A Writer’s Resource: Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

A Writer’s Resource: Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community talks about this forum, how it is primarily aimed at wanna-be detectives, and why you, if you write crime fiction, might want to belong to it, too.

I’m always on the lookout for resources for writers, particularly writers of crime and ghost stories, two of my interests and topics that I’m including in the plot of my novel.

I think I may have stumbled on an amazing resource for crime writers. Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community is a forum primarily aimed at wanna-be detectives, but a great many writers also belong to this forum.

This community consists of 236,987 threads, 11,494,742 posts, and 89,542 members. First time visitors are advised to read the FAQs and may have to register on the forum before posting.

The forum is then broken down as follows:
Forum Information
This includes the rules of the forum, a list of verified professionals and insider members of the forum, details of registration, membership and forum features, and notes about the technical aspects of the forum.

Spotlight Forum
This includes news about the websleuths documentary series, their Facebook page postings, public polls, calls to action and the True Crime radio show.

Current Events
This includes several non-crime focused topics including off-beat news and news to make you smile which is a welcome distraction after reading some of the other serious ongoing discussions on the site.

Discussions in this sub forum include resources and support to help locate missing persons, details of missing persons and located persons who haven’t been identified, cold cases and new cases.

Crimes in the news, crimes against children, cold cases, bullys and stalkers, serial killers and mass killings and terrorist crimes are discussed here.

Trials, past, present and future (awaiting trial) and sentencing news is discussed here.

Specific Case Forums
Cases where someone hasn’t been found guilty such as in the murders of Caylee Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey, and other cases that are ongoing or hold fascination with the public are discussed in this sub forum.

Resource Center
International crimes discussed in the forum are listed by country a link to national and international databases and resources linking to missing and unidentified persons.

How Writers Can Use This Resource

The big question is, of course, how can writers take advantage of this forum?

  1. Familiarize yourself with crime solving techniques used in the various crimes discussed in the forum.
  2. Take note of any forensic procedures mentioned.
  3. Pay attention to court proceedings that may be documented in this forum and the links accessible from it.
  4. Use the opportunity to potentially network with other members of this community. Connect with criminologists, search and rescue professionals, health care workers, lawyers, doctors, psychologists and journalists.
  5. Get involved and help solve a real crime. How great would that be to be able to promote your next crime novel by saying that you helped identify Jack the Ripper!

Do remember, however, that this forum is about real crimes affecting real people. Be respectful of that.

So what do you think? Does Websleuths sound like something you’re interested in and will it help you write your novel?

Photo credit: Pixabay

5 Sites for Crime Writers

5 Sites for Crime Writers offers five websites containing links and resources for crime writers.

Last week I wrote about how to find story ideas from real life incidents. Today I’d like to share some crime and law enforcement sites with you.

If you’re writing a story that involves a crime, criminals and/or police procedure and you don’t have a reliable contact willing to answer your questions, and attention to details is something important to you (it should be), then the five sites below may be helpful to you:

  1. Law Enforcement Resources
  2. Officer.com
  3. Crime Spider
  4. National Archive for Criminal Justice Data
  5. The Writers’ Forensics Blog

These sites offer a wide variety of resources including an Ask a Cop forum, unsolved crimes, how to get a job as a police officer and much much more. But I’ll warn you, there’s so many interesting links in these sites that you could spend a lot of time roaming around them and completely lose track of time.

Photo credit: Serge Bertasius Photography | Free Digital Photos