9 Tips From Ann Rule

If you want to be a true crime writer, Ann Rule said the best thing you can be is immensely curious. And, you should go to trials—something anyone can do. In the wake of her passing last week I wanted to share Ann’s 9 Tips For Studying Courtroom Trials. 1. You can usually get a … Read more

My Favorite Memoirs

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Night by Elie Wiesel Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr

Shelf-Life: My Personal Library of Crime Resources

Shelf-Life, My personal library of crime resources: It would be a crime not to read these! The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled In Death, Judith Flanders The Illustrated History of Weaponry: From Flint Axes to Automatic Weapons, by Chuck Wills Understanding Organized Crime, by Stephen Mallory Life Books: The Most Notorious Crimes in … Read more

14 Japanese Error Messages

Actual error messages seen on computer screens in Japan, where some are written in Haiku. 1. The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist. 2. Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return. 3. Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much. 4. … Read more

What Inspires You

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and … Read more

My Writing Essentials

On Writing, by Stephen King Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit, by Brenda Ueland On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser … Read more

The Power Of One

What makes a person trust enough to risk everything? I never understood the meaning of that word until I applied to law school. I couldn’t afford the application fee or the LSATs (which cost nearly $1000 dollars). But I knew it was my rescue. I was living in a trailer park in South Tucson barely … Read more

Random Acts Of Kindness

Today one of my clients, who is currently serving time in Florence prison, sent me an extraordinary gift. He spent sixteen hours crafting an inspiring black and white drawing he titled “Zebra Warrior.” It was meant to be a portrait of me. He wrote from prison: “we live in a black and white world, (hence … Read more

The Deadly Truth

At times we all wish the truth was fiction. It might be more palatable. After all, imagination is a kind of frontier without borders or restrictions; with true evil, at least we hope there is definition, limit and some moral barometer. And if there isn’t . . . we search for explanation, excuse, and even … Read more

Lord Of The Flies Revisited

William Golding’s classic tale about a group of English schoolboys who are plane-wrecked on a deserted island is just as chilling and relevant today as when it was first published in 1954. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, “the boy … Read more