Super Sleuth Challenge Solved – A Cold Case Of Wifely Murder

Photo by ugaldew

Photo by ugaldew

Thanks everyone for trying your skills at Super Sleuthing! Sometimes the lengths one will go to in order to escape detection is incredible. They even make things up, feasible or not.

Let’s take a look at how this crime really went down.

The year is 1985. A couple was spending the evening together at home. They had been married for two years. The wife had been previously married seven times before. In the end it was discovered that she was even married to someone else during the time she was married to this current husband.

She decided to end their marriage with a bullet and avoid a messy divorce, but she couldn’t have authorities thinking that, so she invented the barefoot homeless man. She painted him as a rapist and a stalker. Her story was quite grandiose.

Police believed they had a suspect, but were unable to bring charges because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them of murder. That suspect was the wife. There really was no solid proof that she killed her husband.

The family of the man who died knew all along that the wife was guilty. They couldn’t believe she just got of free and clear.

There was a substantial life insurance policy, but due to the suspicious nature of the man’s death it was never paid out.

It is tragic that it took 31 years for the crime to be solved. The wife confessed to killing her husband when she was 71 and facing a diagnosis of dementia. Due to her confession being the only thing that convicted her, since evidence could never have done it, she had a light sentence.

Carolyn Sue Krizan-Wilson received a sentence of 6 months in jail and 10 years probation for the murder of her husband Roy MacCaleb. Roy died in 1985 at the age of 51.

 

Roy’s family was outraged at the short sentence. What do you think?

Do you think the sentencing consequences were steep enough? Why or Why not?

Read more about this case here.

Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge – Can You Solve A Cold Case

Photo by ornicar69

Photo by ornicar69

Good morning, Super Sleuths! Are you up for another challenge? Today we will be looking at a cold case that was solved many years later. It is your job to detect which of the tales is true.

Remember, those with the correct answer will be adding their totals to the Super Sleuth Challenge of the Month Winnings: A $10 Amazon Gift Card and Dani Pettrey’s new book Silenced.

The year is 1985. A couple were spending the evening together at home. They had been married for two years. In the middle of the night a man that had previously raped the wife tracked them down, broke into their house, and in the process of a robbery gone bad, shot and killed the husband.

Police believed they had a suspect, but were unable to bring charges because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them of murder.

The wife’s description of the man who robbed them was a barefoot homeless man that did the dead and then disappeared into the night.

Which of the following do you think is true:

*The man had been stalking the wife for some time. After raping her, he let her go to continue with his fantasies knowing she couldn’t identify him. He grew jealous of her husband and wanted her all to himself. He broke in and shot her husband.

*The husband’s mistress had a brother that was angry about her indiscretions because it was in opposition to the family’s religious beliefs. He broke in and killed only the husband because he wanted to break the chain of wickedness.

*The wife was having an affair and that man broke into the house and shot her husband. To cover for him, the wife made up the story of the barefoot homeless man to get the police looking in other directions.

*The wife faked the whole thing and shot her husband herself. She had been married multiple times and didn’t love her husband. Instead of divorcing, she decided a bullet was the way to get out of her troubles.

So Super Sleuths, which resolution to the case do you think is true?

3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 2

Photo by coopgreg

Photo by coopgreg

Lately I’ve been watching the TV series Hawaii Five-O. Oh how much fun the relationship is between Steve and Dano as partners!

In 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1 we talked about the importance of arguments bringing humor and tension to make the sidekick relationship strong.

Today in 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 2 we will explore an element of Steve and Dano’s relationship that makes us laugh and empathize at the same time. This same element can also add for a bit of suspense, knowing that something is going to happen.

Take a look at this clip:

Now let’s break it down.

Tip #2 Strong Sidekicks Set Each Other Up For Pitfalls.

A. Create a disagreement between the two characters on an issue that has practical implications. The big disagreement between Steve and Dano in this section is their friend’s ability to fly a helicopter.

B. Develop the reasoning for each character’s side on the issue. Show how both characters have a point. For example, Steve is trying to help his buddy achieve his dream. Nobel right? Dano gave the friend the money for the chopper figuring no one would let the guy have a license, but he wouldn’t have to hurt his friend’s feelings. Also kind.

C. Set up an absolute that they will wager or bet on. Dano doesn’t believe their buddy would ever get his license and will stand up for this view because he is right, or so he perceives.

D. Set The Snare. The Sidekick takes the absolute to the bank and sets a wager. Steve gets Dano to agree that if their friend gets his license he will go up on the first flight.

E. Pay Up. The other character is right and that makes the one who bet on a faulty absolute pay up in consequences. This creates all kinds of great poking fun, brotherly/sisterly love type of moments. More importantly, it makes us laugh. Dano has to eat his words and ride up in the helicopter.

Can you think of an example of a Sidekick Setting up their partner for pitfalls?

 

 

Music To Write To Mondays – Need Something To Listen To As You Write

Photo by dsidwell

Photo by dsidwell

This past week I’ve spent lots of time writing new scenes to weave into my story. Every time I sit down to write the need for mood sounds or music hits me. Here are a few music selections I wrote to this week:

Is your character in the country or on a walk?

Country bird and nature sounds with cello:

 

One of the scenes I wrote this week took place by a river. I used these relaxing sounds to help me get in the mood for the scene.

Water sounds and birds:

 

For a scene that took place under the August sun on a 100 degree day, this put me in the mood. This is classical piano and string piece, instrumental only:

 

A heroine on the run or afraid works great with this music:

 

Another dimension with eerie undertones:

 

What types of scenes have you written this week?

 

 

Super Sleuth Cyber Criminal Challenge Answers

Photo by sgback

Photo by sgback

Happy Thursday Super Sleuths! Are you dying to know why really got caught through cyber methods? Today is the day you find out! For those of you who got the correct answer, you’ve just increased your chances of winning this month’s prizes. At the end of the month, the sleuth with the most correct answer wins. If there is a tie, we will draw for a winner.

Let’s see how you did. All of the cases had some truth to them, but only one case was completely accurate.

That is Case #4:

In 2013 an identity-stealing couple met with an IRS informant at a local restaurant where they proceeded to hand over a drive with the identities of several individuals. The Police arrested the couple later, but were unable to prove that they were indeed the ones who took the zip drive until Instagram did them in. A photo was posted of a steak and a bowl of macaroni and cheese time stamped with the location of the meet and greet with the informant. The instagram photo was used in their court cases.

In Case #1:

In actuality this criminal was apprehended by posting his picture on Facebook, not Pinterest.

A 20 year old man from Kentucky thought it would be cool to siphon gas from a Police car except for one small thing, no one would ever believe him. So, he did what any self-respecting-gas-siphoning-prankster would do. He took a picture and posted it to Pinterest. Someone else thought it was just as funny to turn their friend in. He was booked for misdemeanor theft.

Case #2:

The robbery did occur in Case #2, but the robber hacked into the laptop owner’s Facebook account with the stolen laptop and posted a picture of himself wearing the stolen coat.

In a 2011 robbery in Washington D.C. the criminal made off with cash, a coat, and a laptop. To taunt the laptop owner, the robber signed into the owner’s Twitter account on the stolen laptop and posted, “Rich and stylin’. Thanks!” The victim discovered the tweet and reported it to the Police who tracked the laptop to its criminal.

Case #3:

In Case #3 the person who disabled the traps was a U.S. Forest Ranger with Army experience, not a Navy Seal. I know, that one was a bit tricky.

In 2010 two men were arrested for setting deadly traps along hiking trails. A retired Navy Seal saw and disabled the traps before anyone got hurt. But the criminals were caught when they talked extensively over Facebook about the traps and their invincibility.

It always amazes me how criminals feel invincible after the fact. Check out some other crazy cases including these here.

Have you been surprised by these or other criminal cases? 

Why or Why Not?

Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge – Criminals Caught By Social Media

Photo by ornicar69

Photo by ornicar69

Social Media is one of our favorite ways to communicate these days with our friends and acquaintances. But if you are a criminal, it can be the thing that gets you locked up in prison for a very long time.

For today’s Super Sleuth Challenge decide for yourself which of the following criminals were really caught by social media in the way described below. Leave a comment with the correct case number. At the end of the month, the Sleuth with the most correct answers will win the following:

Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)       Amazon.com Gift Card*

                                                                                                                                               $10 Amazon Gift Card

Which of the following cases were solved as stated?

Case #1:

A 20 year old man from Kentucky thought it would be cool to siphon gas from a Police car except for one small thing, no one would ever believe him. So, he did what any self-respecting-gas-siphoning-prankster would do. He took a picture and posted it to Pinterest. Someone else thought it was just as funny to turn their friend in. He was booked for misdemeanor theft.

Case #2:

In a 2011 robbery in Washington D.C. the criminal made off with cash, a coat, and a laptop. To taunt the laptop owner, the robber signed into the owner’s Twitter account on the stolen laptop and posted, “Rich and stylin’. Thanks!” The victim discovered the tweet and reported it to the Police who tracked the laptop to its criminal.

Case #3:

In 2010 two men were arrested for setting deadly traps along hiking trails. A retired Navy Seal saw and disabled the traps before anyone got hurt. But the criminals were caught when they talked extensively over Facebook about the traps and their invincibility.

Case #4:

In 2013 an identity-stealing couple met with an IRS informant at a local restaurant where they proceeded to hand over a drive with the identities of several individuals. The Police arrested the couple later, but were unable to prove that they were indeed the ones who took the zip drive until Instagram did them in. A photo was posted of a steak and a bowl of macaroni and cheese time stamped with the location of the meet and greet with the informant. The instagram photo was used in their court cases.

Which of the cases above happened as it said?

3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1

Photo by appelcline

Photo by appelcline

There is nothing quite like watching a TV series to give me character ideas. Who doesn’t love sidekick characters like Abby and Ducky in NCIS or Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties?

Did you know that initially Family Ties was designed to focus on Elyse and Steven Keaton, but with Michael J. Fox playing Alex, he gained such popularity that he became a focal point in the show? That is how a secondary character can grab a reader’s interest as well.

3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome Part 1 was inspired by the latest TV Series that I am watching. In the process of seeing these two central characters spar, I’ve learned a lot about my own characters as well.

Each week in April I will share another installment of 3 Tips From Hawaii Five-O That Are Sidekicking Awesome starting today with Tip #1.

Tip #1: Arguments Bring on Humorous Tension 

Right from Hawaii Five-O Season 1, Episode 1 Steve and Dano are arguing.

Here is a clip from Season 1, Episode 1:

(Please note there are a few words in it that I wish weren't, but the example is so helpful.)

 

Interesting Elements of this Sidekick Character:

1. Conflict between two people that have to work together to accomplish something, especially when they are in dangerous situations, builds tension. In the end, the two conflicted characters develop mutual respect for each other, but the differences are still there, ready in the line up to cause conflict again in the future.

2. Juxtaposing Key Values of the Hero and Sidekick make us like them both more. This shows us the character’s values. When they defend it to each other it makes us want to defend it, too.

Dano is all about his daughter and he doesn’t plan to get killed and leave her without a dad, so when he risks himself it’s important to him that Steve understand the value of what he just did.

Steve just wants to catch the man who killed his father. He’s about justice at great personal cost and doesn’t care if that gets him killed.

3. The Character who is in charge in the segment gets the upper hand first. It establishes that character as the Alpha male or dominant role in leadership in the story.

4. The sidekick gets to show their strength as well, that they are a force to be respected. It establishes their worth on the page. No one wants a pansy of a sidekick.

5. Each Character learns to appreciate the value of their sidekick. Steve appreciates Dano’s commitment to his daughter. Steve illustrates this by giving Dano a three night stay at a hotel where his daughter can go swimming.

Dano accepts Steve’s apology and commitment to justice. He accepts being late to pick up his daughter because of the urgency of stopping the villains’ escape. He can put Steve’s big initiative for justice front and center.

What are some of your favorite sidekick characters?