SYNOPSIS: Jason Franco is an aspiring novelist stuck in a dead-end job working for a newspaper in a small town where nothing exciting happens until someone rapes and murders a young woman only eighteen years old. All evidence points to the woman's boyfriend who confesses to the crime. Jason is assigned to write a follow-up story for the paper and soon suspects that the local police are covering up for one of their own. Jason enlists the help from a high school classmate who works at the state crime and the two soon fall in love. Jason and his girlfriend, Tina, follow the leads, and Jason finds himself a target for the rapist turned murderer. An attempt on Jason's life puts him in the hospital as the alleged rapist commits suicide. An unexpected turn of events put Jason back in the cross hairs of a different killer.
Donna Ramsey, Rape Victim
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Mary strode into Sean’s office followed by Jason and Zac with a fax that just arrive. “Sean, get a load of this.” She read the press release from the Attorney General’s office. “Attorney General Bryan Freeman has called for a new trial for Mr. Paulo McAdams. Effective immediately, Mr. McAdams may post bail pending his new trial. AG Freeman cited numerous improprieties by the Torrington Police that would qualify for a mistrial. Blah, blah, blah. What does this mean?”
“It means that Paulo is free as soon as he raises bail money,” said Jason.
“Zac, how much money do we have for Paulo’s legal fees?” asked Sean.
“Over $10,000 last time I checked.”
“Great. That hack Patton is history. I’ll have Paulo fire him then I’ll call the lawyer I’ve lined up. We should have Paulo out of jail in 48 hours.”
“But grandpa, won't bail be like a hundred thousand dollars?”
“Yeah, but we can use a bail bondsman to cover it.”
Zac and his mother bumped fists. The next day, Paulo’s new lawyer, Benedict Foxx, arrived and bailed Paulo out of jail. Two days later Paulo entered the office of the Torrington Star-Gazette. He was thinner than Sean remembered from the last time they talked face to face but he looked happy. Color had returned to his cheeks. A smile spread across his face. Mary and Sean hugged him. Zac and Jason shook his hand.
“Mr. Franco, I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done. You too, Mr. Tyler. You guys believed in me when no one else did. Thank you.”
“It’s not over yet,” said Jason. “There’ll be a new trial and we still don’t know who killed Angelina. We’re working on it.”
“I know. I still can’t believe she’s gone. When I walked out of the prison I thought for a moment she’d be there to greet me. But the real reason I came here’s to invite you guys over for a party. Mom is planning a BBQ Saturday around noon.”
“Can we bring anything?” asked Mary.
“No. Mom has everything covered. I told her I really missed her potato salad when I was in jail, and she made a ton of it.”
Sean smiled. Your mom does make a great potato salad.”
“My girlfriend works for the State Crime lab, and she has been helping,” said Jason. “Can I bring her?”
“Of course. We have plenty of food. Bring anyone that helped you. My lawyer will be there too. I should mention that I’m starting a memorial for Angie--maybe a small park.”
Sean looked at Jason. “Are you sure Tina can come? After all, Paulo is still technically a suspect.”
“Damn,” said Jason. “I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll ask.”
“We can help you with that,” said Sean to Paulo. “Zac will put something on our website. People have been generous. That’s how we raised the money for your bail and lawyer.”
“That’s another thing I need to thank you for,” said Paulo.” Mr. Foxx seems better than my public defender.”
Seeing Jason free put everyone in a great mood.
Tina called Jason. “Did you watch the news? Another rape happened in Cheyenne.”
“No. When? Where?”
“It happened last night. Same MO. The vic was beaten unconscious and raped. Her pants were pulled over her head.”
“Should I talk to her?”
“I doubt she’ll talk to reporters for a couple of days, but you can try. Call her in a couple of days. And get this; she came to while she was being raped and pretended to be unconscious. She may have a clue to help ID the Perp.”
“Then this proves that Paulo isn’t the serial rapist, right? I mean, he was in town.”
“I wish that were true. Just because there was another rape doesn’t prove Paulo didn’t kill Angie. I’ll get the woman’s phone number for you. I can’t call her. I’ll get fired for that. You have to call her.”
A few days later, Jason called the rape victim and she agreed to talk to Jason. He drove down to Cheyenne and found her house. When Jason rang the doorbell, a women in her mid-twenties answered the door. Her face was black and blue and swollen. One eye was swollen shut. Her lips were swollen and she had bandages across the bridge of her nose. Jason introduced himself to Donna Ramsey. Donna attempted a smile but managed only a brief one. She invited Jason inside and they sat in the living room. Jason took out his pocket recorder.
“No pictures please. I really look bad,” said Donna. “You said on the phone that you’re investigating a serial rapist. I want to help if I can.”
“This is a recorder, not a camera. “I’m a journalist for the Torrington Star-Gazette. I’m writing a story about a murder and rape that occurred in Torrington. My editor and I think that the police didn’t handle the investigation well and the murder may be the act of a serial rapist. Your attack is very similar. Please tell me in your own words happened.”
Donna glanced sideways and then at her feet. “It happened at the stables. I volunteered to help with Frontier Days which just ended. I was helping to clean out the stables. It was after dark when I finished and started home. Everyone else had already left. I was walking by the bleachers when I was hit me from behind. When I woke up, my blue jeans were pulled over my head and I was being raped.”
“What did you do?”
While Donna was talking, her upper lip began to bleed. She dabbed it with a tissue. “I thought, if I scream, he would kill me, so I pretended to be unconsciousness. After a short while, he stopped and left. When I thought it was safe, I uncovered my face. I was under the grandstands. I called 911.”
“Did you notice anything about your attacker? Tall? Short? Heavy? Skinny?”
“Yes. While he was raping me he grabbed my breasts. He had small hands. He wore gloves.”
“Yeah. I could feel them. He had small hands.”
“Yeah. His penis was huge. I could feel that too.”
“Small hands and big penis. Odd combination.”
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