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!

On the Dumb End of the Leash: Going to School With My Dog

It's been well over two decades since I and my narcotics K-9 partner attended our first day of school. We'd spend the next sixteen weeks together learning how to locate hidden drugs. However, my new partner was no stranger to the job since he'd…

The Language of Law Enforcement: Acronyms and Texting Codes

It's sometimes difficult for the public to decipher the 10-Codes used by police agencies, 10-4?To add to the confusion, there are hundreds of acronyms. To name only a few:ACU - Asian Crimes Unit ADW - Assault with a Deadly Weapon AFIS…

A Cop's BFF's: When the Time Comes to Say Goodbye

A gun is a cop's silent best friend and, without fail, they're always there when the officers need them.They're extremely low maintenance---a diet of fresh bullets along with a little Hoppes gun oil to wash them down, a bath for the little…

Bulletproof or Bullet-Resistant? Are You Writing it Correctly?

Body armor has come a long way from heavy suits of armor or stylish outfits made from clunky chainmail. Of course, those types of protection served their wearers well against attacks by people swinging swords and axes, but today’s major threat…

San Francisco Has Lost Its Freakin' Mind: Carl "The Butcher" Jenkins Is Now a "Justice Involved Person"

I try to be a forward-thinking person and I definitely believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. I don't like to hurt anyone's feelings, if possible. Heck, I'll even go out of my way to avoid killing a bug. Well, there…

Suicide by Cop: What If?

Each year, somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 people commit suicide in the United States. They take their own lives, leaving behind an average of six or more suicide survivors, the friends and family who deeply cared for the deceased person.…
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Donut v. Doughnut: The "Hole" Story Behind the Name of the Short Story Contest

I'd like to take a moment of your time today, please, to address the recent concern expressed regarding the spelling of the word "Donut" in the title of the Writers' Police Academy's short story contest.Also brought into question is the…
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Lee Child Sets the Stage for ... AFTER MIDNIGHT: TALES FROM THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT

"The curtain rises on this collection of twisted tales, revealing the words of bestselling thriller author Lee Child. Child sets the stage for a series of mysterious and strange goings-on that occur between the hours of midnight and dawn ...…

Did Graham Hetrick, While at MurderCon 2019, Subconsciously Predict Jeffrey Epstein's Suicide?

Last weekend, August 1-4, 2019, coroner Graham Hetrick, the star and host of the TV series, THE CORONER: I SPEAK FOR THE DEAD, served as special guest speaker at MurderCon in Raleigh, N.C.During his talks, Hetrick detailed low-hanging suicides…
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WPA Golden Donut Short Story Contest Winners Announced!

The rules were simple. Write a story about the above photograph, using exactly 200 words, including the title. Not 201 or 199. Exactly 200 words.Each story needed an original title and it was mandatory that the image be the main subject…
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What Happens When Cops and Writers Come Together AFTER MIDNIGHT?

The Writers' Police Academy (WPA) first opened its doors eleven years ago as a means to help writers breathe life into their stories. Not that books weren't already fantastic, it's just that many were missing intricate details, the things that…

When Luminol Isn't Quite Enough, Amplify It! Here's How It's Done ...

Any writer, reader, and fan of mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and other books and television shows and film that involves crime scene investigation, will most likely have heard of Luminol, the chemical that causes chemiluminescence.Chemiluminescence,…
A dead woman crying: murder in the rain
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A Dead Woman Crying: Delivering the "Death Knock"

I've seen more than anyone's fair share of murder victims. More than I'd care to count, actually. I've also seen a variety of methods and instruments used by killers to achieve their goal(s)---gunshots, edged weapons, etc.Some victims were…

Yes, They Actually Said ...

During the course of their days at work, officers hear many excuses, threats and, well, dumb statements. Here are a few I've heard over the years.Me - "Sir, do you know how fast you were driving?"Driver - "I do, but I'm not telling…

The Fire: Page 64 Of My Spiral Notebooks

Stacks of old spiral notebooks tell the story of my career in law enforcement. Most of the pages contain brief notations---mileage, oil changes, weather, dates and times, arrests, names of witnesses and suspects, crime scene information, prisoners…

ICE ... It's Cool and We Need It!

My grandfather drove an ice truck back in the day. In fact, I still have the tongs he used to muscle around massive 300-pound blocks of the frozen stuff. In his day, ice was made using a salt-brine process inside an “ice plant.”The ice-making…

Two Drunks and a Writer Enter a Bar ... and More Eye-Rollers

 Being a writer is like being a politician. You get to make up @#$! and your fans love it. Being a writer is like being a plumber. Somewhere around the middle of the job you find yourself elbow deep in @#$! Writers are like…