One thing about writing crime – you need to do a lot of research! In addition to my standard stock of books and the experts I consult, I also do specific research for each book. In the case of The Killing Hands, this focused mostly on organised crime, gangs, Kung Fu and contract killers. Below is pretty much every specific resource I used.


FBI website

FBI LA website

FBI – Organized crime

FBI – Violent Gangs website

FBI – Violent Gang Task Forces

Congressional Testimony on Merida Initiative

Other law enforcement


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD)

2005 National Gang Threat Assessment (PDF)

Office of National Drug Control Policy – High-intensity Drug Trafficking Areas

US Department of Justice’s Exceptional case study – Protective Intelligence and Threat Assessment Investigations

Contract killers

Australian Institute of Criminology’s Contract Killings in Australia

Hitman Manual for Independent Contractors

Louis Schlesigner, The Contract Murderer: Patterns, Characteristics and Dynamics, J Forensic Sci 2001;46(5):1119–1123.

General forensic psychology

Constructive functions of aggression in psychopaths

Organized crime and gangs

Korean Yakuza

Origin of the Yakuza – TruTV Crime Library

The Yakuza in America – TruTV Crime Library

Yakuza on Wikipedia

Article on Asian gangs

Kung Fu

Ten Killing Hands

Dim Mak

The Ancient Art of Life and Death: The Book of Dim Mak, A. Flane Walker & Richard C Bauer, Paladin Press, Boulder, Colorado, 2002

Death Touch: The Science