The next RMMWA monthly meeting will be held August 11, 2022 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 presentation by Criminal Defense Investigator and Death Penalty Mitigator Susan Lehmann.
The meeting at CADA will start at 6:15 p.m. (MT) 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
- Thighs and Drumsticks simmered in an herbed tomato sauce
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- 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.
- 6:15 Networking and drinks
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:00 Introductions and Member News
- 7:30 Mystery Minute
- 7:40 Program
On Becoming an Investigator
by Susan Lehmann, Criminal Defense Investigator and Death Penalty Mitigator
Susan will discuss how her skills as a journalist led her into the profession of private investigation. When Susan entered the field in 1996 there were no books like Investigating for Dummies, and the internet was not the oracle that it is now. She read the Sue Grafton, Dashiell Hammett, and Janet Evanovich books for research, and then talked her way into a job. Susan knew how to interview, she knew how to write, but she didn’t have a clue how to do anything else like collect evidence or conduct surveillance. Over her career, Susan learned the profession one case at a time, beginning with process serving, and, while she had a few situations like those faced by Kinsey, Stephanie and Sam, the work of a real-life private investigator varies wildly from the adventures of our fictional heroes. Susan will discuss those differences and dive further into the work of private investigation that led her to be a criminal defense investigator. She’ll discuss how every task and case, must be conducted with the understanding that the investigator may be called to testify in court.
Susan Waller Lehmann hails from Miami, Florida, and discovered writing and journalism while attending Florida State University. In 1981, she declined a job offer with the nascent CNN thinking Who would want to watch a 24-hour news channel? Now that her path in life was determined by the idea that she would be a real journalist instead, she put her interview skills to work as a writer and publisher, all of which was sidelined when she became a mother to three children.
In 1996, inspired by her fictional heroines Kinsey Millhone and Stephanie Plum, she opened a private investigation agency—because there is no better way to distract yourself from the arduous work of writing than by dealing with cheating spouses, tracking down deadbeat parents, and sitting through interminable night-time surveillance operations. She quickly learned that real investigative work is not nearly as exciting as the escapades of fictional detectives. A chance phone call in 2005 led her into the field of criminal defense investigation and capital murder mitigation. To date, she has worked on 37 death penalty cases, and yes, she has made frequent visits to death row prisons.
Her simultaneous professions inform her non-fiction writing, samples of which have earned her a 1996 Eaton Literary Award and a 2016 Utah Original Writing Competition Honorable Mention in Non-Fiction. As a result, she delves into her wide-ranging experiences as a journalist, private investigator, and death penalty mitigation expert. There should be one or two good stories in there somewhere. What’s that old saw? Truth is stranger than fiction.
Perhaps because the temperate climate of the South attracts crazies, her life intersected with two serial killers, and resulted in two true crime books, Visions of Ted Bundy: The Psychic and the Chi Omega Murders and Echoes from the Mind: The Psychic and the Gainesville Student Murders.
In 2021, in response to the never-ending pandemic, she has started to re-explore an old passion as a freelance writer working on stories in and around the Front Range of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain National Park.
She lives with her husband, two well-loved felines, and two cheerful Golden Retrievers, Graham and Gouda. She is currently working on her next book, Southern Lies and Homicides: Tales of Betrayal and Murder. For more information and sample stories check out her website at https://www.whiterhinopress.com/.