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.
Dyanna Jones, Rape Victim and Rex Gilmore, Registered Sex Offender
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Later, Jason talked to Dyanna and the next day Jason interviewed her. They sat down at the kitchen counter in Tina’s apartment. Dyanna agreed to let him record the interview as long as her name was not mentioned. Jason started. “You said that you were raped when you were a freshman at Wyoming University, is that correct?”
“Yes. I was very naïve at that time. I came from a small town in Wyoming, and it never occurred to me that anyone would want to do something like that.”
“Please tell me in your own words what happened.”
“Not much to tell really. I visited a local bar that was popular with the college students. It was a Saturday night. I met a guy there and we started talking. He seems nice. I mean he seems safe, at least to me at the time. I let him buy me a drink. I guess he put drugs in my drink because right after I took a drink, the room started spinning. I was woozy.”
“Then what happened?”
“Well, he offered to take me back to my dorm, so I told him where it was. I must have passed out in his car. The next thing I remember, I woke up on my dorm room. I was in bed naked. I realize I had been raped. I didn't remember where it happened, but I knew.”
“Did you report it right away?”
“That's the thing about date rapes. I had been drugged. Probably dopamine. I couldn’t remember anything. I couldn’t remember his name, his face, or what happened. Basically, I felt it was my fault which I realize now that’s why so many rapes don’t get reported.”
“Why did you feel that way?”
‘Like I said, I was naïve. I should’ve kept my eyes on my drinks. I shouldn’t have gone alone. I shouldn’t have tried to hook up in a bar with a stranger.”
“Were you injured?”
“No, thank God. He didn’t hurt me physically. But he didn’t have to drug me. I was looking for a hook up. I probably would've slept with him after a couple of drinks.
“How did that experience affect you?”
“I don’t think I dated the rest of that year. I felt stupid and ashamed. I was humiliated. I lived in fear for a long time. Every guy seemed like a threat. I was intimidated. After a while, I got help.”
“What type of help?”
“I contacted Sexual Assault Services. They helped me join a support group. That's when I changed my college major.”
“Did you tell your parents?”
“No. Again, I was a afraid to. I felt bad enough. I didn't want a lecture from my mom and dad about stupidity. I was afraid they would want me to drop out of college and come home.”
“Did you date again?”
“The next year I dated only men I knew from class or activities or from mutual friend. That experience is the main reason I got interested in forensics.” Dyanna took a deep breath. “Jason, I owe you an apology.”
“Oh? For what?”
“For the way I've been acting. I don't want to cause any trouble between you and Tina. I'll behave from now on.”
“It's just that whenever I break up with a guy, I feel rejected. I feel I'm not good enough. So I act out. I don't know if it has anything to do with my being raped or not, but there it is. I'm sorry. I mean, I may be a slut but I'm no whore.”
Jason wasn't sure how to react to Tina's comment. He just nodded his head in agreement. Jason and Tina spent the night together.
When Tina left for work Monday morning, Jason drove back to Torrington. At the office, Jason was transcribing his recording of the interview with Dyanna when Tina called.
“Jason, you won’t believe this,” Tina said. “The Attorney General is ordering the Goshen County DA to send all the evidence in the Littlefield case back to our lab.”
“You’re kidding? So soon?”
“ I can’t talk now, I’m in the women’s restroom. I just wanted to give you a heads up. Love you. Bye.”
Jason told the others.
“Wait a minute,” said Zac as he pounded away on his computer. “Here it’s. Here’s a press release on their website.” He sent it to the printer.
Mary grabbed the press release off the printer and began to read it out loud. “Effective immediately, the Wyoming Attorney General, Bryan Freeman, has requested the Goshen County District Attorney to send all evidence on the Angelina Littlefield murder case to the State Police Crime Lab. Ms. Angelina Littlefield was murdered on August 15, 2012. Mr. Paulo McAdams, her boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder. He agreed to a plea bargain and was sentenced. Attorney General Freeman said that there may have been irregularities in the handling of the evidence by the local police. Blah, blah, blah.”
Sean took the press release from Mary and glanced over it. “Wow. This is your work, Zac. Good job.”
Zac did a victory dance and bumped fists with everyone. Sean summoned everyone to come into his office. After everyone was seated, Sean said, “This was a major victory for Paulo but it’s not over yet. If this were a movie, the editor would break out a bottle of eighty year old whiskey and pour everyone a drink.”
“All right!” declared Zac.
“Unfortunately,” continued Sean. “I don’t have any whiskey. Do any of you have a bottle here?”
Jason and Mary shook their heads and then all three looked at Zac.
“Why’s everyone looking at me?” protested Zac. “I don’t have anything, at least not enough for four people.”
“It’s settled then,” said Sean. He pulled out a ten dollar bill and handed it to Zac. “Go buy four milk shakes. Make mine vanilla.”
Zac laughed. “Grandpa, where have you been? A ten won’t buy four milk shakes.”
Sean pulled out another ten from his wallet. “I think this con artist is ripping me off, but I can’t prove it.”
Everyone laughed. Zac got everyone’s order and left to buy the drinks.