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!

The Bare Minimum: Police Academy Basic Firearms Training

Police academy training can be extremely intense at times. And, in most training academies the major source of a recruit's stress stems from  knowing they must successfully complete the program to remain employed with their departments. Anything…

Crime Rate is Down, Up, or Unchanged: The "Fudge Factor"

We've all seen, heard, or read about crime stats and their comparisons to previous years, such as the number of homicides committed in 2018 as opposed to those committed in 2017.These are the numbers used by elected officials, and others,…

It's Hammer Time! - Weapons Most Often Used to Kill

Last year in the U.S., according to FBI stats, over 14,000 people were murdered. That's more than the total number of residents who live in the wonderful city of Half Moon Bay, California, one of my favorite places. The seaside there is absolutely…
I Found Rocky (Roxanne) Raccoon on Talahi Island, Georgia

Weekend Road Trip: I Found Rocky (Roxanne) Raccoon on Talahi Island, Georgia

There's certainly no shortage of beauty around Savannah---the waterfront, ghost tours, spectacular architecture, ships, and, well, I could go on and on. But there are a few hidden treasures you won't see unless you travel a bit off the beaten…

Pigs in a Blanket and Other Short and Twisted Cop Tales

Pigs in a blanket.Winter night, toasty and warm.Hot cocoa, donuts.Sirens and blue lights.Miles of blacktop pass beneath.Robber, on the run. Canine, growls and snarls.Teeth, pointed, sharp, menacing.Bad…
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First to Break the Barriers: Brave Women Who Wore the Sheriff's Star

It was just over 100 years ago---Sunday May 4th, 1919---when Lafayette County, Missouri Sheriff Joseph Caldwell Talbott, Deputy John McDonald, and Deputy Constable James Stapleton were shot and killed while transporting three auto theft suspects…

The Party Crashers: Demise and the Mortis Triplets - Algor, Livor, and Rigor

You're in the prime of your life and you love to throw those crazy parties, the kind guests rave about for months afterward. They love that your backyard is a giant Slip-n-Slide hosed down by a fountain of beer. That you hire the best DJs with…

Brain Injury and Crime

The basics of home electrical wiring are fairly straightforward--- the hot (“live”) wire delivers power (120 volts) to lights, receptacles, etc. and is easily identified by its covering of black sheathing; the white-colored wire is the neutral…

A Burglar's Helper: Yes, It's You!

Sure, your brand new TV was expensive. So was your kid's Xbox and your husband's collection of solid gold and diamond-studded Three Stooges bobble-heads. I know, you locked all your doors and every window latch was tightly secured before you…
Discovering who killed Kenny

Discovering Who Killed Kenny Leads to a Perfect Setting

Ah, the mind of a mystery writer. Always contemplating the simpler things in life, like car chases, explosions, and murder.For me, there's nothing better than to open a book and instantly feel as if I've been transported to another world,…

Follow Me To The Grave

"I'm stopping a vehicle on Highway 68 northbound, just past exit 142. Black Dodge Charger, Virginia registration T-Tango, X-X-ray, P-Paul, 444. Two occupants.""10-4, 2122. Do you want a 10-28, 29 on that vehicle?""10-4.""Stand-by.…
cops and guns. are you using the right terminology

Cops and Guns: Are You Using "Selective Research?"

Writers are hard workers.It's not an easy task to reach into the brain to pull out and assemble just enough details from the swirling mass of ideas located there in order to create an entire world along with a bunch of individual characters…

NCIC: What It Is and How it's Used

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is one of the most vital tools available to law enforcement officers. Sure, they need the basics---firearms, pepper spray, handcuffs, patrol cars, vests, good shoes, exercise programs, eating well,…

Here's What Felicity Huffman Should Expect During Her Time in Prison

As most of you know by now, Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She was later sentenced to serve time in federal prison, a penalty also shared by the likes of  dangerous criminals…

8 Ways to Fool a Cop: WD-40 and Hidey-Holes

Cops who desire to produce results---discover hidden contraband---when conducting searches of homes and other buildings absolutely must learn to think like bad guys. It's a must if there's any hope of locating well-concealed evidence.Sure,…

The Midland/Odessa Shooter and Crosses for Losses: Evil and Good

Each four-foot-tall white cross is a memorial made of high quality, furniture-grade wood. The individual crosses weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pounds and each is adorned with a large red heart along with a photograph of a victim…
You have been found guilty

You've Been Found Guilty: Now What Happens?

So, you've been tried and convicted for a crime and now you're ready to do your time. Well, it's not like you had a say in the matter, but the day has arrived, nonetheless. And that day arrived a lot sooner than you'd preferred. Time simply…

Shooting Fish in a Barrel: Repeat Offenders

Cops will quickly tell you that they often arrest the same crooks over and over again. They see the same faces in the booking areas and they find their fingerprints and footprints and MO at crime scene after crime scene. They cannot seem to…