HoTXSinC September 9, 2018: Dr. Kim Rossmo on Geographic Profiling

Our mission is to promote
the ongoing advancement, recognition,
and professional development of women crime writers.
                                             ~ SINC Mission Statement

Program: Dr. Kim Rossmo on Geographic Profiling
Upcoming Programs
The 2018 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest
The Writers’ Police Academy by K. P. Gresham
Search and Rescue K9 Units by N. M. Cedeño
Texas Book Festival: Bring Us Your Books!
Boerne Book Festival: Table for HoTXSinC Authors
For Members Only: Short Ghost Story Contest Submission Deadline
The Word on Our Members
Congratulations and Best Wishes
Who’s Blogging?

Selected Sites
Subscribe to HOTSHOTS!

Nolo Contendere
Bulwer Lytton Winner – Detective/Crime


 Dr. Kim Rossmo


Geographic Profiling

of serial killers / rapists / terrorists

2018-09 pixabay CC0 usa-155594_640Geographic profiling is a criminal investigative methodology for analyzing the locations of a connected series of crime to determine the most probable area of offender residence.  Its major function is suspect prioritization in serial murder, rape, and similar investigations.  Such cases are difficult to solve because they involve stranger offenders.  These “whodunit” investigations can involve thousands of suspects and often suffer from problems of information overload.  In such situations, geographic profiling can assist in case information management.  Crime locations are not distributed randomly in space but rather are influenced by the road networks and features of the physical environment.  Consequently, when properly interpreted, crime sites can function as spatial clues.  A focus on the crime setting – the “where and when” of the criminal act – offers a conceptual framework for determining the most probable area of offender residence.  The area of research known as environmental criminology studies the interactions between people and their surroundings, and views crime as the product of offenders, victims, and their setting.  The three theories underlying geographic profiling – crime pattern, routine activity, and rational choice – provide the foundation for understanding the target patterns and hunting behavior of criminal predators.

Dr. Kim Rossmo holds the University Chair in Criminology and is the director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation in the School of Criminal Justice at Texas State University.  He has researched and published in the areas of the geography of crime and criminal investigations.  Dr. Rossmo was formerly the Detective Inspector in charge of the Vancouver Police Department’s Geographic Profiling Section, which provided investigative support for the international law enforcement community.  Dr. Rossmo is a member of the Police Investigative Operations Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is a Commissioner on the Austin Public Safety Commission.  He has studied the geospatial structure of terrorist cells, patterns of shark foraging, and the geography of illegal border crossings.  He has published books on geographic profiling and criminal investigative failures, and a crime atlas for Texas.  Dr. Rossmo has been awarded the Governor General of Canada Police Exemplary Service Medal.


Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. We meet at Café Express at 3418 N. Lamar.

Sisters in Crime is an international organization of women and men whose mission is to promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry. Speakers include published mystery authors and technical experts who help writers craft better mysteries and readers enjoy what they read. Meetings are free and open to all. For more information, check out the Sisters in Crime website at

For information contact Joyce Arquette, Publicity (512) 266-6543

Check out our blog/newsletter, HOTSHOTS!, at

Upcoming Programs

October: Robert Ansley on Paranormal Research and Announcement of Ghost Story Contest Winner

November: Mark Pryor, District Attorney and Author

December: Party and Showcase of Members’ Writing 

And for 2019:

February: Jan Burke, Guest Speaker from SinC National Speaker’s Bureau

The 2018 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest 

Grand Prize Winner

“Cassie smiled as she clenched John’s hand on the edge of an abandoned pier while the sun set gracefully over the water, and as the final rays of light disappeared into a star-filled sky she knew that there was only one thing left to do to finish off this wonderful evening, which was to throw his severed appendage into the ocean’s depths so it could never be found again–and maybe get some custard after.” ~ Tanya Menezes

Read the rest of the winners and dishonorable mentions here.

The Writers’ Police Academy

12 01 2017 K.P. Cropped Color Portrait (3)_3 by K. P. Gresham

I’ve just returned from the tenth annual Writer’s Police Academy in Green Bay,

2018-09 KP GRESHAM and Rob WPA
K. P. and Rob at fire demonstration

Wisconsin. The three-day forensics conference was packed with seminars, clinics,  high intensity training courses and experts, experts, experts! Sisters in Crime is a major sponsor for this event, and I and my fellow Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime member, Rob Robertson, ran ourselves crazy for three days of non-stop learning!

The event was held at the Northwest Wisconsin Technical College’s Safety Training Academy using instructors from the Academy as well as specialists from around the United States. Lee Lofland, the founder and director of this fabulous experience, had one goal in mind when he put this event together. He wanted to bring law enforcement and writers together in a realistic setting. To quote the conference program, he “wanted to place writers behind the wheel of a patrol car in a pursuit (which I did!)…let them shoot rifles & pistols…fire a taser (again, something I did!), etc.  He believes the best way to write believable make-believe is to live it. Writers can breathe more life into tales by adding the senses of touch, taste, sound & smell.”

My personal takeaway from the exhausting three days of mayhem—putting out fires (literally), wearing S.W.A.T gear (Holy Toledo, it’s heavy!!!!!) and trying to apprehend a bad guy, checking out blood spatter investigation techniques—is that I AM GOING BACK!  There’s no way I could get everything in that I wanted to do, and frankly I’m not sure I could’ve wrapped my head around one more fact.

By far the best part of the conference was getting to know the law enforcement professionals as well as my fellow writers. Unbeknownst to me, I found myself sitting at a bar between a Hollywood producer and a best-selling author talking about storytelling. When I figured out who they were, I almost choked on my margarita! The guest of honor at Saturday night’s banquet was international Best Seller, Jeffery Deaver. Talk about a writer who gets procedurals right! He was gracious and friendly, as were ALL of the specialists there to teach us.

Thank you to everyone who put this conference together! My writing will be better because of all your help and expertise!


K.P. Gresham, author of the Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery series and Three Days at Wrigley Field, moved to Texas as quick as she could. Born Chicagoan, K.P. and her husband moved to Texas, fell in love with not shoveling snow and are 30+ year Lone Star State residents. She finds that her dual country citizenship, the Midwest and Texas, provide deep fodder for her award-winning novels. Her varied careers as a media librarian and technical director, middle school literature teacher and theatre playwright and director add humor and truth to her stories. A graduate of Houston’s Rice University Novels Writing Colloquium, K.P. now resides in Austin, Texas, where life with her tolerant but supportive husband and narcissistic Chihuahua is acceptably weird. She is a member of SINC Heart of Texas Chapter.

Search and Rescue K9 Units

HOTXSINC Headshots by N. M. Cedeño

A representative of the Travis County Texas Search and Rescue K9 unit was kind enough to come and speak to Sisters in Crime, Heart of Texas Chapter this summer. She provided a wealth of information for crime writers on the workings of Search and Rescue K9 Units.

Most Search and Rescue group members are unpaid volunteers. The volunteers go through training and must pass a fitness test in order to qualify to join the team. Dog handlers train their dogs to participate in the searches following training guidelines. There are three different kinds of S & R dogs: live find, trailing, and human remains detection (HRD). Searches may be categorized as wilderness, urban, or disaster. Police in cars or on foot handle most urban searches. Dogs are mostly used for wilderness and disaster searches.

The human remains detection (HRD) dogs are not referred to as cadaver dogs anymore. HRD dogs must be able to identify hundreds of odors that come from decaying human remains and be able to differentiate those smells from those of decaying animals. Training the dogs to identify these odors requires the handler to obtain appropriate materials for training exercises. These materials may be donated to the trainer by dental surgeons, midwives, and other doctors or organizations with access to amputated or removed body parts. Places such as the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility, also known as the Body Farm, at Texas State University’s Freeman Ranch, will allow dog handlers to use the facility for training only once a year. The dogs can identify these smells even when underground or mixed with other smells.

2018-09 Noreen Cedeno - search and rescue k0 units - petratrail
My dog, Petra, who is not a S&R dog. Picture by N. M. Cedeño.

Trailing dogs are usually on leashes and are following a scent trail looking for a missing person. These dogs are used when authorities know exactly where the missing person was last seen, giving them a starting point for using the dogs. The dogs are given a sample carrying the missing person’s scent to smell, such clothing the person wore recently. Then the dog is told to find that specific scent. Each person’s individual scent is distinctive, created by soaps, sprays, detergents, shampoos, conditioners, and their own skin particles. Relatives in the same home who use the same products may have similar scents. The dogs are trained to distinguish between the missing person and close relatives.

Live find, or live search, dogs are trained to find a person in a large area of land. They can be made to work in a grid pattern or can be sent to search an area independently, off leash. The dogs are fitted with GPS trackers so that the area they search can be followed and mapped. These dogs love their game of search and find so much that they will not stop unless their handler forces them to rest. Live search dogs are trained to find the missing person’s scent as it drifts in the wind. If the dog is working independently and locates the subject, the dog can be trained to either stay with the subject and bark, or run back and forth between the searchers and the subject, leading the searchers to the missing person.

Research has shown that lost people tend to follow specific patterns depending on their age, mental state, and what they were doing when they got lost. Search and Rescue operations will begin their search for a missing person based on what the research says the person is most likely to do. For example, small children, ages 1 to 3, tend to walk in circles. When they get tired, they lay down and go to sleep where they are. Children ages 3 to 6 get scared when it gets dark, find a protected area, and curl up in a ball.  Hunters who think they know the area in which they are lost tend to keep walking, reasoning that if they keep walking, they will find their way back.

If a missing person stays still in one place, their scent will build up around them like a puddle or pool. When the wind blows the scent pool, it will be stronger, allowing a dog to find and follow the scent more easily. If the person keeps moving, the scent will be harder for the dog to follow, a small scattered trail, rather than a concentrated pool. This is why it is important to stop moving if you know that someone is looking for you. A search dog will find you faster if you stop moving.

Finally, if an area has been thoroughly searched by Search and Rescue and the missing person is not found, the search ends with the missing person declared “R.O.W.,” rest of world. The searchers know the missing person isn’t in the search area, therefore, he or she must be somewhere else, out in the rest of the world.


N. M. Cedeño was born in Houston, grew up in the Dallas Metroplex, once lived in Amarillo, and currently lives near Austin, Texas. She writes mystery short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her mysteries vary from traditional, to romantic suspense, to science fiction. She is working on the second novel in her Bad Vibes Removal Services Series. She is a member of SINC Heart of Texas Chapter.

This article was first published on Writing Wranglers and Warriors.

Texas Book Festival Update: Join the Fun!!!

Bring Us Your Books!

2018-09 KP GRESHAM 2017 TBF Group PhotoIt’s almost time for the 2018 Book Festival! Starting at our September 9th Chapter meeting, I encourage everyone to bring the books you would like us to feature at our Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime Booth.

Here are the specifics.

Please bring no more than 10 copies of each book you want to sell, a short synopsis of that book, and a short bio about you! You can throw in any business cards, flyers, cha-chas or other publicity giveaways if you so desire.

Help us help you sell your books! If you are working the booth, please remember to enclose an 8 x 10 publicity photo of yourself (can be black & white or color). 

If you have any questions or need to make separate arrangements for getting your books to us, please call me at 713-962-9992 or email me at kpgresham(at) aol (dot) com.

The last day to turn in your books for the festival is at our October 14th meeting. Thanks for all of your support!

Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets monthly on the second Sunday of the month at 2:15 p.m. We meet at Café Express at 3418 N. Lamar.

Boerne Book Festival: Table for HoTXSinC Authors

THE BOERNE BOOK FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 6, 2018 – 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M.
We have been invited to share in Boerne’s rich literary tradition. HoTXSinC WILL HAVE A TABLE AT THEIR BOOK FESTIVAL. We are asking for volunteers to work either of two shifts: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Please contact Fran Paino at if you can volunteer for either or both shifts. Booksellers must be present at the HoTXSinC table in Boerne to sell their books. Standard rules apply: Sellers must be current members in both local and national levels.

For Members Only: Short Ghost Story Contest Submission Deadline

2018-09- pixabay - cc0 mirror-1662178_640Just a friendly reminder for those who are interested in entering our ghost story contest. All submissions due no later than Sunday, September 9th.  They can be handed in at the meeting OR, preferably, sent to either Noreen Cedeno , noreenm74 (at) yahoo (dot) com, or  Fran Paino, franpaino (at) gmail (dot) com
Submission should be double spaced, one inch margins and MAXIMUM 6,000 words.
The winner will be notifed in advance. The prize for first place is a $25 Target gift card plus the Waller Knife, and announced at the October regular meeting.
The contest is open to current, paid members only and excludes the board of directors.
Get your submissions in.
Eugenia Parrish - Knife 0109171014


 The Word on Our Members

2018-09 Malvern logo novel-night-sml (1)



Malvern Books will host Novel Night with N. M. Cedeno, Meredith Lee, and Laura Oles, on September 13, 2018, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.


lone star lawless cover (2)

Authors of Austin Mystery Writers second crime fiction anthology, LONE STAR LAWLESS, will appear at The Bosslight in Nacogdoches, Texas, on September 20.






2018-09 Meredith Lee - Digging up the dead cover

Congratulations and Best Wishes

2018-09 Manning Wolfe Bill Rodgers wedding facebook

… to our friends Manning Wolfe and Bill Rodgers on their marriage

Who’s Blogging?

Noreen Cedeño

Helen Currie Foster

M. K. Waller



Hallmark Publishing

“Hi there! Hallmark Publishing is open to unagented submissions of completed full-length novels through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 3), 2018. We will also have an open reading period in February 2019. Follow us on Twitter, @HallmarkPublish, to be the first to learn about future calls for submissions.”


Kauai Writers Conference

‘In November, when most of us settle in for a long, chilly winter, participants at the Kauai Writers Conference gather at the Marriott Resort to learn and network, kayak and surf, and stroll across white sands under palm trees. “We have such a rich and diverse faculty that writers are torn,” explains conference director David Katz. “Should they go see a best-selling author or go to the beach?”’

Selected Sites

‘Elitist’: angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

How to Speak to a Crowd

Buried Memories that Come to Light

Trip the Rope!

Why Blog?

Obscure August Folklore

HOTSHOTS! Wants You 

HOTSHOTS! welcomes reviews and articles written by members. Query hotx2014 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Subscribe to HOTSHOTS!

You can receive notification each time HOTSHOTS! is published.

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No Lo Contendere

Members, send news to hots2014 (at) gmail (dot) com. Include both past and upcoming events. Include pictures if you have them.

Also send head shots and a list of your book titles/short story titles to Kathy for the HOTXSINC author page.

And send titles/authors of books (articles, websites, blogs) you’ve read or are reading, and that you recommend to other Sisters in Crime.

HOTSHOTS! welcomes reviews and articles written by members. Email  hotx2014  (at) gmail (dot) com. 

2018 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest

Winner – Crime/Detective

“He glanced at his unsuspecting guests, his slight smile hiding his hateful mood, his calm eyes hiding his evil intentions, and his smooth skin hiding his tensed muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs.” ~ Dave Agans, Wilton, NH

hotx-logo 200 - large



2 thoughts on “HoTXSinC September 9, 2018: Dr. Kim Rossmo on Geographic Profiling

  1. Yes, the Waller knife is actually the Parrish knife, put back into circulation with the thought it might become a “traveling” short story prize. I’ve inserted a photo of the knife, above.


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