True Crime Thursday – Assault with a Deadly Turkey

by Debbie Burke


True Crime Thursday always falls on Thanksgiving Day. That gives me a great opportunity to search out crimes related to the holiday.

Here are the top six crimes committed on/around Thanksgiving:

  1. Domestic violence – Long-simmering family tensions, often combined with alcohol, can turn violent, like this case of a woman who stabbed her half-brother with a two-tined carving fork.
  2. Speeding and traffic offenses – Although the period between Christmas and New Year’s sees the most traffic, Thanksgiving comes in second with an estimated 55 million travelers on the road.
  3. Driving while under the influence – Binge drinking often starts on the appropriately named “Blackout Wednesday” and continues over the four-day weekend.
  4. Theft – Retail thefts and thefts from vehicles spike during the holidays but cargo theft also rises. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a particularly busy day for thieves because truck drivers often leave loads unattended while they go home for the holiday.
  5. Disorderly conduct – While most of us are eating the bird, some are flipping the bird, which could mean a charge of disorderly conduct in Texas.
  6. Vandalism – This crime category includes egging cars and houses, graffiti, breaking windows, stealing or destroying decorations, and other low-grade mischief most commonly committed by juveniles. Kids, please stay home and have another piece of pie instead.

In case your turkey doesn’t thaw in time to cook, here’s a great alternate use for a frozen bird:

In 2008 in North Carolina, a man stole money from a gas station then assaulted a woman while trying to jack her car. A Good Samaritan grabbed a frozen turkey from the woman’s groceries and clobbered the attacker on the head several times. The attacker fled with the woman’s car and crashed into several vehicles. He was later arrested, treated at a hospital for serious head injuries, and charged with numerous felonies.

To wrap up on a positive note, here’s a photo of volunteers working to ensure a Happy Thanksgiving for service members during the annual Turkey Drop at Fort Lewis McChord Air Force base in Washington.

Annual Volunteer Turkey Drop
Photo credit: Joint Base Lewis McChord

Hope your Thanksgiving is crime-free!

TKZers: What are you thankful for?

I give thanks for TKZ’s community that generously shares their knowledge to help other writers!


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About Debbie Burke

Debbie writes the Tawny Lindholm series, Montana thrillers infused with psychological suspense. Her books have won the Kindle Scout contest, the Zebulon Award, and were finalists for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and Her articles received 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.

14 thoughts on “True Crime Thursday – Assault with a Deadly Turkey

  1. Ironic that I just read your post and the part that talked about domestic violence being one of the top crimes around time of Thanksgiving as just moments before, the first prayer I breathed today was for broken families to be healed and strong families bonded even more strongly this Thanksgiving as they gather together.

    Too many things to list that I am thankful for because we are so blessed but I’ll say one that others might find frivolous but that I mean with utter sincerity and give thanks everyday. I’m thankful for chocolate. Truly, there is no more amazing flavor in the world. I’m so thankful for whoever was inspired to come up with that flavor.

    A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to All!

    • Brenda, your prayers are needed for people in that sad situation.

      Chocolate isn’t frivolous. Appreciation for small pleasures makes life fulfilling. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving topped off with a yummy chocolate dessert.

  2. Good morning, Debbie

    I’m thankful for all the friendships with which I am blessed, especially here in the KZ family/community. I’m also thankful that I have the time to pursue writing and other creative outlets. And I am thankful for all the interesting posts that you give us on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Happy Thanksgiving. And congratulation on being a finalist in Publishers Weekly BookLife Fiction contest!

  3. There are far too many things I’m thankful for to list here, but I’ll offer a few: the gift of life, a knowledge of my Creator, good parents who cared for me, my wonderful husband and son, good health, the joy of the creative spirit, the good fortune to have found TKZ and the good sense to read the posts and comments every day, and the many friends who share the wonder of the written word. Oh, and today I give thanks for the good Samaritan who clonked the bad guy with a frozen turkey. What a fitting way to help a person in distress. 🙂

    • Kay, like you, my appreciation list goes on and on–how fortunate we are!

      Frozen turkey is a formidable weapon. That story gave me a chuckle, too.

      Glad you are enjoying Thanksgiving with family.

  4. I echo all of you in gratitude for TKZ. I can’t think of another forum where I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing, and received so much encouragement.

    Too many blessings to list, but I’ll just mention our seven children, twenty-four grandchildren and seven (or eight) great-grandchildren. My hope is that somehow they are able to live free lives in this constantly changing, chaotic world, and that they will learn and teach loyalty, integrity, and humility to succeeding generations.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Debbie! I’m thankful for the opportunity to devote myself to my writing, for all the wonderful friends and family in my life, and the found family here at TKZ. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all! I would like to say “ditto” to everything that Kay wrote. Even though I may not comment on every single post, I’m grateful for each and every post and for all the kind people here at this writing forum.

    A special “Happy Thanksgiving” to you, Debbie. You are such a wonderful mentor and inspiration. I’m crossing my fingers that your book wins the award it deserves. Just making it to the finals is a huge honor, but I hope your book will go the distance! We’ll find out soon.

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