Kelley S.

Second Place Winner

Everybody has a dream when they were little kid of either becoming a teacher, or an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a chef, etc, and I am one of those kids who dreamt of becoming a homicide detective in the future. I would take descriptive notes in a little, fabric notebook whenever CSI, Monk, Bones, or Law and Order commenced and I would distinguish who the suspect was and how the suspect murdered the victim before the show could end. I would jump and run all over the house with joy when I guessed correctly on whom the suspect was and how they killed them.

My uncle, an ordinary police officer from Tunnelton, West Virginia, was my biggest inspiration in my life when I was a little girl. He would always tell me stories about his job each time I visited him during the summer. Sometimes, he would get permission from the sheriff to take me on ride-a-longs with him and discuss how he first came upon a gruesome crime scene or his earliest days of starting as a police officer. When I told him that I wanted to become a homicide detective, he told me that I should believe in myself and follow my dream with all my might, but to never lose sight of what's really important in that particular police field such as protecting innocent people and bring peace to everyone around the world.

After my uncle died, I began reading detective novels, especially the series of the Women's Murder Club, written by James Patterson. He wrote a mystifying novel about a lieutenant in San Francisco police department, Lindsey Boxer, and her friends, Cindy Thomas, Clare Washburn, and Yuki Castellano, try to solve each case before any more people could be murdered by the suspect. With each page, James Patterson has written in both the main character and the suspect's point of view, which gives the reader an understanding of how the person is experiencing at the moment. He writes how each character is struggling through tough decision making in life, their devotion of either protecting all innocent citizens from malicious harm or murder people in order to get revenge in order to regain their reputation. He writes the characters with such either loving or hateful passion towards one another in order to either for us to feel sympathy or despise the character entirely.

The Women's Murder Club series motivated me further towards my dream goal in my life because I am willingly to sacrifice myself in order to protect innocent bystanders from harm's way and I am devoted to bring justice to those who disrespect the law and hurt or kill harmless people. Also, my opinion changed on those who work in the criminal justice field because it's not their intelligence or how cool they are that makes them superheroes, but it's their bravery, determination, self-confidence, strength, generosity, and their devotion for the people and their country. One day, I too, would become a heroic person.