March 20, 2009

A victim thinks back

  The first responder at a crime scene is usually in a hurry. As the deputy steps out of his patrol car the sergeant barks over the radio: “Get a move on it, 220, we’re backed up on calls. Get back in service ASAP.”
  By the time 220 (the deputy) gets to actually speak to the victim, he’s already behind with two more calls pending. The victim, Mrs. Rawl, is upset over the theft of several rings and a necklace that’ve been in her family for three generations. The deputy takes notes for his report, returns to his patrol car and heads back in service.
  Later, Mrs. Rawl is interviewed by a detective -- the cop we call “Bulldog” because once he sinks his teeth into a case he won’t let go until it’s cleared. Mrs. Rawl tells the detective what happened and answers a few questions.   Bulldog’s job is to find out what truly happened. To do this Dog lends a doubtful ear to everybody he talks to. Like many other victims, Mrs. Rawl thinks the detective doesn’t really believe her story.
  Weeks go by with no resolution to the heirloom jewelry case until one day Becky, a sheriff’s Victim Advocate, calls Mrs. Rawl to see how she’s getting along. From the victim’s vantage point, the Victim’s Advocate often seems to be the only caring person during a painful ordeal. Although resigned to the loss of her heirlooms, Mrs. Rawl, at Becky’s urging, thinks back to the day of the theft.
  “Now that you mention it,” says Mrs. Rawl, “the day my jewelry went missing was the day I had my dining room painted.”
  “Every time the painter went out to his truck, he’d stop for a second and look straight into my bedroom. That’s where I kept my jewelry. Maybe it was nothing, but that painter made me nervous.”
  Becky thanks Mrs. Rawl and then passes the information along to Bulldog, who recognizes the painter’s name from a prior case.
  The detective drives out to the painter’s house and finds him in the garage cleaning brushes. When the suspect sees Dog peering at him from the doorway, he walks over with his wrists outstretched. “I knowed you was comin’...what took ya so long?”

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