September 3, 2014

Writing True Crime by JoAnne Myers @scooterismine #RLFblog #truecrime

Twisted Love 
First you must pick an interesting crime. I specialize in homicides in my home state of Ohio. Routinely reading newspapers will help the writer find murder cases. Find a homicide that has numerous good elements that will hold one's interest.
Next you must start the investigation of your chosen crime. To find my information, I read newspaper reports of the homicide. I searched court documents for witness reports, and courtroom testimony. I interviewed witnesses. Persons that either were present when the crime occurred, or had after the fact information. Try to locate the victim's family members, and see if they want their side of the story told. If the case goes to trial, the Defense's job is to discredit the victim. To portray the deceased as the "bad guy." This type of mud slinging does not sit well with loved ones of the victim. Give them a chance to speak for the deceased. Anyone that was involved with the case, will have something of interest to report. Don't forget to locate the reports of the arresting officers and the homicide detectives. Try to locate the coroners report, any eyewitness, or person's who reported hearing an altercation or gunshots.
Keep abreast of updates, and read everything that was written about the case. Build a relationship with the law enforcement officials who are involved in the case. I personally live in a very small town, where most person's know one another, and many have relatives or close friends that are involved with law enforcement. Attend the trial and speak to everyone you can about the criminal, the victim and prosecution and defense witness.
Last but not least, sit down and write. Now it is time to tell the story of the crime. Hopefully you will find most of the information you need in your copious notes--if not go back and get the answers you need. Never throw away any notes or information concerning the case. Not even after the trial is over with, and the story is written. Most convicted felons apply for numerous appeals, which take years to dissolve. Some cases never seem to end; The Crime of the Century was such a case. When the accused was found guilty and sent to prison, he and his attorneys, who always believed him innocent, continued fighting for his freedom. That blessed event came after the convicted spent five years on death row. He was cleared with DNA, but it still took nearly thirty years to find the true killers. If you want your true crime novel to be believable, you can't fudge the facts.
Blurbs for "Twisted Love" 12 cases of love gone bad
It's a chilling reality that homicide investigators know all too well: the last face most murder victims see is not that of a stranger, but of someone familiar.
The End of Autumn-To keep from paying child support for his three children, Rodney Williams, plots with his parents to kidnap his estranged wife, 25-year old Autumn, in broad daylight. This 2011 crime shocked the small community of Logan, Ohio.
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing-In 2011, 53 year old Russell Strothers, and his teenage accomplice find their victims through Craigslist and strike with calculating and deadly force.
A Senseless Killing-This 2010 case uncovers how a 40 year old likable barmaid was lured to her death after she rejects her young admirers sexual advances.
The Death of Innocence-This 2011 murder case involved 4 year old Marcie Willis, and her evil stepmother 25 year old Cheryl, from the small bedroom community of The Plains, Ohio.
The Girl Not Forgotten-This cold case took 26 years to solve, but brought justice for 13-year-old Holly Buford, and put serial rapist, 40-year-old Stanley Snead, behind bars.
The Possession-When 29-year-old Valerie Harris severs the penis of her sexually abusive father, it makes national news in 2007.
Home Town Hero-When deaf students are murdered in the prestigious Rose Brick College of the Deaf in 2008, everyone is shocked when discovering the killer is one of their own.
The Spell Caster Murders-When 42 year old Fortune Teller Sally Vu and her 21-year-old daughter Veronica are discovered murdered and physically desecrated, in 2001, evidence points to revenge and a spell gone wrong.
All For the Family-In 2003, as a way to erase her 22-year-old husbands criminal past, 19 year old Molly Abbott devises a ghoulish and desperate strategy.
Thicker Than Water?-When 52 year old Kim Michaels is found dismembered inside her burned out home in 1996, officers find the crime more confusing than a jig saw puzzle.
Mail Order Murder-The last thing the beautiful Russian mail order bride Anna dreamed of in 2001, was being murdered by her controlling and older American husband.
Where's Christopher?-When four year old Christopher Ellis goes missing, numerous excuses and an odd odor emanating from the backyard in 1991, raises eyebrows.
Few women find themselves in such a bizarre relationship, as did eighteen-year-old Anna Tonkov, a Russian native. Speaking minimal and badly broken English, the family expressed high expectations for their tall, voluptuous raven-haired daughter. Anna was the only child of senior and ailing parents, and her mother said she and her husband only wanted the best for her.
In a country where the average yearly income was three hundred dollars per person, Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov, believed that Anna's future happiness lay with the United States.
Mrs. Tonkov recalled how Anna did not want to leave. It was the parents' idea for her to be a mail-order bride. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna said, "'what if I don't find a husband? What if you and papa waste your money?'"
Mr. Tonkov recalled telling her daughter, that she was never a waste of their money. She was everything to them, and they wanted her to have everything America offered.
Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov then took Anna's photograph in a dress she had made, not like many of the other women posing for the magazine-loose women, half naked. "No good man wants them," they said.
Anna was a lady, explained Mr. Tonkov-a good Christian girl. Hardworking and responsible. She was raised the right way, they both said.
In the spring of 2007, Anna became number M245 in a Russian mail-order catalog with a circulation of over twenty million viewers. The magazine was bursting with dozens of glossy, full-color photographs of young hopeful women, all looking for husbands to rescue them from their poverty, stricken and unhappy lives.
It was not long before Anna had her first letter from a perspective admirer. She returned to her small four-room home from her part-time job at a nearby bakery, and her glowing parents greeted her just inside the front door.
Mrs. Tonkov recalled how surprised Anna was when she saw her and her husband smiling. She then handed her daughter the pink envelope with trembling hands.
At first, Anna was afraid to open the letter, said Mr. Tonkov, but he told her it was from an American man. He said he and his wife watched as Anna read each word silently; her large dark eyes wide with anticipation. They said she was hesitant to respond to the sender. Maybe friendship would bloom. "If not you brush up on language skills," said Mrs. Tonkov.
JoAnne Myers
That made Anna laugh, recalled Mr. Tonkov. He still remembers her pretty laugh, "as if (she were) a small child without cares."

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Other Available Books

Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Wicked Intentions- a paranormal anthology
Loves, Myths, and Monsters- a fantasy anthology
The Crime of the Century- a biography true crime
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Books

Flagitious-a crime/mystery anthology
Author Bio
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine and Scooter, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women's Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My books along with my original canvas paintings, can be found at:
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