Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The photo is the Halloween decorations a grandson did at a campsite while camping with his family. He does even more elaborate decorations at his home. Corpses rise from caskets, ghostly figures hover around, and all sorts of nastiness. If I were still a kid I'd be scared to go to the door and knock for a treat. However, it doesn't keep any of his neighborhood kids away, it's the most popular house on the block, and his own two love it.

Do you go all out for Halloween?

When our kids were young, we always did something special. Once I made a spooky box like thing where the kids had to stick their hands in to get a their treat.

We often had Halloween parties with icky things to touch and scary villains making appearances at the window.

A nephew scared away a lot of kids trick-or-treating when he dressed up like a ghoul and had a skeleton hand he offered for a shake.

In the good old days (and mine were really back then), I can remember running all over the neighborhood, sometimes alone, to collect all the goodies I could get.

Nowadays, Halloween seems the perfect time for some horrible crime. I've never incorporated the holiday into a mystery, but there are certainly many options for intriguing and scary plot twists.

How about you? Have you ever had a scary experience at Halloween? Or made up one?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cyber Crime Villains

I was downloading my updated NORTON INTERNET SECURITY software when the bubble popped up asking if I wanted to take advantage of their online backup service. I thought that was kind of a cool idea. Although I’ve been the victim of a couple of hard drive crashes, I'm notoriously negligent when it comes to backing up my computer files.

Something scared me a while ago and I backed up my document files to a thumb drive and put it in my fire-proof wall safe. As I said—that was a while ago. That 2008 backup copy of my documents is likely of not much value to me today.

I opted to partake in NORTON's free 30-day trial. Well, as per my luck with things computer, for three hours the trial version was stuck on ‘reading files and estimated size of backup’. As I waited for it to do something more exciting, I scanned the online news services looking for tidbits to use in my Criminal Minds at Work blog.

At some point it struck me that I had no idea where my files were going, who was looking after them, what they may do with them. I had quickly read the agreement with Norton before hitting the "I agree" button. I remembered something about granting a ‘third party’ access to my computer files. I panicked.

I have a vivid imagination. Who was this third party? Was it the FBI? The Mafia? Some legitimate poor soul trying to make a living who was on the brink of bankruptcy and was being offered a few thousand by organized crime to reveal my passwords and and other banking information that may be stored on my hard drive?

Alright, so I have a vivid imagination—but don’t under estimate the vulnerability of the Internet—and all things so linked and connected. My Back Tracker series outlines a host of possibilities. Katrina, my genius computer-geek-socially-inadequate-and-abrasive young heroine,achieves notoriety and power by outsmarting those those who would take control of cyberspace and bring the world to its knees.

p.s. Ever wonder what’s REALLY behind the international economic melt-down?
That’s all fictional speculation. Right? Right?

Judge for yourself. Here are October’s news headlines on CYBERCRIME.

Student hacker exposes high school website's flaws By NORMAN DE BONO, QMI Agency
Hmmm... this 15-year-old lad got into the school computer system because he’d warned the school’s administrators their protection was weak and they snubbed his offer to help. Computer people are weird that way—it often doesn’t take much of an incentive for them to wreak havoc in cyberspace. Sometimes just being able to, is a good enough reason. Apparently he could have changed marks and personal information . The hack was done in less than an hour.
Read more:

Few things are more interesting than combining sex and cyberspace crime.
Sneaky sex tape lands student in court
CALGARY - Surreptitiously taping a sexual encounter with his girlfriend, video which ended up on a shared University of Alberta computer network, has landed a Calgary man in legal hot water.
Read more:

Many computer criminals are actually very nice.
Thief steals laptop, sends victim backup files
But many want money.
Scam targeting students under investigation
TORONTO - An immigration scam targeting Chinese foreign students who are seeking online help with their visas is under investigation, Toronto Police said Thursday.

Facebook, of course, is always in trouble. People seem to view it like a public utility—something they are entitled to, on their own terms, for free. We are a strange generation…
Facebook probe mulled by Canada's privacy czar
Top 10 applications breach users' private information: paper's report
Read more:

We sometimes have a difficult time separating our REAL lives from our ethereal identities.
Cops suspended for inappropriate web surfing
QUEBEC CITY - Nine Quebec City police officers have been suspended for the improper use of the Internet at work. They'd reported viewed and shared material deemed offensive and in bad taste.

Child pornography is one of the most abhorrent cybercrimes.
Death threat suspect also faces child porn charges
A 28-year-old Montreal man accused of sending death threats over popular social networking sites may be facing new charges related to child pornography. read more:

The whole world is facing an identity crises as personal information is being intercepted and used for illicit purposes. No one knows how to hack into this info except computer geeks—the same people we must hire to protect us.
Bureaucrats with smartphones a risk: report
The federal government has not done enough to protect its smartphones from interception, leaving Canadians' personal information vulnerable, Canada's privacy commissioner warns. Read more:

Spammers might not be the most dangerous of cyberspace fraudsters, but they’re close to be the most annoying.
Court orders Montreal man to pay Facebook $1 billion
MONTREAL — Spammers of the world, beware.
A Quebec man has been ordered to pay Facebook $1 billion after he allegedly bombarded its members with junk messages. Read more:

Computers can also pose a direct physical risk.
Working with a laptop on your lap could lead to "toasted skin syndrome," say Swiss researchers who recommend placing a heat shield under such computers. Read more:

And if you think I’m being over dramatic:
Canada will spend $3.5M to fight hackers
The federal government will spend $3.5 million to set up a round-the-clock Information Protection Centre to protect its computer systems from hackers and cyber attacks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Sunday. Read more:

It’s not just sex, money, and information that cyberspace criminals want. How about control of nuclear reactors?
Iran makes arrests in nuclear spy case
TEHRAN - Iran has arrested several people it believes were spying on its nuclear facilities, a news agency quoted the intelligence minister as saying on Saturday. The report gave no details and did not specify whether the arrests were linked to a virus Iran says infected computers at its Bushehr nuclear plant, which has yet to start working. Read more:

How about sabotaging the war effort?
Testing grounded for F-35 jets
Flight testing of Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet, the costliest U.S. arms purchase, has been suspended as a precaution pending "minor" modification of software that controls signal timing, Cheryl Irwin, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement emailed after the close of markets.

And last but not least—perhaps one of the saddest headlines of the month:
NJ university holds vigil for student who committed suicide after gay sex tryst went online
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Rutgers University held a silent vigil Sunday night to remember a student who committed suicide after his sexual encounter with a man in his dormitory room was secretly streamed online.

Until next time: Play Safe in Cyberspace
For more information on my Back Tracker novels, please visit my website

For an inside look at how I weave news headlines into my novels visit my blog

Monday, October 25, 2010

"I’ve never held a gun, but I still shoot people."

I'd like to welcome Canadian thriller author Russell Brooks to Criminal Minds at Work. As soon as I read the title of Russell's post, I knew it would be perfect for this blog. He's got the same warped sense of humor as the rest of us. Plus he's holding a contest. Russell, take it away! ~Cheryl

A question that I often get about Pandora’s Succession was how I managed to be so detailed about the guns that were used throughout the story. I can relate. I’ve never owned a gun, or fired one for that matter. I tried to get my brother to hook me up since he’s in the Canadian army, but he reminded me that I’d need a permit. After all, this is Canada. However, I knew that it was important to be as descriptive as possible when it came to writing about weapons because I knew that my audience would be composed of current and former military officers, government agents and even police officers. Contrary to popular belief, readers are the most important critics, not book reviewers. You want proof? How many times have critics blasted a movie that you enjoyed. In fact, despite what the critics said, you still recommended it to your friends, correct? So I knew that being as accurate about sidearms or weapons was important if I expected to win back readers for future novels.

As we know, there are several varieties of guns—the Ruger, the Hechler and Koch, the Magnum, and many more. So why was it important for my protagonist, Ridley Fox, to use the Hechler and Koch rather than a Ruger? Why not have Fox use any gun? They’re all the same, right? Wrong. Allow me to let you in on a secret. In a previous draft, Fox used a Ruger in the opening chapter until a buddy of mine—who knows more about guns than I do—advised me that the Ruger would be too large a sidearm for Fox to use—and that he’d never be able to conceal it in the seat of his pants as described in the novel. He suggested that Fox use the Heckler and Koch (HK) instead because it is lighter, smaller, and yields a more powerful punch than the Ruger. I verified the info that he sent me and saw that he was right. I thanked him immediately and replaced Fox’s weapon.

Another matter of importance was that Fox used a noise suppressor—or silencer—in some situations. It was equally important to know that I’d need to arm Fox with a weapon where one can attach a noise suppressor—because not all sidearms accommodate one. In addition the sidearm would have to be small enough for him to conceal. The HK, thankfully, was still the perfect weapon for Fox.

Furthermore, since this is an international thriller, one must expect that in different areas of the world, people would be using different kind of guns. For example, when Fox was in Darfur confronting the Janjaweed, Fox noticed that they were using Chinese-made assault rifles. I read in the news about the immorality of China selling weapons to Sudan since they were being used against innocent Darfurians. Although the situation in Darfur has changed, one could expect the same weapons to still be present in that region.

As illustrated, although I’m not a big gun enthusiast or firearms expert, I had no choice but to learn as much as I can about guns in order to add to the realism of the story. By the way, when I mentioned earlier that I wanted my brother to hook me up with a gun, it was simply for the experience of holding one. That way I can be more descriptive when I write. I’d never think of shooting anyone that gets in my way. Ridley can do that for me.

PS. Thanks Jimmy G. for helping me out again.

I’d like to thank bestselling author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, for hosting me during this tour.

(You're very welcome, Russell.)

Everyone that leaves a comment with their email address (in the body of your message) will win an autographed book cover. After the blog tour, 10 commentors from all of the blogs will be drawn to win free autographed ebook copies of Pandora's Succession.

Pandora's Succession is available at and  

You can learn more about Russell at:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Black Dahlia and Me

When I was a kid, my mom subscribed to three newspapers, one was the Daily News, the Harold and probably the L.A. Times. The Daily News was on the lurid side with headlines about movie stars and gruesome murders. My meek and mild mom read every paper from start to finish.

We lived in Los Angeles near Glendale in a quiet neighborhood. Every Friday night we went to the movies and always saw a double feature, a good movie and a B movie which quite often was about gangsters. We paid our money so we always stayed until the end.

There were lots of good radio shows too and my favorites were Inner Sanctum and other spooky shows.

When I was 14 and my sister 9, we had a small Philco radio that we listened to and for some reason at night we could hear police calls on it. We weren't supposed to, but of course we did anyway.

One night while we were listening, the L.A.P.D. discovered a female body that was cut in half in a vacant lot. The officers on the radio were so excited they described what they'd found in great and gruesome detail.

Sis and I finally fell asleep. During the night, I felt something on the bed. I reached down and touched--it was a leg! I screamed. Surely this was another part of that poor murdered woman, which meant the murderer must be in my room....

Mom came in and turned on the light. I didn't open my eyes for fear of seeing a bloody mess.

"What on earth is the matter in here?" she asked.

Still with my eyes shut tight, I said, "There's a leg on my bed."

"Yes, and it's attached to your sister."

Sis had probably had a nightmare and climbed onto my bed.

Mom shook her head. "You've been listening to police calls again, haven't you?"

I don't remember what our punishment was, but I also don't remember listening to any more police calls.

I can remember that night so plainly.

Many years later I attended an Edgar ceremony where I met the man who believes his father was the one who killed the Black Dahlia. I've read his book and other accounts of the investigation into the murder of the woman they called the Black Dahlia. I don't remember much about any of that, but I'll never forget the night they found her body.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Flickering Justice - Charleston Prison 1927

The guilt or innocence of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant anarchists, was hotly debated right up until the switch was thrown on the men strapped into the electric chair at Charleston Prison. Convicted of two murders during a 1920 armed robbery Sacco, a cobbler and Vanzetti, a fish-peddler, believed they were being sentenced more for their politcal beliefs than for any crime. Protests over their treatment was worldwide with notables such as Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw registering their doubts over the guilty verdict.

Angry dissenters gathered outside the prison on the Italians' last night. Author Katherine Anne Porter wrote: "At midnight the light winked off, winked on and off again, and my blood chills remembering it even now - I do not remember how often, but we were told that the extinction of this light corresponded to the number of charges sent through the bodies."

Dispute over the fairness of the trial and the impartiality of the judge is still discussed among historians.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's football season...let's kill someone!

Hello fellow criminal minds...

I don't have to tell you (or maybe I do?) that it's FOOTBALL season, and as such it may be the perfect backdrop to... MURDER! Hey, think about it... a sport that already involves plenty of violence, competition is paramount, professional and petty jealousy abounds... there's drugs, heavy partying, sex... remember those two athletes that pulled guns on each other in the locker room? Professional sports are fertile ground for revenge or maybe just getting rid of the competition. How about somebody faking an injury in order to spend time with a teammate's or rival's wife or girlfriend? How about a family member that's jealous of a sibling's, cousin's, or even child's success? Oh man, the list goes on and on. Mankind is a flawed ideal, a runaway train loaded with explosives just waiting to hit that schoolbus stalled on the tracks ahead. Our job is to make the trip as exciting, interesting, and enjoyable for our readers as possible! So go ahead, tackle a sports crime and you might just make a GO_O_O_O_OAL!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun with the Police Blotter

These are entries in a police blotter for a group of local newspapers. The website is I found some of them hilarious.

A Garfield Street man reported that someone smeared grapes on his vehicle, damaging the paint.

Grapes? Really? You couldn’t think of something more inventive than produce?

Deputies reportedly arrested a driver on Girdle Road when they found him asleep in his vehicle, which was located in a ditch.

Would they have let him sleep if he’d been on the side of the road instead?

A Broadway resident called to say her dog had locked her out of her running car. You can’t make this stuff up.

Sheriffs investigated a report of a stolen vehicle on Clinton Street. The subject reported that he went to warm up the car and when he returned to it, the vehicle was gone. It was eventually recovered in Buffalo.

Dude, two words: remote starter.

A Lancaster business owner reported that a caller ordered food and he could hear laughing in the background. When the owner called back to verify the order, another person answered the phone and threatened to burn down the business. An investigation revealed that a 12-year-old boy made the initial call and his friend answered the return call.

Whatever happened to asking if your refrigerator was running?

An auto shop owner complained that 200 brake shoe cores, which were

stored in a bin in the parking lot behind the building, were taken.

People will truly steal anything.

I hope you enjoyed these fun police blotter entries.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

E-book Evolution

First, they were obscure and unattainable. I read somewhere that the biggest selling e-book of 2006 sold 60 copies. Wow.
Then they were romances, mostly erotic, possibly due to the fact that the reader did not have to take a stack of books with heaving bosoms on the cover to the register and claim them as hers. Many of those were not very good, and some readers and writers are still suffering from that mindset: e-book = trash.
But the idea did not go away. Readers like the idea of books on tap in endless supply, and publishers are starting to catch on. Yesterday I bought new releases from two author/friends offered from Day One in both e-book and print form. Yay!
There are still problems, of course. E-publishers don't really want to play nicely with each other. Protection from piracy is weak (although one person I heard speak recently who has spent years in publishing reminded us, "We're been experiencing book piracy for centuries. We call it a library.")Still, the e-book is here to stay, and anyone in publishing who ignores it does so at his or her peril.
The biggest problem for me as an author is promotion. The Internet is such an ocean, and one book such a tiny drop, that it is hard to get noticed. Those who already are well known will be found, of course. All a reader has to do is type in a name.
But what if your name is no household word?
I've heard there is a new company forming that will address the problems of lesser and unknown authors who want to publish in e-book format. When I know the details, I will share them here. Who couldn't use some help with preparing, publishing, and promoting that next book?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Commiting Murder on Your Writing Career

Why would anyone do that?

A good question, but lately I've been reading what some editors and publishers have been saying about some of their authors.

Why would anyone post on the Internet where anyone can see that they aren't satisfied with his or her small press publisher and are just biding time until they can find a New York publisher? Even if that were someone's goal--proclaiming it where the small press publisher can read it, is just plain dumb.

If the small press publisher also e-publishes the author's book, why on earth would the author say I don't care about e-books I'm never going to make any money that way anyway? Believe it or not, that was written right on someone's blog where all could see.

Why would an author say they aren't going to waste their time with social networking to promote their book? Yep, I've actually heard people say that one.

Why would an author continually email their publisher asking when their book is going to come out? Once is enough. If you've been around the publishing industry very long, especially working with small presses, you know that often the targeted date for the publication of a book may be pushed back for one reason or another.

Personally, I think the less you bug your publisher the better. The more you make the publisher take time away from the job of publishing, the less likely that book will come out on time.

When an author is hard to work with, the word gets out. The publishing world is not all that big. Especially now with the Internet and e-mail, it's much too easy for publishers to share which authors are a pain to work with.

Just something to think about--be careful, don't murder your own writing career.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Granta names 'best young Spanish-language novelists'

Extending its celebrated selections of rising literary stars into the Spanish-speaking world, journal tips 22 young authors for the future

The future Ian McEwans and Salman Rushdies of the Spanish-language literary world have been named by Granta magazine in a list of the best young Spanish-language authors writing today.
From Argentinian author Federico Falco to Chilean poet and novelist Alejandro Zambra and Spain's Pablo Gutiérrez, the literary magazine unveiled the 22 writers to make it into its list of the best of young Spanish-language novelists in Madrid this morning. Running since 1983, when the literary magazine included Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, McEwan and Rushdie in its list of the best of young British novelists, Granta's "best of young novelists" series has tipped a host of future writers for stardom, from Edwidge Danticat to Jonathan Franzen, but has never looked outside America and the UK before.
A panel of judges including acclaimed Argentinian film director and writer Edgardo Cozarinsky, award-winning novelist Francisco Goldman and journalist Isabel Hilton, along with the Spanish edition of Granta's editors Aurelio Major and Valerie Miles, chose the Spanish-language writers, who also include Peruvian short story writer Carlos Yushimito del Valle, currently finishing his first novel, and Argentinian poet and short story writer Matías Néspolo, whose first novel, Siete maneras de matar a un gato (Seven Ways to Kill a Cat), is due out in English from Harvill Secker.
"From Borges to Bolano, the Spanish language has given us some of the most beloved writers of the 20th and 21st centuries," said Granta. "But as the reach of Spanish-language culture extends far beyond Spain and Latin America, and the US tilts towards a majority Hispanic population, it is time to ask who is next in this exciting tradition."
Granta said that fiction from the 22 authors, which will feature in the new editions of Granta and Granta en español next month, would give readers "an unprecedented insight into the world of Spanish letters". Of the writers selected, eight come from Argentina, six from Spain, two each from Peru and Chile, and one from Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Uruguay. Five of the 22 writers are female.
Granta's best of young Spanish novelists:
Carlos Yushimito del Valle
Matías Néspolo
Alberto Olmos
Antonio Ortuño
Andrés Felipe Solano
Santiago Roncagliolo
Elvira Navarro
Andrés Neuman
Patricio Pron
Carlos Labbé
Oliverio Coelho
Rodrigo Hasbún
Sònia Hernández
Andrés Ressia Colino
Samanta Schweblin
Pola Oloixarac
Javier Montes
Federico Falco
Pablo Gutiérrez
Andrés Barba
Alejandro Zambra
Lucía Puenzo © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

Allan Pinkerton Detective

What a find! At a garage sale this morning I bought a 1880 edition of Professional Thieves and the Detective by Allan Pinkerton - founder of the famous Pinkerton's Detective Agency. The logo of the open eye and the motto 'We Never Sleep' is pretty much rubbed off and the book is in very rough shape.

Nevertheless - I am THRILLED!

Here's a sample of the writing. This is the first sentence of the opening paragraph Chapter VII.
"Several days subsequent to the occurrence of the events related in the preceding chapter, while Root was passing from the lath-mill, in which, for a short time, he had been employed, attending to and feeding a rapacious circular saw, and going toward his home, the wearisome labors of the day well ended, he encountered Big Bill, sitting on a lumber pile, alone, his face buried despondently in his hands, and once more shaking painfully with the ague."

Isn't that ... something!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour (VBT) - Part 3

Organizing a virtual book tour (VBT) may seem intimidating, but I assure you that once you do one, you'll discover it's not very hard. It just takes time and good organization. Read Part 1 and Part 2 (links are on my VBT page) before proceeding to the following steps.

Part 3:
The day before each virtual stop:
·       Send out a reminder to your host and ask them to post that night. Make sure they have book cover jpgs, your photo and anything else they might need.
The morning of each stop:
·       Confirm that your host has posted your content. Check the site. Copy the full URL that leads directly to your post. The home page will change and you want your links to always lead to the exact page that the host has created just for your content.
·       Change the home page URL on your schedule to the exact page link. This is how you really leverage yourself. Now when someone stumbles across your schedule and clicks on the link, they’ll be directed to your post, not your host’s ever-changing home page.
·       Write about the day’s stop(s) and post it everywhere. Copy the first paragraph or two of the interview or article and use that for your intro. If you have multiple stops, list them with direct links. Don’t forget to post to your Amazon blog, MySpace blog and MySpace bulletin. The latter goes out to all your MySpace friends. Make sure you have some! And definitely send announcements out on Twitter.
·       Check your host site frequently throughout the day for comments and answer any questions directly on your host site. Do this every other day afterward for about a week. Offer to write a possible follow-up article, depending on what you posted originally.
·       Assess the success of your virtual book tour. Set up NovelRank, TitleZ and/or Charteous to monitor your book’s Amazon sales rank throughout the VBT. You should see some lower ranks (lower is better!) during your blog tour, particularly if you have a contest or incentive that inspires more sales of your book. Be creative and have fun!
Authors now comprehend the full potential that blog tours have to offer and how they benefit everyone involved. You could sign books at a bookstore for three hours plus driving (or flying) time and reach a few hundred people yet sell only a dozen copies, or you could organize a VBT and promote to millions of people worldwide.

Virtual book tours take time, patience, organization and research, but as I have discovered, they are definitely worthwhile. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So why not start today? You have the entire world at your fingertips!

Thank you to everyone for dropping by this blog and visiting me on my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour. Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."

Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at and

Prizes & Giveaways: Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.

Friday, October 01, 2010

10 Shows For The Criminal Mind

There are many television shows that follow the lives of detectives and investigators who work on various crime cases. While some of the shows are summaries of real-life events and others are fiction,  they are all definitely intriguing. The following are 10 shows that will keep criminal minds entertained:

Snapped is an American television crime series that airs on Oxygen that recalls the real life events of women who have committed or attempted to commit murder. Each episode details the events that occurred and includes clips of the trials, interviews with people that were involved in the case (family, law enforcement, attorneys, etc) and sometimes the accused themselves. The episodes end with the verdict and sentence of the case and an updated summary of where each defendant stands.

Cold Case Files  is a documentary style series that airs on A & E that follows the investigations of cases that were never solved and have been reopened many years later. Referred to as “cold cases” by detectives, these cases have been opened again because of emerging technological advances in forensics, recent breakthroughs in the case, or witnesses who come forward years later. The episodes of this show have been known to be used by law enforcement agencies across the country for training purposes.

Forensic Files is a documentary type show that airs on Trutv and shows how forensic science is used to solve crimes. The show follows one case per episode, from the initial investigation to the legal resolution, with re-enactments and in some cases, name changes for privacy. The show also features medical examiners, coroners, and forensic detectives and specialists involved with the case. Clips of their interviews are shown. Some of the best and most well-known forensic analysts in the country have appeared on the show.

America’s Most Wanted  is an American television show that airs on Fox and is meant to assist law enforcement in capturing fugitives. Many of the fugitives, who are wanted for murder, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, armed robber, and terrorism, and white collar crimes, are also on the FBI’s Most Wanted lists. The show has been fairly successful; over 1,100 people have been captured as a result of their story being aired.

48 Hours Mystery airs on CBS and presents true crime documentaries and mysteries. The show does not use a host. Rather, it is narrated by the reporter who was assigned the story and is also known to report on special cases such as past or current shocking events that made media headlines. This program has been quite popular and has received over 20 Emmy awards.

Law & Order  is a police and law related drama series that is often based on real events that have made headline news. The show is separated into two parts: the investigation of the crime and the capture of the suspect, followed by the prosecution in the second part. The trial is usually shown from the prosecution’s point of view. At the time of its cancellation, Law & Order was known as the longest running crime drama on American prime time television.

The Closer  is an American crime drama series that originally aired on TNT. The show centers around a police detective who leads teams that are assigned to deal with high profile murder cases. Each episode portrays the aspects of Los Angeles culture as it interacts with law enforcement and highlights issues of public policy, honor, faith, and government responsibility.

CSI is an American drama television series that follows crime scene techs who find the evidence to solve brutal murders. Many episodes feature lengthy scenes that focus on technical work, experiments, and tests that usually involve high-tech technology and gadgets that don’t exist. The series is also known for using unusual, close-up camera angles, and graphic and sometimes gory portrayals of murders.

NCIS is a drama television series that premiered on CBS that revolves around a fictional team of agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. This team conducts investigations involving the Marine Corps and the US Navy and is often assigned to high profile cases including terroristic threats, deaths, kidnappings and bomb situations.

Bones is a crime drama series that premiered on Fox and is based on forensic anthropology. The show focuses on cases concerning the human remains found by FBI detectives and given to a forensic anthropologist for analyzing. The show is based loosely on the life of Kathy Reichs, who is a forensic anthropologist and also produces the show.


Shared by Jay Smith  of the Criminal Justice University. This piece first appeared on their Web site  before Jay offered to let Maryann Miller post it here.