*Update* August 2017 They told me the wrong man was dead. Twice. His brother Birch Davis is still on the loose.
Webster’s Dictionary 1947
Justice; jus’tis n. (L. justitia, from justus, just.) The quality of being just; justness; propriety; correctness; rightfulness; just treatment; vindication of right; requital of desert; merited reward or punishment.
“Justice is just a word in the dictionary, Morgain.” A lawyer once told me. He continued, “You can go look it up in a dictionary if it makes you feel better.”
The man named Steve who molested me and attacked the eight year old in front of me when I was six is dead. I am free. Or supposed to be.
The detective in California who is hunting the serial killer told me the man who attacked the eight year old girl in front of me did horrific things to other children. He did terrible things to a lot of people, before and after us.
The other detective got quiet and looked me in the eye and he said, “I believe you.”
He told me he believed me and I started crying in that little room. At forty two, it was the first time I had ever heard anyone tell me that they believed me and that I was doing the right thing. He told me it good thing that I was reporting the attack. It was documented. It happened and I had survived it.
He came back into the little office interview room, the kind you see on Dateline with the weird acoustic polka dots in the walls and handed me a brown paper towel roll, the kind they have at school that cuts your face, to clean up all the tears.
They told me things I intuitively knew, but things I needed to hear that my family refused or was unable to say to me.
The detectives told me he did terrible things before and after us and was a horrible person and as bad as the serial killer they are hunting, he said, but alas, not the same man.
Their stories fit and overlapped each other. They both moved around, they destroyed lives, they attacked people and violated them wherever they went, and they continued to destroy. They did horrific things to people and then they died.
“You let them in your head.” My sister told me. “You weren’t raped.” She said
It was my fault I couldn’t let it go. I let them in my head, it was my fault for not forgetting. I wasn’t a good forgetter. I had a good memory and I remember every horrific thing that happened and the damage that happened.
“Let’s go to Chico’s !!” My aunt said when I told her I wanted to tell the police, just so it was documented and to find out what happened to him and to prevent it from happening to another child. “Nobody will believe the word of a six year old, Morgain.” She said. Then she gave me some Suzanne Somers books.
Some nights I wake up and I feel his hand on my throat, I hold my breath and I am six again. He’s kneeling by the bed with a flashlight and he looks like Jesus. I’m too scared to move, too scared to breathe, holding my breath so I die so I don’t have to hear the sounds of the eight year old girl being attacked next to me.
He was living in our garage and our mother was in the next room sleeping. He was another drifter my mother had picked up and she already knew he had molested other children, but she needed him to do insurance scams for her. So, it was a tradeoff. He got to attack children and my mom got a proficient henchman.
My aunts lived nearby and visited frequently and they told me when I was an adult that this man terrified them. He terrified me too, but since I was six I couldn’t drive away and go back to my own safe home like they could, I tried to hide in the backseat of their cars when they left so they would take me with them.
Every time my aunt visited our house with her kids, we’d hide with our cousins in the back seat of her car on the floorboards under a blanket and try to go home with her when she was leaving. But she’d learn to check the backseat and halfway back to Aunt Peggy’s house, she’d flip a u turn and we were always marched back up to our own front door, back into the house with the madwoman and the scary pedophile man and whomever else was living with us at the time.
The attack I witnessed changed my view of the world when I was six. Before then, I felt safe when I slept. My cat would sleep on my chest, my sisters and I would snuggle like kittens and fall asleep laughing and whispering, but after the night he came into my bedroom with a flashlight, I never slept well again.
But he is dead. He died two years ago. I am free, or supposed to be.