Dangerous Predator

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #203: This week, I’m sharing research on a criminal case involving a school district human resources director.

Whether a person works for a school district or elsewhere—if they enjoy seeing children abused sexually, eventually, they’ll get caught and be arrested.

Child pornography is illegal. When it’s a school district employee who’s caught, that makes the crime even more despicable.

The 30-something man had worked for the school district for sixteen years. He began as a school teacher, then an assistant principal, and a middle school principal, but held the position of Human Resources Director at the time of his arrest.

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Fiction Autopsy Reporting

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #202: This week, I’m sharing information about my autopsy reporting research.

For me, research helps me create authentic scenes and scenarios, which then brings the story to life.

When I think about the amount of research that goes into writing a book, it boggles my mind to think people did research with no internet. There was the library, of course, which at the time felt as great as the internet does now, but the information was dated.

With the novel I’m currently working on, Unknown Event, I had to dig into several areas unfamiliar to me, such as murder investigation, weapons, explosives, and autopsy reporting. Spoiler-alert: There will be death in the novel.

I imagine pre-internet, an author might schedule an interview with the local medical examiner or coroner. Maybe even observe an actual autopsy being conducted.

With the internet, you can search for real autopsy reports—they’re out there. I downloaded several for a specific type of death. There are also articles in medical journals about autopsies, and if you really want to nail the autopsy, you can watch videos on Youtube.

I download and read a lot of information even though I only use a fraction. Research can definitely be a time-suck, albeit a necessary task. You also have to pay attention to the source of information, if it’s not from a person in the profession or business or agency dealing with the area of research, I keep looking.

A few of the resources I found helpful were:

  • County of Los Angeles, Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner website had tons of information and downloadable forms.
  • Practical Pathology of Gunshot Wounds an article in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine journal.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting.

And still, I might not get something 100% accurate. I have to remind myself—its fiction.

What are your thoughts about this post? Did you enjoy the glimpse into my research? Join the conversation on the website. Your relevant comments are always welcome.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Deadly Solution

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #201: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime about a school shooting involving two 16-year-old high school students.

The bullying had escalated to the point where the boy who’d been bullied took a stolen gun he’d acquired to his school that had no metal detectors and at the time, didn’t do bag searches.

He Said

According to the shooter’s statement, the Friday before the shooting, he’d been in an off-campus fight with boys. Over the weekend, there were texts circulating about who had won the fight.

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Small School – Big Crime

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #199: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school freshman.

A few years ago, in a small, high desert town, before leaving for school that morning, a 14-year-old freshman packed into her backpack, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun with 18 rounds of ammunition. The high school had been in session for a couple of weeks.

Her family had lived in the town for six months. At the time of the incident, the small high school had an enrollment of 290 students.

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Back To School Safety

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #198: This week, because a new school year will soon begin (if yours hasn’t already), I’m sharing information on school safety.

With the new school year upon us, there has been a lot of talk on the news about bulletproof backpacks or ballistic backpacks. They also have inserts to make the pack even more impenetrable.

Some schools and businesses are installing emergency response shields near the fire extinguishers and AEDs (Defibrillators). The shields are smaller but similar to what you see law enforcement holding in front as they approach a scene when gunfire is occurring. There are also inserts that can be added to backpacks.

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