CrimeCONN: All Day Mystery Conference

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

CrimeCONNmystery writers of americaThis gathering for mystery fans and writers features a day of entertaining and informative expert panels with authors, forensic and law enforcement experts. The keynote address will be an interview with New York Times #1 bestselling thriller author Andrew Gross. Author books will be available for sale and signing. Fee, $25, includes light breakfast, coffee/tea and luncheon. Check-in begins at 8:45 am. Co-sponsored with Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter. Register online.



8:45 -9:15 am: Check in/breakfast
9:30 am-12:30 pm: Panels 
12:30 pm-1:30 pm: Luncheon
1:30-4:30 pm: Panels 


I Kill, Therefore I Am. What motivates your bad guys’ behavior?
Moderator: John Valeri
Authors: Rosemary Harris, Michael Ledwidge and Liz Mugavero

Catch Me If You Can. The mind games crooks (and cops) play.
Moderator: Michelle Clark
Speakers: Dr. Mark Braunsdorf, Sgt. Mike Cummiskey, Lt. Ray Hassett 

On the Borderline. What makes an anti-hero heroic?
Moderator: Joe Meyers
Authors: Karen Olson, David Rich, Tom Straw

Interview with guest of honor, Andrew Gross

You Can Dodge, But You Can't Hide. How professionals separate fact from fiction.
Expert: Captain Chris Chute 

Sociopaths in Our Midst. When the ordinary go rogue.
Moderator: Kate Kessler
Authors: David Handler, A.J. Pompano, Jan Yager, Ph.D.


Bios of panelists and moderators:

Dr. Mark S. Braunsdorf is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and the president of The Avalon Group, P.C. He served for 20 years as the psychologist for the Hartford Police Department providing psychological evaluations for police candidates as well as clinical services for officers and their families. He continues to conduct evaluations for several local law enforcement agencies. Mark has also provided executive development and customized consulting services for Fortune 500 corporations, law firms, marketing/advertising agencies and Native American populations. Braunsdorf earned his B.A. in Psychology from Villanova University, M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and Human Systems from Florida State University.

Chris Chute is a Captain with the New Britain Police Department.  He has been a criminal polygraph examiner for the past thirteen years and he is the current president of the Connecticut Polygraph Association. Chris has interviewed and interrogated hundreds of rapists, child rapists, murders, burglars, arsonists, and violent criminals and he teaches the art of interviewing and interrogating suspects to seasoned investigators.  He has a unique perspective of how criminals select their victims and perpetrate their crimes since he has gotten the criminals themselves to tell how they did it.  

Michelle Clark is a Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where she is the case manager for all of the unidentified cases in the state and has investigated over 600 deaths to date. Before working for the state, she was a Crime Scene Technician for the Waterbury Police Department. She is board certified by ABMDI as a Medicolegal Death Investigator and board certified by ASCP in Medical Technology and Molecular Biology. Michelle is also an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford where she teaches Forensic Science. She isa member of MWA, SinC, and a Guppie.

Mike Cummiskey is a Sergeant with the New Britain Police Department, he has been an officer for over a decade. Mike served as a patrol officer and a certified patrol mountain bike officer. Mike spent over seven years investigating crimes against children to include sexual abuse, physical abuse and child/infant deaths. In addition to his investigative experience, Mike is a certified police academy instructor in the areas of Juvenile Law, Crimes Against Children and Sexual Assault\Abuse. Mike is a executive member of the Central CT Multi-Disciplinary team which is responsible for the review of and providing technical assistance to police departments investigating crimes against children in the central CT area.

Andrew Gross is the NYT bestselling author of nine thrillers, including One Mile Under, Everything to Lose, and 15 Seconds. He is also the co-author of five #1 bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge and Jury and The Jester. The One Man, set in WWII and based on the exploits of his family, was released in August by Minotaur. His books have been published in over 20 countries. He lives in Westchester County with his wife.

David Handler, a recovering journalist, is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Stewart Hoag, Berger & Mitry and Benji Golden crime novels.  He has also written extensively for television and film on both coasts. His most recent Berger & Mitry novel, The Lavendar Lane Lothario, was published in February by Minotaur, and he has just completed his first Stewart Hoag novel in 20 years for Harper Collins. He lives in Old Lyme.

Rosemary Harris has been a bookstore manager, video producer and public television executive. Her debut novel, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies, was followed by The Big Dirt Nap, Dead Head and Slugfestall titles in her Dirty Business mystery series. She is past president of Mystery Writers of America's NY Chapter and Sisters in Crime's New England Chapter. Like some of the characters in The Bitches of Brooklyn she was born in Brooklyn but now lives in New York City and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Visit Rosemary at

Lieutenant Ray Hassett retired in 2012 after twenty five years of service with the New Haven Department of Police Service in New Haven, CT. During his career, his assignments have included: Patrol Officer, Detective, Police Sergeant, Lieutenant, and District Commander of one of the busiest Police Districts in New Haven.  Ray is an FBI trained Hostage Negotiator, and was the Officer in Charge of NHPD's Hostage Negotiation Unit.  He is also Crisis Intervention trained, and was team leader for CIT Officers in New Haven. He was also named CIT Officer of the Year in 2009 by the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement. Since his retirement, Ray has worked as a Contractor for the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, teaching the Art of Hostage Negotiation, as well as Behavioral Observation Skills, to foreign Police Agencies around the world. To date, he has worked in the Middle East (Jordan); The Philippines; New Delhi, India; Bogotá, Columbia; Tajikistan; North Africa (Morocco); and Kingston, Jamaica.

Kate Kessler is a former juvenile delinquent who developed a peculiar addiction to soap operas and Sidney Sheldon’s intrigue-fueled thrillers at a young age. An overblown sense of curiosity often resulted in landing her in trouble, an affliction that continued into her teens. These days, she prefers to write about trouble rather than jump head first into it. Kate also spends far too much time trying to figure out why people do the things they do, and shopping for shoes. Under other names she is a USA Today best selling, award-winning author of more than 36 books. Her first thriller, It Takes One -- about a psychologist who returns to the town where she killed a man as a teenager -- was released in April 2016. The sequel, Two Can Play, will be out in November from Red Hook books. She lives in Connecticut with her patient and supportive husband and four cats, who provide all the external drama her life needs. Visit her online at

Chris Knopf is an author and editor/co-publisher at The Permanent Press..  Knopf has published fourteen mystery/thrillers.  Dead Anyway won the 2013 Nero Award. It also received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus and Library Journal.  Number seven in the Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery series, Back Lash, was released in May 2016.  He’s also been short-listed for the Derringer Award for best short story. Visit him at

Michael Ledwidge has published 17 novels since 1999, 14 of them New York Times bestsellers co-written with the world's bestselling author, James Patterson. The Michael Bennet series he cofounded with Mr. Patterson in 2007 is the bestselling NYC detective series of all time and the stand-alone novel, Zoo, he co-scribed in 2012 is currently a popular CBS television series.  

Joe Meyers writes about books, movies and theater for Hearst Connecticut Media Group. He also once ran the first (and only) art house movie theater on the Delmarva Peninsula. In 2012, the Mystery Writers of America gave him the Ellery Queen Award for his writing on crime fiction.

Liz Mugavero is the author of the Agatha Award-nominated Pawsitively Organic Mysteries Kneading to Die, A Biscuit, A Casket, The Icing on the Corpse and Murder Most Finicky. Custom-Baked Murder, the fifth in the series, will be released in December 2016. She serves on the Sisters in Crime New England board and is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Mystery Writers of America and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut. Find her at

Karen E. Olson writes the Hidden suspense series as well as the Annie Seymour and Tattoo Shop mysteries. She is the winner of the Sara Ann Freed Award and a Shamus finalist. Her website is

A. J. (Ang) Pompano has published mysteries in the award-winning anthologies Still Waters, Deadfall, and Stone Cold. His latest story, “The Bucket List” appears in Best New England Crime Stories 2016: Red Dawn. A member of MWA, he is a past recipient of a Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship. He is a board member of Sisters in Crime New England and on the New England Crime Bake Planning Committee. Ang lives in Guilford with his wife Annette, an artist, and their rescue dog Quincy.

David Rich is the author of two thrillers, Caravan of Thieves and Middle Man featuring Marine Lieutenant Rollie Waters.  He wrote the feature film Renegades starring Kiefer Sutherland as well as episodes of "MacGyver" and various other television series. David is currently developing a true crime television series and writing a new novel set in the world of big time gamblers, A Lady Tonight.

Tom Straw is an Emmy and Writers Guild of America nominee for his TV writing and producing. He joined the Mystery Writers of America in 2007 on publication of his first book, The Trigger Episode. Subsequently, under a pseudonym, he has authored seven New York Times Bestsellers. He currently serves as a board member of the MWA-NY chapter.

John Valeri was an independent contractor for from 2009 to 2016. His Hartford Books Examiner column consistently ranked in the top ten percent of all Hartford, National Books and National Arts & Entertainment Examiners. John currently contributes to The Strand Magazine, The National Book Review, Suspense Magazine, and He regularly moderates author interviews and book discussions at bookstores, conferences, and libraries throughout Connecticut; he has also appeared on television and radio. John made his fiction debut in Tricks and Treats, a Halloween-themed anthology published by Books & Boos Press in September. Visit him online at

Jan Yager, Ph.D. teaches Victimology, Penology, and Race and Ethnic Relations at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of City University of New York. She has an M.A. in Criminal Justice from Goddard College Graduate Program and a Ph.D. in sociology from The City University of New York Graduate Center. Her published books, translated into 34 languages, include the nonfiction study of crime victims Victims (Scribner's), When Friendships Hurts (Simon & Schuster) as well as two thrillers, co-authored with her husband Fred Yager, Untimely Death and Just Your Everyday People. For more on Jan, go to: or

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