Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Writers' Police Academy

So what else did I do at Writers Police Academy?

 I went to a seminars--lots of them.

Why People Kill by Bill Lanning.  First off they totally underestimated how many writers would be attending this one and we had to switch locations to a bigger lecture theatre. Human beings are fascinated by murder and death. I was expecting a talk about the motives--gain, revenge, elimination, jealousy, conviction, lust for killing. Instead we got an insight into the belief that under the right circumstances everyone is capable of murder--something I believe--and to some people it is just a job.  We saw a series of photographs of the Mexican drug cartels getting rid of a body.  The guy doing the deed was smiling for the camera over the most gruesome scene imaginable--truth is much scarier than fiction.

That afternoon we went to an Autopsy seminar by Jonathon Hayes, a Senior Medical Examiner in the Manhattan office, an author, food and music critic.
Selfishly, I was pleased not to be the only Brit in the room.  In Canada my accent blends in, but in North Carolina it stuck out like the proverbial sore digit. Jonathon was an excellent speaker though he refused to tell a room of 100 writers how to commit the perfect murder.  I guess we'll just have to read his books :)  I was impressed by Dr. Hayes's respect for the people who come into his office, both the living and the dead. 

That evening Lee Lofland gave a presentation called A Wilted Rose: The Tina Mott Story.  A heartbreaking true story about the murder of a young woman who never caught a break, who seemed to attract bad luck no matter how hard she tried to do the right thing.  Moving and sad.

On Saturday I went to:
Crash Investigation, by Eric Holloman--OMG the training involved, the physics!!
Tools of the Trade, Susan Powell--a talk about firearms identification by this tiny woman with a big gun.
Profiling Serial Offenders, Richard Helms (another author)--who gave an interesting talk on the differences between Inductive versus Deductive criminal profiling.
Police Equipment, Richard Brewer.  We basically went through the 500kg of kit police 'ossifers' wear on their belt.  I loved this guy :)

After that we had another lecture by Jonathon Hayes on how they identify victims. Later we had the banquet where I sat next to the nicest people, and Jeffery Deaver gave a self-depreciating and inspiring speech with his 3 rules for writers...
Write what you love to read
Never give up--rejection goes with the territory
and something else...LOL--I've forgotten the third.  Shoot me now.
I bought his newest book and Jeff (Jeff--like I know the man :) wrote a humorous inscription for DH who's a big fan.  Oh, how we laughed :)

So that's a quick overview of how I spent most of my time and I'll write one more post about FATS training. TBA.

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