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Speaker – Jim Thomson, 17th April, 2013



Law & Order
A policewoman spots a man driving and knitting at the same time.
Driving up beside him, the policewoman shouts out the window. “Pull over!”
“No,” the man shouts back, “a pair of socks!”
Taking my seat with the memory of my nephew’s (9)  innocent joke playing
in my mind, making me smile, my thoughts drifted back to the last time
when I heard retired Superintendent Thompson speak . Then he gifted a gem : how to remove, without forensic detection, your victim’s blood from a
knife. More later on what you need.
Consequently, much was expected of Jim Thompson. Gratifyingly, he did not
disappoint. He provided a rip roaring ride for all writers present. He
asked at the outset if there were any questions and for the next 1 1/2
hours he had he had to push past a hail of requests. Page after page of
notebooks were filled.
He brings to the table a wealth of experience, introducing us to the
lexicon of police argot and giving us an insiders’ view while discreetly
alluding to some trade secrets. He told us about the colourful sobriquets
of both police officers and criminals. I will cross the road if gun
totting ‘Basil’ (daft as a brush) is heading my way. He granted us a
quick glance through the window of the criminal mind’s modus operandi.
His talk was an amusing and informing tour de force on police
procedure, old cases he had investigated that included serial killings,
drug gang warfare and domestic stabbings. One crime was colloquially
called the Golf Club Case because the victim had 18 stab holes in his
chest. Jim touched upon the Lockerbie tragedy, the work of Interpol and
the challenges presented by social media.
Jim’s generosity and altruism is a credit to Strathclyde Police.
Researching a subject always pays dividends and any crime writer would
have mined a rich seam on Wednesday.
The AWC was founded in 1971 and is probably the largest writers’ group in Scotland with over 50 members, many of whom are published. In March 13, at national level, they swept the board by winning prize after prize. On Wednesday, the renowned crime writer Caro Ramsay (www.caroramsay.co.uk) was an audience guest.  Every week new faces arrive to a warm welcome. If you are interested in creative writing and want to breathe the same oxygen as talented people or you just want a good laugh, then there a seat at the Writers’ Club with your name on it.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot, what you need if your victim’s blood is on a
knife. The acid from cutting up an onion will remove all trace of the
blood, but what you NEED is a brilliant lawyer.

PW

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