True Crime Thursday – Snowballing Out of Control

Photo credit: Annatsach

By Debbie Burke

In the dead of winter, here’s a selection of true crime stories about snowballs.

In December, 2019, the Wisconsin town of Wausau outlawed throwing snowballs, classifying them in the same category of weapons as “arrows, stones, or other missiles or projectiles.”


A Douglas, North Dakota man, 68, was charged with felony aggravated assault of a victim under the age of 12. The man was walking his dog in the vicinity of snowball fight among a group of children. He was hit by a stray snowball and allegedly pursued a 9-year-old boy, knocking him to the ground and kicking him.


In a triumph of youthful activism, a 9-year-old mover-and-shaker from Severance, Colorado convinced members of the town meeting to overturn an ordinance banning snowball fights. Now that the activity is legal, young influencer Dane Best intends to throw his first snowball at an appropriate target—his little brother.

Photo credit: Visual Hunt

Next, Dane may tackle reforming other Severance ordinances–specifically a definition that currently limits “pets” to cats and dogs, which means his guinea pig is technically illegal. Go, Dane! 

TKZers: Should snowball fights be outlawed?




Debbie Burke’s new thriller, Eyes in the Sky, includes many crimes but no illegal snowball fights. It’s book 3 in the Tawny Lindholm series Thrillers with a Heart. Please check out the preview at this link.




Stalking Midas, book 2 in the series, is specially sale priced until January 28. Please check it out here.

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About Debbie Burke

Debbie writes Tawny Lindholm Thrillers with Passion. The first book in the series, Instrument of the Devil, won the Kindle Scout contest and the Zebulon Award. Additional books in the series are Stalking Midas, Eyes in the Sky, Dead Man's Bluff, Crowded Hearts, Flight to Forever, and Until Proven Guilty. Debbie's articles have won journalism awards in international publications. She is a founding member of Authors of the Flathead and helps to plan the annual Flathead River Writers Conference in Kalispell, Montana. Her greatest joy is mentoring young writers.

10 thoughts on “True Crime Thursday – Snowballing Out of Control

  1. Next, they’ll be outlawing dodge ball…oh, wait! They already did…

    I vote a resounding “No way!” At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, they might as well go on and outlaw snow”men”…because of gender and race discrimination. (Can there be a black or brown snow”man”?)

    I know, I know. The above was all tongue-in-cheek. Snowball fights are in no danger of being federally outlawed, especially in this contentious climate-our lawmakers have bigger fish to fry as we speak. Besides, our German Shepherd, Hoka, loves to chase those ice balls and chew them up. I’d hate to see her facing down anyone who dared take that away from her.

    Go for it, Dane! Wish I could see you smash that snowball in lil’ bro’s face…

  2. As a Child of the (late) Sixties, it seemed to me at the time that children who grew up with respect for authority were at a terrible disadvantage, and that actions by The Powers That Be that caused them to be held in contempt by innocent children amounted to a public service.

    Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m more confused. (I want a refund!)

    As a fiction writer, I need to keep pious idiocy in mind as a plot device. By default, my characters’ actions make sense to ME, when they only have to make sense to THEM.

  3. Alas! Growing up in the deep South, we never had snow except as an extreme weather event that dumped the princely amount of a quarter inch; hardly enough to make a snowball with.

    So, I’m forty and have never been in a snowball fight or thrown a snowball.

    But for people who do receive (and enjoy) snow, why not have a few snowball fights? It’s relatively harmless fun. Just don’t throw them at people you don’t know.

  4. Almost everyone I know loves to throw a snowball or two. Our dog, Cooper, loves to catch them, even if they disintegrate in his face. What kid doesn’t love a good, and harmless snowball fight? The key of course is being respectful as others have mentioned. Throwing snowballs at passersby, strangers, is a not on the approved behavior list.

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