Northern California Publishers & Authors award Daniel Pastre’s novel, Justice & Closure, 2nd place in the fiction category for 2014.

April 26. 2015 Sacramento California.

April 26, 2015 Sacramento, California.

Beverly Hills Book Awards, Daniel Pastre, Justice & Closure Best Action/Adventure for 2015


Book Signing for Justice & Closure at Barnes & Noble

Book Signing for Justice & Closure  3/14/15

Book Signing at Barnes & Nobel March 14, 2015

Why it’s okay to call it Frisco. By Daniel Pastre, author of Justice & Closure.

A reader posted a review regarding a passage of dialog in Justice and Closure. She stated that a seasoned San Francisco police inspector would never refer to San Francisco as “Frisco”. The term would offend the local people, and only an outsider would use this term.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of the term, “Frisco”. The first documented usage of “Frisco” in lieu of San Francisco was in a letter written in 1849 by Captain David Carter. In 1850, “Frisco” was used ten times in California newspapers and appeared in the lyrics of the famous California song, “Oh, California.” C.J. Everett used “Frisco” in his 1868 short story, “The Gentleman from Honolulu.”

Usage of the term continues. Song writer Otis Redding, while living on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay and adored by the local people, wrote “I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay” in his 1977 hit single, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Since then, there have been numerous songs, poems, novels, and newspaper articles using the word “Frisco” to describe San Francisco.

Peter Tamony, late etymologist, traced the word back to the Middle English frithsoken, meaning sanctuary or refuge. It was shortened to “Frisco” and was used by sailors to refer to a port where ships could be repaired. “Frisco” was most commonly used by the working people who were responsible for building the city and it’s history. However, it’s use outraged the self-proclaimed elite class of Nob Hill.

Views have changed since then. Even the celebrated San Francisco columnist ,Herb Caen, who previously and adamantly forbid his readers to use the nickname “Frisco”, changed his tune in 1977 when he wrote, “It’s okay to call it “Frisco” now. The gray-beards….. are mostly gone now.”

So, could a seasoned San Francisco police inspector say “Frisco”? Although the usage of the word “Frisco” is controversial to some people, others use it as the name of their beloved city.

Daniel Pastre

A technical question regarding Daniel Pastre’s novel, Justice & Closure

Recently, a reader brought to my attention an error in the name of the rifle that was used to shoot Detective Nick Shaw. The reader went on to explain that the M1 Garand was not a WWII sniper rifle because it was a bolt action rifle making it impossible to mount a scope.

The reader was correct in the fact that I had misspelled “Garand”. It was a typo in that I had spelled it “Grand”, leaving out an “a”. Regarding it not being a sniper rifle, my research showed that it was, in fact, a WWII sniper rifle and responsible for numerous kills in the Philippine theater. Most important, it was not a bolt action rifle. The M1 Garand was an auto loader, with a top mounted bolt to load the clip. because of this configuration, the scope was mounted to the left side of the breech allowing for unobstructed shell ejection. The M1 Garand is still used today in law enforcement as a sniper rifle because of the accuracy of the .30-06 cartridge. As always before putting words to paper, I conduct intensive research.

Justice & Closure underwent five rounds of professional editing, however mistakes can still be found. With the revised edition, I will make corrections and also add an author’s page acknowledging certain people for their contributions. In all sincerity, feedback is always welcomed.

California Green Rush, by Daniel Pastre, author, Justice and Closure

My upcoming novel, California Green Rush, is coming together. Writing a novel is a long process involving considerable research. The main character in the book lives and works in Pismo Beach. So, I’ve just spent ten days there getting a feel of the city and connecting with the beach culture. Walking the same streets that the lead character does and taking in the surroundings with all my senses opened my creativity to paint the sights, sounds, and smells on the pages, Also, meeting and talking with the locals was essential in making the book as realistic as possible. As a plus, it was fun to catch a few waves!

The story then moves to Nevada County which is also my home.The undercurrent of California Green Rush deals with the marijuana legislation involving local, state, and federal laws. I gathered relevant information by meeting with local, state, and federal officers. The book is not intended to be pro or against the current legislation. It is strictly a work of fiction.

Another character in the book was raised in Jamaica during the 1970’s. Having vacationed there twice before was very helpful. However, it was necessary to conduct in-depth research regarding the political climate, culture, and demographics of 1970 Jamaica.

It is still too early to estimate a release date. At this point, I hope to have the manuscript ready for editing in approximately ten to twelve months. In conclusion, every step along the way is an enjoyable journey!

Shoe impression leads to arrest, true story, by Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure.

While working as a detective for the Cottonwood Police Department, I was called to a burglary scene at a local heating and air conditioning company. It was a substantial crime with over $30,000 in missing tools, equipment, and new a/c units. The perpetrator had gained access by kicking in the rear door to the business. I observed tire impressions in the dirt yard and a faint shoe impression on the door. Using a portable light set at a 45 degree angle for the purpose of enhancement, I took a photo of the shoe’s tread pattern with a digital camera. Next, I used clear contact paper to lift the print. Now, I had a perfect copy of it on both camera and contact paper. Then, I photographed the tire pattern and made a plaster cast of it.

Upon canvassing the neighborhood, one person saw a GMC pick-up truck in the area in the early morning. The only details he remembered were that it was blue, had a white camper shell, and dated between 1971-1979. I sent a copy of the shoe impression to Scottsdale Crime Lab. who has the largest data base of shoe treads in the country. Within several hours, I knew the shoe brand, size, and the years it was made. It should be noted that a shoe impression is like a latent finger print; no two are alike. This is due to wear and marks on the bottom of the shoe. Now, all I needed was to find the shoe to match it to my evidence. I sent a teletype describing the possible suspect vehicle to all Arizona agencies. Maricopa County responded that they had conducted a traffic stop with a truck matching the description and had arrested the driver on outstanding warrants. I telephoned Maricopa County jail and asked them to check the subject’s personal property for the type and size of his shoes. Bingo! I had a possible suspect.

Now, I just needed to interview him and hopefully recover the property. First, I went to the impound lot to check the truck. The tire pattern seemed to match. After photographing the truck, I searched inside and found a pair of pliers with the a/c company’s name inscribed on them. Armed with all this evidence, it was time to talk with the suspect. We met in an interview room at the jail. Both being seated at a table, I explained to him that I had evidence to connect him to a burglary in Cottonwood; however, I was here to give him the opportunity to help himself. I showed him the photo of the shoe mark on the door and held up his shoe that I had recovered from his personal property. I quoted case law regarding shoe impressions being equivalent to finger prints. Next, I told him that a witness had seen his truck at the crime scene, and his tire treads matched the impressions taken from the yard. Concluding, I said, “By the way, I also found these pliers in your truck.”Looking up knowing I had him, he asked, “So, why are you here?” “To recover the property and give you a chance”, I answered and went on to explain two different scenarios; one being that the suspect was uncooperative and refused to help recover the stolen property, and the other reporting that the suspect was remorseful, cooperative, and furnished the location of the stolen property. Informing him that I had no legal authority to make any deals, I asked him what he thought would be more favorable in his case to the County Attorney and Judge? Staring at me for several seconds, he finally said, “I’m screwed.” He reluctantly gave me the name of the person who had helped him. He said his accomplice lived in Tempe. Upon completion of the interview and officially charging him with the crime,

I left for Tempe where I met with Tempe Police Detectives. They located an address for the accomplice. I prepared an affidavit for a search warrant and went to see a judge at his home, for it was after hours. The location in question was a noted gang banger hang-out, so I was assisted by the Special Criminal Apprehension Team. They conducted an aggressive entry into the residence and quickly handcuffed everyone inside, securing the premises. Next, I conducted a search inside the house and backyard. We recovered all the stolen property and other stolen items. After everything was photographed and categorized, I telephoned the a/c company with the good news and asked them to come and collect their items.Total time spent on the investigation was approximately 72 hours.

Daniel Pastre, author, Justice and Closure

Gun fight, a true story, Daniel Pastre, Author of Justice and Closure.

While on routine patrol on a week day morning at about two a.m. in the city of Cottonwood, Arizona, I drove by the self-serve car wash on Hwy 89A. I observed an older, battered, tan Cadillac parked in one of the stalls. A man was standing behind the open trunk suspiciously holding a lit propane torch. I radioed in to dispatch giving my location and the circumstances. I pulled in directly behind the subject and lit him up with my brights and spot light to provide a tactical advantage, then quickly exited my patrol car and observed that he was wearing a holstered hand gun on his hip (perfectly legal in Arizona). Using my lapel microphone, I requested precautionary back-up. Dispatch advised that back-up was approximately ten minutes out. Upon approaching the subject, he appeared to be very nervous shifting his weight from side to side. Mentally, I was preparing for any possible scenario to follow. I asked him, “What are you doing?” He didn’t answer, but his hand went down to his gun. Instinctively in a split second, I drew my Sig. 45 and had it pointed at his chest before he cleared leather. Using loud harsh street language, I ordered him to lift his hands above his head and drop to his knees. With all my senses honed on his next move, my index finger was tightening on the trigger. For a moment that seemed to hang in the air, he froze with his hand still resting on the butt of his gun. Finally, dropping his gaze, he complied. I held him at gun point until a back-up unit arrived. With another officer present, the suspect was handcuffed. Upon closer inspection of the open trunk of his car, there were numerous pieces of jewelry including rings, necklaces, bracelets, precious stones, and gold coins along with electronic devices such as radios, scanners, tape recorders, and cell phones. Also in the trunk was a suitcase containing several hand guns of different calibers. Since the suspect was now in custody and his vehicle would be impounded, case law allows an inventory search of the complete vehicle. Inside the driver’s compartment of the car, I found several baggies containing white powder that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. It didn’t take long to determine that the suspect was a “fence” trading methamphetamine for stolen property. As a result of the arrest, a letter of commendation was added to my file. However, what meant more to me was the fact that my training and confidence as a peace officer kept the suspect from being killed in a gun fight.

What makes a good detective, by Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure

A detective/investigator needs a good foundation including experience and knowledge of Federal, State, and  Municipal laws. He must also respect and adhere to Constitutional and Civil Rights. Additionally important is the understanding of Case Law which are decisions upheld by the Supreme Court. These are the tools needed to conduct an investigation. Detectives solve cases by processing information. It begins at the crime scene by documenting and gathering evidence and leads to the long process of interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects, All the information is put in chronological order and analyzed to plan a strategy. At this point, it is essential to maintain an open mind and avoid focusing on just one scenario or suspect. All other avenues need to be explored and eliminated before coming to a conclusion. Next, he prepares affidavits for search warrants.  Finally, the detective takes the case to the District/County Attorney for review. If the attorneys agree with the investigation, the detective can move forward and make an arrest.

Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure

Homicides by Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure

Many people have asked how many homicides I have investigated. Before answering this question, let me first define homicide. A homicide is an unattended death of a human being. This is defined in police terminology as any person who dies without being attended by medical personnel. Regardless of factors such as age, injury or illness, apparent suicide, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), or one who died in their sleep, a complete investigation is conducted including forensic evidence collection, photography, documentation, sketching the scene, and interviews.

Some cases were straight forward such as an elderly person with a medical condition dying in their sleep. As long as my investigation detected no foul play and the patient’s doctor signed the death certificate, no further investigation was warranted. Suicides required more intensive investigations for obvious reasons. By far, investigating SIDS was the most emotionally taxing for me. While having compassion for the grieving parents, a complete investigation including an autopsy still had to be conducted to rule out murder.

Although I have worked many homicides investigations, I chose not to keep count. However, memories of them resurface in my mind as I write.

Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure