from Button Hollow Chronicles #1: The Leaf Peeper Murders
by Loni Emmert & P.I. Barrington We have with us Sheriff Jeff Ramsey of the Button Hollow, New Hampshire Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Ramsey joined the Button Hollow force as a deputy as a young man and has been serving the citizens of the village of Button Hollow for over twenty years.
Sheriff Ramsey, tell us about the recent crime spree in Button Hollow.
Button Hollow is a small village in central New Hampshire. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone else, and I mean that literally. Most residents have lived their entire life in Button Hollow, so when we had two citizens found dead in a swamp looking like suicides I became suspicious. Sure, both were down on their luck, one a prostitute with a love for meth and the other a loud-mouthed drunk but I knew both of them for years and neither one seemed to me to be a good candidate for suicide. The circumstances were off, and there were too many unanswered questions. Some people say that things like that happen to people like the ones you described.
In their youth they were the same as you and me, they just made some bad decisions. That did not give anyone the right to kill them.
Why is this case so special to you?
Murder in Button Hollow, that’s what! We’d had some other strange activity go on in town, and something just didn’t sit right in my gut, you know what I mean? I know my town inside and out and I knew something unusual was going on. Did anything make these murders hard to solve?
The Button Hollow Citizens’ Brigade made it damn hard to solve. Citizens’ Brigade? What’s that?
Unfortunately, our town had established the Citizens’ Brigade which is a group of elderly residents that feel the need to stick their noses where they don’t belong and get involved in police business. Most of the time they get in my way and make my job more difficult,
which they definitely accomplished this time, but, I gotta admit they actually helped me solve the case. I gotta say that Button Hollow does produce some tough, upstanding citizens. How has this case affected your personal life?
I hate to talk about my personal life but throughout this case my wife Sharon and I had been having some problems. We worked that all out now and hopefully things on the home front will remain calm. And the Brigade, is it still around?
Yep. I conceded and let them stay together. After one of them willingly put their life on the line to help me prove that two of their neighbors were murdered what else could I do? So, they’re still around. Still annoying me and still getting in my way. Thank you, Sheriff Ramsey. I hope that the Citizens’ Brigade helps you keep Button Hollow safe for all of your residents.
lives in Southern California, works in entertainment, and loves to write murder mysteries. Button Hollow Chronicles #1: The Leaf Peeper Murders
was released in August 2010. The Covered Bridge Murders,
the second in the series is scheduled to be released soon. Button Hollow Chronicles #1: The Leaf Peeper Murders
can be purchased through Amazon.com, Mainly Murder Press or the author’s website: http://thewordmistresses.com
from No Evidence of a Crime
by S. Connell VondrakDetective Jim Jarred is a twenty year veteran with the Washington, DC police force. He worked his way up the ranks and is a well-respected detective with the Crime Scene Bureau.
We also have with us Lieutenant Kathleen Jackson who was hired three years ago to the DC police department. She went through a year and a half specialized training program and was placed directly into the Crime Scene Bureau.
Detective Jarred, tell us about this case.
We were called to the scene of a homicide. The victim was a young lady, a congressional aide, a beautiful young woman. I’m sure you read about in the papers. She was found
dead on the National Mall in DC, near the Jefferson monument. It made the national news. The minute you say congressional aide and murder in the same sentence, you know you have two things: everyone’s eyes on you and a really rocky road to go down. Lieutenant Jackson, what made this case difficult to solve?
Boy, what wasn’t hard about this case. I think, the hardest thing for me was the fact we couldn’t trust anyone. Once we knew the crime lab was giving us wrong results, everyone was suspect, even the lab director. We didn’t know who was doing what. What do you mean?
Firearms, DNA, toxicology -They all reported wrong results and it wasn’t “Oh sorry, I made a mistake” wrong. It was a “that’s not possible”wrong. You know, once we started looking at the data closely, the deceptions in this case were pretty obvious.Did anyone outside of the department help you solve this case?
Dr. Hayes was instrumental. He was the pathologist who did the autopsy. He kept saying: “That DNA result is not right.” Detective Jarred:
Don’t forget, Teri Sedgwick. She’s a forensic scientist who worked in the crime lab. I knew she was the one person we could trust.Lieutenant Jackson:
Ha, that’s Jim’s famous cop instinct or maybe I should say his annoying cop instinct. Detective Jarred:
Hey, when have I ever been wrong?Lieutenant Jackson:
That’s the annoying part. Has this case affected your personal life in any way?Lieutenant Jackson:
Oh boy, there’s a doozy of a question. I mean of course it affects you, you know it’s a murder, of course that affects your personal life. Well, actually, this was my first murder case, so I don’t want to generalize. I don’t mean affects your personal, personal life. But, yeah, sure, it affects your personal life.Detective Jarred:
Stop, Kathleen. Kathleen tends to ramble when she’s nervous. Lieutenant Jackson:
I don’t ramble.Detective Jarred:
I know. My wife’s death is something we have never talked about. She died in a car accident two years ago. It’s okay, Kathleen. This case brought me a sense of closure with her death. It’s rough but it’s no longer raw, so yeah, this case affected me personally.Thank you, Lieutenant Jackson and Detective Jarred, for being with us today. We appreciate what you do to protect us and the sacrifices you make.
S. Connell Vondrak
worked as a forensic scientist for over 15 years and has worked in law enforcement for over 20 years. No Evidence of a Crime
was released in September of 2010. The book is available through Barnes and Nobles, Oak Tree Press and azon.com. For more information about this book or to contact S. Connell Vondrak go to http://www.crimelabmysteries.com
from Jambalaya Justice
by Holli Castillo We have with us today Anthony Chapetti, Shep to his friends, a detective in the Special Investigations Division in the Sixth District of the New Orleans Police Department. For the last few years, he's worked homicides, except for a recent identity theft. Also joining us is Detective Monte Carlson, also of the Sixth District SID. While the other SID detectives focus primarily on homicides, Monte has an ear to the street and deals with narcotics, conducting undercover drug buys.
Shep, tell us about this case.
This case was big because it involved the captain’s daughter, a prosecutor named Ryan Murphy, who also happens to be my girlfriend. Someone was writing checks from the account of one of Ryan’s friends, another prosecutor who was presumed dead a few months ago. Everyone thinks the girl was murdered, but her body was never found,
complicating what might have been an ordinary NSF check case. While I don’t necessarily believe she’s still alive, I do know one hundred percent that dead people don’t write checks. Monte, what made the case so special?
Dawg, they all pretty special. At first, this one wasn’t nothing but me waiting around for some big-time dealer about to drop a bunch of Ecstasy. The deal was going down at the Marquis de Sade, a club in a neighborhood where some hookers had been murdered, and the dealer kept putting me off. This case got personal when Ryan showed up at the club, looking for somebody who might know a little something-something about the murders. She was tight with one of the vics, and it had her kind of messed up. Meanwhile, she’s keeping all this from Chapetti, which tells me things ain’t as great with the two of them as he might want folks to believe, especially me. The truth is, if Ryan’s daddy, our captain, didn’t get a say in who she settles down with, she’d probably be with me. But my light skin ain’t light enough for the captain, who can’t get past the fact that I’m black and not
Catholic. Captain’s strictly old school. Not that it stopped Ryan in the past. She’s been known to break a rule or two--when it suits her. What made the case hard to solve? Shep:
There were a few things. I was always one step behind, and the information I was getting didn’t clear things up in the least. None of the store clerks could give me a solid identification either. But the biggest hindrance was I had to work with a partner, Nina, a woman I had an extremely brief relationship with--one night-- a long time ago, way before Ryan. The D.A. and the captain thought it was a good idea for the two of us to work the case together. Nina was a D.A. investigator in the economic crimes unit, and made my life difficult every step of the way on this investigation. Plus I think she might have been hitting on me, trying to get back together. And then there was the captain, who didn’t want Ryan knowing anything about the case. I wasn’t comfortable lying to Ryan, but I have to follow Captain Murphy’s orders. I also had to keep working my regular homicides the whole time, which left me little time for anything else. And people were talking about my late hours with Nina. When it looked like there was a chance Ryan could be in danger, I had to make a choice between what the captain wanted and what I thought was the right thing to do. It didn’t go well. Monte:
My dealer wouldn’t show. I never met the dude up close and personal before, so I didn’t even know who to look for. Every dealer nowadays has a prepaid cell phone they text with, ‘cause they think it’s less likely they gonna be caught if they text about the deal
instead of meet face to face or talk on the phone. Then there was Ryan, all up in my grill at the club at night. She was cool and all and didn’t blow my cover, but I had to watch her back while I was trying to set up my deal and bust the dealer. That girl’s a firecracker, and if somebody loses trouble, she’ll be the one to find it. And no way I was
letting anything bad happen to her. I’d kill my deal first. And it ain’t because her daddy’s my boss. I thought I had everything under control when just as my deal was about to go down, it all hit the fan and things went south like you wouldn’t believe. Did anyone else help you solve this case? Shep:
Not really. Nina only slowed me down and made my job harder. She was a political hire, and had no investigative experience, so she was constantly screwing things up. Sometimes I think she messed up on purpose, just to spite me. I think she would have sold her soul to the devil to solve the case before me, which was never going to happen. It seemed most of the tips I got just led to more paperwork, and more trouble from Nina. Give me a good gang or drug murder any day of the week. Monte:
I ain’t a big fan of relying on other po-po to do my job. Sometimes, decisions gotta be made that ain’t exactly in keeping with department policies, and I don’t need nobody looking over my shoulder when I’m in the decision-making process. I did have backup outside, not my choice, and they just ended up getting in my way, stopping me from doing what I really wanted to do to my suspect when the time came. Lucky for him. I got a serious problem with anyone who gets his jollies hurting women. Shep, has this case affected your personal life in any way?
Big time. Just when I thought the case was solved and the danger was over, my worst
fear came true. By the end, there were more than a few dead bodies. Things aren’t going to be the same for a lot of people, including me. What about you, Monte? Has this affected your personal life?
I’m ‘a have to pass on that one for now, dawg. I guess we’ll see. Thank you, Shep and Monte, for being with us today. We wish you well with your cases and hope you can keep Ryan from finding any more trouble. Holli Castillo
is an appellate public defender and former New Orleans prosecutor. Jambalaya Justice,
the second in the Crescent City Mystery series, is scheduled for release July, 2011 by Oak Tree Press. For more information or to contact her, please visit www.hollicastillo.com
, or www.jambalayajustice.com
introduced in One Foot on the Edge
and still having plenty to say in Two Feet Below by C.K. Crigger Sgt. Lars Hansen has a lot of seniority in the Spokane Police Department. He’s as rough and tough as the wide open town allows, and is in close contact with the seedier types that populate Spokane’s tenderloin district. Word is he’s always interested in a pretty woman, and if she happens to be acquainted with his nemesis, P.I. Gratton Doyle, so much the better.
Tell us about this case, Sgt. Hansen.
The first I knew there even was a case is when China Bohannon slipped up and told me a feller named Jett Etter had backed her into a corner. Jett Etter?
He’s a no-good outta Missoula and not somebody a lady like China wants to meet--ever. See, thats what comes of her working for Doyle & Howe Investigations. I don’t like it. I don’t like Gratton Doyle, either, butting his nose in whenever I try to talk to China. I know he’s told her things about me...What kind of things?
Things like that little set-to regarding the working girls at Mama Jane’s Pleasure Palace, but let's don't talk about that right now. So what happened?
When I heard China had been tossed over the side of the steamboat “Georgie Oakes” into Coeur d’Alene Lake, it got my dander up. I mean, what man in his right mind would go after a little lady like her, though she does have a tendency to pry into affairs that’re none of her concern. I’ve warned her, but she doesn’t listen. Did you find this case hard to solve?
Well, I had nothing to do with solving this case, a murder nobody told me about. It all added up to China Bohannon and the Doyle & Howe Investigations boys. About all I got to do this time is keep my eyes and ears open for Etter and his pal, McNally. When China says McNally took a shot at her, I got no reason to doubt her word. Anyways, he’s from Idaho. Idaho men don’t come into my
town and threaten my
folks without asking permission. I don’t care who they are. Has this case affected your personal life in any way?
I don’t want this nosed around, but China caught me coming out of Levi Krau’s grocery store (yeah,all right, so there’s a “rooming house” on the second floor) and I could see she thought something was going on in there. Doyle’s fault. He’s told her too much. Looks like I got my work cut out, getting back on her good side. I’ll have to do her a “favor” one
of these days. The trouble she gets into, it shouldn’t be too hard.Thank you, Sgt. Hansen for being with us today. I wish you luck in getting back on China's good side.
is the author of eleven published books with more on the way. Several of her short stories have been included in various anthologies. She lives with her husband and three feisty little dogs in beautiful eastern Washington, and manages to include the area in her books. Two Feet Below
, the second book of the China Bohannon series, was released in March and is available for order through any bookstore ormost online booksellers. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
, explore her website at www.ckcrigger.com
and discover more about China Bohannon and the 1890s at http://twofeetbelow.blogspot.com
from Lights! Camera! Murder!
by Loni EmmertWe’re speaking with Det. Rick Martinez of the Los Angeles Police Department. Rick joined the LAPD twenty years ago, spending ten of those years in a patrol car, four of them in vice busting hookers and johns on the infamous Sunset Strip, and the last six tackling murders in homicide.
Det. Martinez, tell us about this case.
This was a very high profile case involving the murder of a star from a daytime soap opera, Lovers’ Lane. Everyone from the show was a suspect: the director, other actors, even some of the crew members. The media loved that celebrities were involved and reporters were all over the crime scene. The pressure coming down on the department was pretty intense as the studio execs where the production was filmed and the producers of the show wanted the murder solved fast even though the crime was making the formerly low ratings shoot through the roof. Because of the media coverage surrounding the case my job seemed to be on the line every day. But working in Los Angeles, especially Hollywood, you must see a lot of cases that involve celebrities.
Not really. Most of the homicide cases that I have investigated are the same that you’d find in any large city. Gang killings, domestic violence that goes too far, plenty with money as a motive but not in large amounts like you’d probably guess. Often someone will kill for just a few dollars. Was there anything that made this particular case hard to solve?
The murder of Dirk Saunders became difficult to solve due to the sizable amount of potential suspects. Plus, he was bludgeoned to death which pretty much told me that it was a very personal and emotionally driven crime but that didn’t narrow down the suspects. There had been a lot of pressure on my supervisors for a resolution from high-powered, wealthy people which put my investigation in the spotlight. Also, this was a difficult case because of constant threats on the lives of other individuals surrounding the victim and television show. A second murder occurred, as well as several attempted murders. Did anyone outside of the police department help you solve this case?
Yes. The primary person of interest who at first seemed to be my best suspect, Abigail Whitefeather, was instrumental in solving the case. Abigail had been on a date with Dirk Saunders the night he was killed so being the last person, besides the killer, to see Saunders alive put her at the top of my list as someone to interrogate. She had also been working on the set of the show and had a lot of access to the cast and crew. Several of the people involved in with Lovers’ Lane wanted Dirk dead and out of their way. Abigail used opportunities to find out what was going on behind the scenes and acquired information that proved crucial to solving the case, though I must say that I do not condone citizens becoming involved in police investigations. Has this case affected your personal life in any way?
Yes, and that also made the case more difficult. During the investigation it became clear that I was developing feelings for Abigail, which brought me uncomfortably close to not
only a possible suspect but also to someone whose life was in danger. Once I realized that we could be headed toward a more intimate relationship it obviously became clear to my supervisors and I was taken off of the case. Sounds like you have a problem separating your personal life from your work.
Trust me, this is the only time that something like this has happened in my career. I tried hard not to let my feelings for Abigail taint my judgment. And nothing really happened between us until after the case was turned over to the D.A. Everything was kept at a professional level. Thank you Detective Martinez. We’ll keep a lookout for any other high profile Hollywood cases that Abigail may get you involved in.
lives in Southern California, works in entertainment, and loves to write murder mysteries. Lights! Camera! Murder!
was released in October 2010. It is the second cozy mystery written by Loni Emmert. It is the first in the Abigail Whitefeather Mysteries and explains how Abigail finds herself alone at forty and moves to Hollywood to follow a long-forgotten dream: become an actress. Lights! Camera! Murder! can be purchased through Amazon.com, Hilliard & Harris, or the author’s website: http://thewordmistresses.com