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!

Weapons of Mass Ear-itation

If we're to believe novels and old movies and even some television news reports, spying and gathering information by way of torture go together much like peanut butter and jelly, French fries and ketchup, and bacon and eggs. And, well, bacon…

Topping the Bizzarro Meter: Toe-Sucking and Button-Licking

Sylvia and Dave Dungan of Salinas, California, did a smart thing when they installed surveillance cameras around their home. After all, they sometimes leave their children at home, locked inside and protected by a security system. The cameras…

I Lost a Femur the Easy Way, She Did Not

Having a surgeon hammer, chisel, and saw away and remove the femur and surrounding bone of my left hip was a bit odd, to say the least. But, I was provided instruction regarding what and how the bone-removal was to take place. I was told, in…

Hip Replacement: The Ins and Outs of It

Hip replacement surgery, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing it, is basically a breeze. The worst part of it all came by way of the nurse who shaved the surgical site. She, and I'm being more than kind, was a sadistic,…

Hammers, Saws, and New Body Parts: Today is Surgery Day!

By the time you read this I'll be inside a modern hospital---pictured above---that's complete with all the newfangled gadgets, hammers, saws, and big box store power tools needed to complete a successful hip replacement.My surgeon is currently…

Wednesday Musings: A Faulty Hip and MurderCon

It’s a new year and soon I’ll be the proud owner of a brand new, shiny left hip. Yes, tomorrow is surgery day.I’ve endured a couple of years dealing with pain that grew increasingly worse as the days passed by. Routine tasks and chores…

Madam Zelda's Top 14 Predictions for 2019

Each year on the last day of December I travel to a secret location where I meet with my friend Madam Zelda to learn her predictions for the coming year. The mysterious clairvoyant is so good at what she does that she’s rarely, if ever, wrong.…
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Thank You, Dear Friends: 2018, a Super Tough Year, is Almost Behind Me

Today marks the end of another year. This one was especially turbulent for me and my family. But above all the bad, of course, came the filling of most of the top portion of a half-empty glass.As many of you know, both my mother-in-law and…

No Flashlight and No Ghosts: A Murder by Hanging

The abandoned factory sat just across the county line. Its towering and crumbling red brick smokestacks stood like fingers pointing to the sky. Portions of the building's red brick facade and stacks appeared as if they'd been devoured by mounds…
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It's Christmas, So Let's Pull a Fat Guy Through a Car Window

It was a Christmas Eve when Denene, my wife for those of you who don't know her, decided she'd like to ride along with me during my shift so we could at least spend a part of the night together. It would be her first and last in-person experience…

A Pig's Head for New Year's Day: Burglary vs. Robbery

It's 9:00 p.m., the evening after Christmas and you're at a neighbor's house drinking leftover eggnog and discussing the cool gifts you'd received from friends and family. Meanwhile, a man jimmies open your bedroom window, climbs inside, and…

A Cop's Christmas Eve: Crying, Bleeding, and Dying

Candies and cakes,And eggnog too.Turkey, ham, and stuffing.Pumpkin pie,For me and for you. Family and friends,And fireplace crackles.Cedar logs sizzle.Family dog,Sleeping at the hearth. Cookies…
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An Orange For Christmas: A Sad But True Story

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night... A general rule of thumb is to not begin a tale with the weather. I know this and humbly apologize for violating protocol. It's just that the elements are such a crucial part of this story and, well, please…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Officer Jason Quick, 31Lumberton North Carolina Police DepartmentDecember 15, 2018 - Officer Jason Quick was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating a car crash on I-95. He is survived by his wife and two young children.   Officer…

The First Step Act ... and Second Chances

It's not often these days that I applaud the actions taken by the federal government. But passing a prison reform bill was a good thing. Hooray.Well, it's a start, at least.Yes, I'm pleased that cry-babies politicians put aside the foot-stompin',…
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Stuff it in Your Underwear, and Other Details to Add Sizzle to Your Tale

Sometimes it's the tiniest detail that makes a setting pop, zing, and sizzle. They're the little things that cause readers to sit up and take notice. They evoke emotion and stir memories of real life experiences. They're the things that make…

Children in Need of Services ... and Love

An Iowa woman was arrested yesterday after leaving her three small children---ages five, three, and one---at home alone around 10 P.M. The woman, Natalee Kahl, 23, told police that she'd left her kids at the apartment while she traveled to…
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Flirting With Disaster: Overzealous Cops and the Mentally Ill Suspect

It was a cold January night back in 1975, a night when the temperatures dipped to the mid 20s. There were no clouds in the coal-black sky, but the overhead inky nothingness was peppered with thousands of tiny off-white dots---winking and flickering…