Blog Profile / Jim Fisher True Crime

Filed Under:News / Crime
Posts on Regator:1649
Posts / Week:11
Archived Since:March 9, 2015

Blog Post Archive

Thornton P. Knowles On Pretentious Humor

The bartender at a writer's conference I spoke at in Morgantown, West Virginia wore a name tag that read, TRUMAN CAPOTE. In the spirit of the joke, I ordered an "In Cold Bloody Mary". The barkeep didn't even crack a smile. I guessed it wasn't a West Virginia kind of joke, then realized it was simply pretentious, professorial humor. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On Writing In The Correct Person And Point-Of-View

One of my students opened a story with: "Three months before my sudden death in my girlfriend's car, I went fishing on the Ohio River." Intrigued by this opening line, I asked the student if he intended using the wrong person and point-of-view in an experimental piece of fiction. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On Receiving a Bad Review

A writer for Kirkus, in reviewing one of my crime novels, said the book featured a cast of vile hillbillies in a trashy setting who said and did things to each other that would turn the stomach of a murder scene investigator. She wrote...Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The Elements Of Literary Style

A writer's literary style consists mainly of the words he uses and the order he puts them in. That's called, respectively, diction and syntax. In terms of word selection, a pompous or insecure writer will use "multiple" instead of "many";...Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The Writer Lured To Hollywood

In Rod Serling's play, Velvet Alley, a novelist in reflecting on being lured to Hollywood to write for the movies, says: "They give you a thousand dollars a week [1960s] until that's what you need to live on. And then every day you live after that, you're afraid they'll take it away from you. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The Mystery Of Advanced Math And Intellectual Superiority

For me, math is adding, subtracting, multiplying, fractions, and percentages. Beyond that, math is a mystery I was never able to solve. Maybe that's because I'm not smart enough to figure out the clues. I'll have to live with knowing there's a universe of knowledge out there beyond me. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On America As a Nation of "Heroes."

America is a nation of "heroes." There are tens of thousands of them. Television news readers and commentators often refer to all military personnel, law enforcement officers, and firefighters as heroes. There are, of course, true war heroes, brave cops, and heroic firefighters. Show More Summary

The Birth of Modern U. S. Policing

The major revolution in American police history occurred when the historic fears of a militaristic police force were replaced by concern over daytime disorder. It was not until the mid-1840s that Americans abandoned the constable-night-watch for a police department which emphasized preventative patrolling during the day as well as at night. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On B. Traven's Concept Of Anonymous Authorship

B. Traven, the pen name of the mysterious author of dozens of novels--notably, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre--believed that all books should be published anonymously. He based this belief on the notion that readers, by knowing in advance who the author is, will expect and demand a certain kind of book. Show More Summary

The Sudden and Strange Death of FBI Agent Stephen Ivens

At eight o'clock Monday evening, July 30, 2012, a pair of hikers walking in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains above Burbank, California came upon a foul odor. In the brush behind St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Church, they discovered the skeletal remains of a man. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On His Unfinished Short Story

I started a short story called Who's Afraid of Emily Post? The piece featured a protagonist who was obsessed with always saying the right thing. The poor fellow hanged himself after innocently asking an un-pregnant heavy woman when she was due. I couldn't finish it. Where do you go from there?Thornton P. Knowles

Thornton P. Knowles On Bringing Back The Insult, "Flannel Mouth"

When I was growing up, I heard my father use the term "Flannel Mouth" to describe someone he considered a bragging, loud-mouthed, BS artist. I liked the sound of this insult, and in my earliest writings, used the term a lot. "Flannel mouth" gradually fell out of use, and eventually became obsolete. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On Flunking Seventh Grade

I have the distinction of having flunked seventh grade in West Virginia. I hated school, and my cruel, dimwitted teacher, hated me. My distraught and embarrassed parents considered moving to another town, and, when referring to the family...Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On People Who Love Themselves

While "Know Thy Self" makes sense, I don't get "Love Thy Self." What kind of person can be deeply and hopelessly afflicted with self-love? As a self-loathing person, I can't comprehend how someone who knows himself can even like himself. Show More Summary

The Shot Heard Around the Golf Course

Jeff Fleming lived in a house adjacent to the 16th hole fairway on the Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno, Nevada. In September 2012, when a golfer hit a ball through one of Fleming's windows, the 53-year-old imposed a unique penalty on the wayward ball striker. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The American Worship Of Sports

In a town where I lived, a high school football coach who was in his 90s, died. His life story and historic achievements on the field dominated the local news for three days. He was a legend. One of his former players was quoted as saying that old Coach was now on the big gridiron in the sky. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On Posthumous Literary Glory

There is no worse fate for a writer than being rejected in life and loved after death. Posthumous literary glory is not for me. I have no interest in the literary judgments of future generations. I'd rather be recognized now and forgotten later. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The Crime Novelist Auggie J. Swisher

Auggie Swisher, after winning The Edgar Allan Poe Award for his thriller, Whackyshack, was asked by a New York Times reporter if he would now try his hand at serious fiction. I was standing next to Swisher when he took that question at the Mystery Writers of America's Annual Awards Banquet in New York. Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On Jacqueline Susann: The Illiterate Novelist With The Golden Touch And a Good Editor

Don Preston, the editor behind Jacqueline Susann's best-selling but numbingly vacuous novel, Valley of the Dolls, said this about the unedited manuscript and its author: "She is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling...Show More Summary

Thornton P. Knowles On The Slow Death Of American Humor

In 1937, Leo Rosten published a book called The Education of Hyman Kaplan. The novel chronicles the struggles of a group of recent immigrants trying to learn English. While funny and often touching, such a book today would not find a publisher. Show More Summary

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