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

July Interviews

7/1 Lena Gregory, Scone Cold Killer
7/8 Jessica Baker, Murder on the Flying Scotsman
7/15 TG Wolff, Driving Reign
7/22 Leslie Budewitz, The Solace of Bay Leaves
7/29 Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets

Saturday Guest Bloggers

7/11 Mark Dressler
7/18 James McCrone

WWK Bloggers:

7/4 Valerie Burns
7/25 Kait Carson


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.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Mystery Writers’ Prompts by Warren Bull

Mystery Writers’ Prompts by Warren Bull

Image by Warren Wong on Upsplash

Mystery writers know how deceiving appearances can be. Among suspects, the most innocent looking may be the killer. The apparently guilty party may be innocent. So I have put together a series of newspaper articles in which the alleged perpetrators seem to be guilty.  Your task is to write an explanation of how and why the person charged is, in fact, not guilty.  The exercise gets harder as it goes on.  Good luck and write on.

1) Deputies gave chase to Reliford Cooper III, 26, after catching him speeding at around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Cooper allegedly fled, ran a stop sign, drove through two ditches and eventually crashed into a house.

Cooper took off on foot and sought refuge in a nearby church, but churchgoers chased him off the premises, according to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun.
While he was being handcuffed, Cooper told deputies, “I wasn’t driving that car,” the report said. He then allegedly elaborated, “My dog was driving that car.”
The deputy who arrested Cooper noted he smelled “the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, as well as an odor of burnt marijuana.”
No dog was actually spotted in Cooper’s vehicle, Dave Bristow, a spokesman with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, told The Huffington Post. Bristow also noted that there have been no new developments in the case since Cooper’s arrest.

Answer: This is an easy one. Just because there was not a dog present when the police arrived, does not mean Cooper’s dog had not been there before. Aware that he was under the influence and should not drive home, Cooper pulled over to search for a phone, accidentally leaving the car motor running. His beloved pooch hopped from the backseat into the front seat and the car took off. Cooper gallantly dived back into the car and tried to stop the vehicle. He failed but he then rushed into the church in hopes of finding a phone.
He was careless and is responsible for damage done, but his intentions were good. The next ones are harder.

2) After seeing a white Audi Q5 driving down Illinois Route 2, a concerned citizen phoned the police and said that a large blue inflatable pool was balanced on the roof of the vehicle. 
Mind you, this is a four-lane highway outside of the downtown area. So it’s no wonder this stunt freaked people out.

Two young children, kids, were in the pool as it was driving down the road. Are you kidding me?

The Dixon Police Department said in the press release that officers had searched the area in order to find the vehicle. When they found it, it was still driving down the road.
They stopped the vehicle, obviously. Jennifer A. Janus Yeager, 69, was arrested at the scene. 
She was charged with two counts of Endangering the Health or Life of a Child and two counts of Reckless Conduct. 

She was also cited for failure to secure a passenger under the age of 8 and under the age of 16. How does this even happen, they’re your kids!

When Yeager was interviewed, she was asked why she would do something so dangerous, and illegal. ”During the course of the investigation, it was learned that Yeager drove into town to inflate the pool at a friend’s house and had her two juvenile daughters ride inside of the empty pool to hold it down on their drive home,” according to the press release.

Yeager was taken to the Dixon Police Department where she was processed and released after posting bond. 
She has yet to enter a plea and it is not known if she has retained an attorney to speak for her. Yike.

Comment: Notice how the reporter’s comments suggest that Yeager is guilty. How can she expect to have an unbiased jury? I’m sure you can come up with a scenario that explains her actions as reasonable.

3) Police in Oklahoma had quite the surprise when they pulled over a car with an expired tag.
The car turned out to be stolen, and police said they found a canister of radioactive uranium, a rattlesnake and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey.
A Guthrie officer pulled over the car June 25 and spoke with the driver, later identified as 41-year-old Stephen Jennings.
Police said Jennings’ driver’s license was suspended and the car he was driving had been reported stolen. He reportedly told officers that he had a firearm in the center console, and there was a timber rattlesnake in an aquarium in the back seat.
Officers said they searched the car and found a gun and an almost full open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey. Jennings and his passenger were placed in police custody, officers said.
A silver canister containing a yellow powdery substance was also found inside the car.
“The canister advised that the yellow in color powdery substance was uranium,” the police report stated.
Crews with the Emergency Management Institute responded and verified that the substance was radioactive material. Police said they took possession of the substance for safekeeping.
Jennings has been charged with a felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle and misdemeanor counts of transporting an open container of liquor, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and failure to carry a security verification form.
His passenger, Rachael Rivera, is charged with possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.

Comment: You can see why I saved this one for last. It is a challenge. I look forward to your answers.


Grace Topping said...

Intriguing, Warren. In the third instance, the couple could possibly be charged with stealing a car that already contained all those articles. Interesting. That's why I never want to serve on a jury or be a judge. Too hard to tell who is telling the truth and I am so easily swayed.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm trying to figure out how a 69 year woman had a child under the age of 8.

In the final one, I seem to recall that having the rattlesnake was not illegal.

Was the dog in the first story ever found?