Please help me welcome today’s guest, Roxanne Dunne…..
Free Range Killers
Bad things—sometimes very bad things—happen to good people. And killers do go free.
I once worked with an intelligent, fun-loving woman who was putting herself through grad school. She finished her degree and went to work for a large, well-known organization where she discovered what she believed to be an illegal diversion of funds into someone’s private pocket. Believing in justice with all her heart, she began to gather evidence. After receiving warnings to leave it alone, she contacted some of us, her old colleagues, to tell us what was going on. She wanted us to know in case something happened to her.
Someone broke into her home and stole the evidence she had amassed, and shortly afterward, she was murdered. Her killer has never been found.
This story simmers in the back of my mind. So far, I haven’t found the courage to write it.
The fact is, a lot of people get away with murder. To get an idea of how many, I searched the web, and on the DC.gov website, found closure rates for the Metropolitan Police Department. (https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/homicide-closure-rates) They posted a chart showing that in fourteen of sixteen years (2003 through 2018), somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of murderers got away. Their closure rate was above 80 percent in only two years.
How do they define closure? A suspect must have been arrested, charged, and turned over to the court for prosecution. Or, alternatively, a suspect must be identified, located, and with enough evidence to support prosecution, but unable to be prosecuted due to circumstances beyond the control of the law, such as death.
So, murderers who were tried and not convicted or who were unable to be prosecuted should be added to the 20 to 40 percent who got away. That’s a lot.
I think about the victims’ friends and families; how sad, impotent, and frustrated they feel.
So, why do I enjoy reading and writing murder mysteries?
In fiction, as writers, when we make bad things happen to our characters, we give them allies, resources, and strengths they never knew they had. We grant them endurance and courage to get up every morning and face whatever must be faced and not cave. Because of their goodness, justice triumphs. The bad guys get their what they deserve. Finally, when their tribulations are over, we give them happy endings.
And I go to bed at night believing that justice will prevail; knowing that most of the time, good things happen to good people.
Wow, Roxanne. Fascinating. I heard a little while back that nearly 40% of murders go unsolved, and I was shocked, but it’s true. So sorry about the woman who was murdered. Tragic. Thanks for being my guest today!
Heather Shelton has man problems: an unfaithful lover, a mysterious stranger, and a psychopathic killer.
Matt stopped. His mouth hung open for a few beats. “What are you doing here?”
The darkest parts of me, those that I kept stuffed way down inside surged to the surface. My face burned with indignation. I was Kate the Shrew at her best. “How dare you! You and your pretty little Live Like King Tut fable. You kiss me and tell me you liked it. You say you are my biggest fan. You pretend to bare your soul. You think I can’t figure out what’s going on? All you want is for me to believe that you’re a good guy, so you can leave me hanging out for a pack of wolves. So I can end up as dead as Mariella. Well, damn you all to hell!”
Slick as spit, Matt reached out and took my hands. “It’s not like that.”
I wrenched away. “Keep away from me, you – you Judas!”
and via my website: www.roxannedunn.com
Roxanne Dunn has studied writing in Paris and Seattle, and writes the galley column for Pacific Yachting magazine. Murder Unrehearsed is her first novel.
She is a physical therapist, a foodie, a fanatic about good chocolate, and a private pilot. She lived aboard an old wood motor yacht for seventeen years, and in her dreams, is a famous author, a pianist of renown, an acceptable water-color artist, and a globe-trotting yogini.