dastardly killer away for life?
Well, a quick trip to Radio Shack can solve that problem. Send the assistant to the nearest mall to pick up a can of Component Spray.
A quick squirt and…
And there you go—the tape easily comes apart.
The spray freezes the tape to approximately -65 degrees.
Do NOT touch the tape with your bare hands.
Another trick is to place the tape inside a freezer for several hours.
What do you do with those old unwanted CD’s?
Well, Ida is always prepared for the rainy day homicide. That’s right, she knows what a real pain it can be to keep her camera tripod steady when the ground is muddy. So, she keeps a handful of old CD’s in her camera bag for the times when the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate with murder investigations. Ida knows that placing a CD under each leg quickly solves the problem. No more sinking into the goo. Works like a charm.
And that’s how Ida does it…
I’ve been writing this blog for nearly five years, and I have to say it’s sometimes tough to come up with a new topic each and every day. However, as long as writers continue to write stories about cops and crime, I suppose there’ll always be questions that need answering.
Today, though, I thought I’d put the shoe on a different foot and have you, the blog reader, answer the questions. I want to see just how much you know about the world of cops and robbers. After all, it’s what you write…right?
So here goes…
(By the way, I’ve seen each of these used incorrectly in at least one book, or on someone’s blog)
1. Revolvers eject spent brass with each pull of the trigger. T or F
2. Thermal imagers can “see” through black garbage bags, allowing officers to identify the contents without opening the bag. T or F
3. How many locks are on a pair of handcuffs? One, Two, Four, or Six?
4. Speed Loaders are competition shooters who are extremely skilled at loading their weapons in a very short amount of time. T or F
Read about speed loaders on a past blog post http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/dump-pouches-v-speed-loaders/
5. Vehicles almost always explode when hit by gunfire. T or F
6. DNA evidence is used to convict defendants in nearly every case. T or F
7. The FBI can take over any case, any time, from local police. T or F
8. Kevlar vests worn by officers (or similar types) are designed to stop punctures from knives and other sharp objects. T or F
9. Are cops required to advise a suspect of Miranda (you have the right to…etc.) the moment they’re arrested? No, only when suspects are in custody AND prior to questioning. No questioning = no advisement of Miranda. Some departments may have policies that require Miranda advisement at the time of arrest, but I’ve never encountered one.
10. Are police officers required by law (in every state) to wear seat belts while operating a police car? No. In fact, some state laws also allow certain delivery drivers to skip buckling up (USPS letter carriers, for example).
11. Are all deputy sheriffs sworn police officers? No. Normally deputies who work in the jails are not police officers.
12. Some California sheriffs also serve as county coroner. T or F
13. Small town police departments never investigate murder cases. T or F
All police officers are trained to investigate crimes, and small town officers investigate homicides all the time.
14. Robbery and burglary are synonymous. T or F
15. Narcotics dogs are fed small amounts of cocaine at an early age to get them used to the drug. T or F
16. Shotguns and rifles are basically synonymous. T or F
17. It’s fairly easy to knock someone unconscious with a quick blow to the back of the head, or neck. T or F
18. No one has ever escaped from death row. T or F
19. CornerShot is a bendable device that allows officers to shoot around corners. T or F
Read about CornerShot http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/corner-shot-who-says-bullets-dont-bend/
20. Cops are trained to aim for arms, legs, and/or to shoot a knife or gun from a suspect’s hand. T or F
Officers are taught to shoot center mass of their target. It is extremely difficult to hit small, moving targets while under duress. Again, officers DO NOT shoot hands, legs, elbows, or weapons (well, not on purpose).
21. Officers always shoot to kill. T or F
Police officers are NEVER trained to “shoot to kill.” Instead, they’re taught to stop the threat. When the threat no longer exists the shooting stops, if it ever starts. Often, the threat ceases before shots are fired.
22. It would be fantastic if the Writers’ Police Academy could get one of the world’s leading DNA experts to speak at the 2013 event. T or F ?????