For crime writers, both true crime and fiction, knowledge garnered from LEOs is gold. I collected hundreds of nuggets in Sgt. Derek Pacifico’s two presentations at the California Crime Writers Conference (CCWC) two years ago.
Pacifico is a 22-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and a veteran homicide detective. Recently retired from the Sheriff’s department, he continues to run his own respected company, Global Training Institute, to train police officers and detectives across the country in investigative techniques, including homicide investigations.
At the CCWC 2011 Pacifico gave presentations on interrogation techniques and crime scene investigation. Both were dynamic, informative, and entertaining. Afterwards a few of us writers convinced Pacifico to put on a full seminar for writers. In a matter of a few months the veteran trainer had boiled down his two-week-long workshop for cops to a two-day seminar for scribes, Homicide School for Writers. Pacifico had a new business in Crime Writers Consultations.
I attended that first seminar at a San Gabriel Valley hotel. Comprehensive, engaging, by turns sobering and hilarious, the course showed us many ways that we could bring greater authenticity to our writing. I highly recommend this workshop to all writers who deal with crime and law enforcement topics.
You can see a bit of Derek Pacifico teaching cops at www.globaltraininginstitute.com. No sound, but you can see how he services police departments across the country. BTW, if you’re wondering what we didn’t get from the two weeks cops spend with Pacifico, how about two days (?!) covering Miranda rights. Boring even for cops, but can mean the difference between a conviction and a case thrown out on a technicality. We writers have more leeway.
Read about Derek Pacifico at http://crimewritersconsultations.com/pdf/emmy_magazine.pdf. Listen by signing up for a free teleconference, The 5 Stages Of Police Interview & Interrogation (on Saturday, March 9th) at http://networkisa.org/#/police-interview-telecon/4574175369. I’ll be listening – this is fun stuff.
If you can get to Chicago March 29 & 30, 2013, you should attend Writers Homicide School in person at Tribeca; otherwise, you can watch and participate in the webinar – at a great low price with no travel costs. (I prefer to attend such events in person, but webinars are cost effective and time efficient. The webinar description says you will be able to ask questions online.)
Please let Derek know that you heard about this through my blog, as it might help him in his marketing. Feel free to tell your fellow writers about this great research resource. I know you’ll have fun.
Another California Crime Writers Conference is coming up this summer in Pasadena, CA, June 22-23, 2013. Sisters in Crime – Los Angeles (sistersincrimela.com) and Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (www.socalmwa.com) co-sponsor this fantastic event every two years. Outstanding authors give keynote speeches – this year the Saturday keynoter is Sue Grafton and Sunday’s is Elizabeth George. Breakout sessions always include cops and scientists, agents and publishers, and there are plenty of chances to mingle. Hope you can join us. (I’m a member of SinC-LA.)