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 Complacency Monkey Shares Street Survival Tips

Law Enforcement. The job is dangerous, no doubt about it. Driving at high speeds. Guns. Bullets. Knives. Fights. Bombs. Well, you get the idea. So what can officers, fictional or real, do to stay safe in a world where bad guys have no problem…

Inmate J.L. Bird Flies Con Air, and Live ALL NUDE Shows for Prisoners

Inmate J.L. Bird had never heard of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), let alone be a part of their mobile inventory. And, after experiencing it first-hand, well, he didn't care if he never heard of it again ... not…

A Prisoner's Coast to Coast Journey: Three Very Long and Unusual Months

It was three-thirty in the morning when the taller of the two guards woke him by using a metal flashlight to deliver a few sharp pokes to the thigh. "Roll 'em up, Bird. You're going on a little trip," said the short one with the acne scarred…

Ten Excuses That Make Cops Say, "Hmm ..."

Any cop will tell you that just when they think they've heard it all, well, along comes something else that tops all the rest. For example, here are ten excuses people offered as explanations for why they did the things they did. All I can…
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20 Survival Tips for Real and Fictional Officers

Cops absorb lots of information during the months they spend in the training academy. Then, when they finally do hit the streets they're required to ride with a field training officer for a few months, a time when the FTO crams even more important…

Mr. X: I Was Abused By A Female Corrections Officer

A recent news story about the abuse of inmates in some U.S. jails and prisons reminded me of a conversation I once had with a former federal prisoner, a person we refer to as Mr. X. Mr. X is a former business professional who committed a…

Where's the DNA?

Can't seem to find the right clues for your current work-in-progress? Well, here's a handy guide to help with locating DNA evidence. Undergarments (boxers and/or briefs, etc.) Sweat-stained clothing Semen stains on clothing, bedding,…
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"Hanging Out" With Kat Bungler

Bad guys are often portrayed on TV, and in film, as super intelligent geniuses who're one step away from ruling the world. They're savvy and wealthy with a gang of bodyguards and accomplices who are always miles ahead of the law enforcement…
Between a rock and a hard place

Biff Steele: Have You Created A Rocky Hardplace in your Latest Book?

I cringed when I read the opening line of the first draft of the new series. She'd named me Biff Steele, as if Rod Manly hadn't been bad enough in the previous books. But names, however cheesy they may be, are not the worst thing that could…

How to Arrest a Naked Man

I've never been one to back down from a challenge. Actually, I've rarely shunned any sort of obstacle, including wading into a group of angry armed men to arrest one of their group. I like other officers, have tackled the biggest and the…

Tater Jenkins Done Killed Uncle Billy Buck Robinson: The Crime Scene

"Tater" Jenkins done killed Uncle Billy Buck Robinson. Quick, call the law afor'in' that son-of-a-biscuit-eatin' coward gets clean away!" And so it goes. Aunt Ruthie Mae runs next door to use Lula Belle's rotary phone to call the police,…

Write Slower 'Cause I Don't Read as Fast as I Used To ... Y'all

It's Saturday night, almost midnight, and your California protagonist has arrested a couple of strangers who sorta-kinda sound as if they're speaking English, but not quite. Sure, every third or fourth word is recognizable, but phrases such…

Break the Plastic Straw Law and Go to Jail, Where You'll Sit, Eat, and Sleep ... on Plastic

Serving time in a jail or prison can certainly be a stressful experience, even for the toughest of prisoners. After all, they must be on constant high alert for potential violence against them, such as a stabbing because they failed to show…

An Officer's Perception: Sound Before Sight, Motion Before Color, and Color Before Shape

"Perception is key. How did the officer perceive the encounter? Did she fear for her life or the life of others?” Before we delve into the topic of perception, please allow me to set the stage by using an experience from my past. I apologize…

Madam Zelda's Top 16 Predictions for 2020

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,…
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Why Do Police Have Different Siren Tones?

I'm sure many of you of a certain age fondly recall thumbing through the latest Sears catalog, a printing large enough to be used as the cornerstone of a NYC high-rise. Inside were images of practically everything imaginable---coats,…
Ray Krone: Decade on death row
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Ray Krone: Innocent of Murder But Sent to Death Row, and He's Here Today to Tell All!

It's my please to introduce you to Ray Krone, a man who served ten long years on death row for a murder he didn't commit. Ray was … well, I think I’ll sit back and post Ray’s tale as he told it to me. The floor is yours, my friend. Ray…

The FISA Court: A Rubber-Stamping Operation, Or Not?

In 1978, congress approved and enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In addition, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established to review applications submitted by the federal government regarding electronic…