Time for Thanksgiving – and Crime.

Ah, the week of Thanksgiving. Time for family, friends, food—and crime?

It’s true. According to the Journal of Criminal Justice “Crimes of expressive violence were significantly more prevalent on major holidays ….” (2003, vol. 31, pages 351-360).

Sad to say, holiday cheer plus the proximity of family explains this finding because there are “additional opportunities for violent behavior”.

A 2009 murder is one example. On Thanksgiving, a Colorado Springs grandfather shot his son in the head with a revolver because the son refused to leave the house when asked.

Poke around and you’ll find a plethora of bad stuff that’s happened on Thanksgiving. Witness the Bount family of Fort Worth, TX. After a Thanksgiving outing in 1985, teenage daughter Angela found a briefcase on the family’s front porch. She opened the briefcase which exploded killing Angela, her father, and a cousin. The guy convicted a decade later was freed because the prosecution withheld information exonerating him.

A birder enjoying the outdoors on Thanksgiving pulled out her binoculars to watch a heron in a Pennsylvania creek. Focusing, she saw a pair of sneakers attached to a man’s decomposing body. To this day both the identify and cause of death remain unknown.

Then there was a family game of Trivial Pursuit that went bad when an unhappy player pulled out a hatchet. Justice reigned when police linked the hatchet to a drug crime.

Some Thanksgiving goings on are just plain comical. In 2014 a monkey – described as “three feet tall, brown, and fast” – was seen running around in Tampa Bay. The local zoo said it wasn’t theirs. I’m not sure what happened to said monkey.

Lady Gaga was in Peru celebrating the holiday with her family when she discovered 35 “Lady Gob Gobs” in the garage.

And finally, of course, so many of us participate in crimes against turkeys.

About Charlene DAvanzo

I'm a marine ecology/college professor who never, ever thought I'd write fiction. That assumption changed in an instant as I listened to another scientist - a climatologist named Ray Bradley at UMass, Amherst - describe being harassed by climate change deniers. The idea to write mysteries with climate change understories to help readers understand what's happening to our climate in the context of a fast-paced exciting story came to me out of nowhere. That's what I do in my "Maine Oceanographer Mara Tusconi" series.
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