Homicide School for Writers

In August I attended Sgt. Derek Pacifico’s Homicide School for Writers. Sgt. Pacifico is a patrol supervisor and former homicide detective, a 21-year-veteran with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. He trains homicide detectives across the country.
Sgt. Pacifico culled a fantastic two-day seminar from the two-week course his gives to cops. It was informative, fast-paced, and a lot of fun. Thanks Derek!
We learned how cops become cops and get trained. How they become detectives. Radio codes and channels. How cops talk. How they manage crime scenes. How to interpret blood spatter and tire tracks. Plus many other types of evidence found at any crime scene, including homicides and some that to the untrained eye might seem like homicides but are not.
The slideshow included lots of photos and illustrations from actual cases and a few from police training scenarios created by Sgt. Pacifico so cops could walk through and get quizzed on what they had learned.
So we got training usually only given to homicide detectives. Only two percent of cops are homicide detectives. So 98 percent of cops don’t know the specialized homicide stuff in that course. We can definitely keep it more real as we write our stories, both fiction and nonfiction.
Sgt. Pacifico covered some keys to getting homicide confessions. Another course for writers will go in depth into interview and interrogation techniques. To find out about this fast approaching October 6th seminar, visit Sgt. Pacifico’s website:
Discount early bird price is available through this Friday, so check out the course right away.
Inspired by the Homicide course, I did what Albert Einstein called a thought experiment:
Can you tell which curved tire tracks are from the front tires and which from the rear tires? I can after taking Sgt. Pacifico’s course, and remembering that this week I was able to solve a mystery: Why does car sickness effect passengers more than drivers?
The driver is on the outside of a right turn and will feel the centrifugal force, so they’ll slow down when they feel the discomforting torque. A left turn is different: the driver is on the inside of a left turn; the person riding shotgun is on the outside of a left turn, so they travel a longer distance in the same amount of time – they get whipped around.
People in the backseat follow the front passengers and they get jerked into the turn late and more abruptly, like a wild mouse ride at a carnival. So the shotgun and rear seats really do shake up passengers more than the driver, and this compounds the gap between the driver’s control and anticipation and the passengers’ lack of both.


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