Speakers, 2020



Retired Judge

Acclaimed author

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James A. Ardaiz visited us last year and was a rousing success. He will join us again to share his new novel, a legal thriller, Shades of Truth.

As a former prosecutor and high-ranking judge, he draws on his intimate knowledge of attorneys, detectives and criminals to craft a gritty, fast-paced and coldly realistic thriller that crackles with authenticity and explodes with a propulsive hard-boiled story.

Ardaiz’s previous books include Hands Through Stone, a first-hand nonfiction account of his work on the investigation and prosecution of murderer Clarence Ray Allen, the last man executed by the State of California, and Fractured Justice, the first Matt Jamison mystery novel.

You won’t want to miss this meeting. Writers, bring your notebooks.


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Penelope Childers retired from the Internal Revenue Service with no plans for her future. Never could she have imagined the turn of events that would lead to her writing career.


“Writing came to me quite accidentally. Days after I retired from my full-time career, I was asked to do some volunteer work for a nonprofit helping women coming out of jail and prison. Clients began to tell me their stories. I was shocked by the things I heard. After a year, I had the opportunity to make monthly visits to the world’s largest women’s prison located in Chowchilla, California. There I heard even more. My eyes and mind were opened to realities I had never dreamed existed. Eventually, I wrote down the stories with an eye on writing a book filled with some amazing testimonies.

“But then I met Debra Rush, a victim of sex trafficking. Debra founded Breaking the Chains www.btcfresno.org an organization devoted to rescuing and restoring women from the bondage of sex traffickers. She needed her memoir written and asked me to write it. Her story unfolded over the next five years. In the meantime, I wrote short stories that were published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, and Focus on the Family.”


Penelope is published in several magazines and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her first completed collaborative project is A Cry of the Heart: Human Trafficking, One Survivor’s True Story. Penelope’s heart is writing stories that inspire, transform, and help readers heal from life’s trauma. She will share her writing journey and how she came to write the story for a survivor of human trafficking. She will give us her tips on writing and getting published.



Silver Rodriguez 

Chief of Police  

Sanger P.D.

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We are delighted to have Silver Rodriguez, police Chief of Porterville and Sanger (different years), for our speaker in January. He brings a wide range of experiences and topics he will cover.


Some of the areas he has served in include: Detective assigned to Juvenile, Narcotics, and Violent Crimes cases; a Field Training Officer; SWAT Operator, Patrol Sergeant, Administrative Sergeant, SWAT Commander, Lieutenant Watch Commander, and a Captain of the Investigations Division.  He served as Chief of Police in Porterville for six years and has been the Police Chief in Sanger for the past seven years.     


He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and a graduate of the CA Law Enforcement Command College, which is an executive leadership training course sponsored by the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.).  He has earned Management and Executive Certificates from the POST Commission. 


Silver Rodriguez has been an active participant in the California Peace Officers Association (CPOA) Region V Board of Directors; member of the Fresno-Madera County Police Chief’s Association and member of the Porterville and Sanger Rotary Club for many years.

Bring all your unanswered questions on crime and law enforcement. He should have some excellent insight to share.


In response to the current and ever-changing COVID-19 crises and with concern for public safety, San Joaquin Sisters in Crime is cancelling the April meeting.  And there will be no newsletter.

If you have not renewed your membership ($25) for 2020, we  would appreciate you sending a check to the P.O. Box
Box.  And don't forget the national membership is due too.

San Joaquin Sisters in Crime
P.0. Box 3885
Pinedale, CA  93650

We will send updates before the May meeting.

In the meantime, practice social distancing and stay safe.