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!

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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…

It's Almost Christmas, But They're No Longer Here

It seems like just yesterday when they were last here,Sharing their laughter and their love,Playing silly games and offering warm hugs. Telling bedtime stories,Of giants and beanstalks,Jack Horner and Miss Muffett…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Officer Edgar Isidro Flores, 24DeKalb County Georgia Police DepartmentDecember 13, 2019 - Officer Edgar Flores was shot and killed during a traffic stop that subsequently led to a foot pursuit. The suspect hid behind a building and…

A Holiday Classic: The Twelve Nights Of Graveyard

It's that time again, where we all join hands in front of a crackling fire to sing the holiday classic ...The Twelve Nights Of GraveyardOn the first night of graveyard my sergeant gave to me, a car-tri-idge and a cuff key.On the…

Test Your Knowledge: Traffic Stops, Lights, and Officer Safety

Officers must be on high alert at every moment during each and every traffic stop. Actually, they must remain in that heightened state of "ready for anything" from the moment they activate their blue lights until the stop is complete and they're…

Officer Rudy Kramer and the Hackberry Tree

Officer Rudy Kramer drew his pistol, a nine-millimeter that, as always, was set to fire---a round in the chamber, fifteen in the magazine, and the safety off. Then he took a deep breath and a long hard swallow that first sent his prominent Adam’s…

Friday's Heroes: Remembering the Fallen

Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, 41United States Marshals ServiceNovember 29, 2018 - Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a man who had been charged with stalking a law enforcement…

Christmas PC is Outta Control!

There's a current PC craze that's attacking practically everything on the planet, from condemning anti-animal language, the lyrics of Christmas songs, and even the coloring of cartoon vegetables. So let's poke around to see if we can find a…

Would Sir Isaac Newton Reject Your Shooting Scene?

Experts are often asked what kind of entrance and exit wounds are produced by ammunition. The rounds in the photograph below are hollow point bullets similar to the rounds fired from the Thompson sub-machine gun I'm holding in the top and…

Ammunition: Is Your Writing Out of Bullets?

Billy Buck's heart pert-near stopped cold when he realized he was out of bullets. He frantically dug his grubby and stubby fingers down into each of the pockets of his crud-caked moldy jeans. Nothing. No bullets. He'd have to bare-knuckle and…