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Q is for Questions about Palmistry Blogging A to Z Challenge

Q is for Questions about Palmistry Blogging A to Z Challenge

Do you look at the right or left hand?

Study both hands. In traditional palmistry, if you are right handed, they say “the left is what the gods give you, the right is what you do with it.” This is misleading; the lines on both hands change because we do things with both hands! Your writing hand is your dominant or active hand. It reflects the conscious you, your public face, you “out in the world,” what you have actively developed. The other hand, the passive hand, is about the subconscious, your private face, the inner you, your instincts, and your latent abilities. We compare both hands to see the “whole” person.

Aren’t the lines on the palm just creases formed by hand movement?

People who are skeptical about palmistry and hand analysis say that the palmar lines are just folds or creases in the skin where the hand moves, grasps and bends. But if the lines were caused by folding, why do most of us have two “transverse creases” (Head and Heart lines) on our palms instead of one (Simian line)? The main argument against them being crease lines is that the lines on the palm are all present by the time the fetus is 3 months old. The lifeline forms at 7 – 8 weeks gestation, heart and head lines at 9 – 10 weeks, but the muscles needed for movement of the hand don’t form until 11 weeks, when reflex movements first occur. Voluntary hand actions don’t start till 23 weeks. The nerve endings, which stimulate the muscles, are forming around the same time as the lines. So the lines are there before even reflex movements are possible and long before voluntary muscular movement of the hand exists.

Can palmistry tell how long I will live from my lifeline?

No, the life line does not foretell length of life, so no worries if you have a short lifeline! Modern hand reading (chirology) tells us a lot about your health, energy and lifestyle. A short line may mean you need to use your energy in short bursts with rests in between. More common than a short line is one which stops and re-starts, usually with the two lines overlapping for a while. This shows some sort of change in your lifestyle.

I learned about Life line length the hard way. I had taken a weekend palmistry course and learned the main lines when I read the palm of my dear friend Vic (the hero of my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story.) He had a long life line, no breaks, so no serious accidents or illnesses. I told him he had a long life. But I didn’t know how to look for indicators of violence in the palms. Turned out I was dead wrong.

Can palmistry predict my future?

Although fingerprints never change, the palmar lines and markings change throughout life. If the future was all mapped out for us, the lines would stay the same. When looking at a hand, we see the person as they are NOW, bringing their past with them and sowing seeds for the future. Although many palmists do make predictions, they can only foresee probabilities. Most predictions are based on the direction you are going now. We all have free will to make choices and changes in our lives today that will affect our future and change our “fate” along with the lines in our palms.

How to read hands?

Read palmistry books, maybe take a course, gather as much information as you can, test it on lots of people. Then you will gradually learn how to do it. It’s not something you can learn overnight, or ever stop learning. Everyone is unique so there are always new combinations of features to look at on people’s hands. The combinations are the important thing. You have to look at every feature in conjunction with everything else on the hand. Don’t get hung up on signs and symbols such as a star on the mount of the moon, or believe that such markings are omens. You need to see the whole picture, which is way more than the sum of its parts.

K is for the Knotty Knuckles and Smooth Finger Joints #A to Z Blogging Challenge

K is for the Knotty Knuckles and Smooth Finger Joints #A to Z Blogging Challenge

The joints of the fingers have a great deal of significance in palmistry. Not only can the joints’ physical appearance determine the field of work best suiting an individual, it also indicates the type and extent of qualities manifesting in a person’s fingers. The nice thing about knobby joints is that cut off the flow of energy through the fingers and therefore cause the owner to reflect. Whereas people with smooth joints tend to rush into undeliberated decisions.

But before rushing out to get your palm read, find out if those knobby joint of yours might be Heberden’s Nodes, which occur on the knuckle closest to the end of fingers. Similar lumps are called Bouchard’s nodes when they form on the knuckles closer to the palm. The underlying cause for both of these is arthritis, and the nodes themselves consist of bone spurs, called osteophytes that develop around the joints in response to a prolonged inflammatory process. Fortunately, Heberden’s nodes usually are painless and don’t limit the function of the fingers. Such nodes may represent an inherited form of osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis caused by wear and tear and, sometimes, injury.

What, you might ask, are joints really?  They are the walls between the various sections (phalanges) of fingers. Why are they significant? According to palmistry, because they indicate the inclinations and temperament of the subject. Some general information about the joints on the basis of their physical appearance is provided below.

  • The smooth joints in the hand of an individual symbolize a subject which does not think too much and jumps to conclusions quite often. Such a person never analyzes a situation.

  • In the case of square hands and smooth joints, the subject thinks a little bit but will jump to a conclusion after giving very little thought to the topic of conversation.

  • The smooth joints on pointed fingers represent individuals driven purely by their own instincts. They are careless about their appearance and what they wear and are not bothered by small things.

  • Such a person will be careless and absent-minded and will not be able to take care of the important documents and other required details in a business.

  • In contrast, people with developed joints are laborious, astute, attentive and sensible.

  • People with smooth joints are often the ones who perform the toughest kind of manual labor while the ones with knotty or developed joints only perform mental labor.

  • The knotty joints sometimes are inherited in families for generations while on other occasions they appear prominently in only one child in a family.

  • The presence of developed joints signify accuracy and efficiency of work in an individual.

  • Men with developed joints have an excellent taste of color in their dresses which resemble the taste of females and they do not prefer women which have a bad taste of colors in their clothing.

  • People with well-developed joints in theatre are able to portray the character with perfection but lack intensity.

  • These people establish a landmark in artistic fields like literature because of their unique imagination and strong analyzing power.

The Knotty-Fingered Philosophic Hand

Of the many different types of hands, the Philosophic Hand is the one that possesses knotty joints, indicating an individual who thinks things through. This hand is long, bony, angular and fairly thin. People with this type of hand are always studious. They are great readers and usually have a strong tendency towards literature. They love sedentary work, and have a somewhat lonely, ascetic disposition. The knotted (aka jointed) fingers give carefulness and detail in work or study. They arrest the impulse of the brain, and so acquire time for thought and reflection.

Drop by tomorrow for the next post: L is for the Lines of the Palm



J is for the Jupiter Mount: The Mirror of an Attractive Personality

J is for the Jupiter Mount: The Mirror of an Attractive Personality

Mounts are significant in the study of palms because different lines are formed and developed due to the influence of mounts. Named after the planets, mounts reveal special features of them. Interestingly enough, it has been discovered that the planet which is more prominent in the horoscope is also prominent in the palm. The mount we will discuss today is:

The Mount of Jupiter

This mount is situated at the base of the index finger and above the Mount of Mars. It represents god power, leadership, organization and authority. The Mount of Jupiter is considered to be quite helpful in life because it moves the person toward progress.

If the Mount of Jupiter is prominent and well developed, then such a person is said to possess godly qualities (after all Jupiter was the Roman god of the sky). Such persons try to safeguard their self-respect. They are learned and always prepared to help others. Difficult conditions do not disturb them. Most Justices of High courts and authorities in high positions are found to have well-developed Mounts of Jupiter. They have a special quality that can change the public in their favor. Many are also religious-minded.

If the Mount is less prominent or under-developed, then the above qualities are generally deficient. Physically such persons are of ordinary body, healthy, and have engaging, smiling faces. These folks are experts in delivering lectures. They are also kind at heart. They would rather attain respect and a good reputation rather than wealth. They have a soft spot in their hearts for the opposite sex.

If the Mount is developed more than necessary, such a person tends to be selfish and proud.

If the Mount is absent in a person, he lacks self-respect. These unfortunate people get very little patronage from their parents, so can be found in the company of lower-class people.

Signs Found on the Jupiter Mount and Their Effects:

Triangle: If a perfect triangle exists on Mount Jupiter then that person is always a diplomat and is desirous of his progress. If the triangle is imperfect then the person is selfish and arrogant.

Cross: If there is a sign of a cross on Mount Jupiter then the individual is one who does his work after thinking carefully and is one who leads a comfortable life. He gets special wealth from his in laws and his wife is also educated. His family (domestic) life is also peaceful.

Spot: Spots occur in four colors: white, red, yellow and black. White spots signify progress, red spots are indicators of diseases (ailments) and yellow spots signify the deficiency of blood. Black spots are regarded as harbingers of wealth but they are both auspicious and unfavorable.

If the black mole is located on Jupiter Mount then obstacles in marriage arise. That individual has to bear the blame of love gone wrong and such a person does not achieve full success in life.

Circle: If the circle is situated on Jupiter Mount, the person is influential and succeeds in acquiring a high post through his efforts. Such a person gets a lot of co-operation from his in-laws.

Island: If the sign of the island exists on Jupiter Mount, then such a person lacks self-confidence.

Square: The presence of square on the Jupiter Mount is considered very auspicious. Such a person, in spite of being born in an ordinary family, reaches a very high post, is a successful administrator and gets a lot of respect and honor.

Mesh (Net): A mesh (or a net) on Jupiter Mount is regarded as inauspicious. If the mesh (net) is located on Jupiter Mount, that individual is cruel by nature, lacks feelings of compassion, and is  selfish and arrogant.

Star: If the auspicious sign of a personal constellation on Mount Jupiter is clear, distinct and flawless, then the individual is highly ambitious and attains great success. That individual becomes a high official and is very hospitable.




H IS FOR HAND SHAPES AND SIZES #A to Z Blogging April Challenge

H IS FOR HAND SHAPES AND SIZES #A to Z Blogging April Challenge

Palmistry is an art of fortune telling, practiced by evaluating an individual’s characteristics and future by observing the hand. It is studied seriously throughout the world and continues to fascinate everyone who comes across it.

People continue to have their palms read and many of them believe that what they learn is true. Are readings accurate? That depends on the skill of the palmist. A hand reader who knows how to read all aspects of the hand and stir them together into a holistic blend will have clients beating a pathway to his door, clamoring to cross his palm with silver.

Our two hands are never identical. They differ a great deal from one another and therefore give out different interpretations.

Left. The left hand is controlled by the right brain (pattern recognition, relationship understanding), and reflects the inner person, the natural self, the anima, and lateral thinking.

Right. The right hand is controlled by the left brain (logic, reason, and language), and reflects the outer person, objective self, influence of social environment, education, and experience. It represents linear thinking.

Hand Reading Secrets:

Hands are often defined by their sizes and shapes. Check out the following descriptions of what each one represents.

  • Large hands show a sense of obedience and attention to detail.
  • Small hands show an energetic person, authority figure, or someone who understands government and the ability to rule. An executive power (Trump?)
  • Medium-sized hands show well-roundedness. When a medium-sized hand’s fingers are as long as the palm, it signifies a person who works well with people in business. Someone who is “a jack of all trades, a master of none.”
  • Medium-Sized Hands with palms long in comparison with the length of the fingers show a person who’s able to make big plans. Such a person can easily get a good grasp on everything but sweats the small stuff of details.
  • Hands with the fingers relatively much longer than the palm are known to be poor planners. Although they can’t plan well they do manage to finish everything they do. These people will not overlook or neglect the slightest details.
  • Wide hands belong to people who feels sympathy toward others and are kind. They are able to see other people’s points of view as well as their own.
  • Narrow hands belong to those folks who are critical and exacting by nature. Such people see their own faults rather than their greatest qualities, and make terrible husbands and wives.
  • Hands wide open with fingers well apart belong to courageous, original people who take the initiative.
  • Hands with fingers close together are possessed by conventional, cowardly people who are afraid of consequences.
  • White hands show a selfish nature.
  • Red hands are an indication of passionate feelings mixed with angry emotions and boundless energy.
  • Soft hands belong to those who possess a marked ability, as well as those who work best “in spasms.”
  • Very hard hands are an indication of those who love work and have lots of energy. These people need to ask themselves what they want from life and try to meet that goal.
  • Square hands belong to people who are reasonable accurate, and have good horse-sense.
  • Pointed hands show people with idealism and spirituality. A person with this type of hand is never wrong. At least, that’s how they appear.



World famous palmist Cheiro insisted, “Character is Destiny.” He believed that, by discovering more about our character through palmistry, we can trace out our destiny in advance, and find the right plan to be used at the right time.

Cheiro was an amazing palmist, clairvoyant and gifted. He was also a humanitarian. His strongest desire was to see this strange study taken up as a useful and practical means of obtaining an exact judgment of people’s character, qualities, and hidden tendencies.

“I think that if all parents knew something of Palmistry,” said Cheiro, “the vast majority of children would be more usefully trained and their proper tendencies developed.”

Cheiro felt it was often too late when a child discovered some tendency never suspected by his or her parents. “It is no wonder so few persons find their true vocations in the world, when we remember the random, haphazard way in which children are brought up,” Cheiro said, “educated for the most part in some scholastic mill that grinds down all to the same dead level of mediocrity, and then turns them into the Army, the Church, or into trade.” How beneficial it would be, he speculated, if children knew from small kid days what their strengths and weaknesses were.

Cheiro earnestly hoped the study of hands would someday be taken up by the masses. It was from this standpoint that he interested such men as Gladstone, Professor Max Muller of Oxford, Lord Russell, King Edward VII, and too many others to mention.

Why Read Palms?

Like Cheiro, many palmists believe readings are a way of knowing more about ourselves or others. It has been a practice since ancient days that involves analyzing the features of one’s hand.

Looking Through the Lines of One’s Palm

Many palm readers suggest the main palm lines are the means of analyzing a person. The dominant hand is usually used. The reason behind the use of the dominant hand is that it is the one usually written with or used most of the time. Palm readings also need a careful observation of one’s hand shape. People’s hand shapes also show character about them. Different persons possess different hand shapes (more about this tomorrow when we discuss H IS FOR HEAD, HEART, AND HANDS.)  Hand shapes dictate what elements affect us, whether they be air, wind, water or fire. The four major lines intersecting our palms are the heart, head, destiny and life lines.

Why Get Your Palm Read?

Palm reading is usually sought after by those who desire self-knowledge. It can provide insight and information about one’s character as well as one’s future. Also, palm reading provides the clients with useful tips on accomplishing challenges he or she faces or will face in life.

Significance of palm reading

One should utilize palm reading for its positive benefits. The power of divination through palm reading can be experienced when one believes in its power. (As the Bible says, “It is given to you as you believe.”) Knowledge about the future will provide satisfaction and confidence. Some people merely seek entertainment through palm reading. Others can discover some hidden talents, skills and personality traits which they can use to great advantage in facing life challenges ahead of them.




The simplest divisions of the hands are the eight areas on the palm called “Mounts”.

Learning about the mounts of the hand is a way to understand a whole lot about a person in a short period of time.

The Mounts of the Hand and Their Meaning

According to the world- famous palmist Cheiro, the Mounts of the Hand vary in accordance with the character and characteristics of various races and their different temperaments.

In almost all the Southern and more emotional races, says Cheiro, these Mounts are more noticeable than those belonging to Northern countries. He observed that all people with the Mounts apparent or prominent are more swayed by their feelings and emotions than those people who have flat palms and undeveloped Mounts.

The names given to the Mounts of the Hand are those also given to the seven principal planets that affect the destiny of our earth: the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

These names were given to the Mounts by the Greeks, and were associated by them with the qualities attributed to these seven planets, such as:

Characteristics of the Mounts

The Mounts of the hands may be elevated, flat, or depressed. Elevated mounts show a physical, direct approach to the aspect represented by that mount. Depressed mounts denote a mental, or indirect approach to that aspect. Flat mounts show no real influence in the subject’s life. There are eight mounds in all. Their characteristics follow:

  1. The Mount of Jupiter
    Ambition, Ego, Drive for Power, Achievement, Leadership, Domination.
  2. The Mount of Saturn
    Serious, Intellectual, Somber, Melancholy, Reserved.
  3. The Mount of Apollo (aka Sun)
    Brilliance, Creativity, Artistic, Beauty, Emotional Fulfillment, Fruitfulness, Success.
  4. The Mount of Mercury
    Communications, Spirituality, Commerce, Science.
  5. The Mount of Venus
    Passion, Lust, Desire, Sensuality, Love.
  6. The Mount of Mars Positive
    Physical Courage, Martial Spirit, Aggression, Vitality.
  7. The Mount of Mars Negative
    Mental Courage, Inner Strength, Resistance, Changeability.
  8. The Mount of Luna
    Imagination, Reproduction, Fear, Sexuality, Romance.

Interpretation Practice:

Example 1

The Mount of Jupiter is elevated dark red.

Mount of Jupiter = Ambition, Ego, Leadership, Power.
Elevated = Outward action and projection of influence.
Dark Red = Anger, Temper.

Now simply transpose…

The (Mount of Jupiter) is (elevated) (dark red).
The (Ego/Ambition) is (acting on) (anger).

So we know that a large red Mount of Jupiter means that the actions taken to further the ambitions are based on anger and temper.

Example 2

The Mount of Saturn is depressed black.

Mount of Saturn = Serious, Moody, Intellectual.
Depressed = Mental, Indirect.
Black = Proud, Haughty, Unforgiving, Vengeful.

Again we simply transpose…

The (Mount of Saturn) is (Depressed) (Black).
The (Intellect) is (thinking about) (Pride/Revenge).

So we know that a depressed black Mount of Saturn means that the person’s thoughts have turned to pride and revenge.

Now apply this technique to each of the mounts on your hands, first answering the questions:
1) Which mount is it?
2) Is the mount elevated, flat, or depressed?
3) What color is the mount?


But don’t trust your interpretation of your own hand. Back in ’73, a clairvoyant palmist told me you cannot accurately read your own hand because your aura gets in the way. She’s the same palmist who told me, if I could break out of my shell, I’d find a love that would knock my socks off. She was right, and I tell his story in my memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawai’i, A True Story.

Which brings me to a warning about e-readings. Check out the palmist’s background before dishing out your hard-earned dough for such a service, and study up so you know at least a little about palmistry first. When I researched the topic yesterday, I saw very few palmists who even listed what they charged.

Tomorrow: F is for the Fingers

Left Coast Crime Conference 2017: Honolulu Havoc

Left Coast Crime Conference 2017: Honolulu Havoc

I’m happy to say I’ll be attending and presenting at the “Honolulu Havoc”, the Left Coast Crime Conference in Honolulu on March 16-19.

I’m excited to be meeting some fabulous new authors and look forward to reconnecting with old friends from the Sisters in Crime Honolulu Branch, who worked so very hard to make this conference happen. To get a birds-eye view of my participation, check out my conference schedule:

  • I’ll be doing an author speed-dating round, repeating 2-minute synopses of my book, handing out bookmarks and the flyer above. Did you know people with murderer’s thumbs commit more than 40% of all murders?
  • I’m thrilled to be on the panel for Romance and Crime Collide: Desire, dread & hot sex with AJ Llewellyn and Tonya Plank (Ellen Byron moderating.) I’ll be answering such interesting personal questions about my true crime romance memoir Angel Hero as:
  1. Lizbeth, it was brave of you to share the real-life story that involved a dangerous murderer. What steps did you take to protect yourself from repercussions from the murderer and/or his family?
  2. What are the differences between a memoir based on a true story, and fictionalized memoir? What did you choose to fictionalize and why?

Special thanks to Gay Gale, Honolulu Havoc Chair, for her vision, dedication and hard work in making the conference happen, to panel co-chairs Larry and Rosemary Mild, who burned the midnight oil putting the panels together, to Awards Co-Chairs Lucinda Surber (also Publisher Liaison) and Stan Ulrich (Stan also doubles or maybe triples as  the Registrar and Treasurer,) to Auction Chair Alain (A K) Gunn, to Special Events Vicki Whelan-White, to roommate coordinator President Gail Baugniet,  to the hard-working volunteers who gave so generously of their time, and to too many others to name.

Follow the link to discover all about the conference.

In Memorium of My Beautiful Mother Ruby

In Memorium of My Beautiful Mother Ruby

My mom lost consciousness one year ago tomorrow. Somehow I’ve made it to one day short of 365 days—she had a massive stroke on Jan 17th, 2016—without hearing her soft, soulful voice (except for occasionally listening to a saved voicemail phone message my brother Mike sent me). Mike and I phoned her every day, me from Honolulu, him from Tucson where they both lived.

Grief is a well as deep and wide as the continental divide. It’s a stinging hand slapping you in the face at unexpected moments. During the past year, I have felt empty, lonely, hopeless and helpless more times than I could ever have imagined. Aching, in spite of my incredibly caring and kind partner, Barry, and my brother who helped me and shared his sorrow with me through the first raw days after I flew, grieving, from Honolulu to Tucson. My brother stayed in the hospice with me, touching mom’s papery skin, wetting her parched lips with a swab soaked in water—we were not allowed to give her more— whispering to her vacant face, praying for a miracle that never came.

Sometimes, I still drown in grief, unable to swim up to the surface of the deep well. So, I put on a front. I paint a smile on my face. I laugh too loudly. I’m afraid because my mother is no longer here, which just saddens me on most days but sometimes I feel as if the ground beneath me sinks, is no longer trustworthy. Most of what I think about is Mom, Mom, wise and wonderful, Mom…

At first, my primary waking thought was, “she’s gone.” As time slowly slipped into the future, this became my fourth or fifth thought of the day, right after “Oh, I want to tell Mom about this.” And then, as the months moved on, I changed from dreading the 26th of the month, when her spirit shed her body shell, days beforehand, to not even noticing it had passed until it was too late.

Now, as 2017 creeps toward February, I am anxious. What’s next? For some people, a year means they need to begin anew. But for me, I worry this anniversary signifies I must permanently leave my mother behind. And, since this date came so quickly, how quickly will “my mother died five years ago…10 years ago…20…” come around?

Will this passing time make losing her seem less of a loss as time marches on? The adage, “Time heals all wounds,” is a lie. I am still stuck someplace between anger and denial. Losing my mother was horrendous. I lost a piece of my heart I’ll never get back. My mom was the rock I rested on. I feel orphaned, even though her bright spirit draws close to me when my grief cuts the deepest. She still comforts me. The night after she passed, she visited me in my dream. Barry saw her rising out of my sleeping form, a bright angel, looking like she was 33, a stunningly beautiful young woman again. She likes taking the form of red-headed cardinals, hopping on the hood of my green Hundai Elantra, cocking her head, and looking at me.

Jan 26, 2017, marks a year after the last day she drew breath. I still feel so sad. On the one hand, I know I’ve made it through the really tough days so I can always do it again. But I find myself thinking, “Enough already. Time to wake up now from this terrible terrible nightmare.”

I will never actually speak these words to you, however. Because “I’m doing okay, hanging in there, living one day at a time” is what most people are comfortable hearing. Like my mother, I don’t like to make folks feel uncomfortable. My mother was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known.

This post is in honor of you, Mamacita. Thank you for birthing me, loving me, believing in me, supporting my writing. I love you forever and ever. Until we meet again past the veil, you remain my deepest, dearest friend.


Hawai’i Changes the Law on First-Degree Murder Again – Part 2

Hawai’i Changes the Law on First-Degree Murder Again – Part 2


On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, two months after my Sisters in Crime Meeting at Makiki Library, the law changed yet again. That’s when Governor David Ige signed a bill into law that broadens the offense of first-degree murder once more.

From 2013 to 2016, the offense has been limited to rare cases in which there are multiple victims, the victim is killed by a hired killer, or the victim is under the protection of the courts or law enforcement system.

With Wednesday’s signing, first-degree murder now includes circumstances in which the defendant intentionally or knowingly causes the death of a person by restraining and using that person as a shield, holding that person hostage, or for ransom or reward.

“Up until today, Hawaii law has been very explicit about what qualifies for first-degree murder, and it is limited. Only in very rare circumstances can one be found guilty of first-degree murder,” Ige said. “This measure broadens first-degree murder to include particularly cruel and brutal circumstances.”

“Up until today,” Governor Ige? How about “only for the last three years”? Between sometime in the 80’s and 2013, first-degree murder convictions were far more common than they’ve been for the last three years. That’s because, for 30 years or more, a murderer didn’t have to kill a judge or policeman to be convicted of murder in the first degree.

A big change in 2016 is that a first-degree murder conviction eliminates the possibility of parole. This wasn’t the case in the 80’s. Back then, the parole board set the minimum sentence to be served before becoming eligible for parole. Back then, despite a conviction for first-degree murder (for which the penalty is life in prison), the killer could be out on the streets whenever the parole board decided he was eligible for parole. In Hawai’i in the 80’s, “life” meant a mere 20 years. Go figure.

The parole board let the murderer in Angel Hero out of prison in 8 years for good behavior.

Spooky, isn’t it?


Hawai’i Changes the Law on First-Degree Murder Again – Part 1

Hawai’i Changes the Law on First-Degree Murder Again – Part 1


While attending a Sisters (and Misters) in Crime meeting during May of this year, the topic of first-degree murder in Hawai’i raised its grisly head. Actually, I raised it. My intentions were good. I wanted my fellow SINCs (Sisters in Crime) to get their facts straight when they wrote about murder. Since I’m the only author in the group who’s written about a killing that really occurred, I volunteered to talk about the penalty for the murder described in my true crime memoir Angel Hero.

“That murder took place in 1985,” I told a dozen or so writers as we sat at round tables in Makiki Library. “Twenty-eight years later, in 2013, the law changed. The conviction for first-degree, premeditated murder that occurred in 1985 could not have happened in 2013. The new rule for a first-degree murder conviction in 2013 was that a police officer or judge had been killed. The murderer in Angel Hero would have been convicted of second-degree murder instead of first if that murder had occurred in 2013.”

A woman in the group frowned and shook her head. “A conviction for first-degree murder has to do with premeditation, not whether you kill a cop or a judge.” She looked something up on her smart phone. “The law agrees with me,” she added. “Better get your facts straight lest you embarrass yourself, Liz. If that’s what you say in your novel, better change it.”

“It’s not a novel, it’s a true crime romance memoir.” I gritted my teeth. My heart races when someone tells me I’m wrong about something that I’m sure as shooting I’m right about. I have to breathe deeply for a bit before I speak.

So I breathed in and breathed out. As world renowned peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh recommended, I did my darnedest to rejoice in my breathing in, and smile at my out breath.

“I never said premeditation wasn’t a factor in a murder conviction.” I smiled. “And I’m sure I’m right about the change in law, but I’ll Google it and get back to you.” I could hardly wait to surf the net and find some facts that proved her wrong.

What did my research reveal? I was correct. Back in 1985, the gunman I write about in my book was convicted of first-degree, premeditated murder. He was sentenced to life in prison (20 years,) but the parole board set the minimum at less than half that time.

In 2013, however, the law changed. Even if a killing was premeditated, the gunman could no longer be charged with first-degree murder unless a judge or police officer was fatally shot. Had the gunman I wrote about in Angel Hero murdered someone in 2013 instead of 1985, he would have been charged with second-degree murder.

The woman was correct that first-degree murder is premeditated. Defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, the latter means it was committed after planning or “lying in wait” for the victim.

(To be continued tomorrow)

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