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. Those cases were exactly why she was famous, infamous, condemned, and so deeply loathed.
I had acquired 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. 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 not only as a woman, but as a human being. She believed that his behavior was somehow her fault, and spent hours praying, asking for help to 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. I make him mad.”
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? Filling your head with lies? Telling you that you matter?”
Evelyn for once, raised her voice and said, “there is no other man. I’m just not going to live like this anymore. I deserve to be happy, and the only way I’m ever going to be happy is if I get away from you.”
Enraged, Kevin put his hands around her neck and didn’t stop until she stopped fighting. When she dropped to the floor, he kicked her repeatedly while screaming, “get up you worthless whore.” When she didn’t, he realized she wasn’t going to get up. She was dead.
Ralph was barking wildly, 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, as if it was Thanksgiving Day, and he was serving turkey. As he severed each limb, he watched as her life’s blood slowly trickled down the drain.
After they were detached, he put them into black plastic bags, and wrapped them with duct tape. In succession, he put them in the garage, 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.
When people began to question the whereabouts of Evelyn, Kevin concocted an elaborate story of how she had decided to take a “sabbatical,” and had left Ralph with him. 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, not to mention that she left her beloved dog behind.
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, and that was the ultimate conclusion.
After six weeks, and as they were about to mark the case as cold, a novice detective named Quince Brown, remembered seeing a large pile of wood in the back of the property. On his own time, he made his “official” return visit, and despite Kevin’s objections, he started moving the wood. Kevin didn’t ask for a warrant, which as fortunate, because Quince didn’t have one.
Evelyn wasn’t found, but the remains of Ralph were.
Quince had a gut feeling, and immediately called Jonas Hobbs, his partner. Quince wanted to have an autopsy performed on the dog. Not only did Jonas scoff at him, he asked how he came to have the dogs’ remains. Quince told him about searching the wood pile out behind the house, which of course, prompted the question from Jonas, “did you have a warrant?” When Quince shook his head no, Jonas asked, “What the hell were you thinking? You went out there and searched someone’s property with no warrant? Is this your first minute on the job? Geeze! And what the hell are you talking about? An autopsy on a dog?
It’s clear what happened here,” Jonas 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, only after the promise of severe consequences for his earlier actions.
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 someone “at the top” 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, and called Quince in for the results, 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 someones’ organs, which meant that someone had to remove them and then cook them. But whose organs were they?
A thorough and exhaustive search was executed on the property and bag after bag was found. Some of them had been partially dug up by animals, leaving no flesh and very little bone, but Quince had no doubt that Evelyn was being found, one piece at a time. He was sure of three things. Evelyn was dead. The dog hadn’t killed her, and these organs were most likely hers.
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, the screams and the pleas for help. They also said that they had heard his foul mouth attacking her and Ralph.
Quince knew that someone had called, but no one admitted anything when questioned. When he 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, someone will be willing to ‘get involved’ before your body parts end up buried all over your back yard.”
Quince turned over his evidence and it was our turn to take custody of the reports, discoveries, findings and affidavits. Everything was in order and in our hands, except the missing search warrant, but we were still confident. 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______________________