Monday, September 29, 2014

Researching Murder Investigations

I’m 135 pages into my current work-in-progress, a futuristic tale about two people trying to rid the world of guns. In one thread, a murder occurs, which launches an investigation thread. I love this story so far, which is my most ambitious work to date.

One issue I’m struggling with is that I know nothing of police procedures or murder investigations. So naturally, I’ve hit the books, researching.

One book I found both informative and fascinating: Citizen Jane by James Dalessandro. It is the true story of a woman’s thirteen-year struggle to help police find the murder of her beloved aunt, and then bring him to justice. She not only battles the red tape of a dysfunctional legal system, but also the emotional heartbreak of finding that the one person in the world she hates most (the murder) is also the one person in the world she loves most.

Dalessandro patiently steps the reader through every part of the investigation in layman’s terms, which was great for me. He also told the human story, which in this case was more bizarre than most fiction, including the interaction between this woman (Jane) and the police who work the case. It helped me to understand most aspects of murder investigations, and what the families of victims and the investigators experience while slogging through the processes. 

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