Friday, June 28, 2013

Issue #27, July 8, 2013

Title:  He said, she said
By Author: Clare Mishica 

Tag line:  Trying to determine which version of events was true, the sheriff found himself wishing the dog could talk …

Police characters: Sheriff Witt  

The gist:  Neil is driving his little red sports car.  He takes his eye off the road to change a CD and runs a four-way stop sign, running into a big blue pickup truck.  Both cars had damage but no one was hurt.  The driver of the truck was a teenage girl and she had a little white dog that had a pink bow.  She had a cell phone and called the police about the accident.  Neil has had several traffic violations and is worried about his insurance.  He looks around and sees that there are no other witnesses and the jewelry store on the corner isn’t open yet.  He decides to blame the girl.  He knows better than to claim she was texting as phone records can be checked so he claims she was fussing with the dog and ran the stop sign hitting him. She tells him that she stopped and that he didn’t.   When the sheriff arrives, they both tell their sides to the sheriff.  The girl added that she was not fiddling with the dog, and the dog, in fact, has her own safety seat.  The sheriff then tells Neil it’s against the law to make a false accident report and that he was going to get the security film from the jewelry store camera. 

Crime scene:   At a four-way stop on the road. 

Clues:  The size of their respective cars. 

Suspects:  None. 

Red herrings:  None.

Solution:   Neil’s sports car is low to the ground.  The sheriff realizes that Neil couldn’t possibly have seen the dog in the doggie car seat from the sports car seat as the truck is too high. 

My two cents:  This was a rather long, rambling story.  We read about the accident and how Neil was the actual guilty party and how he planned to frame the girl.  Then he gets out of the car and he confronts the girl and she denies it, telling her version of what happened.  Then the cops come and they both tell their sides of the story AGAIN.  ((yawn)) 

Just because the dog has a car seat doesn’t mean he was in it.  All of us have seen little dogs peering over car steering wheels, standing or sitting in the driver’s lap.  Neil could have seen that from his car. Why the sheriff believes her story over his is puzzling. Neil was sneering and the girl was crying but that shouldn’t sway an officer. Men bluster and women cry whether they’re at fault or not.  The only thing that will really save this girl is that the sheriff thinks the jewelry story has security cameras and he said he would check them.  

This was a ho-hum story.  At least the tag line didn't give it away.  I'll bet the sheriff not only wished the dog could talk, but that he could get himself a stiff drink. 


Tamara said...

Did anyone notice that the jewelry store was closed but the police officer was going to check its camera? Would the camera be working if the store was closed?

Mary Jo said...

Okay, Jody, your Boys in Blue must be a lot different than those on the local police force. I was stopped at a busy intersection behind two or three other cars at a Stop sign, waiting to make a right turn back to the office after lunch. In the rear view mirror, I could see this pretty little red VW Bug coming up fast behind me. The young girl driver had her head turned to her right, seemingly jabbering away at the young guy in the passenger seat. I had nowhere to go, and I blasted my horn, trying to get her attention, but she plowed right into the rear of my car and then looked forward in shocked surprise. Now, this happened right outside the police station, and a whole slew of cops came pouring out the door. Do you think they had one word for me? No, no, no. This was a cute little blonde, crying her eyes out, and the guys were all over her. It was the day of the high school graduation, and I suspect that the car was her graduation present. The front hood was smashed like a pancake (engine in the rear). No one cared that the bumper on my car had a sizable dent in it. This happened quite a few years ago, but I am sure I paid for any repair to my car. After all, it wasn't the girl's fault. Right guys? I just didn't get out of her way.

Honestly, I think that anyone who has been done wrong in this type of car accident can empathize with this little "mystery" story, and without being bored. I wonder if the writer wasn't just venting.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Mary Jo,

Venting. haha...good possibility.

Yeah, you're right to a degree, pretty girls get more male cop attention and may even talk their way out of a ticket, but with all the crying we see in court and in depositions, the cops I deal with just roll their eyes at the water works and don't let it get in the way in an investigation.

I just got hit at a stop sign in April. My car was brand new, 600 miles on it. The guy said his foot slipped off the break so I didn't have to even blink up one tear. lol.

I just wish there was more story to this story. Seems a crime to just repeat everything twice.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara,

Yes, the security cameras roll 24/7. No sense in having security and not have it running. How are you going to get photos of the bad guys breaking in at night if you turn the cameras off?

I live near Springfield, Mass. We also have city cameras in the downtown and high crime areas. They run 24/7 and capture car and foot traffic. Comes in handy when someone robs the bank and makes a run for it on one of those streets. We've got the car, license, and can even zoom in on faces.

We also have something called a shot spotter. Whenever gunshots go off in the city, the shot spotter cameras go on and record the area the sound came from. Pretty neat -- but not so much for the bad guys.

Tamara said...

OK, I see. I guess I also wondered whether the store camera, if it was running, would cover the street/intersection, although I suspected the camera was relevant, because it was mentioned a couple of times. I don't do well getting my mysteriea accepted; maybe there's a reason :).

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara. Yes, those outside security cameras do cover the parking lot or the street. They like to try to get a shot of the getaway car. Often times that's more helpful than a pic of some random guy they don't know.

I do have a service where I will help you shape up your mystery story. The details are on the right over there. And if you have any questions on police procedure or anything, you can always drop me a line here and I'll answer those questions as best I can.

Mary Jo said...

Jody, I am curious about how mystery writers go about crafting a story. Do they decide ahead of time who did the deed and then just drop a clue or two and maybe a red herring to let the reader come to the right conclusion, or not?

I have a murder committed in a story, but for the life of me I cannot figure out who did it!

By the way, have you noticed that your non-robotic set up is more often than not illegible? Especially the dark spot that may look like nothing but black.

Mary Jo said...

Jody, do you remember when I thought a plastered arm was actually an arm of plaster? Well, I just finished my little mystery story where the victim got whacked with the arm from a store dummy. Ha Ha. And I finally figured out who did it. Wonder if I can sell it to WW. I did manage to carve it down to 700 words.

Mary Jo said...

Oh, also, I took your advice about not saying anything twice. That is basically how I cut down on the verbiage. Thank you.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Jo...good for you...send that puppy in. PS.. if you want me to take a look at it, no charge, let me know and I'll send you my e-mail.

PSS.. I'm not having a problem with the images below...but it does seem to change by the day with Sometimes I can get my data, like how many visitors I had, and sometimes I can't. I can't's a free blog.

Tamara said...

Thanks, Jody.

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo, if you just got offered a free critique from Jody, grab it with both hands. She doesn't pull her punches but then surely that's exactly what you want from a reviewer, honest, straight from the shoulder feedback. I like the sound of your mini mystery and the mannequin's arm being the murder weapon - for a title, instead of Long Arm of the Law, you could call it Long Arm of the Store :-) (okay, maybe not)

Anonymous said...

Chris, aren't you the one who mentioned the plastered arm? That's where I got the idea for the story. I am really not a mystery writer, but I wanted to try it anyway. Jody already looked at one story I attempted and it still needs a lot of work. Then, she offered to take a look at the current one and has given me some great advice. It is ready to go in the mail to WW now. My title is MURDER FOR DUMMIES. Do you have any of those how-to "Dummies" books in the UK? At least here in the US, dummy is another name for a mannequin.

I will be writing to you soon. I do appreciate your help so much. I did not realize that Kate's blog and now Jody's would actually form a sisterhood.

Mary Jo

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo, yes, I had a plastered arm in a mini-mystery story but not as a murder weapon.

No, I'm not a mystery writer either, but I thought I'd give it a go and had a lot of fun writing the couple I've submitted. Fingers crossed they take them.

Yes, we have How To books for Dummies here. And yes, a dummy is another word for a mannequin. Your title is far better than my suggestion.


Mary Jo said...

Jody, do you notice that now when we put our name with a comment here, it comes up as from Anonymous? I wonder what that is all about.

Mary Jo said...

Well, it didn't do it that time.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Mary Jo, This site has been 'acting up' lately. I get the comments on my email, but they don't get posted on this blog site....sooo....I go and copy them and post them myself under anonymous.

Now today, I got the email saying someone(you)posted on the blog...and it actually posted on the blog. Maybe Blogger was updating or something.

Mary Jo said...

Okay, Jody. I am totally ignorant of the way blogs work. All I know is what I see in black and white.

Do keep up the great work.