Anatomy of an Arson – October 12, 6:30 p.m. at CADA
Hickory smoked adobo chicken: marinated grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed peppers and onions in a garlic-roasted cilantro cream sauce with cilantro lime rice served with a roasted pear salad-roasted pears, blue cheese and toasted pecans atop a bed of spring greens with walnut raspberry vinaigrette.
On the night of March 7, 2003, while a dad and his three young children slept in their Colorado Springs home, a fire broke out. Only one of them would leave alive. Bob Toth, fire investigator, was tasked with piecing together the clues the fire had left to discover exactly what happened. Join us as Bob walks us through the events of the evening and the clues and find out exactly what happened, and why. The fire tells the story since the victims can’t.
Bio: Robert Toth’s professional career started with nearly 21 years in the fire service. The last 10 years included law enforcement and conducting fire investigations in both the public and private sector. Retiring from the fire service in 2002, he started IRIS Fire Investigations, Inc. and has conducted and assisted in origin and cause investigations in Colorado, surrounding states, Hong Kong, and South Africa.
In addition to running his business, Robert is also sought after for his lectures and presentations on fire investigations, NFPA 921, interviewing, internet technology, and digital photography training. He has presented various topics to public agencies and private enterprises across the United States, in Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Botswana, and South Africa.
He is a past president of the Colorado Chapter, and past director of the International Association of Arson Investigators. Currently, he is a member of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), Fire Scene and Explosives Subcommittee’s Documentation and Report Writing Task Group.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers & Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America present:
Bone Stories: Forensic Anthropology for Mystery Writers
Presenter: George Gill
Host: Jeffrey Lockwood
Date: Saturday, September 23
Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Sam Gary Branch Library, 2961 Roslyn St., Denver
This workshop will draw the participants into the field of osteology as it pertains to inferring the identity of the victim (age, stature, gender and ancestry), time/cause of death and other features of interest to mystery writers (e.g., did you know that it is possible to deduce the gender of a person from cremated remains—with a bit of luck?).
In addition to fascinating tales by one of the nation’s leading forensic anthropologists, there will be opportunities for hands-on experience with bones.
A light lunch and snacks will be provided. Program will begin at 9:15 a.m.
$20. Reserve your spot by clicking the button below or email Susan Paturzo at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and pay at the door. Space is limited.
George W. Gill received B.A. with Honors in zoology from the University of Kansas in 1963, at which time he entered military service as a U.S. Army Combat Ranger. After receiving his honorable discharge in 1967 at the rank of Captain, he returned to Kansas with a fellowship in anthropology, completed his Ph.D. in 1971, and accepted a position that year at the University of Wyoming, where he is still active in teaching and research. Dr. Gill has excavated and studied several hundred human skeletons from tropical west Mexico, Easter Island, and the Great Plains of North America. His travels have carried him to 45 countries and all 50 states, where he has been able to develop notes and slides on many peoples and cultures. Dr. Gill has developed osteological collections which form parts of the national museum collections of Mexico and Chile, served as scientific leader of National Geographic Society’s 1981 Easter Island Anthropological Expedition, and has been active in skeletal identification for law enforcement agencies as a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has served as Secretary and Chairman of the Physical Anthropological Section of the AAFS and as a member of the Board of Directors of the national certification board for forensic anthropologists.
Jeffrey Lockwood is an unusual fellow. He grew up in New Mexico and spent youthful afternoons enchanted by feeding grasshoppers to black widows in his backyard. This might account for both his scientific and literary affinities. He earned a doctorate in entomology from Louisiana State University and worked for 15 years as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming. He became a world-renowned assassin, developing a method for efficiently killing billions of insects (mostly pests but there’s always the innocent bystander during a hit). This contact with death drew him into questions of justice, violence, and evil. He metamorphosed into an appointment in the department of philosophy and the program in creative writing. Unable to escape his childhood, he’s written several award-winning, non-fiction books about the devastation of the West by locust swarms, the use of insects to wage biological warfare, and the terror humans experience when six-legged creatures invade their lives. Pondering the dark side of humanity led him to the realm of the murder mystery. These days, he explores how the anti-hero of crime noir sheds existentialist light on the human condition: In the end, there are no excuses-we are ultimately responsible for our actions. The first of his three-book noir mystery series featuring an ex-cop-turned-exterminator is titled: Poisoned Justice (Pen-L, 2016). Look for Murder on the Fly to be released later this year. Jeff is a member of the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
Brief But Deadly
with Catherine Dilts, R.T. Lawton, Shannon Lawrence, and Steve Pease
RMMWA Panel Thursday, July 13, 2017
6:30 PM social
7:00 PM dinner and program
Location: Home of Catherine Dilts (address will be emailed to you after your Paypal payment has been received)
Cost: $10 includes light supper, beer and wine
Please RSVP by Monday, July 10.
All about the benefits of writing short—writing short stories to drum up readers for your novels, writing short fiction for the sake of the story, awards, and visibility.
- Writing to a theme versus writing what strikes your fancy. Is it worth writing to an anthology theme, especially if it’s a very specific theme they might not be able to place elsewhere if rejected?
- Do you need to market short stories? (Posting to social media, participating in blog cover reveals/advertising hops, featuring on your website).
- What happens when you try to write a short story, but it turns into a novel?
- What does “short” mean? Definitions of flash, short, long, novella.
- Favorite short story authors and magazines.
- “The return of the short story,” with efforts by groups like SMFS and Sisters in Crime to encourage reading and writing short.
- No one reviews short fiction – wrong! Mystery Scene Magazine, blogs.
- Anthologies – and where to find calls for submissions.
- Magazines vs. anthologies – The benefits of both.
A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her short stories can be found in nearly twenty anthologies and magazines, including Space and Time Magazine, Dark Moon Digest, and The Deep Dark Woods. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at www.thewarriormuse.com.
R.T. Lawton is a retired federal law enforcement agent, a past member of the Mystery Writers of America board of directors and a three-time Derringer nominee with over 110 short stories in various publications, to include Blood on the Bayou(2016 Bouchercon anthology),The Mystery Box ( 2013 MWA anthology), And All Our Yesterdays anthology,Who Died in Here? anthology, the West Coast Crime Wave anthology, Deadwood Magazine, Easyriders, Outlaw Biker, Woman’s World magazine, and 37 sold to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. He also has four e-collections at Amazon.com and at Smashwords for other e-readers. You may have attended one of his Surveillance Workshops at various writers conferences.
Steve Pease aka Michael Chandros
Steve writes fiction under the name of Michael Chandos. He is a retired career Intelligence Officer and he teaches an occasional course in the writer’s dual approach to writing with Intelligence. He has placed mystery short stories online (SHOTGUN HONEY) and in themed anthologies (BLACK COFFEE), and science fiction also online and in themed anthologies (ALIENS). He has at least three short stories in submission at all times and several novels in the plotting and free-writing process.
Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, while her short stories appear regularly in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. With a day job as an environmental regulatory technician, Catherine’s stories often have environmental or factory-based themes. Others reflect her love of the Colorado mountains, fishing, and running. Her story The Chemistry of Heroes was a 2017 Derringer finalist. This fall, she takes a turn in the cozy mystery series Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library. You can learn more about Catherine’s fiction at http://www.catherinedilts.com/
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America holiday showcase featured a tribute to the long, successful and ongoing career of mystery writer Margaret Coel.
Margaret Coel is the New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed Wind River mystery series set among the Arapahos on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation and featuring Jesuit priest Father John O’Malley and Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden. Margaret published the 20th novel in that series, Winter’s Child, earlier this year and announced at the time the Wind River series was complete.
Five of Coel’s novels have received the Colorado Book Award. The Spirit Woman received the Willa Cather Award for Best Novel of the West and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for Best Novel.
Margaret Coel is also the author of five non-fiction books including the award-winning Chief Left Hand, published by the University of Oklahoma Press. This biography of an Arapaho chief and history of the Arapahos in Colorado has never gone out of print. The Colorado Historical Society has included both Chief Left Hand and Margaret’s memoir-history of railroading in Colorado, Goin’ Railroading (which she wrote with her father, Samuel F. Speas) among the best 100 books on Colorado history.
The guest emcee for the evening was Francine Mathews, author of 10 mysteries and spy thrillers, including the recent Too Bad to Die. Writing as Stephanie Barron, she is also the author of 13 novels in the Jane Austen Mystery Series and two additional works of historical fiction.
The showcase also included readings by Jane Bock, Chris Goff, Karen Graffenberger (writing as Karalee Long), Christine Jorgensen, Jennifer Kincheloe, Jeffrey Lockwood, Bruce Most, Barbara Nickless, Manuel Ramos, Carter Wilson, and Kevin Wolf.
Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”
What: November RMMWA meeting
Where: Historic Denver Press Club
When: Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30 p.m. socialization and cash bar
7:00 p.m. dinner
8:00 p.m. presentation
MENU: Balsamic marinated London broil served on a bed of caramelized red onions and mushrooms with garlic mashed potatoes and a grilled vegetable salad ~ marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of organic spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.
COST: Via Paypal, cost for the meeting with meal is $20 for members; $23 for non-members. Payment at door for meeting with meal is $25 for everyone! Attending the meeting without meal is $5 through PayPal and at the door.
RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, email@example.com Susan Paturzo by Monday, November 7th, to ensure your reservation or simply RSVP and pay via PayPal. To pay for more than one reservation, click the “Continue Shopping” button once you are routed to PayPal. Walk-ins are welcome if space and food allows. RSVP by Monday, November 7th.
PROGRAM: Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”
Psst—the bookstore in question is the Tattered Cover, in case you couldn’t guess. Kristen and Len’s presentation will cover things of great interest to authors, including how they came to buy Tattered Cover, trends they’re seeing and their plan for the future, their personal histories working with books, and a brief history of disruption in the book industry. And of course, any questions MWA members might have.
With four locations in and around Denver, and three branded locations at Denver International Airport, Tattered Cover is an iconic brand not only in Colorado, but nationally. Built over four decades by current owner, the legendary Joyce Meskis, the stores are known for an inviting atmosphere, a large and well-curated selection of books, a robust schedule of author events, full service coffee shops, and legendary customer service.
Before joining Tattered Cover, Len was the Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, a national not-for-profit trade association doing standards, research, and education on behalf of the entire book industry. Prior to that, Len spent nearly twenty years at the American Booksellers Association (ABA) where he served a variety of roles, including overseeing ABA’s e-commerce and education programs, leaving in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. In his early career Len worked in indie, chain, and university bookstores. He has also served on the boards of directors for EDItEUR, the International Digital Publishing Forum, and as a citizen’s advisor to the Stamford Public Library. Len is also the author of *The Scar Boys* (Lerner), a critically acclaimed young adult novel published in January 2014 and its sequel, *Scar Girl* (Lerner. He is under contract with Bloomsbury Kids USA to publish to new YA novels in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Kristen also worked at ABA, where, for a decade, she held a variety of positions, including Director of Meetings and Events. As a member of the ABA’s senior staff, Kristen was privy to and participated in strategic discussions on the current state and future of the book industry with many of the industry’s leaders. She was also directly involved in the creation of ABA’s education program; assisted and counseled potential members on opening a bookstore; managed ABA’s public relations and publicity; and advocated on behalf of independent booksellers on First Amendment issues, Internet sales tax, and the development of sustainable local economies. During her tenure at ABA, Kristen was a member of the American Society of Association Executives and sat on the Children’s Booksellers & Publishers Committee, a joint group of ABA, the Association of American Publishers, and the Children’s Book Council. Before joining ABA, Kristen managed an independent bookstore in her hometown of Chappaqua, New York.
Kristen and Len are actively involved in the education of their two sons, Charlie (age seven) and Luke (age five). They live in Littleton, Colorado with one very large cat.
WHERE: The Historic Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place, Denver, second floor.
WHEN: Thursday, October 13th. 6:30 p.m. conversation and cash bar; 7:00 p.m. Dinner; and 8:00 p.m. Program
COST: Via Paypal, cost for the meeting with meal is $20 for members; $23 for non-members. Payment at door for meeting with meal is $25 for everyone!
Attending the meeting without meal is $5 through PayPal and at the door.
RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, firstname.lastname@example.org Susan Paturzo by Monday, October 10th, to ensure your reservation or simply RSVP and pay via PayPal on the http://www.rmmwa.org/ website! Walk-ins are welcome if space and food allows.
MENU: Herb-crusted pork loin ~ tender pork loin drizzled with an herbed demi-glace with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Served with a grilled vegetable salad ~ marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.
With Gary Dawson, Senior Deputy, 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Gary will cover:
- Pardon me Stewardess, I speak Geek·
- Evidence is Everywhere Online·
- Online Luring
- Identification Through the Internet
- Now How Did That Get There? Common Defenses to Incriminating Evidence Found on a Computer
- P2P Networks
- Cellphones/ The Cloud
Gary Dawson has been a prosecutor his entire legal career. From 1996 through 2008 he was a prosecutor in the St. Lawrence County (Canton, NY) and the Onondaga County (Syracuse, NY) District Attorney’s Office. He became a member of the Onondaga County DA’s Office Special Victims Bureau in 2001. He was promoted to Deputy Bureau Chief of Special Victims in 2006, and then Bureau Chief in 2008. This bureau specialized in prosecuting some of the most sensitive of all crimes –those involving children, child and adult sexual assaults, and domestic violence. He has also handled numerous computer-related cases against children and was appointed a Special United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York for prosecutions of child pornography. He joined the 18th Judicial District DA’s Office in October of 2008, and was a Senior Deputy in the Special Victims Unit from April 2009 through December 2015. He now is a Senior Deputy in the general felony docket.
He has spoken to numerous public, service, and law enforcement agencies on issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and criminal law. Over his career, in addition to SVU cases, he has prosecuted cases covering virtually all facets of criminal law, including homicides, narcotics, fraud, DUI, and arson.
Gary created the RISK program while in Syracuse and it has gone on to educate over 11,000 parents and kids in New York. The program was highlighted on a December 2007 Fox News segment on internet safety. Since 2009, RISK has already succeeded in reaching over 14,000 parents and students in Colorado.
A native of Southern California, he tries to cope with the lack of gridlock traffic (which he misses so very much), and the lack of smog, earthquakes, mudslides, Kardashians, and the astronomical cost of housing in Los Angeles by downhill skiing, following the Yankees, hiking, drawing cartoons, being one of those insufferable CrossFit people, and keeping up with his three dogs.
What: September RMMWA meeting
When: Thursday, September 8, 2016
6:30 p.m. socialization and cash bar
7:00 p.m. dinner
8:00 p.m. presentation
Where: Historic Denver Press Club
Menu: Jack Daniels-marinated chicken breast baked with sautéed seasonal vegetables with garlic mashed potatoes. Served with a classic Caesar salad (rough chopped romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, garlic croutons, and fresh cracked black pepper) with garlic Caesar dressing.
Cost: If paying via Paypal cost is $20 for members; $23 for non-members, $5 for non-meal. Choose the option you want from the drop-down menu (Member, Non-Member, or Non-Meal), and then click the Add to Cart button. Note: if you want to sign up both a member and guest, you must pay for each with a separate Add to Cart transaction. Payment at door is $25 for everyone! RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, Susan Paturzo to insure your reservation! The reservation deadline is Monday, September 5th.
Computers are a fact of life in the 21st century, and they are fascinating to mystery writers as vehicles for criminal activity as well as vehicles for sleuthing out criminal activity or other interesting facts. We all know the internet is a big weird place. How much can we learn about it in an hour? Come to the September 8 RMMWA meeting and find out!
September’s program, presented by Dylan Proulx, will include a 50-cent tour of the web, address how search engines work, the surface web, the Deep Web, the Dark Web, how to find stuff, and how to cover your tracks. He’ll talk about how the internet can be used for nefarious purposes, how to use the internet safely and how to know you’re using it safely. And what on earth is cryptocurrency, and can you use it to pay for it all? In other words, everything you wanted to know about the internet but were afraid to Google.
Dylan Proulx: Dylan started programming at the age of 6, on the day that his mother made scones. His brother showed him BASIC programming on the ancient family Kaypro 1. While Dylan hasn’t had a decent scone since then, the programming stuck. He started professional programming in the late ‘90s working on Y2K projects for CARL corporation, a library-automation company. He has since worked for Amazon.com, ESPN, a bank, and most recently ADT. Although he bills himself as a general-purpose software engineer, he has a slight inclination towards information security. He has taught company-wide web-security classes at Amazon.com, and once was given a parking spot for “dedication to security” (where he was promptly ticketed for parking in a reserved spot).
Start Your Engines
Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America Nevermore CAR RALLY-SCAVENGER HUNT.
(It will drive you wild!)
What is a CAR RALLY-SCAVENGER HUNT?
Do you like to toss the GPS out your window? Can you pass every gas station without once asking for directions? Does the open road shout “adventure” to you?
The RMMWA road rally combines speed (within posted limits) with a test of your ability to follow instructions, solve clues, observe landmarks, and prove your site visits. In other words, this is a race made for mystery writers.
NEXT: We’ll assign up to four team members to a car. If you want to be a driver, please let us know. While you may ride with your BFF, we also hope to mix people up in order to make new friends.
FOLLOWING ALONG: You and your team will be given a kit of clues that will take you around Castle Rock until you end up at our “secret” meeting place.
LAST: We’ll party down, share tales of the road, award prizes, and partake of food. Should be a great time for all.
DATE: Saturday, August 13
TIME: 1:00 p.m. (party starts at 3:00)
PLACE: Meet at the bandstand outside the Philip S. Miller Library
100 S. Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado
PRICE: $15 per person.
IMPORTANT: If you get carsick and just want to party down, register for the party ONLY ($10/person), and we’ll send you the top secret instructions to the party site. Then we’ll see you there at 3 p.m.
PARTICIPANTS: You may want to bring some or all of the following: smartphone, dictionary, measuring tape, thinking cap, hammer, screwdriver. Just sayin’.
Where: The Historic Denver Press Club,
1330 Glenarm Pl., Denver CO
When: Thursday Night, May 12th.
6:30 p.m. conversation and cash bar; 7:00 p.m. dinner; and 8:00 p.m. program
Menu: Cranberry apricot chicken ~ slow roasted chicken breast topped with a cranberry-apricot relish with herbed rice pilaf served with a caprese salad ~ mixed greens, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and croutons with balsamic vinaigrette. Vegetarian option available, just note the request when you RSVP.
Cost: If paying via Paypal cost is $20 for members; $23 for non-members, $5 for non-meal. Choose the option you want from the drop-down menu (Member, Non-Member, or Non-Meal), and then click the Add to Cart button. Note: if you want to sign up both a member and guest, you must pay for each with a separate Add to Cart transaction. Payment at door is $25 for everyone! RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, Susan Paturzo to insure your reservation! The reservation deadline is Monday, May 9th.
Amelia Norfleet Dorn of IMPACT will discuss the foundations of self defense and the current move to an “Empowered Self Defense Model” (trauma informed, non-victim-blaming, non-prescriptive). Amelia and one of IMPACT’s famed “Suited Instructors” will demonstrate a dynamic and diverse sampling of personal safety skills, including; verbal boundary setting, awareness strategies and physical techniques. She’ll describe a typical IMPACT class and even get you up on your feet to learn some skills yourself!
Amelia Norfleet Dorn has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of self defense and empowerment. Through IMPACT International, she has taught personal safety skills to thousands of men, women and children. She founded IMPACT Personal Safety of Colorado (IPSCO) in 2005 and currently serves as its Program Director. Her greatest passion lies in primary-prevention programming like IPSCO’s EMPOWERED Family courses and rehabilitation programs for convicts in several Federal and local Correctional Facilities. Amelia also facilitates Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.), a comprehensive and values-based sexuality education program for all ages and is the proud mama of two very EMPOWERED children.
(NOTE: No shows and anyone not cancelling their reservation 72 hours in advance will be expected to pay since RMMWA will be billed for their reservation.)
Where: The Historic Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Pl., Denver CO When: Thursday Night, April 14th. 6:30 p.m. conversation and cash bar; 7:00 p.m. dinner; and 8:00 p.m. program
Cost: If paying via Paypal cost is $20 for members; $23 for non-members, $5 for non-meal. Choose the option you want from the drop-down menu (Member, Non-Member, or Non-Meal), and then click the Add to Cart button. Note: if you want to sign up both a member and guest, you must pay for each with a separate Add to Cart transaction. Payment at door is $25 for everyone! RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, Susan Paturzo to insure your reservation! The reservation deadline is Monday, April 11th.
Menu: Asian beef kabobs – soy marinated and grilled beef sirloin, skewers with cherry tomatoes, peppers and onions, atop steamed jasmine rice served with a grilled vegetable salad – marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of spring greens with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.
(NOTE: No shows and anyone not cancelling their reservation 72 hours in advance will be expected to pay since RMMWA will be billed for their reservation.)
Program: Brent Lounsbury, a Ranger with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will be talking about natural resources law enforcement. Brent has been a certified peace officer for 13 years and a supervisor for 10 years. He is a law enforcement handgun and patrol rifle instructor, snowmobile and survival instructor, CPR / First Aid instructor, former EMT, and is SWAT certified.
Brent will talk about what it’s like to respond to a threat in the wilderness, knowing backup is hours away, and often that the individuals you’re about to “contact” are well armed. Managing acreage is very different than city blocks and creates its own special set of issues, including patrolling on ATVs, snowmobiles, and boats. Sometimes the wilderness brings out the best in people and sometimes people do silly—and downright dangerous—activities.
Brent will talk about his approach to mindset, preparedness and tactics, as well as how different agencies’ jurisdictions and roles intermingle. He will answer questions about firearms, kinds of injuries, law enforcement policies, and anything else that comes to mind.