Jim Kouri
Former policewoman pens new hit thriller
By Jim Kouri
May 14, 2009

She's tough. She's streetwise. She's clever. She's persistent. And she is a head-turning, good looking woman. Meet Detective Stacy Dittrich, author of the newly released crime thriller, Mary Jane's Grave.

Dittrich is a decorated and award-winning 17-year law enforcement veteran, author, media consultant, and a former detective specializing in sex crimes. Armed with indepth training by a former FBI Behavioral Specialist, Stacy is certified through the National Institute of Truth Verification as an examiner using the Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA- lie detector).

During her eventful career she served on a federal drug task force and was involved in the investigations of numerous homicides. In 2002, she received the Victim's of Crime Award from former Ohio Attorney General, Jim Petro and she's certified as a law enforcement instructor. She's instructed on topics ranging from sexual assaults to "stranger dangers."

Last year, Stacy retired to focus solely on her writing and media commitments. However, she remains a sworn special deputy with the Richland County Sheriff's Department in Mansfield, Ohio and is assigned to running voice stress analysis tests for police recruits and criminal suspects.

Growing up in a family populated by cops created a unique upbringing for Stacy. Her father and three uncles began their careers as police officers in 1969 following their return from the killing fields of Vietnam. She observed firsthand the dangers of the job in 1979 when her uncle, James, was shot in the line of duty. Although he survived, he ultimately had to retire on disability. However, the other three brothers remain officers now and have an incredible 120-years combined experience.

Fascinated with law enforcement at an early age, Stacy frequently accompanied her father to work, and began investigating her own "crimes" at age 8, after reading the story of serial killer Ted Bundy.

While the other kids played jump rope or hopscotch, armed with a hand-me-down kit of fingerprint powder, microscope, and handcuffs, she scoured the neighborhoods in search of the ultimate crime scene, often performing crude autopsies on unsuspecting insects.

By the time she graduated high school, Stacy had been on the scene of more "real" crimes than most rookie cops , spending her weekends taking part in a ride-along program with her dad. Stacy graduated from the police academy as class president, at the top of her class. In 1997, the Mansfield News Journal did a 2-page feature story on Stacy and her father, "Like Father, Like Daughter: The Beat Goes On."

Since retiring from "the job," Dittrich has realized success as both a non-fiction and fiction author.

Just in time for National Police Memorial Day (May 15), Leisure Books released the third in her thrilling CeeCee Gallagher series, Mary Jane's Grave.

Long known for its history of being haunted by a witch who was hanged and buried there, Mary Jane's Grave has been part of local folklore for decades. In spite of historians disproving the legend, a teen is discovered brutally murdered at the grave.

As a result, Dittrich's alter-ego, Detective Sergeant CeeCee Gallagher, is forced to re-investigate the history of Mary Jane and her death, and find its link to the teen's murder.

With the aid of her co-workers, Naomi and Jeff Cooper, CeeCee is thrown into the depths of a secret so horrifying that the locals have kept it hidden for over a century. Finding the chilling connection between Mary Jane and an eighteenth century murderess, Ceely Rose, CeeCee refuses to believe in the supernatural occurrences that witnesses claim are taking place at the grave.

CeeCee's investigation takes her across the country in her hunt for the true killer, all the while trying to keep her relationship with FBI Agent Michael Hagerman from unraveling. CeeCee takes readers along with her to face their darkest fears, while holding their breath until the secret of the grave, and the identity of the killer, is revealed.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 302 pages

  • Publisher: Leisure Books (April 28, 2009)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0843961600

  • ISBN-13: 978-0843961607

  • List Price: $7.99

For more information on Stacy Dittrich, her work and her books, visit her web site at: www.stacydittrich.com

© Jim Kouri


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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