Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Murder For Hire

I am a big fan of true crime. I know that sounds really weird but I am fascinated by what makes criminals tick and how law enforcement goes after them.

My favorite tv show for many years has been "America's Most Wanted."
Doug and I watch it and when there is a capture we yell out, "YEA JOHN!"

Quite awhile back they featured a Phoenix cop who had been undercover for many years and retired. I was fascinated, especially as he had ridden with the Dirty Dozen motorcycle gang and brought many of them and others down. His name was Jack Ballentine.

Over time I saw other profiles about this amazing man so imagine my surprise that he was the speaker at the Phoenix Writers Club on Saturday. I didn't put it together until he started talking. I soaked up every word and bought his book.

He now works with the 100 Club which helps families of fallen officers. They also provide scholarships, training and counseling for returning soldiers who work in public safety. All proceeds from the book go to this worthy cause.

He wasn't sure he wanted to write this book and says he won't write another but his dedication was amazing. A writer friend had told Jack that he wrote five pages a day. If he tried to write more it wouldn't go anywhere and not be worth the effort. So Jack made that his goal and after work each day he blocked out the time to write five pages and then read them to his wife for her feedback.

He was determined to immerse the reader in the story. They had to be able to smell it and feel it. Now three chapters into the book I can say he succeeded in a phenomenal way.

My friend and fellow PWC member Doris Nehrbass wrote an article about his talk in her column in examiner.com. You can read it here. HBO is now working on a pilot and possible series based on his book.

Thanks to Doris for taking and sending this photo of Jack signing my book.

Thank you, Jack Ballentine, and every other man and woman
who has put their life on the line to protect the rest of us.
Now back to reading my book.