TCP Ep. 5 Carl Denaro, The Son of Sam and Me

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/thats-criminal-with-john-stamp/id1619028587

Carl Denaro was twenty years old in 1976 when he was ambushed while in a parked car in Flushing, NY. At first the police thought it was a drug deal gone wrong. Then he was told he was shot by David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam. Carl talks about his story of survival and why he believes Berkowitz wasn’t the one who shot him. Show notes at johnstampwriter.com.

Carl is available at cdx2us@yahoo.com.

Casey’s short film, “Carl,” as mentioned during the show is available at https://vimeo.com/237964874

Books Discussed:

Don’t Forget, Blood Red Ivory drops on audio tomorrow, May 3rd!

Thank you to Crush Limbo for the music

New Release Announcement: Blood Red Ivory

“Some Cases You Solve. Some Cases You Survive.”

Really excited to announce the pending release of my seventh novel, and the first in a series, following Special Agent Tyrone Benhoff, Blood Red Ivory.

Initially, I came up with Ty. Tyrone Benhoff, Special Agent, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Why NCIS? My former agency has a global presence. In my time with them, I traveled to nine different countries. I figured the wide range of locations would provide a great backdrop for a variety of exciting plots. Another aspect of NCIS that fit was the spectrum of cases an agent has the opportunity to work. Everything from fraud to homicide, to personal protection assignments, makes for a deep catalog of investigations I can touch on in my books.

Ty himself is kind of an amalgam of characters I’ve met over the years. Some of the most fun and frustrating traits from all the cops I’ve ever worked with went into his character. He’s a tenacious investigator, has developed a dark, and more often than not offensive level of humor. Like most cops, he’s been overrun by worthless bureaucracy so much that he has not even the slightest bit of patience for empty suits or weak leaders. That makes him really popular with management by the way. He’s dedicated to getting the job done no matter what the cost. That last part is probably the most common thread I’ve seen not just from the men and women I worked with at the state, federal, and local levels of law enforcement but cops, in general, want to serve and do their job the best they can. That’s Ty Benhoff.

As far as setting goes I picked Zimbabwe after reading about the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. A group of anti-poaching park rangers, all female, protecting endangered species in Africa. Their story is inspirational. Also, I’ve wanted to get back to Africa since I finished a deployment to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti in 2011. The people there are great, the geography is great. Now that I have little kids, I don’t get to travel much anymore so for the time being, if I can’t go there, I can at least write about it. Someday I will get back to Africa though.

Anyway, I put Ty and these Rangers together, mixed in bad guys to include, ivory smugglers, poachers, some Chinese organized crime, and even a couple of terrorists-extremists for good measure. All this and a homicide investigation gives you, Blood Red Ivory. I hope you like it.

Big thanks to my publisher WildBlue Press. Check out their catalog of great true crime and fiction titles if you get a chance.

And more to come. Meanwhile don’t forget to check out the rest of my titles here.

New Book Release! Acquisitor-A Jackson Cole Novel

I know this is supposed to be a crime blog. But I got a new book coming out!

Acquisitor, A Jackson Cole Novel, preorder now (https://amzn.to/3zhtIGj) arrives September 3rd, 2021. Just in time for a long Labor Day weekend. Acquisitor picks up about a year after the events of Shattered Circle. In Shattered Circle, Detective Jackson Cole came face to face with supernatural evil. A blood cult sacrificing women and using powerful demonic forces to wreak havoc around the City of Charleston. He put a stop to them. It almost cost him his life.

In Acquisitor, something is killing the homeless around Charleston, SC. Cole, and his Partner Miles Otis’ only witness is also their only suspect in a bizarre homicide. She says she’s a witch, and that a hellhound is hunting people. Any other two cops would laugh and lock her up in a padded room. Unfortunately, Cole and Otis have seen a hellhound at work before. Something tore a suspect apart in his own interrogation room a year earlier. Cole and Otis want nothing to do with evil like that again. They just want to work cases and solve crimes like normal police. But if they don’t take it on, who will?

Acquisitor blends the gritty police procedural with a dark urban fantasy. Trying to make sense of the supernatural through the lens of pragmatic police work creates something unique to both the crime and the fantasy genres. These two books have been an absolute blast to write. I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say though, I am thrilled to introduce Natalie King to the Shattered Circle universe. She’s the witch I was talking about earlier. I think your going to like her.

Here is the back cover blurb about Acquisitor:

Detective Miles Otis pointed, “That’s an arm.”

Jackson Cole sighed, “Yeah.”

Otis studied the random severed limb for moment, “You ever miss the good old days, dope and drive bys…?”

You catch one strange case and suddenly they call you the Freak Police behind your back. If its anything even remotely weird, Cole and Otis get the call. Now they find themselves in a vacant lot staring at a forearm.

Fingerprints give them a name. Hardnosed police work generates a suspect. She’s a witch, so was the guy who’s forearm sits in a cooler at the coroner’s office. The witch says a hellhound killed her friend. And it’s hunting the homeless of Charleston.

Witches, magic…a hellhound? 

Any other two detectives would laugh at a story like that and lock that crazy witch up. But Cole and Otis have faced the supernatural before. It almost killed them. 

There’s a reason they call them Freak Police.

Here are what readers say about Shattered Circle :

“Although this book is crime thriller, it has a supernatural twist to it. If you like a crime triller and/or like supernatural, you cannot go wrong reading this book.”

“Shattered Circle This is an excellent book. I want more. I want to see it on the big screen!! John Stamp is a wonderful author, who takes you with him on a journey into an amazing world that did not allow me to put the book down.”

“Your attention to detail and knowledge of the occult is wonderful and spelling binding. Thank you for a great read.”

Can’t wait to hear what you all think of Acquisitor. More to come.

The Mature Blue Stilton, Worth Going to Jail for…

This is almost as bad as when a fugitive falls for the old, “You won a radio contest gag,” which, by the way, I am proud to say I pulled off in the far distant past. But that’s another story for probably never so moving on.

When we look at this story there are a couple of things that stand out. The first being complacency. Complacency is a real concern for anyone working in an operational capacity. Whether undercover protecting an alias, a diplomat working abroad, or even yes, a drug dealer.

Operational Security is the same regardless of what side of the game board you’re on. If you’re on the side of government, law enforcement or intelligence, OPSEC is drilled into your thick skull almost before the ink is dry on your appointment letter.

I guess if you’re a dealer you don’t get that kind of formal education, more of an on-the-job training situation. The story here shows Mr. Stewart, that’s the guy, was wise enough to keep his comms out of the public air, via an encrypted chat service, but became so comfortable in the digital shadows that he thought casually discussing his favorite cheeses on the platform wouldn’t put him at risk. That’s where complacency lies, when things get a little too comfortable. Complacency kills, as the saying goes, or at least in this case it costs you, a lot…like a decade of your life lot.

My question in this whole thing isn’t how the authorities got his prints off the photo. That’s been done. A couple of photo filters, adjust the gradient, sprinkle in a little contrast, and BAM! Forensics. My question is context. This was not a solitary, random post about a cheese no one has ever heard of (or maybe I’m not enough of a connoisseur). This strikes me as the secret squirrel equivalent of taking food selfies. Or maybe he was hosting an underworld dinner party that night and wanted to check with Ecstasy Erica, his MDMA source, to make sure she wasn’t averse to the Mature Blue Stilton. Perhaps he had already had so much trouble with Heroin Karen over her gluten allergy that he was sick of it and decided to run the menu by everyone- menu mystery be damned! Problem was Erica had no idea what the Blue Stilton was and when overwhelmed with frustration he sent her a photo.

“Here!” he could be heard bellowing through the grocery, “It’s a God-Damned cheese! Uncultured heathens…I swear!”

That’s probably not how it happened. But the story seemed more fun this way.

Reference:

Liverpool man latest to be jailed as part of national Operation Venetic | Merseyside Police

Review: The Cobra Event by Richard Preston


Richard Preston’s The Cobra Event was one of those books I had my eye on for a long time but never pulled the trigger on. I would look at it lingering on my book list and wonder if a medical thriller could catch my attention and keep it. From the outside looking in I equated it with like an Outbreak or ER type of story, I thought all the medical stuff would bore me. Man was I wrong.

I didn’t know what was missing from my literary life until I finally dove into The Cobra Event. Richard Preston created a masterpiece with this book. From the opening pages I had one of those books in my hand that make you want to go to bed early so that you had more time to read. It’s been a long time since I read a book like that.

Though it’s a novel the story reads like it could be a case file. The characters depth and scientific backgrounds are believable which shows Preston did his fair share of research in creating them. The details of the labs and equipment needed to effect a bio-terrorism event were expertly explained while not sounding like a technical manual. He even made decontamination process, and small mistakes in the decontamination process sound interesting. And when the intensity ramped up and we drew in on the bad guy the tactics, and tactical mistakes that kept the chase alive were written so real you could feel the danger.

I know the book is a little dated, The Cobra Event was released in 1998 but the old reads are still some of the best. I’m glad I finally took the leap and gave The Cobra Event another chance. It was awesome.

I attached the synopsis below. It’s worth a look.

“The Cobra Event is a petrifying, fictional account of a very real threat: biological terrorism.

Seventeen-year-old Kate Moran wakes one morning to the beginnings of a head cold but shrugs it off and goes to school anyway. By her midmorning art class, Kate’s runny nose gives way to violent seizures and a hideous scene of self-cannibalization. She dies soon after. When a homeless man meets a similarly gruesome — and mystifying — fate, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta sends pathologist Alice Austen to investigate. What she uncovers is the work of a killer, a man who calls himself Archimedes and is intent on spreading his deadly Cobra virus throughout New York City. A silent crisis erupts, with Austen and a secret FBI forensic team rushing to expose the terrorist.

Even more frightening than Preston’s story about the fictitious Cobra virus, however, is the truth that lies beneath it. As the author writes in his introduction, “The nonfiction roots of this book run deep…. My sources include eyewitnesses who have seen a variety of biological-weapons installations in different countries, and people who have developed and tested strategic bioweapons.” In fact, the only reason The Cobra Event was not written as nonfiction is that none of Preston’s sources would go on record.

Woven throughout the novel are sections of straight nonfiction reporting that reveal the terrifying truth about the development of biological weapons and the clandestine operations of Russia and Iraq. Three years of research and more than 100 interviews with high-level sources in the FBI, the U.S. military, and the scientific community went into The Cobra Event. The result is sure to shock you.”

Hope you like it and don’t forget to check out my novels available here and wherever books are sold. Also I will be at Literary Love Savannah, GA the 26-28th signing and sitting on a couple of panels. I look forward to seeing you there.

Out.

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