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E - Evidence

Letter E Stands for Evidence:

How To Get Away With Murder: 

My apologies for falling behind. and to make matters even worse, my phone and computer are not permitting me to comment on blogger blogs -- say what? I have a blogger blog. This is frustrating.
I have nothing to do on Tuesday so I intend to catch up and hopefully visit many blogs, like 100 or more. Okay lets not get too crazy
The police can think you've committed a crime ... hell they can flat out know you did it, but unless the prosecutor can prove the case Beyond a Reasonable Doubt to a jury with admissible evidence, the person gets a away with it.

Here are a few murders/violent crimes that were solved because the bad guy was sloppy and left evidence behind.

From my home state of Louisiana, the Lafayette Police department was investigating a string of aggravated rapes during the 1980's when an anonymous tip led them to one of their own, Randall Comeaux. DNA from the cigarette butts he left at the crime scene matched DNA from the semen and both were a match to Detective Comeaux.

25 years after brutally murdering Jeanie Childs genealogy test led police to a normal looking hockey dad. They trailed him to a hockey game and watched him eat a hot dog.
They collected his discarded napkin which turned out to be a perfect match to a plethora of DNA left at the bloody crime scene over two decades earlier. They now had their killer. All from a dirty hot dog napkin.
In 1984, Eight year old Vicki Hoskinson disappeared while mailing a birthday card to her aunt. It was the first time her mom allowed her to ride her bicycle alone. A witness reported seeing a suspicious looking man in a car and the witness memorized the license plate. The plate traced to a man name Frank Jarvis Atwood. A background check showed that Atwood had a history of kidnapping and child sexual molestation. Police went to his home, but discovered he was in Texas. When they finally caught up with him, he admitted being in area of the little girl's disappearance but denied the kidnapping. 

The police had little evidence to go on. Accident reconstruction experts were able to match the pink paint color on the front bumper of Atwood's car to the exact color pink of Vicki's bike and traced damage to one of the car's gravel pan to one of the bike's pedals.

Atwood was tried and convicted of kidnapping. Sadly, Vicki's decomposed body was discovered less than a year later.

What's the strangest piece of evidence you've heard of in a criminal case?

Hope you're enjoying the 10th anniversary of @AprilA2Z

A to Z Challenge -- Letter D: Your "Do Not" List

How To Get Away With Murder: Letter D

Today's Crime Fiction letter, (The Letter D) is brought to you by @AprilA2Z #AtoZChallenge

Your Common Sense Don't List:

1. We all know that DNA is your downfall. DNA is the most 
irrefutable way for the prosecutor to prove you committed the crime. She will use your DNA to put you at the crime scene and likewise she will use the victim's DNA, if found at your home to place you in proximity of the victim at the time of his death. The best way to avoid this problem is to be absolutely certain you don't leave any of your DNA behind. But, because this is almost, if not impossible (your DNA is in your blood, fingerprints, tears, saliva, sweat, etc.) chances are you will leave a piece of yourself behind.

  C'mon, unless your a sociopath, you gonna sweat a little when you commit a murder ... don't cha think? Hell, those of us with real feelings might even cry, or tear up ... and then ...

Oops ... that tiny, minuscule teardrop forms in the corner of your eye. It either slides from your eye and onto the body or it lands on a nearby armrest or door handle and that's all she wrote.You're doing hard labor for the rest of your natural life at some horrible prison and Big Bertha's your new wife. Your wife for life. And you never even had to say "I do." Nope. No champagne. No wedding cake. Hell no honeymoon. Well that's not the truth exactly. There ain't gonna be a two week trip to Belize, but Big Bertha's gonna consummate the marriage ... that you can count on.

2. So, commit your crime in a wide open public forum. One of those places that's bound to have lots of DNA from strangers. DNA from a variety of people ... men, women, black, white, Hispanic,  bi-racial, Oriental, Greek, young, elderly, brown hair, blond hair, gray hair, blue eyes, brown, hazel, amber, green, tall, short, plump, thin, you get the idea. Where do you find such a place? It depends on where you live and what you have to choose from. Obviously you'll have many more venues in NYC, than in Kilgore Texas. Regardless of where you live, (you'll want to pick a neighboring city or town anyway), you will select a place that is open to the public.

A Few Choice Ideas for your Venue: 

The State Fair

A large city park

Outdoor concert arena

Outdoor Festival Plaza

A Concert Stadium

Football Stadium

A Mall

Pick a place where throngs of people tend to gather and do what? They all leave their DNA. And there's no possible way every one's DNA is removed even if the city sends in cleaning crews from time to time. You need to make it so that finding your DNA will be like finding a pearl in an oyster and even if they find your DNA it will just be 1 among the masses. The forensics team will not be able to qualify when exactly you shed your DNA at the mall or the park. It could have been last week or a month ago.

3. Don't take your purse, wallet, cellphone or anything personal or identifiable with you to the crime scene

4. Don't leave any body hair at the crime scene. Slick it back Al Pacino - The Godfather Style If you have long or curly hair slick it back with grease and slide it into a pony tail holder (scrunchie) and pin all lose ends then put on a baseball cap.

5. Do not wear any of your own clothes or shoes. Shoe prints are almost as deadly at trial as DNA.

6. Buy cheap, off brand shoes and clothes far in advance of the day of your selected crime. Do not buy everything from the same store or on the same day. This should go without saying, but make all purchases in cash. Make purchases in a neighboring town. If you plan ahead, buy your clothing or gear while on family vacation (in another state) the summer before your crime. Do not keep your receipts. Buy common, generic brands that many people wear from a store like Walmart. Keep your head down and face away from all surveillance cameras. Do not draw attention to yourself while making the purchase. Do absolutely nothing that would encourage the cashier or other shoppers to remember you.

7. Use the exact same instructions as above for purchasing your murder kit. 

8. Wear thick leather gloves or super thick plastic gloves.

9. Burn all above items after you complete the crime

10 Timing is everything. Timing is discussed on a later date. 

11. Do not speak to the police. If you do everything the right way, you probably won't even be approached by the police, but depending on your relationship to the victim, there may be no getting around a visit from the police. ***** Never talk to the police without your lawyer's permission and presence. 

If you don't remember anything else, remember this. The police will trick you The will lie to you. The police are allowed to lie to you to obtain a confession. You will think it is better to go ahead and talk to the police. You will be wrong. You will think that you look guilty if you don't talk to them. 

Here's the thing. The police don't trust or believe anyone during a murder investigation so it doesn't matter what they think you look like. 

Repeat after me: It does not matter if the police think you look guilty. But, if you talk to them, you will say something incriminating and then they will know you're guilty and guess what? 

Then you're going to prison!

You will think you are smarter than the police. You're not. Prisons are full of people who were talked or tricked into giving a statement. Don't fall for it. 

Who is your favorite character on the hit show How to Get Away With Murder? Which character do you think is the smartest? Which one makes the worst choices/mistakes?

How To Get Away With Murder -- Leave Your Cell Phone at Home

2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge: Letter C

Today's Tip to Get Away With Murder is brought to you by the letter C from the A to Z Blogging Challenge

Do not bring your cell phone (especially a smart phone) with you to commit the crime. Likewise, be smart (like the name of your phone suggests) and leave your phone at home or somewhere that it could be providing you an alibi, during any pre-crime prep work. If you must dispose of the body at a different time or date than you actually do the deed, don't make the rookie mistake of bringing your phone with you to the burial site. Sounds like an Asher move to me.


Today's cell phone's are used for more than making telephone calls. The majority of mobile phone owners claim that a temporary loss of their phone would pose a significant disruption to their everyday life. I can vouch for that. It would create chaos. Now for my kids and for millennials and people who grew up without knowledge of any other world than the digital world, it could be catastrophic.

We use our phones for text messaging, GPS, email, credit card and banking records, Internet searches and for note taking. It't not just a phone ... it is a map, bank, a camera, and diary. It's how kids do homework and adults work. What about the privacy issues for doctors and lawyers who store patients and clients files, records and notes on our phones? They contain almost every aspect of our lives.

Technology is wonderful. I feel like we're close to living like the Jetsons.

But with the advances in technology there must come a price.


Much of what we do on our phones is being monitored ... and not just by NSA and the CIA anymore. Local police have the ability to monitor our phone activity through various means beginning with cell phone tower dumps and going all the way to super spying with Stingrays (I'll discuss with another letter this month, not S,) but if you're curious about how powerful and intrusive the Stingray is, go ahead and glance at the article referenced above.

The U.S Supreme Court recently settled a good portion of this in Carpenter Vs United States in which they held that using cell phone towers to track a persons location is the equivalent of GPS tracking, thus it is a search protected by the 4th amendment and requires a warrant. The court went on to say this was a narrow holding which means it did not address issues not before the court such as conventional surveillance techniques and tool or security cameras among a plethora of other techniques not discussed or addressed

But we all no that the police can and do get warrants. So, if you want to get away with your murder ... or your character in your novel wants to get away with her murder. Leave the damn cell phone at home. It's a record of your every movement. It has a microphone that can pick up your voice and record you without you even being aware. You think that sounds like something some conspiracy nut would say. How the hell do you think Siri knows to answer you when you ask a question. IT has to be on at all times ... okay maybe in sleep mode awaiting your magical wake up word.

"Hey Siri." 

Suppose you poison your wife and she's almost dead and she's moaning and you scream "Stay Still," or "Fear" or "Oh Shit Sherry." or any of like a trillion words or phrases that could lead to an inopportune activation. Do you want your vic's last few agonizing minutes of life recorded on your phone that the police will obtain?

Your phone is a GPS and it collects and stores data and just saves it to give to the police to let them know everywhere you have been.

Your browser will fantastic evidence at your trial:

Google: How to dispose of a body

Hope your enjoying the challenge. I cannot make my comments work. I'm on it. I have the super duper professional IT dude looking at it tomorrow. Who's that you ask? My teenage kid, but of course.

This is not intended as legal advice. This is not intended to suggest that readers actually kill a person or try and get away with murder. This is for entertainment for the A to Z Challenge.

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