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Escape

Police lights flashed, reflecting off the gray banks of dirty snow. A shivering rookie with a whistle and winter gear directed traffic away from the cordoned off area. Horns blared and voices shouted, the noise like shards of glass in my gray matter. Beyond a large Fed Ex truck and a wall of hulking construction vehicles, I caught sight of people through the gaps. Lots of pedestrians, faces creased with a mixture of denial and horror. They shuffled, heads bowed, clustering in groups as much to ward off the wind’s relentless assault as to gather for comfort. Strangers. Together. In Chicago.

Bystanders.

Chase drummed leather-gloved fingers on the steering wheel then, cursing, consulted the navigation display for a way out of the mess beyond waiting his turn. Men like Chase didn’t take turns, unless one counted golf and women. I stared at the scene ahead and the buzzing began. My vision changed. The world warbled like I was witnessing reality through one of those flexible fun house mirrors. Emotions that weren’t mine expanded like a coil of razor wire in my chest.

Bottomless sorrow. The loosening sensation, like a boat slipping from its moorings and drifting away with no pilot. Wind on my face from some high place, biting my cheeks and numbing my bare hands and feet. Then rushing, rushing, faster, accelerating…then impact.

I jerked in my seat from the force of the vision, but Chase was still too busy cursing at the GPS and didn’t seem to notice. I felt the impact, the powdering crush of bones. The jolt as inertia met an immovable ground. Closing my eyes, I floated above her, seeing her in my mind. Young. Too young. Ebony hair and porcelain skin, dressed in a red satin robe several shades lighter than the blood now pooling around her. Her arms and legs were twisted at hideous angles. Once beautiful face, collapsed.

I used to tell people the things I saw, but that’s how I ended up in my first nuthouse, rooming with a fat acne-covered girl who’d tried to kill herself by setting herself on fire. By the time I was fifteen I learned people didn’t want reality, they wanted an illusion. Anyone who questioned The Collective was medicated until they towed the party line. The first three times my family put me away, I fought it. But large people in white uniforms with angry faces restrained me, stripped me and strapped me down until I was out of fight. They tore away any sliver of dignity. Traded my second-hand clothes for scrubs with no zippers or buttons. No shoes, only socks with rubber tread; a plastic world of rounded edges, sporks, and toilets with no seats.

No personal items allowed. The staff said it was for my safety even though I wasn’t suicidal…back then. I freaked out the first time, but by the third? I saw through it. Saw the method to contain the madness.

Break me down. Strip me away. Make me comply.

Made it easier to drug me, force me open and insert their professional opinions. Mind-rape. I learned it was easier if you played along. Maybe even act as if you liked it. Smile with a face as placid and calm as water. Know your lines.

Oh no, I’m happy I’m here. It will make me a better person. I want to be a productive member of society. The meds are working great. I feel much calmer. Pass the green yarn…

Eventually when I had meltdowns or breakdowns, I made up stories of childhood abuse, rape, incest, nasty breakups, or family member in satanic cults. I was quite a talented storyteller. The lies they bought. Lies got me out in a week or less. The truth? Could have gotten me locked away permanently if I hadn’t figured out the game as a juvie.

I watched Chase with growing irritation as the cars inched forward. There was no way I could know what I knew. That there was a girl, Serena, being scraped off the pavement. A jumper who couldn’t take that her boyfriend was cheating. A rich girl crafted to be delicate, and who cracked like the blown glass soul she was when the pressure was on. When Mommy and Daddy couldn’t redact the harshness of life.

Which begged the question. Why only visions like these? Unwanted. Random. With a gift or curse like this, I should have seen Chase was banging Bee behind my… 

Wait a minute.

Nothing had added up since Chase picked me up. If I was a real suspect in a murder investigation, I would’ve only been at the hospital until the doctors cleared me as competent enough to be questioned by detectives. Chase was a shit-hot lawyer, but even he had to follow some of the rules. Especially if he was a suspect too. He’d have to be on his best behavior and bailing me out of a quack house was just dumb…and random.

Chase laid on his horn and yelled. I stared at his strong jaw, the one I once loved to trail my fingertips down on lazy cold mornings. When he turned to me, his face shimmered as if glowworms crawled beneath his flesh. He was saying something but his face was different, inhuman. Sinew and fire and teeth…then normal.

“Excuse me?” I stammered. “Sorry. Drugs have me slow.”

“I asked what you told them about Dee,” he said slowly as if talking to someone mentally retarded. 

Dee. My head throbbed in time with my racing heart.

He kept talking, frowning at the gnarled traffic ahead. “I read your story second-hand, but need to I hear it. You didn’t kill her, but what’s your alibi? Since I know you weren’t with me. I’ll never get reservations at Les Nomade again, by the way.”

I licked my chapped lips. Adrenalin fizzed through my system like my blood had been carbonated.

We were still inching forward. The crowds had expanded. Stranded drivers had simply parked and began fiddling with smart phones. Some got out to see what was going on beyond the wall of large trucks and police barricades.

Finally, shaking, I said in a voice barely above a whisper, “Her name was Bee.”

“What?” he said distractedly, brushing me off like a gnat hovering over his wine.

“Not DEE. BEE,” I shouted, then unlocked the door and bolted. I ran. Ran like hell into the frozen tangle of metal and concrete…

The Real World

Now I get it. It’s not what YOU want, it’s what THEY tell you you want. That’s the shitty world of being mentally typecast.

“Bring her clothes,” Chase commanded without ever looking at the nurse. Chase always commands.

“Get yourself looking like you’re not a homeless person who just lost her shopping cart and let’s get the hell out of here.”

Chase could spring a fox from a leg trap, that’s how he makes his bucks.

In Chicago, the wind hits you in the face no matter which way you walk. Old windy hasn’t had a “mild” winter since the Cubs won the World Series forever ago.

“A car this fancy should have a heater from hell. Turn the damn thing on.”

“You can talk nice to me now, Scout, nobody’s listening.”

“Talk to a murderer? Drop dead two-face.”

“Look Scout, I didn’t kill her and you didn’t kill her… “

“Well, one out of two ain’t bad for a guy who gets murderers free. Why should I believe you when you haven’t told me the truth since summer?

“TO FINISH MY SENTENCE… if I didn’t kill her and you didn’t kill her, then we’d better find out who did… and fast! Dee wasn’t as dumb as everyone thought. She was a good housekeeper–kept every house her and her ex-husband ever owned–and had something on all of us. It wouldn’t make either of us look good if anything came out at the wrong time. You need an attorney and I need your help.”

“What makes you think we can find the killer before the cops?

“We know things they don’t. They’ll question everyone and sooner or later, they’ll put two and two together. Cops aren’t dumb, just slow catching on sometimes. And I’ve built a pretty impressive , uh, network, shall we say, that can put us a step ahead.

“Let’s start with your friend Lucas.”

“Lucas? Don’t get him involved, He’s a world of different than you. He’s a GENTLEMAN with a moral compass that could’a saved the Titanic.”

“I know you and Lucas were ‘a thing’ for a couple of years. You know every pimple below his belt but you don’t know as much about him as you think. Lucas and I go way back to when he was a rookie cop. I saved his ass when he ruffled a few feathers of a bad guy he shouldn’t have tried to squeeze. In fact, I saved more than that… I saved his life. He tells me everyth….

“GEEZUS SCOUT! You sure slap hard for a girl.”

“Don’t thank me now, jerk-head, but you only need to get a tan on the other side of your face to look Florida-fresh. Explain that to your wife! And I’m saving my best swing for Lucas….Damn! I really trusted him.”

“You still can. Lucas is a great guy who plays fair. If you come up through the CPD, your coat gets a little dirty… that’s just to stay alive. Most cops, like Lucas, are good guys but in murderville, ya gotta do what is necessary and make sure you have a buddy to watch your back.

“Lucas is working the 11 to 7 tonight. We can catch him at Mr. Donut if we’re lucky.”

“What the hell…? Lots of flashing blue and whites. I don’t like the looks of this Scout.”

The Call

“How are you feeling, Honey?”

Groggy. Confused. Wasted. I became aware that the nurse with the perky nose was holding my wrist, taking my pulse.

“Better,” I lied trying my best to sound sincere and to smile a little. That’s how it works. You let them do to you what they want to do – interrogate you, take your fluids, your privacy, your dignity. They check their boxes and scribble notes. They determine your state of mind. They determine what’s best for you. If you’re compliant then maybe they give you a little space. And if you tell them what they want to hear, then your life may get easier.

“Did I sleep?” I ask still trying to focus. Remembering only my anger. Trying to recall all those things I promised myself to do to that bastard Chase Steinway.

“Of course. You were sedated.”

Of course. You were sedated. Bitch. I hate this shitty place and everyone in it.

“Can I call someone?” I hoped she’d say yes. I hoped Lucas would answer.

“I can call for you if you like. Did you want me to call your boyfriend?”

“I’ll call. I need to apologize to him personally.” Smile.

It was an eternity that passed in an instant. The static and noise in my mind could not shut off long enough to form solid thoughts. What I had said to Chase, what he said to me, what happened to Bee, the suppressed violence in his eyes. Did I do something to her? No. Did I? I wished it, is that the same? Did I care? No. About who? Her? Him? Which him? What’s his phone number? Stop. I must sound straight. I must sound sane.

This is the place where they bring you into the little glass office and stare at you while you call. No privacy. No crank calls. Every word must flow naturally, truthfully or they’ll get you. I feel stressed and conflicted. God! Am I becoming paranoid now?

“Hello,” Lucas answered.

“Hi. It’s me. Scout. Don’t hang up. I want to say I’m sorry and I need you. I need your help. Please. I’m in North 3. Will you come talk to me?” I wait.

He breathed into the phone. “Okay, Scout. I’ll come.”

Waiting is the hardest part. I get lost in my mind and the sedation hasn’t worn all the way off so I’m still a little unclear. There’s no sense of time here – the lights are on, no windows, the nurses come and go, no clocks, and the constant rattle of carts delivering meds or food, and I’m in a small bare room with just a chair.

I hate thinking.

Perky appeared in the doorway. “You have a visitor,” she chirped.

Lucas! I rose, excited to see him. Lucas came and he’ll help. He’s a cop. He will investigate. He will set me free from this place. I’m almost happy.

Behind Perky a familiar face came into view.

“Chase.” Chase? Chase! Shit.

“Hi, Scout. How are you doing?”

“What are you doing here?” Be calm. Be calm. Be calm.

“I called him,” Perky said smiling at him.

The Motive

All of this shit started because I asked Chase for the gazillioneth time about his relationship with Beatrice Snowden. The now very dead Beatrice Snowden. I never liked Beatrice, first off because her nickname was “Bee”….and God knows, she had one hell of a stinger. And secondly, because she always looked down her nose at me and my attempt to fit in with the north side of Chicago crowd.

But just because I had a history of mental illness and a temper like a Tasmanian Devil, that didn’t mean I’d strangled her. Beatrice was tall and blonde, dumber than dirt, and I was a measly five foot four. Any good CSI worth his paycheck would tell you it would be difficult for me to get my hands up around the neck of a woman five foot ten, wearing four-inch Jimmy Choos. I suppose if she was sitting down it would be possible, but her body was found outside her Porsche Carerra in the parking garage at the law offices of Steinway and Reed.

To me? Case closed.

But Chase had no problems throwing me and my history of mental illness under the bus when Chicago PD came calling right in the middle of our blowout fight. I mean, they knew of his affair with his assistant even before I did. And let me break that down for you, cops always go for the unassuming wife…or in this case, the almost fiancée.

Chase’s words, “Scout, did you have anything to do with this?!” was like a pot of boiling water to the face. Hell, I’d just brought the man a deep-dish pizza for dinner, and that was the payment I received? When I understandably went apeshit at confirmed news of their affair, I wound up in cuffs, my psychiatrist was called, and I found myself on the road to North 3. Chase had always been a gentleman, but in the middle of our fight, I saw an anger flash in his eyes that rivaled my long dead father’s. Physical abuse would snap a girl quicker than a skinny tree in the wind, but mental abuse? Mental abuse was a slow death to the soul. Up to that point, Chase had been the consummate gentleman, but now I saw a hidden anger that scared me. And couple that with Chase’s amateur boxing background, I now feared he might have killed Beatrice himself.

Growing up in the south side made you feel unimportant. I was known as Scout Fenwick, girl from the south side of Chicago…white trash. It sucked…but my mother warned me about the likes of the lawyer, Chase Steinway, when I accepted his standing invitation for coffee. I should’ve known. And I should’ve known something like this happened when Beatrice Snowden—a notorious maneater with three divorces under her belt—was your blonde-headed, bimbo secretary too. That shit was written in stone.

If I only had a phone, I could call Lucas. Lucas Fairfax would believe me, but I tanked that two-year relationship when Chase Steinway looked my way. Cops weren’t always the forgiving type…but Lucas might be.

The Chair

I knew I was doomed when I saw “line of sight” checked on that sheet in the little physician’s room. I’d seen a guy on line of sight before the last time I was here. One day during lunch, he tried to make a shank out of a spoon for one of the nurses. Security had to put him down with a shot of Ativan. “Good shit,” he told me. I think I’m going to have to be put down; Lord knows how long I’m going to be here on suicide watch. I have my boyfriend to thank for that.

The chair leans back just a smidgen. At least my nurse for the day was kind enough to give me a thin pillow and blanket. I wonder how I can make a noose out of this blanket? This whole line-of-sight thing is enough to make a girl wish for a strait jacket and padded cell. At least I’d be able to lie down and sleep.

I curl up on the chair, trying to pretend it’s my bed at home. This is slightly more comfortable than sitting up and trying to sleep. But why did that damn nurse have to take the hospital bed away from me at 7 AM? North 3 doesn’t even use hospital beds anymore. Some patients have hurt themselves with the bar things you can lift up on the sides of those beds. How? I don’t have a damn clue. I didn’t even bother to ask the physician, who wanted me to tell my story over why I was here for the millionth time. Don’t these damn doctors talk to one another so I’m not forced to relive over and over and over what my boyfriend did to me?

I want to blow my brains out.

Now they use boxy beds with mattresses half the thickness of a hospital bed mattress. So why can’t I keep the hospital bed? Better yet, there’s an isolation room next to me, small, quiet, with a shitty bed. They could let me go in there and keep the door open. The nurses behind their little glass station would still be able to see me.

All I want is sleep.

My body is wired with overactive power lines, shooting electricity through me that keeps my heavy eyelids from pulling me in the sweet embrace of sleep. They don’t let you sleep when you’re stuck in behavioral health triage before bringing you to North 3. They want to take your blood pressure ten thousand times, send in a bunch of doctors to ask you the same questions, and take blood and a urine sample for God knows what.

When I was in there, I got up to use the bathroom and saw a guy sprawled out on this chair-bed thing, snoring the sheep out of his head.

Can I be that guy? I have to take a cocktail of pills to put me out. They won’t even give me my pills to shut down my overactive power grid.

Round Robin NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month starts on Saturday, November 1st. In the spirit of novel writing, Pilcrow & Dagger is going to spend the entire month writing a story on our blog. But wait, not just any story writing, we are going to do a round robin story. You know, someone starts a story and then someone else picks up the story line and continues it for a bit. Sounds fun, right? But wait, it gets better! We sent out invitations to join us in this adventure to five very talented authors to lend their unique voices and backgrounds to our story and they said yes! So who are they? Who are these marvelous scribes who will be adding their voices to our blog? Now introducing in order of appearance …..

Photo courtesy of Amber Skye Forbes

Photo courtesy of Amber Skye Forbes

Amber Skye Forbes – Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out. You can see more about her at http://amberskyeforbes.com and http://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of A.J. Lape

Photo courtesy of A.J. Lape

AJ Lape – A. J. Lape’s Darcy Walker Series broke into the Top 50 books in Teens Literature & Fiction within 36 hours of its release. It has spent numerous weeks in the Top 100 in Mystery Series and Teens, Mysteries & Thrillers Categories as well as being one of the Top Rated in its genre. A self-proclaimed neurotic and troublemaker at heart, a perfect day for A. J. consists of writing, watching her kids play sports, drinking Coke, then lounging in her pajamas by 8PM.

She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola, with a lifelong love affair with bacon. She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born.  Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood.  That and any B movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.

When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events. She’s a huge hometown sports fan and loves to watch the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds whenever she can.

A.J. loves to connect with fans! If you would like to receive emails of upcoming releases, please sign up for her distribution list by visiting her homepage at http://www.ajlape.com and clicking the “contact” tab.

Find A. J. Lape Online:

Website: http://www.ajlape.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ajlape

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darcywalker13

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAJLape

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/ajlape

LeeAnn Rhoden

LeeAnn Rhoden

 

LeeAnn Rhoden – You know me already. Crazy busy mom, crazy busy writer, crazy in general.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Jerry Constantino

Photo courtesy of Jerry Constantino

Jerry Constantino – I blog at itsnutsoutthere.blogspot.com (yes, I know there is an apostrophe missing but the URL would not accept it so I’m off the hook.) and my bio pretty much capsules how I look at life:

Jerry is a former magazine publisher who lives in North Carolina. He smiles a lot and sees the glass half-full and the world half-sane. Among the news media, books and magazines, the coffee shop and life in general, it is the unusual that most often catches his eye. He walks, he talks and he writes. He is not a cynic though he sometimes sounds like one. He believes in people, human nature, sun, stars, etc. He loves his family, all of ’em. And he loves life…it’s just that it sometimes gets distorted through his glasses. He doesn’t often refer to himself in the third person unless he is trying to pretend someone else is saying this.

I love to write short fiction, some of which has been published on various internet story sites. I take my satisfaction story by story and in every blog post where what I say is legend. In my career I have written a monthly magazine column for 30 years that, by research, was the best read feature in each issue. I do newsletters and reporting for several organizations I belong to, including HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response ( HOPEAACR.org ) where my wife and I have two crisis-response trained working dogs that we take to national and local disasters and circumstances where the comfort of an animal is part of the healing need.

I don’t have the patience to write a novel unless I cheat by writing 1/7th and then taking credit (with six others) for all of it. Gone With the Wind, look out!

KristenLamb

Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb – Kristen is the author of the new best-selling book, “Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World” in addition to the #1 best-selling books “We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media” and “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.”

Kristen worked in international sales before transitioning into a career as an author, freelance editor and speaker. She takes her years of experience in sales & promotion and merges it with almost a decade as a writer and editor to create a program designed to help authors construct a platform in the new paradigm of publishing. Kristen has helped hundreds of writers find success using social media. Her methods are responsible for selling hundreds of thousands of books. She has helped all levels of writers from mega authors to self-published unknowns attain amazing results.

Kristen is the founder of the WANA movement, the co-founder and CEO of WANA International a company dedicated to empowering artists of the Digital Age. She’s also the co-creator of WANATribe, the social network for creatives. Kristen has dedicated her life to helping writers and artists reach their dreams and achieve the impossible.

Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte – Liz Schulte is a self-published author in mystery and paranormal romance with twelve novels, two short stories, one box set, and has been in three anthologies. Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz, however, didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. She wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more.

When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.

Liz would love to hear from you. Please stop by and visit at any of the below mentioned networks:

 http://www.LizSchulte.com

 https://www.facebook.com/liz.schulte

 http://twitter.com/lizschulte

 http://www.pinterest.com/liz_schulte/

 http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4755336.Liz_Schulte

 Or sign up for her newsletter

http://lizschulte.us4.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=b24d896a4369244959d216887&id=a525d7447f

A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

 

 

Marie Silver – you know her too. Writer, mom, writer, editor, writer, mom. Oh yeah, she’s crazy too!

 

 

And then it starts all over again until the end of the month. Tune in daily to see the story unfold! Are you excited? We are!

The NaNoWriMo Song!

Yes, that’s right! There is a NaNoWriMo song. We found it on YouTube, courtesy of Kristina Horner, the performer. To !earn more about her please visit her NaNo profile at http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/reallysuperneat.We wish everyone participating in NaNo good luck and sincerely hope this song inspires you to write, write, write!

 

An Open Letter To Our Readers

Dear Readers,

On Monday, October 29, 2014 the Pilcrow & Dagger posted on their blog a cease and desist letter received from McWhiskers, Softpaws and Fluffybottom, attorneys for Miss Clio, Rocket J. Squirrel and Jake “The Snake” Plissken. These are the house cats who share their dwelling with Mr. and Mrs. Melissa Snark. Apparently, the cats have a copyright on their correspondence in their lawsuit with the Snarks and were disturbed by the posting of the letters.

The new “investigative” reporter for the Pilcrow & Dagger News, Snoop Cubby, “uncovered” the historic cat lawsuit and the letters written by the representing attorneys for both sides. One of our readers, Crank Curmudgeon, was quick to point out the letters were dated in 2013 yet Mr. Cubby failed to notice. The cease and desist further demonstrates the lack of investigation that occurred.

As editor of the Pilcrow & Dagger News I can only apologize to our readers, and the cats for Mr. Cubby’s inexperience. He is an eager reporter and I personally promoted him from the Research Department. Mainly because we needed an investigative reporter and he checked several boxes for tax credits.

Mr. Snoop Cubby has been suspended without pay (because no one gets paid here) for the month of November. Instead, he will be taking an online course designed to explain the difference between investigation and research and how that translates to journalism.

Thank you,

Sham Farce

Editor, Pilcrow & Dagger News

sham_farce@pilcrowdagger.com 

Forensics & Fiction: The Initial Death Report

Image Courtesy of Simon Howden, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Simon Howden, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It all starts here. You get to work, bringing with you a pumpkin spice latte and breakfast sandwich. You sit down at your desk, take a sip of your coffee and unwrap your sandwich. Just as you’re about to take a bite, the phone rings. A police officer is calling to report a death.  So much for breakfast.  It’s time to get to work.

Here’s the information obtained during the initial death report.

First Responder Information

  • Date of call
  • Time of call
  • Name of caller
    • If it’s the police – name, rank, name of department, contact number
    • If it’s a nurse – name, name of hospital, contact number and department (ICU, E.R., etc)
  • Report number for Police Department
  • Did EMS/Fire Department respond
  • Name of EMS/Fire Department
  • Report number for EMS/Fire Department
  • Contact number for EMS/Fire Department
  • Name of individual who pronounced.

Decedent Information

  • Name
  • Time found
  • Time pronounced
  • Last known alive time
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Home address
  • Signs of trauma or foul play

**The police should look the decedent over, checking the chest, stomach and back for injury before calling the investigator. If it is a homicide or suspicious death, crime scene investigators need to respond to the scene before the medical investigator to collect any evidence that could be lost or contaminated with the medical investigator’s arrival.

Scene Information

  • Location found – address and phone number (if available)
  • Location type – residence, business, park

Circumstances Surrounding Death

This is information includes:

  • Witness information (in most cases who found the body)
  • Name address and phone number of witness
  • How the witness found the decedent
    • Was the witness checking on the decedent?
    • Did the witness contact police for a welfare check?
  • How/Where was the decedent found?
    • Lying in bed
    • On the floor
    • In a recliner
    • At the foot of the stairs
  • Medical history of decedent
    • Did the decedent have a history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.?
    • Was the decedent taking any prescription medications?
    • Was the decedent hospitalized recently?
  • Name of the decedent’s primary care physician (PCP)
  • Telephone number and address of PCP’s practice.
  • Has the PCP been contacted?
  • Will the PCP sign the death certificate (this only applies to situations where the death is believed to be natural)?

**PCP information is either obtained from a family member or from prescription bottles found at the scene.

Next of Kin Information

  • Name
  • Relationship to deceased (father, sister, uncle, cousin)
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Has the next of kin been notified?

Funeral Home

  • Has a funeral home been selected?
  • Name, telephone number and address of funeral home
  • Will the deceased be released from the scene to the funeral home?

**This depends entirely on the investigator handling the call.  In some jurisdictions the investigator can choose not to respond to the scene if the police report that this is a natural death, family has been notified, a doctor agrees to sign the death certificate and a funeral home has been chosen. In other jurisdictions, investigators will respond to the scene and examine the decedent before releasing to a funeral home.  The Coroner/Medical Examiner ultimately decides if a scene response is necessary.

The last piece of information noted on the initial call report will be whether or not the investigator is responding to the scene.

Some of this information may not be available at the time of the call and the investigator will have to respond to the scene to obtain the rest.

If you have any questions on the information I’ve provided please leave a comment!

 

 

Dispute Between Humans and House Cats – Cease and Desist

cat_ceaseCourtesy of Melissa Snark. To visit her website click here. To read her blog click The Snarkology.

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