. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . where ImagInatIon comes to play

Thursday 21 August 2008


part xiii:
The bike is registered to one Jane Marie Anderson, Harlow reported. Bike was registered in Sturgis, South Dakota. It’s where the girl hails from too. Well, woman. She’s twenty-nine.

Crier and Pontieff were leaning against a couple of desks at the Carter County district office. Helen walked in during Harlow’s elocution. Boys . . .

What have you got for us, Doc?

Well, I got word on the suspect’s possible name about an hour ago, and something about the name Anderson tugged hard at my memory. So I made a few calls, and sure enough, I had the right case in mind.

What case is that?
Crier pulled up his pant leg as he made himself more comfortable on the corner desk. Arms folded across his chest, he waited attentively for Helen to continue.

An unsolved one, from 1994. Two sisters abducted during the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Fifteen and nine. The older sister found her way home. The other one, Susie Anderson, was not so lucky.

Je-sus, Pontieff chimed in. The Sheriff had a soft spot for children. As a father and grandfather, he had trouble dealing with child crimes. After pausing a moment he asked, to no one in particular, what the girls had been doing in Sturgis in the first place.

It’s where they lived, Sheriff, Harlow said. The old man attended a rally there back in the Seventies, fell in love with a local, and he decided to settle down there, build them a home. She ran a diner, he bought some acreage not far away.

Happy family from what I recall. But the father . . . the ordeal proved too much for him. Died six months after losing his baby girl.

Sad. Harlow was listening to Doc Helen and added what he could to the story. Mrs Anderson’s sister came to live with her and Jane. Rudy’s diner is a family affair. Even Jane works there.

Okay, okay. Crier intervened then, feeling impatient and a bit helpless. It was time to get some control back over the case in his charge. So what did fourteen year old Jane say upon her return? And why couldn’t they catch the bastard who did this?

Nothing. She said nothing. She couldn’t remember her escape and no one could get her to talk about what happened when she just re-appeared on the family doorstep thirteen days after her abduction. Susie was found, dumped in the desert. Dupuis was the coroner in charge . . . a friend of mine. The body was ravaged by then, but it was clear she had been raped, sodomized, and tortured.

And Jane?

Raped, definitely. Very likely tortured. But like I said, she wouldn’t – or couldn’t – act as her own witness. It left for a lot of unanswered questions.

So what are we saying, here? She came across her abductor and killed him, right? Explains why the man on the slab at the morgue is missing a couple testicles . . . but –

But if that’s true,
Pontieff continued for Crier, why in Christ’s name do we have a second abduction on our hands?


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