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Sunshine Injection, Chapter 4

by Charles Boyd 3 months ago in capital punishment
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Raw Chicken And Gators Make For Distress And Duress

Content warning: this story contains direct depictions of racism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry, as well as various forms of police violence/misconduct. In this capacity, for the purpose of realism, it includes certain villains using slurs against various groups. It also contains references to incidents "off-page" that involve pedophilia, other abuse of children, and torturing of animals. There is also a level of profanity similar to a typical R-rated film. Reader discretion, especially for readers under 17, is advised.

Note: It is highly recommended that everyone read the previous chapters before reading this one.

“Hey, how’d it go in there?” Bert asked when he arrived at the funeral home to pick up Ned.

“I got to talk to Evans’s daughter for a minute, but we got interrupted by his widow. Then, Smathers showed up and told me to leave, so I’m guessing he was the one who clued the widow in that I was a detective.”

“He’s definitely hidin’ somethin’. Doesn’t automatically mean Johnoche was innocent, but it does mean there’s somethin’ he doesn’t want us to uncover.”

“He knows I’m working with you, by the way,”

“What?”

“Yeah, he said he knew who I was and that I was working with you. He or the TPD must have someone trailing us.”

“Well, they’re the local police, it can’t be hard,”

“He was trying to demand I leave the city. When I told him he had no authority to do that, he didn’t take it well.”

Bert laughed. “I bet not. Bullies don’t like being stood up to.”

“He told me to watch myself,”

“This isn’t ideal. I hoped we could avoid havin’ the TPD figure out we were pokin’ around for as long as possible, but given how much I stand out, that was probably always gonna be a longshot. They probably have plainclothes cops followin’ us right now. Hey, did you get to talk to anyone else there?”

“I got to talk very briefly to Evans’s widow, but she told me absolutely nothing useful, and I think she was suspicious of me even before Smathers got to her. I also came across this elderly retired judge and his in-home caregiver, but the judge was way too senile for me to have asked him anything.”

“Wait, what was the judge’s name?”

“Dick Dickson,”

Bert’s jaw dropped. “Dickson was the judge in both the racial profilin’ case I investigated and the Johnoche trial. It sucks he’s too senile to answer any questions for this case.” He paused. “Are you sure he’s too senile?”

“He seemed to not understand that Evans had shot himself, and he was asking what was wrong with Evans’s face. His caregiver was basically acting like it was pointless to try to reason with him.”

Bert looked like he was trying to suppress a laugh. With a guilty expression on his face, he said, “Yeah, that’s pretty senile. He’s probably a dead end for our investigation.”

“Let’s get in touch with Kailey, Cameron’s older sister,”

“Good idea. Let’s head back to your grandparents’ place first, though. There’s no law against sittin’ in a car in the parkin’ lot of a funeral home callin’ people, but the last thing we want is for Smathers to see us and try to come up with some pretext for an arrest.”

Rebecca was feeding Harry when they arrived, while Albert and Shirley were making dinner. “Hey, Bert, do you want us to make you some dinner too? We’re having meatloaf.”

“Sure!” Bert said, happily, rubbing his generous stomach. Ned thought he saw Albert wince for a brief moment. After everyone had exchanged greetings, and Ned had given his son a kiss on the forehead and scratched his furkid’s belly, he and Bert went into another room to call Kailey. Bert dialed the number, putting his cellphone on speaker, while Ned sat in a chair with a legal pad. A woman’s voice answered. “Hello, Kailey Hausman speaking,”

“This is Bert Jarvis, I’m a private investigator, and I’m here with a colleague of mine named Ned Cheney. Your parents gave us your number, and we hoped you could answer some questions for us. Questions about the murder of your brother, Cameron.”

There was a long silence on the other end before Kailey replied, “That case was closed thirteen years ago. What are you trying to ask me about?”

“Well, there’s no easy way to say this, but we think there’s a possibility that the government prosecuted and executed the wrong person for Cameron’s murder. We don’t know for sure yet, but we’re tryin’ to get to the bottom of it. Can you answer some questions for us? It would be a big help in gettin’ to the bottom of this.”

Kailey hesitated again, then said, “Sure. What exactly do you want to know?”

“First off,” Bert asked. “Can you talk about the last time you saw Cameron?”

“Well, I was doing my homework, and he was playing outside. I knew he was going to go outside while I went upstairs, so I told him not to leave the property, and he said he wouldn’t. Johnoche was working out there, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. He hadn’t given us any reason, at least not any I could see at that point, to think he was dangerous. I couldn’t see Cam from my room, so I never saw what happened to him. But then, my parents came home, and a few minutes later, they ran into my room asking me if I’d seen Cam. They were clearly really worried, and I think they knew something terrible had happened. I told them I hadn’t seen him since he went outside. I asked if they’d talked to the stonemason in the yard to ask if he’d seen Cam. They said he was gone too. That’s when I started to think maybe he’d taken Cam.”

“Even though Johnoche hadn’t seemed suspicious up to that point?”

“Well, yeah. When your brother disappears, and the man working in the yard that you don’t know very well disappears at the same time, you start to wonder if those two disappearances are related. That’s especially true given that Johnoche obviously wasn’t kidnapped or murdered. He showed up two days later acting like he was just going to keep working on our property.”

“He showed up two days later?” Bert asked. That doesn’t seem like what you’d do if you’d just killed one of the people who lived in the house.

“Yep. And it was also suspicious to me that the day Cam went missing, Johnoche left before three in the afternoon when a bunch of his work wasn’t finished.”

“Did he say why left?”

“He said his grandma had had a medical emergency, and he needed to go to see her. Under normal circumstances, we’d have probably bought that, but by the time he showed back up, we were already getting suspicious.”

With Bert asking Kailey the questions, Ned had begun Googling Bridget, Kyle, and Kailey Hausman. He felt guilty about it, as he had when he had felt excited about coming across Claude Evans’s daughter at the funeral home. But he had heard of too many cases in which people, including children, were killed by family members not to at least consider the possibility that one of Cameron’s parents or his sister had murdered him. If, God forbid, one of them did do it, they may have some criminal record. While nothing turned up for Bridget or Kyle, he quickly saw headlines for several articles about violent crimes committed by a woman named Kailey Hausman in Tampa and Orlando. The first article headline read: Tampa Woman Accused of Repeatedly Hitting Child At Daycare Center. Clicking on the article and taking a quick glance at it, he saw that the woman was identified as Kailey Hausman. He also noticed that she was mentioned as being twenty-one years old and that the article was from 2009, which would have matched the age of the woman Bert was talking to now. Trying to skim for details, he read one bit of text that stated, “According to the plaintiff, Hausman struck her four year-old daughter in the face with closed fist punches a total of six times.” Ned felt sick to his stomach. He tapped Bert on the shoulder and pointed to the text. Bert’s eyes bulged, and he held up a finger, signaling to Ned that he would try to find a way to ask her about these allegations. Ned began looking at the other articles as Bert continued asking questions.

“Was there ever any point that you suspected anybody else besides Johnoche of the murder?”

“No, but my parents had another suspect, which I’m guessing they told you about.”

I knew there was something they weren’t telling us! Ned thought.

“No, they never mentioned anything about that,” Bert said. “They specifically said there was never anybody else they thought might have done it.”

“Ah, fuck,” muttered Kailey.

“Come again?” Bert asked.

“I assumed you knew. The assholes thought I might have done it. I didn’t, of course. I would have never killed my own brother, but before Johnoche confessed, Mom and Dad thought it was a possibility.”

“I’m sorry, but why?” questioned Ned.

“Look, I don’t know what kind of squeaky clean image they put on for you, but Mom and Dad didn’t spare the rod when we were growing up. And I’m not talking about a light smack on the butt when we misbehaved, either. One time, I accidentally spilled juice on the carpet, and Mom gave me a black eye with a punch to the face. Another time, Cam forgot to take out the trash and Dad hit him on the butt with a belt until he bled even though Cam tried to apologize.”

Looks like the apple didn’t fall far from the tree! Ned thought in horror.

“Oh my Lord, I’m sorry to hear that,” Bert said.

“As you might guess, I developed a lot of issues being raised by them. I got a real violent streak. Since I couldn’t exactly beat up my parents, I started beating up Cameron. It’s something I’m very ashamed of, but it’s what I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life.”

“Thanks for being honest,” Bert said, a clear look of revulsion on his face. “I’ve got to ask: what’s the most serious injury he ever got from you?”

“I gave him a concussion when he was ten. But I swear to God, I didn’t kill him. Maybe I am a monster, but I’m not a murderer.”

“I hate to have to ask this, but is it possible one of your parents killed him?” Ned asked.

“At the time, I didn’t think it was possible. Maybe I was just naïve. The thing is, he wasn’t Mom’s biological son. I’ve never breathed a word about that to anyone, it was supposed to stay in the family, but I feel like at this point, it probably needs to be mentioned. Dad had an affair with a cocktail waitress in Fort Lauderdale, and she was too drugged up to take care of the baby, so he and Mom got stuck doing it. I think on some level, they loved him, but they also both resented him. Mom resented him, because he was a living reminder of the affair. Dad resented him because the affair and the pregnancy caused a bunch of fighting between the two of them.”

Bert motioned for Ned to hand him the computer, then said, “I’ve got to ask: there are several articles about you bein’ accused o’ various violent crimes. Just looking at the stuff that’s come up from a quick Google search, you’ve been accused of punching a young kid at a daycare center repeatedly, throwing a plastic thermos at a seventy-five year old woman’s head during a road rage incident, and running over a guy’s foot with your car. Are these accusations true?”

“Yeah, yeah, like I said, I picked up a real violent streak from my parents, and I spent a lot of my early and mid-twenties wasted. Literally and figuratively. I did three years in prison. But I’ve never killed anyone.”

“Is there any possibility one of your parents came back to the house earlier than you thought and killed Cameron without being noticed?” Ned asked.

“I guess it’s possible,” Kailey said. “I wasn’t paying attention to anything going on outside until they told me they were back and didn’t see Cameron. They may have also hired someone to kill him. My parents’ financial situation isn’t great these days, but my Dad works in real estate, and back before the recession, he had a lot more money than he does now. Also, before you judge me too harshly for what I’ve done, there’s something else you should know. I got molested as a kid. Our priest touched me several times. I’m not trying to make excuses, but honestly, I don’t think I ever had a chance to be normal with the way I grew up.”

It’s impossible not to feel sorry for her. She’s a severely damaged individual. Ned thought. He could see the mental gears in Bert’s head shifting. “Wait a second, you were molested by a priest? Is it possible Cameron was too?”

“It wouldn’t surprise me. I probably should have asked him, but at the time, I was kind of wrapped up in my own problems.”

“Can you give me his name?”

“There’s nothing you can do. The Catholic Church goes out of its way to protect guys like that, I’m not going to testify against him, and the statute of limitations is expired anyway.”

“I still need the name! He’s a possible suspect, for fuck’s sake. If he did molest your brother, he had a motive to murder him!” Bert was quiet briefly before adding, “I’m sorry for raisin’ my voice. I can’t imagine what it was like goin’ through all that. But please, I really need the name.”

“Fritz Carpenter. I don’t know if he’s still working in Tampa or even if he’s still a priest.”

“Thanks. We’ll call back if we have any other questions, but hopefully we won’t have to bother you again.”

Unless she’s the killer, Ned thought.

“Oh, one other thing,” Kailey said. “There’s a cop you might want to get in touch with. Not in the TPD, in the Seminole Police. His name is Simon Concharty. Like Carpenter, I don’t know if he’s still in that line of work, but in 2002, he was a detective in that department. He clearly never thought Johnoche did it, and he tried to talk to us a couple times, but Mom and Dad refused to cooperate. Since he had no jurisdiction off the res, there was nothing he could do to get them to talk to him. But if he’s still alive, and you can track him down, he might be able to help you guys.”

“We really appreciate that. We’ll try to get in touch with him.”

Once he had hug up the phone, Bert exhaled. “That was a lot. If half the shit she said is true, the Hausmans were one fucked up family, and all three of the living family members are suspects!”

“Yep. Plus, we’ve got another suspect, the alleged pedophile priest.”

“We need to talk to the priest, possibly talk to the parents again, and see if we can get in touch with that cop. And we need to try to find the person who was the county coroner in 2002. Somehow, we’ve gotta figure out why the coroner’s report was changed in a way that strengthened the prosecution’s case.”

Ned Googled “Father Fritz Carpenter.” Quickly, a page for the St. Francis Catholic Church came up. Clicking on it, Ned saw that the church was located in Tampa and that a man named Fritz Carpenter was listed as the priest. “Wow, if he really is a pedophile, they didn’t even transfer him to another parish,” Bert said.

“Either that, or they transferred him and then brought him back once the furor died down.”

Next, Ned Googled “Detective Simon Concharty Seminole Police Department” and quickly found a recent article about a detective from the department’s Criminal Investigations Unit with that name. “Who do you think we should contact first?” Ned asked Bert.

“Let’s go with Concharty. We might as well have all the help we can get for the next phase o’ this investigation.”

That night, Bert ate two large helpings of everything at dinner. This time, Albert and Shirley had been very careful to have a metal chair set up at the table, and Hermione, who had perhaps sensed that Bert was partial to Great Pyrenees, sat by his feet. “So how’s the case going?” Albert asked.

“It’s been interesting for sure,” Ned said. “I ran into the other detective, Holland Smathers, who was investigating the case at the funeral of the other detective.”

“Wait, what?” Rebecca asked. “How did that go?”

“He tried to intimidate me into leaving Tampa,” Ned said.

“You need to be careful,” said Shirley. “If that cop really did beat a confession out of an innocent man and send him to his death, he’s very dangerous. Not somebody you want to mess around with.”

“I agree he’s dangerous, but unfortunately, not messing with him really isn’t an option at this point. I think I’m kind of in his crosshairs now. But this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with dangerous people, it’s something that comes with the territory.”

“You’ve never dealt with a cop like this before, though,” warned Albert. “They’ve got the government behind them, that’s a whole different kind of threat.”

“True, but I dealt with a D.A. trying to have his mistress killied in New York,”

“Oh yeah, that was crazy,” Rebecca said. “We were setting up a sting, we thought he might have been behind the murder of the mayor, and then it turned out he was trying to arrange a completely unrelated murder! Of course, that time, we had a recording of that guy committing a crime, so we were able to immediately get him arrested. Right now, Smathers is still walking around with a badge.”

“It’s a new day,” Bert opined. “Bad cops are getting exposed more and more. If he tries to hurt Ned, we’ll expose him and deep six his pension.”

“I don’t think it’s that simple,” Shirley said. “Look at the Eric Garner case last year. Now, that was in New York City. Relatively speaking, that town is less racist than most of the country. But there was a video of a guy getting choked to death when he wasn’t doing anything violent, and the grand jury didn’t indict any of the officers involved. They weren’t even fired.”

The conversation was interrupted by Harry beginning to cry in his high chair. Hermione stood up, walked over, and licked Harry’s right foot. “She loves that baby,” Albert said with a smile.

“Yeah, she’s loved him to death ever since we brought him home from the hospital,” Rebecca said. “We think maybe it’s because they’re both named for Harry Potter characters.”

Ned picked up his son and began rocking the baby back and forth until Harry stopped crying. “I think he missed you today,” said Rebecca, smiling.

After dinner, Bert asked, “Hey, Ned, Rebecca, you guys mind if I hold Harry? Promise I’ll be really careful,”

“Yeah, sure,” Rebecca said, handing Harry to Bert. As Bert held the baby, Ned noticed that the giant’s hand was as large as Harry’s head. Luckily, Harry did not seem to mind being held by a new person, and Bert began to bounce him on his enormous right knee while carefully holding onto him. Harry giggled and smiled at Bert. “Let’s relocate to the living room,” suggested Albert. Everyone else followed him in, Bert continuing to carry Harry. Baby in tow, Bert sat down in a recliner, and Ned promptly heard the sound of springs breaking. As the chair collapsed, Bert managed to hold Harry, preventing the infant from being hurt. However, Harry began screaming. “Damnit, sorry!” Bert said, trying to sit up while continuing to hold onto Harry.

“Let me take him while you get up,” said Ned. Bert handed Ned his son back, then pulled himself back up. “I’m okay,” he said. “Sorry about the chair, though.”

Shirley laughed and shook her head. “It’s alright, we should have told you to sit on the sofa.”

“Why did you leave the Hausmans’ residence before finishing your work?” Smathers asked, pacing the floor. He and Evans had been questioning Johnoche for nine hours now.

“My grandma had a heart attack. I got a call on my cellphone about it, and I rushed back to the reservation. There’s at least eight family members who can vouch for me on that, plus the doctor and nurses.”

“And you just happened to leave right when Cameron Hausman went missing? And by sheer coincidence, your hammer, the exact same kind of hammer that was used for the murder, got broken?”

“Yes! I’m telling you exactly what happened! And I was at the reservation all the next day. There’s been a bunch of family members who can back me up on that too.”

“Here’s the reality. Your family is going to say anything to save your skin. Doctors and nurses who work on the reservation are either Indians themselves or white people with a guilt complex, so they’ll lie to protect you too. That’s what we think, and that’s what a jury’s going to think. You know, you’ll be lucky to get even one Indian on that jury.”

“I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what a jury thinks, I didn’t do this!”

Smathers drilled Johnoche with a punch to the face that sent him falling to the floor. Smathers had been a Division 1 All-American wrestler and begun training in Muay Thai twelve years ago, making him a highly dangerous unarmed combatant. Johnoche got up and instinctively lunched at the cop, who quickly caught him in a headlock and executed a takedown. On the floor, Smathers rained several elbows down on the suspect’s head, then stood up, placed his right foot on Johnoche’s throat and began putting his weight down on it. “This can all be over now! Just confess to murdering Cameron Hausman!” He lifted the foot off of Johnoche’s throat. “I—didn’t—kill him!” Johnoche gasped. Smathers kicked him in the ribs several times, then pressed down on his throat again. “Stop it!” exclaimed Evans in a panic. “You’re going to kill him.” Smathers ignored him and kept bearing down. Evans tried to pull him off, but Smathers shoved him backwards so hard he landed sprawled across the table. Evans stood up and stared in horror, as if he was unsure of what to do next. Smathers kept his foot on Johnoche’s throat for another minute or so as the suspect gasped for air. Then, he removed the foot, and Johnoche tried to stagger slowly to his feet. “Did you kill Cameron Hausman?” asked Smathers.

“No,” wheezed Johnoche.. Smathers kicked him in the stomach, sending him back to the floor. Evans winced. “Then we’re going to try something a little bit different,” Smathers said. He bent down, grabbed Johnoche’s wrists, handcuffed him, then hoisted him up.

“I don’t think we can handcuff him, he hasn’t been charged with—”

“Shut up, you pussy!” Smathers snarled. “If you can’t do what needs to be done, at least stay out of my way and let me do it!”

With a clearly discomfited but acquiescent Evans in the passenger seat, Smathers stopped at a twenty-four hour grocery store. “I’ve got to go in there to buy something,” Smathers told Evans. “Can I at least trust you to watch him, or are you too much of a pansy to do that?”

“Wait, why are you going in a grocery store?”

“That’s none of your concern! It’ll all make sense soon enough. Now can you watch this animal or not?”

Evans hesitated, then said, “Yes, I can,”

“Good. I won’t be gone long.”

Smathers walked into the grocery store and bought three pounds of raw chicken, then returned to the car. When Evans saw what he was carrying, the younger detective asked, “What are you going to do, cook chicken in the middle of the interrogation?”

Smathers smiled. “You’ll see,”

After another fifteen minutes, Smathers stopped at an outlet of the Hillsborough River in the city, then dragged Johnoche out of the car. “I tried fishing here once,” Smathers said. “I hooked a largemouth bass, but I never got to reel it in. See, the problem is, fish aren’t the only things that live in this river. There’s also gators. One of them, maybe six feet long, got the fish and ate it before I could reel it in.” Evans looked like he was going to be sick. “Hold this child killer a minute, will you?” Smathers instructed his partner. Evans reluctantly complied. Smathers tucked Johnoche’s shirt in, then took the slabs of chicken and put them down the suspect’s shirt. Next, Smathers went to the trunk of the car, pulled out a harness, and fastened it around him. Finally, he took a rope, rigged it to a tree, then attached it to the harness.

“Holland, please tell me you’re not doing what I think you’re doing?” Evans asked.

When the rigging was finished, Smathers began lowering Johnoche into the water. “It’s real simple, you damn redskin,” the detective said. “There’s gators in these waters, and that raw chicken down your shirt is going to be like a homing beacon to every one of them that’s anywhere near you. As soon as you confess, I’ll pull you out. The longer you take to confess, well, the more likely it is that you’re going to be dinner for a gator.”

“Sir, please,” Johnoche said, looking on the verge of tears. “I swear, I never even touched Cameron Hausman.”

“We know that’s a lie,” Smathers said. “If you don’t want to die right here, you’ll admit it’s a lie.”

“I’m sorry I came at you in the interrogation room! I know I shouldn’t have tried to fight back, but please, I don’t know anything about Cameron Hausman’s murder! I’d love to help you, but I can’t!”

By now, there were clearly several large shapes moving toward Johnoche. It was too dark to get a good look at them, but Smathers and Evans both knew perfectly well that they were alligators.

“Holland, maybe we should try something else. If he doesn’t confess right about now, those gators could rip him apart.”

“I know that. And he knows that. That’s why he’s going to confess before they get to him.”

The alligators swam closer to Johnoche. “Please!” The young man yelled. “Please get me out of here, they’re going to kill me!”

“First, say you killed Cameron Hausman!”

“Holland, what if he doesn’t confess? How are we going to explain that a suspect in our custody got ripped to pieces by gators?”

By now, the alligators were only about twenty feet away. “He’s going to confess,” promised Smathers. A moment later, Johnoche cried out, “I killed Cameron Hausman! I did it, it was me! Please get me out of here!”

Immediately, Smathers and Evans began pulling on the rope, dragging Johnoche out of the water. One of the alligators launched itself part of the way out of the water, snapping at Johnoche and missing sinking its teeth into him by about a foot. Once Smathers had pulled him to safety, the detective said, “Now was that really so hard?”

“I didn’t kill Hausman!” screamed Johnoche. “I only confessed because you psychopaths were about to get me killed!”

“It’s too late for that,” Smathers said. “You confessed. Nobody saw how we got the confession. It’ll be your word against ours, and I think you know who the court is going to believe. Now, we just need you to repeat your confession while I have this trusty tape recorder playing.”

“Fuck you, I’m not repeating anything! I didn’t kill Cameron Hausman, and the only way you got me to say I did was by threatening to feed me to some fucking alligators!”

Smathers gestured to the water, where they could hear the sound of gators hissing. Two of them had their heads above water. “If you don’t give us a confession while the recorder’s playing, it’s back into the water for you. This time, you won’t last a minute before they eat you. We can do this all night if you don’t feel like confessing.”

Johnoche slowly nodded. “I’ll confess,”

Smathers placed Johnoche in the car to keep the sounds of the alligators hissing from being visible in the background, then pressed a button on the tape recorder. “I killed Cameron Hausman,” Johnoche said. “Can you describe in detail what happened?” Smathers asked.

“I kidnapped him when his parents were gone, and his sister was inside. I took him to the swamp and murdered him there by hitting him in the head with my hammer.”

“Was this in the Cabbage Swamp where we found the body?” Holland asked.

“Yeah, Cabbage Swamp,”

“Why did you kill him?”

“I don’t know,”

“That’s not good enough. We need to know why you did it.”

“I said I don’t know!”

Smathers paused the tape recorder. “The jury is going to need to hear a motive for the murder. Otherwise, they might start thinking you were forced into confessing. So you need to tell us that you’re a child molester. You molested Cameron Hausman, then murdered him so nobody would find out.”

“I’m not a child molester! You threatened to feed me to alligators if I didn’t say I killed Hausman, so I said I killed him, but I’m not going to make up some story about me being a damn pedophile!”

“Oh, but you will,” said Smathers. “If you don’t confess to molesting Hausman before killing him, you’ll go back in the water.”

Johnoche stared at both the cops with a look of pure rage on his face. Evans turned away.

“Fine. You want me to confess to molesting Hausman? You want me to confess to molesting every kid in Tampa? I’ll do it! I’ll even confess to the JFK assassination. Because I know you’ll just keep trying to kill me until I give you the answer you want.”

Smathers began recording again. “Tell us why you killed Hausman. Did you molest him?”

“Yeah. I’ve known for a long time that I have a problem. I’m attracted to kids. I kidnapped Hausman and was going to just touch him a bit, then let him go. But he kept saying he was going to tell everyone what I did. So I beat him to death with my hammer to keep him quiet.”

Smathers stopped the recording. “Very good. Doesn’t it feel great to finally be honest with us? Now, you may decide later that you want to try to retract your confession. You may decide that you want to accuse us of torturing you into confessing. That’s your prerogative. But nobody’s going to believe it. A confession is all we need to convict you, and we have that now. And if you try to take back your confession, the prosecutor. is going to ask for the death penalty for you, and they’re going to have no problem getting it. You’re going to spend the rest of your life in a 6 x 9 prison cell, but it’s a Hell of a lot better than getting a needle in the arm or being killed by other prison inmates.”

Before driving back to the station, Smathers disposed of the raw chicken, and dried Johnoche off. “There’s a change of clothes for you in the back of the car.”

“I can’t change clothes while I’m handcuffed,” said Johnoche. “Fine,” Smathers said. Evans reached into the car trunk and obtained a change of dry clothes. “You must have planned to do this from the beginning,” Evans said in horror.

“I hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but I was always prepared to do it if our friend here wasn’t willing to do the right thing in the interrogation room.”

As soon as he was unhandcuffed, Johnoche tried to run. Smathers promptly tased him in the back, knocking him to the ground. The police detective shook his head as he handcuffed the suspect again. “How stupid can you be? Did you actually think you’d be able to escape that easily? Technically, you committed a crime by trying to run away. But since you’re already going away for life, and we don’t want anyone to know about our little trip here, we won’t charge you with trying to run away after confessing to a crime. Isn’t that nice?”

When they reentered the building, the desk sergeant stared. “Do I want to know what happened?” He asked Smathers.

“All you need to know is, this bastard confessed to molesting and killing Cameron Hausman. Call Captain Fairfield and let him know we got a full confession.”

“I’ll let him know immediately,” the desk sergeant said.

A couple of the cops at the station frowned, apparently finding the circumstances suspicious. But whether out of an unwillingness to go against fellow cops or because they had no adequate evidence to back up their suspicions, they stayed silent.

capital punishment

About the author

Charles Boyd

I'm a dog dad, historian, activist, and writer. I taught for 3 years and am starting a History PhD program. I write fantasy, mysteries, and historical nonfiction. I'm proud to get blocked by white supremacists, antigay activists and TERFs.

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