Showing posts with label Immigration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immigration. Show all posts

11 September 2018

The Broken Windows Tour of L.A.

by Paul D. Marks

“It is through that broken window that we see the world...”
                                                                                                  –Alice Walker

A while back I did a tour of some of the locations in White Heat. Now, since it’s Hot Off the Presses—it came out yesterday from Down & Out Books—it’s the Broken Windows Tour of L.A. One of the things I really enjoy is writing about Los Angeles in the context of a mystery-thriller. In Broken Windows, P.I. Duke Rogers and his very unPC sidekick, Jack, are on the hunt for the killer of an undocumented worker.

Briefly, a little about Broken Windows: While the storm rages over California’s infamous 1994 anti-illegal alien Proposition 187, a young woman climbs to the top of the famous Hollywood sign—and jumps to her death. An undocumented day laborer is murdered. And a disbarred and desperate lawyer in Venice Beach places an ad in a local paper that says: “Will Do Anything For Money.”—Private Investigator Duke Rogers, and his very unPC partner, Jack, must figure out what ties together these seemingly unrelated incidents. Their mission catapults them through a labyrinth of murder, intrigue and corruption of church, state and business that hovers around the immigration debate. And that turmoil is not unlike what’s roiling the country today—in fact it might be seen as a precursor to it.

Hope you'll give it a read. And Reviews would be greatly appreciated...especially if they're good ones :-) .

Realtors say the most important thing is Location Location Location. I wouldn’t go that far in terms of writing. But location is important. So, hop on the bus for a handful of the many SoCal locations in Broken Windows:

View from behind the Hollywood sign (1)

The Hollywood Sign:

The story opens with a young woman climbing to the top of the Hollywood Sign.

The Hollywood Sign beckoned her like a magnet—or like a moth to a flame. The sign glowed golden in the magic hour sun—that time of day around sunrise and sunset when the light falls soft and warm and cinematographers love to shoot. Like so many others, Susan Karubian had come here seeking fame and fortune, hoping to make her mark on the world. Oh hell, she had come to be a star like all the others. And she would do it, just not quite in the heady way she’d anticipated.


When a friend and I hiked up to the sign before the fence was put around it,
 so you could actually get to the sign


The Santa Monica Pier:

Duke, looking for a little R&R, takes his new dog, Molly, to the pier:

The Santa Monica Pier used to be one of my favorite places to go to while away time, do some thinking on cases when things weren’t breaking right. I still liked it, but not as much as before. They’d remodeled it, turning it into a mini Disneyland, new rides, new chain restaurants. Just another mini-mall-amusement-park, but with a saltwater view, with kitschy chain restaurants featuring Cowabunga Burgers and a food court, for crying out loud. And a lot more people. Tourists. Families with their kids. Freaks of all kinds. Still, the air was clean. And I thought Molly should get a taste of it.

A view from Santa Monica pier of Santa Monica looking north (2)
At the pier, he runs into Marisol, whose brother Carlos, an undocumented immigrant, has been murdered. Later, Duke takes on the case of trying to find out who killed Carlos and why.

We headed back down the pier. In the distance a woman with coal black hair sat on a bench staring out to sea, her back to me. The wind pitched her hair over her face; she swept it away with a backhand. Something seemed familiar about her. When we got closer I saw that it was Marisol. She didn’t see us and I debated whether to approach her. “Days like this are my favorite time at the beach,” I said. She turned around, looking up at me through a tangle of hair. It looked like she had been crying…

Venice and the Venice Beach Boardwalk:

The bad part of Venice is where Eric, a disbarred lawyer, lives in a not so nice place compared to what he had been used to:

He opened a window, could smell the briny ocean air and hear the waves booming in the distance. This was Venice, California—crammed onto the SoCal shore between tony Santa Monica and haughty Marina del Rey—but not the Venice of the tourists and beach people. And this certainly wasn’t what Abbot Kinney had envisioned when he wanted to recreate Italy’s Venice in Southern California, complete with canals and gondoliers. No, Kinney must be rolling over in his grave these days. This was the other side of Venice. No canals here. No bathing beauties. Unless cockroaches had beauties in their midst, maybe to another cockroach. Miss Cockroach of 1994. Would she want world peace too? Or just a crumb of leftover bread?

Venice Beach (3)
Eric puts an ad in the paper. At first we’re not sure how he ties into the main story of Duke trying to find Carlos’ killer…

And he [Eric] opened the L.A. Weekly underground paper. Today was the day his ad was due out. He scanned a few pages until he came to it:

“Contact Eric,” it said, and gave his phone number. So far the phone hadn’t rung, but it was early. Breakfast time. He figured he’d sit by the phone today and hope for the best. If something didn’t come along, he wouldn’t even be able to pay the rent on this hell hole.

He looked at the phone, willing it to ring. When it didn’t, his eyes shifted back to his ad, to the headline: “$$$ Will do anything for money. $$$”.

At one point, Duke also finds himself down in Venice:

When Abbott Kinney founded Venice, California, south of Santa Monica, in the early nineteen hundreds, he had big dreams for it. Modeled after Venice, Italy, complete with canals and gondoliers, it was supposed to be a place of high-minded culture. Maybe it was, a hundred years ago. I don’t think so. And certainly not today. Now it was divided between the Hollywood Haves, who filled many of the little, but exceptionally expensive homes along the canals, and the low-rent people a few blocks away, whose homes were the gangs they belonged to more than the houses they lived in. Los Angeles Schizoid Dream.

Man on Venice Boardwalk (4)
The Café Noir:

A down on its heels bar on Sunset Boulevard, where Duke hangs out sometimes:

I opened the Café Noir’s door, a flood of velvet blackness enveloping me as I entered. The transition from daylight, even overcast daylight, to the Noir’s dimness made me close my eyes for a few seconds. Nat King Cole’s “The Blues Don’t Care” sinuously threaded its way from the jukebox. The bartender nodded. I nodded back. I settled in a corner at the far end of the bar, hoping no one I knew would join me. It wasn’t crowded at this hour, but you never knew. And right now I just wanted to get lost in a drink and the shadows, in the music and the anonymity of a dark corner.


The Cafe Noir


Smuggler’s Gulch:

In the 1990s, Smuggler’s Gulch near San Diego was just what its name implies, a major smuggling point for people coming over the border. Jack and Duke have a “meet” there that goes bad and later Duke returns to the “scene of the crime,” so to speak:

I figured Jack wouldn’t be back and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I packed Molly in the Jeep and hit the freeways. Southern California’s become one long rush hour for the most part, but at that time of night, traffic moved at a good clip. We drove south, toward the border. Landed back at Smuggler’s Gulch. Rocky Point. I surveyed the area with night-vision binoculars, making sure no cops, Border Patrol, or even some of Miguel’s friends were there. I knew Jack had hidden the body well, but you can’t be too careful. When I knew the coast was clear, we walked to the rock. I sat there with Molly on the same spot where I’d been shot. She’d been getting stronger by the day and I thought she might enjoy getting out of the house.


Smuggler's Gulch / Tijuana River Valley, San Diego, CA (5)


***

So, there’s a mini tour of just some of the L.A. and SoCal locations in Broken Windows. Hope you might want to check the book out—it’s available now.

***



And now for the usual BSP:

Broken Windows released on September 10th and is available now at AmazonBarnes & Noble , Down & Out Books and all the usual places.



Peter Anthony Holder interviewed me for the Stuph File. It’s short, 10 minutes. You might enjoy it. It’s episode 0471 at the link below. And check out the Stuph File too:

https://tunein.com/podcasts/Comedy/Peter-Anthony-Holders-Stuph-File-p394054/?topicId=123713643

www.thestuphfile.com

And I was also interviewed by Dave Congalton at KVEC radio:

http://www.920kvec.com/davecongalton/posts/air-date-aug-27-2018-seg3-mystery-writer-paul-d-marks.php 


Please join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/paul.d.marks and check out my website www.PaulDMarks.com


____________________

Photo attributions:

(1) Hollywood sign photo by Caleb George (https://unsplash.com/seemoris), Unsplash.com: https://unsplash.com/photos/5NslKuaHTJo

(2) A view from Santa Monica pier of Santa Monica looking north photo by Korvenna

(3) Venice Beach, photo by InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA 

(4) Man on Venice Boardwalk, photo by Sean Stratton seanstratton - ttps://unsplash.com/photos/dEEMyIa4zPc

(5) Smuggler's Gulch / Tijuana River Valley, San Diego, CA, USA, photo by Roman Eugeniusz, https://www.panoramio.com/photo/127934179




30 March 2018

Just Following Orders

by
O'Neil De Noux

It's time to anger family and friends again. Y'all won't believe how much flak I've caught since my anti-confederate blog last year.

I want to talk about police officers blindly following orders.

I'm a retired law enforcement officer, been a cop most of my life, from the 1960s until 2017, with a few breaks in between. I've been in law enforcement from the anti-war and civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s to todays demonstrations for black-lives-matter and immigration reform and me-too and women's rights and so much more. Those causes are not the subject of this discussion. How cops handle them is.

When did police officers start acting like Nazi brown-shirts, jack-booted thugs? Well, since forever. Police officers were used to break up demonstrations for unions, women's suffrage, veterans rights, anti-war, the list goes on and on. Just finished reading Ken Follett's FALL OF GIANTS where British police sided with pro-Nazi English fascists (The British Union of Fascists) and attacked people blocking the Nazis from marching in their neighborhood in 1936.

Here are photos of British police attacking demonstrators at that particular demonstrations, commonly called The Battle of Cable Street.





In the name of law and order, the police were ordered to side with Nazis and followed orders.

Here are photos of suffragettes beaten by police. How in the hell did men beat women with clubs because women wanted to vote? How? Because they were sent to do that in the name of law and order and they obeyed orders.




This may be repugnant today. How about this image from the University of California Davis in 2011?


I was a university police officer then and has discussions with my fellow officers about this. I said, "You don't want to be that guy." And several fellow offieer said they wanted to be that guy. If the university administration (as in California) ordered university police to use force against demonstrators, they'd pepper stray students without hesitation.

I tried to give them some old-man wisdom, reminding them we were talking about students, about young people we were paid to protect. What do we tell their parents? We attacked them because they made things inconvenient on campus, they blocked a walkway? If they blocked a walkway, go another way.

I told them how New Orleans Mayor Ernest 'Dutch' Morial's office was once taken over by demonstrators. Did the mayor call in police to remove them? No. He moved his operations to a different office in city hall and negotiated with the demonstrators to a peaceful solution. Morial knew the score. He'd been a civil rights demonstrator as a young man.

"But we can't let them just stay there." Going back to my discussions with fellow university police officers.

"Yes we can," was my response. We're talking about American kids. They'll need to eat, go to the bathroom, take a shower. They'll need to recharge their cell phones. They don't live on the ground. This is Louisiana. It'll rain soon. They'll get weary and go home. Just wait them out. Be nice to them. Converse with them. Protect them from anti-demonstrators and it'll all calm down. Let them demonstrate.

Stephen Stills, in his enlightened song FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, wrote of demonstrators, "A thousand people in the street. Singing songs and carrying signs. Mostly saying, 'Hooray for our side'."

Let them voice their concerns. Police officers need not agree or disagree with the message. It's not our job to solve the issue. We maintian the peace and we should not attack either side. You don't want to be that guy.

How about this image from Baton Rouge, Louisiana? Just following orders.


Whose message is more powerful? Heavily armed men in body armor or peaceful demonstrator?

At least they did not use clubs or pepper spray.

www.oneildenoux.com





17 April 2012

Evil Under The Sun--Part Two

by David Dean

The following account was largely drawn from the Nassau Guardian and Freeport News of the Bahamas.  Some of the background research was done by myself and any factual errors are my own and unintentional.  I think it serves to illustrate how an insidious crime can infect and corrode an entire nation.  This is the second and concluding half.  


When three boys went missing from Freeport in May of 2003, the entire Commonwealth of the Bahamas experienced a sense of unease, concern, and a shared bafflement as to their fates.  An almost forgotten case of twenty-two years before was resurrected--another instance of three young boys gone missing and never to be seen again; also in the month of May.  Satanic sacrifices and witchcraft began to be discussed and the people's unease soon became suspicion and fear.  The police were unable to shed any light on the circumstances even with the help of a team of FBI profilers.  Then...Junior Reme disappeared from his Freeport home one morning in July.  Fear graduated into terror and xenophobia.  A mysterious grey van was reported to be trolling the back streets of Freeport for little boys; its occupants always in shadow.

With a fourth boy now added to the list American television was enlisted in the search, and Adam Walsh of 'America's Most Wanted' offered his services.  An episode featuring photos of all the boys was duly filmed and aired--all to no avail.  Still there were no witnesses, no new clues...only silence.  Rallies were held in support of the suffering families with massive turn-outs, but still nothing broke in the case.  Two months after Junior Reme's disappearance, September 28th, a fourteen year old boy did not return home.  Desmond Rolle became the fifth name to be added to the list.  The devil was at his play in the Bahamas.

The Nassau Guardian appealed to the mothers of the Bahamas to search their hearts when it came to their own sons...could they know something...could they be somehow involved?  The public, in their turn, castigated the police on their lack of progress, and accused them of being concerned only with the tourists and wealthy; not the poor and working people that appeared to be the target of this plague of disappearances.  The rifts that had begun in May grew wider and uglier.  Haitian immigrants, long a source of heated debate within the Bahamas, came under an ever closer scrutiny.  Their ways were not the ways of Bahamians: Whereas the Bahamians spoke English, the Haitians spoke Creole French; the natives were by and large Protestants, the immigrants were Catholic, the Bahamians prized good behavior and obedience to the law, the foreigners had come from a lawless, violent country.  Perhaps more importantly was the Haitians legendary Voodoo practices--were these not Satanic in nature?  Though some Bahamians practiced a similar alternate religion call Obediah, it was not generally accepted.

October was to change everything--On the third of the month Assistant Commissioner Ellison Greenslade announced that more than three persons had been taken into custody as a result of "substantial" tips received by the police.  He added that the police still had reason to believe that the missing boys were alive.  He also made clear that Desmond Rolle, the latest victim, had been a packer at the local Winn Dixie grocery store just as the others had been and that they now knew all the boys had frequented the same downtown video game store.  He refused any information on the suspects in custody.

Immediately following the press conference, a team of policemen descended upon the Winn Dixie, as a large crowd gathered in the parking lot and rumors began to swirl of refrigerated body parts.  The police denied the rumors: "Absolute Hogwash," said Greenslade.  There were still no boys.

The following day, when pressed by reporters, the police stated that they had nothing major to report.  When the liaison officer was questioned as to rumors that the boys may have become victims of 'organ harvesters' for the medical black market, he responded that there was no evidence to substantiate such a thing.  The police continued to be tight-lipped on the suspects in custody.  Meanwhile CNN aired a story on the disappearances world-wide and a cruise ship cancelled its trip to Freeport.

By October 8th it was learned that several mothers and their juvenile sons were being held by the police.  The story was broken when one of the mothers complained to the media after her release that she wanted her boy back, and that she was contemplating suicide as a result of their treatment.  It became understood that three; possibly more, juveniles, some as young as eleven, were being detained.  The police had 96 hours in which to hold them without charges.  Citizens reported extensive police searches going on in a wooded area to the rear of the Tivoli Gardens apartment complex.

On another front, Member of Parliament, Lindy Russell, decried the intrusive and disruptive nature of the media's handling of the entire crises, and accused them of hurting the families and hampering the investigation.  He further castigated his fellow MP's over their lack of action in the matter, and said the government must move swiftly to assist families in socially depressed areas that can become catalysts for sexual exploitation of children and adults.

On October 10th, the police released a bombshell when they announced that four boys were being charged with the manslaughter of Jake Grant, the first of the children to go missing.  The youngsters, ranging in age from 11 to 13 were indicted at the Grand Bahama Island courthouse late on a Friday morning.  It was the first substantial break in a case that was now five months old and with as many missing children.  Three of the arrested boys were Haitian nationals.  During the arraignment a large crowd had to be held back on the courthouse lawn by a combination of police and Defense Force officers clad in army fatigues.  The crowd and media was reminded over and over to stand back as they continued to inch forward.  After just an hour the boys were escorted from the courthouse to a waiting bus and the horde of on-lookers surged forth.  Screams of "my boy" and "they little boys" were heard and reported by the press.  An ambulance was summoned to treat a woman who had collapsed.  As the police bus sped away with the boys to the airport, from where they would be flown to the Simpson Penn Juvenile Detention Center in Nassau, people wept and clung to one another.  Some family members became angry and began shouting at the police, but a heavy rain shower intervened, dispersing the irate, sobbing crowd to their various homes. The remainder of the missing boy cases were being treated separately according to a statement from the police.  The public remained anxious and confused.

Rumors spread quickly on October 26th that two bodies had been discovered at Freeport's Barbary Beach and that a man was being held in custody.  The police denied the rumors.  Three days later, Cordell Darrell Farrington, 35, a warehouse worker for Kelly's Freeport Limited, was charged with five counts of murder--that of the four remaining boys and an adult who had been missing since 2002.  He had turned himself into the police. It was also revealed that the police had recovered five skeletal remains in a remote pine forest on the eastern part of the island.  Police said that Farrington, a Bahamian national, met the boys informally and was able to gain their confidence before murdering them.  It appeared that, at last, the six-month reign of terror was over.

Cordell Farrington pled guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of Mackinson Colas, Deangelo McKenzie, Junior Reme, and Desmond Rolle.  He was later convicted of murder in the case of the adult, Jamal Robins, 22, who had allegedly been his lover.  This conviction was changed to one of manslaughter in 2008 due to the court accepting proof that he suffered from a severe personality disorder.  He was the eldest of five children.

Jake Grant's body was never discovered.  It was alleged by the police that he had been drowned in a swimming pool by the boys charged in his death.  Several years later the charges were dismissed. Jake's mother still holds on to the hope that he will be found.

Farrington's mother, who was also a victim in all of this, stated that, "We will never be known by our name anymore."

The boys funerals were not held for over a year pending forensic testing on their remains. 

The Funeral of Deangelo McKenzie, Mackinson Colas, Junior Deme, and Desmond Rolle


03 April 2012

Evil Under The Sun– Part One

by David Dean

The following account was largely drawn from the Nassau Guardian and Freeport News of the Bahamas.  Some of the background research was done by myself and any factual errors are my own and unintentional.  I think it serves to illustrate how an insidious crime can infect and corrode an entire nation.  It is presented in two parts due to the amount of information contained. 

Many years ago, November of 2003, to be exact, Robin and I took a five day vacation to Nassau in the Bahamas.  We fell instantly in love with the Caribbean atmosphere (though, technically the Bahamas lay in the Atlantic).  But as it turned out, our Friday there was a damp and drizzly one with overcast skies and that evening Robin hit the sack early.  I remained restless and turned on the television (low volume, of course) to take a look at the local news...something I tend to do whenever I travel...it can be very enlightening, and this time would prove no different.  In fact, it would open my eyes to an ongoing national tragedy that was playing out unbeknownst to the average tourist.  Not that it was a secret...far from it...but none of 'us' were paying any mind to what was happening with the locals.  My discovery was completely inadvertent.

What I found being played as the story of the day was a national prayer service.  It was being shown live and, at first, I couldn't make heads nor tails as to what had triggered this event.  As I continued to sip my rum and decipher the accents it became slowly apparent to me from the various speakers (ministers, government officials, private citizens) that somehow six boys had been killed in a terrible tragedy.  It was obvious that the Bahamian audience were well aware of the circumstances, while I watched bewildered as to what had actually occurred: I envisioned some sort of boating accident, actually.  It was a depressing and sad affair, and I eventually turned it off and went to bed, thinking of my own children and what a fragile gift life is.

The next morning I paid a visit to the hotel gift shop and bought the local paper: The Nassau Guardian.  The entire affair was front page news.  I began to read expecting to be find out what kind of accident this might have been, only to discover that the deaths were not accidental at all...

Young boys began to go missing on Grand Bahama Island (the most populous of the Bahamas archipelago; second only to New Providence Island where the capital, Nassau, is located) in May of 2003.  One followed the other into oblivion in rapid succession--Jake Grant, 12, May 9, Mackinson Colas, 11, May 16, and Deangelo McKenzie, 13, on May 27th.  Each had been in his own neighborhood amongst familiar surroundings.  None had a history of delinquency; just the opposite, in fact.  Attempts at locating the boys were fruitless and yielded no clues as the circumstances of their disappearances.  Police resources from national headquarters were brought in to assist the local officers.  Rumors quickly became rampant and the police warned the public to avoid indulging in speculation or providing tips based on  homegrown theories.  This did not work and the police found themselves deluged with useless lines of inquiry.  Their resources were rapidly maxed out.  Fissures began to show between the police, the citizens, and the government.

On June 19th the Police Press Liaison Officer, Superintendent Hulan Hanna, said that even though the search has spanned nationwide, the police would continue to treat the case as one of "search and rescue," rather than "search and recovery," and that they had no reason, as of yet, to consider the boys as anything other than missing.  He went on to add that he was "concerned" after visiting Grand Bahama and seeing so many children out on the streets late into the evening, and appealed to the parents to take primary responsibility for the safety of their children.  Additional personnel from the Defense Force (the Bahamian armed forces) and from citizen volunteers failed to produce any results.  K-9 units fared no better.  It seemed the boys had simply vanished into thin air.  A reward of $25,000 was offered and grew to $75,000 within weeks--a sizable amount of money to the average Bahamian.  But no one had actually seen or heard anything useful and it went unclaimed.

On July 7th, members of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse weighed in expressing their concern and horror over the circumstances and likening it to events in the U.S.  "This is something that happens in the U.S. and it is something that we see on the television in the U.S.  It is something that we have not associated with our country," said Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson during a press conference at the Ministry of Social Services.  The spectre of foreign influences began to play a larger and more malevolent role in the Bahamian psyche.  Like Supt. Hanna, she also expressed concern over children wandering the streets unsupervised by adults; even approaching strangers (tourists) at the Straw Market to get them to buy things.  Clearly the public had moved on from the "search and rescue" mentality that the police maintained.  On July 10th, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas celebrated its 30th year of independence from British rule under a pall of apprehension.

flag
Bahamian National Flag
On July 14th, a disturbing story by staff reporter Jimenita Swain appeared in the Nassau Guardian.  It had to do with two separate incidents of boys gone missing from Grand Bahama Island: the current crop, of course, but also three boys that had vanished twenty-two years earlier; also in May, and all of a similar age.  However, in the older case all three boys had disappeared on a single afternoon!  According to the sister of one of the earlier missing boys, the police had told her family that they could not search until twenty-four hours had elapsed.  Three days later the clothes and school books of the boys were found on a remote beach near a 'blue hole'--essentially a deep hole in the ocean's bottom; a sort of vertical marine cavern.  The police ended the search and pronounced the boys dead.  Memorial services were held.

Twenty-two years later, the same woman, Nicole Lewis, brother of George 'Kip' Lewis, noticed something strange--Mackinson Colas bore a striking resemblance to one of the earlier trio, Jake Grant.  A meeting between her and Jake's sister spawned a theory about what might have happened to their brothers so many years before and the ones gone missing in 2003.  Ms. Lewis based her theory on a book entitled "Devil's Knot" which recounted the story of three missing boys from West Memphis who were discovered to have been drained of blood and one of them mutilated.  Three people were arrested and convicted for the crimes.  It was believed they acted out a satanic ritual as the method of the boys murders.  The deed had been done in May around the time of the full moon and the victims had also been three young boys.  The Bahamian police discounted the theory.  The public, however, was thinking it over.

On July 29th, the mother of an eleven-year-old boy filed a missing persons report with the police--Junior Reme had joined the ranks of the vanished children of Grand Bahama Island.  His mother had last seen him at 9:30 in the morning when he had asked for four dollars for snacks at a movie.  She had refused and last saw him watching television.  She left the room for a moment and when she had returned, he was gone.  When he failed to return after dark she had visited the Freeport grocery store where he worked as a packer but he had not been seen there either.  Unlike the other boys, Junior was a Haitian national; his family recent immigrants from that beleaguered island.

In mid-August, the Royal Bahamian Police Force reached out to the FBI for help and assistance with the on-going cases and a team was dispatched by Washington.  It consisted of a Supervisory Special Agent, a Miami Liaison officer for the Bahamas, and two profilers.  They met with their Bahamian counterparts and gathered the meager facts available.  A sense of relief spread through the islands at the notion of such experienced and well-resourced officers being brought to bear on the mystery. But when they departed a few weeks later all that the local constabulary was left with was that their case was "unique"--there was no evidence to evaluate; no suspects to interrogate; not even a person of interest to interview.  After nearly four months all that had been learned was this: Each of the boys had lived within a mile and a half radius of the other and played and congregated in the same neighborhood.  Two had attended the same school and they were all around the same age.  All four of the missing children had last been seen by their mothers, were active basketball players, and packed groceries at the same Winn Dixie grocery store in Freeport.  

It was not over.

The conclusion on April 17th.