Real Live Cops!


I went to a joint Sisters in Crime Central Jersey/Liberty States Fiction Writers meeting yesterday and the guest speakers were fabulous. To begin with Daria Ludas gave brief history of the Borough of Jamesburg – which was fascinating. Tiny Jamesburg is perfect for small town crime – a cozy writer’s dream town! Along with belonging to SinC, Daria is the President of the Jamesburg Council.

Sgt. Candice Burgess

Following Daria was Sgt. Candice Burgess, Middlesex County Chief Warrant Officer, who gave us the ins and outs of her duties. This officer is a wonderful, informative speaker and, as it turns out, a terrific, down-to-earth mom! Talk about juggling . . . she does it all and has done it well for years (though she looks young to me). The writers in the room were mesmerized by her and heard a great deal of background about evidence, forensics, and court procedures that would be useful when crafting a mystery.


The third speaker was Lt. James Craporotta of the Jamesburg Police Department. Yes, he’s heard every crap joke ever uttered. He’s not only used to it, he laughs about it himself. He gave the group excellent insight to what small town police do both on a daily basis for small crimes and the occasional big crimes that come their way – also useful when writing a mystery.



Following was lunch, then a small panel discussion about cozies and small town crime. I was one of the panelists – don’t judge me by the picture! It was warm, my hair went flat instead of curly, which it usually does, and by the end of the afternoon I was tired and dying to kick off my heeled sandals and spend a few hours in an upright freezer.

We all walked away with first hand info to use in future books, and maybe to add a bit more authenticity to those we are presently writing.

Obviously, there’s no shore pic on this post. But that’s okay. Next time. Meanwhile, enjoy the upcoming week, and as always, read something light and refreshing!


4 thoughts on “Real Live Cops!

  1. Jo-Ann, How exciting for you and it is so much fun to be able to get those “nuggets” for a new Jersey Girl mystery! I can’t wait to see where this leads you!


    • These cops were great, Merry! Such good speakers with an amazing sense of humor. Just explaining the way they gather evidence and how long it takes to process, etc., is lengthy (especially wait times for getting a search warrant). I knew lots of stuff from my time with the government and from two advisors (investigators) with the county prosecutor’s office, but I think what we see on Law and Order, CSI and Criminal Minds makes us forget that results are never instantaneous. Have to have Colleen mess up evidence! Wouldn’t that be a scream?


  2. Sounds like it was an informative meeting.
    Can’t wait for your next book! You may have gained some knowledge from today’s meeting – but I know you already have all the information you need to write a best seller!


  3. Thanks GO!!! Best seller? Sounds good to me!

    Sgt. Burgess spoke of a Middlesex County murderer named Melanie McGuire who was one of the coldest women she’s encountered. Sounded familiar so I googled her. Wow! I saw her featured on ID a few months ago. She’s the perpetrator of what is known as the Suitcase Murder because she drugged her husband, chopped him up and distributed his parts among three suitcases, which were later found in Chesapeake Bay.

    Gotta love those female killers.


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