I’ve never been good at following rules. While all of my friends were keeping fingers crossed to avoid the draft during Vietnam I joined up. In high school I was voted “person most likely to go to prison.” They were almost right. I did go to prison. But it was as a Sheriff Deputy transporting some of my classmates to Indiana Dept. of Corrections.
The Sheriff’s Department was fun for a while but I was offered a job with the city police department and became a detective. Over the next twenty years I worked in Bunco Fraud, Violent Crimes, Juvenile, Sex Crimes, Burglary, Homicide and ended in Internal Affairs.
While working Bunco Fraud, I worked a fraud case that started with a subject kiting money between banks, turned into a possible stolen check, that turned into a possible missing person, that turned into a multi-state manhunt for the perpetrator, Joseph Weldon Brown. (I call him by his full name because that’s what you do with serial killers.) I caught up with Brown in Lebanon, Ohio, where he ultimately confessed to killing the missing person, dismembering her body, and spreading body parts over three counties. He eventually pled guilty to this murder and in prison he strangled his cellmate to death. He was bored, so his cellmate was ‘bored to death’. Get it?
While I worked in investigations I attended hundreds of specialized schools, became a hostage negotiator and a handwriting expert among other things. I attended the U.S. Secret Service Academy in Glenco (Brunswick, GA).
I spent most of my career working third shift to keep a low profile (out of sight, out of mind). This shift gave me a chance to burn off stress by writing and publishing an anonymous underground newspaper. The Monkey Boy Gazette was written as a roast of fellow officers, politicians, or anyone that fell into my sights. I remained cloaked in darkness for seven years until the PD launched an investigation after I wrote an uncomplimentary article about the Mayor.
After I made Sergeant I was approached by the Chief of Police who asked/ordered me to go to Internal Affairs. It turned out I wasn’t being investigated by them. What he meant was he wanted me to run the IA Unit. The Chief said, “You might as well take it. Everyone already hates you.” I guess he thought that it would save time in alienating almost everyone I knew.
In 2006 I’d had enough. Internal Affairs is the elephant graveyard of police work. I had gone back to college in 2004 and earned a Masters Degree in something useless, but it would help me get another job. I had taught as an Adjunct Professor at a local college and when I retired from the PD I was hired as a full time professor. I continued writing. I have written a true crime book about the serial killer I caught BLOOD TRAIL for Kensington Books and later was privileged to write the beginning fiction police stories that are the current Detective Jack Murphy thriller series.
I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, California Writer’s Club, International Thriller Writers, and a contributing editor for The Big Thrill webzine.
And this is the end of my story. My personal history is that I’m happily married, with a daughter, two grandchildren, two baby dogs, a hot tub, a view, and a bottle of 12 year old Glenmorangie Scotch.
Reading is the first step to education. Happy reading.