Sunday, June 13, 2010
Back When Nothing Was Lurking In The Shadows.
In the quaint quiet New England town of my childhood, the town library was a mile or so from my house.
Once a week, Mom would put me on the bus with a note telling the driver that it was OK to drop my sister and me off at the library on the way home.
My sister and I would spend an hour there and walk ourselves home. Because 25 years ago it was safe for two elementary school children to do so.
Sometimes we'd stop at the drugstore and load up on candy, from the little nickle bins.
Sometimes we'd cross the street and run around the graveyard. It was hilly and shady and very pretty. A little pond there with a bench. We'd play hide and seek. We'd read the head stones, trying to find the oldest one. We'd try to scare the shit out of each other.
One afternoon, about halfway home, about halfway up the big hill, at the end of a dead end road, there was a car parked. A circa early 80's sedan. I think it was brown. Just sitting. With a man, just sitting. We slowed as we approached. My sister froze;
"He has his thing out of his pants."
We ran like the wind up the hill, cut through a neighbor's yard to get to our house that much faster.
Eight years later, a 13 year old girl went missing. Behind her house was that same graveyard that I'd played in as a child. The last time she was seen, she'd gone out to visit her father's grave; he'd died only a year before.
For eleven days our little town held its breath. Dozens and dozens of people out searching. Just about every tree bore a pink ribbon for the lost girl.
After eleven days the police got a call from a woman who suspected her husband, she told the police;
The girl had been killed in his garage and buried in the basement.
By her neighbor.
He'd plucked her from her father's grave site.
Her funeral was held just a few doors down from where the girl lived, and where she died. On a street littered with churches. The Baptist and the Unitarian crisp white, the Catholic and the Greek Orthodox red brick. And a few others. Also a funeral home, set back a bit, amongst the churches.
A lovely street, tree lined, big Colonial homes, sidewalks, sidestreets.
Her murderer attempted a plea at insanity but was sentenced to around 150 years. The judge wanted him hanged in the center of town,
For killing this girl. And raping another. And possibly killing another.
And for following school buses and sitting in his car masturbating while he watched little children run past.