Forensic psychologist finds his voice as Minnesota murder mystery author
As a forensic psychologist, Minnesota author Frank Weber began writing books as a way to vent until his wife encouraged him to share his stories with a publisher.
His first book was published in 2017 and his fourth book of the series will come out in fall 2020. The books are based on real cases and include characters from Weber’s personal life.
Weber will talk about his work as a forensic psychologist and an author at an event Saturday, Jan. 18, at the New York Mills Public Library.
“I love writing but it’s also a lot of work … especially the mystery and thriller audience is an intelligent audience, you can’t make mistakes and so I’ve been very careful. I go over my books over and over and over again to make sure everything’s correct,” Weber said. “All the forensics are correct in my book which is good, people really appreciate, I kind of got a big audience with investigators and law enforcement because they like that, that you don’t get the mistakes that you get in other types of mysteries.”
The mysteries also include humor, romance and chapters written as first-person perspectives of offenders, victims and investigators.
“One of the things my readers really like about it is they said you get an understanding of how kidnappers rationalize their behavior. Earlier in the book, in ‘Last Call,’ I say, ‘Killers are heroes in their own stories’ and that’s true, that they found a way to rationalize what they’re doing,” Weber said.
While Weber writes about offenders and learns the history of that person’s life to understand their behavior but not excuse it, there are also characters that people can easily relate to. The Pierz, Minn., resident thought of a mechanic he knows who repeats his words twice, an intelligent man who has his own way of presenting information to people.
“I think I talk about characters people can identify with. Some of them are actual characters that I knew growing up and I tell people, aspiring authors, that there are people who would be wonderful characters in books that you interact with everyday,” Weber said.
The positives are not only seen in Weber’s characters but also in the work he does clinical director of CORE Professional Services, P.A. The program is “the largest outpatient sex offender program in the state” and has drug tests, lie detector tests and involves family members to fully understand the situation, according to Weber.
“There’s a lot of positives in what I do, and it doesn’t seem like there would be,” Weber said. “You get to help people who struggled really turn their life around also. So you work with some terrible people but you also work with people who just started rocket match to turn it around.”
The program began when he worked in a mental health clinic with a program for victims and offenders and saw a lack of accountability for offenders. From there, Weber was asked by corrections to form a program based on the improvements he was suggesting.
“I’ve been teaching college social programs classes since I was 25 years old and I’m always challenging students that there’s solutions to every social problem if you’re willing to do the work, and I thought, ‘Here is my challenge’ and so I decided to take it on,” Weber said.
Weber’s next projects include the fourth book in the Jon Frederick investigator series and narrating for “Murdered by Morning” on Oxygen. The episode will be on the Morna Jean Brennen murder in Maplewood, Minn.
“I have a new respect for people who narrate TV shows because I didn’t anticipate I’d be sitting in a chair for five hours straight talking,” Weber said.
If you go
What: Frank Weber forensic presentation and book signing
When: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18
Where: New York Mills Public Library, 30 N Main Ave., New York Mills
More: The presentation will include details on new forensic techniques, such as how to get a footprint out of the snow. There will be time for questions and signing books before and after the presentation.
On the web: www.frankweberauthor.com