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This year, 2019, the Writers’ Police Academy has gone far outside the box to provide a rare opportunity for writers, fans, readers, and anyone who’s fascinated with the knowledge of how homicide investigators solve even the most complex cases. It’s called MurderCon and its name says it all. The four day event is all about the crime of murder.

MurderCon is not a writers conference where attendees learn plotting and sentence structure and how to land an agent. Not at all. MurderCon, as its name suggests, is designed to help writers bring much-needed life into their “death” scenes, and how their characters should go about reaching a solution to those cases—collecting and preserving evidence, interrogating suspects, examining blood evidence, concealing a murder using fire, and clandestine grave investigations, to name a few.

 

 

In addition to the steps involved when investigating a homicide, MurderCon offers the little things, facts and intricate details that you’d never, not ever, have the opportunity to experience, unless, of course, you’re an actual homicide investigator.

It’s those nitty-gritty details that make readers turn pages and stay up all night hoping to solve the crime before the hero of the tale brings the case to its conclusion. They’re the points that could send your stories soaring to levels you might never have achieved without attending this extraordinary event.

“When writers graduate from MurderCon, they’ll have the knowledge to describe what really happens—and doesn’t happen—in a homicide investigation.” ~ Sirchie’s Vice President of Product Development and Training, Dyer Bennett

During this intense weekend, we’re offering a collection of amazingly detailed and hands-on classes and training sessions that are typically available only to law enforcement. You will indeed participate in actual training at the very source of crime scene and forensic technology, the one and only training and manufacturing facility of Sirchie.

Buried Bodies, a MurderCon session taught by Dr. Bryan W. Brendley, is an outdoor session with demonstrations of various stages of a clandestine grave excavation. Dr. Brendley currently serves as a cold case consultant. In addition, he’s an expert in Clandestine Grave Recovery, Forensic Palynology, Drowning Forensics, Land- and Water-Based Crime Scenes, and Forensic Dental Identification.

Sirchie, the global leader in Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Science Solutions, is, to put it simple terms, is an industry leader staffed by a team of famed professionals who research a need, develop a product to meet those needs, and then manufactures and distributes those products to law enforcement worldwide. They fabricate and make available thousands of products, from patented fingerprint brushes and powders all the way to high-tech surveillance and evidence collection vehicles, and lots more in between.

In addition to tools and equipment, Sirchie offers world class, high-level training at their elite Youngsville, N.C. compound. It’s a private facility that sits on a sprawling property. Their renowned group of instructors are some of the best in the business.

Sirchie instructors teach classes, courses, and workshops to law enforcement professionals from local and state police forces as well as officers and agents from federal agencies, including state prison systems, airport security, FBI agents focused on counter terrorism, and Treasury and Secret Service agents. International students travel to Sirchie from countries ranging from Italy to Mexico and Argentina to Qatar.

To give you an example of the level of instruction MurderCon attendees will receive … remember the horrific Polly Klaas kidnaping and murder? This was a convoluted investigation that involved multiple law enforcement agencies—local, state, and federal, including the FBI—over 4,000 volunteers who assisted in the search, major television network shows such as America’s Most Wanted and 20/20.

Over 500 search team members from 24 agencies were involved in what was the largest effort of its kind in the state of California.

One of the key investigators involved in the Polly Klaas investigation was David Alford, a Sirchie and MurderCon instructor.

Agent Alford, now retired after 21 years of service, was one of the founding members of the FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT).

Since David and crew founded the extremely vital ERT team, it has grown tremendously and is now composed of supervisory special agents, forensic canine consultants and operations and logistics management specialists, and management and program analysts.

The ERT program supports teams in all 56 FBI field offices to ensure evidence is collected in such a manner that it can be introduced in courts throughout the U.S. and the world.

*ERT information and image source – FBI.gov

David also conducted crimes scene searches on numerous international violent crimes and bombings, as well as being involved the search of the Unabomber’s cabin and the 9/11 Pentagon scene. He’s a Forensic Serologist, Hair and Fibers Examiner, and Bloodstain Pattern Analyst.

David Alford’s session at MurderCon exposes attendees to proper methods to locate, identify, and enhance blood evidence. Also included in this workshop are chemical search methods using luminol and Bluestar. Attendees will also receive an introduction to blood patterns and what they can tell an investigator about a scene, as well as instruction regarding the identification of blood by using chemicals to enhance suspected blood patterns.

And this is only one of the renowned and highly-skilled instructors and the classes offered at the 2019 MurderCon event. When we say MurderCon is the real deal, well, that’s exactly what it is.

Sirchie’s Vice President of Product Development and Training, Dyer Bennett says MurderCon attendees will be trained the same way they train law enforcement. And, writers who’ve attended prior WPA courses can expect the learn-by-doing philosophy to continue. Every course will have a hands-on component.

They’ll see and do what officers see and do.


MurderCon is about knowledge. It’s about exciting and teasing the senses of both you and your readers. It’s about enhancing your credibility as an author. It’s about fun.

“Having first-hand experience will allow writers to portray crime scene details realistically; and it will let them share with their readers how it feels to investigate a homicide.” Dyer Bennett

For details about the Writers’ Police Academy special event, MurderCon, please visit our all new website.

Registration opens at noon on Sunday February 24, 2019 EST. Please keep in mind that past WPA events have sold out on the first day. Sometimes within an hour or so of the opening of registration. That’s how wildly popular and important these events are to writers, readers, and fans. So please be ready at noon on Sunday. Believe me, you do not want to miss this one. It’s amazing!

MurderCon

 

It’s NEW. It’s UNIQUE. It’s SPECTACULAR.

And it’s never been done before, anywhere. Not in the U.S. Not anywhere else in the world, and, as far as we know, not in this galaxy.

You, my good friends, have the opportunity to attend an event that’s so special and so very rare that, well, it’s an event that many police homicide investigators would give their eyeteeth to experience—the chance to participate in world-class training at the 130 acre elite Sirchie training facility near Raleigh, N.C.

As a patrol officer and later as a detective, I used Sirchie products to help solve more crimes than I could possibly begin to count, from simple B&E’s to Murder and Murder for Hire

To give you an idea of just how impressive the Sirchie facilities truly are, please join me on my first in-person visit there, back when I was hoping to convince Sirchie officials to help writers “get it right.” It went something like this (from one of my blog posts from several years ago) …

“t was nearly seven years ago to the day when I first made the three-hour drive from our North Carolina home to the Sirchie Fingerprint Laboratories compound. I could barely contain my excitement. After all, the folks at Sirchie are probably the best in the world at what they do and the mere thought of the many superstars of crime-fighting from around the world who’ve been trained at Sirchie is almost overwhelming. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of crimes that have been solved using Sirchie products—products that are made right there on the compound.

After traveling for what seemed like an eternity, while answering emails and phone calls regarding the Writers’ Police Academy, the sprawling Sirchie property appeared on my right. The first thing that caught my attention was the golf-course-like green grass that stretched as far as the eye could see. And it was surrounded by what appeared to be an endless, gleaming, white 3-rail fence. A large gate, complete with a coded-entry system, was the only break in the fence. Very impressive.

I made the right turn off the winding country road I’d been traveling since I left the bustle of interstate traffic around Raleigh and headed through the opening in the metal gates. The long driveway leading to the facility was split by a row shade trees. A nice touch.

Two or three huge white buildings sat at the end of the drive. There was a beautifully-landscaped pond in front (I later learned the pond was even stocked with fish).

There were no signs or identifying markers—nothing—to let anyone know that this was indeed one of, if not THE premier crime-fighting operation in the world. But, I soon saw a personalized license plate on a vehicle that let me know I was in the right place. The lettering referenced crime scene investigation. Bingo.

Anyway, the purpose of my trip was to meet with the folks who run the massive Sirchie operation to discuss their potential involvement with the Writers’ Police Academy. I can’t begin to tell you how lucky the attendees of the WPA are to have the opportunity to learn from Sirchie instructors. They’re the best-of-the-best and they teach the best-of-the-best. Needless to say, this is a rare opportunity and I’m so pleased to be a part of it.”

And here’s where things get even better. We, the Writers’ Police Academy, are taking you inside the Sirchie complex, a place where outsiders are generally not permitted. Sure, over the years, we’ve made it possible for a handful of writers to attend Sirchie’s weeklong Evidence Collection Course (another for-law-enforcement-eyes-only session), but this time we’re going beyond even what I’d hoped to achieve  … MurderCon.

MurderCon, presented by the Writers’ Police Academy, in conjunction with Sirchie, is the ultimate training event for writers who desire to bring the realism in their writing to a level most could only dream of attaining.

Yes, you, a MurderCon attendee will walk the same hallways, enter the same classrooms and training areas, and sit in the same seats as some of the top crime-solving experts from around the entire world.

Our group of renowned instructors who’ll present to you material that you’ll likely absorb like dry sponges soak up spilled liquids, are the experts who, for example, developed and founded the FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT). They’ve trained top agents from the FBI and US State Department. They’re instructors at the National Fire Academy, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, Thailand.

MurderCon instructors are top, highly-skilled experts in the areas of Cold Cases, Clandestine Grave Recovery, Drowning Forensics, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Geology (using soil to find killers), Biological and Chemical Weapons (bioterrorism),Toxicology, Pathology, Latent Prints, Bloodstain Interpretation and Analysis, and so much more.

This is hands-down the most exclusive collection of experts ever assembled as a team of instructors for an event for writers. And to top it off, MurderCon offers its attendees the same hands-on training taught to top police homicide investigators.

Dyer Bennett, Sirchie’s Vice President of Product Development and Training, said it best, I think, when he answered the question …

Why Should You Attend the 2019 Writers’ Police Academy – MurderCon?

 

When writers graduate from MurderCon, they’ll have the knowledge to describe what really happens—and doesn’t happen—in a homicide investigation.” ~ Dyer Bennett, Vice President of Sirchie’s Product Development and Training

The all-new MurderCon website!

After scrapping the WPA’s old dinosaur-esque  website, Shelly Haffly, Creative Director + Owner at Rusti Boot Creative, started building a new site, from the ground up. It was a massive task that took months of planning, tons of long hours, and lots of hard work. But the result was worth it. The website is super nice and the internal workings operate like a finely-crafted engine, or delicate clock. Lots of whirring gears and spinning gadgets, buttons, and knobs. I think she created a masterpiece. From where I sit, it’s a work of art.

Anyway, I am extremely pleased to announce that MurderCon’s Official Website is now LIVE!

We’re excited for you to see the all-new look in preparation for the opening of registration for this super-special, spectacular event. Registration is scheduled to open on February 24, 2019 at noon EST.

wwwe.writerspoliceacademy.com

We’ve tried to accommodate as many attendees as possible but, of course, there is only so much space to go around. Therefore, slots for the event are limited. Extremely limited. As in first-come, first-served. So I encourage you to please, please, please be ready to signup the moment registration opens. After all, we’ve sold out on the first day, sometimes within the first hour, several times in the past. And the event this year, being such a rare opportunity, well, be ready. You will not want to miss the extremely special opportunity!

Also, hotel rooms at the Marriott Crabtree Valley in Raleigh, our event hotel, are already going fast so it’s my advice to you to book your rooms today. Right now, if you haven’t already done so. You may book your room by clicking the link below. Many of the event activities take place at the hotel.

CrabtreeValleyMarriott


*The MurderCon website is brand new so please bear with us if you see a minor error or two. Several sets of eyes have scanned every detail, but you, as writers, know how the editing process goes. Sometimes “it” stares you in the face for months before you see “it.” And, as those of you with websites know, it takes several hours for a new site to fully propagate throughout the web. If you don’t see the new page(s), or if things don’t seem quite right with what you so see, please check back at a later time. It should settle in as the evening and night goes on.

Once you’ve had a chance to explore, please do begin to make plans to attend. It truly is a “killer” event!

 

Do You Quality for a SinC $150 Grant?

Are you a member of Sisters in Crime? If so, you may quality for a new SinC program that offers members a $150 grant that can be used toward registration fees at approved educational events/conferences. The WritersPolice Academy‘s MurderCon is one of the approved options.

The SinC program awards grants on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if you quality, you should apply as soon as possible. The funds are paid directly to recipients after they attend the event