I’m excited to talk to bestselling authorof multiple crime series, novellas, and short stories and Host of the Wrong Place, Write Crime Podcast Frank Zafiro.
Frank served in the U.S. Army from 1986-91 in Military Intelligence as a Czechoslovak linguist. In 1993, he became a police officer in Spokane, Washington. During his career, he worked as a patrol officer, corporal, and detective before entering into leadership roles, becoming a sergeant in 2002. He was fortunate enough to command patrol officers, investigators, K-9 officers (and their dogs!), and the SWAT team. He also commanded both the patrol division and investigative division of the police department at different points in his career.
Frank retired from law enforcement in 2013 as a captain to write full time and teach in both the Criminal Justice and Writing fields.
Frank primarily writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. This includes his River City series (an ensemble cast of police officers) and his SpoCompton series (a rotating cast of criminals). His storytelling creed is that the good guys usually win… but not always, and never without a cost.
He has two recent releases:
The Ride-Along (a police procedural in the Charlie-316 series) puts a police reform activist and a police officer in the same patrol car for a ten-hour graveyard shift. Sparks fly, ideas get argued, but these two good people also listen to each other.
All That This Life Requires is the second Jack McCrae Mystery. Jack “Mac” McCrae is a retired police officer. In this book, Mac’s mentor and hero has died. The man’s son comes to Mac with a letter that seems to confess to a vague misdeed. Mac must discover what it was, and upon discovering it, decide if justice was truly served.
As always thank you for your continued support for Blood Red Ivory, available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook everywhere.
Retired Police Officer and true crime author Rod Sadler joined me to talk about his three books, To Hell I Must Go, which follows an 1897 murder which was investigated by his own Great Grandfather, Killing Women, the story of Michigan serial killer Don Miller, and A Slayer Awaits which follows the double murder of Howard and Myra Herrick, and convicted killer Nealy Buchanon’s case from the scene, to an appeal before the United States Supreme Court.
Had a great conversation with Robyn Maharaj. Before his death, Detective Pat Kennedy and Robyn collaborated to bring us, “Grilling Dahmer,” a first-hand account of Kennedy’s time interrogating Dahmer beginning on the night of his arrest. We talk about how Kennedy fostered a relationship with Dahmer which ultimately lead to the identification of all seventeen of Dahmer’s victims.
The Milwaukee detective who interrogated the notorious serial killer shares a vivid chronicle of what was revealed during the weeks-long encounter.
In the late hours of July 22, 1991, Detective Patrick “Pat” Kennedy of the Milwaukee Police Department was asked to respond to a possible homicide. Little did he know that he would soon be delving into the dark mind of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, the “Milwaukee Cannibal” Jeffrey Dahmer.
As the media clamored for details, Kennedy spent the next six weeks, sixteen hours a day, locked in an interrogation room with Dahmer. There the thirty-one-year-old killer described in lurid detail how he lured several young men to his apartment where he strangled, sexually assaulted, dismembered, and in some cases, cannibalized his victims.
In Grilling Dahmer,Kennedy takes readers inside the mind of evil as he patiently, meticulously, listens to unspeakable horrors.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service Special Agent, Tyrone Benhoff is in purgatory. That’s what agents call it when they find themselves on the wrong side of command and are transferred to a place like Djibouti, Africa. He tried to open a case in Virginia that was too close to the wrong people. Now he’s being watched for even the slightest screw-up so his enemies at headquarters can drive him out of the agency.
When a sailor on leave from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa is killed outside a wildlife preserve in Zimbabwe, Ty is hand-picked to lead the investigation. He finds himself in the middle of a turf war between ivory smugglers and an amazing group of female anti-poaching rangers trying to protect a herd of endangered elephants. If his enemies in NCISHQ don’t get him, it’s even money the wilds of Zimbabwe will.
But Tyrone Benhoff doesn’t quit a case … even when the whole thing was a setup from the start.
A wild ride of a thriller from John Stamp, whose twenty-year law enforcement career included posts as a police officer and special agent with the FBI and NCIS.
Thank you to Crush Limbo , “Yuppies on Scooters,” for the music.
I wonder what I could do to make my wife want to have me killed. I could ask her I guess but I’d hate to find out I had already driven her to murder, and she just hadn’t wound up the courage to pull the trigger yet. She had a Snapped obsession for a little while there and I never got a good explanation out of her as to what the draw was.
This lady, Wendy, at fifty-two years old, finally had enough (of something) and decided she was done. Or maybe she just happened upon a lucky Google search and got inspired. She found Rent-a-hitman.com, not kidding, that was the real website. She tried to be a smooth criminal (Shout out to Alien Ant Farm-yes, I like their version better) and used a pseudonym while filling out the page’s interest form. But she put in her real deets in the contact information. Close Wendy, but oh so far away. I’ll give her a 3 out of 10 for effort given she was smart enough to not use her real name while shopping for a killer. In the end though this seems like the equivalent of the points you get on the SAT for spelling your name right. After her inquiry, Wendy is contacted by the rentable hitman and meets him in a diner to talk business. She agrees to pay five thousand dollars for the job and puts two hundred dollars in earnest money down to show she’s serious. Then she’s promptly arrested when she finds out the hitman for hire is actually an undercover cop.
Turns out the website was originally set up by a cyber security guy as the front for his legitimate, if not oddly named, business. After he setup the website he realized his branding mistake when he started getting weird messages from people like Wendy. Instead of re-naming his site he decided to keep it and forward the requests for homicide to the local police as they came in. I was never any good at undercover work, and I never got to play hitman, but, what a fun op that would be.
After reading this article here are my questions: A: (The obvious) why do you want to kill your husband? And B: How did the conversation go when the detectives had to explain to him why his wife was in jail?
Luckily, since this is my fictional version of events, I have answers to both questions.
The interrogation room was stark. Only bare, concrete walls in drab flat white finish. The fluorescent lights blared overhead, illuminating only a laminate topped table and three chairs. In the chair opposite the only door sat Wendy, two detectives, Riggs and Murtaugh. Murtaugh held the file open in front of him so Wendy could see the statements, and screenshots in plain view. He had a notebook open and clicked his pen repeatedly on the table.
“Let’s start with why.” He said, “Why kill your husband, Wendy?”
“Do I need a lawyer?”
Murtaugh slouched in his chair, “If you want a lawyer, we will make that happen. But remember, you paid that guy,” he pointed at Riggs, “to kill your husband. You did it under audio and video surveillance. No lawyer on the planet will ever let you go to court on this. You’re going to take a plea and you’re going to go to prison. We just want to know why.”
Wendy squirmed in her seat. She chewed her bottom lip like a coyote gnawing on a trapped leg. Then she froze and her eyes seemed to clear.
“You ever sit next to someone, and the sound of their breathing makes you want to hit them with a car?” she asked.
Riggs looked at Murtaugh, “Yes,” he answered.
Wendy smiled, “Yes, me and Richard have been together thirty-three years. Raised two kids, kept a fine house. I’ve cooked and cleaned up after that slob for decades.” She huffed, “In all that time I never asked for anything for myself. Never asked for fancy vacations, days at the spa, nothing like that. Now the kids are grown. I’m retired. He’s been retired for years, laying around getting fat. The other night during Jeopardy I said I think we should go on a cruise. You know what he told me?”
Riggs and Murtaugh shook their head in unison, no.
“He told me to go get him another beer before final Jeopardy started.” Wendy went silent.
“No to the cruise huh?” asked Riggs.
“That was it?” asked Murtaugh.
Wendy looked at him and stuck up her nose.
“You decided to kill your husband because he didn’t want to go on vacation.” Said Riggs.
“That was just the last straw.”
“Did you get him his beer?” asked Riggs.
Wendy grinned, “I did, I even opened it for him.”
“There’s more to that,” commented Murtaugh.
Wendy snickered, “Before I gave it to him, I dropped a bunch of contact solution in it. He had the shits all night long.” She continued laughing. “I slept like a baby that night. Had the place all to myself.”
Riggs and Murtaugh looked at each other. Before Riggs could comment Wendy’s phone buzzed on the table in front of her. They looked at the screen, then at Wendy. She wasn’t laughing any more. Her eyes were bugged out. Her skin pale, or paler than usual.
Her husband was calling.
“You wanna get that, or should I?” asked Riggs.
She looked like she was trying to swallow a boulder. Her eyes were glued to the phone.