where the writers are
page0001.jpg
Trace Evidence
$15.99
Paperback
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Dec.08.2012
  • 9780985948603

Robert gives an overview of the book:

Trace Evidence is inspired by Long Island, New York’s first death penalty case in nearly a quarter century—the Robert Shulman serial killer trial—1998. On a daily basis, the author spent an unprecedented fifteen months following pretrial, jury selection, trial, and penalty–sentencing phase; lectured at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center for the criminally insane, Ward’s Island, Manhattan [where Shulman had been evaluated]; then interviewed the head of Suffolk County Homicide, Detective Lieutenant John Gierasch, for the finishing fictional touches. Additionally, scores of folks connected to law enforcement and the courts assisted Robert Banfelder so as to build verisimilitude into this account. On April 6, 1996, Robert Shulman was arrested in Hicksville, Long Island, New York for murdering and dismembering three women. Subsequently, Shulman was linked to...
Read full overview »

Trace Evidence is inspired by Long Island, New York’s first death penalty case in nearly a quarter century—the Robert Shulman serial killer trial—1998. On a daily basis, the author spent an unprecedented fifteen months following pretrial, jury selection, trial, and penalty–sentencing phase; lectured at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center for the criminally insane, Ward’s Island, Manhattan [where Shulman had been evaluated]; then interviewed the head of Suffolk County Homicide, Detective Lieutenant John Gierasch, for the finishing fictional touches. Additionally, scores of folks connected to law enforcement and the courts assisted Robert Banfelder so as to build verisimilitude into this account. On April 6, 1996, Robert Shulman was arrested in Hicksville, Long Island, New York for murdering and dismembering three women. Subsequently, Shulman was linked to the murder of two other women in Westchester, New York. After a lengthy trial, Shulman was convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection; that is, before the Court of Appeals declared the New York State death penalty unconstitutional. Robert Shulman died in prison on April 13, 2006. While remaining true to many of the facts referencing the Robert Shulman serial-killer trial in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, award-winning novelist Robert Banfelder brilliantly weaves his fictional account of murder and mayhem through the fabric of justice and injustices.

Trace Evidence is a story of murder, avarice and betrayal. Brothers Howard and Jeffrey Mills, both postal mail handlers, are initially suspects in the bludgeoning and dismembering murders of three prostitutes. Eventually, homicide detectives zero in on Howard as their primary target. An avalanche of forensic evidence leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that the women were killed in Howard’s one-room rental. In the words of the lead prosecuting attorney, “That room was a slaughterhouse.” But is Howard Mills the murderer? The defendant admits solely to the victims’ postmortem amputations. Extraordinary pressures are applied by the district attorney’s office for the police to quickly ensure a confession so as to deem Howard death penalty qualified. Suffolk County Homicide Detective Gary York misrepresents himself as an attorney who promises to help Howard by getting him into a mental hospital if he confesses; otherwise, life in prison without the possibility of parole versus the death penalty are the two alternatives presented to Mills. Howard accepts the offer but is left hanging in the wind at his arraignment, believing that he is legally well-represented. Howard Mills is found guilty and sentenced to die by lethal injection. Detective Gary York’s suspicions are raised that eventually point to another family member. The motive is money and invaluable properties—a veritable fortune if that person can successfully manipulate Howard into relinquishing his assets . . . sooner than later.

Read an excerpt »

 

Officer Fowler was engaged in an exercise when Detective Mick Connolly pulled up in a sector car alongside a field across from a wooded lot. A light rain had just let up. He got out of the vehicle carefully, for his back had been bothering him. He walked over and waited patiently until the drill was finished.

“Got something important going down tomorrow morning, Dan. How ya doin’ there, Max?” Connolly grimaced in pain.

The detective had pulled a muscle in his back while working on his boat, having tried and failed to get things shipshape for the kick-off of the April 1st flounder season. He had tried last year, too, but something always seemed to pop up. This time around it was surveillance that he and the members of Teams One and Two were conducting on both Howard and Jeffrey Mills. At first, efforts had been concentrated on the younger brother, Jeffrey. But as time marched on, energies were shifted to Howard. Howard Mills was now the focus of their investigation. Howard Mills was their prime suspect. Howard W. Mills, mail handler, was their target.

“Trouble with that back of yours again?” Dan asked.

“Pulled a muscle. Fucking boat. Actually, it’s that fuckin’ bilge. How any human being can work down there is beyond comprehension. You gotta be a midget.”

“Then put Masselli down there,” Dan suggested jokingly.

Mick laughed. “Put a tool in that man’s hand would be like putting a wrench in Max’s paw.”

Max looked past Mick then walked off several paces.

“What did I do? Hurt his feelings?”

Dan smiled. “Maybe you need a bigger boat.”

“Bigger headache.”

“What’s on for tomorrow?”

“Big,” Mick stated with a big smile. “Very big.”

“Where we going?”

“Hicksville.”

“Got it cleared this time? Last time, I had some explaining to do. This on the up and up?”

“Bear shit in the woods?”

“I know Max does.”

“All cleared,” the detective said as Max watched Mick remove a fuzzy round object from the large left front pocket of Dan’s Windbreaker. “Hey, Max!”

robert-banfelder's picture

Thank you. If you like Trace Evidence, please blog about the book, tell your FB friends, add a link, Tweet to your followers, or anything else you can think of. It's much appreciated!

About Robert

Robert Banfelder grew up in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, a rural community where he enjoyed hunting and fishing. Robert currently lives on the North Fork of Long Island with his lifelong partner, Donna, where they both enjoy outdoor adventures. He is the proud parent of Jason...

Read full bio »

Published Reviews

Mar.31.2008

Ah, the master of suspense thrillers returns with a fast-paced and terrifying story that will chill you to the bone, even on the hottest day of the year. Banfelder brilliantly creates each unthinkable...

Mar.31.2008

This is one of the best books I have read this year! Robert Banfelder is a masterful, storyteller, who has written a fantastic, and terrifying tale about evil and what it takes to stop it!