featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Note: This site uses Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Our Book Club Friday guest today is Kathy Bennett, a woman who is no stranger to murder and mayhem. A retired twenty-one-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, her authentic crime experience results in arresting stories. Learn more about Kathy at her website.   http://www.KathyBennett.com

Kathy has generously offered an electronic copy of A Deadly Blessing to one of our readers who posts a comment. -- AP

Authentic Crime…Arresting Stories

I'm thrilled to be a guest here on the Killer Crafts  & Crafty Killers blog. When pondering what I'd blog about, I considered discussing all the wonderful crafts I make and the clever tips I could offer about making a microwave oven out of plastic grocery bags. The only problem is, that once I became a police officer and subsequently retired from that career and became a novelist, I don't have time to do crafts anymore. And to set the record straight, I never knew how to make a microwave oven out of plastic grocery bags. I made that up.

When I was doing crafts, I used to like to paint ceramics, sew, and make latch-hook rugs. Okay, this was way back in the 1980's. Since I'm obviously out of the 'crafty loop,' I've decided I'll have to talk about Crafty Killers instead. The only problem is, I don't think I've run into a 'crafty killer.' Dumb killers, yes. Crafty? No.
But today I'll talk about a surprising killing I ran across when working as a police officer.

It was about nine at night when my partner Kathy and I, (yes, two Kathy's in a black and white police car…affectionately known as the 'K' car) got a radio call of a shooting that had just occurred at a gas station in a questionable part of our division. The call was assigned as 'Code 3,' which meant we were to utilize our lights and sirens while responding. There was only one problem. Although we'd done the mandatory lights and siren check prior to leaving the station, when we flipped on the siren, it didn't work. The lights were functioning, but the siren was dead.

So with Kathy driving at break-neck speed, I had our public address system (microphone) in the police car activated. Yes, I made loud wailing siren-like noises into the mic as we weaved in and out of traffic. Luckily, we met up with another officer working by himself who was responding to our call and we explained our situation to him and he took the lead with his working siren. 

While en route to the scene, we got the information that the suspect in the shooting was a female wearing brown pants and a tan top. When we arrived at the scene, there was our suspect standing outside of a pick-up truck. Kathy and I, along with the other officer, took the female into custody. As soon as she was handcuffed, I went into the mini-mart attached to the gas station to find our victim.

Paramedics were already working on him. The man had been shot in the chest, and I remember thinking it must have been a very small caliber gun because the hole wasn't that big and there was almost no blood. The victim was crying and sobbing that he was dying. I was kneeling by his head trying to comfort him and telling him not to worry, that he'd be fine.  Before long, the paramedics took him away and Kathy and I set up a crime scene as a precautionary measure, although both the paramedics and Kathy and I thought our victim was going to live…except he didn't.

About thirty minutes after the ambulance left, the lieutenant in charge of detectives showed up and commended Kathy and me for our foresight into setting up the crime scene and getting there so quickly in time to arrest the suspect.

Yeah, if he only knew that we'd made good speed with me howling into the P.A. system in our police car and the crime scene was set up more as following procedure than our thoughts the victim would die. We took his compliment and never said a word. We may not have been crafty, but we weren't dumb either.

LOL, Kathy! I'll bet you have hundreds of stories just like that. Readers, would you like to ask Kathy a question? Or leave a comment? If you do, you'll enter the drawing for a chance to win an e-copy of A Deadly Blessing. And don't forget to check back on Sunday to learn if you're the winner. -- AP


Unknown said...

OMG, Kathy. I feel bad that the man died and I'm laughing my head off. What a great story!

Loved your first book. May you sell many many more!

Claudia Shelton said...

Good thing we didn't know you could make the wailing siren-like noises before our KOD LAPD tour. We'd have needed a demo on the bus...maybe we could have made it through traffic faster. BTW, you have my interest peaked on this crime. Do you use any of the crimes you were involved in to make a premise for your stories?

Pat Marinelli said...

Hi Kathy,

Another story in the adventures of Kathy and Kathy, one that I haven't heard. I love following them.

You don't need to put me in for the giveaway as I've read both your books and loved them. So when does the next one come out.

If you haven't read Kathy's "A Dozen Deadly Roses" and "A Deadly Blessing," I highly recommend them.

Kathy also teaches great online classes on LEOs.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, your story reminds me of my first sheriff's office take-home patrol car. All our cars back then utilized all red lights (the old rectangular light bars).

Well, whenever I pulled the switch (yes, that long ago) to activate the lights, they'd barely rotate, if at all (they were just two small spot lights attached to a chain-pulled, rotating carousel).

So, here I go - 90mph, siren screaming, with red lights turning as slowly as a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers in a microwave oven. A definite adrenaline-rush-killer.

Most of the time, though, I actually had to roll down my window and beat the side of the red plastic lens to keep the thing turning. Now, that was a sight to behold - a deputy sheriff hanging half out of the window while traveling at warp speed, beating on the side of the lightbar, trying to talk on the radio, listening to directions, etc.

Yep, it was a true image for a safety week poster.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Claudia!

Believe me, my imitation of a siren was NOT pretty!

I use bits and pieces of my whole life in my books, people I've met, conversations I've eavesd - uh, overheard, and yes, some of my police experiences. However, I don't think any of them would be recognizable because I mix and match - I'm sort of like creating the Frankenstien of books.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Pat!

Gosh, I thought I'd run through all my Kathy and Kathy stories. I don't think there are many more...

Thanks for the plug for both books. Smooch!

As for when the next book comes out, I'm working on it. It's a complicated story and I want to get it right. Not sure how long it's going to be, but my agent is anxious to get his hands on it, so trust me, I'm working on it!

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Lee!

One thing they don't put in recruiting posters for cops is:

Candidate will need to be an expert in improvising, adapting, and overcoming!

GBPool said...

I have heard other police officers tell fun stories. It does show they are not only human, but they have a sense of humor and also know how to get the job done. And the stories make for good reading. I was a private detective long, long ago and add those tidbits to my books, too. This was a fun read.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi GB!

Oh, a private detective. I'm sure you DO have some fascinating stories to tell.

I have a great sense of humor - it's just not always appreciated .

Actually, when I working, I was known for my strong work-ethic. When I was a training officer, I heard my 'boots' often couldn't wait to go work with someone else so they didn't have to work so hard. I was NOT one to sit in front of a donut shop or anyplace else for that matter!

Anonymous said...

That was so funny a line siren sound, not a recorded fake. Love it. I do so enjoy your blog. It's nice to see you here.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Mary!

Thank you for finding me here!

I must say, that even though we were heading to a stressful situation (shooting - man down,) Kathy and I were laughing at my attempt to 'howl' loud enough to clear the traffic ahead of us. Thank goodness that other officer showed up!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of funny fiction said...

Hi, Kathy! The fake siren is hilarious and am wondering if you got special training for that. LOL

What is touching is how you comforted the victim before the ambulance took him away. Thank you for doing that.

Kathleen Kaska said...

I think it's time I took a research ride in a police car. Great story, Kathy.

Kathy said...

That was too funny for a visual great post and I loved the idea. Too bad the clerk didn't make it but great you and Kathy got the criminal.

L.J. Sellers said...

Fun story. Thanks for sharing. I took my first ride-along the other night, and we chased a drunk driver at high speed with lights and siren. I can see how cops become adrenaline addicts. Or maybe they start out that way.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Vicki!

One of the first things they teach you in the academy is to improvise, adapt and overcome...hence, I improvised a siren!

I try to be compassionate when appropriate - of course, I felt a little guilty when the guy actually died.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Kathleen!

I would recommend seeing if one of your local agencies has a Citizen's Police Academy. Not only will you learn about emergency driving, but many other important aspects of being a cop.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Kathy!

Another Kathy - oye!

Yes, it's too bad when a relationship gets to the point where killing the other party is the option used. Sad, but true.

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi L.J.!

I can tell you that I lived for the adrenaline rush. In the LAPD, when a serious call was going to be broadcast, three tones would come over the radio. I was like Pavlov's dog wanting the call to be coming my unit...Even if it wasn't my call, if I was available and wasn't too far away, I'd go.

Mary Kenendy said...

Kathy,I love your comment about the "adrenaline rush." I remember Robin Burcell told me she loved working in law enforcement because every day was different. Wonderful interview, Lois!!

Kat Henry Doran Author said...

Great interview, Kath!
Good to "hear" from you again after that great PSWA conference last month!
Kathy Cottrell

Janie Emaus said...

This was a great story. Thanks for sharing.