Chapter Thirteen IV
The problem with planning your life is simple. It doesn’t work.
Mrs. Epstein keeps making me turn my head around, “Oh my, what are my girls going to come up with next?”
She laughs, then gasps as I turn to look her in the face while she stands directly behind me.
“Bernie, you’re a big deal physician, how come her neck doesn’t break for God’s sake.”
“I’m a psychiatrist. I don’t know how to splint a broken arm after all these years. How in hell should I know? Ask the owl.”
I perch on the divan next to her and wait for Dr. Epstein. He settles into his chair, Mrs. Epstein joins Chan and Nikko on the couch.
“We have a job for you to consider. I know I say they’re all dangerous, and they are. The people you refocus are psychopaths, they only know one universe and it revolves around them, what they want, when they want it. This one is something we usually leave alone, until we became aware that a line has been crossed.”
He takes a sip of wine, “There are three Cubans, down in Miami. They do blood work for various drug dealers and other criminal types. The Mafia isn’t the Mafia anymore; compared to these gangs, La Familia is more like the Rotary Club. Vicious gangs have amassed significant power in big cities across the country, that’s no secret. Gang on gang fighting is not our concern. Criminals killing criminals often results in innocents getting caught up in the crossfire, which is horrible and tragic. It doesn’t come under our intentionality rule.”
“The things these gangs do, sell drugs, extort, train kids to become criminals, doesn’t that qualify?”
Dr. Epstein, “Yes. Like the man in Chicago, pimping out underage girls, selling drugs to kids. There are gangs of various ethnicities in every major city, and offshoots in minor ones. The Society has to let the police try and control them. The job is too overwhelming for us. You refocus one gang leader, another pops up. It’s endless, almost pointless as the transition from one leader to another just creates more bloodshed. We take on situations where removing the source removes the problem. It’s a shading of difference we have to adopt because we already have too much work with wife beaters, child abusers, bullies who the system can’t deal with, in part because of the time they spend chasing around drug gangs.”
“So there’s something different with these particular Cubans.”
Dr. Epstein, “The Cubans are supplementing their income by carrying out independent murders for anyone who pays them. They are their own mini-gang of murderers. They kill whoever they are hired to kill, no questions. At first, it was gang related. They did small time weapons sales, but selling guns left them vulnerable, always having to be certain who they were dealing with, or who might be ATF agents. Murder for hire doesn’t involve transporting a carload of weapons, swapping guns for money. They can do the job on their own schedule, no middle of the night meetings with other armed criminals. They appear to have chosen this route for other reasons as well.”
Janah, “They like it.”
Dr. Epstein grimaces and nods, she’d hit the heart of it, “It appears they’ve become addicted to murder and worse, to torturing their victims beforehand. Some guy thinks his girlfriend is sneaking around on him, they torture and kill her. One kid hired them to kill his chemistry teacher. The teacher simply disappeared, no body, nothing. The kid was questioned, nothing could be pinned on the actual killers.”
Daphne, “So he didn’t testify against them?”
“He didn’t know who they were, claims he never spoke to them. However it got set up, the kid isn’t saying. We think he’s gotten threats, personally and against his family. The district attorney doesn’t think he can convict him anyway. The kid says he was just mouthing off, doesn’t know anything. We found out through our sources he had talked to one of the Cubans. The kid is Cuban. We think they offed the teacher out of misguided ethnic loyalty.”
“How did we find out what the cops couldn’t?”
“Family. These things go through filters before they get to us, to protect sources. If we take it to the police, we have to drag in somebody. The boy isn’t going to admit it even if he knows anything. Our source can’t be put at risk by going to the police for the same reason the boy won’t talk, they don’t want to wind up like the teacher.”
Janah, “So the targets have lost it. Just shooting a rival gang member for encroaching on territory morphed into revenge killings, and these guys are so inured to plain murder, they started ratcheting up the pain to keep themselves stimulated. It’s an addiction, and it requires ever more violence to get the same high.”
“Yes. Now, just murder isn’t enough. They have to see the victim suffer, brutally. I’m not getting into the various horrific methods. The problem is obvious.”
Nikko, “What? I don’t see the problem. We go talk with them. They decide to do something else for a living.”
Dr. Epstein, “Maybe get them arrested on a charge they can’t hide from. They can’t be allowed to just disappear before the trial. They can’t get off on a technicality. You need to get them to stop...by coming up with a bulletproof case.”
“Interesting turn of phrase.”
Nikko, “Why doesn’t some gang down there deal with them. It seems like all of them are at risk from these guys.”
Dr. Epstein, “I don’t know, I can guess. There are many scenarios where people see other people at risk, but they don’t see themselves at risk. Driving too fast comes to mind. One gang leader thinks other gang leaders are in danger from these guys, but not himself.”
He asks Janah, “Have any ideas?”
“Three. The one that’s the most fun for Nikko is to simply find them, confront them and make them incapable of causing harm to anyone.”
Nikko, “Gets my vote, let’s leave tomorrow.”
“I’m shocked. A second is to catch them in the act, do a video and get them arrested. The problem is obvious, they would have to be torturing or murdering someone. Not a choice. The third way is the one to use.”
Dr. Epstein, “Which is?’
“I haven’t thought it up yet.”
Janah, "Italian food makes me horny."
Daphne, "Breathing makes you horny."
The four of us are on a plane to Miami, four because Chan can be helpful on a job this complex. Surveillance tracked the three targets long enough to supply plenty of video, photos, even audio of their conversations. To each other, they speak in rapid, nearly unintelligible, Cuban Spanish. They speak English well enough, it’s easier to discuss business using the slang and shortcut phrasing of their native language. Janah understood enough to get the idea. Some of the conversations revolved around recent kills, terms like, ‘cut the fucker’s balls off,’ and ‘shove the bat up his ass,’ don’t take much interpretation. Apparently one of their favorites is to ‘piñata the bitch,’ which is fairly clear. Hang the victim by his wrists, then proceed to crush his bones with a bat, starting with the feet and working their way up until they finally bust his skull. It could take three or four hours, they aren’t in a hurry. Break a bone, drink a beer, a snort of coke, smoke, break another. The raw terror in the eyes makes it all the more exciting. Eventually the victim dies, they cut the body into manageable pieces, bag it, feed the parts to the sharks.
We check into an Embassy Suites in the suburbs, not planning on becoming part of the Miami scene, trying to use me or Nikko to get next to the Cubans. That sounds sexy in movies. In real life, it means drinking, partying and avoiding their coke. It makes for suspenseful movie plots; it also makes for accidents, the risk of one girl going one place and the other going someplace else. Besides, Nikko could never handle a coked up punk putting his hands all over her. He’d be dead on the dance floor first time he grabbed her ass.
Ours is a two room suite with a conference table, Chan is down the hall in a king suite. The hotel is near the Miami International Airport, it’s standard corporate bland, comfortable enough though.
Nikko, “Got the plan yet?’
Janah, “I think so. Let me run this past everyone and see what works. I’m thinking a version of what we did with the muscle Nazis in Tennessee. Divide them, get one trapped, concoct a story about us being with a special crimes unit of the FBI. We try and convince the one guy that one of the others was seen talking to a DEA agent. We make him think there’s some sort of deal going down, to turn on the other two. The FBI is involved because they think the agent is dirty and we want him gone.”
Nikko, “That has appeal. Not as good as me putting them out of business as sentient beings. It does have some entertainment value. Maybe they even torture each other.”
Janah shakes her head, “I’m glad Daphne has you under control.”
Nikko looks at me, “You can release me if you wish, just for once.”
I cock my head.
Nikko fakes a pout.
Chan, “Too many agencies, the story gets complicated. What if I wear slacks, shirt and sport coat, get one into conversation. You film it. I look around like checking on things. Then I disappear. Next day another shot, he won’t see me, but on video it will look like we met. Too coincidental to just happen. Maybe a third shot, Daphne adds text saying it’s official agency, FBI or DEA. We send it anonymously to the leader. Maybe the guy on film talks himself out of it for a time. There’ll be suspicion, a seed of mistrust. Then we do the same thing to guy number two.”
Janah, “Okay, I’m getting it. Let’s see, suppose we get all three of them recorded before we send any of them anything. We set up each guy with you or Daphne. Harmless chance meeting, ask him for a light, directions, anything. Twenty seconds of conversation. Then two other videos where you’re each in a shot with your guy. We have three videos, each guy talking with, or in the vicinity of our fake agents. We send each one an anonymous tape of one of the others. Now we have each guy suspicious of one other guy. What are the the problems with that scenario, what works, what goes wrong?”
“It works if they all get mad and knock off each other. The problem is they all have video, if they talk, even if there’s an argument, they figure out something’s not right before they pop each other.”
Janah, “Yes. So what else? The video idea has merit. How do we do it so they turn against each other?”
Nikko, “Do the leader only. Then figure out the other two later. They’ll be fighting over who’s in charge. The leader is either the toughest or the smartest or both. The other two will have to sort things out.”
“What if Mr. Smarty talks them down? Convinces them it’s bullshit?”
“If his partners don’t disown him, they’ll be suspicious.”
Chan, “Nikko is headed in the right direction. I have another version that might net all three,” he outlines the idea.
Nikko, “That can work.”
Janah calls the Society, dictates what she needs and when. The Surveillance teams are still monitoring the Cubans, they’d been partying some, mostly hanging out. We need to get moving before someone else becomes a piñata.
The next day Chan is in slacks, sport coat, and loafers. Janah finishes him up with ordinary sunglasses. His bald head would have to do. The idea of a wig is too out there, and men’s wigs are ridiculously easy to spot. Instead, we got him a slightly large fedora that hangs down over head, might have hair on top, might not.
I label the three targets Uno, Dos and Tres. Uno is, naturally, the leader, the handsome, black hair, chiseled body, sort of Antonio Banderas type. Dos is taller, skinny with a scraggly goatee, Tres stockier and shortest. Uno likes to have coffee mid-morning and check out the south Miami women who stroll by in as little clothing as legally permitted. In that part of Miami, dress codes are so relaxed they make no mention of actual clothing. The fashion industry consists of finding new ways to wear bits of string.
Uno’s regular stop is a small coffee shop serving pastries and strong Cuban coffee. He’s taking his first sip when Chan walks up and drops an unlit cigarette near his feet. He reaches down and picks it up, nods to Uno and looks around like he is checking things out.
He looks away and says, “Perdón señor, I’ve lost my matches, may I trouble you for a light?”
Uno stares for a second, reaches for the silver Zippo on the table, flips it open with one hand and lights Chan’s cigarette.
Chan, “Ah, excellent, the old Zippos are primo. You have excellent taste señor. Most kind, thank you.”
With that he nods, “I have to get to the airport, perhaps you might enjoy the newspaper in between appreciating the beautiful women.”
He leans over and says conspiratorially, “I’ve noticed several taking great interest in you. Thank you again.”
Chan leaves his paper folded on the edge of Uno’s table.
“De nada,” Uno smiles at Chan’s sideways compliment, he sits up straighter, and pulls back his shoulders a bit. Egos are pathetically easy to stroke.
Chan strolls down the street, turns the corner, slides into the waiting car, Nikko pulls out into traffic and drives to the hotel.
Janah and I come in a few minutes later.
Janah, “Let’s watch a movie.”
I play the video, good, Chan looking up and down suspiciously, leaving a newspaper, which would be described on the tape as containing a payoff for ‘information.’ I add text that indicates it’s FBI undercover file number so and so, recorded on such and such date with informant ‘Uno,’ burn a DVD. I upload the digital file to the Society site, verify the backup copy, erase the original from the recorder.
In another three days we have video of me in a business outfit, pants and a jacket, flat no nonsense shoes, sunglasses. I’m walking quickly to what looks much like an agent’s unmarked car, dark tinted windows, driver indeterminate. An envelope drops on the street just as I step off the curb, like it slipped from the pile of papers I am carrying. As I approach the car, my coat opens and reveals a gun neatly holstered. I’m on the other side of the car, Dos can’t see the gun. Before he gets to the dropped envelop, we pull away from the curb. The video shows him picking up the envelop, opening it, looking around quickly and stuffing the thousand dollars cash into his pocket.
Two days later, I follow Tres to a bar, I’m in a version of the same all business outfit, sit next to him, nod. He’s chatting me up a mile a minute, I nod, keep an all business demeanor on my face, my Vanity Fair magazine on the bar. I tell him I need to visit the ladies. Before I slide off the stool, I make a comment about the magazine, say there are some great shots of a movie star wearing not much inside. I tap the magazine and leave for the restroom.
It doesn’t take James Bond to figure out he can’t resist a peek. There is money in the magazine. Tres takes it out, counts it and puts it back. I never return to the bar. When I don’t show, he pays the bill, looks around once again to make sure I’m gone and leaves with the magazine rolled up in his hand.
Nikko, “How did these guys live so long? They’re stupider than sashimi.”
Janah giggles, “They kill people, anyone, for any reason. They’re insane. You want them to be reasonable and insane?”
“I mean they must have told each other about the windfall, the story of instant money falling out of the sky.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. Uno didn’t get anything. Just a newspaper. Dos found a dropped envelop. If he says anything, maybe they want him to split it. Tres was hitting on a woman and she dumped him. He’s not likely to brag about it. I suppose he might say he found the magazine with money in it. He’s caught in the same trap as Dos. Better to just shut up.”
Nikko, “I can see that. So they keep it to themselves. Not really anything to brag about anyway.”
“You could just as easily be right. Maybe they do swap stories, then maybe Uno gets suspicious. He’s not going to think about giving a light to Chan. He might wonder about a woman of the same description coincidentally leaving something with money in it, even if one looked like an accident. I think you’re right though, they’re not slick enough to put all that together. Even on the long shot they swap stories.”
Chan, “Now what?”
Janah, “We make more video but make no contact, should be simple enough. Over the next day or two, Chan and Daphne will be seen walking past each target, or in the background behind them. We can swap, Daphne does Uno, Chan the other two. Avoids the chance of being recognized. Then Daphne will cut it all into a movie.”
Which is what we do, it takes two more days, Nikko asks, “What are we doing with the video?”
Janah, “I’ve been thinking that over. While you guys were out filming, I was wondering what’s the best thing to do with it. I called the Society and found out who hires these psychos. I have three names. Our targets do business with the lieutenants face to face, the bosses are invisible, but we know names and where they are.”
“I know your plan, maybe we should clue in Nikko and Chan.”
“We’re going to send a copy, after you turn it into a believable compilation, to one of the people who hires them regularly.”
Nikko, “And let them take care of the problem.”
“Sure. If I was a boss of a criminal enterprise and I got a video that looks like the FBI has recruited informants, I wouldn’t wait to ask them about it.”
Nikko, “And you’d never know what it is they were talking to the Feds about. It might even be you.”
“Even better, Daphne’s going to make it look like the video is an investigation into the boss and his criminal associations.”
I turn the video into a set of suspicious vignettes and burn them onto a single DVD, all with appropriate FBI blather about an ongoing investigation into organized crime in Miami with made up file and code numbers. Informants are named Uno, Dos and Tres, and suggestions they are providing valuable information regarding the operations of blindingly obvious code names for two of the local bosses. One who controls drugs and prostitution, the other who handles extortion, hijacking and odds and ends like arson for hire and labor affairs.
The day after that, Janah, in baggy jeans, red wig, a t-shirt and sandals, speaks to a kid in Spanish, “You are Carlito, yes?”
He eyes her suspiciously, “Maybe.”
Janah, “Well, maybe Carlito, some dude gave me a hundred to give this to Carlito, and another hundred for Carlito to deliver it.”
She holds out a package, he reaches for it.
She pulls it back, “You gotta give it to a dude named Ramon. The Ramon who hangs out at La Casa de Tula, at the table back left. You know Ramon?”
The kid says, “Maybe.”
Janah, “Guy said Ramon gonna be pissed he don’t get the package. I don’t care what you do, but the guy, he look really mean, big dude. Black as night. Said for you to say it was from a friend who wants to see justice done. You got that?”
The kid nods. She gives him the package and the bills, turns and walks back the way she’d come. The kid evaporates in the opposite direction. If nothing happens, Janah will drop off another DVD to the next boss. Sooner or later, something will develop.
Two days later, we’re back in Manhattan. It had only taken one delivery. Uno, Dos and Tres disappeared the day after Janah gave the DVD to the kid. Surveillance said the three didn’t show at their apartments, didn’t hit their hangouts, coffee shops or bars. They were apparently abducted by aliens.
Dr. Epstein, “You did the only thing you could. There will still be punks murdering each other down there. What there won’t be are these three doing torture and murder for fun. You didn’t ask the bosses to kill them, just cast suspicion.”
Janah, “Dr. E, you don’t need to sugar coat it, I gave them the death penalty. It could have been messier. If they got a chance to fight back, more people would have died. If we’d simply gone in and dealt with them ourselves, which I considered, I could have had them crippled to the point of not being able to kill any more. Even used them as examples to warn other punks to be careful about future murders. Neither alternative was good. Either I get my people to torture to incapacity, or I set the Cubans up for others to take them out. I did it this way this time. It’s hard to feel guilty about removing that kind of virus from the planet, so I won’t.”
Dr. Epstein, “How are the others doing?”
“Nikko is probably disappointed, can’t really tell. Daphne and Chan don’t think about it. If I said fix it so they can never kill again, they do it. If I say leave it up to their associates, they do that. Nikko doesn’t stew, it just wasn’t her first choice.”
Have we crossed our own line? We could rationalize, talk about the least risky alternative, or how scummy the guys were, and, let’s be clear, they were the sludge in the sewer line. Janah didn’t ask their employers to murder them, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that they would. Janah claims no absolution, offers no excuse. She set them up for execution and they didn’t have a clue.
She has no illusion that she had done something noble, she did what was necessary. Create an elaborate plan to get them busted guaranteed nothing. Soldiers and police are just legalized criminals, bought as easily as a common politician. If the three had gone to prison, more people get mauled or murdered. They can’t get deported...to where? Cuba won’t take them. We did such a stellar job with Castro over the last fifty years, he ships his criminals to America and doesn’t have a return policy. The least amount of death was for the three to die.
Janah has her own rule. Right is what’s necessary. Wrong is what’s unnecessary. The situation, not intellectualized concepts of good and evil, decides what’s necessary. Everything else is made up social convention. Mostly to keep the poor from murdering the rich. If the rich feel safe, everyone else can get screwed. She doesn’t see things that way. She not only feels no obligation to social convention, she has concluded that, by definition, social convention falls in the unnecessary category.
Is she wrong? Look around, where has social convention gotten the human race? We kill our environment for conveniences, not necessities. We plunder and kill to protect our “national interests.” Public education is a joke, a consequence of greed and massive misappropriation and theft of school budgets; our roads and bridges are crumbling. There is no universal health care, preventative medicine is a privilege of the insured, who still don’t do much of it. Don’t even get me started on the ludicrous “war on drugs,” which merely adds to the death toll, the prison population and the tax waste. What does it take to get people to grasp that, forty plus years into a war on drugs, illegal drugs are higher quality and cheaper than ever? Just how stupid can they be? Don’t answer, it’s too depressing.
Nikko has me in the bedroom, forgetting any frustration she may have by ravishing me every way I could be ravished. I am an expert ravishee.
“Daphne has the most delectable body.”
Janah, “I’ve noticed.”
“Sis and I don’t ever question our good fortune. I got her legs and her looks, genetics is my BFF.”
Nikko, “Except her ability to burn water.”
Janah giggles, “Sis can’t peel an orange. She has CDD, cooking deficit disorder. Fortunately for everyone, it’s not genetic, her twin daughter is an expert.”
Time for food, “The lasagna is almost ready, salad’s ready, there’s Ciabatta, you want wine?
Janah, “Yes, what’s for dessert?”
“Flourless chocolate cookies and vanilla bean ice cream.”
In the kitchen, I’m flipping romaine to get it covered with the Caesar dressing. I sprinkle grated Romano and Parmesan on top and Nikko takes the big bowl to the table. I let the lasagna, still bubbly, rest. I want it to sit for a while so it won’t run all over the place when I cut it.
Meanwhile, we nibble crispy buttered Ciabatta and Caesar salad. An hour later we settle in for a movie, American Gangster, predictable and boring. I clean up, while they have a final glass of wine.
Thirty minutes later, not a creature stirs.
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,
therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
Ecclesiastes 8:1, King James Version
Mrs. Epstein rings, “Can you come over in the next couple of days?”
Janah, “Tomorrow night, we can be at your place around seven, is that good?”
Mrs. Epstein, “See you then.”
“Man, I was getting a breakthrough in qi meditation. We going to travel?”
Janah, “We have tomorrow to continue. Besides, we’ve got the rest of our lives to work on qi, somebody must be hurting or Mrs. E wouldn’t have called. On a different not, I’ve noticed something.”
“I don’t think we’re aging.”
“No, we don’t do photos, so I can’t be sure, but you, Nikko and I haven’t added or lost a pound in two years. We’re all around twenty five, you and I three months apart, Nikko a year younger. Like I said, we don’t do photos, but I have a photographic memory. Apart from minor hairstyle changes, we look exactly like we did two years ago.”
“How do we verify? Can it be verified?”
“I don’t know. Take pictures of us, face, full body shots nude. We’ll add weight, measurements, height, not that we’d grow any at twenty five.”
“Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t think so. I’m telling you, I’ve seen us nude since forever, Nikko for three years. Nothing has changed.”
“Guess we’ll see, I’ll have to think over being an immortal.”
“You might have forever to do it.”
The next evening we’re in Dr. Epstein’s office, “This one’s so weird, I hardly know how to explain it. In short, there are three men in Dallas, we think it’s three, who have decided that the way to “cure’ lesbians is to kidnap and rape them.”
“Woooow, I thought Texas was strange. I was off by several layers of strangeness.”
Dr. Epstein, “It gets stranger. They read Bible verses to them during the rape.”
“Nah-way. You’re joking….you’re not. How lame.”
Janah, “Mormons use God as an excuse for men to marry young girls, Catholics shuffle around pedophile priests to sweep the problem under the rug, which is tacit approval in my eyes. Muslims force raped girls to marry the rapist, there’s no limit to stupidity in the name of God, who is merely a concept convenient to men.”
“Point taken. So, who are they?”
“That’s the problem. We don’t know. It’s not the kind of job Surveillance can help with. Our seniors will look out of place in gay bars. And these guys are cautious. We think they have a two step process. First is to target a girl they see leaving a gay bar. They follow her home. Second, one night as she comes home from work, she’s snatched, According to the girls who have come forward, they’re tied up, the van drives around maybe an hour, during which they’re repeatedly raped, then dumped someplace. Apparently the men have the delusion that once lesbians are taken by a man and hear God’s word, they’ll go straight. Somehow the notion that this only increases a woman’s hostility to both men and religion escapes them entirely. While the act is in progress, they repeat how it’s against God’s will to be queer, how they are redeemed once they’ve been with a man. They don’t rape them violently. All rape is violence, that’s not what I mean. They use lubricated condoms. They are, according to the women, gently penetrated. One woman said she’d been raped before, that this at least wasn’t mean. She was violated, she didn’t sugar coat it. Just that she was never hit or otherwise violently assaulted. When they grab the girl, they chloroform her, there’s almost no struggle.”
Janah, “Something at least, although chloroform is dangerous if they use it too long. The sheer arrogance. Every time I think I’ve heard all the human weirdness, something new shows up.”
Nikko, “What about DNA and blood?”
Dr. Epstein, “Same story every time, bound, legs and arms spread, strapped down with no wiggle room, blindfolded. They put gloves on the women’s hands, despite them being tied, I presume to avoid scratches and DNA traces on her nails. None of them have a clue what the men look like. There’s only general descriptions of body type. None of the guys is fat heavy, none are bodybuilder muscular. No idea of facial hair, no sense of very hairy or bare. Just average guys. Don’t know what the van looks like, don’t have a sense of where they are driven. They actually play gospel music, masks any road noise.”
Nikko, “They read Bible verses, what do they sound like?”
“Good question. It seems like a recording. They guys never say anything, the recording goes through the drill, God wants to save them from eternity in hell, preacher blather. It might be one of them who made the CD, there’s no particular accent. Whoever it is has thought it out.”
I look at Janah, “You and I are thinking the same thing, so, Nikko, can you tell what we’re thinking?”
Nikko, “First thing that popped in my head. Got to let the moms in on this one.”
Janah and I laugh, “It’s too perfect. Do you have any idea what C-mom would do if we didn’t let her be a part of this?”
Nikko, “Do you have any idea what C-mom will do when she catches up to the Jesus rapist?”
The next morning we show up at the condo.
Susan, “What’s going on? You two usually are at the temple by now.”
“Is C-mom moving?”
Susan, “Don’t be ridiculous. She doesn’t get up until Nikko’s gone, at least an hour from now.”
“I’ll make fresh coffee, you have to get her up, we have a proposition for you and we don’t need to tell the story twice.”
The coffee is dripped by the time Chris appears, she takes a cup from me, sits next to Susan at the big table.
Chris, “Nobody died I hope, but if nobody died, why am I getting up this early?”
“It’ll be worth it, drink your coffee.”
I reiterate the story.
Chris, “Good thing you brought me in. If I found out you didn’t, somebody was gonna pay.”
“Kind of what we figured.”
“So when do we leave for Dallas?”
“Tomorrow morning. Can you deal with the school, any other details?”
“Susan can handle it.”
Susan, “No she can’t, she’s going too.”
Chris starts to say something, then catches Susan’s look and thinks better of it. She opts for, “If you get hurt, I’m gonna kill you.”
Susan smiles, “We need to spread out, make ourselves visible. That way we have more women for bait, with someone watching out for the others all the time. I’m thinking that’s Janah’s plan, it would be mine.”
Janah, “Lesbrain thinking. We can hit two bars a night, and alternate. We rent three apartments, one for Chan, two others for us. We don’t get picked up, can’t be going home with someone who lives on another side of town, can’t get her tagged just because she’s with us. We’re all single unattached lezzies out to play. They may use a girl to pick up a girl, there's no evidence of that, we need to consider the possibility. The ones who came forward didn’t report meeting the same mysterious stranger. Two of them said they’d given out their phone numbers, but had talked to the women subsequently, one hooked up, the other swapped a few texts, but the girl moved out of town. Neither had any conversation with the women about churches or God. There’s no reason to believe a female is involved, but I don’t want to assume anything.”
“This could get tedious, we have to hit a gay bar four nights a week and hope someone tries to kidnap one of us.”
Chris, “How many places are there in Dallas? I presume you have something narrowed down.”
“The Society says that all the women have been at one of three bars in the Dallas area, not too far apart.”
Janah, “The most popular is a place called Sue Ellen’s. Then there’s the Round-Up Saloon down the street, which is country western mixed gay and lesbian. The last place is Side 2, also mixed. Only one girl who reported her rape had been there. The problem is, people move from place to place, depending on the night of the week and their mood. Everything is walking distance. There’s no way to tell where the girls were originally spotted.”
Chris, “Any pattern to the days?”
“Varies, most of the women have been picked up on a night the bars aren’t active. They got them entering or exiting their apartments at night, one was abducted from the parking lot at work. It’s a Monday, Tuesday thing. Bars start happening Wednesday through Sunday, like anyplace. I thought we’d do Wednesday night, then skip Thursday, back on the weekend. We dance with other girls, talk, have a drink. If Chris is agreeable, she should be the most aggressive, hit on girls, try and attract attention.”
Susan, “So just another night out for her.”
Chris grins, “Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I don’t notice you with any shortage of dance partners.”
Janah, “Daphne, Nikko and I have a fair number of disguises. You and Sis need to be yourselves, we’ll be different girls on different nights. We can shift around, as long as Daphne and I are split between one group and the other.”
Susan, “You mean if one or two of us move to a different bar, either you or Daphne goes, the other stays.”
Janah, “Yes, it’s easy for us to keep in touch, we can mental. Nikko will go with me. Everyone will have mace, a shrill alarm, any weapons you want to carry, wireless radio and cell phones Chan can track with a GPS monitor. The bars aren’t really the problem. The women have been grabbed near their homes. Any van pulls up for any reason, do what you have to do. We’ll be all over the situation. These guys aren’t used to a struggle. They catch women off guard, stick a rag full of chloroform over their mouths and pull them into the van. This should be simple if we stick to our knitting.”
Chris, “How long do we go at it?’
“If nothing happens in two weeks, we’ll revisit the plan. It’s been a month since the last report came in. We suspect, due to the less physically violent nature and the use of condoms, some women aren’t reporting the rape.”
Chris, “Can’t blame them. They have to endure a pile of police and medical hassle, for a situation they mostly have no clue about. They can’t identify anyone, they risk being turned into victims, at home, at work, with families. If the stories are accurate, there’s no pregnancy problem, limited disease risk. Why add more trouble?”
Janah, “Exactly. My guess is that the five that have been reported are less than half. Of those five, all had the same MO, almost identical. Chloroform, van, three guys, Bible verses, driven around, dropped off near their homes still blindfolded.”
Susan, “Over what time frame?”
“A year. Which sounds like they could wait for months. I’m betting it’s one a month, the first ones weren’t reported, then two in a row, a month apart. Then two months later another report, then another two months, then two more, five weeks apart. The police can’t follow around every woman who goes to a gay bar.”
Chris, “Which brings up another question. We have to go to a job and leave a job to have credibility.”
Janah, “The Society has it covered. Sis has an office as, guess what, a computer consultant, she can do what she does anywhere, but we want her to appear to have an office job. Chris will show up at a vacant desk at an office rental complex. All kinds of people who need office space, share a receptionist, copy equipment, but have their own businesses. You have a computer, a private office. You can read, write your books or watch internet movies, go to lunch, back until quitting time. They don’t abduct the women except when they’re alone on the street. When you’re going home from work, any point from your office to the apartment is when you’re most vulnerable.”
Chris, “What will you guys be doing?”
Janah, “Watching. They have to find a woman, then follow her home. They have to follow her to work, get a feel for her schedule. We’ll have to play as it lays. Which reminds me, they use a van to abduct. That doesn’t mean they use a van to follow the girls to learn where they live and work. In fact, it would be sensible to only use a van for the abduction. We have to watch for anyone tailing any of us. We can’t be sure they haven’t gotten some women on the way home from the clubs, which makes all of us vulnerable. Everybody on high alert from the time we begin until we have these bozos dealt with.”
Nikko, “Little brother has the worst problem. Only straight guy in gay club.”
Janah, “The Society has arranged for him to be a part-time bouncer at all of the clubs. The landlord is cooperating. He leases the space to two of the clubs and knows the owner of the third. Chan can walk in an out at will. The owners want this settled quickly, before business evaporates. Chan may have to toss a few drunks, but he’ll be able to move anywhere in the clubs he needs to. His first job is to keep an eye on you two. His other job is to look for guys who don’t seem to fit. I’ll be doing the same. Looking for signs of guys who don’t seem comfortable, who look disgusted with the scene. We may nail them in advance, then we can stalk the stalkers. Frankly though, I don’t think they actually go into the bars. They just wait until a girl leaves.”
Chris, “Besides the obvious, how do we keep in touch at the clubs?”
Janah, “Everyone will be wired, girls wear your hair down, over your ears, you’ll have an earpiece to cover. Chan will need a watch cap. They’re tiny, slide right in your ear, you wear a transmitter that looks like a necklace. When somebody changes clubs, just say so and word will get spread around to all of us in a few seconds. Just use initials. C is going to Sue Ellen’s, S is going to the restroom, if you move from the main room for any reason, transmit. We all have different first initials. Chan will also track us. The equipment is professional grade, it’s made to work in crowds, buildings over a mile away. We won’t be that far apart.”
Sis, “I feel like Jamie Bond.”
Chris, “After we nail them, then what?’
Janah, “I’ll handle that, they’re going to confession.”
“They’re religious, confession will be good for them.”
Chapter Sixteen IV
Jerry: Kramer, I can't do that. It's illegal.
Kramer: It's not illegal.
Jerry: It's against the law.
Kramer: Well, yeah...
We fly to Dallas collect our rental cars and get situated in apartments. Susan and Chris follow two days later. They pick up prearranged rental cars, drive to duplexes the Society rented. Susan in one, Chris in the one next door. It doesn’t matter that they’re near each other. They aren’t both going to be followed, and they won’t be together at the bars. Chan and Janah will start out following Susan, Nikko and me, Chris. We’ll swap daily.
The first week, nothing happens. We make the rounds Wednesday, then Friday through Sunday. Monday, Susan and Chris go to their offices, out for lunch alone, back to the office, around four thirty back to their apartments. The apartments are well selected, the back doors open to a high boarded fenced area, with adjoining decks. All Susan has to do is go out the back door, and slip into Chris’ place. We’re on one side, Chan on the other. We take alternating shifts watching all night. Although there hadn’t been an abduction directly from a home, we don’t want to assume.
Susan and Chris swap clubs every couple of hours. Puts them on the street more often, more visible to anyone paying attention. Nikko, Janah and I patrol, make polite conversation, dance, sip club soda. Chan wanders between the three bars. Typical bouncer, tight t-shirt, jacket, loose jeans, heavy boots. He looks like a moving refrigerator, people keep their distance. He makes the women more relaxed, the men nervous.
He absorbs a couple of comments by drunk gay men about “feeling like a little Chinese,” and “when I eat Chinese, I’m hungry again an hour later.”
He ignores it, it’s Dallas, hardly the epicenter of international sophistication. One night into week two, four local homophobic clodhoppers come into the Round-Up looking for trouble.
They gang up on two guys dancing together, minor pushing, then the two dancers give up and move to the bar; the foursome follows and the harassment turns nasty. Nikko is a few spots down the bar, Janah is dancing with a sylph like femme, all short skirt and knee socks. Nikko moves down two spots, in a space between two stools. She turns her back to the bar and appears to be simply chilling, taking in the scene, trouble is one barstool away.
‘Fuckin’ queers,” Phobe One says to no one in particular.
“Dick suckers,” Phobe Two adds fresh insight.
The man on the right, slight build, head shaved close and an earring, says, “What’s the problem bruiser, don’t like your dick sucked?’
Phobe One, “Not by no fucking faggot.”
He faces the man, sneers and spits on the floor.
Phobe Three steps in, “Little cocksucker giving out attitude?’
Phobe One, “Yeah, I think he insulted me, I think he even pushed me.”
Phobe Three, “Must want to fight. You want to fight dicklick?”
Earring, “You say dicklick like it’s a bad thing.”
Phobe Two, “Fuckin shits all sound the same, gay talk, trying to be girls, ‘cept they got dicks, minus the balls.”
The Phobes think that’s hilarious and titter, poke each other in the ribs, must be a hick thing.
The second guy, taller, slim, steps to his friend, “Look guys, just chill, okay. We aren’t bothering you, how about I buy you a drink and you move on?’
Phobe Four, “Don’t take no drinks from ass fuckers.”
He shoulders in between the bigger man and Earring. Then he elbows Earring hard in the side.
“Hey, the prick hit me. Let’s go Tommy, this place is losing its appeal,” Earring has a nervous high pitch in his voice.
Phobe Two, “Man, they all got that little fruit whine.”
Tommy tries to push his way past Phobes Three and Four, Earring is behind him. They won’t let them pass.
“You need to leave now,” Chan is behind Three and Four. The other two are to the right, Chan sees Nikko move next to Four.
Phobe Three, the biggest of the lot, turns, he’s a full head and thick neck taller than Chan. He edges six four, thick, gut going to fat, like an ex athlete a few years and a lot of beer out of training.
Phobe Four is a lanky six footer, one and two shorter, not short, one chunky and going to seed, the other wiry and mean looking. It’s Wednesday night, Chan the only bouncer in the bar. The bartender looks at Chan, her eyes go to the phone. Chan shakes his head, he doesn’t want a bunch of cops around potentially scaring off our targets.
Chan indicates the way to the door with his hand, Phobe Three says, “We ain’t leaving China, you sure ain’t doing shit about it either.”
Chan pushes between Three and Four and opens the way for Tommy and Earring to exit, which they do. Phobe Three grabs Earring by the shoulder and raises his fist. Chan drops him with a short shot to the solar plexus. He smashes back against the bar and falls to his knees. Nobody had seen the punch. Phobe Four reacts and reaches for Chan, Nikko taps him on the shoulder. When he turns to look she is staring at him, shaking her head no.
“No, no what, bitch? Mind your Goddamn business, fuckin’ chinks everywhere.”
Nikko sticks her knee in his balls. When he bends over gasping she uses it again to flatten his nose, then crushes his instep with the hard heel of her boot. He howls, holds himself up by leaning on the bar and reaches for her. Nikko lets him grab her upper arm, his final mistake. She rolls her forearm to the back of his elbow. Now the crook of her elbow covers the back of his. She grabs her wrist, twists and snaps his elbow. He stares at the impossible angle of his arm, the pain hits hard, he passes out.
Phobes One and Two get an idea. As usual for them, not a good idea. Rather than helping their friends out of the bar and going home to R&R, they both come after Chan, fists flying.
Phobe One breaks his hand on Chan’s jaw, and Phobe Two sprains his wrist hitting him in the gut. Chan dislocates One’s knee with a simple short side kick. Then he cracks his collarbone with a hammer fist.
Phobe Two tries to tackle Chan into a ground fight. He hits Chan with his shoulder and locks his arms. It’s like tackling a fire hydrant. Nothing moves. He lifts the dweeb by his belt and holds him in the air like a suitcase, throws him across the floor. He yanks two of the Phobes by their shirt collars and hauls them to the door like trash bags.
Phobe Two is standing slowly, the least damaged of the three. He starts for Nikko, the heel of her shoe introduces itself to his chin. His feet fly out from under him, and he’s back on the floor. Blood runs from his mouth, his front teeth are chipped, one tooth dangles from his lip. Chan is back, he walks Two out. He watches until the three slither around the corner. Phobe One is just waking up. Chan drags him to the door, helps him out, face down.
Nikko returns to her spot, sips her club soda blankly while the two girls next to her bubble about how cool she was dealing with the assholes. Nikko ignores them. Chan resumes invisibility drifting though the bar, his eye out for guys who don’t belong, checks to see that the Phobes are gone for good. They all need a doctor, the trip to the ER and recovery will occupy them for the foreseeable, and painful, future.
The rapists we’re looking for would never be so obvious. They aren’t looking to beat up gay men anyway. Chan leaves the bar and walks down to Sue Ellen’s.
Nikko follows Janah out the door, I appear in one of the cars, “I’m following C-mom, hop in.”
I drive them to one of the other cars, Janah gets out and into Chan’s car, Chris comes out of the parking lot, Nikko and I pull out a few car lengths behind her.
Ten minutes later, Susan goes to her car, Chan and Janah follow. There’s no incident going home. No vans, no suspicious anything. Chan and Janah round the block slowly, everyone else in their apartments. Fifteen minutes later, Janah comes in,
“There’s nothing outside, it’s quiet.”
“Sis went to C-mom’s. Chan did most of the work, let him rest. I’ll take the first shift, Nikko or you can relieve me later. It’ll be time to follow the moms to work after that. Let’s get some rest.”
Nearing the end of week two, we went Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, nothing. It’s Saturday night, Janah is dancing with a lanky redhead, taller than me, bumping on six feet.
“If you can tear yourself away from the runway model, Chan has spotted the targets.”
Janah is at Sue Ellen’s, “You’re at the Round-Up?”
“Yep. There’s no great rush. They’ve locked in on Chris. Chan’s watching three guys outside. One is leaning against the wall down the street, the other is just around the corner. There’s a Ford truck, blue, half a block down. Nikko is in one of the cars a block in the other direction, facing the truck”
“How did he spot them?”
“One man was in the bar he hadn’t seen before, older guy, sipping a beer from the end of the bar. He didn’t fit. He was fixated on the women dancing. Chris happened to be busy fondling a very cooperative brunette in tight jeans and a tighter t-shirt. He went outside and is leaning against the truck. Chan left the bar by the rear entrance and picked up on the other two..”
“Where’s Chan exactly?”
“Who knows? He called me, he’s watching from someplace. Likely he went to an upstairs window in one of the buildings, or he’s just blended into the concrete.”
“Get C-mom on the wire, tell her to leave. I’ll connect with Sis and we’ll sit here for a bit. If the truck follows Chris, Nikko and Chan will be on it. They aren’t likely to do anything tonight. If they follow the pattern, they just want to know where she lives. She probably doesn’t need reminding, remind her anyway, they could break the pattern.”
“Chan and Nikko are all over it and Chris isn’t exactly helpless. Chloroform does take a few seconds to act, she might have them in pieces before then.”
The ride home is uninterrupted. The Ford follows Chris; Nikko and Chan follow the Ford. Janah rides with Susan, I follow them.
Nikko is on the phone, “Chan has an idea. We’re going to track these guys to their place. No point in running the risk of something going wrong on our end. We take the offensive.”
Janah, “I like it.”
An hour and a half later, Nikko and Chan are back. Since they know where the three freaks are, there’s no point in not meeting in one apartment. Janah covers the plan. Assuming their Ford is spotted on Monday, Chan and Nikko would tail them tailing Chris to her office. As soon as it’s evident the threesome have the information they want, where Chris works and her likely route home, Janah and I will follow them. They either go home or to wherever they keep the van.
Chris leaves for work, I’m behind her with Nikko, same Ford, only one man in it. He breaks off when she goes to her office, we follow him to his place. I creep up to the side of his house, raised two feet off the ground, wooden frame. I can hear him squeak around, then a phone, he walks to the rear, appears to be the kitchen. I can see the back of his head, he’s on a mobile.
“She works ‘bout two mile from the apartment. Parks round backways, should be nothing to grab her there. Yeah, tonight, need to get the van by three, case she goes home early or somethin’.”
He clicks off, I got all I need and I don’t need to be spotted, slide down the side out past the hedge and back to the car.
“It’s a go for tonight. We just need to hang until he leaves.”
He stays put until quarter to three, then the Ford backs out of his drive. Janah can follow us with the GPS.
It’s a typical pull down metal warehouse door in front, a standard door in the rear. I see Chan and Janah coming down the block, Chris and Susan with them.
I go around back, “The door is covered from inside, blacked out with paint. I can hear them in there.”
“It’s a metal door, they’d have to be yelling for anyone else to hear anything at all.”
“Thanks to the owl, I can tell them apart. They’re moving stuff while they talk, cleaning up and getting things ready.”
“I don’t want them in the van ready to drive out when the door opens. I’m sending Chan to get through the door you’re at and I’m pulling the car in to block the front. When Chan’s got the door busted, use the dart guns and shuriken, take them down quickly. They don’t appear to use weapons, but we don’t know what they keep in there.”
Chris comes along with Chan, “You aren’t having all the fun yourself, it was me they followed, I get my shot.”
A minute later, the three are unconscious on the floor. Dart guns are single shot, I hit one, Nikko the other, the third freezes, then grabs for a wrench. Chris gets to him as his hand closes around it, slams his wrist with the heel of her palm, the wrench clatters to the floor. He takes a swing, typical stupid big haymaker that any decent martial artist loves to see. She closes, the punch bounces harmlessly off her raised left arm, she uppercuts with her right, three sharp jabs, pop, pop, pop to his gut, knee in the face as he doubles over.
She turns to me, “Geez, what a putz.”
We stick two in the van, wrists behind their backs, hog tied to their ankles with picture wire. If they fidget, they slice themselves. Mouths stuffed with rags and taped, black bag over the head. I turn on the radio, find a hip hop station and crank up the volume. With the windows up, the only thing audible is bass thump. The third is tied to a chair, the building dark except for a bright halogen lamp shining in his eyes.
He blinks, asks slowly, “Who are you? Whatcha…want?”
Rapist One is groggy, recovering from the tranquilizer, I clear the remaining fog with an ammonia cap. He pulls a bit, realizes he’s tied. The arm with the needle won’t move at all, he has a little play in his other arm and his legs, enough to let the blood circulate.
“Virgil, you’re Virgil, right?”
Janah speaks through a synthesizer. Her voice sounds like a computer recording, neither male nor female, no accent.
The mechanical voice asks, “What’s your last name, Virgil?”
“Why you wanna know? Who are you? Whatcha want?”
Chris grabs his balls, he isn’t naked, she just has him through his jeans. She squeezes hard. He yelps.
“Jesus help me! Harman, Virgil Harman.”
“Where do you live, Virgil?’
“What? Why you wanna know that?’
Chris puts her hand on his jeans, “Okay, okay,” he gives an address. We already know his address, Janah is just getting him used to answering questions.
She presses the plunger on the needle, more sodium pentothal into Virgil’s vein. She waits. I operate one video recorder, Susan the other. We’re taping him from two different angles. Only his face visible. There would be no chair in the video, no needle, just Virgil’s well lit face.
His eyes are droopy. A smart analyst would see that he’s drugged. Doesn’t matter. Where the video is going will overwhelm any technicalities.
“Virgil, how are you feeling?”
“I’m okay, feel okay, I’m cool, no problems.”
“That’s good Virgil. You’re not being hurt are you?’
“No, not hurt.”
“Where do you work, Virgil?”
Virgil’s face screws up a little. He’s trying to think, wants to dodge the questions, the drug is making it hard. It seems easier to answer. He tells her where he works, married with two kids, member of the First Church of the Resurrection. Janah moves him along slowly, patiently. She leads him believe she is deeply interested in his work for God. She never asks about rape. She simply probes into his beliefs, his life in the church. She adds a little more of the drug, talks some more. Virgil’s becoming chatty with his new pal.
“What does the Lord want you to do for him, Virgil? You don’t seem like a pray once a week Christian. You seem like you take the God’s work seriously.”
“Oh yes, oh yes. Praise Jesus, I’m an agent of the Lord. We do God’s work as He commands.”
“I know you do Virgil. Tell me what you do for the Lord, tell me how you serve Jesus, Virgil.”
Virgil gives it up. All of it. How he and two other guys are showing misguided women that God wants them back in the fold. To be His handmaidens, to love men, have babies, not indulge in perversions and to lay with other women. It is wrong. It is against God and His holy teaching.
“I see that Virgil. I see your holy work. You have helpers in this mission, yes?”
“Yes, two others. We love the Lord. We do His holy work.”
“Who are they Virgil, what are their names?”
“Brother Jared Timpson and Brother Frank Fowler.”
“Jared and Frank do God’s work with you?”
“Since the beginning. Theys been right with me since the start, God bless them.”
Janah slowly probes about the start, places and times. What the women were like, how they chose them, how they followed them, when they raped them. Janah doesn’t say rape. She says when they helped them see the joy of being straight, of not being perverted and sinful. Virgil can’t tell her enough. Most of the time, they didn’t know the women’s names. They knew where they worked, where they lived. They didn’t rob, take their wallets or money. They got them in the van and drove around taking turns. Sometimes they came to the warehouse. There were no witnesses. He talks about condoms, latex gloves, stockings on their heads, no DNA, no meaningful fibers.
“Sounds like they watch a lot of CSI.”
They dropped off the women wrapped in cheap sheets or blankets from thrift stores. Clothes, underwear, everything, was burned. The women were prayed over. It’s bizarre. Virgil believes his story. He thinks he’s helping save women from the torture of hell. I suppose his logic is a little hell now is better than a lot of hell later.
She milks Virgil dry, puts him to sleep. Chan bundles him up and replaces him with our second contestant, Jared Timpson. Janah goes though his story slowly, uses details from Virgil to make Jared believe she knows all about it and is only interested in how Jared sees things. He confirms places and times, minor date changes, essentially the same story as Virgil about who and when. The difference is in attitude. Jared and Frank let Virgil believe they were into saving souls. They didn’t care what he believed. They were into having women tied down and helpless. They like the fear, the tears, the muffled pleas. Virgil kept them from violence, kept them from using them for oral or anal sex. They had to use condoms, which protected them, not just the women, so they went along, sort of.
There is more to Jared and Frank’s story. They used the warehouse to bring women Virgil didn’t know about. Women they ‘had more fun with.’ Janah patiently gets vague details out of Jared. Then Chris does her thing. When Jared quits screaming, he whimpers for a while, becomes significantly more cooperative.
Frank is a wealth of information about when and how. Particularly about the women he and Jared raped and sodomized. How they had to wash the blood off the floor, then in two cases, dispose of bodies. Bodies of women who bled to death right here in the warehouse.
That’s the condensed sanitized version. In fact, getting the details took a long time. She let them ramble, talk about other things, talk about how stupid Virgil is, their jobs, a whole biography. It took the first night, and all the next day and most of the next night. Janah catnapped, then back to her synthesized voice and brought the targets along, step by step. Revisiting details again and again. She did it conversationally, not like a cop probing a suspect, and the men were drugged, exhausted to the point that they simply answered whatever she asked. Persistence. All success in life is due to luck or persistence, often a combo platter of both. Janah and I don't care which, if we don't get lucky, we get persistent.
I have over twelve hours of filmed conversation, half of which implicates all three men, details that nobody could have known unless they were there. In between sessions, Sis and I go over the recordings and edit them into a cohesive story. One that will provide overwhelming evidence against the three. The police won’t see video. Audio would show up in the District Attorney’s e-mail offering minute detail of the rapes, who committed them, where girls were picked up and dropped off, what happened to them while they were in the warehouse, where they worked, where they lived, the names of the men and their motivation, everything. The men would have no alibis for that many occurrences, there were two dozen rapes, and two deaths.
Knowing that, and playing off one against the other, with minute details, the DA would have confessions in no time, just to plea bargain away the death penalty. It’s Texas, they kill people.
Chris, Susan and Chan fly home, the three of us stay to follow the arrests and insure no one is released on bail. When the story hit, three women came forward to testify who didn’t think anyone would believe a story of being raped for Jesus. Two women raped by Frank and Jared and reluctant to come forward because they had no idea who had done it, joined the complaint. The bodies of two women were discovered exactly where the recording said they would be. Despite the usual trail delays, the men will be convicted and sentenced to multiple life terms. There was legal wrangling about how the DA got the information in the first place. The men were arrested in the warehouse on an anonymous tip. They were tied, some evidence of rough treatment. There were vague memories of being drugged, no evidence of any drugs was found, there were no needle marks on them. Janah’s healing evaporated any trace of puncture wounds and most of the bruising. Before we left, we near drowned them in water and Rolaids, masking any common drug testing.
We didn’t go back to the bars. The story was all over the news and Janah saw no point in risking the chance of detectives or the press coming around to interview bar patrons.
The targets could have followed any girl that week. Chris overacting her role as an aggressive lesbian had gotten their attention and the target’s overconfidence in their method did them in. We’ll take whatever part was luck.