Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Chan Night on the Town
(on August 7, 2005)
Lisa (aka Madame Saturnia) and I met late Sunday afternoon on a special mission for Chanites everywhere.
We were on our way to meet Charlie Chan, expert on bloodstain patterns, in person! Plus, Mrs. Chan as it turned out!
He was as knowledgeable, professional, and charming as ever but . . . he was in disguise as a Detective Constable on the Forensic Services Unit for a Regional Police Service in Canada.
The name he was going by while here was Craig Moore. He's attending the 90th Annual Educational Conference for the International Association for Identification in Dallas, Texas.
Craig was kind enough to give us our own copies of his handbook for the three-day workshop he is giving on bloodstain pattern analysis, using his own (patented) Bloodstain Spatter Board Model.
I could see Lisa getting a copy since she had sent him a copy of "Charlie Chan at the Race Track." Craig used two stills from the movie as part history and part illustration in his handbook on how blood pattern analysis developed over history.
You can imagine how tickled I was to not only get a copy but Craig was kind enough to sign our books! Chan Fans everywhere, eat your hearts out!
We were both fascinated to learn that Craig had done Charlie Chan one better. Craig told us about developing and patenting his Board Model to help jurors and students of the subject to more easily understand the theory of how bloodstain patterns happen and their relationship between the source and the blood stain itself.
Craig gave a lot of credit to several people but most to Herbert Leon MacDonell. [That's not a mispelling. There's only one "N" in MacDonell!]
Herb MacDonell had taught students of blood pattern analysis (BPA) like Craig for 30+ years.
We thought Craig deserved credit for bringing Mr. MacDonell to the forefront of "BPA", not only as his teacher but also as an inspiration to his students to carry on his "knowledge and similar desire to achieve more that the status quo."
The quote is from Craig but you know that he could have just as easily been talking about Charlie Chan!
Craig's handbook started with Genesis (Chapter 4, verse 10) to start showing the connection of bloodstain patterns to a committed crime over history.
His several references to books on Germanic law show his teory as to how the writers of "Charlie Chan at the Race Track" (and therefore Charlie Chan) could have learned about these same bloodstain patterns.
[It also reminded me of scenes S.S. Van Dine wrote in his Philo Vance stories called "The Greene Murder Case" and "The Casino Murder Case." Their solutions involved libraries of crimes and law in German.]
Craig also quoted William Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. [No wonder Earl Derr Biggers was successful with his Chan books, following in their literary footsteps!]
MacBeth stabbed King Duncan and said "What hands are here! Ha! they pluck out my eyes. Will all Great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hands?" ("MacBeth," Act II, Scene II.)
Sherlock Holmes ". . . pointing to numerous gouts and splashes of blood, which lay all around. . . . Then of course, this belongs to a second individual - presumably the murderer . . . ." ("A Study in Scarlet," Part 1, Chapter 3)
Craig also mentioned that there are several designs similar to his but Craig's model is not only patented here in the US and in Canada but used by more than two dozen agencies like the Houston [Texas] Police Department.
If our meeting with Craig was in indication of his workshop at the Dallas Conference, it will be a great success!
Our evening became even more fun for us when "Mrs. Craig Moore" showed up!
[Note: I am not being sexist here referring to his wife as "Mrs. Craig Moore." I have been . . . lectured, let us say . . . about naming people here and on other websites who are "private citizens." That is that they have never posted here or on other websites. I hope she will forgive me!]
"Mrs. Craig" is a fascinating person in her own right. She has to be to be married to Craig!
She is also too young and good-looking to have such a beautiful head of silver hair. Any less so and I couldn't have been able to handle it!
Lisa and I also thought of fellow Chanite, Jillian Stone, as they talked about their life in Canada since she's retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
We carried this conversation over into dinner at a nearby restaurant where we talked them into trying fried okra. Lisa and I have to give them credit since it's not easy to describe okra and make it sound appetizing!
They told us about visiting the Sixth Floor Exhibit at the School Book Depository of President John Kennedy's Assassination. That lead us to suggesting other places to visit--not to mention other places to eat!
I must admit a joke on me. I had told them that I was born and raised in nearby Fort Worth, also known as "Cowtown" from the days it was part of the Chisholm Trail.
We were leaving the restaurant when Craig asked me a question about "Cowpatch."
Lisa and I enjoyed that since that's as good a description of how those steers left the streets of Fort Worth when the cowboys got them through town!
Lisa and I went home hoping that Craig and "Mrs. Craig" had enjoyed visiting with us enough to come back. They're the kind of people you'd not only love to have dinner with but to have as neighbors!!
Anytime you can come back down and stay longer, just let us know!!
Love, Virginia
* * *
*(Courtesy of Rush Glick's www.charliechan.info.)


Anonymous Mdme Saturnia said...

Thank you for this interesting write-up.
Very creative, funny and it highlights your excellent writing skills.

I'll always remember this night.
Thank you so much!

Madame Saturnia

20/8/05 9:08 AM  

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