Writing About True Crime

Writing about a true crime story was the last genre I expected to dive into and research.  I wasn’t looking for an intriguing crime story to write about.  I didn’t look for crimes in the newspaper to routinely read about either.  I would, however, return off and on to the subject of a certain cold case article.  Years would pass and after obtaining my story’s victim’s full name, my spare time evolved into an obsession to tell readers about her.  I can assure that this victim’s story is not popular today, but in 1941 through 1943, it was widely publicized in the written media.  What makes her story important is the fact that it’s never been solved.

My book is about a gruesome murder occurring 72 years ago (at the time of this writing) in the early morning hours of March 9, 1941 and the likelihood of the killer being alive today is doubtful unless he was a teenager.  After reading this book, readers will have an understanding of the details of the crime and how it became a very cold case.  We read about senseless murders all the time and while many are solved, this is one of many cases that has gone unsolved and owns my attention.

With more people becoming interested and also fascinated with cold cases, different thought processes are coming to the table to offer new ideas all in an effort to solve an old crime.  It’s remarkably amazing how improvements with the collection of data and behavioral patterns bring about change and render ideas for investigators.  With technology, people are more easily identified or tracked, including the use of tower mapping with cell phone usage.  The development of software that enables the input and output of information is of great value.  The manner in which evidence that is very old can be reevaluated with modern day scientific analysis is remarkable.

If you take the traditional methods deployed back in 1941 and compare them to modern day methods, it’s astonishing how progressive our crime solving departments have come.  Today, police officers, detectives, forensic scientists and psychologists each play a role involved with cold cases in their collective effort to solve an old murder that may have been deemed as ice cold at one time.  With all the appropriate tools available to these role players, a murderer could ultimately be brought to trial for his or her crime.

In 2011, my obsession with my cold case story became just that—-an obsession—-and it’s probably the most overwhelming and fulfilling task I have ever set my mind to as a writer.


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