Death of Anyone

Romance Lives Forever welcomes DJ Swykert to the blog.
Here’s his article about writing The Death of Anyone.
The underlying theme in my latest
book, The Death of Anyone, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify
the means? I developed this story around an impulsive homicide detective, Bonnie
Benham, who wants to use Familial DNA, a search technique not in common use in the
United States.
Only two states even have a written policy regarding its use, Colorado
and California.
Bonnie is a no nonsense cop who describes
herself as a blond with a badge and a gun. She has her own answer to the ethical
use of Familial DNA, but the actual legality of its use will be determined in a
real life courtroom in the California
trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper.
Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper,
was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime
scenes in the database. Investigating Franklin’s
son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence
that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after
his arrest. Lonnie Franklin will be the first person in the U.S. to ever stand
trial based on Familial DNA evidence, and its admissibility issues in court will
be thoroughly tested by defense attorneys. These are the very same issues that face
Detroit Homicide Detective Bonnie Benham and form the plot of my story.
I’m a blue collar person from Detroit. I’ve worked as a truck
driver, dispatcher, logistics analyst, operations manager, and ten years as a 911
operator, which was the very best job of them all. I have a pretty straight forward
style of telling a story. I write a book like you’d watch a movie and put it down
on paper.
Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has
been transferred from narcotics to homicide for using more than arresting and is
working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from
the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims.
But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes
a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores
the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify
the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol
problems understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable
as they track this killer of children.
I first heard about the use of Familial
DNA working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with officers
working a case. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a
book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department.
I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010
when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest
all the information pouring out of L.A.
regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which
are explored in The Death of Anyone.
DJ Swykert

About the Author

DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator. His work has appeared in
The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors& Spackle,
Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, a novel
from Cambridge
Books; Alpha Wolves, a novel from Noble Publishing, and The Death
of Anyone is his third novel, just released by Melange Books. You can find out more
about him and how to buy his books on the blogspot:, they
are also available at Melange Books, Amazon and at select mystery bookstores. He
is a wolf expert.
Buy links

Previous Books

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington (also titled as The Place Between.)
(I Live in Two Worlds)
Children of the Enemy

Find Me Here