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Cover illustration by Sarah Stanley


In Print: ISBN 978-0-9821512-0-4


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Questionings

from Killings, 1984


Why did you have to do that? Were they going to make a lot of money from the film? How many millions of viewers would see the pictures of poor Eastern Kentucky people? Had they refused to move? Had they taunted Ison by saying he was shooting blanks? Did the people who signed the release forms really know what they were signing? Does that make me crazy? Mahan, you remember Uncle Bob Woolford who used to work up at Evarts? Did you ever see Uncle Bob in the winter when he didn't have his socks pulled up over his pants legs to keep out the cold? Now, was Uncle Bob crazy? Or who has something on whom? Hey, you got any grass to sell? What are a few hundred dollars compared to the life of a man who risked everything in order to smash a flourishing drug ring in West Chester? Were you engaged in any other activities that made you valuable as a police officer? Why didn't Berry just lock the door if he had been threatened? But then why would people spend a weekday afternoon at Lou's Place arguing about water dogs? What better time than midnight on New Year's Eve, and what better place than the small, tourist-packed resort area for Sergei Kourdakov to have an 'accident'? How many weapons do you own? How did the activity change places from over here to the sporting-goods store? Did they indicate what their grief was with the mayor? Does he not sell alcohol? Does he not abuse it by selling it to intoxicated persons who often end up in jail or in a morgue from overexposure? City Manager Paul McCollum, can you give us a report on the mayor's condition? Do you know at this time what the grievance is? Do you know why they released him? Was Larry Casuse Murdered? A disgruntled client? An ex-wife? One of the undesirables that people said St. Jean had as associates in his business ventures? A hit man from the mob? Just a thief that heard St. Jean often carried a lot of cash with him? How could you get involved with this creep? Hey, what's all the blood? You drove thirteen hundred miles to Boston in approximately twenty-four hours to meet your fiancée, and yet you picked up a hitchhiker with the intention of having a liaison with her at a motel? Would a man really commit premeditated murder for the rather indirect benefit of acquiring two hundred thousand dollars for a corporation he owned one-quarter of? Would a man murder to remove a ceiling of fifteen thousand dollars on his salary? How much more than fifteen thousand dollars could someone expect to be paid for managing a Cantonese-Polynesian restaurant in Marietta, Georgia? Was there something in the early rumors about gambling and the mob? Was someone else involved? Was Therrien rather than Wing Chin the partner John Oi suspected? What motive would be strong enough to explain murder? Mommy, can I go back out to your house? My Lord, Ronnie, you crazy? Did he beat her up again? Was it the Ahumadas, one of whom had been so savagely beaten that his arm was partly paralyzed and his speech remained slurred? Or was it the Lozanos, two of whom served time in state prison because an Ahumada had broken the code that required Casa Blanca people to settle their arguments in Casa Blanca? Why doesn't she save her own sons? Why doesn't she save their souls? Do you know what you've done? Do you really know what you've done? If Stevens was not guilty of FaNee Cooper's death—found so by twelve of his peers—who was? Was there a way that Leo and JoAnn Cooper could have prevented FaNee from choosing the path she chose? Would she still be alive if Leo Cooper had not jumped into his car and driven to the end of the driveway to investigate? Did she in fact tell Charlie Stevens that her father would hurt them—or even that her father had a gun? Did she want to get away from her parents even at the risk of tearing around dark country roads in Charlie Steven's dismal Pinto? Or did she welcome the risk? Wouldn't you know it? Lynn Bergfalk had seen Theng Pao cry a couple of times, but why shouldn't a man in his situation cry? Why else would Lao visit Hmong? What would the Baptists have done differently if they had been experts in Hmong culture? Who would want to terrorize a simple purveyor of wheat germ and herbal tea? Had Walter Bopp been terrorized because of a dispute over a silver claim? Could he have discovered something in Arivaca that someone else wanted to know? Was it possible that he had found himself among the sort of cultists who beat up elderly vegetarians? What were Walter Bopp's tormentors after? Gold? Silver? Information? His store? What could have been secret or private enough to restrain Walter Bopp from helping police find the people who had left him bound and beaten on the floor of his storeroom? Who leans on respectable businessmen? Did Walter Bopp have something the mob wanted? Were mobsters trying to persuade him to do something they wanted? But what? How can Bopp's silence be explained? Whose? What does that have to do with what happened to Walter Bopp? What had changed a family man and community leader of unassailable reputation? Was she beaten? If Hartman had planned the whole thing, the jurors may have surmised, wouldn't he have done a better job of tying up loose ends than that?

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