Chapter Ten
Three days after the storm surge, Connie and Marv were paid a visit by the U.S. Marshals. There was a lot of explaining to do, and a lot of re-explaining to do. The sisters were wonderful in their assistance. They expressed patience when relating their story to the proper authorities. The marshals wrote their reports, which Connie was sure would be filed with another person for them to file a report. Connie and Marv waited until the rain died down before they summoned the medical examiner to the crime scene. He raised his eyebrows upon viewing the body. He examined the body and wrote up the report. The ME informed Connie that he almost wrote natural causes in the cause of death box. She smiled at the irony.
If Bruen had been taken into custody during a non-hurricane event, he would not have been able to escape. If Bruen had not escaped, he would not have been killed by Mother Nature during his criminal behavior.
Deputy Dodge passed away. It was Connie’s responsibility to notify his twin sister–a task that she hated with every fiber of her being. The only part of the job that she felt she didn’t have the stomach for. She would never forget the notification of her husband and daughter. Dodge was given the highest honor bestowed on a deputy.
She saw the sisters during mass. Connie had chatted with them a few times since the incident. They were both strong in spirit and mind. Sister Margaret told her that she prayed for Bruen’s soul. Sister Joan was less forgiving. She prayed for him to learn in the most horrible designs possible the pain he inflicted on God’s creatures.
There was slight local interest in the story. Russell Bruen was a name known more to law enforcement and his victims than the media. His story got pushed to the sidelines after the destruction of Hurricane Fiona ravaged the Panhandle. One national reporter came down to interview Connie. The reporter’s name was Alison Banks, and she had done a story on Connie after the Todd Walton shooting. She was in the area to cover the damage of Hurricane Fiona when she learned of Bruen’s death.
"Sheriff Corvus, I must say that you are something of a legend." Alison Banks stated with a sense of mockery. She stood in front of the sheriff’s office with a microphone in her hand and a cameraman to her rear.
Connie was ambushed. She would have rather released this as a statement than have had an intrusive media presence. Most people in this area were more concerned with the local impact of Fiona’s might. "How so, Ms. Banks?"
"Bruen isn’t the first murderer you brought down, and you being a woman–"
"I’m stopping you right there, Ms. Banks. I did nothing of the sort. God brought down Mr. Russell Bruen. It was an act of nature. That’s all."
The blonde reporter assaulted her with the microphone again. "Sheriff Corvus, you were actively pursuing Bruen during a hurricane. You have to know that is one hell of a story. You’re turning into a one-woman lethal injection."
The media didn’t get it. They never got it. They were as much for entertainment as the latest Marvel flick. "Look, I did what any law enforcement officer would have done in my situation. Unfortunately, we had to do this during tropical storm strength winds. Innocent people are dead. A deputy is dead. Mr. Bruen was a danger to everyone around him. He hurt prisoners. He attacked nuns in their homes. You people never seem to care about innocent people until they become statistics. Even then, they’re manipulated to cater to your own whims." Connie walked into the sheriff’s station and shut the door behind her.
Marv greeted her when she entered. He looked at the reporter. He must have recognized the journalist from her report on Connie a few years back. "Give her an earful, cuz?"
"What’s the point? It won’t make a difference." She paced over to her office, opened the door, and slipped in. She sat down behind her desk. Post-It notes littered the desk. She didn’t have the heart to read them or return the messages at this point. She suffered from storm fatigue, and she hadn’t eaten an ounce of junk food.
Marv hovered around her door. He waited until she looked up before he spoke. "I’ve got a question."
"What, no raising the hand?"
He stepped into her office and shut the door behind him. His forehead creased together in his thinking-too-hard expression. "If God or Mother Nature or Buddha or whoever the hell didn’t step in and kill Bruen, what would you have done?"
Connie looked up from her desk. She stared at him hard in the eyes. "I would have done what was necessary."
Her answer seemed to satisfy Marv. She wasn’t sure if this was the answer he wanted or the answer he expected from her. He pursed his lips together and nodded his head. "That’s what I thought."
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