Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rookie Speech

“You rookies come in here, brand new badge flashing away on your lapel, thinking that you’re hot because you’re young you got the edge on us seniors. Well, kid- you got nothing. Nothing more than a boat load of adrenaline and a jumpy trigger finger. That’ll calm down real quick, just you wait.

“Me? I been around too long and seen too much to be trying so damned hard. And I learned a long time again to keep my head down, mouth shut, and ears open. You, buddy, are gonna learn. You won’t be so desperate to catch a bust and flash your pride around here when get down to the real business of homicide.

“You look at me and you think I’m old. Well I’ve seen more than you can even dream of your misguided little brain. I saw my first body when I was 12 years old- can you say that? That’s right, 12. It was the summer of ’72.

“Back then, kids left their bikes sittin’ out on the lawn. People left their doors open to catch the cross breeze. Nobody had a fenced-in yard or security systems or any of the rest of it. We played baseball and ate ice cream from the local dairy. We hung out at the damn swimming when it got real hot. We went fishin’. And that’s where old Mr. Baker first saw us.

“Tommy was the first one to go missin’. Everybody thought he fell into the damn at night, maybe tripped up while running down the path. We formed a search part after the second day cause nobody believed he’d run away- we didn’t have trouble youth back then. If you were trouble your dad put the fear a’ God into you and you worked off your troubles in somebody’s yard pulling weed or pushing a mower. No, Tommy didn’t run away.

“We even dredged the dam, see. Went right down to the bottom. Never found him. Not till three weeks later. His body was sitting all arraigned in the playground at school. The killer had scooped out his organs, replaced them with potting soil grew a nice sunflower in there.

“Oh, now you’re paying attention- now you know what I’m talkin’ about. That’s right, my friend Tommy was the very first victim of the Sunflower killer. That’s when Foulkrod went on the map, when we got our very own serial killer. You know the rest of the story, I assume. They found a total of nine bodies before they finally figured out Mr. Baker from the bait shop was tracking down the boys from the dam. Well, I was there from the start.

“I saw this town go from the laid back, blind community where everyone was safe to the place is now. Now everybody’s got a security system or a gated yard. Everybody keeps guard dogs and double locks. You never see kids running around cause all the families that could afford to moved away and the playgrounds turned into apartment complexes and factories.

“Now we got ourselves a real hot bed of crime that leaves rookies like you chompin’ at the bit for their first big bust. Well, you’ll loose that cocky attitude real quick round here. When you get used to the smell of blood after it’s been sitting in the hot sun for a couple of hours, or a decomposing body that somebody just dug up- then you can talk to me about pride. Pride is what you get for keeping your lunch down at your first crime scene. Until then just shut up and stay the hell out of my face.”

*That was the speech Capt. Shaw used to give to all the new detectives back when he was still investigating. It's a good thing he got promoted cause by that time Wikipedia had invented and all the rookies had already looked up the Sunflower Killer and been disappointed to find out he was famous in Foulkrod, IN- not Foulkrod, IL.

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