Friends of Mystery has a history of Bloody Thursdays spanning nearly three decades. Check out the details about some of our recent events.

Jim Wygant

Jim Wygant

Polygraph tests are routinely used to help law enforcement officers determine if a suspect is lying or telling the truth. Jim Wygant, our speaker at the November 17th Bloody Thursday meeting, has been a professional polygraph examiner since 1976.

Jim has also published a true-crime memoir, Confessions of a Lie Detector: Years of Theft, Sex and Murder, and two crime fiction books, The Spy’s Demise and Jessica’s Tune. His book of short stories, White Buffalo, and a book of poems, Gossamer Afternoons, are available as e-books. Learn more about Jim in the November 2011 edition of The Blood-Letter.

Mike Lawson Opened our 2011-2012 Season

Mike Lawson

Mike Lawson kicked off our 26th season of Bloody Thursday programs on September 22nd. His presentation was engaging, informative, highly entertaining, rich with hilarious one-liners and insight into the Inside the Beltway world he writes about. If you missed the event, you  can learn more about Mike in the September 2011 issue of the Blood-Letter.

Spotted Owl Award Winner Dana Haynes, May 26, 2011

Dana Haynes

This May, we celebrated Dana Haynes and his 2011 Spotted Owl Award for Crashers.

Dana was one of the “up and coming” authors at our May meeting last year. Writing as Conrad Haynes he published three traditional mysteries in the 1980’s. For 20 years he was a journalist for several Oregon newspapers. He is now the Public Affairs Manager for Portland Community College.

Learn more about Dana in the May 2011 issue of the Blood-Letter.

Cara Black, March 24, 2011

Cara Black

March brought us a hint of the spring blossoms of Paris, as Bloody Thursday welcomed bestseller Cara Black. Author of the Aimée Leduc mysteries set in Paris, Cara joined us to celebrate the release of her latest, Murder in Passy, and to share her knowledge of a Paris “little known outside the beaten tourist track.”

Learn more about Cara in the March 2011 issue of the Blood-Letter.

Michael Brown and Jeffrey Auxier, January 27, 2011

For our first Bloody Thursday of the New Year, we welcomed Michael Brown and Jeffrey Auxier of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Their presentation is called, “Timing Is Everything” — how criminal cases in the real world are frequently resolved by the most unexpected timing of events.

Dr. Loren Pankratz, November 18, 2010

Dr. Loren Pankratz

Loren Pankratz, Ph.D. on Thursday, November 18th. Dr. Pankratz was a Consultation Psychologist at the Portland VA Medical Center and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University. Since his early retirement, he has worked as a forensic psychologist for the past 15 years. He spoke on patients who deceive their caregivers.

Ann Littlewood — September 23, 2010

Ann Littlewood

Local author Ann Littlewood has just come out with the second of her zoo mysteries, Did Not Survive. The first one, Night Kill, introduced her protagonist, zookeeper Iris Oakley, whose husband was found dead in the lion exhibit. After Iris experiences a series of accidents herself, she becomes certain that her husband’s death was murder. The book received many positive reviews for her plotting, character development and excellent dialog.

Learn more about Ann in the September 2010 issue of the Blood-Letter.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger

John Kroger, Oregon State Attorney General

This year’s Oregon Book Award winner for Creative Non-Fiction for his book Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves joined un on January 28th for Bloody Thursday. Readling Local: Portland has posted a marvelous recap of the event.

Dr. Nici Vance

Dr. Nici Vance, Photo: Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian

Photo: Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian

On November 19, 2009, Dr. Nici Vance, a forensic scientist who has been with the Oregon State Police Lab for more than 12 years, spoke on blood pattern analysis. She works as a crime scene analyst and analyzes physical evidence from violent and high profile cases from all around the state. Dr. Vance also conducts continuing education courses for lawyers. She recently held classes on how to tell the difference between human and non-human remains for search and rescue members in Southern Oregon.

Dr. Vance works as a liaison between the lab and the State Medical Examiner’s Office as a forensic anthropologist. She has recently been featured in the media for her work to identify the remains of a victim killed about eight years ago by a train in Tigard. The body of the man, believed to be a transient, has been in the morgue since then. Dr. Vance has reopened the cold case hoping to bring closure to the case and the victim’s family.

Sharan Newman

The Shanghai Tunnels

Due unforeseen circumstances, our scheduled speaker for the September 24 Bloody Thursday, Carola Dunn, had to cancel.

However, Sharan Newman, author of The Shanghai Tunnels and many other historical mysteries, graciously agreed to appear instead. An award-winning writing, Sharan Newman is also a medieval scholar whose writings include both fiction and non-fiction. Her Catherine Levendeur mysteries have been nominated for many awards. Sharan won the Macavity Award for best first mystery for Death Comes As Epiphany and the Herodotus Award for best historical mystery of 1998 for Cursed in the Blood. The most recent book in the series The Witch in the Well won the Bruce Alexander award for best Historical mystery of 2004. Learn more about Sharan at her website.

Carola Dunn

Carola Dunn is a English-American writer who began by writing historical romances but later switched to crime stories. She lives and works in Eugene, Oregon. The hero of her crime novels is the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple, a freelance writer, and her beau and later husband Chief Detective Alec Fletcher. Her most recent books are Manna From Hades, and her forthcoming title Sheer Folly appearing in Fall 2009.

Chelsea Cain

Best-selling Portland author Chelsea Cain, of the just-released Sweetheart joined us in Kate Wilhelm’s place to discuss her life as a writer, mother, and wife. She gave a delightful, warm and often hilarious talk comparing being a parent and even giving birth with writing a thriller.

Detective James Lawrence

Detective Lawrence shared his fascinated work in Portland Police Bureau’s cold case unit at our November 2008 meeting.

Larry Rosson

Fingerprint expert Larry Rosson appeared in January 2009.

Barbara Pope

Debut author of Cezanne’s Quarry Barbara Pope joined us in March 2009.

Jessica Morrell

Jessica Morrell, noted editor and author, will discuss villains and anti-heroes, as well as her newest book, Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction.

Friend of Mystery Steven Saylor

Steve Saylor

The May 22 Bloody Thursday welcomed best selling author Steven Saylor, who discussed his work and his new Gordianus novel, The Triumph of Caesar. The presentation was delightful and free-ranging, as Steven discussed the genesis of Gordianus, the re-release of the series in trade paperback, and his work on his epic historical novel Roma and its sequel.

The Triumph of Caesar is set against the background of Julius Caesar’s stupendous quadruple triumphs in Rome in 46 BC, full of color and spectacle. Caesar is now dictator for life. But Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, having fallen under the spell of an Etruscan soothsayer, is convinced of a plot on her husband’s life. Once again, murder and intrigue draw Gordianus into the vortex of history.

In a starred Review, Publishers Weekly says of The Triumph of Caesar, “Stellar…compelling…a triumph!” The Toronto Globe and Mail calls it “Superb! . . . a treat to read.”

Also look for Saylor’s superb historical novel, Roma, now available in trade paperback.

November 15th Blood Thursday Festivities

It will be Awards Night at the November 15 Bloody Thursday meeting of Friends of Mystery. Kris Nelscott (Rusch) will be accepting her Spotted Owl plaque for the 2006 Smokey Dalton novel Days of Rage. This is the second Spotted Owl award for Kris, having won in 2005 for a previous Smokey Dalton mystery novel. She joins Seattle author Lowen Clausen as a two-time Spotted Owl winner.

Kris has also won numerous awards for science fiction, writing as Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She won a Hugo science fiction award for both writing and editing. She writes romance novels under the name of Kristine Grayson. Her Smokey Dalton mystery series has also received the Herodotus Award for Best Historical Mystery Novel. Kris is a frequent contributor to the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. She and her author husband, Dean Wesley Smith live on the central Oregon coast.

Alaska author Mike Doogan was also named a Spotted Owl winner for his debut novel Lost Angel. This is the first Spotted Owl award for a first novel. Mike has planned to attend the November 15 meeting to accept his award. However, he is also a state legislator and was called into a special session at this time. Our own Bill Cameron presented Mike with his plaque at the September Bouchercon in Anchorage. His latest mystery, Capitol Offense has been receiving excellent reviews Mike is a native of Alaska having been born in Fairbanks and now lives in Anchorage with his wife and family.

Both of our Spotted Owl winners were short-listed for Shamus awards. Kris’s Days of Rage was nominated for best PI novel and Mike’s Lost Angel for best debut PI novel.

Forensic Psychologist Dr. Frank Colistro 

Dr. Frank Colistro is a consulting psychologist for several law enforcement agencies including the Behavioral and Risk Services Unit of the Oregon Department of Corrections, the Cold Case Unit of the Portland Police Bureau as well as a criminal profiler for several agencies. He also works with the Oregon Board of Parole, providing psychological assessment of inmate’s potential of recidivism. Dr. Colistro has consulted with prosecution and defense attorneys on topics such as homicide investigations, major sex crimes and domestic violence cases.

As a criminal profiler, he has been involved in a number of highly publicized local cases including the Forest Park Rapist, KOIN Tower Shooter and the NE Portland Rapist. He was featured on national news as a commentator on the Ward Weaver case. He is often heard on local TV and radio.

Please join us to hear Dr. Colistro discuss his experiences of more than 25 years. It promises to be an enlightening evening. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of Good Samaritan Medical Center, 1040 NW 22nd Avenue (corner of NW 22nd and Marshall). The event will begin with a reception at 7:00 pm. The meeting is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the parking structure adjacent to the auditorium. The Portland Streetcar and Tri Met run on nearby routes.

New Authors Panel, March 2008

Our March 27 Bloody Thursday meeting is a not-to-be missed event. We have a panel of debut mystery novel authors to tell us how they did it. It will feature:

John Walsdorf moderated the panel.