Thursday, May 6, 2010

Resources for Crime Writers

As a writer or a civilian, you may wonder where to find basic investigative research information. This list of "Investigative Resources" on the "Questions for Cops" site is a comprehensive collection. It includes links to free and pay sites.

The site also contains "Frequently Asked Questions" which is a list of subjects writers might want to know more about, from "Probable Cause" to "DUI Checkpoints" and "Entrapment."

The FBI has a page on their web site called, "Be Crime Smart," with info on fraud, terrorists, spies, children's safety, e-scams, and much more. For information on researching FBI records and information, click here.

Last month, Patricia Stoltey (@PStoltey on Twitter) of The Blood-Red Pencil blog wrote an excellent post about web resources for crime writers.

As a police officer in the Public Information office, one of the most frequent reporter inquiries was the length of a prison sentence a criminal might face. Depending on the charge and the class of felony or misdemeanor, I'd check the New York State Penal Law "Sentences of Imprisonment," to find the answer.

Do you have a favorite research site, one you rely on for information?

**Update: Alexander Burns (@afburns on Twitter) has advised me of The Homicide Report, an interactive map and database provided by the L.A. Times to track homicides in L.A. County. Thanks, Alexander ~ it's an informative resource.

Prison clip art from


  1. Great links, Kathleen. Thanks!

  2. ohh, this is so very helpful... thanks!

  3. You're welcome, Chris and Jm Diaz! Thanks for checking it out. I hope these links come in handy.

  4. Great links. These should come in quite handy. Most of my research links are for grammar sorts of things. I always need help.

  5. Hi Charles ~ Thanks for visiting my new blog. If I can ever answer a question regarding law enforcement issues, feel free to contact me. If I don't have the answer, I have plenty of friends who will know the answer!