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!

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…
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Serial Killer Appealed Sentence, Claiming DNA Testing Is Flawed

Convicted serial killer, Timothy Spencer, the Southside Strangler, appealed his death sentence. He claimed that he was factually innocent, scientists did not adequately perform the DNA testing in his case, and that DNA testing is a flawed science. Were…

Politically Correct 10-Codes

Has political correctness gone amuck in the world of cops and robbers?  After hearing this radio transmission, I'd say yes."Be on the Lookout for a morally challenged subject who's a rube-esque prone repetitive exterminator of respirations…

Time of Death: #neverusethethumb

No, I'm not talking about the spirit world, or of zombies. I'm talking about how the living use a victim's body to help determine the time and cause of death.First, what happens when a person stops breathing and their heart ceases to beat?…

The Sounds of Silence: Murder by Anthrax

In the grand scheme of murder, knives and guns pale in comparison to the instruments death that are nearly invisible to the human eye.Long before man shaped the first stone into a weapon, viruses and bacteria quietly killed humans and animals,…

The Soldier: A Story of Determination and Survival

Standing ankle deep in black, slimy swamp muck, Sgt. William “Billy” Franks paused to catch his breath and to look over his shoulder, for the umpteenth time.Nothing moving, not even a leaf. Good.The humid jungle was also silent.…
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Evidence Contamination: Sneezing, Coughing, and Talking

Regarding DNA and saliva, I'd like to note that it is indeed possible to expel DNA when coughing or sneezing. However, the fact that it's possible doesn't mean it's always found, just that it could be. And, if found, it could be the DNA of someone…
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Tips to Help Your Fictional Police and Forensics World Come Alive

Does your latest tall tale feature a beginning, middle, and end? How about characters, setting, and dialog? Have you been especially creative by inserting lots of sentences composed of various words with various meanings? Do you know the…

A Police K-9 Offers 8 Tips To Handlers

I'm currently working an extremely dangerous undercover assignment in a massive dog-fighting ring, but I've blown my cover to speak with you today about a very important subject---K-9 handlers.Please feel free to call me "Dawg." Not my real…

Burglars: Experts or Unorganized Amateurs?

Before we dive headfirst into the real meat of this article, let's first begin with a bit of background regarding the crimes of burglary and robbery. Otherwise, some of you who use social media sites and/or watching TV news and crime dramas…

Looking for a Roommate for WPA MurderCon?

We've had requests from folks who're hoping to share hotel rooms at the 2019 Writers' Police Academy's exciting new event, MurderCon. If you are interested in doing so, please post your roommate preference (male or female)in the comment section…

Flying Cops and Their Guns: Write it Right!

The last time you traveled by air, was it possible you were seated beside someone who had a pistol hidden somewhere beneath their jacket, other than an air marshal?Before you burn away too many brains cells pondering the question, I'll answer…

The Oak Ridge Boys: "Sacrifice for Me," a Memorial Day Tribute

Today we honor and pay tribute to the men and women who who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms.I can't think of anyone who's more dedicated to supporting our military than Joe Bonsall and his fellow members of the legendary, Grammy…