Oh, Mayor Mike, Never a Cop Around When You Need One Huh?

Authors Note: This is a work of fiction, a Parody no less so relax. Names and places have been changed to protect the ignorant and misguided. Though this is technically not a story about a stupid criminal, this statement was so ignorant, if I wasn’t such a freedom of speech advocate I would want the man in jail. Anyway…

Mayor Mike Ellyott of Brooklyn Heights, Minnesota is headed home after a long day of pondering what it will be like when a police officer no longer needs a gun to enforce the law. Over brunch he and his advisors had a long and deep conversation about all the ways an armed police force only adds stress to the city. How guns themselves are a long-standing threat to peace. If no one had guns there wouldn’t be violence in the streets. People could carry out their days without having to look over their shoulder every time a black and white police car drove by.

The idea of police cars being black and white even became its own discussion. Why are police cars black and white? So stark. Karen, Mayor Mike’s civic Empowerment Council chair and long-time confidant from their days as women’s studies majors at the University of Phoenix had made a great point.

“Certain colors are more stressful than others,” she’d said, “Why not find colors that foster calm? That way the public stress is lowered, the police will be less stressed, and the cars themselves would brighten up Brooklyn Heights,”

Mayor Mike was not usually an impulse decision maker, but Karen’s suggestion felt right in his bones.

“Let’s do it,” he’d said.

A quick Google search of relaxing color palettes and they decided right there, purple and a muted grey. They even decided to change the department’s uniforms to a muted grey to match.

Monty, his Recreation Director made a good point, “The Minnesota Football team (He couldn’t recall the name) was purple. Some people love sports, this is going to be a hit!”

Being Mayor was a tough job but tonight Mayor Mike pulled his Smart Car into his driveway carrying a big smile on his face. He had been a little nervous after the press conference. The thing he said about guns and traffic stops just came out. It’s usually not smart for a politician to speak from the heart. But it had worked, his friends were so supportive.

Mayor Mike grabbed his canvas tote from the passenger seat and was walking up his step when he noticed his front door looked…off. The latch was open. It was only and inch or two, but it was open.

That’s odd, he thought. Maybe Rosetta, his housekeeper, left the door open again. She’d done it before.

“Hello?” he called as he walked in. He turned on lights as he made his way from the foyer to the kitchen. As he passed a doorway between the kitchen and the living room, he noticed another anomaly standing out from the norm of his household.

It was dark in there, but Mayor Mike distinctly saw a man standing in his living room.

He had a knife in his hand.

Time stood still for a moment. Mayor Mike and the armed intruder in a standoff. Then it moved, he swore the man with the knife moved but Mayor Mike could not be sure. With a shriek of animalistic terror so high in decibel a chardonnay glass on the counter shattered Mayor Mike ran for his life. His feet scrambling, he ran in a blind panic. With no direction or thought, he sprinted right past the hallway leading to the back door of the house and up the stairs. He locked himself in the bathroom, screaming like a banshee the whole time.

He locked the door and threw a towel hanging from the hamper at it. Then he threw the entire hamper and its contents at the door. Mayor Mike stopped screaming when he backed into the toilet and almost fell in the bowel. He clawed at his pocket for his phone. His fingers would not respond to his commands when he tried to hit the emergency dial.

Finally, the connection started ringing,

Once…

Twice…

Three times…

“Come onnnn,” he whined.

“911 what is the nature of your emergency?” A dispassionate female voice asked.

“Mmm, bla, mmer, blah!” Mayor Mike was so scared he’d lost the ability to speak.

“Ma’am please, try and calm down. What is your address?’

“912 Folsom, this is the mayor!” Mayor Mike cried.

“What is your emergency…Sir?”

“Man! Knife! In my house!” he spurted. “He’s in my house,”

The dispatcher didn’t miss a beat. She transitioned to the Police frequency while maintaining the same unflappable tone, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,”

Mayor Mike heard the call go out, “Tell them it’s the Mayor!”

There was a pause, “You sure Sir?”

“Yes, hurry,” was the desperate reply.

Another pause, then, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Unit 3-1-3, at Avondale and Main Street had just stopped for a traffic light when the dispatcher took to the air waves. She interrupted an incredibly involved conversation,

“No, I mean how else do they have a dress unless they ate the last chick they came across?” asked Hammond, driving down the point with a knife hand to the palm.

Burman was driving, “I can’t stress enough how little I care about space bears or Star Wars,” he said in a gruff voice.

“They’re not space bears, they’re Ewoks,” Hammond blurted.

“Still don’t care,”

The car radio crackled, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,” a dispatcher named Trisha announced.

Hammond grabbed the microphone from its cradle, but he couldn’t trigger the talk button before the dispatcher added, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Hammond and Burman froze. The microphone in Hammond’s hand dropped an inch.

“BWAHH, HAHAHA! HAHAHA!” The two patrolmen lost it.

There wasn’t a cop in Minnesota that hadn’t heard Mayor Mikes comments on whether or not Police need to have guns when conducting certain traffic stops. What an asshole. And what a horribly stupid thing to say. Statistically, police are more likely to be killed during a traffic stop than any other operational activity, and this guy was supposed to be their leader.

Burnam’s eyes were tearing up. Hammond patted him on the shoulder,

“SHH! SHH!” He knew dispatch had the geolocation of all the squad cars and they were only six blocks away. They had to answer up. He had to hold his breath for a second to keep from cracking up when he went over the air.

“Control,” he wheezed, “Show 3-1-3 in route,” Hammond flipped on the overhead blue and red lights and blipped the siren.

Burnam didn’t peel out to burn the red light like he usually did.

“What are you doin?” asked Hammond.

Burman pointed to the red light above, “Obey all traffic laws,” he said.

“Huh?”

“You didn’t read the updates. Mayor Mike sent a memo last week stating that police, fire, and EMS will do their upmost to emphasize the safety and concern of the public,”

Hammond sat back in his seat, “So out of all people Mayor Mike would not want us to put the public in jeopardy only on his account,”

“No way,” commented Burnam.

“Course not,”

That same moment Mayor Mike screamed, “Help Me!” in Dispatcher Trisha’s ear.

The light turned green but no other cars in any of the four lanes surrounding the intersection moved until Burnam pulled responsibly from the line. He accelerated to the exact speed limit, 35 mile per hour.

“Very responsible,” said Hammond,

“Safety first,” replied Burnam.

The black and white patrol car drove down the main thoroughfare traversing Brooklyn Heights at thirty four miles an hour, a horde of cars backing up behind them. The patrolmen made it though two more lights before the next changed from green to yellow. Burnam slowed to a stop before it went red. The intersection all around them was a ghost town as vehicles to the left and right were not willing to cut off the police car with lights flashing.

“Clear?” asked Burnam.

Hammond studied the intersection for ten seconds, “Clear,” he confirmed.

Burnam activated his right blinker and slowly made the turn. He gingerly attained the speed limit before slowing again. A woman walking her dog was looking to cross. She looked at the flashing car. Both the woman and her dog’s head cocked in the same curious way. Hammond lowered his window and waved her across.

“Courteous,” said Hammond.

“Mmm hmpf,”

The patrol car returned to the speed limit four more blocks before Burman again activated his blinker, the left this time. He came to a stop. A beige Chrysler minivan was fifty yards away traveling in their direction. The police officers waited patiently until the confused woman behind the wheel came to a stop opposite them. Hammond waved to her as a means of thanking her as they turned.

Dispatcher Trisha clicked across the radio, “The mayor states he can hear the party in his house. 3-1-3 what’s your ETA?” In the background a high-pitched crying could be heard amongst a muted chorus of laughter.

“Control show us on scene,”

Burnam cut the lights and pulled to the curb one house down. He and Hammond exited the car, softly clicking the doors shut. It was dusk but still light enough to see without their flashlights. The unholstered their service issue Glock 22’s and approached Mayor Mike’s house. From the driveway they could see the front door was closed.

“Control can the mayor come to the door?” Burnam asked in his shoulder mic.

Trisha keyed the microphone but all they could hear over the channel, and from inside the house was a desperate, “Please God Help Me!”

Burnam and Hammond looked at each other, “Sounds exigent,” Hammond stated.

“Control, we’re making entry, give us the channel,”

“All unit’s clear channel for 3-1-3,”

Burnam took point and after getting set at the front door he put a boot to it, splintering the frame and denting the locking mechanism. The two flowed into the foyer shouting, “Police! Police! Come out with your hands up!”

The two cops moved in sync from door to door, clearing hallways and other potential danger areas. All the while they heard mumbled cries, from upstairs. As they came to the living room Burnam covered the kitchen as Hammond sliced the pie, revealing the living room before him step by step. When he saw a figure standing in the center of the room he shouted, “Don’t move!”

The figure didn’t move.

“Got one in the living room,” Hammond called, “Put your hands up, do it now,”

The figure didn’t move, it was dark in the living room, he could only make out the silhouette of a man, something was in his hand,

“I said put your God damned hands up!” he shouted. Then he clicked on his flashlight.

The bright light revealed a mannequin, faceless, dressed in a weird, grey/brown Brooklyn Heights Police uniform. Hammond pulled a rolled-up note from the plastic left hand. It was for Mayor Mike,

“Mike,

I was so excited about the new direction for the PD that I ran over to the uniform outlets and pulled this together as an idea, isn’t it great!”

signed Monty.”

When Hammond turned with a quizzical look on his face Burnam was there to snap a photo with his phone.

“What the fuck?” griped Hammond,

“At least you didn’t shoot him,” said Burnam.

“Control be advised, Mayor residence clear,”

After a pause Trisha came over the radio, “Copy, residence clear,” the laughter in the dispatch center was louder now.

Hammond and Burnam were studying the new Brooklyn Heights Police uniform while they waited for Mayor Mike, there was violet striping down the leg,

“There is no way I’m wearing this,” Burnam declared.

“You smell piss?”

They turned around to see Mayor Mike descend slowly down the stairs. His face was streaked in tears, eyes puffy and red. He walked in between them to look at the ‘intruder.’ Burnam and Hammond shared a look behind his back. Hammond nodded in gesture toward the seat of the mayor’s pants. They were soaked.

“Nothing to worry about Mr. Mayor,” said Hammond quenching a grin.

“Just glad your alright Sir,” added Burnam, stone faced.

Mayor Mike looked too exhausted to speak.

Hammond watched him, “You know Sir, I see you don’t have an alarm, that kind of thing really helps put people at ease,”

“Having a gun in the house helps too,” added Burnam.

Hammond’s head snapped in Burnam’s direction; eyes wide. He was biting his upper lip so hard he might draw blood.

The mayors head perked up.

Hammond keyed his mic and started for the door, “Control, Mayor secure, show us 0-8 (available for call),” as the two cops fled the scene.

The following day both men were detailed to the newly created Mayor’s (Armed) Protection Detail. Neither asked how often or when the mayor thought they should carry their weapons.

They were also plainclothes so Burnam never had to wear the new uniform.

Reference:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/04/14/brooklyn-center-mayor-police-dont-necessarily-need-guns-for-making-traffic-stops-1059671/

The Great Irish Birdseed Caper

That’s right, a trio of geniuses in Limerick, Ireland knocked off an armored truck and all they had t show for it was a bag of birdseed.

This story brings to mind one immediate question: Who do you think got their ass kicked for this?

According to the article, there were a minimum of three dudes on this job. So, was it the guy who planned this shit show or the guy that mistook birdseed for a cash transport bag that got punched first?

When I walk through this one, I have to start with the stakeout. Let’s give them credit enough to stalk the armored car, learn its routes, maybe time its stops? Clearly, we can’t say that they paid a whole lot of attention to what the money bags looked like. Unless the brand of birdseed was so cool the bags resembled locking, security laden, reinforced cash transport bags (some how I doubt it though).

Anyway, lets put the three of our robbers in the car, a white Skoda sedan, since we’re in Ireland. Thad is the getaway driver, Kev is the bag man, Liam is the leader, and on overwatch. According to the article Kev used an ‘implement’ to subdue the armored car guy. What the hell do they mean by implement? Like a crowbar or something? If it was a crowbar why didn’t the journalist just say they used a crowbar to smack the security guard and make off with the loot? Another stray thought I had on this was how is it after all of Ireland’s ‘troubles’ in the seventies and eighties they don’t have more guns lying around?

Liam is driving Kev and Thad bonkers. He keeps calling out stops and times that he armored car is making along its route.

                “Nine oh five, bank on Smythe,”

                Then…

                “Nine ten, petrol station, Glenhadden,”

                And…

                “Nine fifteen, Western Union, Waller street,”

                Liam’s foot is tapping a staccato on the floorboards of the Skoda.

                Thad’s too afraid to say anything to Liam about the toe-tapping. This is his first gig with these guys, and he doesn’t want to mess up his big break. He concentrates instead on checking his mirrors for the cops. Thad jumps in his seat when Kev finally blurts out,

                “For fuck sake Liam. We know the fuckin route, the schedule, the whole things, shut it man!”

                At least Kev got the toe-tapping to stop.

                “You just watch your lip Kev,” Liam snaps back, “This is serious shit, every detail down to the hair on your arse’s gotta be perfect,”

                “Perfect this,” says Kev waving Liam the finger, “I know the job,”

                “You better,” states Liam flatly.

                “Clear off,”

                Thad straightens in his seat, “Boys, boy’s!”

                The armored truck is rounding the corner. The next stop on its route is a bank located in a strip mall. It sits between a discount store and a shoe store.

                “I told ya!” exclaims Liam, “Right on time,”

                Kev doesn’t say anything, he’s focused. He’s got plans for the money, and it’s so close now. The vision of himself rocking a new gold watch with a diamond encrusted face the size of his head. Rolling through Fitzpatrick’s Casino in Limerick like a whale.

                The armored truck rolls to a stop between the discount store and the bank. Thad, Liam, and Kev sitting thirty feet away in the front row of the parking lot.

                “Here we go,” says Liam.

                Liam and Kev exit the Skoda while one of the guards waddles his way from the passenger seat and down to the pavement. He’s older, with a brown mustache. The guard’s blue uniform is oversized, even for his pot belly. The guard straightens his uniform cap before shuffling around the back of the truck. Kev takes the rear while Liam rounds the front to keep an eye on the driver. Kev has a little further to go than Liam and when he makes his way to the rear fender the last person, he expects to find is the mustachioed guard walking right toward him, a canvas bag in his hand. The two almost run into each other.

“Ahhh!” screams Kev with the genuine inflection of a six-year-old girl.

                The excitation takes the old guard by surprise too. He screams the same way, “Ahhh!”

                Kev rips the crowbar from his jacket and bashes the wide-eyed guard over the head. As the guard stumbles back, Kev snatches the bag from his hand,

                “Let’s go!” he yells only a decibel under the scream he let fly a moment before.

                Liam follows and Thad pulls the Skoda out, its tires squealing. Thad pops the boot and Kev throws the bag in the dark compartment before jumping in the back seat.

                “Move!” Liam barks and the three thieves roar out of the parking lot.

                Twenty minutes later the Skoda pulls into a garage on the other side of Limerick.

                “Whew, that was flawless boys. I told ya! I told ya we couldn’t lose!”

                “Yeah, you said it alright,” comments Kev.

                Thad had heard them but was more interest in seeing the money. He curled around the boot and popped the latch with the key fob. His hands shaking as he lifts the lid.

                “Huh?” he utters. The boot is full of…dust? Thad had checked the whole car himself before they took off for the job. The compartment had been spotless. Thad reaches in and grabs some of the…birdseed?

                “What’s that?” Liam pushes passed him and reaches for the bag. He freezes as his hand reaches the bag. Instead of finding strapped bills filling the canvas bag he retracts his hand to reveal a fist full of birdseed.

                Thad, Liam, and Kev watch as a long sad stream of birdseed sifts from Liam’s hand like sand from an hourglass.

As I write this I kind of don’t want to say who his who first. Instead of a beat down, I like to think Kev and Liam just go at it in a rolling throwdown like when Peter fights the giant Chicken in Family Guy. When it’s all over I have to end it with the three of them standing together watching the Skoda go up in flames. These criminal masterminds have seen every episode of CSI (every flavor, even Miami) and know that they have to burn the getaway car to throw the cops off their trail. Kev has a split lip, and one of Liam’s eyes are swollen shut. Thad is holding an empty gas can wondering when he can get away from the other two without it being awkward. From the boot random bits of birdseed pop every now and then like popcorn.

The article notes that the guard had stopped at the discount store next to the bank to buy some birdseed in between stops. Kev apparently stumbled into him after the discount store but before the bank. I can’t say this enough. I love dumb criminals.

We’ll just leave it at that.

Three men arrested in probe into cash-in-transit robbery where bird seed was stolen instead of cash – Independent.ie

“It Wasn’t My Idea,”

https://www.nola.com/crime/2018/10/man-convicted-in-fatal-attempted-robbery-of-loomis-guard-said-crime-was-co-defendants-idea.html

loom

New Orleans, LA

If you do ever happen to find yourself charged with a crime there are a variety of ways to try and get out of it. A good lawyer is probably the best, maybe a close second to keeping your freaking mouth shut. Blaming somebody else is also a good choice depending on circumstance. I have even had a guy explain to me that the crack-cocaine in his pocket was not his because the pants he happened to be wearing were also not his. In that particular instance, however, when asked if the five hundred dollars, also found in said pants was also not his, the story about the mysterious missing pant owners  seemed to fall apart. He went to jail.

One excuse I have never heard work, and will never work when trying to get out of a charge is to play the, “It wasn’t my idea,” card.

On May 31, 2017 at around 4:30pm two ‘gentleman’ (not going to give their names because they should thrown in a hole and forgotten, not celebratized) drew down on a Loomis armored car after it pulled up to re-supply an ATM machine. During the robbery one of the guards, Jimmy McBride, was shot and killed. The subjects got away with about $5,000 dollars cash and did what most criminals do, they got caught. Turns out that not everybody in the U.S. has figured out that there are cameras everywhere. The robbery, or enough of it was caught on camera to identify the two subjects.

Like always happens one subject turned on the other to gain leniency. On October 24th in federal court got the opportunity to testify against his cohort. What was his guilt mitigating rationale for why an upstanding citizen is dead? It wasn’t my idea. He didn’t deny taking part (cameras make that difficult), didn’t plead that he was forced, under duress into committing the crime. Nope, it just wasn’t his idea.

Saying you were kidnapped and forced into the robbery by a group of armored truck marauding space aliens would get you better traction in court than saying, “It was his idea, but, uh, I was already there…so…”

The article says both men face life in prison, which is probably best for everybody.

Oh, and one other thing. The article says they pulled off the robbery at 4:30pm on a Wednesday in a major city. What kind of getaway do you plan to make in rush hour traffic in the middle of the week? My God, criminal masterminds all over the world are shaking their heads in disbelief. De Niro and Kilmer circa “Heat” they are not. I mean…Damn.

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

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.

Writing so Hard I had to Sit Down


So I write in the morning before my day job. I drop the wee one off at day care, try not to cry, and head to my office. I leave the light off so it’s just me and the screen for about forty-five minutes. I started my newest novel, untitled, the other day. So far we’ve got a broken down former Army Ranger caught up in an ethnic cleansing where a cabal of demon possessed humans are trying to wipe out all the remaining fae-folk on Earth, or realm as we call it.

Anyway I was writing a scene this morning where my Ranger buddy wakes up to find himself face to face with a cybernetic ‘interrogator.’ It’s kind of a black, scorpion looking thing that’s half underworld beastie and half robot that is used to infiltrate the nervous system of a prisoner and make them docile for simpler information retrieval. This thing is strong, it’s ugly, and it is not the kind of thing you want to meet immediately upon being jolted awake from a drunken stupor. As you can imagine the scene is pretty dynamic with my guy battling this thing as it wraps itself around his arm and tries to get at his brain stem. No spoilers but the scene ends with him bashing the thing against a stone fireplace until he shatters its carapace and takes a bath in yellow goo. He’s exhausted, and gross, and to add to that he’s hungover but still has that feeling you get when you wake up right before you hit the ground in a dream. You know kind of fidgety and weak like you just got done going five rounds with Randy Couture. That was where I had to leave it since it was time to start the job that actually pays me. I shut my computer down and put it away and started my morning ritual. Like most people, my morning ritual starts with coffee. I go through the motions setting up the coffee pot, cleaning out the basket that I forgot to clean yesterday and start organizing myself when I notice my legs feel a little jiggly. My arms also have that kind of tense feel you get at the end of a good heavy bag workout.


Weird, where did that came from? The most strenuous thing I had done so far in the morning was wrestle with my fifteen month old to change his diaper and get his clothes on (the little guy is a fighter in the morning…red head, go figure). It’s a strange feeling but I remember what people say about visualization techniques and dream states. How the body reacts to the events in your brain even if you’re not moving. I was intrigued, I’m still intrigued, so I did a little research.


I found an article in Psychology Today titled, “Seeing is Believing: The Power of Visualization,” by AJ Adams. The article cited a study that compared muscle gain in two groups of weightlifters. One group worked out at the gym, the other conducted mental rehearsal, visualizing themselves lifting rather than physically doing it. Here is a quote from the article:


“A study looking at brain patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting. In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone. For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/flourish/200912/seeing-is-believing-the-power-visualization


The article also went on to explain that visualization is a common practice among elite athletes, Olympians, and the like.


Interesting. I found a few more references alluding to the effect mental training has on the physical body but that article explained it the best. So, Was I in the zone, so focused that the story in my head was translating to my physical body? That hasn’t happened before that I have noticed. It was an interesting thing that happened this morning. Thought I would share.


What do you think? Writing so hard I had to sit down? Or am I reading into things and I need to hit the gym more since making coffee appears to tire me out?

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


So, the Norse won?

The other night I discovered something that Marvel and the creators behind Thor have missed: Thor is living proof of a deity.

I was cooking dinner when my five year old showed up slinging his Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer). I asked,

“Hey Thor, want to help with dinner?” I got the usual response.

“No I’m just playing, Can I have Thor God of Thunder song?”

There is no greater pride a parent feels than when a child asks for classic rock. I am quick to respond, “Absolutely!”

Thor God of Thunder song is actually Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Let me be up front here and declare I have had this song in my workout playlist for a decade or more so I didn’t download it because of a movie. Although when you look at Marvel movie music there is an argument to be made that Led Zeppelin might be the new AC/DC. I would say with confidence that Iron Man would not have been quite as cool if is wasn’t for the judicious use of AC/DC throughout the series of movies. Though I thought Thor Ragnarok was a great movie, the same argument could be made that Ragnarok might not have been Ragnarok without Immigrant Song as the backdrop to Thor beating the crap out of a bunch of demons. Additionally, when was the last time you saw an action flick that didn’t have an AC/DC track somewhere in either the trailer or the film itself, just saying. Robert Plant and the boys might be seeing a boost in their royalties soon.

But I digress.

The point I had when I started this bit of word vomit was that I had an epiphany while cooking dinner and praying Thor’s hammer did not go through the tv. Thor is living proof of deity in the Marvel universe. Now if we allow that the Marvel universe is societally similar to our society then wouldn’t him showing up on the world’s stage fighting aliens in Avengers have been a bit disruptive to society. I mean not only do the big three religions all fight (literally) to convince the rest of us heathens that their dogma is “the way.” But how many other sects and systems are out there that think their own deity, whatever that may be is the only path to salvation? Then all of a sudden here comes a hero out of Norse mythology, Thor, the God of Thunder standing in the middle of New York City swinging a giant hammer.

Picture yourself as some pastor, or Imam, or even the Pope himself sitting around watching Fox News as they interrupt a hoverround commercial to bring breaking news. “Alien Invasion: New York” is the headline and then whichever religious leader seems most entertaining in your head (for me it’s the Pope lounging in his robe lint rollering a massive hat but then again I’m Catholic so that makes sense) He leans forward in his big stuffy chair and sees a God standing with Captain America in the middle of Times Square. He doesn’t see the big alien dragon looking things flying around, he only sees the worlds first proof of deity fist bumping Cap and flying off screen under a swinging hammer. I can only think his first thought is, “Merda!” [“Shit!” in Italian].

World religious leaders around the globe are all realizing at the same time that their collection plates are about to run dry. All accept the Asatro (that’s right there is still a religion that believes in Odin and Thor) and those guys leap up and dance a jig, “I knew it!” they scream.

So then what?

Iron Man nukes the aliens and the dimensional gateway is closed, cool. But what about the 84% of people whose guiding life principles just went up in smoke, or more accurately, a lightning bolt?

Thor, chillin and eating falafel (the after the credits scene in Avengers [Spoiler, sorry]) is going to be a real problem for people. Here they were arguing about the bible and the koran, and the torah only to find that the Scandinavians had it all right. What the…? That effect on society is something overlooked by Marvel et al.

Good news though. In the event Thor was to show up and save the world, Santa might get a second look. As far as I know he was adopted by Christianity as a way of absorbing some of those “heathen” religions on their way to world domination.

Now all of a sudden the powers that be find out that Norse mythology was the one…and they missed it. I can only picture the Westboro Baptists protesting Thor’s hair while a bunch of ISIS guys try to blow up Avenger HQ.

What do you think the Asatro head honcho would do during his first press conference? I like to think he would play it really cool. Shrug his shoulders maybe and say, “Told ya,” drop the mike and walk off stage.

Anyway, that’s all I got for today. But hey Marvel, maybe something to look into.

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


 

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.

Author Spotlight: Ellison Cooper

cgHey everybody I have been out of pocket for a minute but I do have an excuse. I have been editing the monster that is my new fantasy novel (Title Pending). Had no idea what I was getting into. The cultural research alone could have earned me a second master’s degree. BTW, now I know what to call medieval stuff…extremely useful knowledge in 2018.

Anyway, I have a book recommendation for you. “Caged” is Ellison Cooper’s debut thriller.

Here is some info about the book:

“FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who’d been slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession…a killer who is closer than she thought.”

Praise for Caged:

“Dark and mesmerizing…channels equal parts KATHY REICHS and THOMAS HARRIS…You will read till the bitter end…then sleep with the lights on!”
Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author

“I started and couldn’t stop.”
—F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

CAGED is a gripping thriller debut for fans of Kathy Reichs, Thomas Harris, and Patricia Cornwell.

Ellison’s Bio:

Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central , West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

Social Media

web: http://ellisoncooper.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllisonCooperAuthor 

twitter: https://twitter.com/ECooperAuthor

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ecooperauthor/

goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17392133.Ellison_Cooper

It’s always important to support new authors. Wishing the best of luck to Ellison Cooper! Here’s where to find Caged:

Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/CagedAmazon

IndieBound: http://hyperurl.co/CagedIndieBound

Book-A-Million: http://hyperurl.co/CagedBAM

iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/CagedApple

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