Bad day for Frank

Frank was my mentor and he is a Brother of mine.  He is a fire plug of a man who served as a submariner before becoming a Cop.  We experienced much together.  After my first 3 years on road patrol I was promoted to Detective.  It was there and then that Frank and I formed a bond that endures to this day.  It was Frank that taught me the art of the Interview.  He taught me the guilt that consumes some men wants to get out.  You have to create a way for it to happen.  No matter how horrible or disgusting the crime you will have to “understand”.
During the interrogation of a pedophile I have said something like this, “Look I understand how this happened.  Your niece was bouncing around on your lap and your dick got hard, you wouldn’t be a man if it didn’t”.

The hook was set.  He thinks I’ll understand his particular perversion.  It all makes me sick to my stomach to think about it now.

The confessions were worth the price.

I digress. I started writing about a bad day for Frank…

Frank and I were on the Hostage Negotiations Team or HNT together.  Frank was a seasoned veteran of the Department with a varied background.  His primary assignment was Polygraph operator.  He conducted two interviews each day.

We were both on call for any HNT call outs.  Most of them went something like this.

A drunk gets pissed because his neighbor’s dog won’t quit shitting in his petunias.  The drunk blast the neighbor’s dog in half with a shotgun while it’s hunkered up.  The police get called and the place is surrounded.  The drunk takes a pot shot out the window.  SWAT and HNT make the scene.  Most times, after hours and some sobering up, the perp would surrender.

Well, that’s the way it worked most often.

In the “Old Days” things were done differently.  Now negotiations rarely take place face to face.

Decades ago Frank was called out on this job.  A Vietnam veteran had returned home and had trouble adjusting to his reclaimed life.  He drank too much.  He was pissed off at the VA for not giving him the meds he thought he needed.  Then he got arrested.  Then he got a bad case of cancer.  Then his wife left him, taking his daughter with her.  Then she sent the Sheriff’s Office out to check his well being.  Then he barricaded himself with a shotgun under his chin.

Frank entered the residence and did a face to face with this desperate human being.  His name was Frank too.  He sat on the end of the bed with the shotgun between his bony knees.  Only once, over the next 2 hours, did he make eye contact with Frank.

He spoke of Vietnam, of cancer, of his daughter.  He howled out in real emotional pain.  Frank listened and tried his best to reach out but he knew he wasn’t getting through.  Frank had real problems without solutions.

Frank of Vietnam began to cry.  He wanted his daughter to get his death benefit and life insurance payments.  He knew that if he committed suicide that would not happen.  It would be one of the last things he cared about.  His love for his daughter was powerful.

SWAT had the place surrounded.  Vietnam Frank said he was done talking and he told Frank to leave the room.  Frank begged him over and over not to do it.

“You don’t want to witness this” said the man of short time.

“I can’t leave” said Frank.

For the first time Vietnam Frank looked Frank right in the eye…

“Sorry Bro” – BOOM

In that moment Frank was changed forever.

Frank would pay another price.  He told everyone Vietnam Frank had leaned over to reach his coffee cup and the shotgun accidentally discharged.

Everyone knew he lied.

A dead man’s wish was fulfilled.

Justice is sometimes strange.

© 2015, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.

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