Saturday, November 3, 2012

From a Crime Writer’s Desk—The Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation

The first non-writing book on criminal investigation that I “broke my teeth” on was a huge book titled The Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation The first few editions of this book was written by Charles E. O’Hara. Eventually Gregory L. O’Hara updated the book up through the seventh edition. 

Technology may have changed over time, but this textbook—yes, textbook—is extremely useful in modern criminal investigation.  Ok, let me be straight with you, and I was lucky to have found this book in my early days—This book is the Criminal Investigator’s Bible! Do you want to know how criminal investigators investigate arson, rape, homicide, missing persons, or any other crime? Do you want to know how crime scenes are searched, documented, and so on? Do you want to know how interviews are conducted or how to do an interrogation? How is surveillance done? This book will walk you through it.

This book is written in an easy to understand outline format. It is the foundation of my Crime Writers Library.  It is out of print now and I have seen prices of over $50 for the 7th edition.  If you don’t own it, ask your library to see if they have it or if they can borrow it for you. You will not regret it—even if technology has changed, the art of Criminal Investigation hasn’t.

Thank you for reading and please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens. Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

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