If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

FBI Citizens Academy: Week 6

After a month off to promote my new book, I’m back to share the final weeks of my FBI Citizens Academy experience with you.

The sixth installment covered a lot of ground including International Operations, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Public Corruption, Polygraph/Statement Analysis, and a Tour of the Mobile Cyber Forensics Lab.

Is it any wonder my head was ready to explode? Here are just a few of my takeaways.

International Operations – The FBI has worked abroad since 1940. Those agents are called legal attachés, “legat” for short. The FBI has primary US jurisdiction when a terrorist incident occurs overseas. Those investigations are coordinated with the Department of State and are conducted with local law and ground rules established by the host country.

Weapons of Mass Destruction – This is one of those topics that will keep you awake at night. The FBI works to educate those who work with chemicals or biologicals to get out in front of a threat. They have an early warning network in place with businesses such as Home Depot where someone could purchase large quantities of the materials used in bomb-making.

Public Corruption – The definition of Public Corruption is when a public official abuses his public office for private gain and is among the most sensitive of investigations.

I’m leaving that topic right there.

My favorite part of the evening was the presentation on Detection of Deception. This is the stuff any of us who write crime fiction that involves questioning a witness or suspect needs to know. Here are a few tidbits from my notes:

When interviewing a suspect, you want to build a rapport with them. Therapy techniques are used.

The subject makes reasonable justification for otherwise criminal acts. Example: “I didn’t steal money for drugs. I stole it to help my family.”

Repressed emotion comes to the surface in some sort of body movement.

What’s coming out of their mouths differs from what’s going on in their heads.

A lie is “cognitive tasking.” (Think about it. The truth requires no real brain power, but the creation of a lie, and remembering the lie that’s been created, requires a lot of mental activity.)

The interviewer watches for inadvertent body “leakage,” meaning movement, activity, and expressions that give away the “cognitive tasking” going on.

The subject may use “pacifiers” or soothing mechanisms such as grooming gestures or nose rubs (in men) or playing with the hair (in women and girls).

Yawning is an indicator the subject has checked out, and the interviewer needs to re-engage.

A subject, who intends to lie, goes through a thought process when asked a question: Hearing >>> memory recall >>> judgment >>> fear, anxiety >>> planning (the lie) >>> verbal response.

The best indicators of deception in response to an open-ended question is equivocation, meaning use of words like “probably,” “maybe,” “I assume,” “somewhat,” “I may have,” or “as best I can recall.” And negation, using phrases such as “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”

A subject who’s being deceptive will use “text bridges” such as “after that,” “the next thing I knew,” “later on,” or “afterwards.” In these cases, they’re covering up what they don’t want to talk about by skipping over it.

A final note, and something I’d never thought about, pertains to written statements. If a subject is willing, have him write out his statement first. They’re “uncontaminated” and will often contain tidbits the subject volunteers without realizing.

We wrapped up the very long evening with a tour of the Mobile Cyber Forensics Lab, a van with all the gadgets, gizmos, and toys you’d imagine!
Photo courtesy of the FBI photographer
That's me on the far right with the red shirttail hanging out
My big takeaways from this talk was you can never truly delete your information from old phones (do you donate or dispose of your old cell phones? BAD IDEA.) And do you have Bluetooth in your vehicle? Or do you connect your phone to your rental cars to use the GPS? The next person to own that car or anyone else who rents it, could potentially access everything (everything) from your phone as a result. Scary, huh?

Next time: CSI Night at the FBI Citizens Academy!


Jim Jackson said...

Thanks for taking us with you to the FBI Citizens Academy. It was a fun trip. I wrote that down without being questioned, so it must be all true.

Annette said...

My pleasure, Jim.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Fascinating! I've enjoyed "sharing" your FBI experience.

Annette said...

I'm glad, Margaret!

Kait said...

This is so cool! I loved the part on deception and building rapport. Those are techniques I've learned for the day job in interviewing trial witnesses and I was pleased to see some familiar friends in your material.

Annette said...

Kait, there was a fabulous workshop on interrogation techniques at Writers Police Academy a couple of years ago too. Same information, different sources.

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for sharing all of this with us, Annette. It sounds like a wonderful experience.

Annette said...

It really was, KM.

Grace Topping said...

Interesting stuff, Annette. I found myself taking notes.