"Suicide or Murder"

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

Ian-Ross Vayro

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“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn't.” Mark Twain ‘Suicide or Murder’ With its somewhat ominous ‘Murder Mystery’ title, one might wonder how this book could centre on the at times funny exploits of a young student detective, Adam and a Lufthansa flight attendant called Mina. Despite the odds, they establish a loving relationship in this astounding sequence of events in a scenario that was initially purported to be true. A case that supposedly boggled Police investigators and Medical Examiners in LA. The story was originally reported in 1994 by Kurt Westerveld for Associated Press and tells about the legal complications associated with a bizarre death that was chosen as the most unusual case on record, for presentation at an anniversary Awards Dinner of the American Association of Forensic Scientists, back in 1987. The situation was explained by AAFS President, Dr Don Harper Mills, and in this context was later featured in ‘Duty First’ Magazine in the Spring of 2006 as a factual report. This story then began to circulate on the Internet and attained the status of urban legend until Mills himself, finally announced that he actually made it up as an illustrative anecdote, “to show how different legal consequences can follow each twist in a homicide inquiry". He went on to express little surprise at the story’s acceptance, calling it "a fabulous story." He has fielded numerous inquiries about it in the years since. It is indeed an interesting story, however, today’s modern detection methods and the use of DNA technology would possibly help solve this case much more quickly and efficiently than in the version from 1987, because back then, no amount of technology could ascertain if the conclusions reached in the final summation were, in fact, the correct ones. It is quite possible that they weren’t. Dr Don Harper Mills and the original character’s names are included in this story, but for this work, the characters themselves are of course fictional. The narrative is built around this coincidence riddled case, recorded in a way that shows how the story might have really unfolded.


Detective, Historical Fiction, Religious, Romance, Young Adult, Action, Adventure, Comedy

Short Summary

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn't.” Mark Twain

They all live happily ever after.....


Los Angeles

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age, Happy Ending, Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

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Main Character Details

Name: Mina Jenkins – A sophisticated Los Angeles girl originally from Oklahoma, Mina has a dream job as a flight attendant working out of Europe with Lufthansa. She has studied ballet and classical piano, but remains very much the girl next door with an easy country charm. She is a striking and vivacious person, but for some reason can’t seem to attract nice guys and her relationships tend to be pretty disastrous. As a result her confidence wavers. Mina is an intelligent and sensitive individual and possibly a true romantic, who trusts in her ‘Guardian Angel’ and lives for the day her dreams, will find some fruition.

Age: 24

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Educated, Engaging, Heartthrob, Romantic, Sophisticated, Adventurous, Beautiful, Charming, Complex, Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Adam Mills – As a trainee Police Detective in the Criminology study program at California State University, Adam becomes embroiled in unfair charges and receives only token support from his Lieutenant. As a fitness disciple, he also teaches Martial Arts at the Police Youth Club and is immersed in the I Ching philosophy of Tae Kwon Do. Searching for the deeper lesson amidst the disorder, Adam discerns that as a legitimate proponent of Yin and Y’ang, he is possibly being tested. The circle of life dictates that like all those who consistently try to do what is right; sometimes you are punished, sometimes you are rewarded.

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Adventurous, Charming, Complex, Confident, Engaging, Honorable, Faithful, Heartthrob, Religious, Visionary

Additional Character Details

Name: Leah Suffolk – The blonde Leah is a confirmed ‘party girl’ and Mina’s co-worker and best friend. She is a happy go lucky, city girl who is high on life. The ultimate people person, she loves flying and enjoys meeting new people. Life is a very big box of chocolates for Leah and she wants all the soft centres. Leah and Mina are opposites as individuals, but together form a cohesive team. Over time they learn to adopt some of each other’s attributes, which is hugely beneficial, and ultimately leads to greater fulfillment for both

Age: 24

Gender: Female

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous, Badass, Beautiful, Blunt, Funny, Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Dr Barry Hannaway - A down to Earth, soft spoken Australian with a vocabulary from the Aussie outback, he brings humor and credence to the story. He is crusty and unsophisticated, but can be resourceful and original. He hates subterfuge and cuts through departmental politics to get the job done with a philosophy that is all his own. Hannaway has seen a lot of life in the Northern Territory of Australia and has learned a thing or two from the Aboriginal natives. He is a natural egalitarian, which gives him a low tolerance and very little respect for many in authority. His manner is quite disarming, but he is considerably more astute than he appears.

Age: 43

Gender: Male

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Confident, Engaging, Funny, Masculine, Outspoken, Adventurous, Charming, Complex

Development Pitch

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

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Publishing Details

Status: No

Hard Copy Available



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