Sunday, June 19, 2011

Starting work writing a new true crime book

A little over a week ago I received a response to my Freedom of Information Act Request from the Michigan State Police.  It was the case file on the murder case that I am starting to work on for an upcoming book.  Yes – another Calhoun County Michigan murder.  It seems that my own past (I lived there for 21 years) is tugging at me, begging for another book or two. 

This is fascinating material.  First off, police deal with facts and the police reports, while somewhat cold and impersonal, paint a picture of the crime and the people potentially involved.   When you read these reports, you have to get into the heads of the men that wrote them.  They had reasons for pursuing the leads they did – usually founded on strong police work and experience.  This crime took place in 1963 meaning that all of the over-played CSI techniques didn’t exist.  What did exist was good old fashioned police work. 

This book is different in that the guilty party was never brought to trial.  It is still an open investigation.  That doesn’t mean that the investigators didn’t know who did it.  That is what makes this book different for me.  My first book had a defined closing for the reader.  This one may too, but not only that went to trial.  The victim in this case never got her day in court where justice was served.  I find that compelling.  Maybe, just maybe, I can bring some closure to this.  If nothing else, I will get a chance to tell the public something they have never heard of this vicious murder    

I’m in the process of tracking down some of the key parties who worked on the case, asking them what they remember – hunting down clues in their memories.  It’s going to be a lot of fun – that much I can tell.   And I’m reading, and re-reading over and over the case materials until they are imprinted in my head.  To write this book, I will need to put myself there – back in Battle Creek Michigan in 1963, and try to follow the trail of bread crumbs that leads to the killer(s).  While a lot of these men have died, some of them are still with us.  Perhaps they will get a chance to tell what they knew.

For now, all I can say is, “I’m on the case.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment