When I wrote License To Kill: The Murder Of Erik Scott with the able assistance of my coauthor, neither of us expected to retire on the proceeds. We chose to market the book exclusively through Amazon (print and Kindle editions), and the publisher, North Slope Publications. We made this decision in large part because brick and mortar bookstores, as much as we might wish otherwise, are becoming a thing of the past. As regular readers know, I’ve been writing on the case since 2011 at SMM—the Scott case archive is here—and hoped to reach a broader audience with the books.
The primary problem with relying on Amazon is we have no huge publishing house behind us, spending millions promoting the book, nor are either of us NYT best-selling authors. Even so, sales of the book have been, if not exciting, at least respectable. But we’d very much like more Americans to read the book, which is a cautionary tale that has the potential to inspire real and necessary, rather than politically convenient and unnecessary, reform in law enforcement, something that very much involves us all. As regular readers know, I’m more than supportive of honest police officers and agencies when they’re deserving of that support.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide some of the Amazon reviews of the book we’ve thus far compiled (many of these are excerpts; the complete reviews can be found on the Amazon page/link):
This true story about a murder-by-cop and the subsequent cover-up by the Vegas police is tragic. It happened to the son of one of our friends. Page turner. Read it in two evenings. It will scare the hell out of you and make you see the evening news with new eyes.
Erik Scott and his girlfriend went to Costco. Less than an hour later, Erik lay dead in front of the store, his body riddled with bullets. It only took a moment for the Las Vegas Police to realize that they had messed up big time. They had shot and killed an innocent man. That is tragic enough but then the cover-up began. There is a long sordid history of the LVPD lying about officer involved shootings and getting away with it. But maybe it wouldn’t be so easy this time, after all Erik had been a West Point grad with a valid carry permit, had a limitless future and had a legion of supporters who desperately wanted the truth to be known…but none of that seemed to matter.
This story is so compelling and infuriating that it’s easy to miss just how well it’s written. With a meticulous eye for detail and a cop’s instinct, author Mike McDaniel immerses himself in the case record and deftly exposes the corruption and deceit permeating the official investigation as only a trained investigator could do. But as only a gifted writer can do, he also gives us a glimpse of Erik’s special life and a portrayal of Erik’s remarkable family that is both gut wrenching and inspirational.
Don West was part of the Defense team that secured an acquittal for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case.
Stunning and other adjectives all seem too trite to me at this moment. Justice, Truth…
Are they merely flickering candles waiting to be snuffed out, blown out?
I am forced to envision a beating heart blown out by bullets that should never have beenfired.
Mike McDaniel, former military police, ex-cop, teacher, my favorite writer/blogger, uses his extraordinary knowledge, precise and systematic research, and literary skills to tell this true story. Glad the Scott family got him on the Team. There are heroes heralded, despite the institutional evil exposed. A shame one hero had to die for no good reason
This was a story that needed to be told. It reads like a movie script but it really happened. And follow Mike’s blog as well. Worth it.
This book points out why I will NEVER visit or live in Las Vegas, Nevada – despite being stationed there three times by the Air Force.
The book is written in a free flowing, meticulously referenced, enthralling and highly readable manner. In it, the authors describe every nuance of the horrific sequence of the events leading up to Erik Scott’s murder and subsequent conspiracies to tamper with, steal and otherwise cover up evidence, fabricate false evidence, besmirch Erik’s character and promulgate the series of miscarriages of justice that were perpetrated by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and its union and legal accomplices. You can’t make this stuff up. No one would believe it!
I consider it my civic duty to share this review with any and all of my fellow citizens who, like me, (1) appreciate and actively support the men and women in blue who daily put their life on the line to serve and protect us from anarchy and (2) are grieved to the extreme any time sworn members of the law enforcement and legal communities, along with a cabal of police union representatives, lawyers and judges, purposely, systematically, collaboratively and repeatedly violated the law. Besides becoming criminals themselves, they dishonored their sacred oath of office in order to wantonly and maliciously deprive a fellow citizen of life, liberty and due process. That is exactly what this book is all about and you need to read it. It will make your blood boil.
It’s been over eight years now, but I vividly remember my shock when I read on the internet that Las Vegas police had shot and killed Erik Scott, an upstanding West Point grad, former Army officer, and respected businessman, based upon a security guard’s unsupported claim that he’d been peculiarly in a Las Vegas Costco while wearing a properly licensed concealed carry weapon. My problem was that I respected the police, respected West Point grads, respected concealed carry, and shopped at Costco. On the story’s headline alone, some of that respect was going to have to go out the window.
Further news stories led me to the conclusion that the Erik Scott shooting was a case of run-amok cops and a cowardly corporation. And then, I’m sorry to admit, the case faded from my consciousness. I was left with my conclusions — Scott was a good guy and Las Vegas police officers behaved badly — but I really didn’t know what happened and I did not bother to follow-up on the story. My passivity shames me because what happened in Vegas shouldn’t stay there. It is, instead, an indictment of corrupt policing in Vegas and across America.
Thankfully, a new book that, in a just world, would get a very wide audience, lays bare the incompetence, corruption, and plain old malevolence that is endemic amongst Las Vegas police. That book is License to Kill: The Murder of Erik Scott, by SENTINEL and Mike McDaniel.
Before I go further, I’d better disclose that Mike McDaniel, a former military and civilian police officer and a current English teacher and gun expert, is a blog friend of mine. He writes at Stately McDaniel Manor and is, in my estimation, one of the most brilliant, decent, moral, and honest thinkers in the blogosphere, not to mention a fabulous writer. My belief in Mike’s integrity and intelligence definitely biases me in favor of the book. I’d like to think, though, that even were Mike nothing more than a name on the page, I would write the same review about this superbly written, carefully researched, brutally honest indictment of a police department that sanctions and protects violent, incompetent police officers. [skip]
Because an inherently corrupt, entirely one-sided inquest led inexorably to a verdict that the shooting was justified (foreclosing a criminal trial against the policemen who fired the shots), and because Ninth Circuit policy and a corrupt (or frightened or crazy) state trial court justice made it impossible to bring either state or federal civil actions against Costco and the police, this book is the only thing that can set the record straight, ensuring that Erik is properly remembered as the upstanding citizen and good human being he was, and indicting a police department that had run completely amok. [skip]
Reading License to Kill: The Murder of Erik Scott is a reminder to all of us that, if we wish to hang on to civilization, it is incumbent upon us to support and encourage the tens of thousands of decent, brave police officers across America, and to work with them to shut down entirely the corrupt few who would drag our nation into a dark, violent abyss.
Bookworm (full disclosure of my own) is an attorney, a recovering Leftist, and easily one of the most brilliant, intelligent, and rational voices on the Internet. If you’re not reading her daily at Bookworm Room.com, you’re missing more than I can easily explain. And as Bookworm noted, we’re Internet/blogging friends who often link to each other’s work. Her review, in its entirety, may be read on Amazon, or on her blog, here. It’s certainly worth your time, and should encourage you to bookmark and visit her daily.
Read this story — not just for its own tragic details — but for the bigger picture. A tale of wanton death, enabled by failures at many levels of police hiring, training, and accountability. A prism for the murders played out across the land — usually by a younger and more reckless faction of the police community.
This book is more than an expose’. Rather, a testament for the love of a son. A determined search for truth. A reckoning for the miscreants, individual and institutional — whose indiscriminate slaughter stain our societal fiber.
We are reminded by this book to not only honor the police who protect, but never yield to the powerful forces who allow the heedless to carry a badge and a gun. To never relent in the pursuit of truth and justice for those who commit murder without regard for their oath.
This book is so good! It is factual and shows the cover up of the Las Vegas Metro Police department murdering a man who defended our country in war, and was an upstanding citizen. What a shame that so many untrained men were put in situations they were untrained to be in and were able to kill an american citizen/ war veteran who did absolutely nothing wrong. I would recommend this book! It gives you a perspective that the media would never allow to be told.
Audrey Parrish is the parent of one of my students. He borrowed a copy of the book, and she became interested in it.
I do not have a tip jar or otherwise solicit money from readers. SMM doesn’t support me; it’s a labor of love. However, I encourage you, gentle readers, if you haven’t read the book, to get a copy, or buy one for someone meaningful to you. The pages also work well for lining the floors of birdcages, or you might send copies to Venezuela in lieu of toilet paper. The print version is $17.99 at either Amazon or North Slope Publications. It’s a paperback book, but not one of the pocket-sized paperbacks, rather, it’s a full sized book on quality paper. If you buy from the publisher, we make a few cents more, and every little bit helps.
Stately McDaniel Manor lives and grows by word of mouth, and so do books like License To Kill. Please help spread the word, and please, add your review to the Amazon page, and encourage others to do the same. Erik Scott deserves to be remembered, not only because of the man he was, but because his story can make a difference in the world we inherited from him.