Upcoming Meetings

September 14th Meeting

The next RMMWA monthly meeting will be held September 14, 2023 at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (290 Speer Boulevard in Denver) and we’ll also broadcast a live, interactive hybrid meeting via Zoom. Please join us in-person or via Zoom for a talk by Carl Vonderau on Money Laundering & Cryptocurrency.

The meeting at CADA will start at 6:15 p.m. (MDT) with drinks and networking, and dinner will be served at 6:30. Zoom attendees may sign on shortly before 7:00 for the start of the program. See the full agenda below.

To register to attend in person, please use the link below. Please sign up before Monday, September11th to reserve your spot.

Zoom attendance is free and there is no need to register. Members will receive the meeting link via email. Non-members, please send an email to chapterpres@rmmwa.org to request access.

Dinner menu:

  • Old Fashioned Beef Stew
    • Chunks of beef, potato and carrots simmered in an aromatic brown stock until fork tender
  • Jalapeño cheddar corn bread
  • Seasonal greens salad
  • Baked rolls and butter
  • Dessert tray
  • Beverages
    • Tea, coffee, and water included. Wine and beer are available for a suggested cash donation of $3.00 per drink.

Note: Please contact our Caterer Director directly if you have allergies or specific food issues. We will try to accommodate you if we can. 

September Meeting


Meeting Agenda:

  • 6:15 Networking and drinks
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • 7:00 Introductions and Member News
  • 7:30 Mystery Minute
  • 7:40 Program

Meeting Program:

Carl Vonderau –
How to be a Successful Money Launderer

Photo of Carl Vonderau

Every world class villain should know how to launder money. Even heroes who have to do some slightly illegal things need to know the basics. Carl will talk about what money laundering is, how it started and where it is now. What are the different phases and challenges of each phase? Who are the people dedicated to stopping it and what thwarts them?  Then there is cryptocurrency. Is it really the foolproof method for laundering ill-gotten gains?

In this talk you will learn

  • People are doing this everywhere.
  • The three phases of laundering that every shady accountant knows: placement, layering, and integration.
  • How do you get those darn dollars into the financial system?
  • Making sure no one knows where your newfound wealth came from.
  • International trade—tweaks to what every good drug smuggler already knows.
  • How do you spend the money to keep up with your peers?
  • Why they are so annoying and never stop wanting information.
  • What you should know about them because they already know about you.
  • Where are the bankers and lawyers you need to know?
  • What the bean counters will use to put you behind bars.
  • I thought this was supposed to make it easier.

Speaker Bio


Carl Vonderau grew up in Cleveland in a religious family that believed that God could heal all illness. No wonder he escaped to California. He attended at Stanford and discovered a whole new world. Carl graduated in economics and then studied music at San Jose State. His parents were not thrilled. But they were relieved when he became a banker. That career enabled him to live and work in Latin America, Canada, and North Africa. He’s put his foot in his mouth in Spanish, French and Portuguese. He also became a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen. His debut thriller, MURDERABILIA, was published in 2019 and won Left Coast Crime and San Diego Book awards. SAVING EVAN is his second novel and was published in August, 2023.

Nonprofit work also inspires him. He is the president of Partners in Crime, The San Diego chapter of the Sisters in Crime organization of authors and fans of crime writing. Additionally, he’s a partner at San Diego Social Venture Partners, an organization that mentors other nonprofits.

Carl lives with his wife in San Diego. His two grown sons are close by and wonder how he knows so much about serial killers and banking crimes.

Latest RMMWA Meeting Video

Special Announcements

2023 RMMWA Six-Word Mystery Contest is open!

Enter Now!
7th annual Six-Word Mystery Contest
challenges writers to pen a mystery in six words



Can you write a whodunnit in six words? That’s the challenge put forth by the Rocky Mountain Chapter, Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA) in its 7th annual Six-Word Mystery Contest.

Last year’s overall winning entry and police procedural-category winner was Rita A. Popp of Colorado with “Magician escapes gallows when witness vanishes.” A previous contestant, Kathleen O’Brien, said her entry landed her a literary agent.

RMMWA Chapter President Lori Lacefield said, “We’re excited to see what cryptic, enigmatic, plot twisting, or laugh-out-loud six-word mysteries are submitted this year.” Lacefield added, “Writers from 20 states as well as Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Singapore have entered previous contests. We hope you do, too.”

This year’s contest will be judged by Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Editor Linda Landrigan; New York Times best-selling author Anne Hillerman; award-winning author, lawyer and activist Manuel Ramos; literary agent Terrie Wolf, owner of AKA Literary Management; and John Charles of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The contest opens September 1, 2023, and entries must be received by midnight MDT on October 7, 2023. Six-word “whodunits” can be entered in one or all five of the following categories: Hard Boiled or Noir; Cozy MysteryThriller Mystery; Police Procedural; and/or a mystery involving Romance or Lust. The Six-Word Mystery Contest is open to all adults 18 and over. No residency requirements.

The contest entry fee is $6 for one entry or $10 to enter six-word mysteries in all five categories. The grand prize winner will receive $100 in cold, hard cash. Winners in all other categories will receive $25, and all winners and finalists will be featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, on our RMMWA website, and in our popular monthly newsletter, Deadlines.

Participants will be invited to the chapter’s annual Mystery & Mistletoe Holiday Party in December which will be held live and on Zoom.

According to legend, the first six-word novel was born in the 1920s when Ernest Hemingway at New York’s Algonquin Hotel or Luchow’s restaurant (depending on whom you ask) won a $10 bet by writing a six-word story. His dark and dramatic submission was: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Urban legend or no, memorable, heart-breaking, and sublime six-word stories have been penned ever since.




If you’d like to see examples of prior finalists, visit our 6 Word Mystery Contest Archive.

RMMWA Member
News and Notes

Member Profile – Jeffrey Lockwood

Wyoming Representative and Chair of the 6-Word Mystery Contest

Jeffrey Lockwood grew up in New Mexico and spent youthful afternoons enchanted by feeding grasshoppers to black widow spiders 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 many award-winning works including a collection of essays titled Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving (Skinner House, 2002), along with 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 during six-legged home invasions.

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.  He has published a three-book noir mystery series featuring an ex-cop-turned-exterminator (Poisoned Justice, Murder on the Fly, and Lethal Fetish with Pen-L press).  Most recently, he has published several Holmesian pastiches in various magazines.

His strangest venture into the realm of mystery was through writing the libretto for a chamber opera that tells the story of “North America’s greatest ecological mystery”—the disappearance of the Rocky Mountain locust, an insect that blackened the skies of the West, until something or someone caused its sudden demise.  The three scenes of this continental-scale whodunit can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/L_4xzj7gAjA, https://youtu.be/KyK4jQwcfcw, and https://youtu.be/tuq1U815e6Q.

Review from RMMWA VP—this is an awesome production, be sure to watch it!

AND, check out Lockwood’s recently release podcast, “Once Upon a Meadow”–a series of stories for 4 to 9-year-olds (and for grownups with children, grandchildren, or an inner child) that integrate tales of diverse animals figuring out how to live together despite their differences (you can imagine the implicit elements of social and environmental justice, without our being pedantic because we figure that children are plenty smart with being told “the moral of the story”).  I wrote the stories and provided the audio narration: https://www.onceuponameadow.com/

 Why I’m involved in RMMWA

I’m involved in RMMWA for the same reason that mystery readers become drawn into a story.  It’s not the cover art, plot, setting, or dialogue that keeps you going—it’s the characters.  The people of RMMWA are tremendously creative, unwaveringly supportive, and wickedly capable.  I’m not a best-selling mystery writer; I’m a lover of mystery writing (and reading, of course).  And RMMWA warmly welcomes the unpublished, self-published, short story published, small publisher published, and big-time publisher published with equal enthusiasm.  This chapter of the MWA is a genuine community, where characters of all sorts (and there are some “characters”) celebrate writing, whether it’s a six-word mystery (Lockwood chairs the esteemed 6-Word Mystery Contest) or a six-book contract.


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Lefty Nomination for Cynthia Kuhn

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A PAIRING TO DIE FOR by Kate Lansing

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Leslie Budewitz’s “Coming Clean” in Alfred Hitchcock’s

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ANGELS IN THE WIND by Manuel Ramos

Manuel Ramos' eleventh novel Angels in the Wind, the fourth in the Gus Corral series, is scheduled for publication in April 2021 by Arte Público Press (University of Houston) This time around, Gus, the Chicano private eye, is on the hunt for his cousin's missing...
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PG Lengsfelder’s psychological suspense novel Our Song, Memento Mori is available from (Woodsmoke Publishing. Faith and absolution have escaped him. Will this priest’s probe into a dark mystery bring redemption… or death? Father Jamie “Blu” Bluterre struggles with...
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Colleen Collins “Look Your Last” anthologized

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Lise McClendon's Lost in Lavender,  the 13th installment of the Bennett Sisters Mysteries, is now available. In this installment the adventures of the youngest sister, Elise, take center stage. At a career and personal crossroads she decamps for France— as one does—...
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The Solace of Bay Leaves, the fifth Spice Shop mystery by Leslie Budewitz (Seventh St. Books), is available in paperback, ebook and audio. Pepper Reece never expected to find her life’s passion in running the Seattle Spice Shop. But when evidence links a friend’s...
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The Beethoven Sequence

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