More Forensics and Fiction by DP Lyle, MD…the things I read for FUN!

While I write romantic suspense (which some of them are a little heavier on the romance than the suspense) I have a bit of a morbid curiosity. While Researching for THE BUTTERFLY MURDERS, a novel I’m shopping around to agents and editors, I needed to understand how bodies decade…yep. So I did some research on-line, but also turned to DP Lyle, MD, a fabulous writer I met years ago at Thrillerfest who has some really great books for writers and found out what I needed to know…and more.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-11-40-09-amThen I pulled out one of his books titled MORE FORENSICS AND FICTION: Crime Writers’ Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered. He had me at Morbidly…

I love how the book is set up and in the Table of Contents are all the questions that are answered, so you can quickly read through those and then flip to the one you need answers to. Just a couple of questions that caught my attention are:

Can injected Alcohol kill an already intoxicated person?

Will snake venom injected into fruit cause death? (I need to use that one!)

Can stored blood be used to fake a death?

What cause of death is difficult to determine at autopsy?

Could DNA from spontaneously combusted vampire reveal their age? (Love that one!)

And so many more. Even if you’re not looking for something specific, just reading parts of this books can spark a million different ideas! I highly recommend it!

Read on people….

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Rochester, New York…Dangerous city…or great place to raise a family…

I just finished a rewrite of a draft of a book titled: The Butterfly Murders, which I set in Rochester, New York, which has always ranked high in most dangerous cities in New York State.

Grunge rubber stamp with name of Rochester, New YorkRochester is the 7th largest community in the state with a population of 209,802 (this does not include the surrounding areas (like the suburb that I live in).

I found this statement at “…in Rochester you’ll only be safer than 6% of our other cities in the United States. The largest city included in our list, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime here are just 1 in 119. The city also has a high number of reported rapes, murders and cases of arson.”

For years, it has fascinated me that so many people say (including myself) that Rochester is such a great place to raise a family, I mean, I did raise mine there…Forbes actually rated Rochester in 2010 as the third-best place to raise a family. Yet, the city is considered one of the more dangerous cities… ranks Rochester #3 of the most dangerous cities just behind Buffalo and Niagra Falls. has Rochester ranked at #4, stating that: “The chance of being a victim is 1 in 16…” That statistic isn’t just for violent crimes, but all crimes…

One site that I found very interesting regarding Rochester is the The crime index for Rochester is a 7, which means it’s only safer than 7% of all cities in the U.S. Ouch!

Some of the more notable murderers in Rochester were the Alphabet Murders, which a movie was made about and the killer was never caught. Then there was Arthur Shawcross, who was nicknamed The Genesee River Killer.

The most memorable for me was the Mark Christie, who killed a 4 year-old girl named Kali Ann Poulton in 1994. It is a heart-breaking story. My daughter was just 3 years old when it happened.

We also had some interesting Mob murders in Rochester. Salvatore Gingello, Jake Russo, Thomas Didio, Vincent (Jimmy the Hammer) Massaro, and Dominic Chirico…

So, is Rochester dangerous? Or a great place to raise a family?