Sunday, May 26, 2013

Escaping Handcuffs - Information for Writers


_________________________________________________________________


Handcuffs Clejuso 12 made from stainless steel.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision.
Remember it is always best to get your heroine free as soon as possible. Escape becomes more and more difficult the longer she is left in a captive capacity from a strategic, physical, and psychological standpoint. (Also makes for a slow plot line).

Technique 1 - Breaking the Cuff 

To be used if the heroine has no tools either in her EDC kit or homemade.

Your heroine CAN use this technique. She would be
using torque to produce the pressure required,
Handcuffed
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
not upper body strength. This works if handcuffed in the front and the back. Obviously anything in front is easier, simply because there is more room to move the arms around. It all depends on how difficult you wanted to make things for her. (This technique is from Kelly Alwood, SERE Instructor)

NOTE: If you are mentioning the brand of handcuff for some reason, there is a difference in how they will break and the difficulty factor. For ease of writing, I would suggest a higher quality cuff.

* In high quality handcuffs, the Rockwell Hardness of
   the steel makes them fragile and brittle. They will
   sheer at the line.
* Low quality hancuffs the steel is so mild that the
   heroine will have to get a break in the link, thus
   making them more difficult to break.

The Technique:

1. Rough up the metal
   * Dirt will help absorb the oil and help get the
     chains to bind up.
   * Any kind of surface that roughs up the links to make them less slippery and help them to bind up.
2. At the rotation pin, the heroine will want to stuff these holes on either side with anything she can get in
    there to help lock up the chains
3. Leaving her non-dominant hand still, the chains will droop downward.
4. Rotate the chains until they lock up.
   * In the front presentation, she would do a visual check to make sure that she has not caught two links
      across one (three together). She wants to torque only two. (Three will hurt the wearer.)
5. Position her hands so that instead of coming together in prayer form, that they will pass each other. This
    movement produces the physical tension on the metal that is required.
6. Move hands past each other to snap the metal

*NOTE - this will not remove the cuffs from the wrists it will merely separate the hands again. Use this technique if you want tell-tale cuffs left on the wrist.

VIDEO QUICK STUDY
This technique in action (14:26 - but move 13:00)
Breaking techniques (2:42)




Technique 2 - Pick the lock.


English: : Universal handcuff key
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Note: It is NOT righty-tighty/lefty-loosy here. It is
   inward opens outward locks. The direction you turn
   will be different left to right

1. Easiest - have a key on you. If your heroine is in a
    place where she is in danger, or in a job that might
    endanger her, she might have a key (cheap and easily
    accessible) sewn into the hems of her clothing or
    taped with duct tape to the inside of her watch.
2. A little harder - have a shim. A heroine can make a
    shim using a barrette, an easy EDC that she can wear
     under her hair without detection.
3. Make a tool like a paper clip or bobby pin. The
    bobby pin is preferred for its tensile strength and can
    easily be an EDC that a heroine puts under her hair.
    This would not be seen by an abductor.

ESCAPE:

1. If her hands are behind her back move them to the front.If she is not attached to something preempting this move, then the heroine should stand and work her hands down over her hips and bottom. Sit down and work to get  the legs through the arms. Problems can arise if some injury, such as a broken leg, makes this more difficult. Boots make this more difficult. Removing the heroine's shoes will help her get her feet through. So she should try to toe off her day shoe. Knowing how you want this to play out will make a difference in how you dress your heroine for success or complication. (Blog Link to dressing your heroine)

video

QUICK STUDY - video of me moving cuffs from behind my back to front position. **Turn your sound to mute so you don't have to listen to the ke-yups. Those trained exhalation sounds help reduce anxiety/panic in a fight, keep the fighter breathing, and help anesthetize pain from in-coming blows.

2. Create a tool. (No tools? Try Technique 1)
   * If using a bobby pin, strip the plastic protective end off with her teeth.
   * A Paper clip is easier to bend but this can also create problems.

A Bobby-pin
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


3. In a DOUBLE LOCK
    * Pick the double lock first - use counter-
       clockwise sweeps moving from 9-5. She
       should hear a metallic click.
    * Work on the ratcheting mechanism

Working the ratcheting mechanism can be done in two ways
1. Insert your tool into the key hole and bend it into a right angle. Then use this to push the mechanism up
    and out of the way.
2. Feed the tool between the mechanisms and close the cuffs tighter while to insert the tool further until it lifts
    the internal pin away from the teeth like a shim.

Picking is PREFERRED because when you shim you have to ratchet down on the cuff making it tighter. If she fails, she can cut off circulation to her hand. *NOTE ratcheting too tight is prevented by a double lock. You CAN NOT shim a double lock.


VIDEO QUICK STUDY

Video 1 (10:00) This has a clear cuff so you can see the inner workings as well as the use of a key, shim,
and paper clip.

Video 2 (11:39) Combat Application Technique Handcuff Restraint Escape - excellent hostage
              scenario is silent in the first half of this video the second half has audio and is taught school-style.
     
 Video 3 (6:49) Shimming
                                                                               
Video 4 (11:56) Picking a double lock. This method seems the EASIEST.
           



Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

Self-protection in Fiction - Pepper Spray - Information for Writers

Pepper spray Demonstration; U.S. Marine Corps ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision.



I was alone on a moonless night, driving down the highway and rubbing sleep from my eyes. Horrifically, my pepper canister, dangling from my key-chain, had leaked. I had wiped blinding fire across my eyes and spun off the road...

Because of this incident, pepper spray and mace are not part of my EDC. But for a writer, these products in a plot line can be awesome, indeed.

Pepper spray and Mace come in canisters of varying sizes. What is Mace? Mace is a name brand for defensive sprays. The Mace canister can contain pepper spray, tear gas or both. Mace and pepper spray affect mucus membranes causing inflammation and burning sensations. The affect lasts 20-30 minutes unless washed away. Milk is effective at removing the sting of the pepper spray. Water and mild soap are also helpful.


Bush Inauguration11
Bush Inauguration11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Writers who use this self-defense weapon in their writing can either use it to help or thwart a character's plight.

USE  - Aim for the eyes and spray left to right. If you missed, spray back from right to left.

PROS -

RSG-3
RSG-3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* It is legal in most areas (though, as always, check
  your story location's laws for accuracy).
* It is inexpensive, easy to obtain, needs little in the
  way of training.
* It is effective at 8 feet - 20 feet depending on your
  brand/container size, so there is physical distance.
* It can be used against more than one attacker at a
   time. Also, it is effective against animals, including
  werewolves. (Though double blind experiments
  shows these products to be ineffectual against
   Zombies.)
* Portable and easily carried on a daily basis.


CONS (Poor character, never gets a break!)

* The stream is visible and can be averted.
* Wind is not your friend. It can make the shot
   ineffectual. It can also blow the stream back on you. It
   can blow the stream towards your friends/helpers/pets.
* You can quickly run out of product - esp. when using
   key-chain sized canisters
* The attacker might be high, drunk, or impervious.
* It must hit mucus to be effective - eyes, nose, mouth,
   lungs. A hat, hoody, or other clothing often prevent
   this with a mere duck of the head.
* Aim is key - and this is often difficult in a high-
  adrenaline situation. Especially if the character is
  shaking.
* Most people buy the canisters and never test them out
  or practice (which is why I recommend buying 2).
* Some canisters have a protective clip - and this can
   get stuck or be difficult to manipulate when in danger.
* The spray needs to be in hand - bottom of the purse is
   not helpful.
US Navy 050511-N-3394D-007 Master-at-Arms 2nd ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Kids and pepper spray are a BAD combo.
* Not legal in some places - like courthouses.



Video

Video 1 (3:05) Basics -
Video 2 (3:10 start at 1:30 mark) Watch pharmacist use bear spray against robber.
Video 3 (1:50) Police pepper spraying a crowd.
Video 4 (2:36) Shows various sizes and uses. Also, gives considerations for choosing the proper weapon
or your character.
Video 5 (3:12) Getting sprayed.






Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Busting Out of Zip Ties

English: A stereotypical caricature of a villa...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision


Oh, no! Your heroine has been caught by the bad guy and is being taken hostage. She's doomed! Not so fast. Your heroine is cunning, and she took a women's self-defense class (no, it's not all about knee-to-the-groin tactics), and she knows what to do.

Or maybe you have a bad girl who was taken into custody by the cops, and she needs to escape? Easily done if she was manacled with zip ties.






English: Assortment of cable ties
English: Assortment of cable ties (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Steps to escape - whether front presentation (easiest) or rear presentation (higher difficulty) - begin when the character is being restrained.

*The character should present her wrists in the way she wants them tied.
* Ball the fist tightly to make the circumference of the wrist its largest. You can try this yourself. Measure
   your wrist with a relaxed hand and then again for a balled fist. I gained almost a cm.
* Cross your wrists, turning your hands to the side so your wrist bones are stacked. Doing this, I gained
   another cm. I have almost a whole inch of added wiggle room.
* Another option would be lining the wrists up side by side. (This will only work if the detainer really has no
   idea what they are doing.)
* Finally, when the cuffs are being tightened, using the cover of the detainer's hands, slide the tie slightly up
   your arm away from the bone toward the muscle/flesh part of the arm. (just an inch or two)  When
   they tighten the tie down, twist the heroine's arms a little and show the plastic cutting into the skin of the detainee.

FRONT ESCAPE -
Two cable ties: one opened and one closed
Two cable ties: one opened and one closed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

* If the character presented properly, then there should be enough wiggle room to escape. Simply put the hands flat out in prayer position and work to move the plastic tie over the thumb joint. Once this has been executed, you're out! The character may need to use her teeth to manipulate the plastic upward. Also, if she is upright and watched, she may need to position her hands behind or under something to conceal her movements.

* If the character didn't have a presentation choice,
   ex. she was blacked out when detained, she can still
   escape.
* The movement is the same from upright or on her
   back positions. If she is on her back, she will need to pull
   her feet in towards her hips and elevate her hips.
* Move the tie toggle to in between the hands and pull it tight with her teeth. The tighter it is, the easier this
   move.
* Extend the arms and with a swift move down, pull the elbows across the hip bones. (See video below).
   Male characters would probably use their ribs. THIS WORKS WITH DUCT TAPE, AS WELL.

VIDEO QUICK STUDY - Front Presentation.

Moving restraints from back to front (this is me) (:39)
Slipping Out of Zip Ties - (2:49)  - includes hand presentations and wiggle removal.
Thrust Removal  (1:28) Male model
Thrust Removal (:50) Female Model
Escape with Friction Saw (4:01) Perhaps your character has a broken arm or other injury and can't use the
                                                 thrust method.
Dual Zip Ties (1:52)
Breaking Free (11:21) - This shows arm presentation, and wiggle removal. BONUS they show how to use
                                       the zip tie to open the door that your heroine got locked behind!
Duct Tape works the same way! (:09)
Duct Tape Escape (twist style) (2:12)

Rear Presentation:

* If possible let your heroine set up her wrists for escape, and use wiggle method.
* If she is unconscious or her detainer knows what they're doing she will have to do a thrust removal.
* If standing, she would work to position the lock between her hands and tighten it down as best
   she can. Leaning over, she would lift her arms and pull downward with as much force as possible.
* If she is on the ground, she will need to go onto her belly, pull her knees upward so she is in a yoga child's
   pose and then attempt this.

Moving restraints from back to front VIDEO QUICK STUDY

Breaking to the Rear (:48)
WARNING - these techniques DO NOT work with police zip handcuffs (5:13)
But this technique WILL work on a set of police issue handicuffs.

As an author, you may want to try this so you know how much effort is involved, as well as what the mental and physical feelings entail. I would caution you, however, you can damage the skin on your wrists. So, take some duck tape and circle them around a couple of times to prevent cuts or burns.




Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Self Defense - Electric Weapons: Stun Guns v. Tasers - Information for Writers

Tasers? yep..
Tasers? yep.. (Photo credit: number657)

DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision.


In the beginning there was a Taser and a stun gun. And while they come from the same family of electric self defense weapons they are not at all alike.
Many writers will use the terms interchangeably.

Who would carry and electric self defense weapon?
This weapon can fit with any character over the age of 18.

Is it even legal to carry this type of weapon?
For the most part the answer is yes. Though check your characters' state codes. This link takes you to a state by state review of applicable laws.

So what is the difference between the two weapons?

The Stun Gun 

A Stun Gun making an electrical arc between it...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
*A stun gun is a brute force weapon. You must make personal contact with
  your assailant.
* Though the prongs DO NOT need to make direct skin contact.
* The contact that is required is LONG 2-3 seconds
   to be precise. While this doesn't sound too bad.
   Think about the last time you were waiting for your
    microwave to ding. I know! 
   Now imagine those 2-3 seconds while someone is
   stabbing you or even punching you. 

*  2 seconds can cause muscle spasms and a state
    of shock lasting up to fifteen minutes - enough to
    get away. 5 seconds is best.
* The current will not transfer to you even if you are
   grabbing at each other
* Water is not a problem even if you are standing in water.

                                                      How does it work?


On the packaging, the manufacturer will indicate the voltage. It is not the voltage though that makes the difference it is the pulse rate frequency.

Yes, the more volts the better, but the pulse rate determines the gun's power to put an attacker down. You see, it's the frequency rate that disrupts the neural pathways in the body - and believe it or not it's a sugar thing. As the electricity pulses the muscles, they produce lactic acid and consume the glucose causing the loss of muscle control (like a Type1Diabetic seizure). Your character should look for at least 100k volts to ensure enough pulse power to be effective.









The Taser 
English: Police issue X26 TASER
English: Police issue X26 TASER (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



*A Taser is a distance weapon.

*You can use this weapon from fifteen feet (5 meters)

* The Taser works by shooting out tiny metal probes that embed
   in the flesh. These probes are attached to wires that connect to
   the Taser unit.

* A Taser is HIGHLY RELIABLE and HIGHLY EFFICIENT 

* It works by interrupting the communication between the muscles
  and the brain, effectively attacking the central nervous system.
  This interruption continues as long as the electricity is
  administered.


Unlike Stephanie Plum in the Janet Evanovich novels, electrical weaponry no longer depends on batteries but is plugged into the wall to charge overnight like a phone.



Also, if you are looking for plot twists - some of the stun guns have a probe in the bottom that attaches to the lanyard around the wrist. If the attacker tries to take the weapon, as it is pulled away from the victim, the pin releases and the weapon is no longer operational. But some do not have this safety.


Electric weapons are effective on sub-creatures including Vampire, Werewolves, and Zombies - but do not have an effect on phantoms or ghosts.

Perhaps your heroine wants to be clever and arm herself with a camouflaged electric weapon - try these on and see if they serve:


       Cell Phone Stun Gun (1:48)

English: Electro-shock Stun Gun like a celphon...
. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Lipstick Stun Gun (1:49) 


Electric weapon
Electric weapon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tampon Taser (3:47) No, I'm not kidding
Telescopic stun baton (3:33) similar to asp    




Advanced M26 TASER Stun Pistol - The United St...
Advanced M26 TASER Stun Pistol - The United States military version of commercial TASERs for non-lethal detainment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

VIDEO QUICK STUDY

Video - Taser v. Knife (1:05)
The Taser Explained (7:05) Shows an experiment where a man was able to overcome the Taser showing
                                           that it is not fail safe.
Female review and demonstration of flashlight/stun gun (3:42)
Why a stun gun isn't fabo. (8:19) Excellent descriptions and explanations.



Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.


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