Twisted 3


Rescue parties went up rarely. They did so only to satisfy the frantic pleadings of family members who sought out the missing and most of them had remained behind not being brave enough to search themselves.

The hunters went reluctantly. They went up old trails that were well worn by the many boot-covered feet that hurried towards the summit and then back down again. The climbers stumbled over rocks and sent showers of pebbles down on those coming up from behind. At various points, some would turn back telling the others it was only for the foolish to continue climbing. They all knew they could not stay on the mountains for long and never past twilight.

So, as the anxiety rose in their ranks, searchers disappeared back down the mountainside into the mists until only a few would remain climbing and searching. Then, those remaining would turn as almost one person and, without looking about themselves, rush back down to the center of Never More where the search party would be quickly disbanded amidst the anguished sobbing of family and friends. But there was nothing any of them could do.

They all knew that if they found the runners at all, they would be found to be quite mad. Each would be found speaking to someone unseen. Froth foaming on their lips. It was as though some terror stood before them that only the runners could see as they begged to have their lives either spared or taken to avoid looking at the horror anymore.

Some fleeing made it over the top, but no searcher ever went looking further on in the mists at the mountains top. No one knew what lay beyond. Only a few runners made it to the summit and then beyond. The searchers all worried as evening approached and darkness began to surround them. They had to get back to the town where they would be safe or, at least where they felt safe.

However, they never really were safe there or anywhere, they simply pretended that to be the case. The truth of it was that even those who crossed the final ridge between this valley and that were not only never seen alive or heard from again, but that their skins and blood could be found back in the township far below in their very own cabins as if they had never left and, in reality, perhaps they never had.

Those driven mad were simply left to be by themselves and soon died screaming. The message was clear; there was no escaping the town named Nevermore.

But it wasn’t always that way. Those who knew the story said it all began when a young girl had gotten lost up on the mountain in the mists. Rosealine Pond was just twelve and ran away from abusive parents. She met someone in the mists on the mountain and the result transformed her into, well, let’s say, someone who could be your worst nightmare and she became the ruler of the town named Nevermore as her spiderlike web of power and fear slowly descended over the valley.

That was 500 years ago.

BATTLE FLAG


Battle Flag

 

The battle flag snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that even God had forgotten about back then

Rifles swung up and pointed out and down across the clearing

Searing rounds were sent out for the human shearing

A burst returned ripped holes in the flag that flew in the wind

Blood and mud spattered, its fabric so worn and so thin

That flew above boys that day sudden turned into men

It snapped and swung up to fly in the wind

Above the post on the hill that no one, not even God knew about back then.                 6/10/13

***The above poem can be found in the book: Rabbit in a Box.

BOOK — TWISTED, Page Two 12.19.2015


Surrounding the valley were mountains named Desperation. They were so named for the disease that drove some of the colony members to attempt escape from the valley. These runners, as they came to be known, would leave quietly but hurriedly, turning away from family and friends and rush into the rain that pelted the mountains continuously. The mountains were all too well-known for their power to strip runners’ souls from their bodies. Men and women would struggle up the fog covered rocky slopes cutting their hands on sharp stones. Their bodies were attacked by ever twisting winds that ripped at the runners’ clothing tearing it away in some cases.

Even as these men and women desperately climbed up foot by painfully gained foot to escape the darkness that lay behind them, it seemed as if they had made no advance. For those who were able to speak later, after being found by rescue parties that were reluctant to leave the colony’s closely kept border to look for the runners, it seemed to them that no matter how high they thought they had climbed, when they paused and looked behind them, they found they were just steps from the base of their tormentor. It appeared to them that they had climbed no further than a few feet even after hours of struggle and, after a while, they would drop, drawing their bodies into a ball, and weep. Some tried to retrace and reach the base only to find that each step down took no distance away. In fact the more they attempted to go down the more distant from the base they found themselves.

TWISTED: TALES FROM A DARK WOOD…THE TOWN NAMED NEVERMORE


TWISTED: TALES FROM A DARK WOOD

By Gordon Kuhn

THE TOWN NAMED NEVERMORE

Their once was a dismal town named Nevermore, although from the distance it was a lovely place to look at. The smell of evil that seeped from closed doors only arose upon close inspection. And, that put the person looking at the town in grave danger of meeting an undesirable fate of disappearance from family and friends with their bodies never being found.

But the town had its allure for many. It was a quaint village with European styled homes where mostly farm labor lived, and that would have been fine but, oddly, there were no farms. No farms at all. There was a doctor without patients, an accountant without clients, a shoemaker with no shoes to repair, and an undertaker that seemed to want for work, but not one living there was a baker or a tailor. And, no one there ever made cakes or cookies. Nevertheless, they did have a desire for sweet things that would arrive by car passing through and who spent the night in the local hotel where there was no guest book kept.

It was a lovely place to look at, from a distance, in a car passing by, but depressing when one got too close. Some who drove through without stopping commented that if they saw anyone at all that they hurriedly moved out of sight.

The whole of it was nestled in a bowl like quiet valley known as Once Before.

No one knew how the town or the valley got their names. There were no record of such events, and thee was no record of the births, deaths, or even marriages that was kept in the town hall. But they did have a clerk who sat alone at a desk surrounded by empty file cabinets that he tended to quite seriously spending his days opening and sliding out the drawers. Then he would carefully close them after inspecting the interiors and wiping down any smudges from his contact with the exteriors. There was to be no smudges, you see. None, it just wasn’t to be.

PREDATOR: FOUND:ONE


CAUTIONARY NOTE:

The following is about a violent and horrific murder. It is a real story about real people. Parts of this are very graphic. Please have respect for the victims, their families, and their friends.

———————————————————

PART ONE—Face Down

CHAPTER 1—911 Operator # 143

She lay face down.

At least, that is how they found the body—face down.

They being the hastily-established Manatee County team of sheriff’s deputies, forensic personnel, fire department paramedics, and the county coroner’s office staff that had been called into service on August 3rd, 2009, in the middle of the night. It was their job to descend on the horrifying scene at a residence in a quiet neighborhood in response to her husband’s frantic 911 call.

Manatee County 911, what is the nature of your emergency?

The operator’s voice was calm, well-practiced, having responded thousands of times in the same cool manner during stressful telephone calls as this would soon become.

Caller: (Unintelligible) I just got home, my wife is on the floor!

The voice was breathless, filled with shock and terror.

Three years after the Manatee County 911 system recorded the emotion-filled phone call from a distraught man, the prosecution introduced the tape as evidence in Case No. 2010-CF-000479, The State of Florida vs. Delmer Smith, a murder case.

The Court, jury, and gallery would sit and listen completely absorbed by the conversation being played back for them. While the horror of the night slowly became indelibly evident for everyone else in the room, the defendant appeared indifferent. He spent most of his time looking at the highly-polished wooden conference table-top where he sat, or at his handcuffed hands which were kept low behind the table so the jury could not see them.

He focused on them, turning them over, then right side up. He twisted them one way, then another, carefully examining each hand like a person would checking to see if they might need to wash them. Perhaps, in this case, to remove the invisible stain and erase the scent of his victim’s blood that only he was conscious of.

The act was eerily reminiscent of the scene in Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the Thane of Fife’s wife spoke those incredibly memorable lines, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say! … What! will these hands ne’er be clean? … Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”

Predator Part Three of Forward on 12/16/15


CONTINUATION: The following is a continuation of the forward from the book Predator: The Man Who Didn’t Exist.

“How is it,” she began again, drifting, slowly turning the thoughts over in her mind. Then she turned to me and I could see that the anger was draining.

The sun was behind her, and its light filtered through the profusion of auburn curls that framed her face. They were dancing and bouncing in the gentle wind that swirled around us.

Her face had grown soft. It was almost hidden within what appeared to be a hundred curls that moved as though alive. And, in the midst of the entire wild tumble were her eyes. Deep, dark, mysterious, and profoundly sad.

“How is it that you didn’t know?” she repeated, echoing the accusing tone used against her.

“I’ll tell you,” she leaned towards me, a spark suddenly backlit her eyes. “I just now realized why. Have a guess?” She tilted her head waiting for an answer.

“Well, I would think it was because he portrayed himself in such a manner that you couldn’t see who or what he was,” I said, feeling the need to say something, anything, even if it was wrong. I felt that I needed to contribute, to help her deal with what I felt was an incredible “aloneness” that had befallen her through no fault of her own.

“No,” she replied softly. “No.” A light smile drifted across her lips, but the sadness remained in her eyes. “No. Wrong.”

“Then what? Why didn’t you know, or could tell?” I asked.

“The answer is simply this: I once met a man who didn’t exist.”

 

PART ONE IS TO FOLLOW: THEY FOUND HER FACE DOWN.

PREDATOR (Forward & The cast) 12.14.15


FORWARD CONTINUED:

A short-lived smile touched her lips. Her voice lowered, softened. She lit a cigarette, busying her fingers, took a deep draw on it, then blew the first exhale up and away from my direction. “My friends,” she inhaled again. “My family,” she said quietly, more to herself than to me. Her eyes were still looking down and with the palm of her free hand she absent mindedly smoothed her dress. “It was like, you know, I was at fault for some reason. I was the guilty one. That is what they wanted to know.” She took a sip of her tea and looked around at the other lunch customers seated at tables near ours who were, like she and I, enjoying a soft Florida breeze. “Every one of them.” She paused, then added, “‘He was your boyfriend,’ they said to me,” her voice climbed with passion. “Like that gave me some kind of magical insight into the man. It’s all bullshit.” Her eyes dropped to the pavement, then up, fierce, black.

“‘You lived together. And, you are telling me, telling us you didn’t know?'” She thumped her chest with a thumb and turned her head quizzically to look at me. Our eyes met and once more I could not look away. Her chin was high and her eyes, moments before warm and friendly had grown suddenly cold, hard, flinty.

I could see, could feel the emotional intensity that burned inside her. She felt wronged by the very people she thought would have been there for support. She wanted to say to each of them, “What about me? All these questions are about why I didn’t know. What about me? Don’t any one of you who are aware of the relationship that I had with Delmer recognize that I had feelings in this? Don’t you recognize my fear? My bewilderment? My sense of betrayal? Is it only that you want to know why I didn’t know? Well, better yet, if you were around him, why didn’t you know?”

She didn’t need to say those words. I felt them emanating from her heart and soul. I saw them in her eyes, the way she held her head, the silence that surrounded her as she sat and stared into her tea.

This was our first meeting, Michele and mine. However, it would not be the last.

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MAIN CAST OF CHARACTERS 

SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Sergeant J. Blessee, Patrol Supervisor District Two

Miss Farnsworth, Victim’s Assistance

Detective Rhonda V. DiFranco, Forensics

Detective C. Dusseau

Detective Michael “Mike” A. Dumer

Jessica Hendrickson, Crime Scene Technician

Jessica Jarecki, Crime Scene Technician

Detective B. Keane

Detective M. LeFebvre

Detective K. McGath

Deputy Mrzuack, K-9 Officer

Deputy Josh Pelfrey

Deputy B. Pollock

Sergeant Sirran

Deputy John Swinney

Jessica Sawyer, Forensic Technician

Deputy John Thomas

Detective D. Tuck

Sergeant Daniel Tutko

Detective Sergeant John Walsh

Deputy Wineka, Helicopter Pilot

SARASOTA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Detective DeFrancisco

Detective Linda DeNiro

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT

Rochelle Gatemen, Supervisor FDLE Bio-Lab, Fort Myers, FL

Shana Hayter, FDLE Crime Laboratory Analyst in Biology and DNA

Michael Rafferty, FDLE Chief of Forensic Services

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Special Agent G. Sandoval

FEDERAL PAROLE OFFICER

Gerri Cotter

CITY OF VENICE, FLORIDA POLICE DEPARTMENT

Sergeant Jason Adams

Officer Guinart

Officer Long

FAMILY, AND ACQUAINTANCES OF DELMER SMITH

Shannon (Bodell) Barrett, landlady

Michele Quinones, former fiancé

Alicia Phillips, niece

Christina Smith, niece

Martha Tejeda, personal friend

STATE OF FLORIDA PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS SARASOTA OFFICE

Elizabeth Scanlan

Earl Varn

DEFENSE ATTORNEY SARASOTA COUNTY

Marjorie Bender

MANATEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Detective Kumiko Carter

Detective Edward “Ned” Foy

Robert Feverston, Latent Fingerprint Examiner

Grace Givens, Crime Scene Technician

Andrew Hasty, Deputy

Hurley Smith, Crime Scene Technician

Richard Talbot, Crime Scene Manager

Adrianne Walls, Crime Scene Technician

FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF KATHY BRILES

James A. Briles, MD

Calvin Briles, MD

Kristie Gish

Mary Wanser

OTHER MANATEE COUNTY WITNESSES

Michael Bierds, Publix Store Manager

Wilson A. Broussard, Jr. M.D., Forensic Pathologist

Armenouhi Comstock, Owner Armiks Fine Collectibles

Stanley Grubbs, Atrue Lock Service

Kevin Noppinger, DNA Laboratory Manager, DNA Labs International

Istvan Szecsenyi, Owner Roadkill Auto, Inc.

Oliver Young, Duct Tape Product Manager

Victoria Marshall., Sarasota County Victim

STATE OF FLORIDA PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS MANATEE OFFICE

Suzanne O’Donnell

Brian Iten

DEFENSE ATTORNEYS IN MANATEE COUNTY

 Daniel Hernandez

Bjorn Brunvand

This material is protected by a copyright  by Gordon Kuhn  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT IN PLACE


Please be aware that this blog and all that is in it is under my Copyright, and that I dearly will take exception for someone to take and use anything that I have written or anything that anyone else has written that appears on these pages or are associated in anyway with my work here.

GOD WENT FOR A WALK — Title Poem


GOD WENT FOR A WALK is a soon to be published book of poetry. It follows on The Widow’s Cliff and on Rabbit in a Box.  Currently there are 129 poems in this collection. I will be adding and editing and posting here.

God Went for a Walk

I woke to hear a rooster throw

Its head back to announce

The coming of the dawning day

Before a hungry cat did sudden pounce

And ran off all the silly school children

Who squealing terror passed me by

For they had ventured out with games to play

But could not stand to watch the rooster die

Nor understand as nature went her natural way

And watching wondered then I about it all

What place within this lack of walls

Should shelter me from asking then

For certain someone told me way back when

I thought it odd with all so very wrong

That God should simply take a walk

And fail to ask me to come along.                                                      June 19, 2013

 

 

 

“PREDATOR: The Man Who Didn’t Exist” Forward


This is a true story. I have been working on this story now for 4 1/2 years. I am not settled on the title yet. Above is one version. Another is “A Killer Hiding in our Midst.” But the story will be the same. It is a sad story of a wasted life and the chase by law enforcement that arrived too late to prevent a tragic murder. The book begins with acknowledgements of all the people who have helped me write it to which names are being added and I am not ready to  disclose just yet. So, let us begin. Comments welcome.

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The Criminal Mind

Doctor Samenow in his book, Inside the Criminal Mind, exhorts us to remember that “… we must begin with the clear understanding that the criminal chooses crime. He chooses his associates, his way of life, the kinds of crime he commits. He rejects society long before society rejects him; he is victimizer, not victim. The criminal values people to the extent that they can be manipulated; he believes he is entitled to whatever he desires; he does not justify his actions to himself.”[i]

 1 Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D. Inside the Criminal Mind. New York : Times Books, a Division of Random House, Inc. , 1984.

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FORWARD

“How is it that you didn’t know? How could you not see these things about him?” Michele Quinones leaned her head slightly to the side as she repeated the same questions that had been put to her by those she thought she knew and whom she thought knew her.

Her face was expressionless; however, her head and right hand responded with a slight rise and then dip as she placed emphasis on each “you” echoing the questions put to her repeatedly in disbelief by family members and friends.

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, April 14th, 2013, and the one-time girlfriend of Delmer Smith, an attractive, intelligent, forty-two year old woman, sat with me at a small table outside the Panera Bread Company in the Coco Plum Plaza in North Port, Florida, drinking iced coffee. We had just finished lunch at the sandwich shop where we met to discuss her relationship with a man who terrorized women living alone in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 2009.

She paused in her thoughts, her unblinking, dark eyes held mine in their grasp. I could see in her gaze that she was hurting deep within.

“That is what they asked me. You know? Over and over again.” She looked away and down, and then added, “It wasn’t so much a question,” she said, “but more of a demand.”

(More to follow tomorrow.)