Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winners of Year's Subscription to CrimeSpree

Jon and Ruth Jordan were so very generous to give us two subscriptions to CrimeSpree to give away. Michelle and I know that it's a bother to fill out an evaluation. But...evaluations are incredibly important. Especially if you wish to repeat--and improve--an event.

So we asked if we could give away the gifts as "encouragement" for people to turn in evaluations.

The ploy worked! Many of our attendees responded. Thank you all for your input.

Our winners are:

Margaret Tessler


Luanne Whitbeck


Monday, November 12, 2007

Rave Reviews of Forensic University

They're saying we made Mystery History. To read more about the conference, check out these blogs:

Thank You for Making Mystery History

We appreciate the vision and leadership of Rochelle Krich and last year's board, Libby Fischer Hellmann for her enthusiasm early on, Beth Wasson for all her extra effort, Peggy Moody for her incredible responsiveness, Bonnie J. Cardone for stretching InSync deadlines to a nearly rubberized level, Lorraine Barlett for including us in the MySpace info, the financial wisdom of Kathy Wall, the support of Roberta Isleib, and our own fairy godmother SJ Rozan.

We could not have held this conference without our headliners. The early encouragement of Jan Burke and Dr. D.P. Lyle was critical. Jan and Eileen Dreyer were our speaker co-ordinators and did so many jobs that we could fill the entire program with lists of their help. Suffice it to say, they are truly the STARS of this event. We also thank Lee Lofland who tirelessly promoted the conference online and lent us his able expertise. And again, Dr. D. P. Lyle pulled us out of the fire by offering to teach so many classes that we have decided to appoint him Dean of Forensic University.

Most importantly, without the friendship and support of the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, this conference could not have been held. We are a small, but tight-knit group, the truest embodiment of the “little chapter that could.” Our sisters and misters have an unfailing attitude of “okay, let’s make it happen.” When our spirits flagged, they picked up the banner and ran forward. Michelle and I both owe all of you, our local members, more gratitude than two hearts can hold.

In particular we wish to single out:

Hotel co-ordinator and numbers guy—Tony Hooper
Bull’s Eye Shooting Gallery gurus—Paul Schmidt & Will Bereswill
CLP Foundation auction co-ordinator, chapter treasurer, and sage counselor—Mary Lou Merkel
Concierge and social chair—Donna Ross
Scout for auction items—Jaime Freveletti
Queen of Handouts and wise friend—Linda Hengerer
Program, website and graphics genius—Kelly Hackel
Rounder-up of speaker info—Claire Applewhite
National website help—Peggy Moody
10. Help with room monitors—Judy Moresi
11. On-site bookstore—Vicki Erwin and Janet Heyer
12. Eileen Dreyer’s son, Kevin Dreyer, our DJ
13. All the people who distributed flyers or information to help us with promotion of the event: Candy Calvert, Jamie Freveletti, Linda Hengerer, Silvia Foti, Mark Combes, Todd Stone, Jim Huang, chapter presidents throughout the Midwest
13. Gloria Bratkowski, Alexa Hull, and Angie Fox—our special team
14. Main Street Books of St. Charles–Sponsor of our book bags
15. Our families—David Slan, Tom Moresi, Tom Applewhite and Bob Hohmeier (who makes a great corpse!) and our children Holly, Amanda and Michael (who were pretty understanding….)

And all our other helpers and faculty:
Det. Joe Burgoon
Nancy Cadenhead
Dr. Mary Case
Larry and Kimberly Elliott, Paul Schmidt
Mary Fran Ernst
Dr. Robert Hall
Gwen Haugen
Christina Kinney
Lt. Kevin Lawson
Rick McMahan
Judge Donald Shelton (and his wonderful assistant Chris Tate)
Sgt. Steve Sorocko
Officer Pete St. James

To our Room Monitors:
Judy Moresi
Fedora Amis
Mary Burton
Pat Roy
Wil Emerson
Wil Bereswill
Helen Schwartz
Lea Wait
Tony Hooper
Mary Lou Merkel
Claire Applewhite
Linda Hengerer and Angie Fox.

We know we’ve left someone out. That always happens. Please know it’s no reflection on how much you helped…but it is a function of us being tired!

Thanks to you all!

Joanna Campbell Slan and Michelle A. Becker

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Auction Items!

New Auction Items!

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives Batch #1: Sampler set of Kentucky’s premier small batch bourbon, ATF shot glass to go with the whiskey, a Dominican cigar, Jane’s Guide to Firearms, a current issue of Handguns magazine, an autographed copy of Field Of Fire by James O. Born, an ATF patch and an ATF portfolio; donated by Rick McMahan, Jim Born, and ATF Louisville Field Division

ATF Batch #2: Under and Alone, and Armed and Dangerous, signed and donated by Billy Queen; Teasing Secrets from the Dead autographed by Dr. Emily Craig, ATF Coffee mug, Starbucks coffee, ATF notebook and patch; donated by Dr. Emily Craig, Rick McMahan, Billy Queen and ATF Louisville Field Division.

Scrapbook Supplies: Album, Archival Paper and Embellishments, plus Scrapbook Storytelling, One Minute Journaling, Quick & Easy Pages, and The Best of British Scrapbooking plus a coupon to be redeemed next fall for an autographed copy of Paper, Scissors, Dead: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking Mystery; donated by Joanna Campbell Slan

Monday, October 15, 2007

Auction Additions--You Must Come to the Dinner to Bid!

Auction items continue to pour in. Please note, you must be present at the Muddy Brew-Ha-Ha Dinner to bid on these items. (Send your ticket money to Mary Lou Merkel, 12729 Markaire Drive, St. Louis MO 63146 Remember it's $40 per person and you do NOT have to be a conference attendee to come to the dinner and auction on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2007 at the Hilton St. Louis Airport. Yes, it's a sit-down meal, plus a deejay will be spinning tunes in case you want to dance.)

Here's what we've received recently:

An ARC of Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris, and an outdoor garden tool set with canvas tool bag; donated by Rosemary Harris

Hardback of Chicago Blues, A New Collection of Crime Stories about the Real Windy City, signed by nine of the authors. Includes a special DVD with interviews by many of the authors and a music video of Chicago as seen through the eyes of the "Blues”; donated by Libby Hellmann

We have a lot more promised items, and we'll update this blog as they come in. Looks to me like I'll be doing ALL my holiday shopping at the CLP Foundation auction. It will be nice to know my money will benefit crime labs around the country. (That is, assuming I can bid high enough to win some of this remarkable bounty.)

See you in St. Louis!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reminder and New Class--Rape Avoidance


Just a reminder...on Monday the prices for Sisters in Crime's Forensic University, Nov. 1 through 4, at the Hilton St. Louis Airport, go up $50.

So, if you are planning to attend, please be sure to get your registration in before the end of the day!

The price schedule is below:

$250 (before 10/15/07) SinC member
$290 (before 10/15/07) Non-member
$300 (after 10/15/07) SinC member
$350 (after 10/15/07) Non-member
To register go to:

We've added two RAD sessions to the conference. Check it out--

Rape/Aggression Defense Training (RAD)

This will be a sample of a longer program, focusing on escape techniques and safety awareness. As most of you know, you should NEVER allow an assailant to get you into a car and take you to a secondary location. So, how do you avoid being forced into a vehicle or behind a building or into a secluded area? Executive Defense Technologies will share with you indicators of danger and some specific techniques for escape. These techniques are especially useful for your characters—but even more importantly, the skills you learn in this mini-workshop may SAVE YOUR LIFE. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes if you wish to participate. The Elliotts have 17-years experience in law enforcement, and this training is part of a nationally accredited program. The Elliotts will also have with them a variety of safety equipment you can purchase.

Thanks! And if you have any questions, email us at

Joanna Campbell Slan

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Auction Items for Crime Lab Project Foundation--A Muddy Brew Ha-Ha

(Updated as of September 27, 2007--More to Come!)
A crime in scene in miniature (dollhouse size) from Margaret Grace, aka Camille Minichino, with carrying case.

Law and Order script autographed by the cast with signed photograph of cast, and Law & Order baseball cap; donated by Rene Balcer.

Brick from Edgar Allan Poe's last known residence in Greenwich Village (with authentication papers); donated by Meg Chittenden

Crystal bracelet, shades of blue, with magnetic clasp; donated by Michelle Becker

"Laced," signed by Carol Higgins Clark and Main Street Books tote bag; donated by Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO.

Handcrafted bracelet by P. Tierney Designs with mystery-related charms including miniature book cover reproductions of classics such as The Maltese Falcon, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and others, plus poison bottle, evidence tag, etc.; donated by Joanna Campbell Slan

1858 Steel engraving, framed, by artist Henry Winkles from The Iconographic Encyclopedia, courtesy of MAH Antiques, and autographed hardback book, "Shadows at the Spring Show" by Lea Wait; donated by Lea Wait.

"Conch Shell Murder" and "Pier Pressure" by Dorothy Francis, autographed, trade paperbacks; donated by Dorothy Francis.

"Ms. Longshot" and "Pull of the Moon" by Sylvie Kurtz, autographed, mass market paperbacks; donated by Sylvie Kurtz.

"Fairway to Heaven," "Final Fore," and "Deadly Advice," by Roberta Isleib, mass market paperbacks, autographed; donated by Roberta Islieb.

"Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel" by Hallie Ephron, autographed, hardback; donated by Hallie Ephron.

"Murder with Reservations" by Elaine Viets, autographed, hardback; donated by Elaine Viets.

“Don’t Murder Your Mystery” by Chris Roerden, autographed; donated by Chris Roerden

Basket of books including “On the Ropes: A Duffy Dombrowski Mystery” by Tom Schreck; “The Last Secret: A Cotton Stone Mystery” by Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore, “Murder at the Universe: A Five-Star Mystery” by Daniel Edward Craig; “The Devil’s Pitchfork: A Derek Stillwater Novel” by Mark Terry; “Stealing the Dragon: A Cape Weathers Investigation” by Tim Maleeny; donated by Midnight Ink.

"Yesterday's Fatal" by Jan Brogan, autographed, hardback; donated by Jan Brogan.

Jack Reacher toothbrushes; donated by Lee Child.

Mystery Writer's Resource Basket includes books about forensics and mystery writing plus consultation with George Schiro, Consulting Forensic Scientist at Forensic Science Resources, as well as cost of shipping the basket; donated by Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime and George Schiro.