Blood Spatter, Latex, and Richard Goodship

“I could never be a forensic investigator, I’d toss my cookies and contaminate the crime scene.”

“That’s why we don’t eat them.”

That’s not a line from Richard Goodship’s novel, The Camera Guy. It’s a conversation we had over twitter, where I met Richard.

Richard Goodship served Queen and Country for over 26 years, the last 22 years as a Forensic Investigator.  Richard’s last 5 years before retiring were spent working out of the Office of the Attorney General.  Richard now, spends his time writing, having completed 3 novels, and taking pictures of living things.
I’ve always been fascinated with forensics and crime and I’m sure that’s why I write it. So when I discovered what Richard had done for a living, I had to invite him over to share a little about what he used to do. And when I have a question about evidence, I’ve got a new friend to go to. (another plug at why you should twitter)
Richard, you wrote the novel, The Camera Guy. By the way, everyone, it is not an inspy book. Tell us why you wrote it.
The Camera Guy is one of the nicknames given to those who work in the Forensic section. The book was to say the least ‘cathartic’ for me.  Gave me a chance to lay some old ghosts to rest.
Intriguing. Share with us your job description, while working for Queen and Country. Love that.

During my time in Forensics I became an Arson Investigator, Bomb Tech (E.O.D.), Post Blast Tech, fingerprint examiner, firearms reconstructionist, Expert Photographer/Videographer and led several skeletal retrievals (Forensic Archeology) 
Come on, people, you know that’s fascinating. Ok, pretend you’ve arrived on the crime scene. Show us how it would all go down once you started working.
>first priority upon arriving at a scene is to ensure scene has been secured
>Determine who has entered the scene and why
>Begin a photographic and video documentation of the scene prior to entering
>Determine a path into the scene that will be least damaging to possible evidence. (contamination)
>Photograph and video all evidence found at the scene prior to any handling or examinations
>Determine what is evidence and what is not. (we don’t ‘hoover’ a scene) but if in doubt, collect it
>cursory examination of a body if present. Extensive photography and video at this point..
>Determine what the scene is. Break and Enter with a Homicide, Suicide, Sexual Assault, etc…
>Label evidence and again photograph and video it prior to collection
>collect the evidence properly, ie some evidence requires paper bags, cardboard boxes, plastic evidence bags, vinyl bags etc…
>once the evidence for the scene is collected, then the body can be removed.
>photograph and video the area under the body. Examine the side of the body not visible during initial examination
>Ensure body is escorted and secured at the morgue
>Secure warrants for post mortem exam and burial from Coroner. (In Canada the Coroner relies on the expertise of the Forensic Investigator to determine if a post mortem exam is necessary. In Canada all sudden deaths are treated as a homicide until otherwise proven and will require the post mortem)
>Copious notes are to be taken during all stages of the scene and body examinations
>The Forensic Investigator will then allow the detectives onto the scene and given a ‘walk through’ and confer regarding what took place at the scene.
If you write suspense, crime mysteries, or thrillers, you should be taking notes! Richard, will we see any grizzly scenes that mirror some of your past experiences?
The Camera Guy does contain scenes that I’ve investigated. I have made some changes for moral reasons and to help fit into the story.
Let’s talk about “the perfect crime.” Is there one? Can it be done? Give us your expert opinion.
There is no such thing as ‘the perfect crime’.  All Forensic Investigators live and work by the philosophy that all contact leaves a trace.  When you handle something, you leave something of you behind and take with you something from the object/scene/body.  Some crimes may take years to solve but only because the person doing the crime may not have a prior record or the technology isn’t available at present to detect the evidence.  This last is fast becoming a thing of the past. (lets not reference CSI please)
LOL! Ok, no CSI references, that show went to pot after William Peterson left anyway. Alright, enough expertise talk, what do you do for fun?
I ride horses, spend time with my daughter and take pictures and write.  Travel has always been a love of mine as well.
I love traveling as well. I can’t ride horses anymore. Scary story. Save it for another blog!
If you’d like to connect with Richard, here’s how:
@RGoodship on twitter and facebook 
You can purchase his book on Amazon
Here’s a peek at The Camera Guy:
“Life was not easy for Forensic Investigator Bill Walters. His ability to see the spirits of the victims at his crime scenes gave him an edge, but it kept him isolated from his fellow Officers and gave him the reputation of being a ‘Nutbar’ on the force.
Bill could live with this. He could even live with the family of ghosts that haunted his apartment, the loss of his friends and religion and the estrangement of his daughter, Eryn.
What Bill couldn’t live with was the Demon that came to town hungry for those spirits.

And his own.”

Question from Richard:                                                                                      
If Identical twins have identical DNA, why don’t they have identical fingerprints?
Good question. Dang! I don’t know the answer. Thanks for coming by today, Richard. It was fascinating and fun. Side note* The cover of your book creeps me out!

29 thoughts on “Blood Spatter, Latex, and Richard Goodship

  1. Great post! Forensics is a fascinating field with so many different categories.

    I'm a huge fan of NCIS and Abby, their forensic scientist, is able to solve some of the toughest crimes–along with the scriptwriter's help, of course. 🙂

    Loved the cookies comment. And, Jess, I agree–creepy cover. 🙂

  2. What a wealth of knowledge Richard has! THis post gave me flashbacks of all the great shows hubby and I enjoy watching. There's a flood of investigative shows on now, many forensic. Enjoy them all!

  3. I LOVE this stuff. Eat it up. Hopefully not to toss it up later.

    Hmm…why do twins not have identical fingerprints?..I do hope you are going to give us the answer! 🙂

    By the way, I awarded you the Leibster Award today on my blog! 🙂 You deserve it!

  4. What a fun interview – fascinating stuff. I don't watch much crime-show TV, but I love suspense/thrillers/mysteries which incorporate forensics. Absolute favorite part of the post – your Twitter convo. Hilarious!

  5. Okay, that was fascinating! I will definitely be connecting with Richard. If we can't reference CSI, can I just tell you someone recently broke my heart when they told me that citizens can no longer tour the FBI lab. I learned quite a bit on that tour. Thanks Richard and Jessica.

  6. Hi Lisa.
    I guess the cover is a bit creepy. You're not the first to make that comment. But like it says in the story, "Camera Guys give me the creeps" so I thought it appropriate. lol.

  7. Thank you Eileen. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Jess is a great interviewer.

  8. Hi Melissa! lol, lots of fun on Twitter. I've only been on for about a month and a half and met the greatest people on there. Glad you enjoyed the interview. 🙂

  9. Hi Heather. Its too bad that civilans cant do the walk through at the FBI lab anymore. It is agreat tour. I think what with all the terrorism and stuff they probably had to ensure that security was kept tight. The Canadian forensic labs are still open to school tours (at least they were last year) but that might change too.
    Looking forward to tweeting with you.

  10. Hi Sheri. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and I certainly hope you dont toss anything up if you read the book. lol. I have to admit though I couldnt eat chicken or fish for sometime after my first autopsy.
    I'll post the answer to my question later today.

  11. That was fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I write sweet romances – so there aren't a lot of crime scenes. 🙂 Maybe someday.

  12. Hi Julie. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. There isnt a lot of romance in The Camera Guy. lol. Some, but alas it's not to be.

  13. I love forensics! :)The blood is so fascinating and the story behind it intriguing. Too bad someone has to die though … (wow, that sounds calloused).

  14. Not calloused at all Jaime. You sound like you've got the sense of humour needed to survive in forensics. lol. but forensics isnt only about death. fornsics is the application of science to criminal matters so that includes a host of things from frauds, break and enters, sexual assaults to car accidents.
    Thanks for stopping by. Come back later for the answer to the "Twins" question.

  15. Richard, so cool that you are here to comment! Wow, completely unexpected. 🙂
    During my paramedic training, some ME's came in and taught us how to approach a possible crime scene. It was really fascinating and even though that was over 10 years ago, I remember it to this day.

    Oh and I have to agree with Jessica – the cover of your book is creepy, but I think that adds all the more to the intrigue of it 🙂 Can't wait to read it!

  16. Just bought the book on Kindle… might have to move it to the top of my TBR pile 🙂

  17. Yes, very important for paramedics to know. They are usually there ahead if not at the same time as patrol officers. I made the cover to include the aspects of the story. The main characters' conflict and final resolution with his church and the skull for the demon.
    Thank you for buying it! That's great. I hope you enjoy it.

  18. Richard, thanks so much for coming by! Everyone has had a great time. 🙂

    Now…when are you going to answer the question, I'm dying here!

  19. It's over? Awww. lol. I had a great time Jessica. The answer to the question "If identical twins have identical DNA why dont they have identical fingerprints" is: fingerprints are formed during the fetel stages of life. The ridges actually grow from the dermis layer of the skin and are independant of DNA. Mother nature never repeats herself. An identical twin may have 'similar' classification characteristics but nothing more. The individual ridge characteristics will be as different as you and I would be.

    Looking forward to seeing you and the others on Twitter.


  20. Jessica usually gets comments added to her posts for days. She just couldn't wait any longer for the answer to your question, ha! 🙂

    Makes sense though. I knew the DNA part being pretty much the same, but never gave any thought to fingerprints.

  21. Great post! I love forensics and crime as you know, and it's awesome to hear firsthand information from a pro. Television and movies make the process look easy, and it's anything but. Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Thank you for the comment Stacy. I consult on movie sets regarding procedures and it is very different from real life. They need it to be very 'visual' and are more concerned with how it transcribes onto the screen. See you in the Twitterverse. lol

  23. Jessica, great interview and a fascinating mind to plumb. Ah, the stories Richard could tell us… And Richard, thanks for sharing your background and experience with us. This kind of real, first-hand knowledge simply can't be faked. We know what's in your book is the real deal!

  24. Aww thanks Jen. The story line itself is fiction, but the forensics is real and the scenes although changed some are ones i investigated over the years

  25. Great to "meet" you, Richard. Thanks for opening your brain for us to pick. =) Jess, thanks for the wonderful introduction! I might have to have a crime scene in my next book just so I can use this info. Now I'm off to "follow" on twitter.

    Have a great week!

  26. Wow, this is all the stuff I like reading in crime novels or watching on TV dramas such as Criminal MInds. So clever and fills in all the gaps of the clues. Great stuff.

  27. Great to meet you too Michelle. Glad you found the interview helpful. looking forward to seeing you on twitter. if you have any questions about scenes or procedures, i'm always happy to answer. See you in the twitterverse. 🙂

  28. Hi D.U.
    Glad you enjoyed the interview. it was a lot of fun.

  29. Great post! Thanks for interviewing Richard. 🙂


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