My latest: Journalist Kevin Deutsch on How Miami’s Cocaine Cowboys -and Batman- Turned Him Into a Crime Author

"No one’s born a crime reporter — it’s too thankless a job to be written in anybody’s stars. But for some of us, crime and intrigue exert a kind of gravitational pull on our lives, all but choosing our professions for us.

For me, that pull began in 1984 when I was three years old. That year, my mother packed up our lives into a few bags and put us on a plane to Los Angeles. As we flew out of LaGuardia that morning, my father sat waiting for us somewhere in Brooklyn, expecting my mother to drop me off for one of our scheduled custody visits — visits my dad and I would never again have.

My mother’s taking me from my dad this way was possibly illegal, but she’d decided the risk was worth it. The reason: my father was a manic depressive who fought a lifelong battle with mental illness and struggled to find effective treatment. My mother, unaware of my dad’s illness when they married, came to fear him. And after much deliberation, she’d decided to skip town...."

Read the full piece here.