About Colin Nelson

Colin T. Nelson worked for 40 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis. He tried everything from speeding tickets to first degree murder. His writing about the courtroom and the legal system give the reader a "back door" view of what goes on, what's funny, and what's a good story. He has also traveled extensively and includes those locations in his mysteries. Some are set in Southeast Asia, Ecuador,Peru, and South Africa. Readers get a suspenseful tale while learning about new places on the planet. Colin is married, has two adult children, and plays the saxophone in various bands.

Does Gambling Reduce Crime?

Years ago, working as a Public Defender in Minnesota, I represented people charged with misdemeanor crimes–less serious things like disorderly conduct, bar fights, shoplifting, etc. Minnesota has a large Native population, centered on several reservations, but there’s also a large community in Minneapolis. Native Americans were the second most prevelant group charged with crimes.

Between alcohol and few …

Should Victims Pay?


I’ve written lately about the convictions of con men–one locally in Minneapolis, Tom Petters and of course, Bernie Madoff. As a criminal defense lawyer, I’ve represented con men in the past. In my last post I suggested that one of the reasons they are successful is that their “victims” …

How Did Madoff and Petters Do It?

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Ponzi scheme tycoon Tom Petters was just convicted here in Minneapolis. Along with guys like Bernie Madoff, he stole billions of dollars. What I always wonder, and you may also, is:

How do these guys get other normal people to give them so much money? I have a hard time just getting …

What Made Tom Petters Run?

In Minneapolis last week, business mogul Tom Petters was found guilty on all 20 counts for running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded people out of over $3 billion. What kind of a person would do this?

Although I don’t know Mr. Petters, I’ve worked as a criminal defense lawyer for over 30 years and have represented/defended a few …

Somali Women Wonder Where Their Boys Went

Not only in Minneapolis/St. Paul are young Somali men (so young, each one is almost a child victim) mysteriously disappearing, it’s happening across the globe. In a recent article from the StarTribune by James Walsh and Richard Meryhew, entitled, “Jihad draws young men across globe back to Somalia,” www.startribune.com, it appears that the recruiting of these men …

Can You Imagine?

Try to imagine living in a neighborhood of small homes. Your neighbors pay attention to each other and have become friendly. Some even offer barbeque on the weekends in their front yards.

But there are odd things about this neighborhood that you learn after you’ve moved in. For one thing, your next door neighbor is a sausage making …