Tuesday Trigger: Alone in a Car

Police find a woman dead and alone in her car on Monday and a man slumped over dead in his car on Friday. Related? Coincidence? In fiction, this would never be a coincidence. So this week’s writing prompt is to link these two stories. How are this man and woman related and how did they die?

DESERT HOT SPRINGS — A woman was found dead Monday in the passenger seat of a vehicle in Desert Hot Springs, and police are looking for anyone who saw her earlier in the day.

Valerie Joyce Joseph, 65, of Palm Springs died in the parking lot of Arco and ampm, 12-775 Palm Drive, according to police and the Riverside County coroner’s office. She was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m. Monday.

Police deemed her death suspicious because she was found in the vehicle’s passenger seat, Cmdr. Kate Singer said.

Read the whole thing here.


On Friday, May 25, 2012, at 8:18 p.m., officers from the Coachella Police Department responded to a suspicious circumstances call regarding a male slumped behind the wheel of a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Orchard Street in Coachella. Upon arrival, officers located a male adult deceased in the vehicle. Thermal Station investigators responded and assumed the investigation. At this time the investigation is being treated as a suspicious death.

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday Trigger: Saved by Animals

The best heroes don’t look anything like Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. In fact some of the most amazing acts of heroism have been performed by animals. Who would you want to save you? Create an unexpected animal hero .

Maggie Mae started with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1999 at eight weeks old. She was the first Bloodhound hired in the department. Maggie led the path of the full time Bloodhound unit which recently received the Medal of Valor. Maggie received several awards and accolades such as the Officer of the Year in Moreno Valley, Distinguished Service Medal, AKC top tracking police dog for two years in a row, and the Hero’s Award. Maggie was also featured in Dog Fancy magazine for her tracking abilities and an episode of Dog Planet.

Maggie worked hundreds of cases in the search of missing children, Alzheimer patients, and outstanding suspects. Maggie was proven as “reliable evidence” in a death penalty homicide case in Riverside when she tracked and identified the suspect. She also worked the Samantha Runnion and Danielle Van Damm kidnappings.

Read the whole press release here.


Tuesday Trigger: Build Your Own Bank Robber

Even bank robbers need a hook… at least the FBI and Hollywood seem to think so. Dead Presidents, Barefoot Bank Robbers and Snowboarder Bandits… What would your bank robber’s schtick be? And more importantly, what are his/her motivations?

PALM SPRINGS — The so-called Snowboarder Bandit wanted for 10 Orange County heists was linked Tuesday to a bank holdup in Palm Springs.


The bandit, who is one of the FBI’s most-wanted Southern California bank robbers, is suspected of holding up a BBVA Compass branch at 420 S. Palm Canyon Drive last Friday, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.


After reviewing surveillance footage, investigators on Tuesday determined it was the Snowboarder Bandit, said FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking, who said it’s believed to be the first time the suspect has ventured out of Orange County to commit a heist. RTWT

Tuesday Trigger: When He Grows Up

A weekly writing prompt based on true stories of crime, twists of fate, humanity and oddity in the desert.

Characters are a tricky blend of past and temperament, just like real people. Which leads me to this week’s writing prompt. Who will this little boy grow up to be?

300-500 words by Saturday.

BANNING, Calif. (KTLA) — Authorities are searching for suspects after a 2-year-old boy was found bound and gagged at the scene of a triple homicide in Banning.

Three victims — Demetrius Hunt, 42, Natasha Biggers, 33, and Yvonne Ward, 57 — were discovered at around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at a home on the corner of Phillips and Williams streets, police said. Hunt and Biggers were the boys’ parents, police added.

The boy was initially thought to be missing, and officers searched the house for him to no avail. RTWT Here.

Tuesday Trigger: One of Those Days

Sometimes the way your day starts is the way it’s going to continue… or you get the bad luck out of the way and win the lottery. It’s never an average day when you blow up your truck… so what happens next?

300-500 words by Saturday.

Investigation revealed a family of four, including two children, had stopped in the drive-through at McDonald’s and the driver heard a hissing sound coming from one of two propane tanks in the bed of the truck. He put the truck in park and walked to the rear of the truck to check the tank. When he moved one of the tanks, it exploded, causing the other tank to explode as well. The blast caused the roof of the truck to buckle and the tailgate to blow off, striking a vehicle behind it. The ensuing fire engulfed the truck, scorched part of the drive-through, and damaged the roof of the restaurant. RTWT here

Tuesday Triggers: Goldilocks Gets Naked

I had a crazy idea while I was writing my morning pages. I was thinking about using my blog for personal accountability for my writing, for sharing good information I stumble on and also for getting myself to write. I’ve been doing some crime reporting which means I have a close ear to the crimes that are happening in the Inland Empire, most especially the desert cities that are closest to home. I had been thinking that I should use the strange, funny, heart-breaking, startling and thought-provoking tidbits that I stumble on for writing prompts. Then this morning I got to thinking… why not share? So here we are at your first installment of the Tuesday Trigger.

You’ll get 300-500 words from me by Saturday. 300 is better– it’s harder. They may suck, but they’ll get written. It sure would be nice not to do this alone… Your stories in the comments would be most welcome.  I give you your first offering: Goldilocks Gets Naked:

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — Police say a naked burglar has been arrested while taking a shower after he sipped champagne and ate a meal in a Southern California family’s home. Click through to RTWT

Why? Who is he? Where did he come from? What must that steak have tasted like to him? Insert your own question here. It doesn’t have to read like Law&Order. What if it were a Steam Punk universe, a dystopian, a YA, a romance?

What to write… what to write…?