Super Sleuth Solution: Catching BTK

kidnapped-1420979-639x852Welcome Back Super Sleuths! For those of you following this week’s cold case of BTK that was solved many years later, let’s check out your answers.

Let’s Recap:

The location is Wichita, Kansas. The timeline is 1974-1991. A killer was on the loose that killed more than 10 victims during this 18 year span.  Fifteen years had come and gone since his first murder. The BTK killer was no technological slouch.

The public was in a panic. The case had grown cold, but with the same anguish the ruthless deaths weighed on the conscious  Then something unexpected happened in 2006 that gave the police the break they had been looking for.

What break in the case allowed the Police to catch the culprit?

The correct answer is:

D. They traced evidence of his location from a floppy disc and verified his identity from comparing a group of handwritten letters to his handwriting.

If you’d like to read more about how they nabbed this killer, you can find more details here. 

Thanks for joining in our super sleuth challenge! Next week stop back for another chance to check your super sleuthing talents.

What is the craziest mystery case you’ve read about?

Do You Know Your Crime Stopping Technology? – Super Sleuth Challenge


Photo by Nate Nolting

The more creative ways humans learn to scam the system, there are creative ways to stop them. Crime stopping technology is a huge business these days, especially with rise of technological skill.

Do you know your crime stopping technology?

As a romantic suspense writer I am constantly looking for new and interesting technology information that law enforcement official use to stop crime. Some of the new ideas are astounding.

The following are just a few of the surprising new innovations. How well do you know your crime stopping technology?

I thought I knew a lot of the new things on the market. . . until I saw these particular technological advances.

Below there is a list of five different crime stopping technologies used to catch criminals. One of these five is NOT real. Can you guess which one?

(Answer will be posted tomorrow.)

Which of the following crime stopping technologies is fake?

A. Shot Spotting– This technology is a gun shot sensor system that picks up the sound waves of a muzzle shot. This allows Police to respond more quickly to gunshots fired.

B. Smartwater– This technology allows owners to spray a unique chemical on their possessions to allow for quick identification in case of theft.

C. Body Odor Bio-metric Identifier– This technology stores the specific body odor of registered criminals that can be used later for canines to identify the culprit by the body odor at a new crime scene.

D. Drone Finger printer- This technology allows a drone to take pictures at a crime scene and identify finger prints to send directly to the lab for analysis.

E. Brain Fingerprinting- This technology is used to show the criminal pictures on a computer screen. They wear a headband that measures cognitive brain responses to stimuli on the screen. An EEG picks up specific responses.

So, Super Sleuths, which of these five crime stopping technologies is NOT real?




Super Sleuth Wednesday – Pressing His Luck, photo by Nick Cowie, photo by Nick Cowie

It takes a lot of chutzpah to commit a crime. Or maybe just not a lot of smarts. But either way, criminals know that when they break they law, they’re risking fines and/or jail time. But some criminals just can’t help but press their luck and tempt fate. And when they do, sometimes they get caught. Sometimes they don’t.

Thus was the case of a young North Carolina man. The police force had been investigating several cases of breaking and entering, and they had been looking for a certain suspect for several weeks. When they tracked him down at his home, the cops were in for a big surprise. They knew the man.

Where did they know him from?

  1. He had visited the police station several days before, attempting to claim reward money for turning in an accomplice. The police had sent him away empty handed, not realizing that he was also on their suspect list.
  2. He had attended an anti-crime event the day before and beaten several officers at a doughnut-eating contest. He claimed his prize and left before officers realized who he was.
  3. He worked at the officers’ favorite diner and had served them on several occasions.  Because he used a coworker’s name tag, they never knew him by his real name.

Where do you think the police recognized him from? Leave your guess below for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Wednesday Super Sleuth: Sticky Hands

It was late at night when the robber entered the gas station with what appeared to be a gun under his shirt. The cashiers were positive he was using his finger so they pressed the silent alarm and decided two could play at that game, insisting that they didn’t have any cash in the register.

Knowing he had no way to seriously threaten them–a finger only goes so far, folks–he made a mad dash as sirens wailed in the distance. Behind the counter lied one of three things. Can you guess what he grabbed that sealed his fate. If his sticky fingers hadn’t gotten greedier, he might have been able to escape before police arrived.

A: A pack of Camel cigarettes

B: Scratch-off lottery tickets

C: A multi-pack of Juicy Fruit

What say you? 


photocredit: freedigitalphotos/iamnee

Super Sleuth – He’s got a what?

Before we dive into today’s Super Sleuth Challenge, did you guess the correct answer to last week’s?

On Friday evening, a burglar and an accomplice allegedly broke into a home and made away with money, jewelry and a gun.

But the suspects’ plan hit a snag when:

3. One of the burglars accidently butt-called 911 during the robbery and the police dispatcher overheard them talking about the robbery and where  to sell the stolen merchandise

You can read about the ordeal here., photo by Julia Borysewicz, photo by Julia Borysewicz

Now for this week’s challenge. In Washington state a young man wrecked his car into a large rock in the front yard of a house. Witnesses say that the driver wasn’t injured and jumped out of the car and began to run away. But before he got very far, he turned around and ran back to the car. After picking up what he’d left behind, he took off again.

But bystanders were able to give the police a good description of the young man and what he was carrying. So the police quickly tracked him down and arrested him for leaving the scene of an accident. They called his mom to pick up the item he’d gone back for. What do you think it was?

  1. A monkey, which he carried on his back.
  2. A potted palm tree, which he could barely lift.
  3. A toad, which was in a giant aquarium.

Leave your guess in the comments below. Good luck!

Super Sleuth – You Can’t Do That, photo by Theresa Fisher, photo by Theresa Fisher

A few years ago Randolph had a very bad day. Angry and upset, he planted a fake pipe bomb on a table along with a few hand-written notes scribbled in red pen. His note said that his delivery was an explosive. He scribbled, “It’s a bomb” and “Boom.”

The recipient of the look-alike bomb and threatening notes immediately called the police. The bomb squad was called out, and they quickly identified the bomb as a fake with no explosive substances. But it looked real enough to cause concern.

The police tracked Randolph to a nearby fast food restaurant and asked him why he planted the fake bomb. Randolph said he was upset and asked, “What, is that illegal?”

It is. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, planting a hoax bomb, and resisting arrest.

So what do you think set Randolph off, and who do you think was the target of his poorly planned lash out?

  1. His soon-to-be ex-wife. In the midst of a nasty divorce battle, he grew very upset with his wife and left the bomb on her kitchen table.
  2. His soon-to-be ex-landlord. Frustrated that he was about to be kicked out of his rental property, Randolph tried to show his landlord just what he thought about the eviction notice.
  3. His former best friend. When his best friend stole his girlfriend, Randolph was extremely upset and lashed out at his former friend with the threatening notes and fake pipe bomb.

Who do you think was the target of Randolph’s fake bomb? Leave your guess in the comments for a chance to be this month’s Super Sleuth!

Too Stupid to be Free

Welcome to this week’s Super Sleuth. I want to apologize for not returning after my last post on Super Sleuth with the answer! So here’s a refresher with the answer before we get to today’s Stupid Criminal case.


Free Digital Photos

The robber entered the victim’s home through a window in the early hours and woke her up by poking her with a gun. When she didn’t have any cash to give him, he  made her drive to an ATM and demanded that she withdraw $2000, but the ATM would only let the victim withdraw $460. How did the police catch him?

  1. He made her return five more times to withdraw money, triggering an alarm.
  2. He held her captive until the bank opened and she could go inside to withdraw funds and an alert teller called the police.
  3. He told the victim to meet him in a parking lot the following morning with $1,500. The police showed up instead.
  4. He made her phone the number on the ATM to report a problem demanding that they release her funds and the service agent called the police.

And the answer is…It’s 3.- He told the victim to meet him the next day with the money and when he arrived the police arrested him.

I almost couldn’t believe the crook could be so stupid!

Now for today’s Super Sleuth:

Three men broke into a local burger joint and stole the cash register, along with the establishment’s entire surveillance system and a large bowl of macaroni salad.

By noon, they had been apprehended. Was it because:

  1. The surveillance system was wireless and the police were able to track them to their lair.
  2. They left a trail of macaroni salad like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs.
  3. One of the thieves used the camera to take a video of the three dividing the loot that he uploaded on Facebook.

Which do you think it is? Answer next week with another Super Sleuth!