Thursday, July 30, 2009

Money From Christabel!

I started corresponding with another scam merchant recently, this one claiming to be in Tunisia!

Here’s how it started –

From Mrs. Christabel Brown,

Dear God's elect,

I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears In my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, My Name is Mrs Christabel Brown,, and I am contacting you from my country Tunisia. I want to tell you this because I don't have any other option than to tell you as I was touched to open up to you, I married to Mr. Brown Smith who worked with Tunisia embassy in Burkina Faso for nine years before he died in the year 2005.

We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. Since his death I decided not to remarry, When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$ 8.5m (Eight Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars) in a bank in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso in west Africa Presently this money is still in bank. He made this money available for exportation of Gold from Burkina Faso mining.

Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to hand you over this money to take care of the less-privileged people, you will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want you to take 30 Percent of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity" people in the street and helping the orphanage. I grew up as an Orphan and I don't have anybody as my family member, just to endeavour that the house of God is maintained. Am doing this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because these sicknesses have suffered me so much.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in Burkina Faso and I will also instruct my lawyer to issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of the money in the bank that is if you assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.

Hoping to receive your reply: (

From Mrs. Christabel Brown,

And I replied -

My dear beloved Mrs Brown.

What a mighty blow you have been dealt by life.

I truly hope that God is with you in your hour of need.

You have only seven months to live? That is terrible. Surely there is something that can be done, some treatment that can help you. I pray to our Lord Jesus that is so!

And in your hour of need you think only of the orphans. Truly you are a saint in the making. Of course I will help you. Whatever you need, I am here for you!


The next day she wrote back to me -

Dear God's elect ,

I am glad reading your note my beloved thanks for your prayers my lawyer shall do every documents on behalf of you, I decided to hand you over this money, and you should know that my contact to you is By the special grace of God, please understand that you are not helping me rather you are working for God the creator of heaven and earth. so that the work of God is maintained, I hope you will utilize this money the way I instructed you herein.

The lawyer is aware of everything I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, and because Of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always I don't want them to know about this as they are not aware of the deposit money.

Fill this form below and send back to me immediately to enable me forward it to my lawyer in Burkina Faso :

FULL NAME.....................

Don't forget to always pray for me because all my hope to survive is in God the creator who holds death and life...

Hoping to receive your reply.

I wrote back to her -

My Dear Beloved Mrs Brown.

Of course I will help. I will do whatever I can to make your last days easier and to help the little orphan children. Certainly there is nothing the Lord Jesus appreciates more than a soul who helps his children, the only true innocents in this world. And you are a saint in the making for wanting to share the wealth with his children.

I want to pray for you, my angel. I have an altar in my room and on that altar I have pictures of the ones that I pray for. Please send me your picture so that I can add it to my altar so that I can pray to the Lord Jesus that he helps you in your hour of need. Who knows, maybe he will save you from the cancer? That would be my dearest wish. So please send your picture without delay.

My beloved, would it help if I send my details to your lawyer? Perhaps that would speed things up because the dear orphan children surely need help now.
I hope to hear from you soon, may God be with you,


Then I thought I should perhaps add a little more, so I sent her a PS. -

My Dearest Christabel (I hope you do not mind me addressing you by your Christian name, but I know that you are a good Christian).

There is something I forget to tell you in my last email. I am an orphan, too. Yes, my parents died when I was very young so I know all about what it means to be an orphan and that is why I want to help you help the orphans in your country. By dearest beloved angel, please send me your picture so that I might pray for you.


And bless her, the next day she got back to me, with a picture of her and her late husband! This is what she wrote, complete with spelling mistakes!

Dear Stephen,

Thanks for your paryers,

i attched here with my picture and i want you to send me yours picture too.
yes go head and contact my lawyer to enable him carry out the tarnsfer.

i wait urgent for your reply that you have contacted the lawyer.

here below is the information of the lawyer Barrister Maven Koko
Email address:

i wait to read from you soon
mrs christabel brown

Excellent! I Googled Maven Koko and he is no stranger to the world of scamming. Check out if you get the time. A guy spent two months winding up a group of scammers and Koko was involved! I can recommend for anyone interested in these scammers!

Here is one of Koko’s emails to Cowboy Buck, who did a great job of leading them on!!

From: "Koko Law Firm Koko Law Firm" (
To: (Cowboy Buck)
Date: Thu Dec 18 2008 03:12










Not sure what to do next because I really do have to finish Dark Justice!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Daughter's Cats - Still playing!


This just in from our nanny-state! Calorie-laden iced coffee drinks are putting people at increased risk of obesity and cancer an "expert" has warned.

Women could be consuming more than a quarter of their daily calories with just one drink.

Dr Rachel Thompson, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), analysed the calories at three leading high street chains: Starbucks, Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee.

Most iced coffee drinks contained over 200 calories, with some measuring in at around 450.

A Starbucks venti dark berry mocha frappuccino blended coffee with whipped cream has the highest number of calories - at 561.

Hmmmm, and it tastes so good! Rachel needs to get a life and stop scare-mongering. Her silly research is more than likely paid for by charitable donations and I think the money could have been better spent. In my experience the so-called experts know bugger all about what's good for us. I remember when an apple a day kept the doctor away, then it didn't, and now it does again.

Anyway, doesn’t she know that it’s been scientifically proven that caffeine staves off Alzheimers? Now if I can only remember to keep drinking it!

For anyone interested, here’s the calories in the major High Street coffee drinks!

Me, I’m a big fan of the Starbucks Dark Berry Mocha without the whipped cream! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.


Venti dark berry mocha with whipped cream 561
Venti dark berry mocha without whipped cream 457
Tall dark berry mocha with without whipped cream 288
Venti iced coffee 5
Tall iced coffee 3

Caffe Nero

Double chocolate frappe 483
Mocha frappe latte 483
Mocha frappe latte with skimmed milk 452
Framme latte with skimmed milk 277
Iced latte 117

Costa Coffee

Massimo iced mocha 361
Massimo coffee frescato 332
Primo coffee frescato 199
Primo iced mint latte 167
Primo iced mocha 152

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dark Justice

I’m putting the finishing touches to Dark Justice and it just keeps getting longer. It’s now more than 135,000 words and there is more to come! It’s all good, though, and I doubt that it will be reduced much in the editing.

Dark Justice will be published in July next year as Hodder and Stoughton want to publish the Jack Nightingale book in January. They don’t have a title yet, but think that Nightingale is too soft!

I already have some great blurb quotes for the Nightingale book. James Herbert, who wrote the brilliant horror books The Rats and The Fog and loads of others, gave us: 'Another great thriller from Stephen Leather but this time with a devilish twist!'

That’s awesome, I’ve been a huge fan of James Herbert ever since I read The Rats at School.

And my good mate Anthony Horowitz, the mega-successful children’s writer, gave me several blurb quotes that we can use on the cover:




Thanks, Anthony, you’re a star! Okay, back to work.... I want to take my daughter to Disneyland HK and I’ve promised myself, and her, that I’ll finish Dark Justice first!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Crazy World We Live In

Just how crazy are we in the UK? I read the following story with my mouth open in amazement! Why do we allow a convicted child killer to waste the taxpayer's money on a ridiculous court case like this? It seems pretty obvious to me that when Peter Chester raped and strangled his seven-year-old niece he forfeited any Human Rights he might have had.

Anyway, read the story and see what you think.

Dark Justice is almost done. The theme is police vigilantes and the more I research it the more I think that vigilantism done properly is perhaps not a bad thing. I was thinking of starting a vigilante website and putting up the details of men like Chester.... release dates, home addresses etc. Maybe people might start behaving a little better if they thought that there would be repercussions when they behaved like animals...

A convicted child killer is to take the Government to court over its refusal to let him vote.

Peter Chester, 54, was jailed for life in the 1978 for raping and strangling his seven-year-old niece Donna Marie Gillbanks, in her bed in Blackpool.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years at Wakefield prison, but has now been behind bars for 12 years longer than his tariff, having been repeatedly turned down for release.

He is now challenging the law that bans serving prisoners in the UK from taking part in elections, claiming it violates his human rights.

Serving prisoners are banned from voting under the Representation of the People Act, 1969, but legislation forfeiting prisoner's right to take part in elections stretched back as far as 1876.

Chester, also known as Peter Chester Speakman, has filed a claim against Wakefield council and Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw, which is due to be heard by the High Court in London in October.

He claims that the statutes preventing him from voting conflict with the Human Rights Act, by preventing him from taking part in free and fair elections.

Chester's lawyer, Marcus Farrar said he should be able to vote as he has served the punitive part of his sentence. Mr Farrar told the Yorkshire Post that Chester was "hopeful of voting in an election some time."

But June Gillbanks, Donna Marie's mother said the killer gave up any rights he had when he murdered her daughter. "I think prisoners have enough rights and victims very little," she told the Yorkshire Post. "The scales of justice are balanced more towards murderers."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We can't comment on ongoing court proceedings."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Our Crazy System of 'Justice'

Dark Justice keeps on growing! I had planned it to come in at 110,000 words but I’m just about to hit 130,000. It’s all good stuff, too, and all very topical.

A story broke today about a gang of youths in Hackney who killed a schoolboy. What the story doesn’t say, of course, is that the gang was made up of black youths. One of the themes covered in Dark Justice is that the major problem in London at the moment isn’t gun crime, or knife crime, it’s black crime, gangs of feral young black men who have no respect for society or the law. Of course it’s not politically correct to say so, but it’s the truth. Until they’re dealt with and dealt with harshly, the black gangs are going to continue to run riot. I’m not suggesting vigilante cops is the way to go, but we have to do something and soon. What we certainly shouldn’t be doing is allowing youths caught with weapons and with convictions for assaulting the police to be allowed to roam the streets... And when they kill, they should be sent to prison for life, not given 15 years or 18 years which means they’ll be out in less than ten.

I’m all for giving first-time offenders the chance to turn their lives around, but it seems to me that when someone joins a gang, carries a loaded gun, assaults a police officer and then stabs a young boy to death, that person should be locked away for life, ie until the day he dies. I don’t understand why our so-called justice system doesn’t take the same view.

Anyway, here’s the story, read it and see what you think. And bear in mind that killings like this are not unusual in London. And nor are the pathetic jail sentences handed out:

A gang of six youths has been jailed for life for murdering an innocent 14-year-old schoolboy who was stabbed in a park.

Army cadet Shaquille Smith was attacked by a ten-strong bicycle gang called the London Fields Boys last August as he sat in the park in front of his home in Hackney, east London.

George Amponsah, 19, Godiowe Dufeal, 20, Amisi Khama, 18, Freddie Amponsah, 17, Kadean Dias, 18, and Leon Atwell, 17, all from Hackney, were found guilty of murder last month and will serve sentences totalling a minimum of 96 years.

Amponsah and Dufeal were given 18 years' custody and the other four 15-year minimum terms each.

Earlier, the Old Bailey's Judge David Paget told them: "You were part of a gang of ten who went looking for trouble late at night. You were all members of a gang known as the London Fields Boys. The CCTV footage shows the arrogance with which you rode on your way looking for trouble. Shaquille Smith, a 14 year-old boy, was a stranger to most of you.

"He had done absolutely nothing to cause offence of provoke any one of you. He was truly innocent and what is more is he was yards away from his front door. One of you stabbed him fatally and you ran away like the cowards you are back to London Fields. You arrived together as a gang and you left as a gang."

The judge added: "It was completely unprovoked and completely unnecessary. It was mindless violence on a completely innocent young boy. You must all receive life sentences which are mandatory.

"You have taken away the life of a promising young boy aged 14 and have thrown away the chances of achieving anything in your own young lives."

The court heard Dufeal was on licence at the time of the murder following convictions for possessing a prohibited weapon and ammunition without a certificate.

He also had previous convictions for possessing knives, using disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer.

George Amponsah had previous convictions for affray, threatening behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, possession of cannabis and common assault. His brother Freddie became a father while in prison.

Amisi Khama was a semi-professional footballer for Bishop Stortford FC in the Conference South division and Dias was described as a "promising student".

Shaquille was the youngest teenager to be murdered in a knife attack in London last year.

He was stabbed to death just yards from his home after he and his friends were confronted by the gang who rode around the streets of Hackney, east London, on bikes in hoodies looking to intimidate and harass anyone who crossed their path.

Shaquille was targeted because he was chatting to an 18-year-old boy who happened to be the brother of a rival graffiti tagger known as Pinky. After members of the gang were bitten by the youth's dog, they returned to their bikes to collect their knives.

One witness told the court how they jumped over the fence "like a wild pack of dogs" before attacking Shaquille.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thai Sparrows

I bought a birdfeeder from England and put it outside my apartment for the local birds to try. At first they couldn't work out what it was and for weeks they just looked at it but wouldn't go near it. Then one brave sparrow tried it and ate a couple of seeds. He (or she) then began introducing his (or her!) friends to it. Gradually more and more of them got to use the feeder, and now they squabble all day over it. I've stopped putting seed in it and use uncooked rice instead - thai birds love to eat rice!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kittens In My Study

Almost done with Dark Justice... hopefully I'll finish next week. But my daughter's kittens, Firefur and Mousefur, are a big distraction!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Silencers And Stuff

I’m still working hard on Dark Justice, the new Dan Shepherd book. Just hit 120,000 words. It’s funny, I was trying so hard to bring it in at 110,000 words but it just won’t have it and all the signs are that it will end up as long as the last three – ie 135,000 words.

I got another email about mistakes in Live Fire – mainly the fact that I had a revolver with a silencer and silencers don’t work with revolvers. I’d already arranged for that to be changed in the mass-market paperback edition, which will be out in September. The reader also pointed out that blanks won’t chamber a second round, though I’m still not sure that’s true. I fired a replica Glock last year loaded with blanks and I’m pretty sure that it ejected the round and chambered a second. I didn’t fire it a second time because I had fired it in my flat in Maida Vale and it was very, very loud and there was a strong smell of cordite that lingered for days! But he did spot a couple of other things!

Anyway, here’s the first email from the reader:

This is another really good yarn. Keep up the good work. I have a couple of comments which just might improve future efforts.

1) On page 15 a safety is flicked off a large revolver. There is NO SAFETY ON A REVOLVER - either large or small.

2)On page 262 et seq the subject of blank ammunition comes up. Nobody even slightly familiar with blank ammunition would mistake a live round for a blank round. Even were that true, a magazine loaded with blanks would not re-cycle a semi auto pistol unless the pistol was fitted with a very obvious blank adaption device. If the pistol was cocked and a blank was up the spout it wold go "bang" but with no back pressure the breachblock would not be forced backward to allow another round to be chambered. So - only one blank cartridge would be fired. The 9mm blank was used extensively in Commonwealth armies when training with both the sten SMG and the Browning auto (semi) pistol. It would work well in the Beretta 92 and because that is a double action pistol it wold not even have to be cocked before firing provided a round was loaded Just pull the trigger.

By the way...I think fracture and break --as per bones--mean the same.

I think the term wheel base is used to measure the length of a vehicles' wheels " fore and aft"

Finally, good luck with the glass cutter on page 470...perhaps however we can excuse this on grounds of artistic license.

I look forward to your next book. I always enjoy them. Regards. Lorne Newson

Here’s the reply I sent!

Cheers, Lorne!

Yeah, I'd spotted the revolver with a safety and have changed that for the paperback edition.

Re the blanks. I have a blank-firing Glock's been a long time since I fired it (very noisy and not a good idea in North London!) but the last time I did I'm pretty sure it ejected the empty casing. That means the receiver must have gone back, which I assume means that a new round was chambered. Or is my memory playing tricks with me?

I'm flat out on the new book, hoping to keep mistakes to a minimum!

Best wishes,


PS What was wrong with fracture, wheel base and the glass cutter? I'm confused!

And then Lorne got back to me....

It is my understanding from a career in police work and therefore more than a few times in emergency wards that a fracture and a break are the same. That is not the impression I got from your comment about the injured nose. I also learned that I have been known to be wrong (on very rare occasions of course) so check with a doctor.

My interpretation of your description of setting the ramps up so the vehicle (was it a SUV?) could cross was you intended the term "wheel base" to be the measurement of the distance of the wheels from side to side.(Thereby telling you how far apart the ramps should be placed) Expressed another way, the measurement between the two (for example) rear wheels. I think " wheel base" is the measurement of the wheels from front to back, for example the distance from the right front axle to the right rear axle

Your books very much appeal to me, perhaps because of my military /police background. After retirement from the RCMP I was the Chief Provincial Firearms Officer for British Columbia, Canada and adminstered all laws regarding guns. I was also an avid collector of military cap badges, so you can see why I might relate to Dan.

Regarding the Glock...I can't say, but I do know the 9mm blank would not cycle the action on either a Browning service pistol or the Sten SMG.(nor a Schmeisser SMG) Nor would the 30 NATO blank cycle the F.N. Rifle. The same applies to the .303 and (and how I loved that weapon except for carryng - 21 lbs -the darned thing) the Bren LMG. During army field training - so the machine gun would fire fully automatically- the military used to attach a (yellow as I recall) adapter onto the muzzle to ALMOST block the expulsion of the gasses thereby allowing blowback in the case of the sten and to allow the gases to go through the gas block in the case of the Bren. In my CPFO days I loaned a schmeisser to an army armourer for a military demonstration and he fashioned a somewhat ingenious device whereby he took a piece of bent steel, - somewhat like a capital letter "L" and used a couple of hose clamps to fix the thing to the barrell with the shorter horizontal part of the "L" across the muzzle. He had bored a hole in that and put a threaded bolt thru the steel with the thing actually protruding inside the barrel, thereby restricting the gas expulsion and acheving his "blowback"

Glass cutter. Most modern window in high buildings are of the type that if they are knicked or broken they do not fall down in shards of broken glass but in fact the whole window is reduced instantly to small pieces about the side (or smaller) of a pea. You will see this type of glass in the side and rear windows of automobiles. Also in windshields except there they put a thin layer of rubber between two sheets of glass for safety reasons, hence the term "safety glass". In double glazed glass, sometimes ordinary window glass is used but from what I've seen a glass cutter is only effective in dealing with a flat piece of glass and for the length of the sheet. A straight line, or even a wavy line scored in the glass with result in a break along the score mark when the glass is "bent" I don't think it would work on a double glazed window. Might just as well break the damned thing and get on with the shooting.

So here I am, a Mr Smart guy with 4 criticisms. Even if I'm right 3 out of 4 it might be constructive. Best Wishes on the next book. Lorne Newson

He made good points, and I certainly never realised that a break and a fracture where the same thing! Anyway, here’s my reply to Lorne!

Cheers, Lorne,

Well, the great thing about being a writer is that you learn something every day. Who knew that a break and a fracture were the same thing? I always assumed that a fracture was a slight break, like a crack, and that a break meant that it was literally broken. Wrong!! Now I know better!! Thanks for pointing that out and I'll try to get it changed.

And wheel base. Who knew? Well, you obviously did! I always assumed that wheelbase referred to the width, I had no idea it was the distance between the axles. Makes a nonsense of my copy, obviously, so I'll try to get it changed!

I'll check my Glock when I get back to the UK but I'm pretty sure that it does put a second in the chamber after it has ejected the first. Maybe because it's lightweight?

The glass cutter? I don't know. I know that a guy cut a circular hole in my bathroom window to fit an extractor fan, but having said that I didn't watch him do it. I think you're right and in future I'll stick to the old faithful piece of sticky-backed plastic and an elbow!

Thanks again for putting me right. I've just hit 120,000 words on the new Dan Shepherd book, and I've got my fingers crossed that there are fewer mistakes this time!

Best wishes,