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Read Any Good Bloodstains Lately? The Endings are Killer!

A good bloodstain training class typically uses actual blood, because nothing else accurately mimics the real stuff. Although, a decent substitute for the real deal is a mixture of Karo syrup and red food coloring.

During training classes students are exposed to nearly every type real-life scenario imaginable, but the first order of business is to learn the basics—characteristics of a blood drop.

Characteristics of a blood drop

– blood drops are formed by gravity

– blood drops cannot break apart unless contacted by an outside force

– larger drops travel further than smaller drops (due to mass, not size)

– blood drops always travel in an arcing path (impact injuries)

– size ranges from a few millimeters to few centimeters

– volume of a drop of blood is in direct proportion to whatever it’s dropping from (ax, stick, arm, leg, etc)

Crime scene investigators typically measure bloodstains that hit surfaces on the way up, not stains made by blood that’s on its way back down. Stains made when traveling upward are much more accurate for use as evidence because gravity is not as much of a factor in the pattern’s formation.

Types of Bloodstain Patterns

Impact – caused by high-velocity or medium-velocity wounds—gun shots or blows by an object such as a baseball bat or hammer.

Swipes (Wipes)Caused by a bloody object being wiped across another surface. These stains are the reason for changing the name of the examination from “blood spatter” evidence to “bloodstain” evidence (not all patterns are caused by airborne drops of blood). Remember that in your writing. Patterns caused by spattering, splattering, or wiped-on blood is no longer called “blood spatter.”

Therefore, your characters should reflect the change, as have their real-life counterparts. An example of the change:

Detective Sergeant 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, Ridley Perkins. Then he tipped his bald, oval-shaped head back toward “the cow wall” where reddish splotches and dots of once-oozing blood contrasted sharply against the freshly painted, snow white surface. The cow’s tail moved from side to side with each tick-tock of the timepiece.

Tick Tock …

“I believe, Ridley,” he said, “that our killer was right-handed, shorter than your own meager five-and-a-half feet, and was standing, not sitting, quite close to our victim, poor Mrs. Ima Ghostnow, when he pulled the trigger on what was most likely a revolver. That, my friend, is what I believe happened to our unfortunate victim.”

Tick Tock …

*Terminology could vary from one area to the next.

The Lingo

Cast-Off– Caused by slinging blood off objects in motion (a swing of a bloody hammer, or arm).

Drip and Flow– Caused when blood drops off one object onto another.

Projected– Caused by arterial spurts. Often seen in stabbings and cuttings.

The ability to effectively interpret bloodstain patterns is a science and an art. But, before investigators can dive into a crime scene, they must learn a bit of terminology, such as:

Angle of Impact– the angle formed between the direction of an individual drop of blood and the surface it strikes.

Back Spatter– blood that’s directed back towards the source of energy, such as a hand holding a firearm, or hammer.

Expirated blood – blood that’s forced from the mouth or nose where air (exhalation) is the propellant.

High Velocity Impact Spatter (HVIS)– bloodstain pattern caused by a high velocity impact, such as those caused by gunshots or fast moving equipment or machinery (saws, drills, etc.)

Point of Convergence – the point (two dimensional) where the direction of travel (blood droplets) intersect. Can be used to help determine where the victim was standing when the fatal injury was delivered.

Point of Origin –the point (three dimensional) where the direction of travel (blood droplets) intersect.

Stringing – a method used to determine the point of origin. Investigators tie strings at the blood drops, following the direction of travel. The point where the strings intersect is the point of origin. Lasers are sometimes used in lieu of strings.

Stringing You Along!


The 2018 Writers’ Police academy offers a fantastic workshop on bloodstain pattern investigations. The class is taught by expert RJ Beam.


Remember, the Writers’ Police Academy is a hands-on training event for writers, readers, fans, and anyone who simply wants to learn more about police, firefighting, EMS, and forensics. Spots are open so click the link above and sign up today to attend this THRILLING event. See you there!

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 girl whose brother worked with a man whose wife went to school with a guy whose son married a woman whose father was a mechanic who worked on police cars and he said he heard cops talking all the time about crooks and raids and guns and stuff.

Don’t Listen to the Mechanic!

Well, that sort of advice may not be the most accurate in the world. Therefore, I suggest—

Ah, you want to experience shooting and driving and dusting for prints and all things associated with police work. I wholeheartedly understand and I have something that will definitely help you take your writing to levels you never imagined. So forget about the auto mechanic someone almost knew a long time ago and take a peek at this video. You’ll be glad you did (try watching in full screen mode with the volume switched on).
 


 

www.writerspoliceacademy.com
 
#2018WPA

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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 read the top twelve entries and then select the winning story. The contest winner, of course, receives a slew of cool prizes including the coveted Golden Donut Award!

Here’s what you need to do to get your writing in front of one of the world’s top authors (sorry for the small font—the graphic is a photo).

This is a fun contest!

Since the graphic above is a photo, the embedded links are not active. Here are the links listed within the newsletter, in their order of appearance in the piece.

  1. Click HERE for a link to more details and contest rules.
  2. If you’d like to be a first-round judge, email us at 2018goldendonut@gmail.com.
  3. Don’t forget to tell your friends who are figuring out how to budget for conferences this year that Sisters in Crime is once again offering a $150 registration scholarship to all SinC members attending the Writers’ Police Academy for the first time.
  4. If you need help with your travel arrangements, feel free to contact Darek Jarmola, the agent who handles arrangements for our guest speakers and experts. Derek is well versed in transportation options for Green Bay, Wisconsin. He can be reached at Darek@authenticeurope.com or by phoning 918-214-4582.

Tami Hoag – Writers’ Police Academy firing range

 

Tami after performing a PIT maneuver at the driving track. Intense action, and FUN! – Writers’ Police Academy

TamiHoag.com


There is still time to sign up for the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy. HURRY!

Again, If you’ve ever wanted to attend the WPA, I STRONGLY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY urge you to do so this year. Openings are available … this year. Could be your last chance. I’m just saying …

WritersPoliceAcademy.com

 

2018 Writers’ Police Academy: An Exciting Video, a FREE $500 Registration Prize … Say WHAT?

Tomorrow at noon (EST). Set your watches, timers, clocks, and all other reminder-type devices because registration to the 10th annual Writers’ Police Academy is scheduled to go live at that precise moment (12 noon EST).

Be ready to sign up because you will not want to miss the thrills and heart-pounding excitement.

Sign up the first day for a chance to win a FREE registration packet worth over $500! The WPA is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

#2018WPA

WritersPoliceAcademy.com

Here’s a preview of what to expect at the WPA. Crank up the volume, set the video to full screen, and hang on!
 

 
Just for fun, who can tell me the name of the person who’s eyes appear in the top photo?

2018 Writers’ Police Academy: An Exciting Video Preview

Seeing is believing and the hands-on training offered at the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy is second to none. It’s thrilling, heart-pounding, and a ton of fun! Add a mind-blowing new level of realism to your writing. #2018WPA

Registration opens at noon (EST) February 18, 2018. Please be ready to sign up because spots for the 10th anniversary blowout are extremely limited!

Pursuit Driving – High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle!

Wound-Packing – Police officers sustain gunshot wounds in the field and it is often up to their partners to perform life-saving first aid techniques. Now you, too, have the unique opportunity to stop an arterial bleed, seal a sucking chest wound, or to stop bleeding from a gaping wound. Never before have writers been offered this behind the scenes, hands-on experience. Bring life to your characters. Realism beyond belief (Caution – graphic images, but this is a simulation. Not a real victim!).

Emergency Driving – Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren.

http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

*Above videos were filmed at the Writers’ Police Academy training facility.

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6 Ways to Enhance the Shooting Skills of Your Protagonists

Using a .38 to shoot a gun from the hand of a bank robber from a distance of eight miles away is not realistic. For that matter, neither is shooting anything from a bad guy’s hand at practically any distance, but that’s for another blog article. This one is designed to help improve the shooting skills of the heroes you develop so carefully in other ways—they’re the best interrogators on the planet and they run faster, punch harder, and jump higher than any human anywhere. But their shooting abilities are a bit lacking.

Oh sure, you have them easily take aim and pick off the wings of a gnat in the next county over. But we, the readers, all know what we’re seeing is a load of hogwash. We know this because we see how the characters hold their guns. We see how they pull those triggers.

That’s right, we’re privy to to a writer’s lack of knowledge when it comes to things such as:

  1. Weapon Selection – Choosing the weapon that’s right for you and your character is important. Shooting is not a one size fits all activity. So shop around until you find the firearm that fits your/their hand, is comfortable in the hand, and one that is easy to handle.

As you can see here, the options are many. By the way, the 2018 Writers’ Police Academy features a workshop on Weapons Selection (Explore gun types to match the personalities of various characters of different eras).

 

2. Stance and grip – Accuracy begins with a proper and solid stance.

  • Your stance should be firm and unwavering.
  • Feet approximately shoulder-width apart.
  • Your body weight – well-distributed.
  • Lean slightly into the gun.
  • Grip on the weapon should be firm and strong, but not so tight that your hands shake.

3. Sight Alignment – align the front sight between the rear posts in the rear notch with an equal amount of light on each side.

4. Sight Picture – hold the sight alignment on the target, at the spot in which you wish to strike the object with the bullet.

5. Trigger Control – This step is extremely important! The trigger is the key to accuracy. Poor trigger control leads to poorly-fired shots. The trigger should rest on the pad of the index finger, approximately half-way between the fingertip and the first joint. NOT in the fold/crease of the knuckle! To fire, squeeze the trigger/apply a slow, steady pressure.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice!!

Spend as much time on the range as humanly possible. Well, that’s if you want to improve your shooting. If not, good luck during the next foot pursuit of a crazed and heavily-armed escaped convict/masked murderer/robber/rapist/known cop-killer.

2018 Writers’ Police Academy Offers Live-Fire Workshops!

By the way, you can enjoy time at the rifle and pistol range at the Writers’ Police Academy. Click the link for details. Registration for this one-of-a-kind thrilling event opens at noon (EST) February 18, 2018. This is our 10th anniversary so expect over the top excitement!

Range time – Writers’ Police Academy

2018 Writers’ Police Academy Workshop Descriptions … AMAZING!!

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Writers’ Police Academy and the event is nothing short of AMAZING! As in OMG A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! Believe me when I say this is THE year to attend. Registration opens at noon (EST) on February 18, 2018. Please be ready to sign up the moment the clock strikes twelve because space is extremely limited!

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS


INSTRUCTOR: TROY JANDA
Learn how a projectile behaves when it hits its mark and then transfers its kinetic energy to the target.

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
Crime scenes always tell a story, which shows up most clearly in behavioral clues. This can mean anything from signatures that link crimes to indicators of staged crimes to predictors of dangerous future behavior. This session shows writers how to spot and interpret behavioral clues during criminal profiling or psychological autopsy.

 

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
The science behind bloodstain patterns and spatter. Hands-on session that includes time with SPATTER HEAD! *HIT class

 

This is a HOT session. A vehicle is fully engulfed and it’s up to you and your team to extinguish the flames. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: CARRIE STUART PARKS
Forensic art – composite drawing, facial reconstruction and unknown remains, cognitive interviewing, signs of deception.

 

Experience the sights, sounds, odors, and emotions associated with rescuing victims trapped in confined spaces. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: JUDGE KEVIN RATHBURN
Officers must follow the law of the land and this session details the law as it pertains to traffic stops.

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER
Techniques used to control behavior of cooperative and uncooperative suspects. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: ZAWACKI
Session explores DNA evidence, samples, the testing process, and errors often found in books, TV, and film.

 

INSTRUCTOR: VARIOUS
Police dogs doing what they do best.

 

INSTRUCTOR: HEENAN & JOHNSON
Experience the difficulty of multitasking while driving, observing, and communicating, and all while utilizing lights and siren. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: R.J. BEAM
Dusting, fuming, and difficult to print surfaces are just a few of the fingerprinting techniques you’ll learn in this detailed hands-on session. *HIT class

 

A heart-pounding, eye-opening, and extremely realistic session where you must decide, within a fraction of a second, whether or not to use deadly force. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER & NEJEDLO
As police officers, you and your partner respond to an alarm at a local business. It is up to you to search clear the building. Part of “clearing” involves looking for criminal suspects who may or may not be hiding. Of course, the person you encounter could be the janitor. Or is he?? *Participants will be required to wear protective gear during this hands-on exercise.  *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: STOVER & NISHIMOTO
Learn the fundamentals of a Glock pistol. Become familiar with sight picture, sight alignment, stance, grip, and trigger control. Fire live ammunition on the academy pistol range. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Hit List – the list of HIT workshops

 

INSTRUCTOR: STAFF
Human trafficking – Details TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: VARIOUS

 

INSTRUCTOR: NWTC STAFF/RANGE INSTRUCTORS
Learn the basics of the .223 patrol rifle, nomenclature, field stripping, fundamentals, and live fire on the rifle range. *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
Learn more intricacies of the martial arts. The basics of getaways, pressure points, holds, locks and bars, multiple opponents. Learn how one defends against various weapons. Believe me there are big differences. Feel free to bring your fight scene (in your mind, not on paper) and we’ll try to work through it. Hands-on workshop.

 

INSTRUCTOR: ESOMA KUNG FU MASTER INSTRUCTOR HOWARD LEWIS
If you’re writing a character who has studied or uses martial arts, pick a discipline that matches his or her personality and physical strengths. It will make your character more credible. We’ll give you information to help you choose wisely. You’ll also learn how martial artists in various disciplines are trained. This determines how they think and react when confronted. See what they see. Hear what they hear. A perfect way to build suspense in your fight scenes.

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. DENENE LOFLAND
Why carry a gun when you can let a microscopic creature do the job for you? A collection of my most interesting and deadly microbiology cases. This workshop provides an opportunity for audience participation. Download the student version of the Socrative app so you can provide your anonymous (if you want) opinion on these fascinating cases. www.socrative.com/

 

INSTRUCTOR: PAUL BISHOP
Behavioral science is one of law enforcement’s most powerful weapons. Profiling—mindhunting—helps not only capture predators, but can also uncover the key to their motivations. Mindhunting will explore how criminal predators work, ways to prevent them from striking again, and how to protect yourselves and others by knowing your enemy.

 

INSTRUCTOR: DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
More people now resort to public acts of extreme violence than in the past. Although it is still difficult to identify individuals who will act out violently, threat evaluation has improved. This session shows specific risk factors associated with the violent mind, understanding prediction limitations, and devising plans of action.

 

Opening Ceremonies by TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
An examination of basic police procedures and how incidents can get distorted by the media.

 

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
What causes PTSD? The effects on officers and their families. The symptoms of PTSD and treatments. How departments and other officers respond to those suffering the effects of PTSD. How cumulative stress can impact performance and health.

 

INSTRUCTOR: HEENAN/JOHNSON
High Speed Pursuit! You will drive the pursuit vehicle! *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: SPECIAL AGENT MIKE ROCHE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Examining the love tendencies of law enforcement officers. From scandalous infidelity, to office romance and the sparks ignited while answering calls. We will rip the sheets off the mattress and expose the inside world of love in the cop world.

 

INSTRUCTOR: JORDAN
More than an Aerosmith song title, “Walk This Way” is a room-clearing tactic used by American Law Enforcement. Session also details how to distinguish whether or not someone is or was a police officer, and if they’re on or off-duty. Say what??

 

INSTRUCTOR: JORDAN
You will never approach or view staircases the same way again, ever! This session details how officers safely approach, explore, and evaluate stairways. Hands-on.

 

INSTRUCTOR: ATF SPECIAL AGENT RICK MCMAHAN
Workshop title and details TBA

 

INSTRUCTOR: MARCO CONELLI
Session with NYPD Detective Marco Conelli – Workshop title and description TBA

 

Each year we incorporate surprise sessions that are designed to excite the senses of WPA attendees. The purpose is to allow you to experience “events” that unfold in real time, just as officers and other first responders experience in the real world.

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER & JEDI
Ready, Set … Blow Down Those Doors! KABOOM! Yes, you and your fellow SWAT team members will learn to use explosive charges and other methods of gaining entry into “hard-to-reach” places. This is the real deal! *HIT class

 

INSTRUCTOR: GILBERT
Police officers sustain gunshot wounds in the field and it is often up to their partners to perform life-saving first aid techniques. Now you, too, have the unique opportunity to stop an arterial bleed, seal a sucking chest wound, or to stop bleeding from a gaping wound. Never before have writers been offered this behind the scenes, hands-on experience. Bring life to your characters. Realism beyond belief!

 

INSTRUCTOR: KNETZGER
Tasers will be deployed. Class participation is encouraged … if you dare.

 

INSTRUCTOR: RATHBURN
Actual courtroom testimony. Experience what it’s like to testify as a police officer, recalling incidents, responding to legal questions, etc. Learn how your testimony as a law enforcement officer affects and influences a jury.

 

You conduct the traffic stop. Various scenarios. Be prepared for … well, anything!

 

INSTRUCTOR: PAUL BISHOP
Do you know the truth when you hear it or see it? Join nationally recognized behaviorist, interrogation expert, and experience LAPD detective Paul Bishop as he guides you into the intimate world of interrogation—where success or failure is determined before the first question is asked.

 

INSTRUCTOR: JANDA
Explore gun types to match the personalities of various characters of different eras.

 

INSTRUCTOR: MIKE BLACK
How TV, movies, and fiction distort police work

 
*More workshops to be announced. Check back often to view new additions.
 
http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com

Writers’ Police Academy Announces 2018 Guests of Honor

The Writers’ Police Academy is pleased to present our 2018 Guest of Honor, International Best Seller, Jeffery Deaver.

A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, The Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages.

He has served two terms as the president of the Mystery Writers of America.

The author of forty novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards.

His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize, as was a short story published recently. He has been awarded the Steel Dagger and the Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Award, and he is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award. Solitude Creek and The Cold Moon were both given the number one ranking by Kono Misurteri Ga Sugoi in Japan. The Cold Moon was also named the Book of the Year by the Mystery Writers Association of Japan. In addition, the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association awarded The Cold Moon and Carte Blanche their annual Grand Prix award. His book The Kill Room was awarded the Political Thriller of the Year by Killer Nashville. And his collection of short stories, Trouble in Mind, was nominated for best anthology by that organization, as well.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and by the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy. The Strand Magazine also has presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony, a Shamus and a Gumshoe. He was shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. Roadside Crosses was on the shortlist for the Prix Polar International 2013. He’s also been shortlisted for a Shamus.

His The Starling Project, staring Alfred Molina and produced by Audible.com, won the Audie award for best original audiobook of the year in 2015. A serial novel he created and contributed to, The Chopin Manuscript, also won this honor.

He contributed to the anthology In the Company of Sherlock and Books to Die For, which won the Anthony. Books to Die For recently won the Agatha, as well.

His most recent novels are The Steel Kiss, a Lincoln Rhyme novel, Solitude Creek, a Kathryn Dance thriller and The October List, a thriller told in reverse. For the Dance novel XO Deaver wrote an album of country-western songs, available on iTunes and as a CD; and before that, he wrote Carte Blanche, a James Bond continuation novel, a number-one international bestseller.

His book A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his The Devil’s Teardrop. And, yes, the rumors are true; he did appear as a corrupt reporter on his favorite soap opera, As the World Turns. He was born outside Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.

Readers can visit his website at www.jefferydeaver.com.


It’s an honor to welcome renowned forensic artist Carrie Stuart Parks as our 2018 Special Guest Speaker/Expert.

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning, internationally known forensic
artist. She travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic
art to law enforcement professionals including the FBI, Secret Service, and RCMP, and is the most widely known instructor of forensic art in the world.

Carrie’s novels in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre have garnered numerous
awards including the Christy, Carol, and Inspys. As a professional fine artist, she has written and illustrated numerous best-selling art books for North Light Publishers.

You can visit her website at carriestuartparks.com


 

This is our 10th anniversary so expect the largest and most thrilling event we’ve produced to date. The lineup is unbelievable!

When:

August 9-12, 2018

Where:

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
International Public Safety Training Academy
Green Bay, Wisconsin

As always, there’s far too much to see and do in a single weekend, so get plenty of rest, wear comfortable shoes, and prepare to be blown away by THE event of a lifetime!

Hotel:

HYATT REGENCY GREEN BAY

333 Main Street

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 54301

Tel: +1 920 432 1234

Shuttle service is provided to and from the hotel and airport.

Reservation code coming this week. Reserve your rooms asap. Space is limited!

Airport:

Austin Straubel International Airport
Airport Code – GRB
Shuttles are provided between the airport and event hotel.

Since the 2018 WPA is our 10th anniversary, we’ve pushed our own limits to take the 2018 WPA to a level of unbelievable excitement and heart-pounding action. You will not believe your eyes.