The Equalizer – Chapter Five

For years, I kept asking myself that same question.  “Why?  Why would arguably one of the most talented and yes, most beautiful litigators continue to defend people who were so reprehensible?”

I was not one to accept “I don’t know” as an answer.  There is always an answer to a question.  It may not be what you want to hear but there is an answer and I wanted an answer.

I did my time with the public defender’s office and moved on to one of the city’s most reputable firms.  Within a surprisingly short time, I was named a senior partner.  The celebration was in full swing and my mind suddenly went back to those days when I had been gutted by Parker Patterson.

Her reputation had never faltered and the general loathing toward her had never subsided.  She had made millions defending the rich, who didn’t bat an eye when she demanded a one million dollar retainer fee.  They knew she was able to do magic.

My dream was to once again meet her in court.  I wanted to literally and figuratively bury her.  That day would never come but I would watch her pulling off the impossible from what seemed like an endless bag of tricks.

A case that caught national attention was about a wealthy man, named Jackson Alton Benton, who was a secret pedophile.  It had long been suspected but no convincing proof had ever been brought to bear.  His luck ran out one night when he was stopped for a routine license check.  Because they believed it was within the arm of the law, they searched his car.

A young girls’ bloody underwear was found in the trunk, along with a rope, a gun and a canvas bag.  Two weeks earlier, a little girl had gone missing and an extensive and exhausting search had turned up nothing.

The items that were found in the trunk of Benton’s car were put into evidence bags and he was arrested, the whole time screaming police brutality and pleading his innocence.

Amid cries of utter heartbreak, the little girl’s mother was notified and was able to identify her underwear.

Parker Patterson was immediately called and presented herself as counsel for Benton.  She bonded him out and began to prepare her defense.  Her immediate questions were how the items were obtained and who had issued the search warrant.  No search warrant had been obtained but at least Benton had been Mirandized.   Another fatal rookie mistake had been made.

The prosecutor argued that the law states that with “reasonable suspicion” you and your belongings can be searched but the arresting officers fell short with trying to explain their suspicions or their justifications for searching the car.

Parker Patterson made them look like grammar school students.  “What were you ‘reasonably’ suspicious of?” she asked.  “Were you ‘reasonably suspicious’ because he wore an expensive suit and drove and even more expensive car?  Tell me.  What were your ‘reasonable’ motives to search this man’s car?”

One of the officers finally admitted that they were bored and pulled him over for kicks.  “For kicks?” asked Parker?  “Well, we thought we’d harass him a bit maybe,” said the other officer.

“I see,” said Parker.  “And they taught that in officer training school…that you were allowed to ‘harass’ a person because you were bored?  Were you bored when they discussed obtaining a search warrant?”

Parker went on to address the judge.  “Your Honor, we have nothing here against my client.  If anything, charges should be filed against the incompetent officers who illegally searched my client’s car for no other reason than ‘they could’.’

Needless to say, the case was thrown out of court and Benton walked away, smiling at the officers and he buttoned his Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition suit jacket.

Parker had already told him to make plans to go to his own private island to rest and recuperate after his “ordeal” and she was going to make sure he traveled safely.

His journey was going to be safe but Parker Patterson’s was not.  The father of the murdered little girl, a former Navy Seal, walked up the steps of the courthouse and plunged a SOC Seal Knife into Parker’s chest.  He knew exactly where to place the knife to strike a fatal blow.

My hatred for her had never waned and for a split second I wanted to yell “how does it fucking feel?  How does it fucking feel to be gutted?”  but I didn’t.

Horror and disbelief was all anyone felt for a few seconds.  Before an officer could get the knife away from the girls’ father, he slit his own throat.  He lay dead just feet away from Parker.

I leaned over and held her head as she lay dying.  I didn’t know if she remembered tearing me apart so many years ago but the hatred I had always felt subsided when she asked me to take her hand.

I reached down and as I held it, she asked me to come closer.  I wasn’t staring into the face of Charles Manson anymore.  I was staring into the face of a dying woman, who I suddenly felt compassion for.

I put my ear close to her mouth and with her last breath, she whispered “tattoo.”

 

To be continued_________________

 

The Equalizer – Chapter Four

A jury had been carefully selected and the case was going to be heard by Judge Amy Davis.  I was delighted that we had pulled a female judge because I thought she might, although unethical, have an empathetic bent that a male judge would not.  Of course, if she did have a blatantly biased view, Parker would make sure that she recuse herself.

Even so, our case was strong and with the evidence we had it didn’t really matter what the gender of the judge happened to be.  We were ready and we were confident.

Our opening statement came to a screeching halt before we ever began.  I felt like a student who had studied for the wrong test and utter disbelief was the only thing tumbling around in my head as Parker Patterson immediately called for the dismissal of the case.

“Case dismissed? Are you serious?  On what grounds, your Honor? I queried.

Parker was a winner for a reason.  An expert at due diligence, she had discovered that the search warrant issued was for the house proper.  It did not include the grounds, therefore all the evidence, including the contents of the dog’s stomach were inadmissible.  It was a novice mistake made by a novice detective.

We stood in stunned, stupefied silence as Judge Davis granted the dismissal of the case, due to lack of evidence, illegal search and seizure and the absence of a corpus delicti.  We also listened as she granted witness protection…once again for a known murderer.  Parker had once again, done her job with expertise.

I will never forget the look on Kevin Mays’ face as he heard Judge Adams’ ruling, nor will I ever forget the look on the Judge Adams’ face as she rendered her decision.

The next few minutes were a complete fog until we reached the top of the courthouse steps.  I didn’t even remember how I got out of the courtroom.  I wanted to scream “are you fucking kidding me?  Are you fucking kidding me?”

The famous saying “justice is blind” pissed me off.  Justice was not blind. Justice had its eyes wide open when it was prevented by the very laws that are supposed to protect the innocent.  There was going to be no justice for Evelyn May.  More than once I had been given a toast when I said “justice is for the guilty.  The laws are supposed to protect the innocent but clearly they protect the guilty.”

I settled down and watched as a woman slowly approached Parker.  I was halfway hoping she would punch her in the face but instead, she calmly said “I want to ask you a question.  How do you sleep at night?”

Parker looked at her and in an almost mockingly way said “first, I slip into my silk Hermes lingerie.  Then I pull back my Charlotte Thomas Bedspoke 22-karat gold sheets to reveal my Hungarian goose down pillows.  Just before I turn off my original Tiffany lamp, which sits on a piece of my handmade Henredon furniture, I glance at my extensive collection of Fabergé Eggs and my original paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt.  I must say that I find the works of Pollock and Picasso a bit troubling.”

She turned and walked away as if she had just been asked for the time.

I will admit that I had an intense hatred for Parker Patterson.  She was like a deadly Black Mamba, stalking her prey and then striking with electrifying precision.  But she was stalking the good guys, striking like a lightning bolt and leaving us paralyzed, leaving us helpless as we watched these scumbags, degenerates, and bottom-feeders walk away as free as a bird.

My question was “why?”

 

 

To be continued___________

The Equalizer – Chapter Three

When people started questioning the whereabouts of Evelyn, Kevin concocted an elaborate story of how she and her constant companion Ralph, had decided to take a sort of “sabbatical.”  He claimed that they had discussed the trip as a way to try to salvage their floundering marriage.  “We thought that being apart for a while would make us start to appreciate each other a little more,” he said.

The women at the support group immediately suspected that something was afoul but bound by confidentiality and an element of fear, they said nothing.  

A month went by before one of them finally made a secret call to the police and with the officers’ assurance of anonymity, told them about Evelyn’s plan and how odd it seemed that she disappeared without letting any of them know.

After an extensive search of the house, it couldn’t be determined that Evelyn was dead.  There was no indication of foul play in the home and when Luminol was sprayed throughout, no evidence of blood was found. With the avenues now available, people, especially battered women are able to disappear with relative ease.

Just as they were about to mark the case as cold, a novice detective named Quince Brown noticed a large pile of wood in the back of the property. Despite Kevin’s objections, he started moving the wood.  Evelyn wasn’t found but the remains of Ralph were.  

Quince had a gut feeling and immediately wanted to have an autopsy performed.  His partner scoffed at him.  “What the hell are you talking about?  An autopsy on a dog?  It’s clear what happened here,” he said. “Somebody beat his head in with a rock.  It’s animal cruelty but we didn’t witness it, so just let it go.”

Quince was adamant and stood his ground.  “I’ve just got a feeling that there is more to this than just finding a buried dog.”  His hardheadedness prevailed and the dog was taken to the local coroners’ office.  

Flack from his partner wasn’t the only teasing he took.  The coroner, old man Jenkins, jokingly said “where do you think you are?  The animal hospital?  We autopsy humans here…or what used to be humans.  We don’t autopsy animals.”  

Quince lied when he said his lieutenant had ordered it to be done.  “Okay,” Jenkins said.  “This will be one for the books for me…and tell your lieutenant that he owes me one.”  

When Jenkins completed his report, he stood there scratching and shaking his head as he said, “I’ve seen a lot in my time but I’ve never seen anything like this.  This dog’s last meal was organs.  Now, if animals get hungry enough, they’ll eat each other and yes, they’ll eat the organs but these are human organs and it looks to me like they were actually cooked before they were eaten.”  

That was a watershed moment.  A high-five moment.  The dog had eaten her organs, which meant that somebody had to remove them and cook them.  Quince was sure of two things.  Evelyn was dead, and the dog hadn’t killed her. 

thorough and exhaustive search was executed on the property and bag after bag was found.  Some of them had been dug up by animals. leaving no flesh and very little bone but there was no doubt that Evelyn was being found, one piece at a time.  

Quince began asking for statements from neighbors who were hesitant at first but after hearing that Evelyn had been murdered, finally began to talk. They said they had heard the fighting and the screams and pleas from her. They said that they had heard his foul mouth attacking her and Ralph.

When asked why none of them called the police, one woman said “oh, we didn’t want to get involved.”

Quince, who was not one to blow smoke up anyone’s ass, said “well, I guess we should hope that if you ever need help, somebody will be willing to ‘get involved’ before your body parts end up scattered all over your back yard.”

It was our turn to take over the reports, evidence and affidavits.  Everything was in order and in our hands.

Our case was solid.  Kevin May had killed his wife.

I admit that I was ready to proverbially spit in the face of Parker Patterson and smile as I watched it dribble onto her perfect couture outfit.

 

To be continued________________

The Equalizer – Chapter Two

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_______________