This is very unsettling to me on SO many different levels. The first part of it has to do with our own ongoing issues with CSG; the basic description of the murderer and CSG is eerily similar, and while I am well aware that the description could also fit 100 other people I know, it is still bothersome. There are also a few details about this which ring too close to home for my taste-home invasion, no connection that the police are aware of (in this area, that usually means that there is no DRUG connection), in fact one of the investigators said something like "There is no reason to think that the victims knew their attacker at this point, but that he may have known them." Doesn't THAT sounds freakishly similar to a stalker? Not necessarily MY stalker, mind you, but a stalker in general? So there are enough similarities to make me feel even more unsettled about what occured at my home last month. I don't honestly think it is the same person-because if it were, he would certainly not have let my daughter's sudden entrance into the house deter him. Still... Paranoid? Sure. I will freely admit that. Too many odd things have happened (including the fact that on Sunday morning someone came into our yard and stole my dogs, as well as opened a Snapfish envelope that was in my mailbox; thank God that Snapfish actually made a mistake and sent the ads and filler stuff with no photos in it-which has never happened before. I got the photos yesterday) for me to be anything else. The detective told me yesterday morning that they have a pretty good idea of who it is now-he took six photos over to Hannah yesterday to look at, and that is a GOOD thing. It isn't going to bring my dogs back, which pisses me off-we were starting to feel a little more secure now that Mama was able to be loose and unmuzzled in the yard, and Eli is going to be so, so sad when he gets home to find his puppy gone.
My feelings of fear and disquiet are heightened by our own situation, which I think is normal and reasonable. However, this is a very frightening thing in the larger sense as well. While of course we have crime here, as any town does, we don't have murders as a rule. I think the last murder we had was just over 2 years ago, where a teenage boy killed his dad. He was considered a suspect immediately and was arrested a couple of days later. In this case, the guy is still at large and they don't yet know who he is-that is scary to me. I am not naive and blissfully walking through life unaware that bad shit happens every single day-but at the same time, this is not something you expect to have happen. In one moment, two lives are irrevocably altered-one very young man dead, and his wife will forever be changed by this, by the actions of one terrible, person.
My house, my town, no longer feel safe to me. Last night as I was driving back from Jacquie's (the kids have been going over there on Monday nights so I can go to my AA meeting at least once a week), there were two lovely young women walking along a bike path with their dog. It was almost dark, the stars just beginning to appear in earnest, a beautiful evening for a walk. Instead of thinking "oh, how nice!" I was inwardly cursing those women-do they not KNOW how young and beautiful and vulnerable they are? The bike path is beautiful-shade trees, it runs right along the canal, it is quite and private...and those are all three reasons why it wouldn't be safe after dark. I understand, though-they ARE young, their lives so far untouched by crime and fear, and they are invincible in their minds. I was like that-my daughter was like that. I am sure the dead 25 year old man was like that, and his wife. We all walk through life, I think, believing that nothing can touch us. Even as adults, when we know better, we carry that around. Until something happens to change that, to take it away.
And once he is caught, both our CSG and the murderer, things will settle down. Hannah and I will eventually be okay, although we both may need to go to come counseling. We will be able to sleep at night again, and maybe leave the front door open when we are sitting in the living room. However, I don't think either of us are going to take our safety for granted anymore. I don't think either of us are going to be foolish about our safety and security, and I think we are both going to be more aware of things that are going on around us. and while it sucks to learn this the hard way, I don't think that it is a BAD thing. I think that we DO need to be more aware. And while we can't prevent bad, random things from happening, while we can't live our lives in fear, we CAN take reasonable precautions to make it less likely to become victims.
*****In the process of writing this, the detective came over to the office to ask if he could go show Hannah one more batch of photos. He went yesterday and she picked out a strong possibility, but wasn't at all sure. So he took six more pictures today (they are at Jacquie's today) and Hannah called me freaking out and crying. She said that she was looking at the photos and saw one and had a total flashback to that night, and started shaking and sobbing; the detective had her initial the photo and said he needed it for court-let's hope to God that means he is going to try to get a warrant and arrest him. When he was in the office this morning, my first words were," Have you caught him?" and he replied rather jauntily,"I think we might!" He asked me some odd questions that led me to believe they really MIGHT have him, and while I tend to be reluctant in trusting law enforcement in general, I have to believe that they can do this. It is all I have, trust and faith that they do know what they are doing, and that we are going to be okay. Hannah said something that made me laugh, too: "Det. M said that they aren't going to let him touch us, and that if he is the first one to see him he is going to kick his ass." She whispered "ass," and the whole thing made me laugh.*****
Keep your fingers crossed.