The Fallen

The Fallen

Book - 2018
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j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

WHO KILLED YOU? Or, who murdered you? There was, after all, a distinct difference.
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There was justifiable homicide, the best example of which was self-defense. There you intended to harm another, but the law said you had the right to defend yourself. There were varying degrees of murder.
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The social awkwardness had not always been a part of him. The six-foot- five, three-hundred-pound–plus — well, maybe more than simply plus — Decker, a former professional football player, had once been outgoing, gregarious, a bit goofy even, fun-loving and always ready with a quip.

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jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

If you were negligent in causing that car accident or dropping your weapon, and someone died, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter. A spontaneous bludgeoning, resulting in death, could end with the perpetrator being charged with the more serious crime of voluntary manslaughter. Second - degree murder, a close cousin to voluntary manslaughter, had the element of malice aforethought, and possibly recklessness, but not the additional one of premeditation, or lying in wait, as it was often called. Decker sipped his beer as he went through the legal requirements of intentionally ending the life of another. The last one was the worst of all, in his estimation. First-degree murder almost always required the specific elements of willfulness, premeditation, and malice aforethought.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

Then had come the vicious blindside hit to the head on the football field that had changed his life, and who he was, forever. The resulting brain trauma had almost killed him. And while he had survived, the blow had forced his brain to rewire itself to allow healing to occur. This process had left two distinct marks on him.
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One was hyperthymesia, or perfect recall. Those possessing such a condition often could apply it only to autobiographical information, and often had below-average memory capacities in other aspects of their lives. But not Decker. It was as though someone had placed a camera with a limitless capacity to take pictures in his head. He was the memory man, unable to forget anything. Decker had found it a decidedly mixed blessing.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

The second result of the hit was his developing synesthesia. He associated odd things, like death, with a color. In the case of death, it was a visceral electric blue that could raise the hairs on the back of Decker’s neck and make him feel sick to his stomach.
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“Warehouses are the big job creators now,” said Jamison knowingly. “I’ve been reading articles on it. It pays okay, above minimum wage, with benefits, but it’s really physically hard work. ”
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“We got a lot of problems in this town. Businesses boarded up. Houses foreclosed on. Many with no jobs and no prospects of a job. Opioid addiction is through the roof.” “That’s not just here,” said Jamison. “It’s all over.”
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But you can’t solve every murder you come across. It’s impossible. You’ll just be setting yourself up to fail. ”

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Dec 29, 2018

“When I was a kid the mines and mills were still operating. People had money. Dads worked, moms stayed home and raised the children. People went to church on Sunday. Downtown was alive and well. Then the mines and mills went belly-up and everything came tumbling down. Because it all depended on the mines and mills. They were the only reason there was a town. ”
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It’s why they don’t build many fulfillment centers in or around big cities. Land and everything else is too expensive.” “Well, areas like this can certainly use the jobs,” pointed out Jamison. “Problem is, we can’t fill all our positions.” “Why not?” asked Jamison. “You’d think people would be banging down the door to get jobs there.” “They are. But they can’t pass a drug test,” said Frank. “We’re starting to recruit from other parts of the state, and even across the border in Ohio.”

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jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“People burglarize their neighbor’s house so they can sell the stuff for cash to service their addiction. Or a son embezzles his mom’s bank account to do the same. Or a granny steals from her granddaughter’s piggy bank. It’s seriously demented stuff and happens every day.”
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“And heroin is popular because you get a gram of it for about fifty bucks and it’ll last you a lot longer than fentanyl or OxyContin, which runs about, what, eighty bucks a pill on the street?” “Hell, you don’t have to buy it on the street anymore. They’ll deliver it right to your house, like pizza. Or they get it from pharmacies or the local Boy Scout troop leader. Or it comes down one of the drug pipelines around here. They crush and snort it, inject it. They even chew on fentanyl patches instead of putting them on their skin to get the pop” …

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“People burglarize their neighbor’s house so they can sell the stuff for cash to service their addiction. Or a son embezzles his mom’s bank account to do the same. Or a granny steals from her granddaughter’s piggy bank. It’s seriously demented stuff and happens every day.”
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“And heroin is popular because you get a gram of it for about fifty bucks and it’ll last you a lot longer than fentanyl or OxyContin, which runs about, what, eighty bucks a pill on the street?” “Hell, you don’t have to buy it on the street anymore. They’ll deliver it right to your house, like pizza. Or they get it from pharmacies or the local Boy Scout troop leader. Or it comes down one of the drug pipelines around here. They crush and snort it, inject it. They even chew on fentanyl patches instead of putting them on their skin to get the pop” …

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jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

Our OD rate is up nearly seventy percent from last year. And the last ten cases we’ve investigated have been people over sixty-five. Some people call it ‘Rust Belt Retirement.”
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They don’t want to spend tax dollars they don’t have on people they don’t think give a damn. They hear methadone treatment center and think it’s what meth addicts take to get their high and not the drug used to treat that addiction. They don’t want ‘these’ people around them, not coming to grips with the fact that ‘these’ people are often members of their families. So some say let’ me die and good riddance.”

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jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“Slaves, accept the authority of your masters, with all deference. For it is to your credit if being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. ”
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“Decker sounds like he’s good at this, though.” “He’s the best I’ve ever seen. I think he’s the best the FBI has ever seen. ”
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What’s so special about this place that it garners that much unusual homicidal activity? ”
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He was a ruthless man, so I understand. He crushed unions, paid off corrupt politicians, polluted rivers and the air and the ground. He paid his workers as little as he possibly could and treated people in general as badly as he could. He made an immense fortune and his descendants sponged off that accomplishment.
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FILES. AND MORE files. Paper bones with very little meat.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

It was from an era when money flowed freely, no income taxes were due, the world lived both more ostentatiously and more simply, and everyone knew his place. Globalization was not even a term, and information moved far more slowly, leading to a blissful ignorance among most. Men were the breadwinners. They came home from work, spent time with their families, smoked their cigarettes, drank their beer, listened to the same radio programs and later TV shows as the rest of the country, went to bed, and got up to do it all over again, while women did the same on the home front .
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He had a lot of stamina back then, but he could never sprint far enough to outrun the grounds of his home. It had been a both comforting and humbling feeling.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“I don’t believe anyone, initially,” replied Decker.
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“Decker, the police can show no connection between those two.” “You’re wrong, they have one very strong connection.” “What’s that?” “They died together.”
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Yet there was stuff everywhere, neatly stacked on tables, chairs, counters, and the floor. “Pack rat,” said Decker knowingly. “But when you don’t have a lot, you don’t throw anything away.”
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“Summer, winter, hell, it don’t matter. Still get the chills. Docs say it’s a circulation problem. I say it’s my pipes getting clogged with living too long. See, that’s a reason to not be around too many years. Everything falls apart. ”
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I never went to college, never had the chance, but I had me a good-paying job. Now, if you don’t know computers, you’re screwed.” He held up his hands. “Nobody builds nothing no more. Just typing crap on a keyboard. That’s all folks do now. Typing. I mean, hell, what kind of job is that? ”

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jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“I’m into keeping the government out my business. And I’m into the government stop taking sides of folks that don’t need no help. Look at me, I got nothing. You don’t see me crying about it. You don’t see me asking for handouts because I got some problem, or because I feel like somebody didn’t give me a fair shot. Hell, nothing about life is fair. You don’t like it, go back to where you come from, is what I say, and don’t let the American flag hit you on the ass on your way out. ”
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He didn’t like banks. Not since they had foreclosed on both his house and his car back in Burlington, leaving him with no roof over his head and no wheels under his butt.
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And my mother did backbreaking work at the textile plant for years. Then she showed up one day for her shift and there was a sign on the door saying that it was closed. Permanently. No warning. And there was supposed to be a pension plan. But that was gone
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“Well, this case is moving about as fast as a bike without two wheels.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

She’s in kindergarten. Her missing a few days is not going to determine if she gets into Harvard. ”
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They employ a lot of people and it’s really the only thing going here now. But I couldn’t pass the physical requirements. Lifting all that weight and walking all that way. Or running, more like it.
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Toby was a good man who just got dealt a bad hand. I guess that could describe a lot of us. But then again, our life is what we make it, right? Bad choices. You can’t blame others for that. ”
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He had covered a lot of ground but didn’t feel as though he had made much progress. Unfortunately, that could be the textbook definition of being a homicide detective.
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Guys who sat at bars were mostly simple creatures, just dying to be manipulated by a pretty lady.
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“I don’t think he’d hurt a fly.” “I don’t care if he hurts flies.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“You look like you were an athlete.” “I was, about a hundred pounds ago.”
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A life of roughly three and a half decades ground down to about thirty minutes that was what constituted Frank Mitchell’s exit from this earth. That’s about what most of us will get, thought Decker. And then we just live on in memories and fading pictures set on tables and hung on walls. If that doesn’t depress you, nothing will, he concluded.
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“Over eighty thousand people in America this year alone,” she added. “More than died in Vietnam and the wars in the Middle East combined. And far more than die in traffic accidents or by guns, and it’s only getting worse. Next year we’ll probably be looking at over a hundred thousand dead. The opioid crisis is actually responsible for the life expectancy in this country starting to go down. Can you wrap your head around that? Nearly a half million dead since 2000. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under age fifty.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

Life insurance companies value a human life at about five million bucks. Using that number and other factors, our people projected the economic loss to the country each year due to the opioid crisis at about a hundred billion dollars. A third of the population is on medication for pain. And they’re not getting addicted on street corners. They’re getting addicted at their doctors’ offices. ”
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It’s beyond a national crisis and no one is doing a damn thing about it. Because of our position on crack cocaine in the eighties, we built a lot of prisons but not many treatment centers or addiction protocols. So now this crisis is filling hospitals, prisons, and — she waved her hand in front of her — cemeteries all across the country. And to top it off, last year about twenty-five thousand babies were born with what’s called neonatal abstinence syndrome because their moms were opioid users while pregnant. What kind of life will they have, do you think?

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“That’s heroin, not morphine, lady,” said the thin man. “Don’t you know nothing’?” Kemper whirled on him and flashed her badge. “I know a lot more than you do. When the body breaks down heroin the instant by - product is morphine! ”
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Five-year-olds performing CPR on their parents. A grandmother knocking in her son’s head for the cash to feed her addiction. A mother selling her ten-year-old daughter for sex to get her heroin pops.
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“Not surprised. And there are thousands of places just like this one. Where people used to get up every day and go to work with a purpose. And now they don’t have a purpose. Or a job. Or any self - worth. That takes its toll, Decker. In a lot of ways. That’s why they’re calling the opioid epidemic the drugs of despair. ”
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Everyone looks to the future for answers, which ignores the fact that people, despite the passage of years, remain fundamentally the same.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“Killers sometimes overthink things, Decker. They make simple complicated. They get too cute. ”
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“But you don’t think he really is the killer?” “I don’t know that he isn’t.”
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“You could get the death penalty.” “I’ve actually had that ever since I was born here. It’s just a matter of time. ”
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“Damn, so is that the new American dream? Sign a relative up for life insurance and wait for them to OD to cash in? ”
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A lot of people have died in this town from drug overdoses. And I’ve found out that a lot of those people had life insurance policies. Now, you have to have an insurable interest in someone to be named a beneficiary.
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“Don’t you ever panic, Decker?” “Never saw the value.”
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“Right, your crappy life, it’s somebody else’s problem.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“The cost to make a kilo of heroin and a kilo of fentanyl is about the same, about three to four grand. A kilo of heroin will fetch sixty thousand on the streets. But because fentanyl is so much more potent, one kilo of fentanyl can be made into about twenty - four total kilos of drug product, making it far more lucrative than heroin. And a kilo of fentanyl can produce nearly seven hundred thousand pills that sell for about twenty-five bucks each. ”
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The pills will look like an oxycodone pill, or you can cut it with Xanax or other pain pills. They’re even stamped with the dosage amount of eighty because that’s a typical dose of Oxy. ‘Shady eighties,’ they’re called on the street. As I said, they can cost about twenty-five bucks a pill and a typical addict will take twenty pills a day.” “Five hundred bucks a day. Expensive habit.” “I’ve arrested dealers who routinely sell a minimum of a thousand pills a day. That much is called a ‘boat’ on the street.

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“So, insurance scams, drug dealers, and framing someone for a treasure. Who would have thought one town could have so much crap going on separately? ”
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“Lots of people have only Social Security, and they don’t join a drug cartel to earn more money,”
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“Well, for starters, you won’t have to worry about housing for the rest of your life,” said Decker. “Or food. The government will be providing both. ”
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“Well, maybe you can teach Bible classes in prison to redeem yourself.”
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He and Jamison had traveled here for some rest and relaxation.
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“Kalgoorlie is the site of the Golden Mile, perhaps the greatest concentration of gold deposits on earth.”
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“Too much money, Decker. Too damn much. ”

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2018

“Put money into local education, retraining centers, and a new opioid addiction facility. Try to get new businesses to come here and employ people. Have an incubation place for start - ups. Whatever I can do to help turn this place around. ”
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I’ve never been rich, though everyone seemed to think I was. Now that I am actually rich, I certainly know first - hand that it’s a short path from being rich to being poor. And I should use it to help others. Hell, it’s not like I did anything to earn it. It’s only because I happened to be born into a certain family.
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For her, Bartonville would always be a touchstone, a place she would want to forget, and also a place from which she could never separate herself.
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In a way, he was holding on for dear life to the hand of a child.


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