Archive for November, 2010

He will know…

November 30, 2010

It is the beginning of the end…

I also just realized something. Way back in the beginning and several times over I have been remanded that no one who crosses my path will be by accident. I think I just figured out why I met someone months ago on my trip down.

The train cars heading northwest from Valdosta… that must have been the Southern line as the others ran east west. The other clues now make more sense. Something about 14th and Lagrange or 14 blocks from Lagrange… the train… the moonshine… the arrest… the scapegoat…two of them men there; Grim and Mr. Pocket protector. The pay-offs… the connection to to another name I cannot mention now.

I know why I met him now! He will know- he will have the rest of the clue to the puzzle!

Just think about your code…

November 28, 2010


Today is the last day of leisure before I must return to the grind of everyday employment and the chores of daily maintenance. I know that time and time again I have told you that this is a nine year… that the new will begin to replace the old and that the line of continuity will be broken and mended anew with different threads that will bind me to a new future… it will. It has already begun and so now I wait to see where these new threads will take me. I do know that Charley will be present and that he will accompany me on the long path down the backside of the mountain… I just pray that all that has been built will not be lost to trepidation and narrow mindedness.

We began this journey almost a year ago- Charley, R and I, that is. I think back now to that day. So much information came through and I saw only the surface of what had happened. Can you imagine that now a year later I can take you through that night- the before’s and the aft’s and lead you second by second through his murder. Tell you each movement, each obscenity and denial. R told me so many times…

“TA, be aware. There is more… so much more. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Do not think that finding out who killed Charley is where this will all end. There is more.”

What I didn’t know then is that there was Jessica… who tried to commit suicide just weeks before they raped and murdered her. Beat her and then buried her under the __________ being constructed at the place she worked. Then months later, the ring brought in Roxanne. Though this was different. Different because Rox was grim’s girlfriend. But we all know that Grim doesn’t keep people in his life long- except his innocent wife. Poor thing. Younger than the rest, he felt invincible. Why? Because his family had a lawyer tucked in high places. A lawyer he could share things with- a lawyer who would counsel and by law had to keep his yap shut about everything Grim told him. Even if you could call this man a good man- how could you quantify it with all the blood now dripping from  his hands??

They used her- that woman-child. They raped and then strangled her- tossed her in a lake- very close to their __________ and then suggested the winds carried her body there. Idiots- without current, water cannot flow uphill.
What was it R said when I gave her Grim’s call letters???

“Disco lights?? No… wait. Swirling lights- like swirling police lights. Yes- police car lights. They- he is surrounded by water.”

And what else had R seen when I sent her Grim’s real name?

“WOW. Dark. They present Grim Reaper. I have never seen that before. Be aware.”

Look up his true meaning. He is not the act of death- but escorts us to it. And who was it that asked me the question; “Do you know if they ever matched BOTH bullets to the weapon?”

Hmmmmm… but he was not alone in his concerns.  Only one other person ever asked that… the same person who desperately tried to get the crime scene photos removed from a file before I could get to them… the very same person who dogged me with question after question in a parking lot of a Denny’s in Valdosta telling me others sins. This tells me one of several things. Either this second person was in on Charley’s murder from the start, perhaps peripherally involved- or this person is now in league with Grim and trying to feed him information to protect his own hide. Too late…too late. 

In fact, if this person is now following this blog… how terribly frightened you must be, Mr. Pocket protecter.

“How much does she know? How did she find out? Who told her? Can she prove what she’s written here? Was there another? How many? Does he know where ‘IT’ is? Does she? Does she? Does she?”

Paranoia and doubts must course through your mind as a continuous stream of mental diarrhea. How much weight have you lost? How much hair has fallen out from sheer anxiety?

“How can she know? How can she know?”

I can hear your internal dialogue now. “They cannot prosecute on hearsay. She has no real evidence. The bodies are gone. The ________ was destroyed!!! How can she know????”

Again I say to you… the few still alive. Soon you will wish you had gone the way of the shooter.

“Dead is so much easier… don’t you think Grim?” They can’t ask you any questions! Plead the Fifth my dear… plead the Fifth, my dear! Even from the grave-deny! Deny!
Deny if you must- coward. It will not matter… remember the clue from Charley.

“The trail will lead to MOT.”

You say you don’t know what that means, Grim? Sure you do. Just think about your code word: O. S. T. R. I. C. H.

Foolish man, did you really think he would leave them all exactly where he knew you would look first? Did you think he would put Hazel and the children in danger? Funny, how you thought you were the only clever one. But such is the ignorance of youth and ego!

They usually say, “… Don’t sweat the small stuff.” But if I were you, Grim??

I most definitely would!!!!

It is already done!!! Now time to reap what you have sewn…

Don’t you just love the holidays!!!???

November 27, 2010

One moere day and then things will return to normal. Wait! Did I say normal???
No such thing from this point forward. Still waiting to hear what Hazel has to say. Still grilling Charley about the lock box #____________, the woman Elizabeth… the train that goes North and…

And now that I know the answer to the question even bigger than who the shooter was. I completely understand Charley’s greatest clue:

“The trail will lead to MOT”

And I always thought he meant it metaphorically! LOL … silly girl I am. This ought to make the Grim Reaper’s holiday really special! Hope we can get it wrapped before Christmas!
Let’s all sing a new song I learned the other day! It’s a twist on an old favorite.

“…Deck the halls with boughs of… crime scene tape! Fa la la la la… la la la… la!!! Grim, you fool… you’ll never escape… Fa la la la la… la la la la! Don we now our CSI apparel… Fa la la la la… la la la la!!! It’s larger than a shoestring, but smaller than a barrel… Fa la la la la… la la la la!!!

Everybody join in!

Don’t you just love the holidays!!!???

Will you tell them that for me Charley…

November 26, 2010

I do apologize for having not written more yesterday, but the rigors of holiday productions seem to have taken over the day and it was gone before I knew it. None the less, I did not wish for the day to end without reaching out to people who have changed my life this past year. Do not get all maudlin and drool from one cheek or the other…
I simply meant that beyond the traditional familial infrastructures that pay due diligence to our evolution day in and day out- there are others, whose touch, while slight wields great power.

Last night, before the dust of holiday magic settled into the starlight of holiday slumber- I reached out for a brief moment to thank Rachael and Charley both for the gifts they have given me this year. As I have stated before- I am grateful to Charley for saving me from myself. And even more grateful to R for giving Charley back to Julie and my mother and father back to me. Were they lost you might ask? No… not they, but most certainly I.

This morning with faithful husband, canines and coffee by my side I watched a film. Not a great film, mind you… but a really good film that was perhaps necessary in the scheme of things. It is a nine year and very close now to wrapping itself up. The movie was called, “Mother Ghost”. And while cinematically it was fair at best- its message was redemptive. It was about a man whose life was beginning to come apart at the seams. His business- was fine but stagnant, his marriage- ailing- his other familial relationships… distant and ambiguous at best.


Because he had lost his mother the year prior and had not learned how to grieve properly. A phenomenon I whole heartedly understand. In fact, though I literally grieved from generations not my own when my mother passed, it was when my father passed that I truly began to understand just how lost I had been within the wake of her death. He took little note, I am certain as the last years of his life where spent in absolute limbo. My father existed only because his great faith told him he could do little else until my mother would come to call. And so he did… exist and she did eventually come to call. Though none of us were ready for it when it happened; my father had been standing on the gang plank with his suitcases stuffed since the minute they rolled her out of the hospital room where she died.

Did I ever tell you that she died before I could get to Birmingham that day? That my siblings lied to me to keep me from making the four hour trip in two? That I tried to accommodate a stupid realtor who was thirty minutes late in showing my farm that day? That the tardiness of a realtor and the well intentioned lie of a sibling who told me she was resting delayed my departure? Did you know that I arrived exactly thirty one minutes late and that for the rest of my life, I will be exactly thirty one minutes late for everything else? Did I tell you that hers was a beautiful ceremony? Did I tell you that it snowed that late day in March as his coffin made the trip to his final resting place? Or that the only thing that made his death palatable was when they removed the cover of the mausoleum to place his casket inside, I saw my mother’s and knew in that instant- that they were both exactly where they wanted to be…together again?

This film… this B-rated film brought all this back and more.

All this to say, that love alters our perception of everything. Death is a very fickle thing – life even more so. We love people when they are near and afar. When they pass, we miss the tangible touch as much as we cherish the memory of that touch. To feel a breeze as it whispers against our cheeks that we are loved. To marvel at the warmth of the sun as she caresses and hugs us close… to know the biting of the winter winds of regret… and to know that all that is gone in the instant we understand they are never really gone and learn to let them go.

True, it is not Thanksgiving Day; it is the day after and so with all the gratitude I can muster in the face of being a 52 year old orphan, I just wanted to say…

Thank you for always being there for me. For taking the best of you both and sharing that with the cosmos. I hope the cosmos appreciates it as much as I do. Oh… and one other thing before you go mom and dad???

I miss you. I miss your laughter and your discipline. I miss your kind eyes, your devilish grin, your support and your direction, but most of all…
I miss your touch. And while R can give me your impressions and your nostalgic memories of me as a child…she cannot give me what I crave the most.

A warm hand in mine…
A kiss on the cheek…
A tap on the forehead and a hug that warms from within…

I love you…mom and dad.
Will you tell them that for me Charley… when you see them?
Thank you.

Many blessings…

November 26, 2010

Long day… many memories… many blessings.
I count Charley amongst them.
Good night Charley. I will write more tomorrow!

Last night I had a dream…

November 23, 2010

Last night I had a dream. But it was like one of those dreams where you feel you are awake as you are having it. I was writing the Prologue to the book and it began something like this…

“…Slivers of warm breathe escaped from her mouth and hung in the cold air between us. Her eyes, gray like her father’s fixed on the spot just to the right of my foot. The next sixty seconds were going to be crucial. What if it wasn’t there? What if it was?
The latex gloves rubbed and made odd sounds as I pulled them across my skin. I wasn’t crazy about the way they felt, but I had been warned that in order to participate I must follow standard procedure. I waited patiently as others complied, then punched R’s number into my cell. Once the line had been secured, I nodded to the agents beside me. They initiated both the film and photo sequence, recording the first grid. I spoke softly to the psychic medium detective on the other end. She implied I needed to reposition the small hand trowel closer to the left side of the opening, grid #2 and begin my excavation there.
The agent took my lead and with a glorified paint brush, began to sweep small mounds of sandy surface dirt to the side. A few clicks of camera and a constant hum from the video cam kept vigil in the background. I placed the trowel to the earth and moved about an inch of surface fodder away from the grid line. Another round of photos ensued. The videographer motioned that I back away a few inches to allow greater access for the camera. I did. I didn’t care what they asked me to do. I would have painted myself like one of their dime store hookers and danced naked as bait for Grim in the middle of town square if that’s what it took to be there when they pulled it out. Nobody was going to keep me from being present after all I had been through to get there… no one.
I held the trowel up while the agent to my left used the long lashes of the brush again to clear for the next entry. As he did, a section of synthetic tines ran interference with what appeared to be the rusted edge of a can. This was it. It had to be. Charley had promised and had delivered so often I could not even begin to concede of failure to retrieve at this point. Hands shaking, I gave the trowel over to the agent in charge. He took the tip of the trowel and tried to break the clay around the extruding piece. Heart pounding, I realized this was our moment of truth. It had taken 78 weeks of intensive research for me to get this far-, but for Charley and his family-44 years. Together however, it had taken us a lifetime.
I gave R the description of the object- she confirmed and I motioned for the activity to continue. The agent made several gentle stabbing motions at the area surrounding the lip of the can. Fragments of clay shifted and fell away. Another round of clicking broke the silence. I chanced to look up at Julie for just a second. Her breath ragged, she smiled weakly and then returned her gaze to the earth below us.
Larger chunks removed, the brush returned. Long, slow strokes like elephant lashes slowly began to erode away the years and another few inches of the canister was revealed. What color had not been compromised by dirt and rust shown blue under the camera lights. I recognized it immediately. A small inappropriate laugh squeaked from my throat.
“I’ll be damned” I said. No one seemed to catch the segue, but Charley. He knew. He had always known. Two more strokes with the trowel brought the moniker into view and confirmed my guess- Maxwell House. I crossed my fingers, said a silent prayer that their slogan was not in vain. The brush and the trowel worked in tandem for another 7 minutes and then with somber voice, the agent announced the can appeared to be intact and that it clearly showed signs of the possible remains of something inside.
It was there. Now the question was…
What condition was it in?”
(Copyright 2010)

Interested in reading Chapter One yet???

Insert maniacal laugh here…

November 21, 2010


What is it they say… no rest for the weary… or no rest for the wicked?

Anyway, this morning I registered for my next round of classes and fortunately because they are on-line, I was able to push my start date from 1/18/11 to 1/31/11. Now this might not sound like a big deal to anyone else… but if you knew what was about to happen??? If you knew how much writing and research was about to be done… if you knew who was about receive the ____________ and from whom…
Well, you just would fully appreciate what I am NOT saying!
So I will need that extra time for all kinds of trips and events.
Hmmmmmm…. if you only knew, you would be glad for the two extra weeks before cramming the books again! After all, the next course in CCJS should prove beneficial- even if only in hindsight by that point.

What’s it about you ask???

Why Procedure and Procuring Evidence! My, my… won’t that come in real handy soon!!!!!
Have a nice day, Grim!

(Insert maniacal laugh here)
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha h…

Let’s count together …

November 20, 2010


Fresh from my last final exam yesterday, I walked off the campus of UGA and breathed deep. I had worked hard at my studies, worked hard at my job, worked hard at researching for Charley and as I walked across the bustling campus, swirling with both students and leaves I realized that all my hard work this last year was about to begin to pay off.

The last production, despite pitfalls and chaos came together at the end in a beautiful collage of talent, whimsy and fiscal reward for my program. My research has given me a new course in life,; a new understanding of life and provided professional segue to conference calls and meetings with some of the most prestigious agencies in law enforcement. In addition, recent studies in Criminology and Psychology have garnered intimate and peripheral information that will support and guardrail my every adventure from this day forward. And while this may all seem little in the eyes of many… further education was a personal goal I set for myself and at 52, I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of me for not giving up in the face of absolute adversity.

Aside from all the above… I reached out to Charley again, as I have been consumed with studies and productions these many days and felt the thread begin to thin. We go in cycles, he and I. Sometimes I cannot breathe air that has not already passed through his metaphorical lungs and sometimes I feel he has wandered onto another path and I become starved for his oxygen. I made him a promise, that as soon as school was over for the holidays, that I would return my attentions. That if he would mentor, I would follow.

As always… my dear Charley did not let me down. After a brief personal moment of celebration, I headed up stairs to rearrange my desk and put away papers and books to make ready for my next assignment; Charley and the official report. In doing so, I glanced at his photo, announced that I was back and ready to refocus my attentions to helping him move forward… asking if he had anything he wanted to share to jump start the process again.

He did.

A folder that had been under a stack of academic papers caught my attention. It was one of Hazel’s files with old articles and carbon copies of attorney communications. Seeing as this attorney is now a person of interest for me… I slowed my pace and pulled the file from my desk. It was not the first time I had looked at this file, but with hindsight and so much more information than I had had a year ago, I reopened it- popped a stray Halloween Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and set to reading. A few onion papered pages into the file, I found an itemized billing statement. It was most interesting as it listed all the hours of research she (Hazel) was being charged for. And not just the hours… but what he did in those hours. Who he corresponded with, who he interviewed; names, dates, times… all very interesting. It has given me many more names to research, but the most amazing thing of all, is that it gave me the answer to one of my more recent questions for Charley.
Who was Elizabeth?
Do you remember the woman who stood, holding broken glass from a chandelier? A woman whose home was broken into… who had three law enforcement intimidate and threaten her if she did not give the location of, “it”? The big, “it” they all were searching for 44 years ago? The big “it” they assumed Grim later destroyed? The big “it” they were certain was the only one left?

I know who she is now…this Elizabeth. I know her first name and her last name. It has to be her. Why would she be listed in this billing? Why would the attorney have needed to interview her? Why would she be among the list of other names that now tell me more as a group than they ever did individually?

It is her… the woman with the broken glass in her hand. The woman whose home was vandalized by law enforcement as an act of intimidation… the woman who could not give them what they wanted! I know who she is… and I know now why it was so important for them to go after her. The big “it” they were looking for? It wasn’t there. Not in her house… not in her keeping the way they supposed.

Wouldn’t you like to know where it really was… is…was… is? I get so confused these days. Did it get destroyed? Didn’t it? Yes… one did.

The question is… was there just one?
Or two?
Or three… or four… or five?

How many copies did Charley make???
Think, Grim. How many would you have made, knowing what was on it?
Me? I’d have made a million… but then Charley didn’t have that much time in between making copies and getting murdered.

But he did have some time…How long do you think it takes to make one of those?

Here’s another riddle for you:
How many bad guys does it take to make a _________?
How many bad guys does it take to destroy a _________?

Now, times that by 4 and you have your answer!

Let’s count together on our fingers how many that leaves still unaccounted for!

I told you… Charley never disappoints me. Never!

We are approaching the peak…

November 18, 2010

I am taking a momentary break from studying for my finals to tell you… the wheels have finally been set upon their proper course. Patience my dears… After all the hard work and the months of research and listening, we are approaching the peak. It will be a few days- perhaps a week or two before we get there, but trust me- we are on our way! When I get to the top of the hill, I shall let you know. You will most definitely want to hang on tight to your seats. For when we finally tip the scales towards the other side… you will not want to let go!

Count down the days, Grim.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five…………………..

Most of the time I write for…

November 17, 2010

Most of the time I write for, and/or about Charley… about his journey and about the people both immediate and peripheral to his murder. But today for one brief moment, I need to focus a little closer to my life.

In the last few weeks I have been under such tight schedules that one literally had to schedule in breathing time. Productions at work, school projects and classes… work on this blog and research for Charley. Still in the throes of study and finals, I am hard-pressed to claim even this moment as right to squander. I have given children away this year in marriage and in love, lost friends and colleagues to greener pastures or grayer dispositions… seen gaps increase and decrease between where I am and where I am meant to be. While I accept that this is a 9 year, now fast approaching its end and understand that all things that have terminated have and will morph into voids as a way to propagate the fertility of new beginnings… I simply felt the need today to pause and mourn the loss.

One leaf… one thought… one leaf… one person… one leaf… one experience… one leaf… one adventure… one leaf… one loss at a time…gone.

This year has been plagued by separations, disappointments, opportunities and colossus change- but it has also generated incalculable potential for rebirth. Each day a battlefield of unending challenges and retreats, has buried parts of me as it has allowed other parts to blossom. Bridges that had been built to stand the test of time, have fallen prey to unauthorized decay and yet I divine that the path on the other side must still be reached by digging deep for new foundations and reconstructing new ones. For even when you lose something which is better given away than kept, there is a keen sense of loss that that still registers across the heart. Each damp wind, like a new experience tests our resolve. Should we cling to that which has brought us this far… or do we adjust to the seasons in our lives with grace and humility? Do we allow the approaching winter winds to teach us to stand stark and alone for a time, that we might retreat to our core and center ourselves? To build from within and brace against the cold so that later when the warmth of opportunity returns we might find a new sense of appreciation and gratitude for the time to mend, heal and solidify the image of self?

And do we really have option to do otherwise?

Like the small maple tree that stands outside my office window, now barren but for 7 turning leaves that cling desperately to its young mast… I too must learn to stretch my fledgling limbs to the autumn sky and graciously allow those leaves meant for greater deeds than I can provide vehicle for… those leaves who still cling to me, or those leaves to which I still cling… to separate and fall away as providence demands and embrace the new blush of another impending season.

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