Former Austin Police Capt. Curt Rude is taking his experiences from his police work and putting them to creative use. He just finished his first crime novel. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

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Work of fiction: Rude writes crime novel

Published 10:21am Thursday, January 5, 2012

Former Austin police Capt. Curt Rude uses experience to write crime novel

After writing a fiction crime novel, former Austin police Capt. Curt Rude says he is now honorably retired from his career as a police officer.

Rude was terminated as police captain in January 2010 after he was convicted of felony drug possession for taking a bottle of the prescription painkiller OxyContin out of the Austin Police Department’s evidence room in 2007.

The pills belonged to Mark Johnson, a close friend of Rude’s and a former KAAL-TV reporter who died of an OxyContin overdose earlier that year.

With his career in the police force behind him, Rude embarked on a mission to write a fiction crime novel that drew on his experiences as a police officer.

“I’m honorably in retirement now,” Rude said. “I don’t look at the departure as a negative; I look at it as an unfortunate event, but I was given an opportunity to stand up to my values and belief system.”

The novel, titled “Just This,” is a thriller, according to Rude, and has no holds barred. It covers a number of topics, including violence, rape, drugs, suicide, religion and guilt, Rude said.

“This basically has been a piece of work reflecting human behavior,” he said. “This is a peek at the dark, dark side of the human experience. It involves catastrophic events and that emotion of a devious and deceitful chief of police.”

Throughout the book, Rude confronts the reader with many questions, all of which will be answered by the last page, according to Rude. Some questions are meant to get the reader thinking, while some — like whether a parrot is capable of committing murder — are meant to throw the reader for a loop. Rude explores everything from what it’s like to die to what happens when the lines get blurred between the good guy and the bad guy.

The book is set in southern Minnesota and is a work of fiction, but Rude said he used his experiences as a police officer for ideas and background information.

“I’m able to cut and paste some real life experience I had,” he said. “I’ve been there. I’ve watched eyes that become fixed and cloud; I haven’t had to figure that out from watching TV.”

While the novel itself is completely written, Rude is still working on edits and making publishing decisions. He said he’s undecided as to whether he’s going to e-publish or work with a print publisher. He’s also anxious to get writing on his second novel, for which he already has ideas.

While Rude has always had a passion for telling stories, he didn’t consider writing a book until he finished working at the Austin Police Department. What he needed was a block of time in which he could focus solely on writing, he said.

“I’ve always loved a verbal tale,” he said. “I just switched from the verbal story and have fallen into a laptop computer. Now I’m affording myself the opportunity (to write).”


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  • ChicagoStyle

    I think he would be good at fiction

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  • jeffwork24hrs

    Looking forward to the book. Mr. Rude was one of the few and caring officers in Austin. To be screwed over by the city and the police chief. Then the city let the chief walk when he stole from the city and the tax payers. Im sure the book will be excellent.

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  • mensaman

    Screwed over by the city? Seriously?? He was a captain in the police department who admitted taking a controlled substance out of the evidence room illegally.
    Get a grip. You want this guy enforcing our laws, jeffwork?????

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  • nema

    Good for Curt. He is a great story teller— this book should hold Austin’s attention!

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  • jeffwork24hrs

    Yes screwed over! He wasnt taking them to sell or use. His friend died from this drug. I dont know if a captain is or is not suppose to have access to evidence, but it did not leave the biulding. Mr. Rude stood up for what he beleived,he didnt run like the police cheif. To bad if you dont like my opinion,do you want to take that away from me too.

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  • cooper

    Well said jeffwork. He was one of the better police officers in this city. Good luck on the book Curt.

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  • Rhino

    yes good luck curt…. you are rising above what the police chief did to you

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  • ChicagoStyle

    I would rather see a non-fiction book about what he did and what the police chief did. Let’s get all of it out to the public.

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    • nema

      I agree. It would be great if Curt wrote a non fiction book on the goings on a few years back. Now that would be a truly disturbing book that would really shock the public.

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      • Rhino

        CURT ARE YOU READING THESE?????

        Lets go pen to paper…. we are all waiting!!!

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  • ChicagoStyle

    Maybe we can’t handle the truth

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  • RJ

    Curt, good job and I hope your book is a huge success. You will always be the great person that you are–no one will ever take that away from you.

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  • walkthewalk

    One of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He may have “lost” a job that he loved and worked hard at but he did not lose his determination to be an asset to anyone that truly knows him. He had talent and compassion–a trait that you rarely find in a police officer.

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  • Jo Friday

    Not everyone is capable of taking unfortunate events in their life, weather the storm(s), and subsequently take on the challenges of a different direction. Indeed, the former APD Captain not only stood with his values and belief system throughout his years of service, but he has also taken the window of opportunity to a higher level by virtue of writing this book.

    I strongly suspect your new ‘ read ‘ will speak volumes, Mr. Rude.

    ……”honorably in retirement now”. Glad you feel that way; as you should.

    All the best to you and your family & keep writing!

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  • Curt

    Thanks for all the support folks! I’ve been out to Tebow Land and am happy to be back in Austin with friends and family. My fingers are to the key pad as I’m currently doing revisions and working with an excellent editor. I think I’ve found a great artist in Rochester who wants to do the cover. Has been fun. Thanks again for all the support and ideas.

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