Tag Archives: Cop


photo (11)I was twenty-one when I joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but I looked like I was seventeen. Not only was my teenage looks a challenge to being an effective cop, I was raised in a tiny Manitoba town that didn’t have a stop sign, never mind a street light, or a transit service. So I was anything but worldly. 

In August, 1978, I got transferred from basic RCMP recruit training in Regina, Saskatchewan, to beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia on Canada’s west coast. I thought I’d won the Mountie lottery for postings.

I arrived in Courtenay, a small city of 30,000, and was immediately assigned to be trained by an experienced officer. My role was a uniformed General Duty position which attends everything from car accidents, to barking dogs, to violent domestic disputes.

In street policing, things can go from dead-boring to flat-out chaos in seconds and there’s nothing like years of experience to equip an officer in responding properly and safely. So, it’s standard procedure that a rookie pairs up with a vet for a few months before they’re ready to go out on their own.

photo (15)Now on my third week on the job, I was starting to feel kinda comfortable wearing the yellow-striped uniform and packing heat in my Sam Browne. One warm, summer afternoon in mid-week my trainer was called up to court, leaving me hanging around the police office. A call came in about a bicycle being found about a half-dozen blocks from the cop-shop.

My old Sarge was strapped for guys that afternoon so he throws me the car keys and tells me to go straight down, pick up the bike, and come straight back; warning me “Whatever you do, do not get yourself into any trouble.”

I was feeling pretty proud of my first patrol alone as I drove the marked Police Cruiser (PC) down a quiet thoroughfare in residential Courtenay. About four blocks from the office, I see this guy standing alongside the street to my left.

Now you gotta remember that this was in 1978 and community policing was a dream yet to come. It was a real us-against-them mentality between the ‘pigs’ and the ‘scroats’ and the cool street look was long, greasy hair, zitty-faces, beards, and crude logo’d tee-shirts. This guy was a poster-boy scroat and he was standing there with his arms folded across his chest, giving me the stink-eye as I drove past. I watched him in my mirror, waiting for him to flip me the bird or make a run for it, but he just kept standing there, staring, till I was out of sight.

rookieI dealt with the bike thing, putting it in the PC trunk, and bungeed the lid down. As I was driving straight back to the office, like Sarge ordered me, I’m looking ahead and here’s this same guy, still standing in the same place. His arms are still folded across his chest and he’s staring at me with beady little eyes and a scowl like he wants to slice off my nuts.

I figgered “Okay. Okay. This guy’s up to no good.” So I pulled over to my right, put on my hat, and got out. As I rounded the PC hood, this guy stays standing with his arms folded, never breaking his stare.

What the fuck do You want?” he says.

I’m standing three feet from him with my hands on my hips. “Just wondering what you’re doing loitering about the neighbourhood,” I tell him.

His right arm breaks from the fold. His forefinger points straight up. And he says “Like waitin’ for the fuckin’ bus?

I look up at the sign, then down at the ground.

Very well. Carry on then,” I said as I got back in the car and drove off with a face the colour of my brand-new Mountie Red Serge.


Are you planning on murdering someone, but your only stop is the fear of getting caught?

MurderOr are you plotting a thriller where your serial-slayer stays steps ahead of that dogged detective who’s also top-tier in her trade?

Maybe both? Well, I’ll give you a cake and let you eat it, too… if you’ll follow me on how homicide cops investigate murders.

Think about it. There are only four ways you can get caught. Or get away with it. All seasoned sleuths intrinsically know this, and they build their case on these four simple pillars. Let’s take a look at them.

What not to do

Fingerprint# 1  Don’t leave evidence behind that can identify you to the scene.  Such as fingerprints, footwear or tire impressions, DNA profiles, ballistic imprints, gunshot residue, toolmarks, bitemarks, handwritten or printed documents, hair, fiber, chemical signatures, organic compounds, cigarette butts, spit chewing gum, toothpicks, a bloody glove that doesn’t fit, or your wallet with ID (seriously, that’s happened).

Smoking Gun# 2  Don’t take anything with you that can be linked.  Including all of the above, as well as the victim’s DNA, her car, jewelry, money, bank cards, any cell phone and computer records, that repeated modus operandi of your serial kills, no cut-hair trophies, no underwear souvenirs, and especially don’t keep that dripping blade, the coiled rope, or some smoking gun.

Video Cameras


# 3  Don’t let anyone see you.  No accomplices, no witnesses, and no video surveillance. Camera-catching is a huge police tool these days. Your face is captured many times daily – on the street, at service stations, banks, government buildings, private driveways, and the liquor store.

Confession# 4  Never confess.  Never, ever, tell anyone. That includes your best drinking buddy, your future ex-lover, the police interrogator, or the undercover agent.


So, if you don’t do any of these four things, you can’t possibly get caught.

Now… What To Do

Humans are generally messy and hard creatures to kill – even harder to get rid of – so murder victims tend to leave a pool of evidence. Therefore it’s best not to let it look like a murder.

Writers have come up with some fascinating and creative ways to hide the cause of death. Problem is – most don’t work. Here’s two sure-fire ways to do the deed and leave little left.

A.G.E.# 1 Cause an Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE)  This one’s pretty easy, terribly deadly, and really difficult to call foul. An AGE is a bubble in the blood stream, much like a vapor lock in an engine’s fuel system. People die when their central nervous system gets unplugged, and a quick, hard lapse in the carotid artery on the right side of the neck can send an AGE into their cerebral circulation. The brain stops, the heart quits, and they drop dead.

Strangulation is an inefficient way to create an AGE and it leaves huge tell-tale marks. You’re far better off giving a fast blast of compressed air to the carotid… maybe from something like that thing you clean your keyboard with… just sayin’.

Poison# 2 Good Ol’ Poison  Ah, the weapon of women. Man, have there been a lot of poisonings over the centuries and there’s been some pretty, bloody, diabolical stories on how they’re done. Problem again. Today there’s all that cool science. The usual suspects of potassium cyanide, arsenic, strychnine, and atropine still work well, but they’ll jump out like a snake-in-the-box during a routine tox screen.

You need something that’s lethal, yet a witch to detect. I know of two brews – one is a neurotoxin made from fermented plant alkaloid, and the other is a simple mix of fungi & citrus. This stuff will kill you dead and leave no trace, but I think it’s quite irresponsible to post these formulas on the net.

So there, I’ll leave it with you to get away with murder. But if you have some crafty novel plot that needs help, I’m dying to hear your words.

Oh, and watch out for what’s in that cake that you’re eating.