Appleton's Coroner talked about her role as an elected public official. Often bodies are not recovered immediately, and decomposition requires her to become a biological sleuth. Her favorite clue? Maggots! Maggots inform the investigation team when and where the crime occurred. Fascinating, but not a topic you want to engage in around lunchtime!
The attendees were privy to high profile cases, the psychology behind the crime, and the killers capture. Mock murder scenes were set up to photograph and document. We had the opportunity to glove up and take blood swabs, learn about blood spatters and lividity. Some of the attendees were able to sign up for 'ride-alongs' and go on board an airplane to learn about terrorist attacks and what to do about belligerent passengers. We met the canine team for the Appleton Police department, and witnessed a mock bank robbery.
All in all, the conference was fascinating, and I feel better prepared to launch into my next series, "Borrowed Time". Meeting real undercover detectives, and FBI agents, give a writer great ideas! My crime scenes will reflect what I learned at WPA. I am excited to present complicated characters and gruesome details.