summer was made for reading

My hubby and I have been together for more years than I care to count. Somewhere during our early time together we developed a habit that pretty much has stayed with us. That is, we read the same book, more or less, around the same time and then sit for hours thoroughly vetting it. Back when we first got together, he liked stuff like The Hobbit and was responsible for finally getting me to read it. Once I did, I fell in love wbooksith the world Tolkien had created. His famous trilogy, Lord of the Rings, might’ve been the first trilogy I ever read, and yes, each book was a cliffhanger, and I LOVED that about them!! We read the books together, even read them aloud to our son. These days we trade genres. We listen to true crime or mysteries the same way we watch movies on Netflix or Prime and with certain TV shows (most recently Goliath) by discussing the heck out of them. We go over the characters, the pace, what we would’ve done differently, and re-read or re-watch the ones we like best. From one book lover to another, summer is our finest hour. During the land of reruns and the lack of anything good on TV, we can always crack open a book. We relish the search through our Kindle for something we haven’t yet tried. Or we load something new on the iPad and get comfy in bed. While we dissect the plot lines and laugh at the characters, we’re still connecting. After all these years, we still enjoy what began a long time ago…our love for books.

 

 

a new look at the golden state killer case

Thanks to the late true crime writer Michelle McNamara, most of the world has now heard about the infamous rapist / killer who haunted California from 1976 to 1986. His list of crimes is long and horrific, beginning with 120 burglaries, 45 rapes, before graduating to 12 cold-blooded homicides. He’s nameless except for the moniker Michelle gave to him nicknaming him the Golden State Killer.

GSK has never been caught. Over the years, different jurisdictions from northern California to Southern California and a ton of professionals in between have tried to catch this guy but failed . For the past several years a long list of amateur sleuths have also attempted to find out his identity by putting together pieces and clues from almost 40 years ago hoping some tidbit or big reveal would lead to his capture. So far, nothing. The state of California has his DNA. It was added to CODIS years ago without a match. There is a $50,000 reward for capturing GSK, who would probably be between  the ages of 55 & 65 years old now.

This week, Sacramento County issued a statement that included new information that might help catch him. Here is what law enforcement wants you to know. During his reign of terror, GSK stole certain items from his victims. Below are a few photos of some of the things he took after a rape in Carmichael and some of his writings dropped to the ground after a rape in Danville. According to Contra Costa County DA investigator Paul Holes, the map below is a detailed drawing of how to lay out a subdivision. Interesting info, since most investigators believed they were dealing with a young adult. But since it shows some knowledge of the industry, GSK might not be as young as everyone thought.

If you have any information about the items listed below, two rings or the Noritake Polonaise China pattern or the Reed and Barton Majesty silverware,  contact the FBI at 1-800-call-FBI or go to tips.FBI.gov. The more people who see the types of knots he used to bind his victims and the items he stole, the greater the chance someone might recognize these and provide a name to law enforcement. It’s pretty much a last ditch effort to reach out to the public and hope someone might see something that jogs a memory. If you’re an ID fan, PEOPLE magazine plans to dedicate their season premiere episode on Monday November 6 to the Golden State Killer case.

golden-state-killer-ring

 

 

New series: A Coyote Wells Mystery

As Halloween approaches and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, I’m settling in for a long winter of writing. For starters, I’ve outlined three books for my new series, A Coyote Wells Mystery.

First up is Mystic Falls scheduled for release on Tuesday, November 7th.

Emotionally reeling after the death of her grandmother, Gemma Channing is settling into Coyote Wells, her hometown where she grew up, after a ten-year absence. While coming to terms with the loss of her Gram, MYSTIC FALLS FINAL coverdisturbing things begin to happen. Women are disappearing. Just when she begins to realize Coyote Wells has changed—and not for the better—she’s forced to bump heads with Lando Bonner, her ex, a man who still carries around a grudge. You might say Lando despises her. But since she’s digging for answers in an effort to explain exactly how her grandmother died, she needs his help. It won’t be easy. Lando has never forgiven her for leaving him. Tensions between the two rise as a killer grips the town in fear. Is it kill or be killed? Who will the killer target next? And when will it all end?

I love dabbling in mysteries and figuring out how to solve them. As you can tell by the continuing theme, Gemma and Lando will have a homicide or two to solve in each book. They’ll have help from an array of quirky characters. I hope you come to love Gemma and Lando as much as I do and hope you settle into the town with all the other odd characters who make Coyote Wells home.

Ann Rule, a true crime icon

Lazy people tend not to take chances, but express themselves by tearing down other’s work.

~ Ann Rule

1931 – 2015

Ann Rule first introduced me to the term “serial killer.” That killer was Ted Bundy. Since she sat beside Ted working at a crisis hotline, Ann found it fascinating that the man she knew as a volunteer could be responsible for the heinous acts of which he’d been accused. There was even a brief time when she thought Ted might be innocent of his crimes. Of course, that didn’t last for long. With firsthand knowledge of Ted’s personality, she decided to write a book about him. With The Stranger Beside Me, Ann turned true crime upside down and never looked back.

No matter her criminal subject, Ann’s writing put her at the top of her game. The way she told a story, the way she held her audience spellbound–including scary details that made chills crawl up the spine–Ann brought her reader to the edge and straight into the front row seat of the crime.

As a former Seattle policewoman, that insight into law enforcement gave her an inroad into the sick minds of an assortment of criminals. Ann was the first to write about the narcissistic sociopath, Diane Downs. In Small Sacrifices, Ann detailed how Diane shot her three children on the night of May 19, 1983 and then drove them to the hospital where Diane calmly claimed she’d been carjacked. By the time Diane got to the emergency room, her daughter, Cheryl had already succumbed to her injuries. The other two were critically wounded. Her son would be paralyzed for life, her surviving daughter would suffer a debilitating stroke. The thing is, Ann Rule took us through how Diane, as a working single mother and who appeared so normal on the outside was actually a true monster on the inside, just waiting to come up with a devious plan to get rid of her children.

Along the way Ann told us about Thomas Capano, the I-5 killer, the Green River killer, just to name a few. Her writing put her in a class all her own. She had no equal in her field. Ann Rule will be missed, not just by the lovers of true crime, but all of us who knew all along that she was the best at what she did.