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Author Topic: murder case file  (Read 5568 times)

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stillwaters77

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murder case file
« on: May 13, 2011, 03:32:21 PM »

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and have been lurking for about a week.  I've had a few short stories published and my first novel (not a mystery) was purchased but never published.  Currently working on my first mystery. 

I was wondering if anyone had any information about what would be included in a modern police case file for an unsolved homicide.  I know that there would be descriptions and photos of the victim(s) and crime scene, autopsy and canvassing reports and a list of clothes and items found on or around the victim(s).  Am I missing anything?  Does anyone know of a website where I could examine a case file and see what else might be included? 

Thanks,
Bill
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Old Bill

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Re: murder case file
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 06:47:27 PM »

Welcome, Bill.

The case report would have ANYTHING related to the crime, so while it has been a long time for me, I will start on somethings you missed and maybe others can add to it.

Interviews of witnesses, family, suspects, friends, doctors, priests/rabbis and anyone else.
Scene diagrams.
Tech reports of findings: fingerprints, evidence collected, items left behind, etc.
Lab reports on evidence collected: blood, ballistics, tool marks, etc.
Medical examiner toxicology reports.
The first officer on the scene is especially important since he has first impressions of an untampered scene.  He may or will assign someone to record persons that enter the scene by name, date, & time. BTW: This was always a great way to keep out the extraneous visitors (read that brass hats) when they are reminded that everyone on the list will probably be subpoenaed to testify.

This should get you started.  Good luck with your story.

Old Bill

Remember also, these reports would identify the persons involved in finding, collecting and examining the evidence.
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stillwaters77

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Re: murder case file
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 09:57:14 AM »

Thanks, Bill.
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: murder case file
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2011, 04:21:20 PM »

Welcome, New Bill,

Where is your story set?

I ask because in some parts of the country, notably in Southern California, there's actually a term of a homicide case file.  It's usually called "The Murder Book."

The term was originated by the LA County Sheriff's Homicide Division, and adopted by other agencies, notably the LAPD.

If it fits, working the term "murder book" into your dialog might help provide a frisson of authenticity.

stillwaters77

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Re: murder case file
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 04:20:52 PM »

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the welcome.  The story is set in a very specific part of Central Ohio. 

The New Bill
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stillwaters77

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Re: murder case file
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »

P.S. - It's not a police procedural.  The character who has the file shouldn't legally have it. 
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