Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Years Go By Quickly

I got into my closet today and decided to get rid of some of my old bills and receipts that I've had since before I got married. I keep all the bills and so forth to check back on if there's any dispute, but I don't think anyone's going to come after me for an unpaid trash bill from 1984. Actually I have pay stubs from my first job in 1976, and lots of stuff from my school years, but what I was concentrating on were the bill boxes. I've decided to keep the ones from 2001 on, so that only leaves about a dozen or so, some years I combined boxes to save space. I'm going to take them out and have a nice fire with them.

There were also things I ran across that I forgot I had. A keepsake key ring from my senior prom, a memory book from my senior year, souvenirs from a trip out west when I was a kid, congratulation cards from graduation, and pictures that I wish I had never seen or had come into my possession. The pictures are of a murder scene. A murder that happened in the area of the county where I grew up. A young girl was shot, and it had people - including my family- living in fear for several months of 1989 until a suspect was arrested. The arrest started a period of wild emotions in our family, for the man who was questioned and held was my wife's brother, who at first denied any connection to the murder, then confessed that he and his girlfriend were there but that she had pulled the trigger. His girlfriend was an evil, self-serving person who I believed was very capable of doing the deed, but who was never charged because - I think - the prosecutor wanted to bring the case to a swift end, being such a high profile case. My wife and I found ourselves acting as go-betweens for her brother and her mother, who didn't have a phone at the time, so all calls from him to her came to our house and we relayed messages. We tried not to get involved in the case, not even reading about it in the papers, because my wife and her brother weren't very close and because we couldn't fathom a relative being responsible for such a horrific act. He was sentenced to twenty years but not before escaping and being on the run for several days, throwing a good deal of unwanted publicity our way again and, I'm sure, having our house watched in case he tried to come here. He was caught though, and sent away to prison where he's been since that time. A few years later the crime scene photos and tapes of conversations were sent to my wife's mother, since she was his closest relative. She didn't want to keep them at her house so we ended up with them.

Looking at them today for the first time in several years I was filled with sadness and nausea. Such a waste of a young life. Haunting pictures of something that happened eighteen years ago but which capture the darkness of human deeds in a timeless portrayal.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

What a wild story, Tim! I'm so sorry for your family and all the misery at that time. It is amazing how fast time goes -- I hate it. I haven't even adjusted to the 90s being over.

7:49 AM  

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