Archive for May, 2012

Choos of the Week…Grrrrrrrrrrr!

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Shoes



In the process of writing Dead By My Side I’ve had the good fortune to meet a number of law enforcement professionals and learned a great deal about crime scene and criminal investigations.  My daughter is a librarian at a college in Northern California.  While helping a student research case law, she came upon a website which I am very excited about.  It is a mystery and crime writer’s dream.  Just a very small sampling:

DNA taken from an abandoned container

I am a big fan of TV crime shows (The Closer, CSI, Criminal Minds).  And something that comes up time and again is police taking DNA from a drink container or a tossed cigarette without obtaining a warrant.  I’ve always wondered whether it was legal.

Third party consent

If a suspect has a computer, can a spouse give his/her permission for officers to search the computer files?

In “plain view”

In the course of serving a routine warrant, an officer sees a bloody knife and a trail of blood leading into another room.  He can seize the knife…right?  Maybe not

  • Was it “Lawful discovery”
  • Did he/she have “Probable cause”
  • Did he/she have “Lawful access”

Learn about this and much, much more.  This site is a virtual clearing house of criminal justice proceedings of all types.   Learn about arrests, entrapment, probable cause, lineups, motions to suppress, basic searches and “special searches” such as e-mail, voicemail, text messages.  Read actual case reports with actual court rulings (i.e., state supreme court, US Supreme court , appeals court, etc.).

The site is from the Office of the District Attorney of Alameda County entitled “Point of View.”  The link is:

Check it out!


I’m sorry for the late post, but my oldest daughter just walked the stage for her Master’s Degree.  I am one proud mom!

Today’s post has to do with my experiences with “the other side.”  These experiences have brought me hope.

I lost my mother when I was in my early thirties.  My sister and I were very close to her and were devastated when she passed.  The night of her memorial, at exactly two in the morning, I woke to the sound of her voice calling my name from the foot of my bed.  I startled my husband when I sat straight up in bed.  He asked what was wrong and I told him about hearing my mom calling my name.  I did not tell my sister because I thought it would upset her.  Years later, my sister and I were talking about our mom and she said that she’d woken from a sound sleep the night of our mom’s memorial.  She said she heard mom calling her name and it seemed to be coming from the foot of her bed.  It was two in the morning.

My husband of twenty-six years died of a sudden heart attack at the age of forty-seven.  I experienced two unbelievable events that sent chills up and down my spine. 

For many years I had terrible nightmares.  They were all the same.  I dreamt I was being choked.  I would wake up clawing at my neck and gasping for breath.  My husband was always there to sooth me out of my panic.  The night of his memorial, I woke from another one of those dreams.  The music we’d chosen for the memorial was from The Lion King.  The Circle of Life was the song which ended the service.  I always had the radio playing during the night, it helped me sleep.  When I woke from the nightmare, the very next song to play was The Circle of Life.  I’ve never experienced those nightmares again.

When the date was drawing near to what would have been our 30th wedding anniversary, I was driving home from work along country roads.  I was thinking about my husband and started crying uncontrollably.  I almost pulled over to the side of the road, but got myself together and continued on.  I was driving up to a stop sign when I noticed the license plate of the car in front of me.  My husband’s name was Robert. The three letters in the center of the California license plate read “BOB.”  Afterwards, when I got home I started to wonder if I’d imagined those letters.  A couple of years later, while driving to work on that same road with a friend, that car with the same license plate was on the road ahead of us.

Bob and I, like many others I would think, talked about dying many times over the years.  He always said, as did I, that if one of us passed on before the other, to “look for a sign.”  I agreed at the time, but I never really believed it would happen.  I do now.

Have you had similar experiences.  Of this kind, or any brushes with The Other Side?  I would love to hear about them.

An FYI. Someone asked me the other day how to make a comment on this blog. If you click on the “thought balloon to the right of the screen, you can leave a comment.

And The Winner Is…

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Joyce Mason!  Hi Joyce, you are the winner of the coroner post contest. Please e-mail me at to work out the details.  Congratulations!

And a view from the back!

Posted: May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized