Think my friends…


The more I begin to plug in all the holes of this case, the more I return to Hazel’s journal with fresh eyes. There is so much information contained in those pages if one is able to get beyond the protective veil of motherhood. Very careful to couch what could be harmful to young eyes, she was equally as transparent with other details necessary for me to follow. It is almost as though she knew that someday someone with different eyes would understand the shorthand of her intentions. She knew he was murdered and yet she knew nothing of the debauchery of why he was murdered and I cannot think that it may have been a blessing in disguise.

I have a huge project to do for a professor in Psychology and for my subject matter I have chosen the movie, The Vanishing. And it wasn’t until just now that I realized why it affected me so much while watching it. First let me explain the premise of the film.

A man decided to conduct a personal experiment based on an incident in his youth. Curious about his own thought process; he crawled to the outer ledge of the upper balcony of his home and stood there debating if he should jump to the ground below. He kept waiting for some internal safety –mechanism to kick into gear and stop him from doing such a risky stunt. When it did not materialize- he jumped, breaking his arm.

Decades later on a vacation, his daughter spotted a child drowning in a pool beneath their hotel balcony. Without hesitation, he jumped from the two story hotel balcony to save her- crediting his experiment at the age of 15 for his ability to jump without hesitation. His daughter and wife branded him a hero for his courageous behavior. In his mind he had attained the highest reward of his wife and daughter’s admiration. Seeing this as the pinnacle of goodness- saving a life, he then wondered if he was equally capable of the opposite end of the spectrum- the pinnacle of absolute evil-taking a life.

After experimenting with chloroform and testing different approaches of abduction, he decides that his best approach would be by appearing weak and not strong. Mimicking his adolescent injury, he approached a would-be victim as a man with a broken arm seeking assistance. He baits a woman at a local gas station, asking for her help with the glove compartment in his car. After a few moments she becomes suspicious and bolts. When this attempt proves unsuccessful, he goes into the gas station restroom to vomit and reassess his technique. Throwing the fake cast and sling into a garbage can, he vows to derive another more successful approach. Before leaving the station, he stops to buy a cup of coffee for the ride home. While he considers what to do next, he notices a young woman nearby having trouble with a vending machine.
The woman, whose boyfriend is waiting outside in the parking lot for her to use the restroom and get a drink, is trying to get a vending machine to take her crumpled five dollar bill. After the machine spits it back three times, she innocently asks if he has change for a five. He makes the change and as he is counting out the singles, she notices and admires a piece of jewelry on his wrist. She asks where she could buy one; he lies and tells her he is a jewelry salesman and can sell her a sample piece from his car. She follows and becomes suspicious; but seeing a photo of him, his wife and child on vacation together glued to the dashboard, assumes he is an honest family man and lets down her guard.

Minutes later with chloroform in hand he abducts her. Her boyfriend is left in the parking waiting, then begins searching frantically when she does not reappear. The perpetrator spends the next three years watching as her fiancé desperate for information about her, spends his life’s savings on placing ads in newspapers and plastering pictures of her everywhere begging any and everyone to help him find out what happened to her. When the fiancé finally meets another girl and tries to move on; the perpetrator enters the second phase of his experiment. He goes to the young man, produces a personal belonging of the girl and tells him he will tell him everything that happened to his girlfriend… if he will agree to go through everything she did in order to know the truth.

The question there was, would the boy’s obsession to know what had happened to the girl he loved greater than his sense of self preservation? In the end- the young man agreed to the proposal, leaving behind his new relationship- following the same path of abduction and torture in order to know the truth of what had happened to her. Of course there was much more to the film, but I will not spoil it for you.

The end result of the experiment was twofold:

Yes- the man was as capable of absolute evil as he had been of absolute good and the young man’s obsession to know the truth of what had happened, superseded his sense of self –preservation.

I think often of Hazel and how tortured her remaining life must have been. The endless nights spent trading her soul with the devil, pleading to know the truth about what had happened to Charley. Her depression and frustration over never knowing the truth. Never knowing where her marriage might have gone. Never knowing the truth about why he had had not come home… never knowing who he saw in between the time he left her and the two days after when they finally allowed her to view his clothed body in the morgue. Never knowing if G had really placed two wedding rings in his casket… never knowing who was telling her the truth and who was on the take. Suffering insult after injury, home invasions and death threats…and the constant fear that those that killed Charley would come after her and her children if she did not stop asking questions.

Did Hazel’s obsession to know the truth about Charley’s death ever supersede her sense of self preservation or that of her children? According to a story once told J, the possibility loomed. Once on a winter’s night after bundling two small children in heavy coats, the family car careened down a curvy mountain road, late at an alarming rate of speed…. the option to end it all had tempted. But because she chose not to end things that way, it is as much for Hazel that this case be solved as it is for Charley, Rox, the MOT and now possibly another young girl named Jessica.

Like the transcript from R’s first reading with Charley, the journal becomes more revealing the more you know. The cast of characters she concentrated on are more peripheral in the sense that they were obviously part of the cover-up, but perhaps not as intimate with the murders leading up to and after Charley. Their attempt to feign ignorance of it all however flogs me, which is why I see their potential for guilt as greater than Hazel could ever have imagined. No one is that stupid- that greedy perhaps… but not that stupid. Their silence was bought and paid for some deceased and by some now reading these blogs by moonlight. Those few men waking each night now in a cold sweat, changing their pee stained sheets out of fear that they will finally be fingered for their crimes.

In one portion of her journal, Hazel refers to “the other thing that Charley was working on”. She says this in relation to that fateful night. When I go over the events that happened to her after, it only adds fuel to my fire to look more closely at these men. Men like Charley’s partner who we now know lived in the same apartment complex at the young female energy known as Rox. There was the matter of a $10,000.00 advance that was never returned by this man that now begs more questions than answers. Where did this money go to… or to whom and why did his superiors not demand its return? How was all this explained away and why was he suddenly transferred out of state after Charley’s murder?

If Charley was murdered because he knew too much and indeed it has been said that three or four people came to the plate, so to speak and offered to “take him out” as he was presenting a problem… think my dear friends… what constitutes such dire consequences? Each story, regardless of truth or fiction has what we writers call the high conflict; the pivotal moment when the protagonist overcomes some great obstacle or barrier to becoming the hero again and reaching his destined goal. So let us ask the bigger question.

What was Charley’s high conflict?

Was it the alleged affair with G? Is this what he was murdered for? Because G had several men on her pate at the time beyond Charley. All law enforcement men, including the energy known as LT. I now know who that is, but at the time some of the clues did not make sense to me. I misinterpreted them. Think my friends… go back to the beginning. Re-read the first session with R. The energy known as LT was described as the socio-economically older gentlemen who G was ‘double-dipping’ with. In that same session, R described an object related to that entity that was like a judge’s gavel, but not to say it was a judge’s gavel. Well, guess what? It was a judge’s gavel she described and to think it only took another 5 months to find that out through the innocuous ramblings of another man who thought he had little to share. See this is what I love about this process.
As they say in theatre… there are no small parts, only small actors. It is the same for this process… there are no small clues… only clues whose significance is yet to be gleaned.

Until later then…

5 Responses to “Think my friends…”

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