The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) had its first 2020 meeting on Wednesday. Help Chart MWA-NY’s Future! was one of the themes of the evening. The other theme was to thank Jeff Markowitz, the outgoing chapter president and to welcome our new president, Erica Obey. MWA is filled with different writing events: reading aloud, being mentored, mentoring, speaking on library panels, selling books. Jeff was always accessible whether it was a problem with the website or trying to find another member. He attended most events and was always upbeat and supportive. Many thanks, Jeff.
Last Monday I went to the Frick to attend Recommendations for Active Shooter Incidents. Officer Stephen Gibbons gave a detailed description of what makes up an active shooter. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines this person as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”
The part of this description that fascinated me was confined area. Of course. Don’t most of us live in or near cities? Officer Gibbons gave examples of preferred locations: malls, plants, nail and hair salons, movie theaters, schools, places of worship. The officer’s advice, if involved in one of these incidents and if it’s possible, is to leave immediately and call 911. If there’s a barricade, locate an area with ballistic cover not just visual concealment. If there’s confrontation, use improvised weapons and work as a group. Since I write crime novels this was a field day for me. Even so, it was chilling to learn how active shooters will continue to shoot until stopped.
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college.