Police blunders


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After students have read and taken notes on Lois Duncan's "Who Killed My Daughter?", pass out this handout for them to compare their notes with, create PowerPoints from, and study from

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Police blunders

  1. 1. Who Killed My Daughter? Police Blunders • The police say it was a senseless drive-by shooting and start searching for a beige Volkswagen, but it was a professional hit, and the police should have been searching for two cars—the VW of the Vietnamese who were scouting for Kait and the gold Camaro of the Hispanics hired to kill her. • The police say Kait was driving the car insurance scam car, but she wasn’t even in the car according to the accident reports. • The police question Dung but he says he doesn’t know anything and then leaves the state. • The police believe Dung’s alibi that he was out with two other Vietnamese men at the time of the murder, but those two other men turn out to be additional prime suspects in the murder. • Lois gives the police letters Dung wrote and offers to get them translated, but the police say they don’t need her help because there is an officier in their department who is fluent in Vietnamese. The police never get the letters translated, and there isn’t and never was an officer in their department fluent in Vietnamese. • Lois finds out that three phone calls were made from Kaitlyn’s apartment the night Kaitlyn was shot after Kaitlyn and Dung were both at the hospital. Lois gives the phone numbers to the police, but she nevers gets information back on who the calls were to. • The police start looking for a dark blue Ford Tempo based on information given to them by a supposed witness of the car chase, but this witness said he saw the chase about an hour before it took place. • The police don’t question any of the Vietnamese much because the police now believe that Kaitlyn spurned advances from some random Hispanics in a Camaro, even though the way Kaitlyn was shot looks like a professional hit job. • The police department isn’t willing to check into the car scam angle much because they say it wasn’t important enough to cause murder even though the police had been informed that the staged accident scam was a multi-million dollar business. • The police department’s divisions do not share their information with each other. • The police start looking for a gold Camaro. • The police arrest three Hispanics who allegedly shot Kaitlyn on a dare, but the police informant had incorrectly named the direction of the vehicles and had not mentioned a car chase. Also, it turns out the informant couldn’t have been at the scene of the crime because he was incarcerated at the time. He says the police bullied him into making his statement. • Lois receives an anonymous tip that the Hispanics who had been arrested had been involved as hired hit men, but the police refuse to check into this. • By the time the police actually begin to get ready to take the Hispanics to trial, one of them has disappeared. • The police shrug off six different reports from people who claimed to have heard Dung admit to being involved in some way in the shooting.
  2. 2. • The police wipe any Vietnamese connection out of the files of the Hispanic men on trial. • The police also take the secretly recorded “confessions” of the Hispanics out of context in a way that makes the Hispanics look like they are saying they are guilty when their statements are actually saying they aren’t guilty. • The police lie about evidence Lois gave them. First, they say they never received it. Then they say they already given it back. Finally, they return it from a locked box. • The police believe a note Dung gave them was from Kaitlyn when it clearly was not her handwriting and contained grammatical mistakes Kaitlyn never would have made. Instead those mistakes are typical of the mistakes Vietnamess people learning English make. • When the missing Hispanic murder suspect returns to Albuquerque, people who see him inform the police of his whereabouts several times, but the police never come and pick him up. • The police interrogate Dung, and he admits to the car insurance scam. Dung also reveals there was a check in Kait’s bank account that he was given from the Vietnamese man running the scam, but the police don’t follow up on either of these leads and instead suggest Dung sue Lois Duncan for harassment. • The court case against the Hispanic hit men is dropped, but the prosecution team says they will continue to investigate and will let Lois know what is going on by calling her every 2 weeks. 4 months pass, and still no one calls Lois. • The police witness Dung selling drugs, but do nothing.. • Lois finds out the Albuquerque police kept the FBI from becoming involved, and another reason Dung may have confessed to the insurance scam was that all the information he gave the police was out of date. Dung’s friends had disappeared. • Lois discovers Rod, Kait’s secret romantic interest had tried to talk to the prosecutors, but they thought he was a quack and didn’t meet with him. Since them he had put flowers on Kaitlyn’s grave, so Lois left a note on the grave for Rod to contact her because of some important information he might be able to provide.