Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Spotlight on The Death of Anyone by D.J. Swykert



THE BOOK


Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of the killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which has not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to authorize an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.





THE AUTHOR


DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator writing fiction. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Coe Review, Monarch Review, the Newer York, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude and The Death of Anyone. He is a wolf expert.






GUESTPOST


Familial DNA Search Catches the Grim Sleeper

Several years ago, Carolyn Jenks, founder of the Carolyn Jenks Agency in Boston, told me she believed forensics in a crime story was the best way to hook a mystery reader. The success of the CSI television productions appears to support Carolyn’s theory. With her suggestion in mind I wrote The Death of Anyone based on a seldom used DNA search technique called a Familial DNA Search.

I first heard of the technique while working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with a CSI investigator in our department. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. Listening to Carolyn’s thoughts on forensics a couple of years later convinced me.

In my fictional story, The Death of Anyone, Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from working undercover in narcotics to homicide and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. She is a straight forward investigator who describes herself as a blonde with a badge and a gun. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer.

In the real world of criminal justice, the technique of investigating suspects with a similar DNA profile to the actual profile left at the crime scene has proved to be controversial, especially since LAPD used it to catch Lonnie David Franklin, the infamous Grim Sleeper. In the summer of 2010 in Los Angeles, investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie David Franklin, aka The Grim Sleeper, will be the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial for murder based on this type of evidence, and its admissibility issues will be thoroughly tested by defense attorneys. These are the same issues my investigators encounter in The Death of Anyone.

Forensics has become an essential tool of real homicide departments and the use of forensics in a crime or mystery novel lends authenticity to the story. The Death of Anyone is available on the Melange Books website and also on Amazon.com in Kindle and print formats. The First chapter is also available to read on Amazon or my website: www.magicmasterminds.com/djswykert


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