November 2019 RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


November 14 Meeting




Russell Pilcher, Sierra Detection Systems

Over the past five decades, Russ has been actively engaged in all aspects of the detention industry, beginning modestly as laborer in 1966 during high school summers.  Finding the work interesting, after his schooling, he joined the manufacturer jail equipment in San Antonio, Texas, where he ran the operations and engineering and manufacturing departments.  In 1977, he founded his own firm, invented and patented his own sliding door locking systems, which he marketed, manufactured and installed to several state penitentiaries.  He also invented and manufactured high security fire rated swinging door assemblies for jails and prisons.  Thirteen years later, he sold his firm to join Southern Steel Company.  There, he led the research and development department to invent an entire line of updated sliding jail doors.

In 1995, he founded Sierra Detention Systems.  During his tenure at Sierra, Russ has installed his inventions in many high-profile detention facilities, such as Super Max, Folsom Prison, FBOP Death Row in Terre Haute, Angola Death Row in Louisiana and many others.  During this same time, he has had contact with several high profile “clients” of these facilities, such as Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ted Kasinsky, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and others. On several occasions, he has served as a consultant and expert witness in areas of detention equipment assessment, facility programming and development.  In 2018, he founded Sinclair Cybernetics, LLC, a firm that operates in parallel fashion to Sierra and specializes in technical support to of electronic locking systems and elements of cyber protection.

October 2019 RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


October 10 Meeting




Surveillance 101 with R.T. Lawton

“The game’s afoot…”

Dying to know what it’s like to follow a suspect on foot? Be part of a surveillance team? Or maybe you’re stuck writing a scene where one of your characters must shadow the villain or even the protagonist to gather vital information in furtherance of the plot? Now, you too can learn some of the techniques of surveillance, and maybe how to discover if someone is following you.

R.T. Lawton is a retired federal agent with 25 years of experience working the street, from informants to surveillance and undercover to raids and arrests. From riding the go-fast boats with Customs off the midnight Miami coast to hunt smugglers running in from the Bahama Banks to running down a fugitive in Jamaica.

With over 140 published short stories, he has sold 44 to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and has six e-books for Kindle and other e-readers.

September 2019 RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


September 12 Meeting




Human Trafficking

How does human trafficking work in Colorado?  How would law enforcement, medical personnel – or even maybe a neighbor – recognize a victim or that a crime might be happening?  How could a person intervene, or should they? Does urban human trafficking differ from rural?  And maybe most importantly, what does the media get wrong? 

Join when Brittany Austin, Program Coordinator for the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking joins us to talk about the Lab, how it got started, what they’ve learned, and how vast and underreported the problem really is.  She’ll give some examples of legislation that’s been proposed that could really impact human trafficking and examples of the kind of education and tips provided for first responders and hospitals to recognize signs that a patient might be a victim of human trafficking.  

Brittany Austin holds a Master of Arts degree in Social Work with concentrations in Mental Health and Migration Studies from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. She completed her fieldwork with the Marjorie Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture, providing therapy for individuals seeking asylum in the United States and with the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project, providing case management and group therapeutic services to women living with HIV and AIDS. Prior to her graduate education, Brittany worked for the Taproot Foundation, where she managed a large volunteer base to complete capacity-building projects for non-profits. In her most recent role with Triggr Health, she built and oversaw a textline in the addiction recovery space that engaged thousands of vulnerable individuals in care. She is also trained in yoga and mindfulness and has spent time teaching trauma-informed classes for the Women’s Justice Program within the Cook County Department of Corrections. 

August 2019 RMMWA Meeting

As we have for previous August meetings, we’ll meet in Colorado Springs at a private home. Refreshments provided; beverages available for purchase. Location and directions will be sent to those who have RSVPed for the meeting. Please pay below via PayPal by Monday, August 5 to ensure your reservation.


August 8 Meeting




Stephen Pease, Private Investigator

Basically, writers have a choice—submit to the TV cliché, or write based on reality, which, according to licensed private investigator Stephen Pease, is just as dramatic as a TV Dick with a big gun. For our August RMMWA program, Stephen will present the real duties of the licensed private invetigator, myth- and cliché-busting. He’ll cover things like how you become a licensed PI in Colorado, what sorts of things PIs do, along with things they would never do, and how a case works.

Stephen, a RMMWA member who writes as Michael Chandos, has been a Colorado Licensed Private Investigator for a couple of years, mostly doing subcontract work for PIs across the state. He started his own office in downtown Colorado Springs last year.

June 2019 RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

June 13 Meeting

Judging As I See It with Senior District Judge John L. Kane

Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Kane talks about his forty years on the federal bench—why he became a judge, the drama of the courtroom, and the foibles of trial lawyers.

John L. Kane was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. He received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado in 1958 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1960. He has taught law and philosophy at graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, and was a visiting lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin.
Before being appointed to the bench, Kane served as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps in Calcutta and as Country Representative in Turkey. He was Colorado’s first Public Defender, and when he entered private practice he specialized in First Amendment law. He has consulted on behalf of the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State on human rights and constitutional issues, and traveled extensively on the government’s behalf to lecture and participate in parliamentary conferences in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Southeast Asia.
Kane has received numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Information Agency Outstanding Service Award, the Catholic Lawyers Guild St. Thomas More Award, the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation League Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedication to Civil Rights, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys Lifetime Judicial Achievement Award, and the Drug Policy Foundation Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in Law. He has written extensively on drug policy, sentencing and plea bargain reform.

May RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


May 9 Meeting



The Psychology of Violence with Amy Rivers

Wyoming Mystery Day

Board members Chris Goff and Jeff Lockwood invite RMMWA members (and partners) for a day in Wyoming, Saturday, June 22nd, to extend the reach of our mystery writing community into the rarified air of Laramie (attention Denverites: we are really a Rocky Mountain high at 7200 feet). Laramie is about a 2½-hour drive from Denver. Taking I-25 to Fort Collins and then Highway 287 from Fort Collins to Laramie is a rather pretty way to go.

Our day will begin with a special, 2-hour group tour of the Wyoming Territorial Prison on the outskirts of Laramie. We’ll convene at the entrance at 10:00. The prison once held Butch Cassidy, and those who have an interest in the twisted crimes and gruesome punishments of the frontier are sure to find some darkly enchanting material for stories.

At 12:30, we will gather at the Altitude Chophouse and Brewery in downtown Laramie for lunch (individuals will pay for their own food/drinks), where we’ll be joined by NY Times best-selling author of smart historical fiction, Tasha Alexander, and her husband, mystery/thriller author Andrew Grant.

After lunch, we’ll walk a couple blocks over to Second Story Books former brothel converted into Laramie’s finest, independent bookstore. There, Andrew and Tasha will be joined (we hope—the plan is still in the works) by best-selling author Lee Child (Andrew’s brother). That intriguing conversation/interview and book signing is open to the public.

The cost for this day of incarceration, mastication, and rumination is FREE (not including your gas and lunch, of course). However, to arrange the prison tour (the cost is being covered by RMMWA), we need an accurate head count. So please RSVP directly to Jeff Lockwood by June 17 to pre-register for this day on the high plains. And, when you RSVP, also indicate whether you are interested in attending an end-of-the-day dinner cookout provided by RMMWA, which would mean staying overnight or getting back on the road at perhaps 7:00 or later.

 

April RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


April 11 Meeting



Secrets of a Bail Bondsman

Do you have a character that needs to be bonded out of jail? Or a cop, lawyer, judge, or other characters that must interact with the bail bond system? Here’s your opportunity for a peek into the day-to-day life of a bail bond agent. How do agents land clients, how do they choose which potential clients to take on or turn down? What’s the process for bailing out a person? What if a client skips? What are the fees and how do agents determine collateral? What is their relationship with the rest of the judicial system? Our guide into this murky and controversial world will be one of Denver’s veteran bail bond agents, Dave “Red” Widhalm, owner of Red’s Anytime Bail Bonds, located on Denver’s Bail Bonds Row, a handcuffs throw from the Denver City Jail. He has many fascinating stories to tell us, so don’t miss it.

 

March RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.

March 14 Meeting

Burned, Drowned, and Eaten with Tracy Brisendine

Fire and water drastically change the appearance of a human body. And both elements can both hinder and assist the investigator during criminal investigations. Within minutes insects can detect a decedent’s location and start to feed, yet DNA collected from a maggot’s digestive tract can help identify a victim. This workshop will be a down-and-dirty glimpse of how two elements and various insects interact with a body after death.

Tracy Brisendine’s invisible pet dinosaur landed her in the principal’s office in second grade, and it has been a rollercoaster of adventure ever since. At work, she dances with death and has the honor of recording the last chapter of people’s lives. When not working, Tracy is crafting fantastical stories from the safety of her home. Tracy lives in colorful Colorado with her wonderful spouse and adorable dogs. She has worked in law enforcement for over a decade and is an accredited death investigator through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigator and the Colorado Coroners Association.

January RMMWA Meeting

A full dinner is served at our evening meetings including non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and dessert. Beer and wine are available for sale.

Location: Colorado Auto Dealers Association, 290 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, 80203
Cocktail hour: 6:30, dinner 7 p.m. Program follows.


January 10 Meeting



 

 

Panel: Social Media – Magic or Myth?

Authors with varied publishing backgrounds will discuss their social media strategies and experience. Please join them as they share their ideas on internet networking and book promotion. Audience participation and questions are welcome.

Panelists:

Cynthia Kuhn writes the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery series: The Semester of Our Discontent, an Agatha Award recipient for Best First Novel; The Art of Vanishing, a Lefty Award nominee for Best Humorous Mystery; and The Spirit in Question. She is professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver and member of the multi-author blog Chicks on the Case. 

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, which includes Killing Trail, Stalking Ground, Hunting Hour, and Burning Ridge. Her books have garnered a Reader’s Favorite gold medal, a TopShelf Indie Book Award nomination, and have been listed as finalists in the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Book Awards, the International Book Awards, and the Silver Falchion Awards. Margaret lives in Colorado and serves on the board for RMMWA as Social Media Director.

Bruce Most loves to read and write classic whodunits. He grew up on a diet of Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, and his grandfather’s collection of Perry Mason novels. A former freelance writer, Bruce’s first published novel, Bonded for Murder, featuring a feisty Denver bail bondswoman, Ruby Dark, was a Colorado Book Awards finalist. Rope Burn, about cattle rustling and murder in modern-day Wyoming ranch country, and Murder on the Tracks, set in 1949 Denver, won best genre novel from the Colorado Authors’ League.

Mark Stevens grew up in Massachusetts. He was raised by two librarians. By law, he was required to grow up loving books. And writing. He writes the Allison Coil Mystery Series—Antler Dust, Buried by the Roan, Trapline, Lake of Fire and The Melancholy Howl. Trapline won the Colorado Book Award in 2016. Buried by the Roan and Lake of Fire were finalists for the same award. Kirkus Reviews called Lake of Fire “irresistible” and The Melancholy Howl “smart and indelible.” Mark was the 2016 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year.