New Cover Reveal and More

01/09/2019

Happy New Year! Living the furlough life sucks, thanks DC. But in other news I approved the print proof for the new Brother’s keeper and just approved the E-proof for the new Spoilers, to include an outstanding new cover. I still thank Solstice Publishing for all they’ve done for me but I must say, this creative control thing rocks! The idea of John Stamp, Indie Author is really starting to sound good to me. Check these out:

spoilers cover

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Texas man arrested for plan to murder, cannibalize girl

https://www.ktre.com/2018/10/22/affidavit-texas-man-arrested-plan-murder-cannibalize-girl/

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Since it’s Halloween I thought I do my best to make sure you can’t sleep tonight.

In Shelby County, Texas Alexander Barter sits in jail after being charged with Conspiracy to Sexually Assault and Murder a Minor.

If you haven’t heard of the dark web I would suggest not trying to find it. In simple terms it is a collection of networks that run on the internet but require specific software like the Tor browser to access. It’s the kind of place where you find people looking for someone willing to sell their daughter so that they can rape, murder, commit necrophilia, and eat her.

According to the affidavit Barter posted on the dark web that he was looking for anyone interested in allowing him to commit necrophilia and cannibalism. An agent with Texas DPS found the post and responded offering his ‘daughter’ for sale. Barter’s reply, “Nice, I’m in East Texas. How old is your daughter? Can we kill her?”

Over several days the DPS Agent established rapport with Barter and even received instructions from Barter that included the use of ‘burner’ phones, clothing changes after the murder, and an alibi when he returned home without the ‘daughter.’ The affidavit also includes the statement, “I’m not going to change my mind about this. I really want to do this,”

Texas DPS identified Barter through investigative channels I will not detail here and on the day Barter was supposed to meet the undercover ‘dad’ he instead stepped out of his house and found himself surrounded by cops. It should be noted that when he was taken down Barter had in his possession plastic trash bags and a knife, items specifically mention by Barter as tools of the crime in email communications. The official charges brought against Barter were:

Criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony

Criminal Attempt: Capital Murder, a second-degree felony.

Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder, a first-degree felony

Criminal Attempt: Sexual Performance of a Child, a second-degree felony

That’s one guy that Texas DPS happened to find cruising the internet in the hopes of raping, murdering, and eating his victim. Granted that, judging by his photo, Hannibal Lecter he is not. But even a chuckle head like that could do real damage if given the opportunity. Now ask yourself, is he the only one? Is that jerk off unique? As someone who has conducted online investigations let me tell you with no degree of uncertainty: not even close. Barter is a drop in the bucket of sick and twisted that infests the very same cities and towns you and I live in. Try to sleep tonight with that thought rattling around in your head.

In law enforcement you always hope for those days you can say you truly took real evil off the street. Congratulations to that unnamed Texas DPS agent and his team. On October 19th 2018, they did just that.

Happy Halloween

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

 

Choice of Weapon: Lawn Mower

Father attacked his son with chainsaw before son ran him over with lawn mower, police say

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/1647350002

RELAX IT’S A HALLOWEEN GAG PHOTO

Yup, that about says it all. In Bristol, TN a 76 year old man attacked his own son with a chain saw, and according to the article, his son (the victim) ran him over with a lawn mower. I know what your thinking: “A lawn mower? Even a seventy-six year old man can out run a lawn mower,”

Not if it’s a zero turn, and it was. Think of the agility needed by the old man to get away from that thing. The funniest part is that even though the old man lost his leg, he still got charged. According to the article the authorities had to wait several weeks until the subject (the guy who got run over with a lawn mower) could be arrested for Attempted Murder.

I know this is just the cop in me coming out but imagine what the responding officers thought when they got there. First off, how did the call go out?

Dispatch: Contol-313 (that’s my old call sign)

313: Go ahead Control.

Dispatch: Respond to 123 What the Crap Lane. Reported disturbance, possible assault.

A blanket disturbance call is always one that will make your hair stand up. You don’t know what your heading into. You wading into a riot or will you show up to find a couple dude in wheelchairs throwing dentures at each other.

313: Any further details Control

Dispatch: pause, pause, muffled giggle, 313 be advised it appears one party was armed with a chain saw, one other party was armed with a lawn mower. Injuries reported, EMS is enroute.

313: Control did you say a chain saw and a lawn mower?

Dispatch: Affirmative 313, it was a zero turn

The quotes from the article are the best part:

“He was mowing around some bushes or trees and the father comes out with this chainsaw running at him,” said Lt. Andy Seabolt of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

First thought: Was he wearing a Leatherface mask? It’s almost Halloween and wouldn’t that suck if the whole thing was a giant misunderstanding.

“So he turns to actually try to get away from him, turns around and the father is still coming at him with the chainsaw. So he hits him with the mower. And that’s when everything stopped.”

It wasn’t a misunderstanding.

When they say everything stopped did they mean the engine? Like did the blades get tangled up in a pant leg or something?

This incident left me with so many questions.

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

Savannah’s Pissed

Savannah unamused by googly eyes placed on historic statue: ‘It’s a crime’

http://amp.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article219716780.html

Guess who gets this case? The new guy in the Detective Bureau, that’s right.

In Savannah, GA someone (read drunken SCAD nerds) put googly eye stickers on a monument to Nathaniel Greene. I had a civil war joke to make about this article but then I realized Nathaniel Greene was a hero of the Revolutionary war and it ruined everything.

They have a real whodunit in Savannah. I’m going to call my shot here and guess how this one is going to play out.

In reality I’m betting the two googly eyes were stripped off by a city maintenance worker and tossed in the trash when the incident was first discovered.

But just for a moment lets imagine he left them there. It is pretty funny, the maintenance guy can not help but snap a picture and immediately post to twitter, Instagram, facebook (I guess), and maybe Snap, if they haven’t declared bankruptcy yet. He hash-tagged it #Savannah #crazyeyes or something equally un-inventive and forgot about the whole thing. Seven minutes and forty-nine seconds later a Daughter of the American Revolution (that’s a real thing, look it up) hopped on her phone, set up for her by her granddaughter, and automatically following #savannah, saw the disgrace of this national monument and went apoplectic. She called the mayor, she called the chief, she called the rest of the DAR…Sacrilege!

The intern at the Mayors office found the post and showed it to the Deputy Assistant Executive Assistant to the Associate Mayor who seeing an opportunity to be an actual Associate Mayor some day took swift action for the public good. They re-posted the googly eyes with a demand that something be done!

Ten minutes later the Chief of the Savannah PD puts the phone back in the cradle with a sigh, rubs his eyes and calls for his secretary to call the Commander of the Detective Bureau.

Six minutes after that the Commander storms out of his office and finds the Lieutenant, the Lieutenant finds the Sergeant, the Sergeant looks around the bull pen. He studies all the gruff and time worn faces and finds the one in the bunch who won’t give him shit. He strides to the desk of the newest detective in Savannah and drops a note on his desk. He says, “A lot of eyes on this one kid, don’t fuck this up,” he bites his tongue and retreats to his office.

“Shiiiiit,” New guys says once the Sarge is out of ear shot.

From the next desk over an overweight fifty-something detective playing solitaire grins, “Better move on this one F-N-G, those stickers won’t stick for ever, it’s hot outside.”

New guy doesn’t have a take home car so he has to sign a beater that smells like old feet out of the fleet. He rolls to the Nathaniel Greene statue to see a crowd of old women in period dress barking at a swarm of teenagers who have climbed up on the statue to take selfies with the googly eyes. New Guy realizes right there that he made a mistake giving up patrol for this but he has a job to do. He puts on his cop voice,

“Police! Get off the statue!” When you do cop voice right everyone freezes. I still use it on my kids. If you’ve never done it, I can’t explain it to you.

The crowd freezes, and the last teen drops to the ground once his phone goes, Click. They all look at him expectantly.

New Guy has an epiphany. He charges into the crowd, “This is a crime scene, I’m going to have to ask everyone to back up,” for effect he is slipping a pair of latex gloves on as he passes.

One of the teens starts to mouth off and New Guy turns on a dime to stop only an inch from the boys nose, “Do you want to go to jail for obstruction?”

“Ob-wha?”

“Xactly, move,” the kid and his friends make a run for it.

New Guy stops to study the crime scene. He peels off his sunglasses slowly, and steps up on the platform to get a closer look. He lingers for a while, just for effect before leaping down from the statue and returning to his car. In a moment he returns carrying what looks like a tool box. When he opens it everyone leans in to get a look. With a beat up old fiberglass brush in one hand and a jar of black powder in the other he climbs back up the statue and paints Nathaniel Greene’s brass mug in black fingerprint powder. He can see friction ridges on the surface of the googly eyes. He spreads transparent lift tape over each of the eyes and peels the tape back revealing fingerprints. He affixes his lifts to two fingerprint cards. He peels the stickers off the statue with the care that a Revolutionary War hero deserves and packages each one in a paper bag complete with bright red evidence tape. When he looks up all eyes are on him, watching every move. He puts his sunglasses back on,

“I’m going to need every one of you to form a line here to my left. I’m going to take  fingerprints and a statement from each of you,”

Some of the onlooker’s go blank, a couple of the teenagers straight up bail, and the rest form a line to the right not the left. But instead of offering their biometric data they promise they had nothing to do with it.

New guy smiles at them, nods, and leaves them standing there without another word.

Just because the Sergeant decided to screw him over with the bullshit case he takes his lifts to the crime scene unit and has the tech run the prints through the national database. There’s a hit, two of them. Sure enough, SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) nerds.

New Guy leaves the crime scene office, and heads straight for the judge he knows is a re-enactor. The judge doesn’t even ask a question, just signs the pair of arrest warrants.

The nerds aren’t hard to find. New Guy beats on the door of their dingy apartment until one of the half baked fools, he has a man-bun, opens the door. Three minutes later, one is still wearing his vintage Star Wars pajama pants as he perp-walks them both to his car.

A well placed text to a friend of his ensures there is a reporter from the Savannah Morning News waiting at the county jail intake when he arrives.

“I can’t comment on anything ma’am,” he tells the reporter, “this is still an evolving situation,”

When New Guy walks back into the office two hours later there is silence. He walks to his desk casually, bracing himself to return to the backlog of real cases that have been waiting for him all morning. Two minutes later the Lieutenant is standing at his desk,

“You’re shitting me right?”

“No Sir, case closed, got any more?”

That’s all bullshit but I found it entertaining. I mean…really…googly eyes?

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

The Window (Short)

Hey, I really liked the female protagonist in this story so I figured I would share. It’s another one of the shorts I found in my files. Here you go, let me know what you think.

The Window

 

Behaviorally speaking, there is no difference between a five-year-old boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and a thirty-five-year-old accountant accused of raping and murdering a twenty-one year old bartender. The two mirror each other in movement, posture, responses. Tapping feet, shifting eyes, slumped shoulders. These movements betray their secrets. They try to put up a strong front; to deny their truth, both know what the outcome will be. Each can feel the ‘other shoe’ poised over their heads waiting to drop. The only difference between the two is a matter of time. Where the five year old will fold under the withering gaze of grandma in moments, the thirty-five year old thinks he’s crafty, ahead of the game. He requires a little more convincing.

    The way he slumps in the cold hard metal chair; one leg outstretched, his left arm crooked over the seat back. He looks calm. The expensive black suit says he is important, and the smug grin shows he believes it. His eyes angle toward the dull gray metal table, feigning indifference. He’s checked his watch three times in the fifteen minutes he’s been in there. All of that is betrayed, however, by the subtle movement of his lower lip. Beneath that smug, half grin, he gnaws on it like a wolf chewing though his leg to get out of a trap. This is where time comes in.

    He gnaws on his lip. After a few minutes his left knee starts to bounce ever so slightly. His eyes fix across the table. He just noticed the file, a simple manila folder. The word Subject precedes his name, and a thick stack of various forms hide beneath its cover. One form peeks out from under the off-white cover. The title reads, Search Warrant. His name is at the top of that too.

    His eyes dart to the window and he catches his own reflection. There’s a lack of confidence he can’t bear to see so he turns back to the warrant. Yearning to see without overtly straining, he reads as much as he can. Only three lines of text are available to him. When he scans the text his eyes flash wide, though only for a micro second. Instinctively, his right hand snaps to his left collar bone. He doesn’t consciously realize he is trying to hide the deep gashes that stretch from the base of his neck to his chest. He looks back to the window. His eyes are wider now, like the eyes of a person who realized they just stepped out in front of a bus. He is searching for help, searching for hope. It only takes a moment for him to recover.

    On the other side of the one way glass she looks once more at the photo in her hand. Swollen, closed eyes, black, blue, purple, the bloody pulp was once the beautiful face of Shannon Wells, twenty-one, bartender. She could quote the Medical Examiner’s report by letter and verse. Shannon Wells was a fighter, and that made Detective Kate Mills smile. Shannon died as a result of manual strangulation coupled with an intracranial hematoma. The medical examiner found mounds of ripped skin, not Shannon’s, buried under her fingernails. Shannon also had a chunk of areola lodged in her trachea. The girl fought for her life, no one could ask for anymore. And she had had a lot to live for.

    Shannon was a scholar in the truest sense of the word. Daughter of a single father; her Mother, Maya, died while delivering her. Shannon was valedictorian of a class of less than a hundred students in a speck of an upstate New York High School. She led her high school soccer team to a state title her senior year then shot out of town like a rocket. Despite being wooed by every major team in the NCAA, Shannon hung up her cleats in favor of Physics. She was a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a full academic scholarship. Shannon studied Physics by day and slung drinks at night to make ends meet. Then she met Anthony ‘Tony’ Chapman. The crime scene examination showed forced entry through a shattered door frame. Holes in the sheetrock, a broken coffee table, and shattered television showed Tony liked it rough. Alex Newton, Manager of the Thirsty Owl where Shannon worked picked Tony out of a line up and remembered Tony hovering around Shannon until closing time the night before she went missing.

    Tony is a proud product of South Boston, and he has a record. He married once however that marriage ended with facial reconstruction for his wife, a restraining order, and ninety days in county jail. It seemed Tony liked to hit his girls, and the wife wasn’t the only domestic trouble he’s been a part of. Interviews of former girlfriends yielded adjectives such as scumbag, Napoleon, sadist. Mills also found a south side hooker named Tina who pressed charges on him for assault a few years back. The assault failed to stick since Tina was a hooker. Tony liked to make himself feel strong at the expense of his girls.

Kate watched her quarry for another moment then knocked on the window three times. Slow and deliberate, the rumble of the heavy plate glass was like the sullen drone of a death toll. It’s an utterly unproductive gesture, lends nothing to the coming interrogation. The initial volley in an unmitigated psychological war Detective Kate Mills was about to unleash on this trapped predator.

Tony shot out of his chair at the rumbling staccato, eyes like saucers, he looked at the window, toward her. She smiled. Tony likes it rough. Tony ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Detective Mills secured Shannon Wells’ photo to the file that will bear her legacy and turned from the window. Thirty-five or five, little boys do not change. Tony Chapman is about to realize he has been caught with his hand in a very dangerous cookie jar.

END

Don’t forget to check out my books here. My new novel Where Angels Sing just came out in October.

Where Angels Sing Cover

 

Last Call

whiskey

CAVEAT: I don’t get short fiction. My mind doesn’t seem to work in short bursts of writing a single scene or putting a story together in only a couple of thousand words. That being said I was going through my files and found a couple of old stories that I like. I figured why not share them and see what you think.

My first offering is a short called ‘Last Call,’ it takes a look at a detective having a bad day. He’s treading on the edge of disaster and needs a little gentle advice to set him straight. I hope you like it.

Last Call

            Jack’s gut twisted like a cat falling off a building. He pulled on the brass handle and the heavy wooden door swung open with ease.  His eyes on the ground, he crossed the threshold.  Warm as the womb, smoke, stale beer, and the lingering scent of spilled liquor greeted him as he stepped into the bar.  It was quiet and he kept his head down as he made his way to his stool.  There were two couples in a booth toward the back by the fire place.  Three sets of slumped shouldered men hovered over their drinks as if searching for truth at the bottom of their glass.

He found his stool, snakes in his belly were writhing and kicking.  His head hurt and his hands shook as he settled in.  Bennie, the bartender and owner of Jameson’s Pub watched him from down the bar.  He managed a weak nod toward the older man and in a low voice muttered,

“Bourbon, neat Bennie,” he couldn’t meet the old man’s eyes.

He heard the old man sigh as he limped to the shelf and grabbed a tumbler and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.  He watched him start to pour as tears welled in his eyes and he again had to turn his eyes to the floor.

Go! Now! The voice screamed in his head.  Throughout the day that voice had grown progressively weaker like a clock winding down.  In the end it was over matched by the thirst.  The glass slapping the solid oak of the bar sounded like a gong and snapped him out of his thoughts.  Before him stood the tumbler, half full of the harsh amber fluid.  Flanking the larger glass on either side stood two shot glasses brimming with the same.  Bennie loomed over the five drinks, his tired eyes boring into him.  A hint of sadness trimmed the burning disgust in the bartenders eyes.

“What’s this?” Jack asked.

“This?” he pointed to the shot furthest to the right, “is for Tina,”  pointing to the next shot glass he said, “Sammy,”  Bennie skipped the tumbler and at the next shot glass said, “Jack Junior,” Bennie paused for a minute and studied him.  Then his arm shot across the bar and into the breast pocket of Jack’s blazer.  Smooth as lightning he slipped Jack’s wallet.  Flipping it open before his face flopped a  New York Police Department, Detective First Class shield.  “The last shot,”  Bennie palmed the badge and slammed it into the bar so hard it dented the wood.  “is for your badge ya pathetic son of a bitch.  If your wife and kids ain’t enough to keep you straight I thought maybe the job would.  The last time Tina came to pick you up off my bar I could see it in her eyes Jackie.  She’s done, she won’t be here for you this time.  So here you go.  Drink up, but let’s make it a toast.”  Bennie lifted the shot farthest to the left.  He then leaned in so close Jack could feel the heat of his breath.  Jack stared at the bar. He was shaking.

“But…” he offered.

“No! No But, you selfish prick!  Nobody gives a shit what your pantywaist, traumatic, predisposed, worthless excuse is or will be. Least of all me, and certainly not Tina or the kids.”  He slammed the shot down in front of Jack, alcohol spewing from in between his meaty fingers.  “So what’s it gonna be, Jackie boy,” he whispered.

Jack looked at Bennie. Met him eye to eye.  They were red, swollen, broken.  “You can be a real Son of a Bitch sometimes you know that Lieutenant? It’s a good thing you’re retired.”

“Bein an asshole is the only way I ever got you to learn boy.”

Slipping off the stool, shoulders still sagging, Jack tossed a twenty on the bar and started for the door.

END

Make sure you check out the rest of my titles here. My newest release, ‘Where Angels Sing,’ came out in October.

Where Angels Sing Cover

Author Spotlight: Mark Bacon’s Desert Kill Switch

Desert Kill Switch Front cover final smal

Mark Bacon is a former crime reporter turned novelist. His newest release Desert Kill Switch is the second offering in the Nostalgia City Mystery Series and bears a look. Attached is the synopsis and other information about Mark and Desert Kill Switch.

Synopsis

A life-and-death chase across the Nevada desert in the middle of August highlights the action in Desert Kill Switch a complex mystery spread across the southwest

On an empty desert road, stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming finds a bullet-riddled body next to a mint-condition 1970s Pontiac Firebird. When he returns to the scene with sheriff’s deputies: no car, no body.  Does the answer lie in Nostalgia City where Lyle works? The Arizona retro theme park re-creates—in every detail—an entire small town from the early 1970s.  It’s complete with period cars, clothes, music, hairstyles, food, shops, fads, restaurants—the works.

Lyle swapped his job as a Phoenix homicide detective for a cab in Nostalgia City when the anxieties and disappointments of police work nearly pushed him over the edge.

Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Nevada on park business when she gets mixed up with a sleazy Las Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden “kill switches” and GPS trackers in cars he sells—mainly to low-income buyers.  Miss a payment—sometimes by as little as a few days—and your car is dead.  Maybe you are, too.

When Kate’s accused of murder in Reno, Lyle arrives to help his blonde, not-quite-girlfriend and they plow through a deadly tangle of suspects and motives.  Kate and Lyle hit one dead end after another as they struggle to exonerate Kate, catch a blackmailer, save a witness’s life, and help find the missing corpse.

Praise

“In Desert Kill Switch, Lyle Deming, an ex-cop who drives a cab in a retro theme park, and co-worker Kate Sorensen, are unexpectedly thrown together again when Kate becomes a murder suspect. If you like fast-paced mysteries, nasty characters and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end, this is a must read!”

“Love this book! I was so happy to be back in Nostalgia City, the retro theme park. Bacon’s protagonist Kate Sorensen is a three-dimensional character, who stands up to challenges without being ‘super woman.’ This is the kind of book where you keep saying ‘just one more chapter.’”

Mark’s Bio

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing when he became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the road from Disneyland.  Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including Do-It-yourself Direct Marketing, printed in four languages and three editions and named best business book of the year by Library Journal.  His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, and many other publications.  Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Desert Kill Switch is the second book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with Death in Nostalgia City an award winner at the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival.

He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, University of Redlands, and the University of Nevada – Reno.  He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State

As always don’t forget to check out my new book, Where Angels Sing: Spoilers Book Two.

Where Angels Sing Cover