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.

via GIFER

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.

Privacy?



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.








What to do with the dead body? Letter B #AtoZChallenge

How to Get Away With Murder

Letter B is Dead Body? What do you do with the body

Not an easy task -- Just ask any of the characters on the hit show How To Get Away With murder

So, you've done it, huh? Sill standing ... your still alive and I'm laying odds you're nervous as hell. So anxious you're about to pee yourself. Yup. Not as easy as you'd thought. You did the deed ... killed the bad dude (or maybe he wasn't such a bad dude). And now you have a human corpse in need of quick and preferably permanent demolition, disappearance,

Now what? What the hell do I do with this bloating, smelly, decomposing body? 

Turns out the longer the perp stays in/on or around the crime scene, combined with the more time she spends with the dead body -- she's increasing her odds of unintentionally leaving minute amounts of DNA behind, hair, fibers, and a shot of other trace evidence that the police may be able to use against her at a later date.

Keep it Simple, Stupid Criminal ~~~ Let that become your meditation mantra. Get some Mantra beads. Chant. Repeat. Count off your mantra on your beads until it becomes peaceful second nature


In order to have a crime to prosecute you must establish the Corpus Delicti: The Latin Term Meaning "{The Body of the Crime}" that refers to the idea that the requisite elements of a crime must be proven before an individual can be tried for the crime.

The victim died as a result of 


1. a homicide 
2 not natural causes or

3 not suicide or
4 not an accidental death

Looks can be deceiving. An eager diver could have been pushed to her death or maybe she knew how shallow the water was and committed suicide? If you find an overdosed body with a bottle of pills what do you assume? Junkie accidental OD? Maybe it was accidental? Suicide? Or ... maybe her husband wanted her out of the way so he killed her and staged the scene. Easy to do if she's a known druggie.

So … if … the victim is even dead — and — and this is a big and

The defendant (The accused) is the person who caused the homicidal death of the victim 
Then the state meets the first hurdle of showing the Corpus Delicti .  A homicide occurred (which they have to prove though circumstantial evidence because they don't have a dead body and a coroner testifying that "Yes, Valerie Victim is in fact dead. Yes, her cause of death was a homicide. The manner of death was a single gunshot wound to the head ... or blunt force trauma ... or multiple stab wounds." You get the drift

When there is no body.

All of that really important stuff has to be proven by circumstantial evidence. Okay, I'll bite.
 It may not be too difficult to establish via circumstantial evidence that a vic is dead. Let's say she's a school teacher who's never missed a day of work in ten years -- until now. And she's a mother of three young kids and she failed to pick them up from gymnastics two weeks ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since. There has been zero activity on her credit. No cell phone activity. Finally her car was discovered parked in the long term parking at JFK, her phone lodged between the seats. Ms. Anal retinal, overly organized most definitely hadn't planned a trip, not a vacation without a suitcase, carry on bag, good book, and most importantly her travel itinerary  
Oops, wrong victim in the case, doushebag. I'd say you should've properly vetted and more exhaustively surveilled your prey.. Most criminals really aren't known for their IQ or aptitude  Nope, or their nickname wouldn't be "Doing Time Tim." A simple forensics search revels Traces of blood and hair inside the trunk which are later determined to be a perfect match to the vic's DNA. A partial palm print (butt of the palm) is found just inside the trunk. Police run it through AFIS, unfortunately no hit.


We can assume the vic met with foul play. We might even assume she's dead. We might even assume she's the victim of a homicide. Suppose the police get lucky and arrest a suspect. How hard will it be to convict slimy suspect when the prosecutor doesn't even have a body. The medical examiner cannot testify beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim died as a result of a homicide. Can she? How can she without a body to back up her forensics

Most of the Soprano, Corleone, Costellos, and now even the Cody boys who we love to hate or more likely many of us love to love have taught us different criminal rules to live by


1.     Leave the body
2.     Use a .22 up close and drop the gun (but grab the cannoli) Leave the gun only if your 100% certain it cannot/ will not ever be traced to you or your family or any person you know
3.     Casually walk away, avoiding all cameras
4.     Don’t cover entire face
5.     Don’t draw attention to self
6.     Leave gun or dispose of it in lake or river or ocean
7.     Do not touch the body or anything at crime scene
8. If you cannot leave the gun, you must police your brass
9. Wear thick pair of leather gloves


The other group errs on the side of getting rid of the decomposing, stinky ass body and anything that ties the killer to the body ASAP. I mean, c’mon you’ve got a dead body on your hands. Hopefully you're alone or don’t have a group (Best friends till the end drunk frat bros with you) b/c they’re gonna sing  —Singing Soprano to the cops faster than your basement rats race for yesterdays cheese. 

Remember the rule of one (1) Don’t trust anyone. 
So, now what? You’ve got a dead body on your bloody hands? Mama can’t fix this one. What da ya do?

Dispose of the smelly body before it decomposes? Good idea.
How?

Be sure to check back later during the challenge under a different letter for three perfectly acceptable ways: 

Hope you're enjoying the 2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge

*This is not legal advice. This is offered for entertainment only -- for the A to Z Challenge. 






















































































































































































































































































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Letter A - Alibi 2019 #AtoZChallenge

How To Get Away With Murder:


Letter A — Alibi

2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge

What is an alibi? An affirmative defense
Lat. In Criminal law. Elsewhere, in another place. A term used to express that mode of defense to a criminal prosecution, where the party accused, in order to prove that he could not have committed the crime with which he is charged, offers evidence to show that he was in another place at the time; Which is termed setting up an alibi


When the police begin investigating a murder, their fist stop is always the spouse. They have to rule him/her out as the killer before moving onto other possible leads. Often Police get tunnel vision and assume it must be the husband or the wife and don't look much further.They attempt to make the evidence fit their theory instead of working the case.

Next on their list is normally an ex-spouse or ex girlfriend/boyfriend (especially if they discover that one or both were involved in an illicit affair. Then the police move on to other family members who may have had a motive. Who stands to gain the most financially from the vic's death? 

Bottom line … you better have yourself an airtight, believable alibi. And I don’t mean “I was home alone working on my novel. I write my first draft with pen and paper. Nope, didn’t make any phone calls or order any food and I always turn the phones and televisions off so I can concentrate.” 

Not helpful if you uber rich hubby just died and rumor had it he had one foot inside his divorce attorney's office which would have left you with basically goose egg … oh he’d throw in all your fancy Moleskin notebooks and maybe even your laptop that he bought you.

But of course, you’re no dummy. You set up your alibi in advance:
Rule number 1: {But no one ever listens to this rule and it is probably the number one reason people get convicted of murder} Tell no one … Trust no one

  1. You were away attending a seminar related to your work at the time your husband was killed — yes, you actually signed up for it and you’ve been talking about it non stop for months. 
  2. The seminar is in Memphis Tennessee, which is a five hour drive from where you live, but since your office pays the expenses, your secretary booked the trip months ago, she booked your flight, hotel and rental car
  3.  You check in early every morning of the 5 day seminar. You are seen daily by numerous people. You attend most of the classes. You go to most of the functions, happy hours, dinners, stay out late. You make yourself extremely noticeable.
  4.  The one night you turn in early (tired from all the partying), you make sure you order room service, are on your laptop, cell phone and do other various things to confirm and verify you are in your room
  5.  Your room key will show you leaving your room once to get ice at 6:00 and retuning straight away 
  6. You will ask for an extra blanket to be delivered at 8:00 and your room key will show you opening your door to get the blanket. You will use a spoof card to cancel the blanket order, but phone records will not show that you cancelled it, so you open your door to see if someone knocked ... bringing you a blanket — this is your exit strategy
  7. You leave your cell phone in you room. You have pre-recorded yourself playing Xbox and interacting with fake viewers days in advance and now you live stream it
  8. Have your Twitter and IG account set up on your phone to send auto tweets and posts to Instagram and facebook. 
  9. Time to leave the hotel: Pray for rain. Wear oversized clothing. At least 2 or 3 sizes too large for you and stuff them so you appear larger. Wear shoes that make you appear 4 inches taller and 2 sizes larger. Wear a wig. Wear a hoodie. Disguise
    yourself as much as possible. You will have already made a practice run to the hotel so you know where the hotel cameras are and how to avoid them
  10. ** You must avoid all public traffic cams, ATM cams and any other potential cameras
  11. Plan and practice your entry and exit routes well and often in advance so you know exactly how much time is needed.
  12. Have a Plan B and then a fallback Plan C for any unforeseeable fuckups.
  13. As Preplanned walk to the old truck you borrowed from a retired family worker. It’s reliable and runs, but it is pre-GPS, there are no tracking devices on it and no one has ever seen you drive it. It is from the good ole analog days
  14. Drive the five hour trip in 4.5 hours (you won’t get pulled over, going 5 over the speed limit) Do what you came for.
    Allow an extra hour just in case.
  15. Be seated on the second or third row of the 9:00 class the following morning with a big smile. 
Did you Know that companies really do exist for the purpose of Covering your ass and providing pricey but reliable alibis

And check out this one: You can create any kind of Receipt you may need for your alibi at Make Receipts. Just for kicks I tried the gasoline receipt and hot damn if it didn't work.

Enjoy the Challenge. Please remember this information in not intended or offered in any way as legal advice. I am not practicing law. I am certainly not suggesting anyone try to get away with murder. This is for entertainment purposes only for the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal -- 2019

A to Z Blogging Challenge is Celebrating its 10th Anniversary 


Wow! What an amazing accomplishment.  Most failed marriages don't make it to the big 10. 


Most marriages, new businesses, partnerships etc., that are going to fail ... do so in the first ten years. But not when put into the ingenious. accomplished hands of the shining star, super hero, my friend, Lee Bird, over at Tossing it out


How To Get Away With Murder?


I'm sure if you've ever been on the Internet or read a blog that you've heard of the A to Z Blogging Challenge which began as a little experiment a decade ago and has grown into the biggest blogging challenge on the web. Each year the numbers increase and the number of participants is now well over 2000.




Unfortunately, after suffering another death in my family (we've had back-to-back deaths once over again and again, I had to drop out of the challenge last year. It was the first time I ever dropped out and it was a difficult decision for me. I have skipped a year, but never dropped out mid month, but I had no other option. I noticed when I finally decided to sign up this year that its been a year since I've blogged. I have written, but I sort of sunk deeper into depression again in September when my mom was killed in a car accident. I was like "Hey God ... are you kidding me?" Can you please go pick on someone else for a while." 

They say that God never gives you more than you can handle. Who are these people we always hear about? The ones who know everything. You know, you've heard them referenced as a reliable source ... "They." 

"They"


They said.


Well I hope to hell they are right. 


Because I am tired of being tired. Tired of being sad. 
I know I have to pull myself up and return to the land of the living.
 My dad and everyone I've lost in the last two years are shouting at me, "What's wrong with you? Where did your spunk go? Where's your fight? Your zest for life?"  

I read something today that not only encouraged me to join the challenge, but I know it was a sign that I need to join and get back into my writing routine. My blog writing routine and novel writing routine. And I have to do it for me.

It should come as no shock to anyone who knows me (but I'm guessing not many of you know me since I've been on a a year long blogging/writing hiatus) that my theme for 2019 is .... drumroll ... 

Crime Fiction

But I'm changing things up a little bit. This year I'm not offering crime fiction resources for writers, per se.

I've put a spin on my usual theme. 


My Theme Has a Twist

How To Get Away With Murder (or not)

 No. 1 Rookie Amateur Mistake: Never ever shop at the same store on the same day for necessary items that belong in your murder kit. You especially don't want to do this impulse shopping at your local Home Depot where you will be recognized by others, you will be on security cameras and on a date so close to your chosen target date for execution of plan.

Better idea: Drive to a store in a neighboring town ... preferably across state line. Pay in cash. Wear a disguise. Do not buy all items at one store during one shopping excursion.

Each letter will discuss how a person can attempt to get away with a crime (let's just say Murder) to be dramatic. I'll discuss hypothetical scenarios, real life crimes, and what some of our favorite characters on the television show of the same name How To Get Away With Murder have managed to successfully pull off and the plethora of rookie criminal mistakes they've made that would have already landed most of them in the slammer doing hard time.

I'll be discussing some interesting true crime cases. Some that are haunting and remain unsolved and others that have been solved with strange, unique, and bizarre evidence.

See you around in April. I'll be visiting blogs through the Master List and 




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