How to Write A Lifetime Network Murder Movie of the Week

In my work as a Script Doctor, I take dramatic stories for television, the movies, and the stage, and I make them structurally better. That sort of work isn’t formulaic, but there are common touchstones that must always be considered and then incorporated — what I remember the great Joseph Campbell loosely calling, “the natural rhythms of human storytelling shared with the reliability of a heartbeat” — and that’s what I do; I provide an unpacked redirection of the concentric condition that we are all innately accustomed to sending and receiving in a performance communication dyad, in the acknowledgement of, and in the often unwitting acceptance of, “The Holy Triad.” The Creator, The Object and The Observer.

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Jersey City Salutes Police Officer Melvin Santiago

Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens.  Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core.  Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.

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When Homicide Hunter Lt. Joe Kenda Follows You, You Stay Followed!

Lt. Joe Kenda is one of the most interesting, and important, people on television and — just as love and fate would have it — he’s also one of the kindest guys you’d ever want to meet… when he isn’t chasing down killers and murderers and putting them in jail.

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The Liberator: Using 3D Printers to Kill

If you had access to a 3D printer and could create only one thing out of plastic, from scratch, what would you make?  An implantable human ear replacement?  A filter for pumping clean water in thirsty third-world nations?  What about forming something fun and whimsical like, say, an acoustic guitar?  Or, would you take the tunnel of least resistance, and the road of the lowest common human morality, and choose to print a plastic gun for killing people?

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The Dead and the Scared: How Sandy Hook Stood Up to a Gunman

I’m not sure if there’s much more left to to say in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings in Connecticut that hasn’t already been shot to death before — except that it was excellent how, together, teachers and students faced down death that day — while our politicians will never be similarly brave because they are more terrified of the long and ugly shadow of the NRA than they are of dead children.

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As Oscar Pistorius Stumbles Down Murder Row

I am dumbfounded by news today from South Africa that legless Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murdering Reeva Steenkamp, his longtime girlfriend, with four gunshots.  Why would a man like Oscar ever raise a gun in fear or anger?  Hasn’t his life taught him that obstacles are to be overcome and never under-gunned?

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Murder in Manhattan: A Collateral Empire Shooting

Three hours ago, news broke there was a murder on the streets of Manhattan near the Empire State Building — and shots were fired right across the avenue from the CUNY Graduate Center:

A gunman was fatally shot by police after opening fire near the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan. Nine people were injured and one of the victims was declared dead at the scene.

The shooting occurred at 9:03 a.m., and began near the intersection of 33th Street and 5th Avenue.  NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly identified the shooter as 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson. He was armed with a .45-caliber handgun that was concealed in a black plastic bag.

Johnson was a disgruntled employee, who had been fired a year ago from his job as a designer of womens accessories for Hazan Imports, located at 10 West 33rd Street. He confronted a former co-worker, a 41-year-old woman, and fatally shot at her three times, including once in the head.

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