I've got a friend who's a writer and a cop. She works for the CSU division - CSI for you TV viewers. She's been working the graveyard (bad joke in that) shift and sending me the occasional email about her night at work when she gets home in the morning. It's interesting, sometimes gruesome, sometimes funny, sometimes sick-funny stuff. She's given me permission to occasionally use some of her emails here if I want.
I want. I'm going to put them here verbatim. Keep in mind that my friend is a very careful, good, polished writer, but when she sends me these emails it is after a long, hard overnight shift at work. Here's the first one, from yesterday:
Nobility & Nitwits
It was a busy night. We had 5 calls last night, four deaths and one aggravated sexual assault suspect. I had no sooner arrived at the office than the phone rang and we were rolling out on a suicide. This was a stark contrast to the idiot from last week who shot himself after an argument with his wife. Last night's call was about dignity. The gentleman was a 74 year old cancer patient who had just signed up for hospice help. He was on morphine and had asked his wife when he would get his next treatment. She told him that it would be 15 minutes and she went back to clipping coupons. Then she heard the shot. I guess he was tired of waiting.
When we arrived the first thing I noticed was that except for the gaping hole in his head, our complainant was immaculate. There was no nursing home smell, and the house spoke of a lifetime of care. The walls bore evidence of better days, and I couldn't help but note the proud smiles that gazed down at me from old photographs. Yet it was the single item on his dresser that said the most. Dated August 8, of this year, a card was propped open so that our old gentlemen could still read it. Happy Anniversary, 50 years. The oxygen tank stood like silent sentry beside the bed, a necessary, but unwelcome visitor. A partially filled urine container whispered a reminder of the cruel injustices that come with aging. His room told a story, but a bit of gentle probing yielded even more.
I offered to call someone for his wife, but she said that even though she had a daughter, she didn't want her to see him like this, and so she patiently waited until we were through. The bullet blew a gigantic hole through his fragile temple and went out the back to lodge in the pillow behind him. The blood spray on his hand left little doubt that he had fired the gun he still clutched.
Although hidden in the dark, on a trip back through his front yard for my camera, I discovered three of the largest lemon trees I had ever seen. Lemons as large as grapefruits dragged against the branches. Later, a talk with his wife revealed that our gentleman had smuggled the seeds for these trees back from a trip to Mexico. She told me the story, and then grimaced and begged forgiveness when she realized that she'd just spilled the beans, or in this case, the lemons, to the police. Despite the somber circumstances, I had to laugh at her. This earned me a smile.
Every time I walk into someone's home, it speaks for them. This home spoke of a life well lived, with love, care, and dignity.
My next call was to the jail to process a suspect in a high profile aggravated sexual assault case. We had to take DNA cheek swabs and hair samples. This is where your suspect stands naked on a sheet of white butcher paper and you inform him that either he can pluck the samples or you will. This is more effective if you're holding a pair of pliers. The samples must be taken from 5 different spots on the scalp and groin. Lovely mental picture....... And this guy was a real winner. Fortunately, no one had bothered to tell him that he was staring at a life sentence, so he wasn't too much of a problem. Just nasty, and stupid. A class A nitwit...... such a stark contrast from our first call. I wonder what his home looks like.