TCP Ep. 20 Bestselling Author James Chandler and his Sam Johnstone Series

REMINDER: FREE EBOOK!

As a way of saying thank you for helping me get the TCP off the ground, anyone who likes subscribes, and rates the TCP gets a free e-book. Hit me up by   DM on IG @thatscriminalpodcast or email, john@johnstampwriter.com, and I’ll send you one of my titles either Brother’s Keeper, Shattered Circle, or Wraith of Sheltermount.

Tonight I get to talk to bestselling author of the Sam Johnstone Series James Chandler.

James Chandler spent his formative years in the western United States. When he wasn’t catching fish or footballs, he was roaming centerfield and trying to hit a breaking ball.

After a college baseball career, he exchanged jersey No. 7 for camouflage issued by the United States Army, which he wore around the globe and with great pride for twenty years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel of Air Defense Artillery.

He earned his Juris Doctor by attending night school at the George Mason University School of Law while assigned to the Pentagon and practiced law in Wyoming for twelve years before his appointment to the bench.

 When he isn’t working or writing, he’ll likely have a fly rod, shotgun or rifle in hand.

His Sam Johnstone series includes: Misjudged, One and Done, False Evidence, and Capital Justice.

James is a master of the legal thriller. We talk process, his background with the US Army, and his life as a judge. A great interview.

As always thank you for your continued support for Blood Red Ivory, available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook everywhere.

Thank you to Crush Limbo for the music.

Like I mentioned I’ll be at Books at the Beach September, 8th to the 10th. Tickets still available.

Show notes are at johnstampwriter.com.

Follow @thatscriminalpodcast on Instagram.

TCP Ep. 7 Notes Dr. Bill Kimberlin Watch Me Die: Last Words From Death Row

Today I got to talk to Dr. Bill Kimberlin author of Watch Me Die: Last Words from Death Row. Had a fantastic, in-depth talk about Bill’s experience with prisoners on death row, and what he has learned in his time conversing with the condemned.

In this updated edition, a psychologist offers an unbiased look inside Ohio’s death row and the personal perspectives of inmates facing execution.

In Watch Me Die, Dr. Bill Kimberlin explores the grim realities of death row in Ohio and across America. He spends time interviewing inmates and eating meals with them. In some cases, he is the last person to speak with them before they die. From the moment they are placed on suicide watch until the moment they are executed, Kimberlin follows their twisted and complex journey through the execution process.

Through open and intimate conversation, Kimberlin earns the trust of many high-level and violent offenders. He shares their unfiltered thoughts and feelings as revealed to him through their writings, their artwork, and their own words. He also shares his own fears and concerns as he shares space with unconstrained individuals who have taken countless lives.

This newly revised edition includes a “Where Are They Now?” section, updating the reader on which inmates have faced their execution, which inmates are still counting their days, and who else has asked Kimberlin to watch them die.

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

Some Cases You Solve. Some Cases You Survive.

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.

TCP Ep. 6 Robyn Maharaj, author of “Grilling Dahmer, The Interrogation of the Milwaukee Cannibal.”

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.

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

Some Cases You Solve. Some Cases You Survive.

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.

Rent-A-Hitman

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.

                Riggs and Murtaugh were biting back laughter.

                Murtaugh scoffed, “This is going to be great.”

Reference: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/michigan-woman-pleads-guilty-after-trying-to-have-ex-husband-killed-through-fake-rent-a-hitman-website

Happy holidays everybody! If you’re still looking for last minute Christmas ideas Acquisitor and Shattered Circle are on sale in the Kindle store on Amazon.

For those of you who have already read them, let me know what you think.

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.

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