Sunday, August 16, 2009

R.I.P., Dale Hudson

Body of writer positively identified
We received very sad news today about fellow true crime author Dale Hudson, missing since Wednesday, Aug. 13. A body found near Hudson's abandoned car, left in a wooded area in Marion County, South Carolina, has been identified by the Horry County coroner's office as Dale's. The body was found in the Pee Dee River. The cause of death was pending toxicology tests. The Sun News reported that foul play has been ruled out.
After Hudson's car was located last Friday, detectives with the Horry County Police Department's violent crimes unit and crime scene investigators went to the scene where his car was found and began investigating the case.
According to CarolineLive news, a father and son fishing along the Pee Dee River about two miles south of the U.S. Highway 76 bridge discovered the body in the water about 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15. 
It's ironic -- and at the same time eerie -- that Hudson's last whereabouts has become a crime scene. Detectives looking into Hudson's disappearance all no doubt had met him personally over the years as Hudson conducted his own investigations into various cases. The Sun News, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, reported that Hudson, who was 56, "has profiled some of the area’s most infamous homicides."

It's true. Hudson was the author of Dance of Death, the story of Kimberly Renee Poole, a North Carolina woman who was convicted of getting her boyfriend, John Frazier, to shoot her husband in 1998 while the couple walked on the beach in celebration of their third wedding anniversary.

Hudson also wrote Die, Grandpa, Die about Christopher Pittman, a 12-year-old boy convicted of murdering his grandparents in 2001.  His last two books, released in 2007 and 2008, include All I Want To Do is Kill about the Holly Harvey case where she and boyfriend killed her grandparents because they ordered her to stop seeing him. The second was Kiss and Kill, about Rick Pulley, a highly a youth pastor and music director at his River of Life Church in Virginia, and the mysterious disappearance of his wife.

Hudson authored two more books with writer Billy Hills. They were An Hour To Kill, about the 1991 rape and murder of a Conway teenager Crystal Todd, considered at the time Horry County's most gruesome crime, and A Reason To Live, the story of Pawleys Island resident Wanda Summers, who survived the killing spree of two men in February 1979.

Hudson was a member of a true-crime online forum, of which I'm a member, but he had not been active since 2007. I never met him, but I feel like I knew him. We were, after all, fellow crime sleuths.

Rest in peace, William Dale Hudson. You and your investigative work will be missed.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More Ink: Blogger Outs Fictional Twitter Lawyers

Reprinted from ABAJournal

True crime author Cathy Scott solved her own mystery when she investigated two tweeting lawyers from the law firm "Bitcher & Prickman."
Lawyers "Beatrice Bitcher" and "Richard Prickman" may have raised some eyebrows in their posts on Twitter, but nothing they said was “exceedingly outrageous,” according to Legal Blog Watch. There was this post, for example, from Bitcher: "I'm giving Edward, an associate, choice. 1. Work on brief all weekend. 2. Be my weekend servant. He's thinking."
Scott noticed that some commenters, including some lawyers, took the posts seriously. But Scott became suspicious and checked out the Bitcher & Prickman law firm. She learned it was the creation of Texas cartoonist and lawyer Charles Pugsley Fincher.
“A funny thing just happened in the world of Twitter,” Scott wrote on her CathyScott blog. “Reality and fantasy crossed over.”

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Scott Included in Legal News Blog: 'Made-Up Lawyers Try Real World Networking'

Reprinted, courtesy of Legal Blog Watch (Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 31, 2009 at 11:29 AM) Among the lawyers flocking to contribute their tweets to the microblogging site Twitter are the two name partners in the law firm Bitcher & Prickman, Beatrice Bitcher and Richard Prickman. Those who follow their tweets may well have raised an eyebrow or two over some of what they say there. Bitcher posted this, for example: "I'm giving Edward, an associate, choice. 1. Work on brief all weekend. 2. Be my weekend servant. He's thinking." Soon after came this: "Associate chose being my servant over working on brief. Damn. Knows how to get partnership track, after all." As for Prickman, here is a recent tweet of his: "Law and morality go hand in hand. And money? Morality...Money. Both begin 'Mo' and end with 'y.'" Frankly, given what some lawyers post on Twitter, neither Bitcher nor Prickman stood out as exceedingly outrageous. In fact, Bitcher's tweets prompted another tweeter to invite her to join an online networking site, the Professional Women's Network of Southern California, which she readily did. As for Prickman, he found himself in an exchange of tweets with none other than lawyer-turned-celebrity Star Jones. But something seemed not right about these two Twittering lawyers to journalist and true crime author Cathy Scott. When she first started to follow Bitcher, Scott wrote on her blog, "I thought her name was a little odd, but that was about it. She had a lively banter going on with her tweets. Her avatar looked like a cartoon rendition of her photo." The more Scott followed Bitcher, however, the more suspicious she became. When she also found out about Prickman, she looked into this firm of Bitcher & Prickman. What she found was a cartoon, Bitcher & Prickman, drawn by lawyer and cartoonist Charles Pugsley Fincher. "Now, it seems, they'd jumped off the cartoon page and into Twitterland, where they were -- and still are -- being taken seriously some of the time," Scott wrote. "I'd been snookered, at least for a tweet or two." So Scott outed the lawyers for the cartoons they were, posting a tweet, "Meet & enjoy comic characters @BeatriceBitcher, her law partner @RichardPrickman & their creator @LawComix." When that was seen by legal blogger Victoria Pynchon, who had exchanged tweets with Bitcher, she tweeted, "I'm tweeting 2 a cartoon character -- someone slap a 72 hour hold on me!" Bitcher tweeted back, "Sometimes, dear Victoria, fantasy is more real. 24-hour hold...DENIED." One blogger who caught on to the comic nature of these two twitterers was Lynne Devenny of Practical Paralegalism. Devenny particularly likes Prickman's pandering to his paralegal, at least since the paralegal discovered romantic e-mails between him and Sarah Palin.