Day 19- Mapping a Crime by Leslie Stack

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An intriguing use of technology for today's prompt from Leslie Stack

The Prompt

We all depend on our GPS devices whether it’s through Google, Apple, or other providers, but do we know how those online maps are created?

For at least Apple and Google, a small car literally drives around each neighborhood with a camera on top taking pictures and videos in real time for use later in their maps.

What if one of these drivers inadvertently takes a picture of a crime being committed unbeknownst to the driver?

This could be in a home, a park, a shopping center, a theatre, or a deserted road. For this prompt you can use the POV of the person committing the crime and finding the evidence on Google or Apple maps or you can use a different POV such as the victim or the officer investigating the crime.

What is the crime and what did the camera see? Enjoy!

Leslie Stack

Leslie Stack is a musician and retired teacher who is finally surrendering to her love of writing. You can usually find her doing research behind dark glasses on a park bench. She lives in a house in Pennsylvania with her husband where the books are plotting to takeover.

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13 thoughts on “Day 19- Mapping a Crime by Leslie Stack”

  1. What an interesting prompt! The idea I came up with worked okay as a short story, though I’m thinking it could just as easily find its way into a larger project in the future.
    Day 19!

  2. Detective Sok analyzed the area where the crime allegedly took place with uncertainty. Certainly, if a crime had been committed here, it would not have been this pristine. There should have been spatter evidence all across the sidewalk and maybe the windows of the motel at the very least. Three people missing, presumably killed by the sounds of the 911 call, yet no shells, no blood, not a blade of grass out of place. 72 hours later, no leads.

    Of course, like every CCTV camera in this city, the ones here were only for show. Nothing was captured on video, and the manager says he was sleeping on a cot inside the lobby and didn’t hear or see anything.

    Detective Sok sighed. “I always know the answer,” he said to himself.

    Detective Janiz came up behind him, slightly startling Detective Sok who was deep in thought. “Keep telling yourself that Sok!” she laughed. “I figured it out.”

    Detective Sok rolled his eyes as Detective Janiz pulled up a window on her laptop.

    “Look,” she said.

    Google Maps was pulled up and there it was. The blood and gore he knew should have been present appeared on the screen. He was astonished.

    Three dead johns and one hot mama killer on the loose. How did she do all of this in stilettos, he wondered.

    “So, what do you say?” she said.

    “Whatever,” he said. “Thank you…” through gritted teeth. Now, he had a lead, at least.

  3. Good prompt. I started out using the POV of a wife talking to a divorce lawyer about her cheating husband. Then switched the story to the lawyer’s POV. Her story is much more interesting because Google caught the cheating husband’s car in her driveway. I wrote 866 words. While grocery shopping, the story stayed with me. When I came home, I made changes and now it is 1189 words.

  4. Jason was planning for the day he got out of prison. One of the first places he was going to hit was the jewelry store he’d tried to rob that he bungled, which ended him here. Maybe that sounded like a dumb idea, to go back to the place where you got caught, but he wanted to prove he could do it. Jason loved a challenge.

    After that, there was a CBD store down the street he was going to burglarize, which was a fun challenge, since those places were always good for having lots of cash around although the owners were always heavily armed. That’s part of what made it fun, though.

    Jason looked through Google maps the next day on the computer the inmates with good behavior were allowed to use for 30 minutes each on Tuesdays. Ok, dry cleaners on 4th, check; liquor store on 10th, check; CBD store on Broadway, check; jewelry store on Broadway, check; oh, but wait, what was this? He zoomed in. Was that the passerby who had identified him? Jason had barely noticed him during the attempted robbery, but now that he was able to get a good look at him, yes, that was him, and he remembered him wearing that cap that said “I love NY.”

    How could he find this guy? Jason was going to get even with him for identifying Jason in the lineup. It would be a challenge to find him, but that’s what made life fun, challenges.

  5. So much fun! At first I resisted, but decided to write the ending first. The story is about a company that wants to put satellites over EVERY house in the world to monitor and map people. thereby preventing murders and other crimes from occurring. I digressed a bit from the prompt, but I did use the google mapping system .
    Another Panda Sticker for me!!

  6. Y’all don’t have to read this, but Leslie, if you’re there, you might get a giggle out of it.


    Plotting the perfect crime is a lot of fun. Committing it is a bitch.
    I don’t know what your idea of the perfect crime is, but mine does not involve death or theft or malicious mischief. In my mind, the perfect crime is an act that does no one any harm, nor anyone any good, but is somehow against the law.
    Also you have to get away with it undetected.
    Feeding someone else’s parking meter? Nope, does them good.
    Robbing from the rich to feed the poor? No on both counts: it harms the rich and benefits the poor.
    Of course, you have to do it at the right time. If a car is too close to the intersection, you might force it to slow down, which is at least minimal harm. If it’s right on the intersection, you could get killed, which is maximal harm. And if you do it in the middle of the night – well, if a jaywalker crosses the street and nobody sees him, does he commit any crime?
    While you ponder that, I’ll get on with my story. I picked a beautiful fall day, midmorning on a Tuesday in the center of town. Kids in school, parents at work, light traffic. I timed it perfectly, with cars stopped at the lights on North and South Wayne Avenues, a panel truck and a couple of cars heading west out of the intersection on Lancaster, a Target tractor-trailer leaving it headed east, and one car – just one car – approaching from the west, about half a block away. I walked briskly from the northwest to the southeast corner. The car passed the intersection just as I mounted the curb.
    I felt good. I felt like the guys who pulled off the Brinks robbery, before it all fell apart for them. Unliked them, I had no accomplices to squeal. I was safe.
    That’s what I thought then. A year and a half later a lot had changed. For one thing, I’d got married. We were arguing, not heatedly, about which side of Lancaster a certain store is on, and my wife pulled up Google Maps Street View. There I was. Middle of the intersection, “Don’t Walk” signs clear as day.
    That one, damn car …

  7. Wrote 842 words with characters from Jax of All Trade. Matt working to solve a case, and someone(who first shows up in book 3, which I, uh, still need to edit), comes in with some more information. Since it’s not from Lou’s POV, it won’t end up in the main story, and I’m not even sure exactly *when* it happens.

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