Friday, June 19, 2009

Homicide - Hussey: Dead Turkeys Don't Fly Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1, you'll need to scroll down and read it before this one.

I guess I still didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation. As I got out of the car, I could hear yelling and crying from the inside of one of the disheveled trailers. As I got still closer, I noticed that on a direct trajectory from the inside of the small mobile home’s kitchen and on a line with the broiler pan and the turkey, the window had been broken out.

When I looked inside the open door, I saw a familiar scene. Inside the one room camper were three people. The man, a white male with a bushy beard clothed in filthy shorts and no shirt, covered with tattoos, was standing over a thin cowering female. The woman was obviously afraid of the man and had what appeared to be a red mark on her face. The two children, a girl and a boy, around five or six years old, were also filthy. They sat clinging to each other in a corner, crying softly.

Now this was back in the days before domestic violence was a serious crime. I had seen this a hundred times. You would ask the woman if she would be willing to press charges. The answer would inevitably be, "No, I just want him to leave for a little while."

We would explain that we would ask him to leave, and if he was willing, there was no problem.. If not, we were unable to make him leave his residence. Many times we would leave without the situation being resolved, and would return later to a tragic situation.

The state has now in its infinite wisdom overreacted as usual, and taken the discretion away from the officer. At present, if there is any complaint or evidence of domestic violence, including threats, the accused gets arrested and must stay in jail for 24 hours without the benefit of a bond. So what happens, is the guy stews for twenty-four hours, comes back, really pissed off and either beats his wife some more or kills her.

My backup arrived and I took the 'gentleman' aside, and the other officer began talking to the lady and the children. In domestic situations, you really have to be careful. Procedure is that you separate the combatants as soon as possible. Many an officer has been seriously hurt or killed while handling domestic complaints.

"What seems to be the problem here?" I asked the irate drunk.

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"I’m sicka her bitchin,’' he yelled.

"Lower your voice, I’m not deaf." I spoke softly. It seemed to calm him for the moment.

"I work my ass off every day, I bring home the money, and she pisses and moans when I wanna have a couple a’ beers on the weekends." From the looks of the bags of tin cans sitting near the residence, a couple was a conservative estimate. I knew there was no working out this argument.

Many of the working class thought it was either their God-given right or written in the United States constitution that "If thou works hard during the week, thou shalt get pissy drunk on the weekends."

"What happened here today?" I asked.

"Well, she was saying how there’s never any food in the house, but I can afford to drink beer."

A sound argument.

"So I ask her what the fuck she thinks that is cooking in the oven," as he pointed to the half-eaten dog feast.

"Okay, let me get this straight. You grabbed the turkey—"

"Yeah and burned my Goddamn hand!" He extended a red left palm.

"And threw it out the kitchen window."

He nodded.

"Holy shit!" I screamed. The turkey smelled good and I was getting hungry. "Now what in hell are you going to eat for Thanksgiving dinner?"

"I dunno," he mumbled looking down toward the ground.

"I guess you really showed her, you rocket scientist. Stay here."

I walked back to the trailer and talked to the backup officer. The man’s wife was softly crying. "I don’t suppose she wants to press charges?" I asked.

Before he could answer, the husband yelled from the yard, "I’m sorry, baby," and was now crying himself.

"Ain’t love grand?" I thought. "Ma'am, what are you going to feed these babies?" I asked.

"I don’t know," she whispered.

It seemed to be the standard answer. Nobody knew, let’s call the cops, they’ll know. I pulled my partner aside and asked him if he had any cash.

"A little," he said.

"You got ten?"

"Yeah." He opened his wallet and handed it over.

I also retrieved a ten dollar bill from my pocket and handed the twenty dollars over to the woman. "Look, take these kids to Denny’s or Morrison's or somewhere and get them a Thanksgiving dinner. And don’t let him drive." The lady nodded and took the money.

After getting a promise that the guy would behave, and seeing the two combatants in a tender embrace (beautiful), we left. I knew I would be back here again, maybe even before the day was over.

My Thanksgiving dinner was great, with no food being thrown whatsoever.


Anonymous said...

I love these stories!

Mike Bergey

Terry Odell said...

Hi, Mike. I love them too! I'm grateful to Mark Hussey for letting me share them.

Unknown said...

I hope the kids got a good Thanksgiving dinner!

Donna said...

Bittersweet ending. The kids got dinner that night, but how many nights did they go without. The wife had a choice, to stay or get out of the situation, but the kids were stuck. Seems to me there's two vilians here, a husband and wife tag team. For the sake of the kids, the wife should have walked. Real life is not only stranger than fiction, sometimes it's sadder. Thanks for sharing this story. Donna

Terry Odell said...

Donna -- yes, real life isn't all that simple.

Anonymous said...

I worked domestic violence for five years befor going to homicide. I helped or attempted to hel[ many women get away from abusive, stalking husbands and get kids into sheelters. 9 times out of ten they would return to the abuse. In a lot of ways the homicide squad is easier. It's final and I can finish it for good instead of wathing the repeated cycle. Thanks for reading.

Detective Mark Hussey

Carly Carson said...

I love your blogs with the Detective. Even though I'm sometimes way behind. Tell him thanks! (And for the sometimes thankless police work, as well.)


Terry Odell said...

Carly, thanks -- the beauty of blogs is that they don't disappear right away. Glad you stopped by, and hope you'll keep coming back. Detective Hussey does check, and he's always glad to know people are reading.

Liana Laverentz said...

I love his stories, too, and I'm here reading today when I should be writing!