Recap #CrimeChat Oct 25, 2013

Drawing of hands on a keyboardRecap #CrimeChat Oct 25, 2013 with Shaun Kaufman & Colleen Collins a.k.a. the Writing PIs. It is always a pleasure to talk to these two. There are always new stories, new books they are working on, and they have a great sense of humour.

While Shaun was driving home from court, Colleen and I started off with a post I found really informative. It is about the difference between private investigators and bounty hunters. Many confuse the two. Both track people, conduct interviews, and have contact with suspects. However, they are governed by different sets of regulations.

Colleen told us that she got great reactions to her latest book “Secrets of a real life female private eye” including the comments that some younger readers did not know Emma Peel. I can still laugh about the differences in generations. As soon as that changes, I will alert you!

Shaun arrived and we spoke about the difficulties a criminal defense lawyer faces. Shaun described how law school taught him about procedure but absolutely nothing about criminal defense. He owes that to Walter Gerash.

Shaun Kaufman & Colleen CollinsWe touched on the “chess coach case” which sadly involved child abuse. I asked them how they handle cases like this. How do you shake those images after cataloging the evidence and DNA test results? How do you move on from that? They both said that the only way to do that is to remain steadfast in the believe that the defense is about defending the system of checks & balances and not the deed.

The case in which a bathroom was rebuilt in court came up. The issue there was angle & distance of the shooters. The trajectory reminded me of the Oscar Pistorius case. Did he knowingly shoot his girlfriend or did he sincerely believe that there was an intruder in the house?

From the News-Herald: ” Key forensic evidence will probably include the toilet door through which Pistorius shot, a cricket bat that Pistorius said he used to break down the door when he realized Steenkamp may have been in the cubicle, and records on the multiple cellphones found in his upscale villa in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria after the killing.

If Pistorius’ team can prove that he did not have his prosthetic legs on when he shot — and forensic experts may decipher that from the height of bullet holes in the door and the trajectory of the bullets — it will help his defense against the premeditated murder charge and hinder the prosecution, which initially insisted he fired after taking the time to put on his artificial limbs.”

Something I keep coming back to in this case: if you hear something AND someone is sleeping with you would you NOT gently reach out, wake them, indicate not to make a sound but to remain silent and call the cops? And THEN you investigate? Another issue is the house alarm they had installed. Was there a silent alarm button that Pistorius could have set off to alert the cops?

Pistorius will stand trial for premeditated murder on March 3, 2014 in South Africa.

We ended with the book Colleen is working on now. It is a private investigator romance novel about a jewel thief heroine. That brought back memories of MoonlightingTo Catch a Thief, If Tomorrow Comes, etc. The hour flew by. I hope to ask Colleen back after her jewel thief heroine book is finished.