PopPopPop, Whooosh! "Georgina! Georgina! GEORGINAAAA!!"
"WHAAAT?!! What are you...Ohhhhhhhhh My GOD!!"
"Susan's house is on fire. Her house is on fire!"
"Charlie call the fire department now!!
" I don't know their number; let me just call 911"
"Yeah, yeah, call 911, hurry, hurry!" "Oh god her car is in the driveway that means she's home. She's on days this week and the boys are with her not Dave."
"911 what's your emergency?"
"Our neighbor's house is on fire!"
"Sir please give me your exact location."
"Uhm 1713 Vale St NE"
"You stated your neighbor's home is on fire is that correct?"
"Yeah, it's blazing crazy right now."
"Sir, may I have your name please?"
"I've called the local fire unit in your area and they are on the way. Now, Mr Webber do you know if anyone is in the house?"
"We think Susan and her little boys are."
"Awe man; we have to do something Charlie!!"
"Please stay calm and do not attempt to enter the house, help is on the way."
Crackling, spitting sounds, the smell of burnt wood and melted plastic invade the night. Dark, thick, inky clouds of smoke fill the sky and devour fresh breathable air.
The house is almost entirely consumed, flames are shooting out the windows, beams snap and fall, roof shingles melt away, the overhang gutter melts down onto the hood of the car.
The fire roars as if in pain; as if the intense heat of the flames, it creates burns away at its very soul. Orange, black, and gray dance a terrifying ballet to a catastrophic ballad.
Thursday, May 11th Aurora, CO 7:38 a.m.
"Who got the call, Kugler or Barnes?"
"BK I think."
"Where the hell is she? We've contained the fire and secured the scene. It's time for us to give our report and head out."
"She should be here any minute now Capt."
"Spangler called her a while ago."
I nod my hello's. Malory, Spencer, Capt. Rogers.
"About damn time BK."
"Don't start, OK?" "Whose giving report?"
"Spangler get over here and give BK the report."
"Arrived on the scene of a house fire in progress at 4:45 am. House was completely engulfed in flames. Family thought to be inside, but no evidence to support that claim. The fire was contained at 6:52 am."
"OK. Color of the smoke, any damaged sprinkler systems, condition of doors and windows, what was the behavior of the flames?"
Spangler answers and rattles off more details as I move about the charred ruins. The smell of fire and damp ashes linger in the air. I begin to look for potential fire sources. Was an iron plugged in? Was the circuit box damaged? Was the smoke alarm turned off?
"Any forced entry?" "Yeah, there was a forced entry on the back door. A pane of glass was broken out."
"Did anyone see any obvious incendiary devices?"
I continue my walk-through, but, I've just been going through the motions.
I already know it was arson.
"Ok, thanks you guys can go. I'll wrap up here, send some samples to forensics, and be in touch with the results as soon as I know."
"Bk an eyewitness just came forward."
"That lady over there near your car."
"She claims she saw someone run out of the house, get into a Grey Altima like yours and hightail it moments before the fire erupted."
"Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!"
"Keep it together ladybug."
"They're gonna catch us!"
"But she pointed to our car!"
"Relax. There is no definite description of the perp and there are hundreds of cars identical to ours."
"But what if ?"
"Shhhhhh. We're Ok."
"They didn't find the clock. We buried the clock under a pile of rags in the laundry room. Remember?" "After they clear out; we'll check that everything burned down. If it didn't we'll just have it bagged for forensics and conviently forget to put it in the forensics evidence container."
"He knows, he knows. Look how he's looking at us."
"Shut up! Ok? Just shut up! Just let me think."
"Kugler, kugler, what's your problem?"
"I said who are you talking to?"
"Talking to? Nobody. I'm not talking to anyone."
"Could of fooled me. You just zoned out; started walking in circles, talking under your breath."
"Nah, just thinking out loud. Tryna wrap my head around this case. Listen thanks Spangler for the report."
"Sure thing BK."
Thursday, May 11th Aurora, CO 4:32 am
I pull up a bit past the house and turn off my car.
I gather the stuff from the front seat and put it in my jacket pocket. I run to the back of the house and quickly break the bottom window pane on the back door.
I wasn't worried about the alarm system. Dave told me that the alarm system wasn't activated because the bill hadn't been paid in months. It was just for show.
After entering the washroom; I pulled the clock and rags from my pocket. Setting the clock down easy; I set the alarm. I piled the rags on top of the clock; then got the heck out of dodge.
Now Dave could cash out his insurance claim, give me my cut, and stick it to Susan. She's a nasty piece of work that one. Dave lost everything to her in the divorce case even custody of his boys.
He told me she and the boys were leaving around 6 pm to visit her mom for a long weekend and they were traveling by train.
The timing couldn't be more perfect.
Thursday, May 11th Aurora City Jail, Aurora, CO 4:02 pm
Crap the clock didn't burn up. It only partially burned; the rest was intact. They will find my fingerprints on the pieces that didn't burn.
This was a sloppy job. So many mistakes made.
Spangler told Capt Rogers he had a hunch. He left with his unit but, doubled back and hid across the street behind the neighbor's hedges. He saw me bag the clock and put in my trunk instead of the evidence container for forensics. Then he followed me and got me on video throwing the evidence in the South Platte River.
I'm looking at 3-7 years, a $25,000 fine, plus 4 years probation after release.
2 years 3 months later...
Wednesday November 4th Fort Logan Mental Health Institute Denver CO 1:23 pm
I've been in this hell hole for a little over two years. Of course Dave turned state's evidence against me to save his own butt.
I tried to help him and that was the thanks I got.
I plead guilty by reason of insanity.
6 years, $8,000 fine and 2 years probation.
I was placed in a mixed disorder unit. Schizophrenics, Bipolarism, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Homicidal Ideation.
I gotta get outta here. This place is for crazy people. They, 'the professionals' say I'm here because I have delusions of grandeur, a distorted view of reality.
Have you ever walked through a doorway somewhere and you don't know why you’re there? That’s how it felt to walk through the door of Ft. Logan MHI for the first time. It felt confusing and bit unreal.
The first day I came here they took my blood and my vitals. I met with a case worker. Then I sat in a room with 29 other people and went over the rules and regulations, was introduced to my physiatrist, and assigned a bedroom. It's very plain and boring in here. I can tell you interior design is not a priority.
After the check-in process. I was given a quick tour of the hospital wing I would be in; an hour later it was lights out. They tell you that you are expected to sleep 8-15 hours a day. They will give you meds if you have a hard time sleeping.
My days are dictated by program schedules. The mornings all start out the same. Breakfast, medication distribution, then fresh air break.
For medication distribution, we all stand in a line and receive our 'free candy' individually prescribed pills in teeny, tiny, dixie cups with water.
Next we are ushered to Day Space. There is a television mounted on the wall with two rows of chairs placed in front of it. There's a bookshelf with various books, and a game table. Several sofas and chairs are scattered about.
Lunch, more free time, then there's group where we talk with our psychiatrist do some exercises or watch a wellness video.
Dr. Rauchs, my psychiatrist, is nice. He is a young guy who always looks genuinely concerned for everyone. He's very kind and compassionate.
Fresh air break again. Dinner comes shortly after. It's lights out after we shower.
There are all kinds of disturbed people in here.
One of the patients, Dorrie, shouts at the nurses that she’s the mistress of the Prime Minister’s son and that a national conspiracy has developed to cover their relationship up. She becomes combative and has to be restrained. They inject her with a sedative and she weakly pleads to be released. This happens at least twice a week.
Edward is a 22-year-old schizophrenic, he wears a patch over his right eye, although there is nothing wrong with his sight.
For days now, he’s been telling me he was getting messages from the television (any channel, any program) and the newspaper.
A few days ago, he informed me that he was psychic and that I was going to be the next President.
Edward thrusts a newspaper in my hand. “Read the headlines I circled,” he instructs.
I read them. The headlines he's circled tell me nothing.
I apolgize and tell him I didn't get it; that I am not smart enough to understand.
He smiles, takes my hands and says, " See, that's why I picked you because you are so humble.
Annalise is a 45 year old woman officially diagnosed with D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder). Back in the day it was called Multiple Personality Disorder.
She's here because she's attempted suicide twice in the last 6 months.
She says to anybody who will listen, “I'm one person but, I've been divided into many pieces." There are 34 parts of me." She refers to them as her alters and refers to herself as the core.
She calls some of them by name and age. There’s River 5, Jordyn 8, Hannah 7, Caitlyn 11, Taj 15 who's her protector, Katie 16 and Vickie 17 just to name a few.
Even though the personalities are different, they are all her. Annalise says every alter is different.
They have different likes, different things that smell good to them, different things that taste good to them, things that they do, and don’t do.
If you met her on the street, chances are you’d never know by looking at her. She is an intelligent, calm and very straight forward woman. But she says her alters are always there, just under the surface. Anything can trigger them to emerge.
Anita, another schizophrenic patient with the usual signs: auditory hallucinations, disheveled appearance, no expression on her face said she heard voices talking to her. I asked her what they were saying to her and she refused to tell me.
I told her the nurses could give her medication to make the voices stop. She shoved me hard and yelled at me to shut my mouth.
I got away from her. She was standing in the middle of the floor screaming, "They're the only friends I have!"
Incidents like these and many others happen on a daily basis in this ghastly place.
I don't belong here. I am just a victim of circumstance. I keep my distance physically and emotionally from the people in here, especially, the ones I think have the potential to be violent. Everyday I wrack my brain searching for options on how to escape from here.
I could jump out of a window, but I'm on the 4th floor and without something to land on I will suffer severe injury and pain.
The custodian Zach smiles at me a lot. I think he has a crush on me. Maybe I could get him to help me get outta this place.
I gave up a while back trying to convince Dr Rauchs. When I would explain to him that I didn't belong here and that I needed him to recommend an early release for me; he would just say, I'll look into your case and see what can be done.
Obviously, nothing could be done, as I'm still here.
I'm starting to have nightmares about being trapped forever in this place. I wake with a start wild eyed, sweat soaked, heart beating out of my chest. This place is taking a toll on me.
Next week a group of us are supposed to go on an approved outing to a local highschool to speak on the unfair stigma of mental illness and how to get help for themselves, friends, and family members.
I have to figure something out before then, for now though, I obey all the rules and make myself a model prisoner/patient.