I’m Just a Lonely Boy

As is my wont, I tend to be dry in humor, and rapier thin in anger.
In a recent film discussion a friend brought up “Taxi Driver.” It is dark intense, and I have only seen it once. My friend commented on the tone of loneliness. That is often a starting point for discussion. However, as a film writer, I am well versed with the tropes that could inhabit our conversation, and I responded (to the loneliness) with (a coy and coded):

“You talkin’ to me?”

During and following the war, I was just as “lonely,” but not as sociopathically as this.

Even earlier, age 10, at the base theater at Ford Barracks, Ulm Germany, before the movies started, I would often hear the current hit, “I’m Just A Lonely Boy.”

Memories are significant.

I remember one of those movies was a full graphic detail documentary on the death camps. Still vivid images.

Age 10

“I’m Just A Lonely Boy”

Bunkers, Nuke Missiles, and Cub Scouts

In this title, I dropped in Cub Scouts to set the period. That would make me 9 years old at the time. We lived in Pacific Manor (now called Pacifica) south of Frisco on the coast, along State Highway 1 (with what was called the Devil’s Elbow as a notorious turn along the coast highway).

One summer, when many activities for children were run out of the school (closed, of course, but some things open on an informal basis), I had a dream. I had read in the back of a book (or comic) about the American Legion (or perhaps the Veterans of Foreign Wars) who set up drill teams for kids. Pacific Manor had no such group, but Sharp Park nearby did.

I set my mission to go there, and join one if they supported this activity. That was a walk of at least a mile. This was about the radius limit of my wanders then. I set out there, but I was distracted (as there were many distractions) along the way.

I hiked up a hill to cut over it to Sharp Park. I understood the lay of the land and how the highway would be the longer walk because it skirted around the hill I could walk over. Pretty good logic and planning at that age.

Experience proved painful as I wandered into thistles that grew in that rough patch of ground up behind our community. This caused me to readjust my plans, and path. This, in turn, led me to a curious construction that was clearly abandoned.

From a distance, it looked like a house sized lid for Mom’s pressure cooker. That is, it was a flat, metal dome set into concrete on the side of the hill overlooking the ocean. Smacking a rock against this lid revealed the metal was probably thicker than the rock in my hand. At the bottom of this great lid, there was a horizontal slit set into it half-way around its circumference.

Within that slit, was curved slab of metal, as thick as the lid, that moved up and down like an eyelid over an eye, or the visor of an ancient warrior’s helmet. However, moving that visor was not easy. But this didn’t stop me or my friends when I returned to present them with this new fort for our boy’s club. Our peeks through the slot revealed a cavernous circular room with a curious center post. However peeks were our limit of examination because that lid, if it closed with its great weight not properly balanced, would trap anyone who was inside at the time. (Same problem with discarded old refrigerators at the time.)

Together, we were able to block this lid open (it turned on pins just like that visor of the ancient helmet), crawl through the opening (roughly one foot high); and explore the barren interior. On the walls, there were ship silhouettes. Nothing dated those posters. There were no flags marking the nationality of any of the shapes (I was fairly well familiar with such things).

We didn’t hike any further up the hill because of fences put up for a military site set on Milagra Ridge. If we had, we would have found ourselves in one of the perimeter defenses for San Francisco, a Nike Missile site (nuclear armed by my 10th birthday) half a mile from my home’s back yard.

If I had been a few years older, I could have appreciated how that tied into the air raid siren test they held every month. This siren sat on its own high tower in the neighborhood. This was also a time in our history where jets still broke the sound barrier overhead (a daily to 4 times weekly occurrence). Coverage of Duck and Cover Drills at school might bear mention later.

First Field Trip

This was my first excursion that went further than within sight of home. I was accompanied by a friend who found opportunity in our visit to the nearby golf course.

I didn’t quite get what the game was all about. Men so far away hitting balls with their clubs. The openness of the greens and fairways was odd to me. They were no more vast than the huge field behind our house, but they were far more cultivated than that wasteland. I felt like walking out onto that green grass was taking a risk.

Then a ball bounced into the scene before us, and it dribbled across to us. My buddy’s first instinct was to pick it up. That brought a yell in protest. Then a man began to run towards us. That was enough for my buddy to hold onto the ball as a prize–and run in his own right. I followed, but soon I figured if I went my own way, the man behind would have to choose between the two of us.

Beyond that choice, I know not how things turned out; except my story ended without being caught. It would be another 10 years before I was on the links again, hitting balls with a long club (I could Bogie the course).

Man In The Mountain

My first exposure to Television came at about the age of 4, before it slipped into the mist of memory with our move to Japan soon after.

TV was at my friend’s home down the block. All limits of range during the early 50s was defined by the admonition “You can go to ___, but do not cross the street.” I honored that (for the time being, Japan would raise the stakes).

Timing was all, it seemed, when it came to watching TV. One benchmark was when would my friend be home from Kindergarten so that we could start? He arrived, now was time for warming up the TV.

As it brightened, on the hour, I saw a spectacular sight of an antenna sitting on top of a mountain. I knew mountains. Denver has lots of them nearby. As the TV came into focus, the antenna began to throw off sparks.

Wow! I was ready for anything that TV would offer. Then amazement compounded with a sudden scene change to a man sitting at a desk, speaking into the camera. He was important, I could tell, because he was talking about adult things happening in the world.

He was in charge, he lived in a mountain (really in charge), and sent sparks into the sky (there were no more superlatives for in charge).

Wood Shop

No, not high school Wood Shop, but close.

Dad was off in Korea for my third summer. Mom was busy with my sisters. The call of the open road (alley, actually) came to me, and I answered it as an intrepid 3 year-old explorer.

I recall it as a warm, comfortable day. The neighborhood seemed dusty and brown, whereas the sky was uniformly blue. The alley ran both ways, but some of it seemed to drift up a slight slope that I chose to climb.

It was probably a weekend day. I am fairly sure of this because of my visit to one of the garages along that alley. There, I investigated a strange, loud noise. It was a power saw with a ringing circular blade that a man, a father, was using on his wood working project.

Did he notice me standing in the doorway? We did not interact, I stood there and watched before the sense of I should go home took me away.

This Isn’t The Way I Was Brought Up

This is the initial post of my biography, done in vignettes.

I am an Army/Navy Brat. This is an unusual distinction. Normally, Brats align themselves to only one of the services, the one of their father’s time in the armed forces. I draw on both my parents’ service, where I grew up in an Army culture with Navy influences. I volunteered for the Navy in 1968.

Put another way, I am the fifth to serve in three generations. One grandfather was a war ship carpenter during WW1, while my other grandfather served in the Army in France at the same time. My mother volunteered for the WAVES during WW2, where my father was in the Army for a year before WW2 began and remained in service until the late 60s.

So, what is the idea behind the evocative title of This Isn’t The Way I Was Brought Up? Today (the This of the title) has far less options for childhood adventure and conduct of life. I am prepared to illustrate why I have made that central distinction through my assorted reminiscences in posts to follow.

This Isn’t The Way I Was Brought Up is also meaningful in regard to the degradation of norms that have descended upon American ideals.

What is Normal?

What is normal to a Brat? It isn’t normal for middle class America, certainly. There are overlaps of experience, of course, but I am here for the divergences, the points of departure. the exceptions, and the aberrations.

Yeah, heady remarks that seem suited for marketing (and for which I have yet to be able to bottle and sell as an elixir). I lay the evidence before my readers to judge for themselves.

The difficulty in teasing out what makes something normal for me came as something of a shock. After all, what I do and what I’ve done feels perfectly normal to me. Some of the incidents that I will relate here have been met with incredulity. I can understand some of this jaw-dropping response. That I am still alive is astonishing in the face of my activities.

Frequently I heard the comment Where were the adults when you were doing this?

Ah! They were at home; at work. They were where they were supposed to be. On the other hand, I was roaming the open range. As this started for me at the age of 3, then you might begin to understand how normal concerns today don’t match those of decades ago.

Follow those stories here.

Quantum dot

RE: Wikipedia

A quantum dot is a nanocrystal made of semiconductor materials that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties. Specifically, its excitons are confined in all three spatial dimensions.

Electronic characteristics of a quantum dot are closely related to its size and shape. For example, the band gap in a quantum dot which determines the frequency range of emitted light is inversely related to its size. In fluorescent dye applications the frequency of emitted light increases as the size of the quantum dot decreases. Consequently, the color of emitted light shifts from red to blue when the size of the quantum dot is made smaller.

San Francisco Writers Conference

Another story worthy of mention is when I was briskly walking down Sutter Street to the conference at 7:45am Sunday morning. I was able to walk at my usual boyish pace where I could arrive at each corner as the light was about to change in my favor. I had done this hundreds of times while on TI, and the knack was with me.

When I stepped across Powell street, the sound of the ringing cable line beneath the street brought back memories of weekend Liberty getting underway.

I slowed to “smell the roses” so to speak. My pace altered. Soon, I stood at a corner next to a pan-handler.
“Cold day to start your job,” I said.
“I gotta do it so’s I can go to McDonald’s for breakfast.”

My partner had stuffed my pockets with bite-sized portions of some energy bar and a length of jerky. I pulled them all out and gave them to him. He thanked me. Then, as I turned to catch the changing light, he added:

“My doctor wants me to get rid of my accordion.”

I was hooked (as only an author can be). I turned away from the corner to re-join him. We were the only people on those cold streets’ intersection.

“How’s that?” I asked.
“I had hip surgery, and he doesn’t want me hauling a 50 pound accordion around. I busk on this corner. That accordion is Italian made with silver and precious woods.” He then did an impression of lugging it along the sidewalk with a distinct strain on his hip.

I took every bill out of my pocket ($20-$50) and placed it in his hand.

We were both struggling artists, even if our situations were different.

San Francisco Writers Conference

While attending the San Francisco Writers Conference last week, I went out to Treasure Island with my partner to show her the view of The City. Unfortunately, the entire length of the Avenue of the Palms was closed, and a high fence put up along the shore to obscure the view. It looks like the tear-down to create plush condos is proceeding with the vengeance of a Real Estate Mogul.

The story of the ride to this shot is worth sharing.

While in conversation with my cabbie, he said he was Filipino, and had arrived in The City in 1972 (the same time I left to join the USS Holland). He mentioned his rent for an apartment at the time was $400/month. I can attest to having to move to Hayward to afford the same sized apartment for $180.
Given the cost, and his challenging situation (looking for work to pay that cost), I asked why he moved here?
“It’s my home.”
“I thought you said you were born in the PI?”
“I was, and so was my father, but grandfather was an Army Cavalry man who fought in the insurrection (still going on, by the way). “Grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier.”

This brought me deep satisfaction to have heard his personal story of connection.

Bruce Rule’s 2010 Letter to Director of Naval Intelligence

6 August 2010

From: B. Rule, 3931 Brookfield Ave, Louisville, KY 40207-2001
To: VADM David J. Dorsett, Director of Naval Intelligence, Office of Naval
Intelligence, 4251 Suitland Road, Washington, DC 20395-5720

Subj: Why the USS SCORPION (SSN-589) Was Lost on 22 May 1968

Ref: (a) Originator’s ltr of 14 Mar 2009
(b) SCORPION SAG Report: “EVALUATION OF DATA AND ARTIFACTS
RELATED TO THE USS SCORPION (SSN-589) (U)” of 29 June 1970,
prepared for presentation to the CNO SCORPION Technical Advisory Group by
the Structural Analysis Group: Peter Palermo, CAPT Harry Jackson, Robert
Price, et al.
(c) Originator’s ltr of 28 Oct 2009

Encl: (1) Enclosure (1) to Originator’s ltr of 14 March 2009

ASSESSMENT

The USS SCORPION was lost because hydrogen produced by the 65-ton, 126-cell TLX-53-A main storage battery exploded in two-stages one-half second apart at 18:20:44Z on 22 May 1968. These events, which did not breach the pressure-hull, prevented the crew from maintaining depth-control. As discussed by reference (a), the SCORPION pressure-hull collapsed at 18:42:34Z at a depth of 1530-feet. Noted times are actual event times on board SCORPION.

This assessment is NOT the generic attribution of the loss of a submarine to a battery-explosion advanced as a default explanation in the absence of any more likely construct. This assessment is based on (1), the results of examination and microscopic, spectrographic and X-ray diffraction analyses of recovered SCORPION battery material that confirm an explosion occurred, and (2), the July 2008 reanalysis of the SCORPION “precursor” acoustic signals that identified these signals as explosions contained within the SCORPION pressure-hull. Collectively, these findings indicate battery explosions were the initiating events responsible for the loss of SCORPION on 22 May 1968.

DISCUSSIONS: EXAMINATION AND METALLURGICAL ANALYSIS OF A RECOVERED SCORPION BATTERY COMPONENT

Section 7.1.3, page 7.2 of reference (b) states: (quote) ….the general battery damage is violent. The high velocity intrusion of pieces of the flash arrestor into both inside and outside surfaces of the retrieved plastisol cover attest to violence in the battery well. The damage to the terminal battery post coupled with the violent tearing of the plastisol covers indicates the possibility of a battery explosion. While it is possible that this damage could have been an after-effect of hull implosion, the SAG (Structural Analysis Group) feels that the intrusion of particles into the plastisol cover would have been much less severe had water been in the battery well at the time. (end quote)

Section 5.3.6, page 5.17 of reference (b) states: (quote) The battery installed in SCORPION was a TLX-53-A, manufactured by Gould-National Battery, Inc. Battery cell debris is in evidence over the entire debris field. Table 5-2, page 5.38 provides a list of the battery debris identified by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard analysis team. (end quote) Comment: Table 5-2 notes damage from heat and melting. The presence of melting eliminates the possibility that such damage occurred as a result of pressure-hull collapse (implosion) because analysis of acoustic data discussed by Section IV of reference (c), confirms SCORPION was fully-flooded within 0.112-seconds of pressure-hull and bulkhead collapse; hence, the melting damage (and the battery explosion) had to have occurred within the still-intact SCORPION pressure-hull.

In consonance with this conclusion, Section 5.3.6, page 5.17 of reference (b) also states: (quote) the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Analysis Group reports that the available evidence indicates the battery probably exploded at some time before flooding of the battery well occurred. Review of Figure 5-13 indicates that the threads on the terminal posts were sheared off and there are no cover seal nuts remaining. This indicates that an explosion took place on the inside of the cells. The covers were completely blown off. Had the pressure been applied on the outside of the covers, the cover support flange on the terminal posts would have held pieces of the covers and it is expected that the cover seal nuts would have remained in place in at least some instances. ( end quote)

Further, Section 5.3.6c, page 5.18 of reference (b) states: (quote) The (battery cover) sample from SCORPION had been violently, but locally, torn, particularly at the location of the bus connection bolts and nuts. The deformation in this region appears to have started on the inside, or battery side of the cover. (end quote)

And finally, Section 5.3.6e, page 5.18 of reference (b) states: (quote) Some 20 equally small (nearly sub-visible) fragments of material were imbedded at high velocity in both the inside and outside of the sample. The trajectories of the fragments were essentially random, ranging from grazing to vertical incidence. Microscopic, spectrographic and X-ray diffraction analyses reveal that these fragments are identical in composition and structure to the alumina flash arrestors used on the batteries in SCORPION. (end quote)

DISCUSSIONS: SCORPION ACOUSTIC DATA

Enclosure (1) to reference (a), forwarded as enclosure (1) to this letter, provides detailed discussions of four independent lines of evidence that, collectively, established, for the first time, that the two “precursor” acoustic events that occurred at 18:20:44Z, 21-minutes and 50-seconds before hull-collapse, were explosions from then unidentified sources that were contained within the SCORPION pressure-hull. The energy yield of these explosive events, now assessed to have been battery-associated, is estimated to have been no more than about 20-lbs of TNT each.

The July 2008 identification of the precursor acoustic events as explosions contained within the SCORPION pressure-hull strongly supports the battery explosion conclusion advanced by reference (b), i.e., the acoustic data identifies the actual explosive events previously assumed by the authors of reference (b), the SAG Report, to have occurred based on the observed damage to a recovered battery component discussed above.

CONCLUSION

Collectively, the above information indicates the two acoustic events that occurred 0.5-seconds apart at 18:20:44Z were produced by explosions associated with the SCORPION TLX-53-A battery, and were the initiating events responsible for the loss of SCORPION on 22 May 1968. Additional information will be provided as developed.

B. Rule
Copy to (w/ encl):
COMSUBFOR

10th Step On The Character’s Ladder

I’ve been researching “compunction” for characters in my work while working on “The Striker” an installment of “X-Division Assignments” an espionage action story set in late 60s San Francisco.
 
It also bears upon many published news stories for the past two years.
 
The following comes from my last outline step:
 
10. Character tested for veracity of compunction
 
10.1. and Character reveals a wide ranging emotional display
10.1.1. including positive emotions, such as happiness and surprise
10.1.1.1. with leakage of genuine feelings from incomplete deception (feel embarrassed, feel genuine happiness, and let a smile slip)
10.1.1.1.1. as in false remorse
 
10.1.2. with deceptive or falsified emotions overcompensated in their emotional performance
10.1.2.1. as in false remorse
 
10.1.3. with a large number of speech hesitations that cued deceptive apology
10.1.3.1. as in false remorse
 
10.2. and reveals narrow range of emotional display
10.2.1. for remorse (showing sorrow)
include a detailed account of the offense
10.2.1.1. responsibility (showing connection)
acknowledgment of the hurt or damage done
10.2.1.1.1. reparation (showing care)
restitution, compensation or token gesture in line with the damage that one has caused
10.2.1.1.1.1. resolution (showing closure)
expression of a credible commitment to change

SOFAR Channel

The speed of sound in the ocean varies with depth, but with a twist.  And in that twist the United States Navy held a three decade technical lead in submarine detection.

The scenario, below, presents a case where a submarine is emitting a sound.  It is immersed in a liquid that is layered with denser water above and below a region known as the SOFAR Channel.  The submarine is in the top, dense layer.  Within the graphic, the SOFAR Channel is the light blue layer with the converging strong lines of sound from the submarine.  Note the shape of the lines are not straight lines.  They bend due to the variation in water density like a lens.  Within this channel, sound will propagate with far less attenuation (fading), and travel many hundreds of miles to remote detectors.

There are a number of dashed rays of sound that encounter loss in reflection from the bottom, or are situated along a path that does not lead into the interior of the SOFAR Channel.

For those who want actual numbers, the speed of sound varies in the following manner:

Project ARTEMIS Specifications – Precursor to SOSUS Installation

The Argus Island Project Artemis array has two specifications as the project moved from active to passive SOFAR application.  source wikipedia:

shipboard active array:

50 ft (15 m) by 33 ft (10 m) and

weighed 400 tons. It consisted of

1440 individual transducers (200 pounds apiece) in a

48 by 30 configuration.

 

fixed passive receive array:

10 Mile long

ten strings of hydrophones mounted on

200 eighty-foot towers laid down the side of Plantagenet Bank in Bermuda.

source wikipedia:

The strings were laid on the side of the bank using the U.S. Navy large covered lighter YFNB-12, reconfigured with a long overhead boom to handle the towers. Each cable had special takeouts built into it at intervals from which wires to the hydrophones were connected. Each tower was clamped onto the special cable with takeouts. At the upper end of the approximately 4-inch (100 mm) cable a wire rope was attached and led to an explosively embedded anchor shot into the flat coral top of Plantagenet Bank. Tension of more than 40,000 lb was applied to the wire rope and cable to lay it down the side of the bank in the straightest line possible. At one point all further construction ceased while a stopper was placed on the special cable because most of the connection to the wire rope had broken and the string was being held by a few strands of wire on the double drum winch on YFNB-12. The YFNB-12 was held in place with four Murray and Tregurtha Diesel outboard engines placed on the corners and capable of 360 degree rotation, developing tremendous thrust in any direction. The cables led to Argus Island tower, from which the signal was conducted to the United States listening post located at Tudor Hill, Southampton, Bermuda (32.264122°N 64.877666°W) that had opened on June 1, 1955. At the time the post was classified top secret. Tudor Hill Naval Facility Bermuda was closed in 1995. The facility shares a short road with the Pompano Beach Club.

Picture of the probable interim design.

Picture of the probable final design.

These two views may not be with the same hydrophone array.  The second is obviously larger than the first.  Given the resolution’s rough ability to count the elements, this makes for difficulty in determining their construction details.  Focusing on the second, my first impression was to call each white spot in the field of frames an element.  However, there are white square covers over some of what should be elements (I would speculate they were there to mark what element had not been inspected yet—or had failed a test), and these covers center on the black areas surrounding the white areas.  Thus the white areas are part of the frame.

The first picture’s array is in 3×5 panels, each panel is of 5×12 elements (900 total elements), but this does not conform to the specification above in any way—even if additional panels were added.  However, as this is a difficult interpretation given both the poor resolution and the camera angle, each panel could be composed of 6×12 elements, and the entire assembly is only short a row of panels.  I would like to think this first picture is displaying the array under partial construction.

The second picture’s array shows 4×5 panels, each panel is of 6×12 elements (1440 total elements) which does conform in layout.  This also conforms to the extract from Project Artemis Acoustic Source Performance Characteristics:

The Artemis acoustic source was designed to meet the requirements for an ocean surveillance study program. These requirements included a source level of 152 dB in a 100-Hz band centered at 400 Hz with a transducer operating depth of 1200 feet. The transducer, which was completed in June 1964, is a rectangular planar array 33 feet wide and 50 feet high.

The ocean surveillance study program, Project Artemis, initiated by the Office of Naval Research in 1958, required a very high power, deep acoustic source. The acoustic requirements established. for the projector called for a capability of radiating 1000 kW of acoustic power in a 100-Hz band centered at 400 Hz with pulse lengths of 10 to 60 seconds at a 10% duty cycle. Beamwidth to the half-power points was to be 20 degrees in the horizontal plane and 12.5 degrees in the vertical plane. This combination of power and beamwidth would result in a source level of approximately 152 decibels relative to 1 microbar at 1 yard (dB//1 gbar at 1 yd). The acoustic axis was to have a fixed orientation of 11 degrees above the horizontal plane.


Several proposals for the projector were considered, the final selection being a rectangular plane array 33 feet wide by 50 feet high composed of 1440 variable-reluctance transducer elements. Each element is nearly cubical, being 11-1/8 inches square on the radiating face and 11-3/4 inches deep. They are assembled in frames in which 72 elements are closely packed in 12 rows by six columns. Each assembly, referred to as a module, is approximately 6 feet wide. by 12 feet high. The completed array consists of far rows of modules with five modules in each row. The modules are mounted on a suitable array frame which provides the proper tilt angle of the radiating face and supports auxiliary components associated with the electrical input to the elements. Radiation to the rear of the array is suppressed by a system of pressure compensated, flattened, gas-filled tubes which serve as acoustic pressure releases on the rear faces of the elements.

Extracts from Project Artemis Acoustic Source Characteristics Of The Type TR-11F Transducer Element (which concerns itself with an upgrade in impedance to help with transmitter loading, and with diaphragm spring displacement):

The present configuration of the ARTEMIS source employs TR-11C elements with a parallel electrical connection of groups of six series connected elements.

(source unknown) The SOSUS application of these elements in an array suggest a receive sensitivity of 1W audio power at 1,000km.

Tudor Hill Laboratories – NavFac Bermuda

The RV Erline in transit between Argus Island and Tudor Hill Laboratories.

A view of Tudor Hill Laboratories’ listening post at the crown of the hill (a very common siting arrangement).

One of the cables in a SOFAR installation.

This shows the tapering of the line between the sea deployment of SOSUS hydrophones the Terminal Building where the leads are terminated into audio filters, storage, time shifters (delay lines built into the storage), and finally verniers (chart recorders) that make LOFARgrams.

SOSUS cable being laid out to sea.

And, of course, the cable has to emerge somewhere along a beach.

At this point I need to point out that the beach picture with cable, and earlier pictures are presenting the common design considerations for nearly any SOSUS station, but not for NavFac Bermuda which received data through RF transmissions from Argus Island.

Still, audio is audio, and the many Verniers (chart recorders) at Tudor Hill Laboratories operated the same irrespective of this link.

Aerial view of NavFac Bermuda, Tudor Hill Laboratories.

What Was Being Heard That Surprised Listeners (The Jezebel Monster)

Humpback Whale Calls as observed in SOSUS data

This presents how the calls of the Humback whale would appear in modern SOSUS technology displays.

The top reveals a wider frequency range than is normally observed in SOSUS operation, but that is because it has been sped up by a factor of ten to allow the calls (normally sub-sonic) to be heard in sound recordings.  This, then, suggests that the LOFARgram is not of live data, but of a sped-up recording.

If you apply a divide by ten to the left scale, we are back to the conventional LOFARgram display covering from 0 Hz to 50 Hz.

SOSUS technologists saw these waveforms for years, and were unable to determine their origin.  Further complicating matters were that these noises moved.  Because the early stages of SOSUS was called Project Jezebel, these noises were tongue-in-cheek attributed to the Jezebel monster.

What’s Being Listened For

This chart presents the electrical signal from the underwater SOSUS array.

It is listening to ship traffic (and presumably with more interest in submarines).  The scale across the bottom reveals a span of 8 or minutes of recording in hardcopy, colored format (in the old days, it was all black and white).  Above the minute marks the scale at the left reveals the frequency of detection, within the field of color, the brighter the color, the louder the source.

As such, the span from very low frequencies up to 50 Hz (a power line kind of hum) has a bright patch across all time with very white (thus very loud) source noise from propellers that scar the field with horizontal lines showing at 30 Hz and 40 Hz (and other frequencies).

The picture below is more representational of the LOFARgrams observed during the 50s, 60s, 70s ….  The aspect is as viewed on the Vernier (chart recorder) with the paper being advanced up as new data was burnt (no ink, the paper is thermally sensitive) into a line at the bottom.  In this case, louder is equal to darker (more burning).  With many Verniers running plots along bearing angles, there was a lot of burning going on, continuously.

Not labeled are the propeller shaft noise profiles.  The shaft’s fundamental frequency is at the far left, about an eighth of an inch from the edge.  Its first harmonic is an eighth of an inch to its right (and many more barely visible harmonics across the page).

As of this time, the picture is incorrectly labeling the propeller blade fundamental as an harmonic.  Given its harmonics fall within groups of four shaft harmonics, it would seem to me that there were four blades on the shaft.

Where The Action Starts …

 

… where it all starts

source: United States Navy

These are views of Argus Island taken from the official report of its destruction.

Argus Island was an outpost SOSUS station between two arrays of underwater sensors and the Tudor Hill Laboratory located on the southern edge of Bermuda.  It was manned by:

One supervisor , electronic technician.
Two senior electronic technicians (both with broad qualifications including commications and digital circuits).
Two diesel mechanics/diesel-electrical , welding, plumbing and crane operator.
Two cook-baker stewards.
One general helper/maintenance Janitor.

Argus Island also hosted non-SOSUS research (to aid in its cover story of being the equivalent of a benign weather station).  Among those activities was SeaLab in 1964.

Listening At Bermuda’s NavFac At Tudor Hill Laboratory

source: NOAA

Argus Bank (more properly known as Plantagenet Bank) is a submerged sea mountain that supports the man-made Argus Island (offshore platform, also called a Texas Tower).  Argus Island is a SOSUS transmission line transfer point between the underwater sensors along Plantagenet Bank and the listening post located in Tudor Hill Laboratories (at the south edge of Bermuda island).  Transportation of men and supplies was done between Tudor Hill Laboratories and Argus Island via R/V Erline.

Argus Bank had hosted the earlier Project Argus which employed a 1MW 400Hz SONAR. Aside from the active transmitter, much of that technology is similar.

The three seamounts are volcanic remnants from continental drift over a magmatic hot-spot.

Listening At The Bottom Of The Ocean

Individual Naval Facilities for monitoring ocean traffic approaching the United States.

source: United States Navy

This map displays SOSUS Atlantic listening stations lining the continental shelf of the United States.

Their mission was to detect and track submarines in the Atlantic ocean.

This was accomplished through a distributed underwater network of angle sensitive audio sensors. These directional microphones are connected at the end of a many miles long submarine cable out to the continental shelf that drops thousands of feet to the ocean floor.  (The white coloring in the relief map reveals the shelf face feature.)

The SOSUS listening stations are located on coastal land.  Their underwater hydrophone sensors are many miles out at sea (80 miles or more), and often half a mile deep in the ocean’s bottom or on the edge of the shelf (or island’s seamount in the case of Bermuda).

The Tenth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity

3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Ninth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Eighth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Seventh Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Sixth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Fifth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Fourth Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Third Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The Second Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does first irretrievable step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

In terms of the protagonist, there are several interpretations.  Here is one.

In the standard mystery, where the protagonist is a detective, then this rung of the ladder would represent that action taken that exposes the protagonist’s examination of the events to the antagonist.  Here, the canon of mystery writing presents a very schematic approach to the application of the fifth rung to this other character, but this application hardly fits all writing genres.  For them, I consider:

In terms of minor characters (being neither the protagonist nor the antagonist), I will generalize how this rung is employed.

The fifth rung is about the possibility of others discovering the intentions of the character.  Abstractly, it could mean an action taken by the character that has a strong connection that can be traced back to the character.  In a family-drama, it could be the filing of divorce papers by a spouse.  This presumes that the motivation for divorce was hidden (and it may well remain that way).  It follows that having done this, the next rung is divorce.

The First Rung of the Character’s Growth Ladder

10. Reconciliation
9.   Separation
8.   Denial
7.   Disruption
6.   The reversible step into the Danger zone
5.   The first irreversible step into the Risk zone
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What does the motivation step mean for other characters—if they were to have their own ladders?

If you have arrived here from the Murderer’s Ladder, then motivation could easily be anticipated as being revenge driven.  However, this does not remove that same possible drive from other characters—especially the murderer’s henchmen.

Alternatively, motivation could be inspired out of compassion … from the murderer, the murderer’s henchmen, the murdered, the investigator, others, or all.  That is to say that motivation is individual and could be as similar or as different as those individuals.  None have been put to the test of their motivation, that remains at the next step of Temptation.

As a general observation, however, most motivations can be examined and unwound to simpler motivations that arrived early in the character’s life.

Thoughts on the Use of An Author’s Inspiration

As I may have stated elsewhere, I proceed along one track alone even when I have several projects open.

This is a rare exception where I am progressing through the first of my X-Division Assignments series and I have shifted my antagonist role into a character I had originally thought of as being tertiary (not even secondary, and far from primary).  However, that shift needed to be supported by a robustness not originally built into this character.  What to do?

This is where I changed hats and approached the “what to do” problem through my seeing how The Murderer’s Ladder could fit into the scope of An Author’s Inspiration.  In that regard, I have introduced a new data file.  My current design for this character (called Smith) is found in Smith.ladder, as follows:

Smith’s motivation is due to loss in security through Soviet’s torture of brother in North Korean captivity.

Smith’s temptation to pursue revenge arrives in the form of the Soviets adding a mission in SF.

Smith establishes plan to poison Russian consul.

 

Smith is presented with an opportunity to proceed with plan through discovery of cache of lost radioactive isotopes from the early 50s.

Smith’s first irretrievable step is taken by bringing pressure upon the discoverer Hickey to conspire and keep secrets.

Smith uses a new confederate Sanderson to engage in poisoning Hickey, then an attaché for rehearsal.

Smith does not fly from the scene of conflict but instead shelters Sanderson and manipulates the crime scene.

Smith being unobstructed tries to complete the assault on the Russian consul.

Protagonist tests Smith’s false suspects for the validity of their being suspected.

Protagonist traps Smith in false, confused, or overlooked clues.

Some of this may appear cryptic (e.g. SF means San Francisco and is easily substituted in my mind), or in a contorted sentence construction (loss in security–the family was attacked through one member’s torture).  Such are the benefits and down-sides of keeping things short, but accessible.

The Murderer’s Equation: The Energy Equation of The Murderer’s Ladder

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

The topic line is sure to provoke head scratching—it is drawn from engineering where energy is conserved or lost to entropy.  Allow that the word entropy is not one that either an engineer, writer, or reader aspires to, so all groups would be better served if they understood the dynamics of the energy flow going up the ladder.

Motivation is the well from which the murderer’s principle energy is drawn.  In all worlds, engineering and art, motivation is about energy’s source and energy’s intended use.  Energy is transferred, but its waste through neglect in the writer’s or the engineer’s craft is rarely acceptable.

What is the energy equation?

total energy = energy taken – energy used – energy lost = 0

where both the engineer and the author seek to achieve:

energy taken = energy used

energy lost = 0

How does this translate into the murderer’s ladder—rung-by-rung?

What is the murderer’s equation?

murderer’s energy = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 = 0

As can be seen, the well of energy is deepened by rungs 2, 3, and 4; but they account for little of the total energy available to the murderer which is found at the first rung of motivation.  Temptation (rung 2) and opportunity (rung 4) are driven by chance.  The energy from these rungs are sparks compared to rung 1’s flame of motivation.  Planning (rung 3) solidifies motive, and is a greater energy contributor than rungs 2 and 4, but it is still a small amount as plans do not have the same passionate energy as does motivation.

So, what happens when we look at this part of the equation:

– 5 … – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10

Each of these rungs on the ladder drain energy that could have been spent at rung 6, the murder, where the natural source of energy is intended to being consumed.  Rung 5 is the murderer’s energy expended because the murderer did not simply thrust the knife on the first opportunity (skipping over opportunity, rung 5, and plunging on).  Rung 5 drains the energy available to perform the murder.  In all regards this amount is negligible, but can be monumental in a hesitant (under-motivated) murderer.  This hesitation, of course, could make its own story.

For some motivations, the revenge story for instance, there should be no energy available for rungs 7, 8, 9, and 10—as passions would dominate all action, and passion would be completely drained at the ultimate act at rung 6.  The passion of revenge needs no escape, no containment of evidence, no false suspect.  Thus, the revenge story would have only 5 rungs, not 10.  This would be our equation, then:

murder’s energy = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 … – 6 = 0

However, if this is more than a story, such as a revenge epic, then an epic is larger than a single act of murder.    An epic spans time or place and consists of many actions with many sources of motivation.  This would be the story of a serial murderer.  A simple serial revenge (Hatfields vs. McCoys) might look like:

murder’s energy = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 – 5 – 6

+ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 – 5 – 6

+ 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 = 0

where three murders are performed after three visits to the well of motivation—and presuming surplus energy was drawn to contend with the authorities after this string of murders.  Consider that the murderer is going to the well absolutely exhausted the second and third time.

As a twist, consider the psycho’s serial murder equation:

murder’s energy = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 – 5 + 6

+ 3 + 4 – 5 + 6

+ 3 + 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 = 0

where the psycho’s motivation comes from murders which build a surplus of energy used in subsequent murders.  The psycho’s energy does not flag because the act of murder is their second source for energy.  However, all serializations come to an end.

This structure also suggests how complex plots can be energized, and that through successive murders, the psycho might reach for stronger victims of higher energy need.  So, returning above to the psycho’s serial murder equation, the first murder had a reserve of energy afterward.  The second murder did too.  Those two reserves of energy were sufficient to accomplish the third, but the consequences were inevitable.

Case of the Missing Loose Threads

10.
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

What is the murderer’s ladder without a wrap-up?

The object of missing clues and loose threads may have been resolved earlier.  This makes things (including the reader’s experience of reading) predestined.

As such, we have a predictable murderer.  There was never a mystery about who the murderer is, and the reader probably even knows the murderer’s complete ladder, instead of discovering the murderer at rung 5 or 6.

Case of the Missing False Suspect

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.  
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

The False Suspect is more a convention of taste and times when it appeared.  A False Suspect is useful, but could also be an unnecessary plot elaboration.

The type of murderer that climbs past this rung in the ladder probably wouldn’t miss it.  However, an insecure murderer might be at a loss.

 

Case of the Missing Cover-Up

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.  
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

First, is a cover-up necessary?  Not for the assassin.  The false suspect provides enough distraction for a clean getaway.  No other details need addressing.

 

Case of the Missing Flight

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.  
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

What kind of murderer does not resort to flight?  This doesn’t include the subterfuge of going to jail on a lesser crime.  No, this has remoteness built in so that flying away is unnecessary.  Does that mean the murderer sticks with the corpse?

No, this could fit the role of the master criminal murderer accomplishing murder to their plan through others.

Removing the element of remoteness, necessarily brings the murderer back into the same room with the corpse, but with the murderer now straightening up—scene building—and roping in the False Suspect (now very necessary).

Case of the Missing Murder

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.  
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

What is the murderer’s ladder without a murder?

This could be found in the realm of the missing corpse.  But what if there is no suspicion of there being a corpse?  Could it be a confession to an unknown murder?  Could this be a mystical murderer?

 

Case of the Missing Irretrievable Step

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.  
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

The leap from opportunity to killing shows immediacy, and the plunge past the point of no return.

There is no hesitation in the murder, it must be a passionate murderer who does this.

Case of the Missing Opportunity

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.  
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

What is the murderer’s ladder without opportunity?  Every detective moves forward on motive, means, and opportunity being the three supports to a murder.

The first irretrievable step being a leap, without timing or blending is another mark of the amateur murderer.  Or this could be the plunge of a romantic murderer.

 

Case of the Missing Plan

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.  
2.   Temptation
1.   Motive

What is the murderer’s ladder without a plan?

The opportunity is merely a second temptation, and thus falling to temptation, this must be the amateur murderer.

 

Case of the Missing Temptation

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.  
1.   Motive

What is the murderer’s ladder without temptation?  Every detective moves forward on the motive of the criminal, just as they count off their suspicions in that the suspect had the motive, means, and opportunity (fled the scene, resisted arrest, etc.).

This a professional murderer.  The temptation is anticipated by the motive (the need for money), and the remaining ladder steps (at least to actual murder) are expected to be performed professionally (and even the problems that may crop up during and after).

How is the professional murderer distinct from the psychotic murderer?  The professional may be psychotic; but the psychotic is not professional.

If the absence of temptation so closely hews to psychology, it could also be the hallmark of the romantic murderer.  However, this would an obsessive, romantic murderer.

The Case of the Missing Motive

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.

What is the murderer’s ladder without motive?  Every detective moves forward on the motive of the criminal, just as they count off their suspicions in that the suspect had the motive, means, and opportunity (fled the scene, resisted arrest, etc.).

This could be said to be the psychotic murderer’s ladder.

As the psychotic murderer has no personal stake in the murder, it must come from another source (a syndicate, or well placed or wealthy individual putting out a contract on the victim; possibly from the victim).  It might be argued that the contract price is the motivation for the murderer—but, no.  The contract’s price is simple business decision.  If a contract murderer did it for free, then there would be a motive for the murderer to deviate from business practices.

There is another perspective that comes from Strangers on a Train, by Patricia Highsmith.  There two murders are performed by swapping victims between the two murderers so that motives are lost, means are lost, and opportunities are lost when unassailable, simple alibis are provided.

 

The Necessity for Eliminating the Little Overlooked Clues and Loose Threads, the tenth rung on The Murderer’s Ladder

10. The necessity for eliminating the little overlooked clues and loose threads
9.   The false suspect
8.   The cover up
7.   The flight
6.   The actual killing
5.   The first irretrievable step
4.   The opportunity
3.   The plan
2.   Temptation
1.   Motivation

What is the necessity about?

Loose threads have tripped up the antagonist into creating or explaining a rat’s nest of  counter-theories that fail to match up with the known facts.

This is the denouement between antagonist and protagonist.  The antagonist manipulates situations, people, and facts to try to piece together a rationale that removes the antagonist from suspicion or pursuit.

The protagonist has a complete view of the crime, and command of all the facts in a complete time-line that refuses forced insertions or deletions by the antagonist, or the antagonist’s agents.

The necessity contains the basic elements of who, what, where, when, and why.

The who: The antagonist and characters in conclusion.

The what: Examining the antagonist.

The where: Here.

The when: During the investigation.

The why: The antagonist’s need for personal distancing.

There is no more that can be done by the antagonist.

The antagonist is under absolute stress of imminent failure.  Thus, at the elemental level it engages either anger or fear.