Sunday, September 14, 2008

Meeting the Satin Strangler?

I am reclining on a dune behind the hotel, watching two sea gulls battle over a crustacean. The day proceeded beyond my expectations. Henceforth I shall have possession of the Satin Strangler case. You will enjoy some excitement from my ensuing posts, my faithful followers.

The Sea View police station was miniscule, even more Mayberry USA than I had imagined. Upon entering the front door I could see Destiny in a cell along the far wall. There was no mistaking her from the radio reporter’s descriptions. The adjacent cells were vacant.

Destiny looked up as though sensing my gaze, and pivoted ever so slightly toward her cell door. Was she assuming a timid posture or planning her escape? Regardless of her innocence or guilt, she was playing the role of a caged bird. I have witnessed that facade countless times since my studies at Yale. Destiny had perfected this countenance.

She knew I was there to meet with her. Our eyes locked momentarily, once again conjuring the reporter’s description of “a librarian with a secret.” As her defense attorney, I am obligated to write that I believe her to be innocent. Now, therefore, that is what I write herein. She is innocent, and I will win the case and prove her innocent, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. I nobly take on this task regardless of whether I perceive her completely incapable of any harm or addicted to murder.

The clerk averted his gaze from People Magazine’s secret beach photos of starlets long enough to acknowledge my presence. He wondered Is this person different from the other attorneys lined up outside, or is he just more bold? “Line’s out front,” he said.

I slid my business card across the desk. Without even glancing at it, he licked his fingers and turned the magazine page to reveal that lascivious hotel heiress wearing a fur coat and a yellow bikini. “Out front,” he repeated.

“I am here to speak with Ms. Blande. Please show her this.” I slid a portfolio with my most publicized cases across the desk, and then opened it, causing the cover to conceal the hotel heiress in his rubbish periodical.

He clenched both fists. The photograph of yours truly and Gloria Watson on the first page must have registered, however, because he suddenly sat up straight, removed his glasses, and perused my face for the first time. “Holy . . .”

We finally reached my favorite part of any introduction – when they realize that they are in the presence of me.

The clerk inhaled profoundly and composed himself. “One second, Mr. Krouch.” He stood and carried the portfolio and business card back to Destiny’s cell. A brief conversation ensued. Destiny looked at him, then at the portfolio, then at me. Of course her answer was inevitable. She consented with a nod.

An officer opened her cell for me to enter.

Destiny demonstrated no resemblance to the Satin Strangler police sketches, and the radio reports hardly did her justice. She had the lackluster and unassuming countenance of the quintessential librarian, but her eyes were entrancing. An occasional flutter of lashes released a flash of malachite that stopped the world around her. A wisp of auburn hair fell away from her chignon and dangled in front of her forehead as a betrayal to conformity. I fixed my eyes on her face, rather than tracking down her tone but feminine frame toward her legs. I imagined her garnished in black satin stockings.

This was the woman accused of strangling 50 men. She was alluring, but was she also dangerous? Regardless, I could quickly tell that she would never reveal her dark side while in captivity.

Within minutes we achieved bilateral consent that I would represent her. The ensuing conversation lasted for several hours, but remains confidential lawyer-client information at this time.

I am envisioning Destiny’s penetrating, feline eyes as I sit in my Adirondack chair along the beach, reviewing my notes. The jury will certainly be captivated by her; she will appeal to the primal urges characteristic of the masses.


This is post #17 in The Satin Strangler Blogs (TSSB).

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