My second encounter with Parker Patterson was when I was assigned to prosecute a man whose crime was so heinous, actual prayer vigils were held, demanding that God grant justice.
People were outraged when Parker took his case but none were really surprised. That’s what she did. That’s what she did best. That’s what she was famous, condemned and loathed for.
I had a little more experience and was joined by a senior partner for this particular case. Again, we were sure that we had a hands down, slam-dunk, in the bag, can’t lose case. We were wrong.
Evelyn May had been married to Kevin May for over twenty years. During that time, she had endured drunken mental and physical abuse, coupled with what she believed were numerous flagrant adulteries…but she stayed with him. She believed in vows. She believed in commitment.
Sadly, she came to realize that she had been looking for love only to find indifference. She had been looking for a soul mate only to find herself alone. She had been looking for validation only to find criticism.
When Kevin was out doing what he did, her only companion was a German Shepherd named Ralph. He was her protector and would growl and snarl at Kevin when he started lunging toward her. Ralph suffered Kevin’s wrath as well. More than once he had been struck with a broom handle and more than once Evelyn had been warned to “shut that fucking dog up.”
Evelyn was a Christian and hoped that by going to church and praying, Kevin would somehow change. She questioned her value as not only a woman but as a human being. She believed that his behavior was somehow her fault and spent hours praying to God, asking Him to help her be a better wife and person. Despite her life, she was still a dreamer.
One of her neighbors who heard the fights, suggested that she join a support group for battered women. Evelyn had the same excuse all battered women do. “It’s not really that bad and it’s all my fault.”
Weeks went by and when her bruises had finally started to fade, she somehow found the courage to seek help but there was a gnawing feeling that she would be judged. Instead, she found friendship, comfort and encouragement among those other women.
She didn’t tell Kevin about her meetings and he became suspicious. He didn’t like it when he came home and she wasn’t there. He didn’t like that she was finding the strength to start standing up for herself. He started accusing her of cheating on him.
One night when he finally staggered home, stinking of liquor and cheap perfume, he discovered that she wasn’t there. About an hour later when she came home, she told him that she had made the decision to leave him.
“I matter,” she said. “I deserve to be treated like I have value.”
Kevin screamed “what have you been doing? Screwing some other man? Is that what he’s telling you? That you matter?”
Evelyn for once, raised her voice and said “there is no other man. I am just not going to live like this anymore. I deserve to be happy and the only way I’m going to be happy is if I get away from you.”
Enraged, Kevin struck her in the back of the head. As she lay on the floor, he kicked her repeatedly while screaming “get up.” When she didn’t, he realized she wasn’t going to get up. She was dead.
Ralph was barking like a crazed animal and kept charging toward him. Kevin grabbed him by the collar and locked him in the back room.
Considerably drunk but having enough sense to understand the gravity of what he had just done, he came up with a plan. He knew exactly what to do. He carried her lifeless body to the bathroom and put her in the tub.
He got a butcher knife from the kitchen and started carving. He watched as her life’s blood slowly trickled down the drain.
He cut off each limb and put them into black plastic bags, wrapped with duct tape. In succession, he put them in the back of his pick-up truck, until only her middle section was left.
When he split her open and removed her organs, he got an idea.
Each piece was put into the oven and cooked, like a prime cut of meat. One by one, he fed them to Ralph, who was unknowingly consuming the very essence of the woman he had more than once tried to protect from her abusive husband.
To be continued_______________