Something for nostalgia seeking Brooklyn Dodger fans.

Mar 31, 2020 by

By Wayne Zurl

On September 24, 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field and I was there. Well, not exactly there—I watched the game on TV. I was eleven and had sprained my ankle the day before in gym class. My mother kept me home from school to let it heal.

The Dodgers’ second baseman Junior Gilliam just hit a high fly ball to shallow right field when I heard what I thought was a muffled backfire sound off close to our house. I looked out the window, but didn’t see a car running. Then a man about thirty or forty—as a kid, I had a hard time telling—slammed the side door at Mrs. Campbell’s house. It wasn’t Mr. Campbell. He jumped into a two-tone brown ’48 Chevy, one just like my father’s, and drove away. I went back to finish watching the game.

The cameras panned a small crowd of people scattered around the stadium. Vin Scully, the announcer, said only 6,700 attended—a drop in the bucket. The game ended when Pirates’ outfielder Bob Skinner grounded to short and Don Zimmer scooped it up and fired a bullet to Gil Hodges at first. End of an era. The Dodgers won the five-hitter two-zip, but no one in Brooklyn looked happy.

My mother was preparing a meatloaf when I pushed the curtains aside and saw two marked police cars parked in front of the Campbell’s house. As I peered out the window, a black ’55 Ford pulled into the driveway and an overweight guy in a gray suit and dark fedora stepped out.

I called to my mother, “Hey, Ma, what’s going on next door?”

She didn’t know.

Another dark four-door pulled up and two more suits got out. One carried a big Graphic Reflex camera and the other, a large tool box.

My mother stepped up behind me and looked over my shoulder.

“I’m going out there,” she said.

“Me, too.”

“You shouldn’t walk.’

“Sure I should.”

I hobbled after her and reached the sidewalk in front of Campbell’s home, just as a Nassau County patrolman left the house and approached his car. He looked short for a cop. His orange oval patch and powder blue tie contrasted sharply with the navy blue uniform.

“What happened?” my mother asked.

“Woman got killed.”

“She get shot?” I asked.

He looked at me for the first time and frowned. “Yeah, why?”

“I’ll bet I know who did it,” I said.

My mother stared at me like I was a Martian.

The cop smiled and shook his head. “Sure you do, kid.” He got into his car and drove away.

“What are you talking about?” Mom asked.

“I saw a guy run out of the house before.”

She grabbed my hand. “Come with me.”

The Campbell’s front door stood slightly ajar. Mr. Campbell sat on the sofa hanging his head. Mom knocked on the jamb and the overweight plainclothes cop opened the door. A gold shield hung from a leather fob on his jacket pocket.

“My son has something to tell you.”

He stepped outside and closed the door.

“This guy,” I said, “came out the side door and jumped into a car.”

“What guy?”

“I don’t know. Some guy. I never saw him before.”

“What time?”

“Not sure. Third inning?”

The detective looked confused.

I shrugged. “I was watching the Dodger game.”

“Oh.” He rolled his eyes.

“Was she shot?” I asked.

I must have seemed overly enthused. He scowled.

“Look, son, we’re pretty busy here. I hope you’re not fooling around.”

“He wouldn’t do that.” Mom always stuck up for me.

“What’s his name?”

I spoke for myself. “I’m Sam Jenkins. We live next door.”

“How old are you, kid?”

“Eleven and a half.”

“You look pretty big for eleven.” He pointed to the Ace bandage around my foot. “What happened?”

I told him, and then described the man I saw and his car.

“Okay, thanks. I’ll look into it.” The squad dick turned to leave.

“Hey, wait,” I said. “You want his plate number?”


If you enjoyed this short story about a young Sam Jenkins and would like to read more about his real career in law enforcement, how about a FREE copy of A NEW PROSPECT, the book that begins the long-running series? It’s won two awards and has over two hundred 5 star reviews. And the price is right. Just click the link and any eBook format is yours.
After that you’re on your own, and welcome to visit the squad room at Prospect PD anytime.

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Writing Guide for Young Authors

Feb 29, 2020 by

Many thanks to Denver Librarian Bethany Langston for sending me this information found by one of her writing students. The young lady wanted to share this other beginning writers who might stop by for a look at my links page. These future authors will be forever grateful to Amelia and her mom for sharing this good information.

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Writing Basics for Young Authors

Feb 29, 2020 by

Many thanks to Denver librarian Bethany Langston for forwarding this information from one of her young writing students. The young lady wanted to share this with other beginning writers who may stop by my links page. Those future novelists will be forever grateful to Amelia and her mom for sharing this good information.

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HERE COMES A MYSTERY selects Wayne Zurl as “One of the top 10 mystery/action writers you need to be reading.”

Feb 29, 2020 by

Author/blogger Caleb Pirtle III, proprietor of the successful blog HERE COMES A MYSTERY has chosen me as one of the top ten mystery/action writers you need to be reading. Wow! lucky me. Caleb has published more than 80 books, has worked as a reporter for a Texas newspaper, has been travel editor for Southern Living Magazine, has written two teleplays for the famous Kenny Rogers GAMBLER series and the screenplay for the TNT TV movie THE TEXAS RANGERS.

With those writing credentials, I feel honored for him to have picked me as one of his favorite mystery guys.

Linda Pirtle, Caleb’s wife and co-blogger At HERE COMES A MYSTERY has written three mystery novels herself. You can find both writers easily at

You can visit HERE COMES A MYSTERY and see my article here: Wayne Zurl at HERE COMES A MYSTERY

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FESTIVAL OF FELONIES scheduled for release early spring 2020

Jan 22, 2019 by

Ready for another Sam Jenkins mystery anthology? It’s coming up in March of 2020.

One short story, three novelettes and one novella.

Here’s the rundown:

Have You Considered Voodoo? (A Sam Jenkins short story)
New York Detective Sam Jenkins is handed a bizarre case that develops into the serial killing of animals. It doesn’t take long to find a prime suspect, but he’s a juvenile headed to no good end, and the system doesn’t make life easy for our tenacious squad dick.

Reenacting a Murder (A Sam Jenkins novelette)
When local antique dealer, G. Nobel Whitehead, is savagely killed at a historical reenactment, Police Chief Sam Jenkins wades through a cadre of quirky local characters to learn how the victim’s shady dealings led to his demise.

Paper Trail (A Sam Jenkins novelette)
A lone, mentally disturbed young gunman murdered his mother, two adults, and six small children at the elementary school in Prospect, Tennessee before ending his own life.
The man carried three guns; one pistol had been legally purchased by his mother for her protection. The origins of the other pistol and the fully automatic Russian assault rifle were anyone’s guess.
After Police Chief Sam Jenkins conducts an investigation to track down the past ownership of those guns, he confirms a few suspicions and uncovers more interesting facts.

The Ferguson Shooting (A Sam Jenkins novella)
Jamal Ferguson’s mistake costs him his life and forever changes Police Officer Billy Puckett’s.
On a cool, damp evening in Prospect, Tennessee, seventeen-year-old Jamal tries to buy beer from a convenience store. When asked for ID, the boy decides to steal the beer and assaults a store employee.
All this was witnessed by Officer Puckett who attempts to arrest Jamal for robbery. Only the big teenager has other ideas. While resisting arrest, Ferguson violently attacks Puckett and tries to take his handgun.
Moments later, unarmed Jamal Ferguson lies dead in the parking lot.
The next day, the community expresses their outrage and a famous activist descends on East Tennessee, declaring that he will help the Ferguson family seek justice for their murdered son.
Not much stands between the angry citizens and Puckett except Police Chief Sam Jenkins.

A Fire and Old Ice (A Sam Jenkins novelette)
Prospect, Tennessee’s mayor, Ronnie Shields, walks into Sam Jenkins’ office with his hat in his hand. Ronnie’s wife wants to sponsor a benefit fashion show to raise money for an animal shelter. They need the chief for two things: Convince his friend, TV reporter, Rachel Williamson, to emcee the show and find amateur models to wear the outfits.
The show begins perfectly, until someone sets fire to the spring collection of a flamboyant Knoxville designer named Mr. Alex.
Jenkins’ arson investigation puts him up against a trio of redneck troublemakers and takes him back seventy years to Europe and a closely guarded family secret.
Think of this one as an episode of NYPD BLUE written by Woody Allen

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