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TheNightTerror
06-22-2005, 12:59 AM
I've been just gunning it, I've written 280 pages (according to Word) in roughly 21 days, (21 writing sessions, anyway) but it just occured to me . . . I haven't done much work with the plot for the second half of the story. There's some things I should do myself, but there's a situation that comes up which I should know the consequences of. Thank god for this place, I don't have to wing it and make an idiot of myself. :D

Well, here's what happens. One character's foster father is murdered, but the police never actually find his body. Someone is found using his ID in a nearby city, right around the time he was killed, actually. The police think the guy with the ID harmed the foster fother, robbed or killed him, but as they don't have a body, or any signs of a violent crime, they send him to jail for having and using the ID. What crimes would the man have been charged with? And how long would he have done time for? (This is in Colorado in '78.)

For the second question, in the event of the foster father's disappearance, what would happen to the foster child, and the foster father's possessions? The foster child is 17, she has a considerable amount of money, and she's more than mature enough to live on her own. Almost everything he owned was burned to the ground in an unrelated forest fire, everything aside from two horses.

As he's merely missing, would nothing happen, or would the horses, say, be auctioned off, and the girl be sent to another foster home? And when he's declared dead after 7 years missing, what would happen then to the horses and his money? If there was no mention in the will of where the horses should go, would the foster daughter get them? And what would happen if there was no will at all?

There's some plot related stuff I still need to work on, but that's my territory, I'm morbid enough to think of a nice dark plot for this last portion of the story. :D I oughta get back to that, thanks for your help! :Thumbs:

BradyH1861
06-22-2005, 01:12 AM
Well, here's what happens. One character's foster father is murdered, but the police never actually find his body. Someone is found using his ID in a nearby city, right around the time he was killed, actually. The police think the guy with the ID harmed the foster fother, robbed or killed him, but as they don't have a body, or any signs of a violent crime, they send him to jail for having and using the ID. What crimes would the man have been charged with? And how long would he have done time for? (This is in Colorado in '78.)


I could venture a couple of guesses that would be educated, but not necessarily accurate. What I definitely suggest you do when you have the time, is go to a county law library and find the copy of the State Penal Code that was in use in 1978. That will answer everything for you. Just find what possession of another person's ID was classified as. It should also give you the terms of punishment as well.

I could tell you what a person in 2005 Texas would be charged with for doing that, or could be charged with, but alas, I know nothing about 1978 Colorado. But any good county library, particularly the county law library, should have the Penal Code from 1978.

Brady H.

TheNightTerror
06-22-2005, 01:27 AM
Whoops, I slipped up, the man would definitely have the driver's license of the victim, as well as his car. It's gotta sound like a stupid question, but did credit cards even exist in '78? If they did, the ID man would also have them, he'd have either a credit card or cheque book. He probably would've been busted for using whatever he had.

That's another thing I gotta think about. The victim's car, that probably would've been impounded by the police, right? After the ID man was found driving it with the owner missing?

I don't even live in the 'States, I live a 7 hour drive north of Vancouver, in Canada. It would take a day trip to get near any county library, :o let alone one in Colorado. Money situation won't allow me to take a trip anywhere, let alone in the states. :o:(

Aconite
06-22-2005, 02:26 AM
he'd have either a credit card or cheque book.

In Colorado, it'd be a "check book" or "checkbook."

Nota bene: IANAL. I think the girl could petition to become an emancipated minor, especially if she could support herself. Without proof that the man is dead, I don't think the state could take his property (e.g. the horses). Probably, his family/heirs or neighbors or friends would care for the horses, since the fate of his property is in limbo.

BradyH1861
06-22-2005, 03:11 AM
Whoops, I slipped up, the man would definitely have the driver's license of the victim, as well as his car. It's gotta sound like a stupid question, but did credit cards even exist in '78? If they did, the ID man would also have them, he'd have either a credit card or cheque book. He probably would've been busted for using whatever he had.

That's another thing I gotta think about. The victim's car, that probably would've been impounded by the police, right? After the ID man was found driving it with the owner missing?

I don't even live in the 'States, I live a 7 hour drive north of Vancouver, in Canada. It would take a day trip to get near any county library, :o let alone one in Colorado. Money situation won't allow me to take a trip anywhere, let alone in the states. :o:(

Okay. I'm not sure about the credit cards. I was born in 1978, so I'm not sure how common they were. But sure, he could have the victim's checkbook, Driver's License (the most common form of ID), maybe his work ID if the job required one. The car would have most likely been impounded. If the driver was arrested for impersonating your victim, then the car would have to be impounded. Certainly if they thought that the car was related to a crime....ie: the missing victim.

You might try http://www.findlaw.com Search for Colorado state statutes. That is as good as law library.

Brady H.

Cathy C
06-22-2005, 03:17 AM
Well, I can give you a little, since I spent about 20 years in law in Colorado. The Colorado Revised Statutes were completely rewritten by the Colorado legislature in 1973, and remained virtually unchanged until 1987. They changed a few things here or there, but nothing drastic until the late '80s.


You can call the library at the University of Denver College of Law and ask these questions. They are happy to research it on your behalf and call you (but you might have to give them a credit card number for out of the country calls.) The DU Law Library maintains sets of statutes going back to when the state was founded in 1876, so 1978 is no big deal! :)

The library reference desk is generally open Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (well, they're actually OPEN longer, but this is when the librarians will answer.)

The phone number is: (303)871-6206. You can also visit their website, at: http://law.du.edu/library

Good luck!

JoniBGoode
06-22-2005, 03:39 AM
One of these I can answer. Credit cards have existed at least since the 60s, although they weren't nearly as common as now. Mostly upper middle class people had them, and they were primarily accepted at chain hotels, (some) full service restaurants, and 'nice' department stores. And gas stations.

Paying by American Express or Carte Blanche in the late 60s had a certain snob appeal, but it also smacked of nouveau riche. By the late 70s, both Master Card and Visa, which initiallytargeted less affluent people, were available.

I suspect it was easier to scam a credit card, since the technology to immediately obtain authorization via phone was introduced in the early 80s (I believe). As long as the card was not expired, it was accepted in the late 70s. Paper bills were mailed to the credit card companies weekly.

I don't recall anyone ever being asked to show ID with a credit card in the 70s. (Even in the 80s, we used to take an imprint of a major CC on the back of a check both as ID and to "guarantee" payment. So, if he stole both the checks and the cc, he's golden.)

I'll take a stab at inheritance, as well. Since she's a FOSTER daughter rather than adopted, I don't believe she'd inherit anything unless there's a will. I too suspect if she has enough money, independence can be arranged, although it's questionable if she'd still be allowed to live in her foster father's house.

Brady are you serious, 1978??? I just got a major attack of the olds.

TheNightTerror
06-22-2005, 09:29 AM
In Colorado, it'd be a "check book" or "checkbook."

:o I figured that way of spelling it must be the Canadian way, as it was the one I was used to, and 'cheque' was the American way. Seems my schooling failed me again . . . or my memory of it did. :o


Nota bene: IANAL. I think the girl could petition to become an emancipated minor, especially if she could support herself.

:) All righty. The foster daughter was forced out of her job by her foster father, he was used to having his way and he wanted to cut off her money supply to control her. She was going to run away, he'd effectively killed any chance of her getting a job anywhere in that town when he got her fired, so she didn't even try.

Anyway, it wouldn't look good to whoever was in charge of her case if she had no job, hadn't been looking for one, and had a nasty reputation around town, but she'd have a good $6,000 - $7,000 to her name, most of it college savings, and her own car. So, it could go either way. I'm almost liking the idea of her at least temporarily being forced into another foster home.


Without proof that the man is dead, I don't think the state could take his property (e.g. the horses). Probably, his family/heirs or neighbors or friends would care for the horses, since the fate of his property is in limbo.

The foster daughter was the only one who took care of them, and before she moved in, the neighbors were feeding them, but their place would've also been wiped out in the fire. As long as someone knew where the horses were located in the event the murder victim did resurface, would the foster daughter be able to keep them with her when she does leave town?


But sure, he could have the victim's checkbook, Driver's License (the most common form of ID), maybe his work ID if the job required one.

He's working as a lawyer, so he'd probably have a bar card. He could pass that along too, that might get the ID man in even more trouble.


The car would have most likely been impounded. If the driver was arrested for impersonating your victim, then the car would have to be impounded. Certainly if they thought that the car was related to a crime....ie: the missing victim.

All right, that cleans up the trouble of what the foster daughter could have to do with the car. She could easily just leave it impounded until he's declared dead, then I guess the car would be auctioned off.


You might try http://www.findlaw.com Search for Colorado state statutes. That is as good as law library.

Brady H.

:hooray: I don't know how to completely explain how absolutely perfect the law I turned up is, not without spoiling quite a bit of the story . . . but I'll just be cryptic. It's complicated, but I'll try.

The murder victim had handed over his ID to the ID man so he could commit a crime, but have a rock solid alibi. Now, the murder victim was killed after he commited the crime he needed the alibi for, by the person he victimized. Now, the killer was going to confess, but when the chance came, the ID man had already been arrested.

Now, the killer knew the ID man existed and knew the murder victim handed over his ID willingly, which excused him of the crime. However, if it came out that the victim had intended on using the tracks the ID man made as his alibi, the ID man could face 20 years in jail. The victim ends up taking the easy way out, and tells the police the first half of the story, neglecting to mention the crimes committed later, and everyone gets off scot free.

Complicated, but it gives the killer a touch of humanity after what happened, as long as I make it clear the reason for staying quiet was for the ID man's sake . . .


You can call the library at the University of Denver College of Law and ask these questions. They are happy to research it on your behalf and call you (but you might have to give them a credit card number for out of the country calls.) The DU Law Library maintains sets of statutes going back to when the state was founded in 1876, so 1978 is no big deal! :)

The phone number is: (303)871-6206. You can also visit their website, at: http://law.du.edu/library

Good luck!

I may just have to call them up later, but considering this is just the first draft, I probably should hold off on spending money on it just now. I should wait until after the 'OMG NEW STORY NEW STORY IT'S A DANDY I TELL YOU' syndrome dies off, if I still like it, I'll probably try to focus all my work onto making it The One, the first story I try to publish. :Hail: That will be The One I start putting money into. :)


One of these I can answer. Credit cards have existed at least since the 60s, although they weren't nearly as common as now.

:D Yes!


Mostly upper middle class people had them, and they were primarily accepted at chain hotels, (some) full service restaurants, and 'nice' department stores. And gas stations.

The murder victim was a rich son of a b*tch, I've already given him a big house, a big old Caddy, and a microwave, :tongue and he's always flaunting his superior status to the rest of the town's population, so a credit card, even if it was virtually useless there, would be something he'd have.


I don't recall anyone ever being asked to show ID with a credit card in the 70s. (Even in the 80s, we used to take an imprint of a major CC on the back of a check both as ID and to "guarantee" payment. So, if he stole both the checks and the cc, he's golden.)

My god, I really forgot about those imprinting machines? I should be ashamed. My parents ran a gunsmithing shop out of the basement, in the same house I'm living it. Hell, I'll bet we still have it. Maybe I should hit myself over the head with that thing for this lapse of common sense.

At least you got me on the right track, if there was just the imprint, then the odds of being busted for the signature on the bill not matching up will probably be pretty low. Since the driver's license comes up and the car gets impounded, maybe the ID man got a lead foot driving the Caddy and got pulled over.


I'll take a stab at inheritance, as well. Since she's a FOSTER daughter rather than adopted, I don't believe she'd inherit anything unless there's a will.

Hmmm. Okay. I never really addressed whether she was officially adopted, so I could drop a reference somewhere. She's distantly related to the foster father, he's a cousin, though, so there's probably a dozen people more closely related to him. He's an only child, so would his parents inherit his possessions?


I too suspect if she has enough money, independence can be arranged, although it's questionable if she'd still be allowed to live in her foster father's house.

Actually, that was why I thought of the forest fire to wipe out the house. It would make for a tense situation, the horses are at the house and would need to be evacuated, and at the same time that's going on, the body of the foster father is waiting to be found inside the house. Hopefully I'll have made it so the reader won't want him to be found, and anyone showing up could put them on edge, but I'll see how that goes when I get there.



Sorry about the overly long post, I got into the habit a long time ago, at the other forums I lurk in, to quote every single thing worth acknowledging in any thread I replied to. And you guys are absolute gold mines. :Thumbs: I'm more or less just thinking out loud in case I've forgotten what the hell I was thinking after some sleep, though I doubt I will, if anything they'll be absolete by the time I wake up, anyway. :)

Thank you so much for helping! :Thumbs: At least here, I don't have to worry about any of my questions seeming a bit odd . . . one story I got overly inquisitive about automatic weapons and bulletproofing houses, I probably got my friend who knows about that stuff a little worried with all my questions . . . :tongue

Aconite
06-22-2005, 04:11 PM
As long as someone knew where the horses were located in the event the murder victim did resurface, would the foster daughter be able to keep them with her when she does leave town?
I'm not sure what the laws on that were. From a practical standpoint, though, the law may have been willing to look the other way, since living creatures need care and feeding, and who else is going to provide that?

But, also from a practical standpoint, how is she going to transport and board them? You need a heavy-duty towing engine to tow a horse trailer, and trucks with those don't come cheap. (For that matter, horse trailers can be mind-bogglingly expensive, too.) Those trucks are real gas hogs, too, and gas wasn't always easy to come by then. The only commercial horse haulers I'm aware of that would have been around in 1978 were transports for racehorses. Oh, and ones for slaughterhouses, but I think they just used the double-decker cow haulers. Then there's the boarding. She might be able to find a boarding stable with an opening, but good ones are usually full and have waiting lists. If she sets up on her own somewhere, she has to somehow make connections with a feed supplier (for hay, grain, and bedding), have a place to manage the manure pile (figure 8-9 tons of manure per horse per year), and find a farrier (again, the good ones are booked solid and have waiting lists, and you usually only know about them by word of mouth, because they don't advertise. They don't have to. They have all the work they ever want). You can get away without a vet -- for a while, anyway -- and if your horses have good grazing and are turned out 24 hours a day, you can get by without feed and bedding, but you cannot manage without a farrier. Shod or not, horses have to have their feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

Given how rough a time I had when I moved and had to get my horse set up in a new place, I wince just thinking about this girl's situation.

At least here, I don't have to worry about any of my questions seeming a bit odd . . . one story I got overly inquisitive about automatic weapons and bulletproofing houses, I probably got my friend who knows about that stuff a little worried with all my questions
It's so nice to be in a place where people think it's perfectly normal to ask, "So, how many sauted daffodil bulbs would you have to slip into someone's chili to get a toxic dose?"

Cathy C
06-22-2005, 06:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradyH1861
But sure, he could have the victim's checkbook, Driver's License (the most common form of ID), maybe his work ID if the job required one.



He's working as a lawyer, so he'd probably have a bar card. He could pass that along too, that might get the ID man in even more trouble.
Nope. Attorneys in Colorado don't carry their bar cards -- they never have. They keep them in the office in a file folder (usually in their CLE file). They have their registration number memorized,

Even if for some strange reason he had it on him, the card wouldn't be a form of ID, because it's just a piece of paper with his name on it. Back in the 70s it wasn't laminated or anything. There's no photo, no address -- nothing. It was just a piece of paper with his name and reg. number typed on it. It would have about the same level of identification as carrying a library card.

BradyH1861
06-22-2005, 07:59 PM
It has been a while since I have seen a bar card in Texas, but I don't think they have photos on them either. Just name and bar number...probably an address too.

Now our District Attorneys carry badges and IDs to indentify them. That is not done in every state, nor is it even done in every county in Texas. But where I am they do. I see no real need for it. They have a County ID to identify them. They probably do it to get out of speeding tickets.

:banana:

Brady H.

TheNightTerror
06-23-2005, 02:07 AM
But, also from a practical standpoint, how is she going to transport and board them?

Before the foster daughter had to move to Colorado, she was actually working on a farm in Oklahoma that boarded horses, conveniently enough. She's moving back to her home town when she leaves, and in with the people she was working with until she gets back on her feet, so she'd be able to take the horses there. She wouldn't be taking them right away, she'd more or less go to the new home, get onto her feet, have someone in Colorado watch them until then. She'd start working there again and help take care of all the horses, as well as her own.


You need a heavy-duty towing engine to tow a horse trailer, and trucks with those don't come cheap. (For that matter, horse trailers can be mind-bogglingly expensive, too.) Those trucks are real gas hogs, too, and gas wasn't always easy to come by then.

I've given the horse boarders two trucks, one a baby blue '69 F-250, the other a dark green '77 F-250. (Me, a Ford addict? What are you talking about?) A friend of mine owns a '80 F-250 Custom, it has a 400 cubic inch engine, so I'm probably going to just say the '77 has the same sized engine, or maybe just 390, to be on the safe side. My parents used to have a Chevy with a 454 cubic inch engine in it, it was pretty good at hauling stuff, so I'm hoping a 390-400 cubic inch engine should be able to cope.

It would be one hell of a bastard transporting them, though, no doubting that. They'd be driving 2 horses themselves from 2 hours west of Denver to a little past Oklahoma City. How often should they be stopping to give the horses a break?


If she sets up on her own somewhere, she has to somehow make connections with a feed supplier (for hay, grain, and bedding), have a place to manage the manure pile (figure 8-9 tons of manure per horse per year), and find a farrier (again, the good ones are booked solid and have waiting lists, and you usually only know about them by word of mouth, because they don't advertise. They don't have to. They have all the work they ever want).

All that's hopefully taken care of, she'd more or less be using the same connections the horse boarders have. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a second incident that would end up resulting in her needing to find another home for the horses. All hell would be breaking loose at that point, so needing to do all those things for the horses would make it that much worse. I'll probably use that info later. :)


You can get away without a vet -- for a while, anyway -- and if your horses have good grazing and are turned out 24 hours a day, you can get by without feed and bedding, but you cannot manage without a farrier. Shod or not, horses have to have their feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

Holy hell, I had no idea how often it's supposed to be done. My mother owns 3 horses, 2 geldings and a stallion, all of them Arabians. (We used to have 2 mares as well, they're the mothers of the geldings, but both died. One from colic a few years back and the other from old age this winter.) I can safely say we haven't had a farrier out here this year. I'll have to go bug my mom about that when she gets home, that's pushing it a bit. :mad: I'm allergic to the horses, so I can't go near them without plugging up, and can't really help with them, so I don't know as much about them as I should.


Given how rough a time I had when I moved and had to get my horse set up in a new place, I wince just thinking about this girl's situation.

Yeah, she's not having an easy go of things. Having to deal with the horses would be on hell of a pain, especially moving them, but she always does whatever's right over whatever's easiest.


It's so nice to be in a place where people think it's perfectly normal to ask, "So, how many sauted daffodil bulbs would you have to slip into someone's chili to get a toxic dose?"

:ROFL: I only ever asked for information on toxic berries and such once from a friend, and she started getting a bit weirded out by it after a while. It just reminds me of how, right after I'd asked her about that, I asked her if she wanted to finish off a carton of berry juice for me, because it tasted funny to me. :tongue


Nope. Attorneys in Colorado don't carry their bar cards -- they never have. They keep them in the office in a file folder (usually in their CLE file). They have their registration number memorized,

Oh, okay. There wouldn't be any real point to him having his bar card. Gotcha. :)


Even if for some strange reason he had it on him, the card wouldn't be a form of ID, because it's just a piece of paper with his name on it. Back in the 70s it wasn't laminated or anything. There's no photo, no address -- nothing. It was just a piece of paper with his name and reg. number typed on it. It would have about the same level of identification as carrying a library card.

Thanks for the info. :)


Now our District Attorneys carry badges and IDs to indentify them. That is not done in every state, nor is it even done in every county in Texas. But where I am they do. I see no real need for it. They have a County ID to identify them. They probably do it to get out of speeding tickets.

:banana:

Brady H.

Alas, the guy in the story is a civil lawyer, most likely, probably doesn't do much criminal, and definitely wouldn't be a District Attorney. Otherwise, I'd have to have the ID man hand over his real ID while the DA badge was in sight. A little humor at that point in the story would probably be badly needed.


A little rest later, and yet again, I have another question. Odds are very high that the papers for the horses of the foster father were inside the house when it was burned to the ground. There'd probably be some paper work that would need to be done, reregister the horses or something along those lines? If they were even registered to begin with, but if they were, the foster daughter would've known nothing about their breeding or their registered names, so she'd have a ton of trouble there.

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 03:11 AM
It would be one hell of a bastard transporting them, though, no doubting that. They'd be driving 2 horses themselves from 2 hours west of Denver to a little past Oklahoma City. How often should they be stopping to give the horses a break?

Uhm, are you certain you want to make it two hours WEST of Denver? In the 1970s, the speed limit was 55 on the interstates. Two hours west would put her about at Breckenridge, which didn't really exist in the 1970s, save for a house with a sheep pasture or two. Even at higher speed, she'd only be in Vail (just starting the concept of skiing.) And taking two horses in a trailer over Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel (at 11,500 feet elevation) would probably overheat a 1969 F250 at least once. I moved from the Western slope in a horse trailer. It's a long, slow haul (about 25 mph on the approach to the tunnel) and will require at least one stop to cool the radiator.

You might want to consider 2 hours EAST of Denver, instead -- near Limon which is high desert prairie. Wide open spaces and lots of horses out there. Not so many on the western slope if you're following the highways. Maybe the Dotsero/Edwards area, but that's about 3 hours west, or Steamboat Springs (which was closer to the size of a hamlet then) also about 3-4 hours, depending on the time of year.

BradyH1861
06-23-2005, 03:46 AM
I thought of something else in reference to the car being impounded. There are two scenarios that could happen.

Scenario I

If the driver gets arrested, but there is nothing to suggest that the car has any connection to a crime, then it will get towed by a private tow truck company and stored there until the owner or someone acting in their behalf claims it. The car would not be released to them unless the towing fee and storage fees were paid. (Typically these days, if the person being arrested is polite, you let them call a friend or family member to come get the car so it doesn't have to be towed)

Scenario II

If the car is believed to be linked to the commission of a crime, the police would take custody of it so that they can obtain a warrant and search it thoroughly for evidence. They would then keep it until they were done with it. At that point, the owner would be contacted to pick up the car. If no owner was to be found, it would probably be auctioned off. To do a full search of a car, you would need to get a warrant. The automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment only allows you to search the area within the immediate reach of the driver (or a passenger if there was one).

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I really do not know about procedures in 1978, but that is typically how it is done in 2005 in my neck of the woods.

Brady H.

TheNightTerror
06-23-2005, 11:35 AM
Uhm, are you certain you want to make it two hours WEST of Denver? In the 1970s, the speed limit was 55 on the interstates. Two hours west would put her about at Breckenridge, which didn't really exist in the 1970s, save for a house with a sheep pasture or two. Even at higher speed, she'd only be in Vail (just starting the concept of skiing.) And taking two horses in a trailer over Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel (at 11,500 feet elevation) would probably overheat a 1969 F250 at least once. I moved from the Western slope in a horse trailer. It's a long, slow haul (about 25 mph on the approach to the tunnel) and will require at least one stop to cool the radiator.

Hmmm. The town's ficticious, I mainly just chose west because when I was looking at maps, there were no towns in the area. I wanted it to be nice and isolated, somewhere that would probably be scenic. Me being the idiot I am, Vail Pass (which I haven't even heard of before to be honest, I should've done more research) and the Eisenhower Tunnel have not been mentioned once, and the foster daughter has driven to and from Denver on more than one occasion. It's either add mentions of them both, or . . .


You might want to consider 2 hours EAST of Denver, instead -- near Limon which is high desert prairie. Wide open spaces and lots of horses out there.

Go figure! That's pretty much what I've been describing in the story, or at least, it's the description of an area that's not too far from the foster father's house. As long as there's still forest nearby, I'd say changing a few east/west references around shouldn't be too difficult. Most of the area around the town is heavily wooded, but a trail behind the foster father's house leads to a high, treeless area. I've mentioned before that some of the trails lead straight to the town, I could say heading another direction leads to Limon.


I thought of something else in reference to the car being impounded. There are two scenarios that could happen.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I really do not know about procedures in 1978, but that is typically how it is done in 2005 in my neck of the woods.

Brady H.

Hey, the more info, the better. It's helping get ideas rolling, anyway. I'd say that the car would only be towed at first, but when they found out the owner of the car had gone missing, they'd need to search it. I'll have to chew that one over for a while, the end result would be the car being auctioned off, most likely, but what happens to it before that I better work on.

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 07:04 PM
Go figure! That's pretty much what I've been describing in the story, or at least, it's the description of an area that's not too far from the foster father's house. As long as there's still forest nearby, I'd say changing a few east/west references around shouldn't be too difficult. Most of the area around the town is heavily wooded, but a trail behind the foster father's house leads to a high, treeless area. I've mentioned before that some of the trails lead straight to the town, I could say heading another direction leads to Limon
Hmm. No forests, per se, near Limon. It's truly flat, open prairie. But there are some nicely wooded areas around the Republican River basin near Burlington, which is about another two hours east. See, Colorado isn't what people imagine it to be. The eastern slope (so named because it's the east slope of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains), is flat as a pancake, sandy and dry. Without water storage projects in the mountains and reservoirs, Denver probably wouldn't exist today as it is.

The western slope of the mountains, on the other hand, is very heavily wooded with pines, spruce and aspen trees. There are a few flat spots, and those have grown up to the limits of where the mountains stop construction. If you want BOTH flat and wooded, then you need to go further west to the Edwards/Dotsero area or the Rifle/Rangely/Meeker area, both past Vail, or NORTH of Denver to somewhere like Estes Park, or even SOUTH of Denver to the Sangre de Cristo range outside of Pueblo. Is the distance from Denver critical to any plot point? Lots of people right now make overnight or weekend ski trips to Aspen, which is about 6-7 hours from Denver, so it's not unheard of.

Here's a picture I took near Rifle in about 1984, when I lived there. Would this work for your book? This is taken around September during a drive to look at the changing colors:


http://img231.echo.cx/img231/9878/westernslope1ck.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us/)

TheNightTerror
06-23-2005, 08:41 PM
Hmm. No forests, per se, near Limon. It's truly flat, open prairie.

Hmmm, it might not work then. :o


But there are some nicely wooded areas around the Republican River basin near Burlington, which is about another two hours east.

I'll look into that. :)


The western slope of the mountains, on the other hand, is very heavily wooded with pines, spruce and aspen trees.

Looking a bit like this? :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/TheNightTerror/DSC00135.jpg

(I tried to find a photo taken around here with scenery like what I pictured for the town, and that was as close as I got.)


If you want BOTH flat and wooded, then you need to go further west to the Edwards/Dotsero area or the Rifle/Rangely/Meeker area, both past Vail, or NORTH of Denver to somewhere like Estes Park, or even SOUTH of Denver to the Sangre de Cristo range outside of Pueblo.

Anywhere but where I've got things set up now? ;) As there's going to be a forest fire that spreads fast, the thicker the forest, the better. For that matter, I could just go with the open field at a high point in the trail being the result of a clear cut, or the farmer who lived there clearing out the trees so he his livestock could have more room. It wouldn't have to be a natural clearing, as it is right now, it isn't described like one.


Is the distance from Denver critical to any plot point?

Not really, it's just where I picked. It's not so much of a matter of something important depending on it as it is the amount of references I'd need to change. I always note what time it is for each scene, and there's a few scenes right after drives either to or from Denver, half way in between, or before, during, and after drives to Oklahoma City. Changing the overall travel time to and from Denver would mean quite the repair job on the times, but it could be done if it would make more sense in the long run.

Maybe 2 hours north of Denver would work?


Lots of people right now make overnight or weekend ski trips to Aspen, which is about 6-7 hours from Denver, so it's not unheard of.

My mom and I always do the 6-7 hour drive to Vancouver from here in one day, so I'm fairly used to long hauls. Hell, I've done it since I was a baby who projective vomited onto the windshield every 1/2 hour of driving. :tongue


Here's a picture I took near Rifle in about 1984, when I lived there. Would this work for your book? This is taken around September during a drive to look at the changing colors:


http://img231.echo.cx/img231/9878/westernslope1ck.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us/)

Oooh, pretty! :D I love scenery pictures like that! The hills are perfect, and it looks like the woods would be thick enough too. A little thicker couldn't hurt, but it probably just looks thinner because of the leaves.

*oogles picture some more*

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 09:54 PM
Okay, I've got your spot! She has a place in Park County, near an itty bitty town called Fairplay. Even today, the population is only about 600. Back in the 70s it would have looked IDENTICAL to your picture. It's about an hour and a half southwest of Denver on Highway 285.

It's at about 9,000 feet elevation at the base of Hoosier Pass, which is over 11,000.


http://img288.echo.cx/img288/840/fairplay5xp.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

TheNightTerror
06-24-2005, 01:36 PM
Okay, I've got your spot! She has a place in Park County, near an itty bitty town called Fairplay. Even today, the population is only about 600. Back in the 70s it would have looked IDENTICAL to your picture. It's about an hour and a half southwest of Denver on Highway 285.

All right, that's the new place! :D I'll keep the name I thought of for the ficticious town, but have it in the exact same place as Fairplay. The name's pretty ironic considering how the town's hardly fair to the foster daughter, though, so I may just keep the real name. Could go one way or the other. :) The name I have now is horrible, so I may just use the real town name.


It's at about 9,000 feet elevation at the base of Hoosier Pass, which is over 11,000.

:D And the foster father's house is supposed to be on the hill above town, it could be close to Hoosier Pass, then. Perfect! The foster daughter will be driving through trails and cutting through the woods to get to the highway at one point. I wanted a reference made by the foster father about how you can get to the highway through there, I'm just about to start writing the section where the mention is made, so your timing was perfect. :)

And I shouldn't have to do too much altering with the distances, if it's only an extra half hour, I can just say everyone who says it's a 2 hour drive doesn't drive quite as fast as the girl in the '68 Charger with a lead foot. ;)

three seven
06-26-2005, 05:10 AM
If you ordered an F-250 in 1977 you could have a weedy 6-cylinder or a choice of 302, 351, 400 or 460cu.in (2wd only) motors. The 460 only wheezed out 197hp though, so you're better off towing with a '69 model, wherein even the stock 302 had more grunt than that. A 265hp 390 was optional, or for towing proper heavy stuff you could conceivably shoehorn in the 360hp 429 - although none were ever factory-fitted.

Credit card fraud was a lot easier in the 70s, but the paper trail was still pretty straightforward to follow. Ted Bundy, for example, fell foul of this back in 1976 when his previous year's credit card slips placed him at gas stations suspiciously close to numerous crime scenes. Here endeth the lesson.

Maryn
06-26-2005, 08:15 PM
In the late 70s I worked at a car rental place at an airport. (And I looked hot in the uniform, too.)

Your foster father-lawyer, if his legal practice involves any travel at all, is going to carry either (or both) a Hertz and and Avis card identifying him as a member of the ABA (American Bar Association) imprinted with his name, his law firm's name, and a number which entitles him to a hefty discount. (Almost any business or group got some kind of discount.)

His major credit cards will be an American Express, either green (regular issue) or gold (higher membership fee, some special privileges), which has to be paid off in full each billing cycle, and either (or both) a MasterCharge (precursor to MasterCard) and BankAmericard (predecessor of Visa). I'm shaky on when MasterCharge became MasterCard and when BankAmericard became Visa, but I'm sure it can be checked out.

I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure a foster child has no legal status in terms of inheritance, including living creatures. Until the foster father is declared dead, there's no inheritance involved and any provisions in his will are not related to the disposition of his assets. I doubt she'd be allowed to take animals with a monetary value away, any more than she'd be allowed to empty his savings account or sell his office's IBM electric typewriter. Despite their need for care, the horses are not hers.

Once the man is declared dead, if he has no children and no will, there are specific laws which determine which of his living relatives get how much of his estate. Often everything is sold rather than goods distributed, although a family that cooperates can determine that certain items are appraised and given to whoever wants them as part of their share. It can take a year or more to settle an estate.

A job that a 17-year-old could hold--and did hold, responsibly enough to save thousands of dollars--seems unlikely to sway a judge enough to grant emancipated minor status unless she is very nearly 18 and has already graduated from high school. Far more likely seems a return to the foster care system, which is not kind to teenage girls, especially if they're attractive, if you get my meaning.

Maryn, hoping this is of some use

TheNightTerror
06-26-2005, 10:37 PM
If you ordered an F-250 in 1977 you could have a weedy 6-cylinder or a choice of 302, 351, 400 or 460cu.in (2wd only) motors.

:tongue 2 wheel drive only won't work, let's just say the main character and the son of the guy who owned the truck took it mud bogging, and ended up needing the 4WD to get out of a messy situation. :)


The 460 only wheezed out 197hp though, so you're better off towing with a '69 model, wherein even the stock 302 had more grunt than that.

Bloody fuel crisis had to suck all the life out of engines, didn't it? :(


A 265hp 390 was optional, or for towing proper heavy stuff you could conceivably shoehorn in the 360hp 429 - although none were ever factory-fitted.

I probably could. The truck hasn't been mentioned in a while, so I could say the truck's engine was swapped for a 429 when the story wasn't focusing on anything in Oklahoma.


Credit card fraud was a lot easier in the 70s, but the paper trail was still pretty straightforward to follow. Ted Bundy, for example, fell foul of this back in 1976 when his previous year's credit card slips placed him at gas stations suspiciously close to numerous crime scenes. Here endeth the lesson.

:tongue Thanks! :) For the info, I didn't mean thanks for shutting up. :o


In the late 70s I worked at a car rental place at an airport. (And I looked hot in the uniform, too.)

Nice! ;)


Your foster father-lawyer, if his legal practice involves any travel at all,

It might, but it might not. He would be driving to Denver most likely if he needed to go there, so unless he had to go out of state, he might not have anything. :(


is going to carry either (or both) a Hertz and and Avis card identifying him as a member of the ABA (American Bar Association) imprinted with his name, his law firm's name, and a number which entitles him to a hefty discount. (Almost any business or group got some kind of discount.)

I could probably still use that info, though, thanks! :)


His major credit cards will be an American Express, either green (regular issue) or gold (higher membership fee, some special privileges), which has to be paid off in full each billing cycle, and either (or both) a MasterCharge (precursor to MasterCard) and BankAmericard (predecessor of Visa). I'm shaky on when MasterCharge became MasterCard and when BankAmericard became Visa, but I'm sure it can be checked out.

That info I can definitely use. :D


I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure a foster child has no legal status in terms of inheritance, including living creatures. Until the foster father is declared dead, there's no inheritance involved and any provisions in his will are not related to the disposition of his assets. I doubt she'd be allowed to take animals with a monetary value away, any more than she'd be allowed to empty his savings account or sell his office's IBM electric typewriter. Despite their need for care, the horses are not hers.

Yeah, that's definitely true. Hmmm. Just thinking here, someone would take care of them until the foster father resurfaces. Ah . . . maybe would the state assign someone to take care of them, or something along those lines? The main character could get a job again and get back on her feet, take custody of the horses, (or something similar, it was the first thing that came to mind) then move to Oklahoma and bring them with her.



Once the man is declared dead, if he has no children and no will, there are specific laws which determine which of his living relatives get how much of his estate. Often everything is sold rather than goods distributed, although a family that cooperates can determine that certain items are appraised and given to whoever wants them as part of their share. It can take a year or more to settle an estate.

I'm guessing once that happens, the most reasonable thing the foster daughter could do would be to just buy the horses when they're sold off. It does help me get a time frame set up. I have a little plan set up for how she'll finally get her life sorted out and on track, that'll have to happen before she turns 24 or so.


A job that a 17-year-old could hold--and did hold, responsibly enough to save thousands of dollars--seems unlikely to sway a judge enough to grant emancipated minor status unless she is very nearly 18 and has already graduated from high school.

This all would've happened right after she finished Grade 11, so she's still a year away from finishing high school. It would've been during the summer, so the judge would probably say something along the lines of, 'you have no job, and there's no way we can tell that you'll go to high school on your own, so we can't do this.'

Some of this money was actually her mother's, but she had kept it all in a safety deposit box, which was emptied when she died. Her daughter got immediate access to all of it, although up until this point, she hasn't actually used any of it. Her mother was saving for college money and that's what the foster daughter is using it for. However, from working insane hours, she still had a good chunk of her own money.


Far more likely seems a return to the foster care system, which is not kind to teenage girls, especially if they're attractive, if you get my meaning.

Maryn, hoping this is of some use

Reading you loud and clear good buddy. ;) Actually, she's had a rough time since her mother died, and let's just say she's found out what happens to girls like her in foster care. I've been putting her through hell enough that she'll start having a break down and going insane soon, then things start getting fun for me. Mwahahaha! I'm starting to worry that when I finally get to the point where I can write 'the end,' the page number it's on is going to be well past 400, and quite possibly past 500. And this is the first story I'm writing with no filler whatsoever. :o

three seven
07-01-2005, 04:18 PM
I'm shaky on when MasterCharge became MasterCardIt was still Master Charge in 1978, and using the stolen card would have landed the guy on charges of theft, forgery and 'uttering' (to declare or assert that a note, money or document is good or valid when it's actually counterfeit).

ideagirl
07-01-2005, 08:56 PM
A couple of points:

- Until the missing guy is declared legally dead, which would take a while (often it's 7 years, but you'd have to check CO law at the time), his property is still his property. Nobody "gets" it, but the court would appoint a trustee to manage it. Typically this would be a relative whose background indicated that they could do this competently (e.g., a relative with no criminal history, no huge financial problems and some experience owning/managing their own property). Sometimes, and certainly where there's no adequate relative, they would appoint the guy's banker or attorney. If the guy had a will, they might consider whoever his will appoints as executor of his estate, just because that indicates who the guy would approve of for managing his stuff. The foster daughter definitely would not be appointed, not least because she's a minor.

Once the court appoints a trustee, which is not a terribly complicated process, that person can pay themselves reasonable compensation for the time they spend managing the property. The compensation comes from the missing guy's property, eg. his bank account. They can also pay for stuff that needs to be done, e.g., pay a tax preparer to file the missing guy's taxes, or a veterinarian to take care of a sick horse. The basic principle is that the trustee is supposed to maintain the value of the property reasonably; they can sell stuff if it seems best (e.g., they can sell stocks that he owns and reinvest the money in better stocks), or if it's necessary (e.g., if the house is falling into disrepair, they can sell something--say, one of the horses--to get the money to fix it). But they can't just, like, play the stock market or sell things to their friends at a bargain, etc. They have a fiduciary duty towards the missing guy, i.e. a legal duty to manage his property in a way that maximizes his best interests.

- If his body were found or he were declared legally dead, if he did not have a will then Colorado intestacy statutes would dictate who got his stuff. (Intestacy statutes = laws about what to do with the property of people who die without leaving a will). Each state makes slightly different rules, but the basic idea is that the property is divided into shares and distributed to various relatives in order of how closely related they are. If there are close relatives, distant relatives get nothing. Again, the foster daugher gets nothing (unless he left her something in his will), because she's not a relative.

- My guess is the horses would either stay where they are, with the trustee paying someone to come in and care for them (she/he could sell one horse to pay for the care of the other, if necessary), or they would be boarded somewhere, e.g. at a friend's or neighbor's or some commercial stable (again, with the trustee paying the friend/neighbor/stable, unless the friend/neighbor etc. offered to do it for free). The foster daughter would be free to offer to help care for the horses, and even be paid for it out of the missing guy's bank account or other property, but again, she wouldn't "get" the horses.

- Like the other posters have mentioned, the foster daughter would eventually revert to the custody of the state, once the dept. of child and family services (or whatever the agency is called in Colorado) found out that the foster dad was missing. They would not necessarily find this out immediately--they are famously lax in following up on foster kids. But, once she reverted to their custody, they would probably keep her in a group home until they could find a new foster family for her. They might also have had a program for older foster kids, like a sort of halfway house where they learn how to live on their own, in preparation for turning 18. She could petition to be emancipated, and I actually don't agree with the other poster that it would be difficult to get emancipated, since after all she can support herself. It would depend on the individual judge, but it's not extremely difficult to get emancipated, that I know of. However, if she's within just a few months of 18, it might be semi-pointless since it would take a certain amount of time to go through the hearings etc. for emancipation, and she could just as easily wait for her birthday to roll around. But it might be worth it if she's only just barely 17 now.

- FYI, for the guy caught with the foster father's things: he would obviously be suspect #1 in the guy's murder (they would assume the guy's dead), and would be treated as such (investigation, etc.). Also, it's not impossible to charge him with murder even without finding the missing guy's body--I'm not sure what kind of proof there has to be for this, but I have heard of the occasional murder case where no body was ever found but the defendant was charged with murder anyway. You'll have to check Colorado statutes and caselaw on this.

TheNightTerror
07-01-2005, 10:38 PM
It was still Master Charge in 1978, and using the stolen card would have landed the guy on charges of theft, forgery and 'uttering' (to declare or assert that a note, money or document is good or valid when it's actually counterfeit).

:D Perfect! Thanks for the extra info. :) I'm actually maybe a day or two from using the info, so that was perfect timing! :Thumbs:


A couple of points:

- Until the missing guy is declared legally dead, which would take a while (often it's 7 years, but you'd have to check CO law at the time), his property is still his property. Nobody "gets" it, but the court would appoint a trustee to manage it. Typically this would be a relative whose background indicated that they could do this competently (e.g., a relative with no criminal history, no huge financial problems and some experience owning/managing their own property). Sometimes, and certainly where there's no adequate relative, they would appoint the guy's banker or attorney. If the guy had a will, they might consider whoever his will appoints as executor of his estate, just because that indicates who the guy would approve of for managing his stuff. The foster daughter definitely would not be appointed, not least because she's a minor.

Once the court appoints a trustee, which is not a terribly complicated process, that person can pay themselves reasonable compensation for the time they spend managing the property. The compensation comes from the missing guy's property, eg. his bank account. They can also pay for stuff that needs to be done, e.g., pay a tax preparer to file the missing guy's taxes, or a veterinarian to take care of a sick horse. The basic principle is that the trustee is supposed to maintain the value of the property reasonably; they can sell stuff if it seems best (e.g., they can sell stocks that he owns and reinvest the money in better stocks), or if it's necessary (e.g., if the house is falling into disrepair, they can sell something--say, one of the horses--to get the money to fix it). But they can't just, like, play the stock market or sell things to their friends at a bargain, etc. They have a fiduciary duty towards the missing guy, i.e. a legal duty to manage his property in a way that maximizes his best interests.

Food for thought, to say the least, I'll see what I can work out. I'll have to think of someone who could do that kind of work for him. He works with several lawyers, so one of them could theoretically end up taking care of his estate.


- If his body were found or he were declared legally dead, if he did not have a will then Colorado intestacy statutes would dictate who got his stuff. (Intestacy statutes = laws about what to do with the property of people who die without leaving a will). Each state makes slightly different rules, but the basic idea is that the property is divided into shares and distributed to various relatives in order of how closely related they are. If there are close relatives, distant relatives get nothing. Again, the foster daugher gets nothing (unless he left her something in his will), because she's not a relative.

Actually, she's a very, very distant relative, a cousin, but I've definitely changed my mind about the foster daughter getting anything of his. It would probably raise too many eyebrows for it to be of any use. Once he's declared dead, I think the foster daughter will buy the horses whenever she gets the chance.


- My guess is the horses would either stay where they are, with the trustee paying someone to come in and care for them (she/he could sell one horse to pay for the care of the other, if necessary), or they would be boarded somewhere, e.g. at a friend's or neighbor's or some commercial stable (again, with the trustee paying the friend/neighbor/stable, unless the friend/neighbor etc. offered to do it for free). The foster daughter would be free to offer to help care for the horses, and even be paid for it out of the missing guy's bank account or other property, but again, she wouldn't "get" the horses.

Hmmm. I'd say the horses would probably be boarded somewhere, anywhere in town they could've stayed would've been wiped out in the forest fire. So, if the foster daughter offered to take responsibility for them, and pay for all the expenses out of her own pocket, nobody should put up too much of a fight, right? It would be the cheapest way to have them cared for.


- Like the other posters have mentioned, the foster daughter would eventually revert to the custody of the state, once the dept. of child and family services (or whatever the agency is called in Colorado) found out that the foster dad was missing. They would not necessarily find this out immediately--they are famously lax in following up on foster kids.

Yeah, they'd probably have to find out about the foster father's disappearence through the police, they'd probably call the department and say that the foster father is probably dead, so the girl will need to be relocated.


But, once she reverted to their custody, they would probably keep her in a group home until they could find a new foster family for her. They might also have had a program for older foster kids, like a sort of halfway house where they learn how to live on their own, in preparation for turning 18. She could petition to be emancipated, and I actually don't agree with the other poster that it would be difficult to get emancipated, since after all she can support herself. It would depend on the individual judge, but it's not extremely difficult to get emancipated, that I know of. However, if she's within just a few months of 18, it might be semi-pointless since it would take a certain amount of time to go through the hearings etc. for emancipation, and she could just as easily wait for her birthday to roll around. But it might be worth it if she's only just barely 17 now.

Her birthday was March 24th, and it looks like the foster father's murder is going to be happening on July 14th. So, there's still quite a while to go before she's 18, but she also has time to get a job, a new place to stay, and enroll in the high school in her old hometown. Maybe the judge could allow her to be declared emancipated so long as the conditions are met by September or so?


- FYI, for the guy caught with the foster father's things: he would obviously be suspect #1 in the guy's murder (they would assume the guy's dead), and would be treated as such (investigation, etc.). Also, it's not impossible to charge him with murder even without finding the missing guy's body--I'm not sure what kind of proof there has to be for this, but I have heard of the occasional murder case where no body was ever found but the defendant was charged with murder anyway. You'll have to check Colorado statutes and caselaw on this.

Yeah, I've heard the occasional story too. But I seem to remember them involving the victim's blood being found. DNA tests would be done to confirm it was the victim's, then they'd try recreating the stains of blood they found to see how much blood had been lost, and see if a person the same height and weight as the victim could've survived loosing it without medical attention. If they couldn't have survived, then the person would be declared dead.

But, in this case, all of the evidence pointing to the real killer would've been burned in the forest fire. The heat from the fire would've effectively cremated the body, so the only evidence would've been someone else having his ID. He'd be a suspect, definitely, but the victim handed over the ID willingly, and there was a witness to it, so without anything to prove otherwise, they would have to keep searching for evidence.

ideagirl
07-02-2005, 12:26 AM
I'll have to think of someone who could do that kind of work for him. He works with several lawyers, so one of them could theoretically end up taking care of his estate.

It would probably be easiest if there were a lawyer who was already in some kind of relationship of trust with him: a business partner, a lawyer (i.e. the missing guy used Lawyer X as his own lawyer), or maybe the missing guy names lawyer X as the executor of his estate. That would make a court more inclined to appoint lawyer X to oversee the missing guy's stuff without any fuss/delay.


I think the foster daughter will buy the horses whenever she gets the chance.

Remember that the horses can't be sold unless there's a damn good reason to. I mean, whoever is appointed to watch over the missing guy's stuff can't just sell it because it's a hassle to manage... it still belongs to the missing guy until the missing guy is declared dead. So foster-daughter won't have an opportunity to buy them for a long while. It might be easier if she takes them in as... well, almost as "foster horses" if you see what I mean! She could offer to board them and take care of them at her own expense (she would need to make this offer to whoever gets appointed trustee), but she can't own them. Not until the missing guy is definitely dead, or until the trustee decides that there is a good financial reason to sell them--that seems unlikely in the circumstances. It's probably easiest to just have the trustee hand them over to her as "foster horses." :) You can even use that phrase--it would be meaningful to her, maybe, to take care of these horses as her foster dad took care of her (or to take better care of them than he took of her, if he was bad).


Yeah, they'd probably have to find out about the foster father's disappearence through the police, they'd probably call the department and say that the foster father is probably dead, so the girl will need to be relocated.

They would do that IF they knew she was a foster kid. I suppose in a small town they probably would, though. If they didn't know, she could purposely delay the process in an effort to avoid being placed back in foster care. For example, she could tell the cops she's a cousin of his, for example, and that wouldn't be a lie... it just wouldn't be the whole truth. Then it might take them a little while to realize she should be back in the custody of the state.


there's still quite a while to go before she's 18, but she also has time to get a job, a new place to stay, and enroll in the high school in her old hometown. Maybe the judge could allow her to be declared emancipated so long as the conditions are met by September or so?

I have no idea how the actual emancipation process works. It's probably best if you find out from someone how it works in your area these days, so you can at least construct a realistic situation, and then if you later discover some detail of Colorado 1978 law that made emancipation different, you could work that into the story. But it would be far better to at least model your story on how emancipation works now, rather than try to make it up out of thin air. It would be more realistic if it were modeled on the real process, even if you're using a process from 2005 and a different state than Colorado.

As for murder charged when no body has been found, you actually don't need blood, DNA tests, etc., to charge someone with murder. I mean, for example: http://www.nbc6.net/news/4295559/detail.html
Quote: "With no body, no crime scene and no physical evidence, legal experts said prosecutors will have a difficult task persuading a jury to convict Graham of murder." ...but note, they didn't say impossible! In that case they have some informant who claims the defendant confessed to her, and all the rest is circumstantial evidence. I'm sure it varies a bit from state to state, but there's pretty much always going to be some combination of evidence you can use to have a missing person declared dead and charge a person with their murder. It does sound like that might be harder in your case, and of course they didn't have DNA tests in 1978 anyway, but it's worth keeping murder charges in mind in case you decide it might be good for your story.

ideagirl
07-02-2005, 12:29 AM
PS they might also charge the guy who has his ID, etc., with possession of stolen property. Prosecutors seem to like throwing every conceivable charge at a defendant in hopes that at least one charge sticks, and also so that they have more leverage: they can always say "we'll drop these charges if you confess to those charges," offering the defendant less jail time (or just probation) in return for confessing and saving everyone the hassle of a full-on trial. They also like charging people with a million different things in order to be able to hold the person in jail, get their bail set higher, etc., so they can keep their hands on a person while they're investigating him.

TheNightTerror
07-02-2005, 01:46 AM
It would probably be easiest if there were a lawyer who was already in some kind of relationship of trust with him: a business partner, a lawyer (i.e. the missing guy used Lawyer X as his own lawyer), or maybe the missing guy names lawyer X as the executor of his estate. That would make a court more inclined to appoint lawyer X to oversee the missing guy's stuff without any fuss/delay.

All right, I'll work out something along those lines. :)



Remember that the horses can't be sold unless there's a damn good reason to. I mean, whoever is appointed to watch over the missing guy's stuff can't just sell it because it's a hassle to manage... it still belongs to the missing guy until the missing guy is declared dead. So foster-daughter won't have an opportunity to buy them for a long while.

I know, the buying the horses part would be something mentioned in the epilogue at the best. There's no way the horses would be sold until he was declared dead, it would have to be a good 7 years before that happened.


It might be easier if she takes them in as... well, almost as "foster horses" if you see what I mean! She could offer to board them and take care of them at her own expense (she would need to make this offer to whoever gets appointed trustee), but she can't own them. Not until the missing guy is definitely dead, or until the trustee decides that there is a good financial reason to sell them--that seems unlikely in the circumstances. It's probably easiest to just have the trustee hand them over to her as "foster horses." :) You can even use that phrase--it would be meaningful to her, maybe, to take care of these horses as her foster dad took care of her (or to take better care of them than he took of her, if he was bad).

Let's just say he's not the kindest person she's ever met. ;) She'd be taking care of them just to make sure nothing happens to them, she's lost enough people she cares about to just let the horses go. They would be just like her kids, she put a lot of work into both of them to get them back into decent shape, and a few times she slept in the barn with them so she'd have some company.


They would do that IF they knew she was a foster kid. I suppose in a small town they probably would, though.

Pretty much the entire town knows. The foster father more or less took the girl in just to make himself look better in the eyes of the town, so he didn't keep it a secret.


If they didn't know, she could purposely delay the process in an effort to avoid being placed back in foster care. For example, she could tell the cops she's a cousin of his, for example, and that wouldn't be a lie... it just wouldn't be the whole truth. Then it might take them a little while to realize she should be back in the custody of the state.

It could. With the forest fire in the area and everything, calling around and getting in touch with someone who can take the girl to a foster home would be a fairly low priority until the town wasn't in any danger.


I have no idea how the actual emancipation process works. It's probably best if you find out from someone how it works in your area these days, so you can at least construct a realistic situation, and then if you later discover some detail of Colorado 1978 law that made emancipation different, you could work that into the story. But it would be far better to at least model your story on how emancipation works now, rather than try to make it up out of thin air. It would be more realistic if it were modeled on the real process, even if you're using a process from 2005 and a different state than Colorado.

In a different country, even. I live in Canada. I do have access to legal books for BC, having a vague idea of how it works is better than having no idea at all. I'll look into it. :)


As for murder charged when no body has been found, you actually don't need blood, DNA tests, etc., to charge someone with murder. I mean, for example: http://www.nbc6.net/news/4295559/detail.html
Quote: "With no body, no crime scene and no physical evidence, legal experts said prosecutors will have a difficult task persuading a jury to convict Graham of murder." ...but note, they didn't say impossible! In that case they have some informant who claims the defendant confessed to her, and all the rest is circumstantial evidence. I'm sure it varies a bit from state to state, but there's pretty much always going to be some combination of evidence you can use to have a missing person declared dead and charge a person with their murder. It does sound like that might be harder in your case, and of course they didn't have DNA tests in 1978 anyway, but it's worth keeping murder charges in mind in case you decide it might be good for your story.

I'm more leaning towards nobody being able to figure out what happened. It's complicated, but basically, the victim was using the ID man to create tracks he could use for an alibi. The victim commited crimes on the killer just prior to the murder, so if the killer confessed, the ID man would probably get slapped with accessory, or conspiracy, charges for it. The killer backs out of completely confessing to save everyone's butts, and only tells enough of the story to try to get the ID man out of trouble.

I don't know how much sense that made, I'm pretty sleepy. :Shrug:


PS they might also charge the guy who has his ID, etc., with possession of stolen property. Prosecutors seem to like throwing every conceivable charge at a defendant in hopes that at least one charge sticks, and also so that they have more leverage: they can always say "we'll drop these charges if you confess to those charges," offering the defendant less jail time (or just probation) in return for confessing and saving everyone the hassle of a full-on trial. They also like charging people with a million different things in order to be able to hold the person in jail, get their bail set higher, etc., so they can keep their hands on a person while they're investigating him.

I was guessing the ID man would probably get nailed for that, too. It would be one of the things that makes the killer talk to the police, and tell them a little bit about that day. The killer does everything possible to try to get all the charges off the ID man, who had no idea what was going to happen, and more or less stands by until it's clear the ID man won't be charged anytime soon.