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Michael Thompkins
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Shrinking Fiction: Forensic Genealogy for Writers, Part 2

by Michael 11/15/2008 9:42:00 AM

First, let me state my mea culpa for being absent from the blog for the month of October. My gang of friends and I went to Cairo and Istanbul for most of the month. Email me if you want to see the pictures on www.flickr and I will send you the password.  This month I am riding with a lot of different police officer/friends so there will be new installments of Badges. To start up again, here's Forensic Geneaology for Writers, Part 2 all the way from Sharon Sergeant in Boston.

Michael,

 Any writer who has his eye on the high profile "Clark Rockefeller" case is faced with telling an even more complex story. Complexity that has already prompted first a 50 million dollar bail in Boston and "no bail" after an appeal: "Rockefeller's lies 'are literally so numerous and varied they are difficult to keep track of even with a database." http://www.boston.com/news/specials/rockefeller_abduction/

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says.'His attorney is saying we're just going to trap him into something,' Whitmore said, pointing out that the innocent cannot easily be 'tricked' into murder charges." http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/mystery In the meantime, the question of how dangerous "Clark Rockefeller" may or may not be has been the subject of public conjecture for months: http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view.bg?articleid=1122374

Whatever the courts decide, I will be illustrating forensic genealogy methods with this case in a professional development program at Boston University this winter. A budding local writer is thinking about taking the course. An experienced author commissioned research for a new book proposal - an insurance policy for a non-fiction analysis of a lineage society with a political agenda.

When I present forensic genealogy fraud exposures, the question that comes up time and again is "How could this person do this and get away with it?" While I certainly cannot get inside the head of a fraud, there is a discernible congruity to such people, repeated patterns in the modus operandi that is common to many frauds. Writers who want to create characters that are compelling, if not exactly fathomable, should think about this power of the fraudulent person for self-absorption and manipulation of other people.

Sharon


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.