Retired Detective Pens True Murder Case

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Retired Det. Sgt. Bob Martin wrote "THE THICK BLUE LINE" to show how police far and wide united to find the murderer of Patrolman David C. Douglass. His slaying on Feb. 18, 1994 stunned not only the members of the Lower Township, New Jersey Police Department, but the public he served.

Ernie did the backgrounds on all the NYPD investigators who took part in the investigation and provided his caustic, gritty style to the story line

Retired Lower Township Det. Sgt. Bob Martin wrote "The Thick Blue Line" in an attempt to show how the brotherhood of Police Officers, nationwide, team together to solve a case involving the murder of a brother officer. Martin currently of Winter Springs, Fla. in collaboration with Retired Capt. Ernie Naspretto, NYPD traced the investigation that crossed state lines into New York City.

"Ernie did the backgrounds on all the NYPD investigators who took part in the investigation and provided his caustic, gritty style to the story line," said Martin. Martin is Senior Instructor for the National Institute for Truth Verification and instructs Computer Voice Stress Analysis. He also instructs other Criminal Justice disciplines throughout the United States.

This case is most unique in that most cases of this magnitude are solved relatively quickly and this police murder case took six weeks to solve and led the investigators to China Town in New York City. The investigation was not only personal but also extremely emotional for the investigators who knew the victim on a personal level.

Martin said the idea for the title came as a twist on "The Thin Blue Line" which many have come to call police, since they interface between citizens and criminals. The thick blue line is for the relationship that police have. It became a thick blue line comprised of every police department that aided in the investigation.

Two clues that led Martin and his investigative partner Jack Trombetta to the slayer of their fellow officer, were eventually utilized by NYPD Blue in one of the weekly segments because of the unique twist it lent to the investigation. Patrolman Douglass in his attempt to capture the suspect enabled investigators to find a lottery ticket and a door key that had been left behind during the perpetrators escape. Those two items actually led to the resulting arrest.

Martin took two years writing the 468-page paperback book. Then from 1996 through 2002, he attempted to have it published. "I was constantly told to cut the book in half to guarantee it be published. I didn't know how that could be done and still tell the story," said Martin.

"So time went by and I let it sit. My best friend and partner Jack Trombetta constantly harassed me about getting it published. Then I started thinking that I did want to see it in print so my friends and family could read it," he said.

The book became a reality thanks to an internet publisher, based in North Carolina. The book can be purchased at at Martin's personal web site and through nationwide book stores by requesting ISBN 1-4116-1072-5. Martin indicates the book is more reasonably priced at LuLu and if the reader is interested in a signed copy they can get same reasonably from his personal web site.


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