Olly Olly Oxen Free! As a kid, while standing on the sidewalk outside of our friend’s house we called out a version of Olly, Olly Oxen Free! Our call for friend and fun; Olly, Olly all come free. Mom’s and dad’s alike were annoyed by this freedom call sometimes sending us away until we had the manners to come up the steps and knock on the door. While others would send their child out just to shut us up. Summer through fall we stayed out until the streetlights came on.
After visiting my soon to be 2-year-old granddaughter, I started to wonder what affect our new world will have on her. Will she stand on the sidewalk with her bike calling out the freedom call or will she ask her mom to text the other mom for a play date?
M loves my phone, especially the photos it stores she wants to page through them while I exclaim what is in the photo. She never tires of this game, especially when the photo is of her.
What do you get a 2-year-old who has everything, for her birthday? Should I start a College fund? Our Universities no longer promote learning through freedom of thought and speech.
She is too young for me to give her a tablet, even if she were not too young, I don’t think I would want to contribute to the decline of the call of freedom.
I have decided to give her homemade cinnamon rolls and time with granny reading to her. My last visit she would bring me a book to read and sit next to me while I read the book. Once I finished she would take the book back and bring another. We lost count after 22 books that day. This gives me hope that M will understand the call to freedom.
I looked through the screen
Of my regrets,
Assemblance of its virtues.
The remembrance was obscured
Through my tears of regret.
I should have accepted more.
I could have laughed more.
I would have loved more.
His voice was ruff whiskey
As was his soul,
No gravel would change either,
His enemies took the toll.
As the wind swept his soul,
He needed more control.
A carbine was out of the question,
His faith would lose its luster.
Again he looks to the solace of
a sip of the common muster.
Within the blurred vision,
The truth finally arose,
His enemy was his own.
A familial soul is known as self,
He needed to look past the solace
Of the golden hue.
Tomorrow again he made the pledge
Of what he needed to do.
He came in from the field, his face was dirt smudged sweat. He took his hat off with one move slapping his thigh sending dust out behind him as his tired stride took him to the porch where he removed his boots revealing dirt stained socks. As he let out a breath of relief his wife placed a cold beer against his redneck. They both have a passion for the earth and the work.
Tomorrow is an engagement
Tomorrow is part of today
Enough room for mistakes
Never crowd it with unfinished
Love or laughter
Tomorrow will wait for its turn
Relax and enjoy today.
Split ends Chapter 3
I was at my desk in the squad with Ralph lying at my feet when my phone rang. It was my partner Detective Stewart. I answered: “He Stew!”
Stewarts said: “Hey, bring Ralph on over to the Humane Society on M30 I want him to sniff around.”
I laughed and said: “So you no longer think this is a parlor trick anymore?”
Stewart said: “Not this time. I am getting a funny feeling about this. So tell me why you think Ralph lingered on the footrests of the recliners?”
I said: “Anyone that has had a dog and sits in the recliner will transfer the scent of the pet onto the surface of the recliner. Feet are great for the transfer, whether in shoes, stocking feet or barefoot. “
Ralph and I got out of the car and as I turned to go in Ralph pulled on the lead. I followed in the direction he wanted to go. There were 6 outdoor kennels each had a structure like a shed with a lean-to. Ralph went to the last kennel there was a yellow lab with visible scares on its shoulders and hindquarters. Stewart joined us with the director of the Humane Society in tow.
Stewart did the introductions. Her name was Donna Milford she has been the director for 5 years. The little lady that Ralph came to visit was brought in as an abuse case. Neighbors had called the police saying someone was beating a dog. Her name is Wilma.
I asked: “Were there any other dogs brought in under the same circumstances recently?”
She said yes another female named Fred who is a Great Dane, Greyhound mix who had already been adopted out to one of the volunteers that come in to walk and feed the dogs.
Ralph was sitting close to the gate of the kennel and Wilma was on the other side of the gate just as close. I called my sister and asked if she would like to adopt Wilma. My sister laughed and asked why. I told her she cried and said: “Of Course.”
I told the director my sister will come later to fill out the forms. Donna smiled and nodded and said: “Wilma will need patience, she is a bit shy and skittish but very sweet.”
Stewart asked about the volunteer. Donna filled us in regards to how long he has volunteered and where he lived. I followed Stewart to the location the volunteers’ name was Matt Simpson. Matt came out on the porch when we knocked his dog barked he shrugged and said: “That’s just Fred wanting you to know who is in charge.”
I smiled pointing towards my car and said: “That’s my Ralph she does the same thing.”
I could tell Matt genuinely loved dogs. He came off the porch walked over to my car to say hello to Ralph. I have never seen Ralph go as ballistic as he did when Matt came to the window.
Matt backed up and said: “Wow you weren’t kidding.”
I looked at Stewart; he looked back at me with a knowing look. Matt was no dummy he knew something was up at that point. His eyes reminded me of a deer when caught on the road. Matt crossed his arms as he headed back to the house and said: “Well officers if I can be of any further assistance.”
I spoke up and asked: “Where were you Tuesday night at around 11 pm. and Thursday night around the same time?”
Matt turned to me, I could tell he was seething and said: “What business is that of yours.”
Stewart said: “Matt you should lock up and come with us down to the station, we need to ask you some questions.”
Matt asked: “Am I under arrests?”
I answered: “No but you sure could help us out if you would.”
Matt said: “If I am not under arrest than I will come down when it is convenient for me.”
Matt did come to the station by that time we had a search warrant which worked out well, as the search was done we sat down with Matt and his attorney. Asking all the pertinent questions and receiving noncommittal answers. Gotta love attorneys!
As the interview was concluding a uniformed officer knocked on the door, handed Stewart a thin folder. The CSI found blood in the drain of the bath tub, clothes piled up in the corner of a closet that did not seem to belong to Matt. Some were women’s clothes while others were men’s that looked to be a size bigger than Matt. We started the interview all over again. I received a text from Donna in regards to who the previous owner was of Wilma. As it turned out the previous owner was the last victim.
After a lengthy interview and some great CSI work we plea bargained it down to 2 counts of Manslaughter,. Matt was pissed at anyone who would abuse an animal especially dogs he said it was up to someone to finally do something about it. So he methodically stalked the victims, dosed them with a canine tranquilizer, brought them to his house and killed them, washed them down dressed them and took them to their homes where he staged them. He did not want to torture them he just wanted to be sure they could not torture any other animal.
Split ends chapter 2
Once we finished taking photos and our notes we went back to the squad room to compare what we saw. Two people never see the same thing when they view a room, movie, book anything that our sense’s view. Information is taken in at a different rate and maybe with different outcomes.
Stewart and I are no different that is why we work well together.
Stewart: “I noticed the victim had no wedding ring, his zipper was up, every button was buttoned on his shirt right up to his neck, the neck was too small for the victim, which leaves me to wonder if it was his shirt or that the shirt was brought with the perp.”
Me: “I noticed the hairs were canine as was on the last victim, multiple canines, the Jack Daniels was not opened, and the glass was a rock crystal not cheap and had not been used. The room was dust free, there were no dog hairs on the carpet, or stuck to any of the furniture nor hiding in a corner like tumbleweed.”
Stewart laughed and said: “You of all people would notice there was no dog hair in the corners of the room.”
I smiled and said: “I was thinking about picking up Ralph and take him to the first scene and then to the second scene to see how he reacts.”
Stewart asked: “What are you expecting to find out from Ralph.”
I said: “See if there is any recognition either of the perp or of any of the canine scents that may have been left behind.”
I stopped by my sisters Ralph was thrilled to see me, he looked a bit bored. The weather had been nasty and I know Ralph loves his job especially when he gets praised for finding something. While I was doing this, Stewart was going to local pet stores, shelters and rescue’s with photos of the victims to ask if anyone has seen or knows the victims.
I ducked under the crime scene tape and released Ralph into the room with the command: “Go look” I watched him sniff the coffee table lingering on the vase, then sniffed the recliner lingering on the footrest, he then went down a hall into the master bedroom and sniffed on the floor left of the bed. He came went out of the bedroom down the hall into the kitchen and sniffed at the cupboard doors that opened to view under the sink there were two stainless steel dishes. Ralph grabbed one dish in his mouth and held it. Ralph does that with his dish when he wants his food. My guess is there used to be a dog in this house. I petted Ralph and gave him a treat telling him he was a good boy.
I texted Stewart with what we found. I told Stewart we were on our way to the second crime scene.
Stewart replied by saying he had been at 3 facilities thus far with no recognition. He said he was on his way to the Humane Society.
As with the first crime scene I ducked under the crime tape and released Ralph and again gave the command ‘go look’ he went up to the coffee table lingered on the glass, and then he went to the recliner and lingered on the footrest. He turned sniffing the floor that leads up the stairs to the hallway, at the end of the hall he sniffed the carpet that was right outside the master bedroom. My guess is we will find dog dishes somewhere in the house. Sure enough, when we went back down the stairs Ralph went to a door just off the kitchen I opened it and found the laundry room, under the laundry room sink, were two plastic dog dishes. Ralph picked it up in his mouth just as he did at the first crime scene. This time Ralph scratched at the back door to be let out, he ran to the farthest right corner of the yard and started digging. We found the dog. I called CSI to come back out, check the foot rests on the recliners the vase at the first scene and the tumbler at the second. They had not moved anything yet at my request something told me this has something to do with animals, the only thing that was moved was the victims.
Split ends chapter 1
I have had three days off following an incident on the job; anytime there is a shooting where an officer has been involved the officer either gets put on the desk or gets time off. I chose the time off, it came back as a good shoot. I had walked onto a crime scene scanning it as though I was playing the game ‘whats wrong with this room’ the only difference is you do not have another photo to compare it to unless the resident has photos on the mantel with the same room in the background, which this one did. The officers who were on the scene first said they cleared the house but from the corner of the room, I saw movement, instinctively I pulled my weapon the curtains billowed from a gust of wind, as I saw the gun rise at the same instant I shot. The perp came in through the open French door, probably because he forgot something. That something turned out to be the knife he used in the attack on his wife. After their son took an inventory he found that there was jewelry missing and a few other expensive items. Our final assertion was he planned it to look like a home invasion and he would file an insurance claim on the items taken which were worth over 500 thousand dollars.
I pulled on the handle of the exterior door of the squad room the wind caught it Detective Stuart grabbed it as he was coming in behind me. He is my partner now for 2 years he looked down at me and said: “Good morning Mills how was your time off?”
I answered: “It could have been better had the weather cooperated but all in all I got stuff down around the money pit I call home.”
He smiled and said: “That is why I rent, screw all the work I would rather spend my time off chasing tail. Oh, by the way, it looks like you and I will be chasing tail together.”
I laughed and said: “Really? I usually go for the opposite sex.”
Detective Stewart said: “We caught a case last night I will catch you up on all that I found at the scene. I asked the CSI to remove only the Victim and leave everything else in place until you are finished with the scene.”
Stewart has been on the job for 15 years he takes meticulous notes and photos as does the CSI. I have been on the department for 10 years. Our partnership began because his partner died of a heart attack and mine retired. Stewart was apprehensive working with a woman at first but he quickly warmed up to me when he found out I was into dogs and guns, even used a scent dog on occasion looking for bodies or a missing person. Ralph the German shepherd is my sister’s dog or should I say we have joint ownership since I am Ralph’s handler and trainer but with my hours Ralph needed a stable environment and Julie can give him that since she is a stay at home mom.
I read Stewarts notes and scanned the photos, the crime scene seemed to have been staged. A woman around the age of 40 was in a recliner that was reclined; no blood which suggests the body had been moved. There were fresh flowers on the coffee table, white roses with a note attached, the note said, ‘beg if you have to it will not matter.’
Stewarts notes agreed with the CSI report, they found multiple hairs on the body of the victim all were canine not from the perp. As I was finishing the report and Stewarts notes a call came in with another victim.
We walked into the crime scene, CSI was already there the officer standing at the door said to me: “Sorry Mills I promise I cleared the room I don’t know how I missed him.”
I answered: “Not your fault he came back in through the unlocked French door.”
He said: “From now on I will check all doors and windows to make sure they are secure.”
I smiled and waved thanks. We walked into the living room and it was staged as the last one, only difference the victim was a male around mid-thirties he was in the recliner which was reclined instead of flowers there was a new bottle of Jack Daniels with an empty class, a note that said: ‘Just know I don’t give a Jack’
He too had multiple canine hairs and none from the perp. There was no blood, again this victim was moved.
After the rain
Sleet and freezing rain
Why such blustery bravado?
Spring where is your gentle kiss?