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!

A dead woman crying: murder in the rain
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A Dead Woman Crying: Delivering the "Death Knock"

I've seen more than anyone's fair share of murder victims. More than I'd care to count, actually. I've also seen a variety of methods and instruments used by killers to achieve their goal(s)---gunshots, edged weapons, etc.Some victims were…

Yes, They Actually Said ...

During the course of their days at work, officers hear many excuses, threats and, well, dumb statements. Here are a few I've heard over the years.Me - "Sir, do you know how fast you were driving?"Driver - "I do, but I'm not telling…

The Fire: Page 64 Of My Spiral Notebooks

Stacks of old spiral notebooks tell the story of my career in law enforcement. Most of the pages contain brief notations---mileage, oil changes, weather, dates and times, arrests, names of witnesses and suspects, crime scene information, prisoners…

ICE ... It's Cool and We Need It!

My grandfather drove an ice truck back in the day. In fact, I still have the tongs he used to muscle around massive 300-pound blocks of the frozen stuff. In his day, ice was made using a salt-brine process inside an “ice plant.”The ice-making…

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…
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Yes, It’s Possible to Identify Criminal Suspects by the Hairs of Their Chinny Chin Chins

We all know how the story goes. A sly, blowhardish and extremely hungry wolf arrives at the front doors of the recently created homes of three very handy pigs, a trio of walking porkchops who'd built their individual abodes on prime pieces of…
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Writers' Police Academy to Launch First Anthology: Announces Two Contest Winners!

This year, the Writers' Police Academy (WPA) spread its wings a bit with the introduction of our first publication, an anthology titled AFTER MIDNIGHT: TALES FROM THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT. Book Description The curtain rises on this collection…

Happy July 4th!

Have fun, stay safe, and remember our veterans, the men and women who make the sacrifices that make it possible for us to enjoy this and all holidays. And please, especially remember the vets, police officers, and other victims of horrifying…
What a waist

What a Waist: A Cop's Duty Belt

Yesterday's post about speed loaders inspired a question or two regarding the items carried on an officer's duty belt. So ...Imagine strapping a bowling ball to your waist each day before heading out to work. Wouldn't want to do it? No?Well,…

If Barney Fife Had Speed Loaders

In the days before semi-automatics took center stage in the world of law enforcement, police officers carried revolvers as their weapons of choice. Cowboys called them six-shooters, and many modern gun buffs often refer to them as wheel guns…
Bench with handcuff bars

Mr. X: How I Survived in Prison - Field Trips

Mr. X is a former business professional who committed a crime that landed him in federal prison. He's out now and has agreed to share his story with the readers of The Graveyard Shift.GYS: You mentioned a couple trips you took while incarcerated.…

Romey J. Wellington's Cat

A black cat, perched atop an empty moss-coated, concrete flower urn, watched the goings-on at the graveside service of the recently deceased Romey J. Wellington. At the hired clergyman’s first mention of ashes and dust, the aloof animal opened…
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A Peek Into Cops' "Oops" Windows

Police Officers are the brave men and women who's duty is to protect us and to round up the evil folks who commit dastardly crimes against society. They're enforcers of the law. They run into danger, leaping mud puddles and discarded fast food…

A Little Dab'll Do Ya': When Inaccurate Testimony Sends Innocent People to Prison

Most of us are familiar with famous forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee. I, in fact, I have a couple of books on my office shelves, reference material that features his renowned work. He's practically a guru when it comes to his word in a court…

I've Got a Blue Taser, Thanks to You (To the Tune of Elvis' "Blue Christmas")

With nearly every item under the sun, short of the kitchen sink and an anti-aircraft gun, strapped snuggly around their waists, officers today should be safer than ever before, right?But are they indeed safer than officers of days gone by?Does…
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Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hoppin' Down The Murder Trail

"Yes, Sam, you heard me correctly. The murder weapon was indeed a wisecracking, bucktooth bunny.""Don't be silly, Daffy. I can't imagine how she could bludgeon the man to death using a long-eared galoot.""No more speculation, please,"…
Richmond Virginia

Weekend Road Trip: Richmond, Virginia's Hollywood Cemetery

The Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va. is one of the capital city' most visited tourist attractions. It's also the final resting spot for presidents James Monroe (also governor of Virginia in 1800) and John Tyler, as well as several famous…