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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Next SJ Sisters in Crime Meeting, September 3.

Our scheduled speaker, Nancy Cole Silverman, could not be with us in September.  She hopes to reschedule in the future. 

So we have an opportunity for a special double header:  

David R. Mugridge, top rated criminal defense attorney and Myrl Stebbens, private investigator extraordinaire! 

Mr. Mugridge said that he really wished for time and his materials to give us his interactive presentation on jury selection when he was with us not long ago.  Wish granted! He is coming back for this not to be missed presentation on the real life drama of courtroom defense.  

Myrl Stebbens has some brand new forensics that he used since his last visit.  This was for a case from 1992.  I can hardly wait for details, how about you? 

Join us on September 3, 2016. 

Authors note: since the gentlemen are not selling books, bring your business cards, flyers and books to sell after the presentation.  There will be time in the announcements for each of you to present yourselves and your wares.  

Readers note: bring money. 

Scene of the Crime

Yosemite Falls Restaurant      On Ashlan, West side of 99     EARLY START at 10:00 am
SATURDAY Sept. 3,, 2016. – Please come early by 9:45 so we can start on time.

NOTE NEW LUNCH PRICES         Members - $16.50      Visitors - $21.50
**NOTE:  We will be served a choice of Sourdough Cheeseburger, French Dip Sandwich or
                                                                                                                  Apple Pecan Chicken Salad.                                                                                                                                                               

RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting
If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.

NOTE:  please put your lunch choice on subject line
Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.
IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360 
with your name & choice of lunch.
Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Patricia Wentworth by Terrell Byrd

The Golden Age of Mystery has great authors that are less well known than Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh. I stumbled across Patricia Wentworth in an audiobook sale several years ago. What could I lose by trying The Listening Eye for less than three dollars? I was hooked by the title, a reference to a witness of a crime who was deaf (she listened by lip reading). This novel was my introduction to Miss Maud Silver.

Miss Silver is a former governess/teacher who became a private investigator. Her skills in reading people and getting them to trust her transfer well from classroom to drawing room. Although there are some formula situations in the series (a clean romance with a happy ending) there are a variety of story types. The Benevent Treasure has a strong gothic tone. The Listening Eye has bright young things – common characters in 1920's and 1930's. The Gazebo has mysterious scary people who suddenly show up offering large amounts of money for a historic property. The Case of William Smith has a man with amnesia. Ladies Bane deals with drug abuse. Each story has cozy style murders that bring the police and Miss Silver to the villages of England to save innocent lives.

My personal favorite is Miss Silver Comes to Stay. Miss Silver is visiting a small town when, I know it will be a shock to you, a man is killed! I like the characters in this work, the female lead is a mature woman who has loved and lost. I admire her manners with some of the mannerless people she has to deal with. I admire Miss Silver who makes a small cough to bring attention to herself and then delivers pithy incisive comments to police officers, silly people and scared suspects alike. At the end Miss Silver leads everyone to the correct conclusion and knits up a new outfit for great niece Josephine at the same time.

What more could a story offer to while away a long fall evening: murder, justice and custom made warm clothes. Enjoy!

--Terrell Byrd

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hometown Reads by Sunny Frazier


There’s a new author platform in town and it’s called Hometown Reads. It was started in March, 2016 with the intent of connecting readers with their local authors. It wasn’t long before word spread. When Fresno authors heard about this opportunity to get their city listed, they jumped into action. It took 10 authors to participate before our city could be added to the website.

Five San Joaquin Sisters-in-Crime members filled the list. Carrie Padgett, Cora Ramos, Krista Lynn, Gloria Getman and Sunny Frazier all have their book covers displayed as well as their author profiles.

While Fresno is considered home base, the various towns where the authors reside are also listed. From Fresno are Krista Lynn, Cora Ramos, Linda Lee Kane and Bryan Clark. Carrie Padgett represents Madera, Gloria Getman in Exeter, Sunny Frazier in Lemoore, Jolene Polyack in Kingsburg, Susan Lowe in Sanger, Summer Lane in Reedley and Steven Hammond in Clovis.  

If you are a local author or know an author who should be included, please pass on the information. The site is also looking for others cities to participate.

Monday, August 15, 2016

SJ SinC Member guests this Saturday at Tulare Kings Writers

Tulare Kings Writers will meet in the Blue Room of the Tulare County Public Library, 200 West Oak Avenue in Visalia, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 20.

Highlighting the meeting will be a presentation by Fresno-based author Cora J. Ramos, who will share her experience with small press publication. She a writer of short stories of mystery and suspense that have won awards and been included in the anthology Valley Fever: Where Murder is Contagious.

Her first novel, Dance the Dream Awake, is a romantic suspense story with supernatural elements set in present day that dips into a past Mayan life lived in the Yucatan around 900 A.D. Her second novel, Haiku Dance, is a romance set in Heian, Japan of 980 A.D., when the pillow books (like Tales of Genji) were written by the first women authors. It was published in May.

Cora is a trained artist and loves to paint for her own pleasure and to help design her own book covers. She keeps journals of her dreams, poems, and inspirations for paintings and stories.

Please bring your business cards, fliers, etc. for the networking part of the meeting.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Report on Kathleen M. Puckett, Ph.D at the SJ SinC Meeting by Cora Ramos

Kathleen M. Puckett, Ph.D

Speaking at this month’s San Joaquin Sisters in Crime meeting, retired FBI Special Agent, Kathleen M. Puckett grabbed our attention and never let go. She started with stories of her labyrinthine journey on her way to becoming an agent of the FBI.

“I started in English studies but soon changed to Anthropology studies with a minor in History, and that’s what I graduated with in 1972.”

With a Bachelors in Anthropology and seeking a way to pay off her student loans, she joined the Air Force and was recruited into the Officers Training Program (a program which if you serve a period of four years they forgive up to fifty percent of your school debt).

She was eventually recruited into the Office of Special Investigations in the Air Force.
The model of the OSI, the Office of Special Investigations in the Air Force, was modeled on the one by the FBI. They handle both Criminal and Counter Intelligence work.

So as the years progressed and she became an FBI Agent, it was always easier to work with the Air Force because they had a kind of complementary organizational structure.

Eventually she was put on a special task force for a lone wolf terrorist that had been bombing innocent people for over 16 years without any real leads to finding him. Ms. Tuckett was the primary behavioral expert put on the Unabomber task force.

One big take away from Ms. Puckett’s talk was that the real stories behind the hype put forth in the news, is so much more interesting. What we mostly get are the opinions and speculation of newscasters whose job it is to get the story first. The true facts cannot usually be revealed while the investigation is ongoing and often get lost in the aftermath.

We learned the true story of how Ted Kaczynski was tracked and caught. As a teenager, Ted was found to be a genius, (IQ was tested to be around 170), but he was self described as an emotional cripple.

He was estranged from his brother David for years. And when David was first approached by his wife with the idea that his brother might be involved, he could not initially entertain the idea that his quiet, gentle brother might be this crazed UNABOMBER killing people. David’s wife had read part of Ted’s Manifesto in a Paris newspaper and got a creepy feeling that the phrasing sounded eerily familiar to those in the letters her brother-in-law (whom she had never met) had written to her husband).

And so began the journey that would lead the task force to the capture Kaczynski.
Everyone agreed we need to have Kathleen back to tell us more of her stories—many are being looked at by Hollywood for TV series and a possible movie.

Her non-fiction book, Hunting the American Terrorist, is co-written with her partner and friend of many years, Terry Turchie.

Amazon’s blurb: “For sixteen years Kaczynski stayed ahead of them. The old techniques in the Bureau just didn't work anymore, at least for this kind of mind. It was time to change the rules and time to find the right type of people to change them. The book written by the people who changed the rules on the run takes you on the chase for the dark minds of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph. Dr. Puckett, the clinical psychologist who played such a vital role in the capture of those men also peers into the mind of Timothy McVeigh to provide an analysis to better understand the mindset of the domestic terrorist.”

If you want to read an interview with Kathleen from 2008, go to this link:
Or search ‘Kathleen Puckett’ to find the pdf and the interview.

Tid Bit: The X-Files is the one show that got many of the details about the FBI right; a most accurate representation as to how the FBI building inside really looks, even to the dark underground office of Fox Mulder and the way the actual case files were represented.

--Cora Ramos