Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Controlled By the She-Devil

Controlled By The She-Devil

Devan Meeks

Devon Meeks, born April 17, 1989 in Texas was the 2 of 3 children born to Lance “Skip” and Yvonne Meeks. Devan attended schools in Sabine Pass, Texas where he graduated in 2007.

The marriage between Devon’s parents was volatile at times – with Skip being abusive to Yvonne. Skip was, by his own admission “hot headed, easy to anger and gonna have my say”. Skip had his own runs in with the law during his younger years– DWI, theft, to name a few things. None of these he is proud to admit, but he owns up to what his past is.

Devan was raised around his maternal grandparents and family after the divorce – visiting his father only when his mother would approve. After graduation, Devan moved to Oklahoma to be with his dad. Lance put him to work building houses with him.

Skip moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma where he met, fell in love and moved in with Tammy White. Tammy had three children living at home. She worked, kept a good house and was/is, by all appearances a good mother. Skip has a good job, works hard and seems to have settled into a world that he is comfortable in. With Devan under Lance’s roof, life felt good.

November, 2007, work had gotten slow in the house building industry in Muskogee. Devan had a hankering to come back to Texas. Devan gave his dad an empty promise of coming back to Muskogee to work with him, when things picked up. Skip later said, “I knew when he left he wouldn’t come back to work with me nor be back up here for a long time. I knew he wouldn’t be back.”

Devan had a girlfriend, Savanah Copeland. Savanah was less than three years Devan’s Senior. Savanah was smitten with Devan. He was her first love and she thought the love would last forever. And, as all young loves Devan had to get back to her. Devan talked with Savanah frequently during their separation while he was in Oklahoma. Savanah, said, “ honestly, I can’t tell you why we broke up. I don’t know to this day. And, Devan says he don’t know.”


Early part of March, 2008, Devan later met Melina Nicole Perry through a mutual friend, John Speers. Speers and his father were well known by local law enforcement in Sabine Pass, Texas. The Elder Speers being accused of raping boys.

A young 16 year old, still in puberty stages, with naturally blondish-brown colored hair, fair skin and of medium frame. One could not help but note the stricking resemblance of Melina to Savanah if they were put side by side.

Melina had been in and out of problems since her dad had died. She had not been able to get her feet on the ground, her world was crashing in all around her as if she were on a Merry-Go-Round and couldn’t get off. She grasped for stability in anyone and everyone – many times to the wrong one.

She’d been “raped by her mother’s boyfriend. When Melina told what had happened to show Melina how much Melina was loved, the mother married the man who had raped Melina and had become her stepfather. “Cheryl Leike said during her closing statement.

Melina moved in with her grandmother, Ola Clement after the second marriage of her mother, who by all signs and problems, couldn’t handle the young lady. Melina had problems in school. She was kicked out of schools for fighting, for cursing, for disruptions and various other things. No amount of counseling could help her. She was even so bad, that she was kicked out of Boot Camp. No amount of loving her, could calm her. She had become as wild as a West Texas wind in the middle of a sand storm. Melina was hell bent on having her way.

A friend of her father’s, David Roy Davis, offered to take the girl in. The grandmother thought that having a firm hand and a father figure in Melina’s life would be a good idea. Melina moved to Winnie, Texas to a small white wood frame house with an attached 2-car carport. Cement sidewalk and steps led to the front door.

He couldn’t handle her either. According to the neighbors, screaming fights could be heard as well as lots of slamming doors through out the time Melina lived there. After her arrest, Melina told that Davis had molested her on many occasions.

As everything that Melina may have touched, Devon’s life was no longer his own and forever more would never be, as Melina brought trouble for them both.

By the end of March, Melina was texting Savanah with threats of “cutting the baby out of you” and other forms of threats. Savanah tried to file a complaint with Chambers County. “I was only 17 years old and didn’t know how to file a report but I didn’t have no one to take me there so I thought I had to go there and I didn’t know that I could go to my local police department because she was there.”

Davis didn’t like the idea that Melina was dating Devon. Devon was unemployed, smoked, drank, and was having sex with Melina. Davis would smoke pot with both Melina and Devon. The booze was in the fridge. There were pleasant days for them all to be around together, then there were some very turbulent days – with cussing and threats and fighting back and forth.

Melina wasn’t about to let anyone stand between her and what she wanted – her life with Devan.

Saturday July 5, 2008

Terry Taylor, a friend of David Davis, was going to the store around 9pm. Taylor saw Davis walking. Terry offered to give Davis a ride, which Taylor had done in the past. When Taylor and Davis were driving the two approached a white male and Melina.

Davis asked Taylor to “pull over, I want to tell that man that he is not allowed on my property.”

Terry told Davis, “No, I don’t want any trouble.”

When Taylor left Davis at Davis’ house, Davis had gotten a lawn chair and was sitting under the carport waiting for the Melina and her friend, Devan Meeks to make it to the house.

Melina and Davis got into a shouting argument, which could be heard around 11:00pm by a neighbor of Mr. Davis’. Mr. Davis went to Kenneth Allen’s home about 11:10pm and asked to use the phone. Davis needed to call the police he had been assaulted. After placing the call, Allen asked Davis if Davis wanted Allen to walk back to the Davis residence with him. Davis said, “Yes.”

On their walk back to the Davis house, Mr. Davis told Kenneth Allen that he had been dropped off at his house. When Melina and her boyfriend got there, Davis went inside to talk to Melina, during which time her boyfriend, Devan Meeks, got inside Mr. Davis’ car.

Davis came outside to see Meeks in the car and Davis grabbed Meeks by the throat to pull Meeks out of the car. Davis let Meeks go after Meeks was out of the car. Once Davis had turned his back, Meeks jumped Davis. Davis got away, but Meeks allegedly jumped Davis again near the driveway.

Davis told Allen, “He let me go and they left. The girl was on foot and the boy on a bicycle.”

Shortly before the law arrived, Allen went back home. Officer Sulas arrived about 11:55pm. Upon arriving, Officer Sulas realized Mr. Davis was intoxicated. Officer Sulas asked Mr. Davis had he been drinking. Mr. Davis stated, “No.” Davis’ verbiage was slurred, he wouldn’t stay on the subject at hand. Davis began talking about a neighborhood girl on a bicycle and the about some of his friends that got arrested at a bar. Davis appeared to be hallucinating.

Mr. Davis wanted to file a report. Officer Sulas didn’t record the statement, but had full intentions of coming back later that day to take a statement from Davis.

July 6, 2008

Danya Rothenberger and her friend Lauren Thibodeaux were delivering newspapers when Ms. Rothenberger noticed smoke coming from the Davis residence on Rose Street. Ms Rothenberger knocked on the door, With no answer, she opened the door. She would later testify that something was behind the door. She thought it was a human foot and about the time she opened the door flames flared up. Ms. Rothenberger immediately called 9-1-1.

About the same time, Mr. Davis’ neighbor, Billy King, saw the two ladies and the smoke coming from the house. He rushed to assist them. Bill later testifies, “he saw blood around the porch” when he got the water hose and was trying to put out the fire until the fire department could get there.

Deputy Stybos, of Chambers County Sheriff’s Department, was on the scene of the fire and of the dead body of David Davis.

Ms. Ola Clement, grandmother of Melina arrived on the scene stating someone had text Ms. Clement’s phone from Melina’s stating “don’t worry ur Grandaughter is dead just like david and t rays next I didn’t mean 4 her to get involved but she got in the way so shes dead she was there and got in the way I set the house on fire Mena “&” devan”.

The crime scene investigators found damage to the furniture, walls, flooring and contents from the smoke and heat of the fire. Davis was observed body face down with what appeared to be burns all over the body. There were two puncture wounds to the head area. There was blood surrounding the body on the floor. The living room seemed to have been the subject of most of the fire damage and the kitchen and other rooms had smoke and heat damage.

Crime scene investigators’ tape went up. Investigators began investigating this as a crime scene, a homicide, not just a simple fire. After the investigators had done their job, Judge DeVillier of Chambers County advised that the body could be removed. David Davis was pronounced dead.

When Davis’ body was rolled over there were apparent two additional puncture wounds to the upper chest area, one puncture wound to the side of the body and several cuts across the neck area of the body. Once the body was removed, Judge DeVillier ordered an autopsy to be conducted.

A broken blade would later be found inside of Davis’ head by Dr. Tommy Brown, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy.

It is not clear as to what exactly took place within the house prior to the fire. We do know by witness testimony that a friend had taken Devan and Melina to Sabine Pass earlier that morning to get Devan’s Uncle’s truck. No eyewitness can put either of them back at the scene – after that – except through their own admissions.

Devan and Melina came back to the house. Witnesses state that Devan had five gallon gasoline containers with him – but they weren’t full.

Yvonne Meeks advised the law that her son, Devan had called the evening before asking what time she would be getting home from work.

“Late,” she said, as she worked at a bar in Sabine Pass.

When she got home, certain things of Devan’s were gone from his room. And, her brother, Buck’s truck was missing. Yvonne told the officers that Devan was close to his father, Skip, who lived in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Early on Sunday morning Skip Meeks and his girlfriend Tammy White received a call from Devan asking how to get to Muskogee.

“Where are you?” Skip asked.

“I’m in Jasper.” Devan replied.

“Just stay on 69 and it will bring you all the way in.” Skip directed.

Skip, Tammy and the kids had gone to a birthday party later that day. Upon their return, a familiar truck was there. Buck’s. his ex-brother-in-law. The truck was pulled up into the yard some.

Neither Skip nor Tammy had ever met Melina or as she liked to be called “Mena”. Skip didn’t like the idea of Devan bringing a girl to his house that he wasn’t married to or who Skip did not know.

Skip told Devan there would be work for him the next day on the job. Devan asked if he could have the day off and start the next day. They both agreed that Devan would have to work. Tammy also offered to get Melina a job.

“I can’t go to work because I’m suppose to be dead.” Melina told her.

“What do you mean you are suppose to be dead?” Tammy asked startled.

“I had to get her out of Texas” Devan stated.

“I was suppose to have been burned up in a house. My daddy is dead, my mama kicked me out, I got put in a boot camp and got kicked out of it, I’m not allowed in any public schools. The only person who cared about me was my grandma and she wouldn’t keep me” Melina stated without shedding a tear.

Sip asked, “How did ya’ll get down here.”

“I get a social security check for when my daddy died.” she said.

“They would have to have someway to identify you someway.” Tammy said.

“No” Melina shook her head.

While Tammy went to get pizza, the two went to the truck. They talked, in private. Everyone ate on the back porch, but Tammy testified “they would stay off to themselves, talking by themselves.”

When Devan and Melina had gone to sleep on the couch, Skip got the keys to the truck and took it to a niece’s house. Tammy followed him in their car to bring him back. “We didn’t want them leaving.” Skip later said.

After Skip left for work, Devan and Melina were awake and still on the couch. “Okay, I want to know what is going on. Something isn’t right” Tammy questioned.

Devan opened up and began. “I don’t think she wants me to tell you in front of her. “ Melina laid down and faced the back of the couch and pulled a blanket up over her head.

Devan said, “Me and David got into a fight over a car. I had gone back over there to David’s house and David and I started fighting. David had some big scissors that you cut bushes with, but it only had one blade. David was trying to stab me with it. Mena picked something up and hit David in the head. He fell down and she grabbed the blade and started stabbing him. She went outside and got the gasoline for the car and poured it on the furniture and set it on fire and we took off.”

“Did anyone see you do this?” Tammy asked

“No I don’t think so it was about 3:00 o’clock in the morning.” Devan said. Tammy glanced over at Melina who was steadily shaking her head in the affirmative.

Devan said, “Let me tell dad.”

“Are you telling me you killed somebody ?” Tammy asked.

“I didn’t do it, she did.” He muttered.

Tammy left for work, or tried to work. All she could think about was there is a murderer next door to my job in my house with my kids. She phoned Skip, “you’ve gotta come home.”

“I’m already on the way, I just got a call for Shaya” said Skip.

Skip walked through the house, he couldn’t find Devan. Melina was sitting on the bed, “You aren’t running.” Skip told her.

Tammy asked Melina, “don’t you have any regrets?”

With cold-blooded eyes, her dyed black hair stone cold face she spewed, “The mother-fucker got what he deserved.”

After a few moments Melina said, “I told Devan we should’ve gone to Florida, my family wouldn’t have called the cops.”

Devan had come back from his friend’s house Skip met him out in the back yard. They hugged. “Son, you know I’ve got to call the police.” Devan nodded his head.

Tammy asked Devan, “do you have any regrets?”

“Yes,” he replied, “I’m sorry everything happened and sorry I hurt my grandpa.”

“My son is NOT going down for what you did” Skip shouted at Melina.

With cold eyes, no expression, not even of fear, Melina stared back without saying a word.

Standing in the kitchen of his home, looking out the window as he phoned the Muskogee County Sheriff’s office, Skip noticed Melina coming out of the garage area. He thought it strange at the time, considering nothing in there belonged to her, but disregarded the thought at that time, as there were more important issues at hand. “I wanted to turn my son in because I figured the local cops would have killed him. I would rather him be alive than dead. These cops up here are corrupt.”

After getting off the phone with the Sheriff’s office, Skip nor Tammy could find Melina and Devan. They had bolted. Both got in their vehicles and drove around for about ten minutes. Only, to come home to wait for the police to arrive.

Melina and Devan were found a short time later walking back from Walmart by Muskogee Police Department. Lance Meeks, at the request of Texas Ranger Joe Haralson, handed over the keys to the truck belonging to Devan’s uncle, Devan and Melina’s clothing to Officer Martin of Muskogee Police Department.

Devan was now under arrest for the murder of David Davis.

“Keep quiet babe, for me, keep quiet” Devan said as the two were separated at the police station.

Devan Meeks was taken from the Muskogee County jail to the Muskogee County Court House to Judge Adair’s courtroom. Meeks signed the extradition order which would bring him back to Texas. After signing the extradition paperwork, Meeks was taken back to the Muskogee jail where he was then photographed by Texas Rangers.

The supporting arrest warrant for Devan Curtis Meeks was filed by Captain John Mulryan on July 11, 2008. It reads in part:

“On July 6, 2008, ….. I personally spoke with the Winnie Voluntary Fire chief Leonard Bettis, who stated he responded to a 911 house fire call at 1329 Rose Street and upon entry to the residence, he discovered a body laying face down in the living room which appeared to be deceased. … After the body was ordered to be moved, I observed what appeared to be two wounds to the upper chest area…. The body was identified as David Roy Davis, a white male. At the time of the contact… David Davis had an altercation with Devan Meeks, but prior to Officer Sulas’ arrival. …. Due to the juvenile (Melina Perry) female a broadcast through TCIC/NCIC was placed for missing and endangerment due to not knowing the safety and well being of the juvenile female. Information was obtained that Devan Meeks had family in Muskogee, Oklahoma. ….On July 7, 2008 an autopsy was conducted on David Davis by Dr. Brown of the Jefferson County Medical examiner’s Office. During the autopsy, a knife blade was located and removed from the body of David Davis. The knife blade was serrated and appeared to be the type commonly used in a kitchen…Later this same day, information was received that the Muskogee PD had located the grey truck along with Meeks and Perry. The truck was impounded, Devan Meeks was placed in custody for the warrant of UUUMV from Port Arthur and the juvenile female was placed in juvenile custody as a reported runaway from Chambers County….. On July 8, 2008 Texas Rangers Joe Haralson and Grover Huff …. Ranger Haralson interviewed Devan Meeks. Devan stated that David Davis was stabbed to death and all this occurred while he (Meeks) was outside the residence in an attempt to jump start a vehicle that was parked outside… July 9, 2008, Texas Ranger Grover Huff processed the grey truck. July 10, 2008, a hearing with the Muskogee County Juvenile Magistrate took place and juvenile female Perry voluntarily waived her rights and signed extradition to be returned to Chambers County. An interview in Jefferson County jail Devan Meeks stated that he and David Davis got into a physical confrontation and that David Davis was swinging a broken portion of a lop shears toward him and that he picked up a shovel handle and blocked the shears from striking him. Devan Meeks stated that Perry began to stab David Davis with a knife. After Davis fell inside the residence, Devan Meeks states that Perry grabbed a pink handle steak knife and began to stabe David Davis until the handle broke off from the knife blade. …Perry picked up the lop shears and struck David Davis in the head. Meeks satted as he walked thru the blood on the floor which left foot impressions on the bed sheet and in the bathroom area. Meeks stated that he then went outside and attempted to start the car……”

Warrant of Arrest file No. 138150 issued 7-11-08 by Judge Chap Cain.

While Texas was busy carrying on their judicial duties, Tammy and Skip found a purse in their garage that belonged to Melina Perry. It was identified as Melina’s because of a letter which was found inside of it, dated July 1, 2008, later identified by a handwriting expert to be written by Melina Perry.

“Can I live wit this for the rest of my life?? Is Devan the only one who knows about it always toing to stick wit me and be wit me for ever? Should I have told him?? Can I just slit his throat and walk away?? YES to all of these. Honestly, I’m a cold hearted person. I think that I really can just walk up to him slit his throat watch him bleed to death turn around and walk out of the house & run to my baby’s arms & yea I’ll probably cry about it 4 a lil while but hey life goes on. He deserves to die. Devan doesn’t know a lot of the stuff that went on. David is a horrible person & he is trying to ruin everything I have going 4 me & Devan. He is trying to put sat RAPE charges on the person I want to spend 4 ever wit. All because I fucked up yesterday. I amost lost what means the most to me all because I actually thought TOBY had really changed & did (drawn heart here) me. Ha ha that’s funny! I know I’m stupid & retarded ignorant call me whatever but after me & Devan had that fight & we broke up & he called me later on as soon as I heard his voice I knew I had fucked up. But my daddy always said Let go of someth you love & if it comes back it’s true love. Well, Devan came back and captured my heart again. (Writeen in margin) So it’s true love. He saved my life basically and that’s ho I repay him by hurting him. NO I owe him my love forever cuz if it wasn’t for him, who knows, I’d probably be dead, seriously. So YES I do trust him & think he will love me 4 ever & keep my secret. So either tonight while he is sitting in his chair or tonight in his bed I will close his eyes 4 him 4 ever. RIP David Davis. And in a way I’m helping him out. He’ll be out of this SHIT hole we call an earth. David Davis is a walking dead man. 753 P.M. Tuesday July 1, 2008. And this better not fuck up my 4th of July weekend either.”

Melina, who had been advised by Ruth Boles (Jefferson County School Resource Officer who had befriended Melina and Melina had been in contact with during this) not to give any statements. For the first time, probably in her entire life, Melina did as an adult told her. Prior to Devan Meeks’ trial, both he and Melina were given polygraphs. Melina passed her polygraph.

As her “reward” District Attorney Cheryl Leike offered Melina Perry a lesser charge of non-aggravated manslaughter, and they would drop the arson and tampering of evidence against her.

Melina Perry took the offer. During Devon’s trial, even after taking her plea, she plead the 5th and would not testify. In doing so, without her testimony, the defense only had two witnesses to call – Lance Meeks and Tammy White. Savanah Copeland’s testimony, the defense’s third witness would not be allowed to testify.

A jury of eleven men and one woman with two men alternates listened intently to the testimony. On Thursday, August 19, 2010, a little over two years after the murder of David Davis, Devan Curtis Meeks was found guilty of Aggravated Murder in less than two hours.

The sentencing phase for both Devan Meeks and Melina Perry is slated for October 7, 2010. Mr. Meeks is looking at 5-99 years, while Ms. Perry is looking at 2-20 years or even probation.

Is justice really fair?

Friday, July 16, 2010

From out of a movie...

Not very often do I go to eat alone when I am out of town. But, today, I felt I needed something light. I knew I was meeting a friend later - needed a slight nap - which now doesn't appear that I am going to get.

As a typical tourist or stranger to an area, I drove around until I found something I thought would be good. Unfortunately the food wasn't great at all - but the entertainment or side line show was something out of a movie.

It's mid-afternoon on a hot sunny day in North Dallas. There are only 2 tables taken inside the restaurant. It suites me fine, as I don't want people around. I don't want to have to hear babies cry because they are tired or hear friends gossiping or whining. I just wanted quiet and food.

In the back - far right corner - sat a man - black pants, gray shirt, short salt and pepper colored hair, fair skinned, but not light. He wasn't Anglo. His conversation was so loud that if he were speaking in something other than Arabic or some similar language, anyone and everyone would've heard the conversation. At times, he appeared to get agitated. Then he would spit the words - as in a vile mood - other times, he would laugh aloud. A lot of papers, white in color and a newspaper are on top of the table.

Approximately 20 minutes, in walks another man, wearing a polo type tee-shirt,white with blue stripes, hanging way past the butt of his black jeans, white sneakers with red markings on them. Second man walks past the lady at the counter - directly to first man in the back. He sits down, briefly. A few seconds. First man gets off the phone. Second man picks up the newspaper that has now been folded from the table - says nothing - and walks out.

From my view, I can see around the corner. Second man gets out of sight of the front door, 3 gentlemen, both wearing dark suits, white shirts, red ties - put second man against the wall, cuff him. They walk out of my eye-sight.

First man places another call. He had just connected, evidently, and started talking when in walks 4 more gentlemen, dark suits, white shirts - ties. One of the larger guys of the four asks him to put the phone down. First guy does. Two others cuff first guy. Fourth gentleman puts everything that was on the table top in a large brown envelope - including the cell phone of first man.

Meanwhile, outside, a black suburban has pulled up - one gentleman goes to the back door behind the driver - one gentleman opens the door - cuffed subject is then put into the back seat. Another gentleman gets in beside him - to where gentleman is closest to the door.

No questions, no explanations! loved the mirrors inside that place. I got a ring side seat of it all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Prevention, simply put

Two guys walking on the opposite side of the road than Jess' truck, (which is parked out of the yard on the street) doesn't see us in the yard near the shrubs. They look to their rear and ahead. They think no one is watching. Slowly they meander over to the side of the road where Jess' truck is parked and lean into the window to "check out what's inside". I snap a picture of both of 'em.

"Why are you taking a picture of me?" young man wearing black pants down to his knees with half his butt and briefs hanging out the back asked.

"Ahh did I do that? I thought I was taking a picture of his truck, but since you were so close to it, now if anything goes missing, you, my man, are who we look for!"

I smile. They leave...mumbling...I don't think they will be back.

Monday, June 7, 2010


It was a really hot and humid day in Southeast Texas, but the yard had to be mowed. My normal yardman only worked for me on a part time basis. He was there working, but I decided to help out with the mowing. If he could clean the flowerbeds and push mow, then I would use the riding mower and mow the back of the property then we’d be done faster. Zeno was all enthused about that idea.

Zeno had always said he had never seen a woman work as much and as hard as I did, except for his little wife, Toni. He sure did brag about her, which was a good thing. And, from time to time, when we worked together in the yard he would tell me about his kids. He called his youngest child, Angel. Even though she had been born with birth defects, Zeno would say that she was really smart and something to be really proud of. His daughter, Yvette, was a good girl and acted like another mama to the baby. Zeno said his boy, Nathan, was a typical teenager and tried to get away by the short way and sometimes did not do a good job. He said he had tried to instill in his kids the desire to do things the right way.

Today, Yvette is a mama with a bouncing little boy. Nathan is now a Drill Sergeant in the Marine Corp. He is a big man - a very nice looking man. His Angel, is now dancing with the angels in Heaven.

Back when we were working together, this was one of our days to work side by side. We had spent a cooling off period under the shade tree after we had completed the front yard.

“Well, I guess I’ll get after the back yard and you can finish raking the front, if you don’t mind.” I said to Zeno.

“No problem. Don’t you stay out there though and get too hot.” Zeno was always worried that I was going to have a heat stroke or heart attack on him.

I had probably completed the second lap around the back yard, which is about a fourth of a city block, when I happened to look up and see some older man dressed in all white on the porch across the street. Every once in a while he would dab his face with what looked like a white washrag.

“That’s not such a bad idea,” I thought to myself. “Next time I go into the house, I’m going to get me and Zeno a cold rag to dab our faces with.”

At first I thought him to be Chris’ husband. Chris was a wonderful neighbor who took especially good care of her children. When those babies walked out of the house, you’d think they were going to Church she had them dressed to the nines! But, then I noticed that the car was gone and that no one seemed to be at home. The more attention I paid to the man on the porch, the more I came to realize that this man wasn’t Chris’ husband. He was a mystery man to me. Then…I got a REAL shock!

Mystery Man would appear to motion for me to come over across the street to the house. Then he would remove the white washrag and hold it in front of his crotch. When I would mow facing him, he would remove the rag and start stroking his “little john boy”. Now, being reared among a bunch of boys all my life, that wasn’t a real surprise that he might have an itch that needed scratching – but when it continued I knew that this man was sick in the head.

On about the second lap around the yard, I started looking to see if my shirt was buttoned properly or my pants undone. I thought if there were anything array, it might cause this yo-yo to think that I would come his way. Nope, everything seemed to be in order. In fact, I determined that I looked so hideous that I couldn’t understand what the heck his reasoning was for trying to get my attention. Surely the man didn’t find some sweaty, hobo-looking working girl wearing totally mismatched tee shirt, shorts that well covered the subject, all of the necessary undergarments, with my long hair pulled up under a baseball cap, no makeup, sneakers with holes in the soles and toes of both of them – attractive enough to want to play with him!

I stopped the mower and looked around it, appearing to check for something wrong. I left it running and walked up front to find Zeno. Now, Zeno was my buddy, but I didn’t exactly know how to tell him what was going on without embarrassing us both in the process.

“Zeno, would you go look through the window of the old stable, watch me mow, and when I get to the other side and head south on Pennsylvania, watch the ‘ole boy across the street on the porch of the white house with red trim. Then you tell me if you see what I think that I see.”

“Why, Lin, what is he doing?” Zeno asked.

“Zeno, you ain’t gonna believe this one! Just look and tell me what you see.”

I got back on the mower and headed around that way. I didn’t want to look at him, because if anything was to come of this, I did not want him to say I had encouraged him in any way, shape, form or fashion. So, I kept my head downward and looked at the ground. Every now and then I would peak out from under the baseball cap that I was wearing to check on Mystery Man. Sure enough, there he would go again …. “just a strokin’.”

The second time around, Zeno walked out and bent down as if to examine the mower. “Yep, Lin, he’s getting it on.” He said.

“Well what should we do?”

“I don’t know” Zeno said.

“Ok here’s what we are gonna do. You go inside the house and call the law, then call Jerry Edward. Jerry can at least observe while the police are on their way. Then you get the camera – we just put the zoom lens on and you start taking pictures of this pervert. If it is attention he wants, it’s attention he’ll get. In the meantime, I’ll just keep my eyes down and hope the law comes quick.”

Jerry Edward is my cousin that lived next door. I was sure hoping that he would be home because I knew he would have a ring-side seat to all of this. And, luckily not only was Jerry Edward there, but he had a friend over as well and Pam, his wife drove up in the midst of all this and witnessed it all. All three served as witnesses.

I knew that with every round I made on the mower, that Jerry Edward, Pam and his friend were probably laughing their buns off at the sight and what all was going on across the street. Who would have thought?

My patience was wearing thin and I was beginning to think that not only would the officers not arrive in a timely fashion, but that the yo-yo would get tired of the charade and leave.

Finally – the law arrived.

“Sir, can you come to the fence?” I heard the female officer ask him. She was young and slim. I figured she had small children and probably a lot of patience and was going to let him walk.

“Do you live here?” She asked.

“Sho do” he said.

“He’s a liar” I hollered at the officers.

She walked over and asked me what had taken place. Jerry Edward, his friend Jerry, and Pam and I all gathered around and explained the last forty five minutes of my life. Before the officer walked back across the street to where yo-yo was standing, I suggested that she ask him to unlock the house door. It was logical that if he lived there, he would certainly have a key to the locked door. I knew Chris had reasons not to trust many of her own family members and I also knew that none of them would have a key to her house.

The officer took me up on the idea and asked him to open the door. As I suspected, he couldn’t open the door! Yo-Yo turned around and said, “That white bitch is just trying to get me in trouble. She’s been trying to get rid of the niggers in this neighborhood. She be prejudiced!”

“You got part of that right Homeboy!” I shouted. “I’m sure trying to get rid of the trash – and I don’t care what color they are! They come in all nationalities and I ain’t prejudiced,” I shouted again.

“LinMarie, be quiet. He’s going to come over here and jump all over you,” Pam said. I think of Pam as the peacemaker. She tries to see good in everyone and sometimes that just agitated me! Now was one of those times. How could she see good in this yo-yo after what she had just witnessed?

“Oh, well, the law is here. Let them take care of it.” I thought.

Officer Monday showed up about that time and I realized that the younger officer had called a Sergeant in for a conference. She wasn’t sure what to arrest the deviate on, but at least, she was trying to come up with a charge that would stick.

Officer Monday made his way over to talk to us. “LinMarie, I don’t know if we can keep him or not. We didn’t see him actually doing anything like you all have described.” Zeno walked up about that time and said, “Well, Officer, you might not have seen it, but its right here on film if you want to see it!”

“Hold on then, that changes the scenario!” Officer Monday said over his shoulder as he walked back across the street. Immediately the four officers who were now on the scene went into a conference. They must have agreed that they had a case against yo-yo because the young lady officer asked yo-yo to turn around and put his hands behind his back. When he did, she slapped the handcuffs on him so fast and escorted him to her waiting patrol car. She rolled the window down so that air could get into the back where he was. When the officers’ backs were turned, he would mouth trash my way.

Finally I got fed up and hollered, “Look Homeboy, I’ve always been told that black men were hung, you must’ve got short changed because my son had more than that when he was born!” Yo-yo went radical. I had insulted his manhood!

Officer Monday ask if we could all give statements. “Sure” we all said simultaneously. The timing was perfect on each statement and we had set up their case for them and even got congratulated over the photo aspect of it all. Without the photos, they would have let yo-yo go.

Chris came home about the time the officers started to leave. She told the officers that he was her brother and no, he did not live there. No one had a key to her house except her. I figured when she walked across the street that she would be ready to give me a tongue-lashing. Instead, she hugged our necks and told us to do what we had to do. “Brother or no brother, he won’t do that around my babies and I don’t want him doing it to you, my friends,” she said. That was the Chris we all knew and loved – our good neighbor!

A few months later we were all subpoenaed to appear at a Parole Revocation Hearing. Every one of us showed up. So did all the law who were there that day. I had gotten there a little early at the request of the Parole Officer. I noticed a lady sitting in the hallway next to me. We soon struck up a conversation.

“What are you here for?” I asked curiously.

“My fiancĂ©’ is being tried today.”

“What’s his name?”

When she told me, I could have fallen out of my chair! Here sat this beautiful lady dressed fit to kill. She was the epitome of “having it all together” and she was engaged to YO-YO!

Talk about opposites attracting!

I told her who I was and that I was sorry for her sake to have to continue with the charges. She told me that Yo-Yo had rejected his right to a jury trial and would just go before the parole board alone. She said she did not understand what had caused him to do what he had done. She had a good home where he lived and he had a good mother and good children who loved and cared for him. She began to cry. I could see that she was really hurt.

I hugged her neck and said a little prayer of my own. “God give me the courage to face the outcome of this man’s trial. His life is in the hands of the officers of this court. Give this precious lady the strength to go on without him and perhaps realize that she is worth much more than this and deserves the best in life.”

We were all called into the conference room where we were sworn in. We were told not to discuss the case among ourselves in the hallway. Yo-yo was there. He saw there were 9 witnesses about to testify against him. There were photos that showed what he was doing.

In the hallway, Pam and I chit-chatted about plants and landscaping. The lady sat alone, no other family members were there for Yo-yo.

The door opened, the leading officer appeared, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your appearance. The gentleman has chosen to plead guilty. It will not be necessary for you to appear before this court. You are dismissed.”

We had all gotten dressed up in our finery, had experienced the nervousness of having to testify in court, just to be told to go on home. As we began to turn to go down the hall, I started to turn back to the man’s fiancĂ©’. “No,” I thought, “she still needs time to deal with this on her own.”

That night I sat outside as I do a lot in the evenings. I kept trying to understand why things and people are the way they are. If I could figure that out, I’m sure I could be rich. I guess that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around but people like Yo-yo need some special help. Maybe back in prison he would get that help. Yo-yo is serving the last of his eighteen years without the mention of parole.

I have often wondered about the woman he would have married. I wondered if she had been able to get on with her life. It has been years now since this took place – it was even prior to becoming a Private Investigator. For her sake, I trust and hope that life has been good to her and that she found someone special to share her life with. Life is for living, not just existing. If God shuts a door, he opens a window – and a window to peer out of may be all that Yo-yo has for a long time.


Since the back of my yard was basically an open field when I first bought my place, people around here had taken to liking to cutting through my lot when they pleased – making a nice – “cow path” as my grandmother would call it. A lot of heated words were said when I stopped them from trespassing. Now, some folks said I was being too picky and some just said was “bad”.

I didn’t really care which one they thought of me – I just knew it was my property and one day I had dreams of landscaping it and making it all into a nicer place that I could enjoy. As long as folks continued to make their daily trek across it to the dope house or to catch up with a “date” it would continue to look like a cattle path out in someone’s pasture.

Johnnie didn’t just cut across the pasture. After she would visit with her friend, Byrd, who lived next door, she would just ump my fence, walk across my back yard and go to wherever she chose. I had run her off at least a dozen times and it still didn’t seem to stop her. She would be so high on crack that she didn’t care. How do you deal with someone who isn’t even with you? You don’t very well.

One day, in particular, she must have been really high, because she walked right into the back door of my office. Let me explain something. Out the back door of my house about twenty feet, is the back door of my office. This layout has plusses and minuses.

I had been working that day on a wedding dress that I was trying to get done for a lady to pick up.

I didn’t hear the back door open. My back was to the door. All of a sudden, I could simply feel the presence of someone in the room. Johnnie was standing there asking me “What are you doing in my house?” I turned and around – there she was – with a knife in her hand.

Now if you have never been faced with a drug addict holding a knife pointing it at you, you have never experience the fastest adrenaline rush you could ever have.

“What do you mean your house? What are you smoking?” I asked calmly – very calmly.

“F… you get out of my house.” She was shaking the knife as she was telling me to get out.

I had a phone right behind me, but there was no way I could get to it. I just knew that I had to get that knife away from her and subdue this girl somehow.

As if talking to someone over her shoulder, I said, “Hey how are you doing?” As she turned around to see who I was talking to I lunged toward her, knocking her back against the wall with my body. My hands were trying to get the knife out of her hands.

Evidently her head banging on the wall knocked some sense into her, because she took off running out the back door. I got the phone – dialed it – 9-1-1.

“9-1-1 what is your emergency?”

“I had an intruder at 495….She had a knife that I took away from her. I believe she is still in the neighborhood.”

“Is the subject still there?”

“No, and while you are asking all these damned questions, she’s getting away.”

“Ma’am we are trying to help you. Please calm down. What was she wearing?”

“Blue jeans, red shirt and pink tennis shoes.”

“White female?”

“No, black female.”

“Do you know her?”

“No not personally. But her name is Johnnie – her street name that is.”

“Ok Ma’am we’ll get an officer out there as soon as we can.”

Some thirty minutes later an officer arrived. That poor boy in blue got a real good tongue lashing from me – I was still shaking from the idea of that girl having a knife on me in my house!

“I guess you were on a coffee break and couldn’t be disturbed? What took so long? I could have been dead by now.”

“Ma’am I was on another call. I got here as soon as I could.”

I really didn’t care at that time where he had been nor who else had a problem. I don’t think I was so much angry at him as I was angry that I had been caught off guard and let the women in my office I knew better than to leave a door unlocked. And, during the time, I sat there waiting for the officer to arrive, I was reliving the ordeal and came to realize just how close I had come to saying, “This is the big one Elizabeth” like Fred Sanford on Sanford and Sons.

After I told the officer what had happened he said, “Well ma’am there isn’t anything we can do because we didn’t see her here nor did we find her here. It is your word against her word!”

At that point – I hit my boiling point!

“So, what you are telling me is that anyone can come on my property, without my permission and not be caught by your people and there ain’t anything I can do about it?”

“Basically that’s right, Ma’am.”

“That’s some bullshit! You get me your boss. That ain’t right. That ain’t right at all!”

“I am a Sergeant.”

“I don’t care if you are the Pope, I want your boss or I am heading to IAD (Internal Affairs Division).

He walked away as if to leave and I heard him calling his commanding officer to come out to the house. It wasn’t long, til my wish was granted. I got me a commanding officer. And, it happened to be someone I knew.

“LinMarie, just calm down. The law is the law.”

“Well the law stinks.”

“Maybe but it is the law. I would advise you to get you a pistol, learn to shoot it and protect yourself. Just remember we cannot be everywhere all the time. If you have a complaint of how long it takes an officer to get here, take it up with City Hall. Tell them that we need more officers.”

That wasn’t the only incident I had with Johnnie – there were two more.

Pat with City Glass was over installing solar screens on all my windows. He had his oldest daughter with him at the time. She was “helping her dad”.

Johnnie slammed the back door to Bird’s house – I said, “Watch her Pat; she’s gonna come right across that fence and shoot me the finger.”

I wasn’t wrong – she bounced about half-way over the fence and got her “Lucy” hung – she ripped herself to kingdom come! Of all the times that girl had jumped the fence and never had a nick of any kind – this time – she ripped her “girl parts”. Blood was everywhere. I mean everywhere.

“You want me to call the ambulance?” I asked a screaming cussing Johnnie.

“No, but it hurts so bad.”

“Well don’t look like you are going to be fooling around any time soon.”

“Screw you!”

“No thanks”

Pat’s daughter was now glued to her dad’s leg. Pat has laughed, even years later and said “that traumatized my daughter and she remembers that to this day!

How Johnnie got fixed up – I won’t know – that was one chick that would never be tamed.

My final experience with Johnnie was one night I was enjoying a glass of iced tea on the back yard when I heard a loud ear-splitting wail. I could make out Stephanie’s (the neighbor next to Bird) voice screaming to me for help. I jumped the fence and asked what was wrong – I thought something was wrong with Stephanie, since she was in a wheel chair.

“It’s Bird! It’s Bird!” Johnnie was screaming “He’s dead!”

“Move,” I said with authority although my heart had begun to pound. “Let me see.” There lay Bird on his back with blood coming out of his mouth. Officers began to arrive while I was attempting to find a pulse and a heartbeat it seemed that he had died immediately.

Johnnie kept getting in the way – wanting so badly to help.

“LinMarie, get her out of her” an officer demanded. “She’s in the way.”

“Come on Johnnie; just let them do their job.” I said. “You are not going to help Bird by carrying on this way!”

“F… you! I ain’t going nowhere,” Johnnie continued to cry and scream.

Poor Stephanie was all upset and shaken. Stephanie had crippling arthritis and was in a wheelchair. I knew we had to get Johnnie out of there to keep from upsetting Stephanie more.

“LinMarie shut her up and get her out of here NOW PLEASE,” implored one of my friends on the police force.

“I’m trying,” I answered.

“Not hard enough” he snapped back.

The struggle began for real about then. She was street tough to being with and being on drugs had her adrenaline up. Johnnie was tough anyway – and any way you looked at it – my buddy was admonishing me to control her! “Not so darn easy,” I kept thinking as I gave it my best effort.

After thirty minutes of this tug of war with me shouting at her to calm down and then alternating a controlled voice to say, please calm down and be quiet,” the officer had had enough. He came over and said “SHUT YOUR MOUTH NOW and get over by my car.”

“Which one is it?” Johnnie asked as calm as could be.

“The one that spells P-O-L-I-C-E on the side.”

“Okay” and off she went – ever so meekly.

I wanted to laugh so loud and so badly. The officer was so stern and business like. Johnnie was so totally out of it. And, yet, she did exactly what he said like a school child would obey the principal. If it hadn’t all been so serious, it would have been a great comedy script. But a man we all knew and liked, lay dead on the floor.

That was about the last adventure I had with Johnnie. Though a few short months later I saw her, haggled, weary, ill. I was told she had aides, couldn’t afford any medication and was dying.

Bird had tried to help her, but he was only a stepping-stone when she needed something firm to put her foot on for the moment. The truth was Johnnie wasn’t ready to get off the crack and until she was, nothing nor anyone would have been ever to have helped her.

I heard she died within six months of Bird. She was a wild thing with a mouth that could out cuss a sailor. I hope, somehow in her last days on earth that she was able to find the peace that she wanted – or that she was yearning for – or whatever it was in life that she wanted. I don’t believe she ever found that search here on earth – so maybe – just maybe – she found it in death.

Sherry Kay

Sherry Kay

"I'm innocent!" she said when she arrived at my house that Sunday afternoon. This was the first time I'd seen my cousin in many many years - at least twenty years. She looked good, trim, fit, tanned. She had her boyfriend, who I will call Brad, with her.

"Well, what does the law have on you if you are out on bond?" I asked.

"Well I did shoot him." she said, smiling over at her tall, lanky blond haired boyfriend with a smile.

"I need a place to stay, I want to move out of the Houston area and he's getting a job over here" she said.

I wasn't going to let anyone move into my house with me. For some reason I didn't trust her. I knew she was spoiled and got whatever she wanted to her entire life. I knew she had given her folks a lot of grief. I knew the family members who knew her best weren't supporting her at all during this time. I didn't know who had posted bond money for her. "Well, I can rent you the house in the back until you go to trial."

"Great, it'll be me, my daughter and my boyfriend."

"Ok but I don't want any parties, no drinking, and no loud noise."

"No problem" she said. They began moving in the next weekend.

It wasn't long into their first little while here that the cursing woke me in the middle of the night. It was loud. She was calling the boyfriend everything but a white boy. That's their problem, I figured.

The next day she left me a note that the toilet needed fixing. They were out and about, so I went in to examine whether it was something I could fix or something I needed to call a plumber for. It was clogged with food and LOTS of toilet paper. I had to call the plumber this was more than I could handle.

I was dumbfounded when I walked into the little house. Food left on plates with flies and magets, beer bottles everywhere, a pistol on the night stand, pills - bottles of pills were everywhere. I knew this was a violation of her bond.

I had already fought to clean up the neighborhood, and here, I'd brought the rift-raft back into it. We had regular "chats" out the back door about my expectations of her living there. During one of my absences from my home, Sherry Kay broke into my home - with a key she had found, and stole many family heirlooms (which she had never been a part of during her upbringing and I never got back), VCR , clothes, dishes, pots, pans, anything that she thought she wanted and damages to my flooring - she'd poured some sort of acid all over the hardwood floors.

I reported her to the police - had to if I was going to get an insurance claim on anything - who then reported it on to the Harris County District Attorney's office. During this absence of mine, she also moved out - leaving 3 full truck loads of garbage and debris - mainly beer bottles, left over food and pure trash -along with some empty pill bottles and used condoms to be hauled off by me and my crew.

They moved to the West side of Beaumont - substantially white population at the time - because "we didn't like all them niggers walking the streets around us." Most of those black people had become my friends and were very protective of me. I would defend them under any circumstances if they were in the right.

About a month prior to her trial, I received a phone call from the Assistant District Attorney who was handling her trial. "You are going to be getting a summons to appear in court at her trial."

"I don't want a summons. She is related, and even though I'm pretty steamed at her, I don't want to testify."

He asked me what all had happened once Sherry Kay came back into my life. I started from the beginning - the house, the admission of guilt, the boyfriend, the thefts, the destruction, the booze, the gun, the pills.... everything that he already knew based on the report from the police department in Beaumont who'd already seen the damages and the trash, etc from the little house.

Sherry's trial came quickly after the call - I had fretted and worried for several weeks. I'm sure she was also.

"Do you solemnly swear....?"

"Yes" I stated.

I was certified as an expert in Domestic violence, having had worked with the victims assistant center, spoken on television, radio, and working with the domestic violence center, psychology and social work background in college and having been a survivor of domestic violence myself.

Never had Sherry Kay said she was abused, at least not to me, by her husband that she had killed. There were no bruises on her at the time of her arrest. There were no scratches, bite marks, ligature marks, nothing to validate her story of being an abused woman.

The night before I was to testify, she made a phone call to my mother asking her to come to the trial the next day hoping that my mother would prevent me from testifying against her. My mother phoned me after that call - and I told her, "stay out of this. Just stay out of this." Mom didn't come to the trial, but Sherry did admit to me in the hall that she had hoped my mother would've come so that she "would make you not testify."

Good grief! I was in my 40s! And, I had to tell the truth because the district attorney already knew the truth and I surely wasn't going to perjure myself!

My testimony lasted what seemed like forever. I had to look at Sherry Kay and her boyfriend who sat there mouthing at me the entire duration of my testimony. The Judge called the boyfriend down twice - admonishing him for his behavior and I believe he was removed from the courtroom.

Sherry Kay's husband had became a Christian. He was begging her to get off of her drugs, her drinking and stop running around on him. His vehicle was packed. He was leaving. Her meal ticket was about to leave her. She hid his keys - all he wanted was his keys to the vehicle so he could leave. In return, she walked down the hall, came back with a 45 pistol and shot him - dead.

After moving into my house, she was "anxiously waiting for the insurance money" but was "doing okay with the social security benefits from her daughter." And, she told how she wished she had some of that money that she had taken from her mother - before she died. She had drank and partied hard. Still was.

Sherry Kay was convicted of murder. She received twenty years in prison. As she was hauled from the courtroom she turned and said "I will kill you - I will know what prison is all about and I will kill you when I get out." Later that evening at home, I received numerous phone calls - threatening ones - from her boyfriend and others who wouldn't identify themselves.

My husband had me leave town. He sent me away for two weeks, until things felt safe and more calm. I changed my phone number. I put in a security system. I did what I needed to do to protect me.

I could've pressed more charges with the threats she had made. I didn't. I was given paperwork to file with Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a "victim". Each and every time her parole came up - I would write in opposition of her release.

Sherry Kay's older half sister took "S", Sherry Kay's daughter in. Sherry Kay had her on so many medications it wasn't even funny - it took Barbara and a good doctor a while to wean her off of the medications and even the breathing machines. Stability in her diet and sleep schedule also helped. Her grades improved. She blossomed.

Sherry Kay did get released in 1997 with certain conditions - one being of not having anything to do with me, no contact with me personally nor through a third party. She has now broken that stipulation. She has joined facebook and befriended cousins - who never knew her.

Sherry Kay was basically abandoned by her father, a Garsee - a brother to my dad - when he and her mother divorced. Sherry Kay was adopted by Freddy. At another Uncle's funeral, she was introduced to her biological father, a shocker for him. Her mother kept in contact with several aunts/uncles and my parents for years. That was how Sherry was around some of us - but not near as many relatives as we have.

So, she never knew cousins her age - most of us were older who would visit them. Now, after three years out she has found these cousins on Facebook who find her the "victim" and "feel sorry for her" and "want to give her a second chance." Which, if that is their choice, I'm proud for them. However, her disruption of lives continues because when I "unfriended" many from facebook - it was as if "you drew a line in the sand." I didn't speak but to 3 people about my decision and another cousin's decision to befriend her. But, after UNfriending someone - the world knew!

I was accused of dividing the family - because several others "UNfriended her". When she wrote about it - I truly had no idea what she was talking about. I don't have time in my world for the petty. And, I surely wasn't going to allow my personal life to be available to Sherry Kay.

I wish none of them any harm. I hope that Sherry Kay has indeed changed, however at this point, I don't see it. "She just wants to be a part of the family." That is because her sisters and brothers have nothing to do with her - that's called a "clue" in my world. I don't want any part of it. I want the peace that I have in my world. I don't want to have to worry if she were around me. I don't want to mingle with her - and it isn't because I don't want her to have a second chance at life - the threats are too vivid - too engrained in my mind - and I don't want her around me nor knowing my business.

I used to keep up with the Judge in Sherry Kay's case - he had encouraged me to continue the fight against domestic violence. We saw each other on occassion during political rallies or functions. When I wanted to open my own Private Investigations office, I phoned Judge Guerra and asked his opinion about the field of work. He was encouraging as always. At one point in his career, he was up for a Federal Judgeship in Laredo.

Over time, I have learned that family is something you are born into - but the real family of life is who you end up with in the end. For each person I delete from my life who is a negative, God has been gracious to give me many more to replace them - and my new family - has been the biggest asset and joy in my life!

Someone asked me, "why would you post this story?" I am doing it for protection - many who know me, know that I do not scare easily - but I want the world to know what this woman has threatened and what she is capable of - and I pray to God that she never harms another person - whether physically nor materially. This is not done to be vendictive in any manner. I hope you understand.

Monday, April 12, 2010


My macho United States Marine Corps neighbor came over early one morning. I had just poured the first cup of Community Coffee, still in my pajamas, about to read the Sunday paper. I could not imagine what he was doing over so early, perhaps he needed to borrow a cup of coffee.

"Good Morning"

"LinMarie, now don't get mad, but look out your front window and check out the hooker."

Scot, went back home, leaving me to watch the act taking place outside my window.

When I first moved to my old house, I was a seamstress. I had a sewing and alterations business. I had erected a sign on my corner with the name of my company, "Yes I Can" and in smaller letters it read Sewing, Alterations and Classes.

Cathy was standing on my corner under the sign. Anyone in their right mind could tell she was high as a kite in a March wind. I did not know, at the time, which choice of high she was on - crack cocaine, marijuana, booze or perhaps a mixture of all. I did know for her to be out this early in the morning, that she'd never been to bed. Street girls mainly do their thing at night - thinking no one will see them.

At first sight, I was furious. But, after standing by the window watching her, I began to laugh. I watched her for a long time, as she would wriggle her butt in a circular fashion, raise her pleated mini skirt up over her white tee-shirt, point to the sign, and holler, "YES, I CAN!" She never had any "takers" or "johns" stop.

I watched as she began walking up the street, I figured Cathy had tired of her aerobics and cheerleading. Cathy headed for the middle of the street to play her version of dodge ball with her body and cars and trucks being the ball.

All of a sudden Cathy hit the ground. I could tell from my view point that she was either having a seizure or was in DT's from the drugs. I flew out my front door as fast as I could, down the stairs, one foot on top of a tree stump and over the fence I was. When I got to her she was as limp as a wet dish rag.

"What is it, Cathy? Talk to me. Don't you die on me." I yelled to the semi-conscious girl. I knew from the look of her that the attack wasn't a seizure.

She panicked, I suppose thinking I was going to beat the tar out of her for prostituting in front of my house, and began screaming - not in words just noise!

"Shut up screaming," I said. "I ain't going to hurt you. But, I am going to get off this street before you get both of us killed."

I threw that 95 pound girl over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. I had no choice but to get us out of the road. Instinct, I was headed to my house. Street folk were watching. A group of thugs were piled together on the side walk. No one said a word for a long time. After I passed the group of thugs, one said, just loud enough for me to hear, "That crazy white bitch that stays in the big blue house gonna beat the crap outta that ho..." I ignored him.

The thoughts and opinions of the street people did not matter to me right then. I had other thoughts and other things to think about, like what was I going to do with Cathy. My main concern was to get her cleaned up, let her sleep off whatever she was on, and maybe try to talk some sense into her.

"Please don't call the po-po on me, just help me." she whispered before we ever got to my gate.

All I could do was pray. "God, just help me understand this girl. Maybe if I can understand her, I can help her."

I took Cathy in that day. she soaked for over two hours in a hot tub of water. She was like a kid that didn't want to get out. I brought her a robe and gown that swallowed her - it made her appear to be even more tiny than what she was - but they were clean.

"Can I sleep for just a little while?" she asked.

"Sure, take the bed in the back room."

I sat by the bed off and on the entire 17 hours that Cathy slept. I had heard from street talk that she was seizure prone and I suspected that she may have already had one. If that were the case, then I knew that she needed uninterrupted rest without a john or pimp pushing her to be back out on the streets. And, I knew none of them were brave or crazy enough to come to my house.

Around nine the next morning, Cathy began to stir. Being raise a good portion of my life by a grandmother, I could hear her saying, "Breakfast is your main meal of the day." I wondered if Cathy had a family and a place to go eat breakfast.

"Oh what the heck?" I thought.

On examining the fridge, I only found one egg and some really old milk. I think penicillin could be made with it or something of that nature. The bread was old, too, but I did know how to make biscuits from scratch. Okay, perhaps I secretly wanted to impress my house guest.

By the time Cathy got up, her clothes had been washed and pressed and a good breakfast of egg, sausage gravy and home made biscuits awaited her in my kitchen.

"You did this for me?" she asked suspiciously.

"No, for us. I plan to eat too." I said.

"You mean we eating together? We gonna sit here together?"

"If you plan to eat, we are. Trust me, I ain't going to try to poison you. You're not ....." damned my mouth. I started to tell her she wasn't worth me going to jail over her, but I retreated and said, "You're not going to get out of eating my cooking that easy. Sit down and eat."

I could tell she was hesitant. Even if I do say so myself, the smell was pretty appealing. We both dived into eating. No words were spoken for a long time. I could tell from the way she went after the gravy and biscuits she hadn't eaten for a while.

"What you got in this gravy?" she asked.

"I make mine with Cremora Coffee Creamer, it's cheaper and I'm allergic to milk sometimes."

"Get out of here! Are you for real? Coffee creamer?"

"Yes, why is it that bad?"

"NO, it's the best sausage gravy I've ever eaten."

We ate in silence for a while and of course, I found that I just could not sit there and wonder about the things I was thinking.

"Cathy, why do you sell yourself?"

"For rocks mostly."

"How much do you make?"

"What's with all these questions?"

"Just curious, that's all"

"You the police?"

"No, if I were, I would have hauled you in long before now."

"Then, what's it to you?"

"Nothing I just was trying to better understand you. That's all. Don't get your panties in a wad." Then I laughed because I realized she didn't have any on. All of a sudden, with the shock wiped off her face, she started laughing, too!

We ate more food. I served us more coffee and juice.

"No thank you," she said, "I've had enough. I wouldn't want to lose my girlie figure."

"Well," I thought to myself, "At least the little lady has been taught some manners, so I know somebody has raised her right."

"I make between $1.50 and $3.00 for each trick. Well, you, being a white lady would call it a blow job. My man gets the rest."

"What do you mean, 'your man gets the rest'?"

"Well, I charge between $10-$20 each time. They (the "date") rides around and I do my thing to 'em. Then I have to give the money to my john who been following us or he be where I'm to be dropped off."

"You mean "john" as in "pimp"?"

"Whatever you wanna call him - I just know I ain't messing with him and his money."

"Is he the one in that black car that follows not far behind you when you are on the streets?"

"How'd you know that?"

"Cathy, I may be white, I may not understand your life style, but I am not blind. I've seen you beat up and bruised. I cannot understand why someone with your education and personality would do something like that. Please get off the street."

"How you know I got a degree from Lamar?"

"I've done my homework too."

"Well I plan to get off the streets, they ain't nothing nice."

"Yeah? When?"

"One day soon. I gotta go or he's gonna be on the streets looking for me. Thanks for helping me and for the breakfast."

"Cathy, before you go, if you ever need my help, I am not the law, but I can help you or will try, when you are ready."

Cathy hugged my neck and said, "You know you really ain't such a bad white bitch like they say. Thank you for your help."

I thought of Cathy often after that. Every time she would pass the house, she would wave. Sometimes if other girls were working in front of the house, she'd holler at them to get to another street, because "a real lady stays in that house" She also passed the word that my place was a place to find solace and peace and that I would keep their lives and secrets safe within my walls.

I came to the conclusion that sharing the heart warming events that led to me cleaning up my neighborhood, winning a Jefferson Award for my efforts, may help someone else along the way.

Later that same year, Cathy was found murdered in a park in South Beaumont. She was having oral sex, got angry at the guy and bit him. He in turn, slit her throat.

It seemed like a senseless murder. She was so sweet, although confused. I learned her degree was an accountant. She was just that smart before the cocaine took over her body. I'm told that the first high from crack cocaine is unmeasureable. I'm told the body craves more and more. The craving will go to sleep, like a sleeping tiger, but when he awakes, raises his head and roars, he has to be fed.

Perhaps in her death, Cathy had found the peace that she really wanted all along. Over the course of the months after her death, I realized that Cathy was worthy of any one's attention, love and care. And, I regretted the day that I thought she wasn't.

I also thought that she was some one's child and that they would miss her. I knew that she had touched my heart and opened my eyes in a way that no one else had ever done nor any amount of schooling had ever come close to doing. She also had opened the communications line between others like her, the street girls, and myself.

I know Cathy was someone very special, because I know God doesn't make junk. It's been almost twenty years since Cathy and I had our first interaction - my streets and neighborhood are safe and clean - but I still miss seeing her and her beautiful smile...

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I had seen Kim working the streets since the beginning of my life in my old house. She was a really "sassy walker" to say the least. Street talk was she "could strut her stuff" or she was "doggin' it". Either way, those were mild understatements. She could twist her rear end smoother and faster than a Maytag washing machine.

It was a hot night in June. I'd worked on building my garage all day. If you don't know about Texas in June - it's hotter than a pepper patch - like when you walk outside and try to make it to your car, there isn't anything on you dry. Hot. I'd decided a long hot bubble bath, candles and a glass of wine would do the trick to relax my aching muscles.

I had been in that Calgon take me away about twenty minutes when I heard a scream. A woman was hollering, "HELP ME!! PLEEEEZE SOMEONE HELP ME!"

By this time in my adventure of living here, I had already endured a lot of "help me's" that were more like the little boy calling wolf when nothing had happened.. This one seemed to have a "Coca Cola" ring to it - like it was "the real thing". I jumped, grabbed a bathrobe and ran out of the house barefooted.

At first I thought the scream was from my front porch, but once outside, I realized it was next door. I jumped the fence, darn near got my robe caught on the prongs on top and got to the screaming gal laying on the ground. I'm sure my jumping the fence would've made the Funniest Videos! But, in a lurch, fluffy girls can run.

"Ms. Lin, you gots to help me you gots to help me!" she was screaming.

"Kim, if you scream at me one more time I'm gonna knock you out - now shut up screaming and tell me what's wrong."

"Ms Lin, he shot me in the butt!"

"WHO shot you in the butt - WHAT? Who shot you in the butt?"

"My date. He wanted oral sex and I didn't like what it looked like so I said no and when I got out of his car he shot me in the butt!"

Kim was laying on her stomach with both hands reaching toward her buttocks. Those hands were not 'just' on the buttocks, she had a grip on them like she had been switched with a young peach tree limb. Reminded me of a child's reaction after he really messed up and a mama went on the warpath and tore his hind-end up.

"Ohhh pleeeeze, Ms. Lin, help me it hurts."

I hollered at another neighbor to "call 9-1-1 and get me an ambulance out here."

"Ohhhh Ms. Lin, you can fix it you done sewed up a bunch of us when we got beat up you can fix it."

"Kim, I can't fix this - hold still - I'm gonna rip your britches and let me see the bullet wound."

"But, it huuuurrrts"

"KIM" I was shouting at this point, "SHUT UP! And, let me look"

I happened to have had my watch on. Took the blood pressure, checked the pulse - she was going to live, but was going into shock. I knew from the trajectory of the bullet and that it been a small hand gun wound and that the bullet had not come out the other side and was floating inside of her.

"Kim, is there someone we can call? Kim, don't you pass out on me now - wake yourself up - Kim..."

"Ma'am?" she was passing in and out.

"Who do we call?"

"My mama."

"What's her number"

I sent the neighbor to go call the Mama, "tell her to meet the ambulance at Baptist that's where I'd send her."

After he left, I realized that I had rattled off orders like a Marine Drill Sergeant and was fearful that the neighbor didn't grasp all that I had said. Nevertheless, he headed off for the phone.

I ripped her outer pants. I wasn't surprised that she didn't have any step-ins, er underwear on. Most of these street girls wouldn't waste the time to wear a second layer.

"Where is that ambulance?" I kept thinking. I've got my knee in the middle of her back keeping her still to try to keep the bullet from continue to float around inside of her. I figure the bullet was either inside her bladder or had torn her uterus up.

"Kim, tell me what happened again before the law gets here and shut up shouting and you better not go to sleep on me. Dammit you know better than to be out on the street like this and you know bad stuff happens. BE STILL"

I was getting frustrated with her. I kept check of her pulse. I ordered someone else to hand me a quilt or blanket or something. "Not mine, not on her" one person told me.

"If you don't get your skinny black butt in that house and get me something to cover her up you WILL NOT like me when I get done with her" I hoped that sounded forceful enough. I'd learned long ago to get the first bluff in and I'd probably be the winner and get what I wanted!

I got a blanket for her.

"Kim, what happened?"

"I wouldn't give him a blow job because.....ooooh it hurts so bad."

"Kim, did he pay you?"

"Yes, but it didn't look too good and I just didn't want to do it."

"Kim you gotta be still. You've got a bullet in you and from the looks of your lower abdomen that sucker is floating in there." I didn't tell her that she was swelling up like she was nine months pregnant. I figured she had some serious damages.

"Oh, Ms. Lin, please don't leave me."

"I thought you didn't like me"

"Ms. Lin you a real bitch sometimes, but I know you are a nice lady, please don't leave me"

"Kim, I'm not going to leave you, but SHUT UP SHOUTING! I know that it hurts but I'm right here and so are the medics"

Boy, was I EVER glad and grateful that the medics had finally gotten there, because honestly I didn't know how much longer I could have kept her still and lying down.

"LinMarie, what's her pulse rate" EMS had already taught me what to look for, how to do it, I'd bandaged and doctored many of these street girls, gardeners, ho-s - over the last year or so since I'd been here.

"Pulse rate is 135 ...subject has been shot in the left buttocks by a small handgun..small amount of bleeding.." I was spouting off what I had learned from the first incidents that had happened around this neighborhood.

"Good going, LinMarie. We'll take it from here."

"Kim the medics are here now. They're going to take you to Baptist Hospital. I've got your mama going there to meet you. You are going to be fine."

I wasn't sure she was going to be fine.

Here came the cops. "Did you see anything? What happened?" Questions from the three cops were swirling about in the night air. I did not have the answers, only what I was told.

All of these same questions have been asked hundreds of times over the years. I wondered if these people ever got tired of picking up hookers that had been beaten up or shot, and I wondered how this girl's mother was feeling.

I called her mother the next day to check on Kim. I learned she had been kept in ICU after having an emergency hysterectomy. Having undergone one myself, I knew that surgery wasn't a walk in the park. The bullet was from a .25 automatic. No suspect had been arrested. In fact, Kim didn't even know who the guy was that shot her. "Some dude in a fancy mercedes with lots of diamond rings - white dude."

The mother voluntarily told me that Kim was from a Christian home and family. I didn't need an explanation. This was none of my business. "You are the lady that Kim says helps the girls. Kim said you give them food and clothes and sew them up sometimes. I thank you for taking care of them."

Kim still works the streets. I pray that I won't pick up the paper one day and see her obituary. She wouldn't be the first to have died at the hands of the thugs of the streets and she probably wouldn't be the last.

I just pray that no one ever dies while I'm holding them in my arms. It could happen. I don't want it to, though. So, in the evenings, now, part of my prayers are for the girls of the streets. And, maybe in some small way, I've been a little help to them. Just maybe I've been called on to be here for that reason. So, maybe I had better stay here on my corner for a little while longer instead of fostering a desire to leave.


Frankie was one of the prettiest girls that worked the streets. To say that she worked the streets perhaps isn't really a fair overview of her. She worked the drugs. She stayed high. She had to prostitute to get the money for the drugs. She had a John that fed them to her like M&Ms. When she wasn't high, Frankie was one of the sweetest people that a person would ever want to be around or have in their home. She was basically good people, from a good family, with a good upbringing. Drugs happen.

Frankie lived in one of the three little houses at the end of my street. There were frequent visits there by local police officers - SWAT - jump out boys, not to mention the whores and crack heads.

When I first bought my house, the one I live in, it was extremely quiet by day. But that first night? Oh, it was nothing nice. Crack-hos and prostitutes everywhere. Gun shots would ring in the night air. It was from one of these houses that Frankie lived in that the first shot was fired my first night in my beautiful old historical home.

My phone rang late that night. "Are you okay?" Pam, my cousin's wife was asking. She was calling to see if I knew where the gunshot had come from.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I said. "I think it came from one of the three gray houses. I guess I'm gonna have to try to buy those to stop that crap."

What began to become a habit, a habit several times a day, I phoned the Police Department. "What is your emergency?" asked the dispatcher.

"Gunshots hvae been fired from the area of Pennsylvania and Royal Streets."

"Do you know who is doing the shooting?" she calmly asked.

"No ma'am I don't. And, I don't intend to go over and ask them either. Would you please send an officer over here now?"

Me and the dispatcher had no more hung up when the sounds of police sirens filled the night air. Hookers and pimps scattered like cock roaches when someone turns on a light. Crack pipes were extinguished. The "po po was here".

Lights and police cars and an ambulance started appearing from everywhere heading for the middle house. An officer that I knew came over to see if I was Okay.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I said "Just a little shook up to be awakened in the middle of the night like this. What do we have to do to get a good night's sleep in this neighborhood?"

"Look, I'm going to give you some names of people to talk to. Tomorrow morning, you be on the phone to them You may have to keep calling until they return your calls. Stay after them. You shouldn't have to live like this." he said.

The next morning I was on the phone before some even got to their jobs, much less had their first cup of coffee. After a dozen or so calls, I realized I was not going to get a return phone call. So, I bounced down to the police station and waited to see these guys face to face.

"You aren't going to dodge your job?" I asked one.

"Oh no ma'am," he replied.

"Good. Then since you are too busy to return my phone call I figure a face to face visit would be better. Let's talk."

I sat down with the nice Leuitinant . I was armed with dates/times of calls to the police department. I had photos of the "ho-s" who worked my streets, of the "Johns", names, car license plates..I was armed for bear. I was assured that action would be taken to assist in cleaning up this neighborhood.

Two weeks past. I began to harrass the police department again. "Sir, I'm not here to harrass you, but would you like for me to drive some of these girls to your street and let them work over there for a while?" I asked.

"Uhm no I wouldn't" he said.

"Then why is my neighborhood so special that we can't get them gone?"

After another few phone calls and a few interviews with the local television stations about our neighborhood plight, we began seeing results. Sting operations went into effect. My house was used as a surveillance point. I had cops in the attic staring out at the streets. When sitting out on the front porch, I had cops driving up and down the streets giving me signals that things were okay.

For some reason, after a while, I just knew that things were going to get better. But, I also knew we had a long row ahead of us to hoe and even with this much support coming through, I knew I couldn't just sit down. I wasn't going to be happy until it was all said and done adn folks could walk our streets again.

I had been watching Good Morning America . They had a legal advisor talking about a new law that was going into effect. They covered something about a landowner being aware that his property was being used to sell or harbor illegal drugs or acts that the property could be confiscated under a new federal law and some State laws.

Whoa! There was a new avenue! I figured it was about time to do something else. The police department was doing it job and just maybe with a little encouragement from yours truly, we could hit the landowner from the backside - his wallet. Perhaps that would expedite things.

I phoned Norris Batiste, U.S. Marshall for assistance - Norris would do what he could to help. I called the Texas Attorney General's office in Austin. Everyone wanted to ask me a hundred and one questions and all I wanted was one simple answer. After experiencing total frustration - I called the U.S. Attorney's office. There I was put in contact with a very intelligent and soft spoken female attorney named Mary Bradford. I told her what I was trying to do and why. She asked me to send her a copy of my letter that I was mailing to the landowner. She gave me her word she would follow up on the matter. I didn't trust a lot of folks, but for some reason, I trusted her.

I gathered information, names, addresses, dates and times of call outs by the police department. I began investigating. I could not type letters fast enough to Mr. Absentee Landlord, letting him know that if he didn't do something about the trash going on at his property, I planned to let the U.S. Attorney's office know about it. I quoted the law.

In all honesty, I knew nothing about the law nor how the sytem worked. I just knew I wanted this neighborhood cleaned up - and NOW.

I waited. I did not hear anything from him. I sent the letter on to Ms. Bradford. She would handle it.

Sitting at my sewing machine, working on a quilt, that bright sunny afternoon, I heard the unmistakable sound of gun fire. Then I heard a scream. I immediately grabbed the phone.

"What is your emergency?" dispatch asked. I had phoned so many times to dispatch that we were all on first name basis.

"Diane, this is LinMarie I just heard gunfire and a scream coming from the middle house on Pennsylvania and Royal."

"Did you see anything?"

"No ma'am, I was quilting. I just heard a gunshot and a scream."

Police were there within what seemed a seconds, followed by an ambulance. I knew something bad had happened that day in my neighborhood. And, I wondered if the landowner knew about it or would even care.

I walked over to the property line. I stood among the other street girls. A white girl in the midst of all the "girls". One was crying. I watched and waited. Yellow tape was put around the building. I knew there was a murder. Shortly a body bag was being hauled out of the house. This wasn't a good sign.

As one of the old timers in the neighborhood walked past, I hollered, "Joe what happened?"

"Some ole whore got shot and killed because she had called the jump out boys - he had her against the wall opened her mouth and put a 38 bullet in her head - brains is everywhere" he said.

For those of you who may not understand "jump out boys", those are men/women SWAT members who are rushed on to a scene, who jump out of a van, mostly masked, wearing black, heavy gun power, who kick in doors and do drug busts.

A cold chill went up my spine. She might have had her problems, but she never gave me any. She didn't deserve to be murdered. She had always waved and spoken to me each time she passed my house. What a difference one day to the other made.

She may have taken a bullet that belonged to me. I had called the jump out boys - many times. For a long time I wondered about Frankie, the bullet and f it were really meant for her.

Frankie's murderer turned himself in later that afternoon. There were two other girls in the house that witnessed it and knew the killer. There were articles in teh newspapers about her. Her family had put some writings in the paper about her.

I thought how, as a mother, no matter how much good or bad our children do, we worry over them, long for them to do the right things in life - and, we still love our kids.

I prayed for forgiveness that day. For some strange reason, inside of me, I felt responsible. Responsible, because I had started this clean-up effort. I had been the one making the calls and letting the cops stay in my house and do surveillance from my places. I just wanted a safe nice neighborhood.

About four years after this incident happened, through my cousin's wife, Pam, I was introduced to Pam Jardeen. Pam was Frankie's sister. She never had the chance to say good-bye to Frankie. She asked what I knew about that fateful afternoon. I told her everything and cried when I admitted that I thought Frankie might have taken the bullet meant for me.

Pam got up from my dining room table, hugged me and said, "It wasn't your fault."

At that moment I found the forgiveness I had been seeking and needed. I had since purchased the property that Frankie was killed in. I handed the keys to Pam. I told her to keep tham as long as she needed. Pam needed time in that house - to grieve - to cry - and to let go.

I think that day God opened eyes on all of us. He showed us that color doesn't matter, we all have feelings. He also blessed us that day. He took away the guilt and the grief from both of us. And, most importantly, He gave me a new friend, Pam, through such a travesty.

The Diaper Bandit

It was a young spring afternoon when I came home from work sick with the flu. I think that every bone in my body ached and I was running a very high fever. I had called my cousin, who was a nurse, to bring me some medicine. I was too sick to go to the doctor. I did not want to have to get back up, so I unlocked the burglar bar door that were on the outside of the door so that she could just come on inside once she got here.

I laid down and must have dozed off to sleep because I was awakened by a knock on the door. "Oh well," I thought. "She'll realize the door is open and come on in." I never got up. I laid there with my eyes closed. I heard the door open and felt the presence of someone in my room. I looked up and there stood a young black man looking at me. I noticed that he was very jittery. I stood up to walk toward him. My knees were shaking from the weakness that I felt from the flu and for some reason, I froze in place.

My first thought was, "Well LinMarie here you go. If God doesn't have your heart by now, this ole' boy is fixing to take it." I asked God to give me peace and strength to do what I needed to do. Still frozen in my tracks, I immediately felt coolness come over me that began at the top of my head. It went down my neck into my torso and arms and into my legs. It felt as if someone had poured cold water all over me. My movement came back and I came to my senses.

"What are you doing in here?" I asked in a surprisingly calm manner. The unwanted visitor threw his arms wildly about him. When he did, my eyes were drawn to the screwdriver in his right hand. A long screwdriver - not something that a woman would have in her tool box - at least an 18" screwdriver.

He said, "Look, lady, I got to have $450 for diapers. My kid needs diaper money."

"No problem," I softly said, "Just let me go to my room and I can help you out."

From deep inside me, I somehow knew I had to walk past this guy. Through my calmness, he seemed to begin to calm down as well. I walked past him as if he were an old friend. My gut was churning. I was almost nauseated. The bedroom was down the hall about 20 feet. He didn't follow me. I didn't hear him stirring about. I knew if I could just get to the bedroom I could use the phone and get my pistol.

I made it. I was safe, to an extent, in my own room.

I called 9-1-1.

"9-1-1 what is your emergency?" the operator asked.

"This is LinMarie. I have an intruder and I have him at gun point" I gave her my address then laid the phone down on the bed, keeping the line open. I was afraid to keep him waiting in the utility room for too long, for fear he would start to get angry and radical again. I slipped the handgun into my robe pocket. I put my hand in the pocket over the gun.

I walked slowly back to the utility room.

"Look, Bud, I would love to help you out, but I came home from work today sick and I guess that I left my purse in the car. If you'll follow me out I promise I will be happy to accommodate this situation."

"Please, " I kept thinking, "go outside and don't try to harm me."

I knew in my heart that I would kill him. Fear had engulfed me. I was running on pure adrenaline. What if the police didn't get here in a timely fashion? Stupid thoughts crept into play. What if I kill this man? What will my sons think? Don't shoot him in the house. You just got through painting the walls and refurbishing the utility room. Has this guy hurt someone in the past? Is he going to rape me? Does he have family? Is he on drugs? What if help doesn't arrive? Can you really kill someone? Can you live with yourself if you do? Would the police understand if he threatened me or tried to hurt me and I had to protect myself? What kind of ramifications could I face with the law? Thousands of other questions rolled through my mind as if I was watching a film flick of this scene or as if I were at a movie show and my life was racing in front of me.

As we walked towards outside, passing through the doorway, me leading the way, I kept thinking, "Just keep in control; don't let him know you are nervous too; keep him talking."

I had made it out the door, to the bottom of the stairs. He was behind me. He was out of my house. I heard a noise. I turned, to see him flop his buns down on the top step.

As I turned toward him, he shouted, "Look LADY," while raising his shirt over his head to show me, "I ain't got no weapon, no knife, no nothing. But you are gonna give me $450 for diapers." He started to lunge toward me.

I didn't even whence. I pulled my gun out, clicked a shell into the chamber and said, "You might not have one but I damn sure do and if you move one inch, I'm going to blow your balls off!"

"You're crazy," he screamed. "You're a crazy white m....f....you just plumb ass crazy, crazy white bitch." He went ballistic. I knew that I now would have to hold my ground. If he did decide to come toward me, I knew I would have to back up my words.

He sat there for a while. Stiff. Sweat pouring from his brow. I kept thinking, "Where is the law?" I turned my head for just an instant beause I saw two people coming out of the funeral home across the street. I hollered, "Call the law. Please help me. Call the law. He broke into my house." They shook their heads "no" and went back into the funeral home.

When I turned around he was rising, he was lunging at me. No - he was running, he was running away. I put a dead aim on him. Then I realized that a stray bullet could hit someone next door if I wasn't on target.

He was running down the street. He was gone.

I ran back into my house, down the hall, to the bedroom and picked up the phone. The dispatcher was still there. "This is LinMarie. He just took off running toward Pennsylvania heading east. He is wearing a striped Polo type shirt and maroon sweat pants," I said through heavy panting.

"The police have him LinMarie. They are there. Go outside and meet the police and identify him," she said. I hung up the phone.

As I walked down the hallway to go outside, I laid my gun on top of the dryer in the utility room. I walked down the sidewalk to the gate of the fence that surrounds my property and saw an officer bringing him back toward the house. I could see three police cars in the back at the end of the street where they picked him up from, two police cars were in front and one on the side. I later found out that the time for the police arrival on that call was two minutes and 17 seconds. It seemed a life time.

Relief welled up in me and I was ready to cry. "No tears, LinMarie" I kept telling myself. I had stayed calm during the ordeal so far, yet, now, I was ready to bawl.

"That crazy white bitch gots a gun. She's a crazy m...f...." he was yelling to the officer. The officer stopped. My hands were still in my robe pockets.

"Do you have a gun?" the officer asked as he moved, who would later be referred to as The Diaper Bandit, in front of him as if to shield himself from any unexpected gun battle.

"Yes I own a gun. It is in the house on the dryer."

The officer ordered me to "put my hands on the fence."

All of a sudden my emotions turned to pure anger. How DARE this cop order me to put my hands on the fence when it was me who was the victim? I pulled my hands out of the robe, but did not put them on the fence. I reiterated to the officer that when I went back in to the house to talk with the dispatcher, I had left my gun on the dryer. That seemed to put the officer more at ease with the situation, and he moved more toward me with Diaper Bandit still being used as a shield in front of him.

During this time, The Diaper Bandit is hollering, "She a crazy white m....f.... bitch...she be real crazy.." His sounds became muffled as he was put into the back seat of a patrol car, after identifying the creep that had come into my house without permission and telling the officer what had happened. The scene was over. I was safe. Diaper Bandit was spitting at me from inside the patrol car. He was banging his head on the window, as if to break it out, to at least one more time tell me what he thought of me. I didn't care.

Relieved, I went back inside my home. My home. Not an intruder's home. My home.

A sergeant later came to the door and asked me to tell him again what had happened and everything that the guy had said to me. After I finished my story, the sergeant told me that this was the same motive that had been used on the lady three days earlier that had been raped in our neighborhood. My blood rushed. My cheeks got flushed. I felt sweat forming on my brow.
Reality set in. It could have been me, too. All I could say was, "Thank you, Sweet Jesus, for watching over me."

After going downtown, giving my statement to the detective division, I followed the saga of the Diaper Bandit through accounts published in the local newspaper. The other victim identified him as being the person who had raped her. There was also a lengthy rap sheet on the guy. He was out of jail on probation for drugs.

The smartest thing that he probably had ever done in his life was to plead guilt to it all. He won't have to worry about diaper money any more. He is now serving 258 years to run consecutively. After reading the articles, written in the newspaper, I wondered about his family, his mama, how I would feel if he were a child of mine. My oldest son is the same age as the Diaper Bandit.

It is a shame that kids throw away their lives, especially with drugs. The young twenty year old man's life was shot - and he could've easily been physically shot the afternoon he broke into my house. If he did happen to have a son, what future does the child have?

My own son came to see me the following weekend. I hugged him and could not stop wanting to touch him, hold his hand, touch the softness of his cheeks, pat him on the arm. He held my hand. I was grateful for life - for both my son's and mine. I was grateful that my son was and is the man he is today.

I hoped and prayed that my son would never be faced with the lifestyle of the Diaper Bandit.

I have also prayed for the family of the Diaper Bandit wherever and whoever they are. I realize that no matter what our children do wrong to us or in life, or how badly they may hurt us, they are still our children and we love them unconditionally.