Steps of the Plowman

Steps of the Plowman

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In the late spring and early summer of 2002, a serial killer is on the prowl in a city of almost a million people. By mid-June, there are five bodies. Uniquely, there is no public panic. The reason? The only people aware of the murders are a small group of police investigators. Such secrecy was implemented, not only to avoid hysteria, but because rumors exist that the perpetrator is either a current or former member of the local police. Another cause for the close confidentiality emanates from the fact that all five victims were high-risk predatory pedophiles recently released from prison. The story deals in part with the personalities of the killer, his victims, and the impact on the people that were preyed upon by these pedophiles. As the tale unfolds, there are self-examinations by the police, prosecutors, officials in the justice system, and a young defense lawyer. In addition, a member of the judiciary is persuaded that the entire system has contaminated qthe lawq that allegedly protects children from monsters. Political will and effectiveness, and the ever-present media, also surface. The five bodies are discovered within a ten-day period. Physical evidence is practically non-existent. Another contributing factor surrounding the pressure on the police team to solve the murders as quickly as possible concerns the perception of their motivation to interrupt the vigilante before he's qfinished.q The investigators don't want to be seen as qdragging their ass.q The initial stages of the investigation are discouraging, but as the police plod their way, a description of a suspect emerges. His identity, of course, is a different story. A profile develops with a full description of an older man seen in the company of the first three local victims hours before they are found dead. The only thing is who the hell is he? It soon becomes clear that the old man has qinside helpq on locating the pedophiles. The police hope that it's not someone from their department. A break and a coincidence provide identification of the suspect, and a widowed senior citizen becomes the focus of the investigation. The police team sets up two types of surveillance and obtains a photograph of the man. His photo is identified without any hesitation by three witnesses and, later, two more. A circumstantial case is presented to the prosecutors. They believe enough evidence exists, and, like the police, feel that physical evidence will surface after the arrest. Wrong! An omission, perhaps inadvertent, is discovered by the old man's legal aid lawyer in the police report given to the prosecutor's office. This is enough to secure the freedom of the accused 'judicial interim release.' Two nights later, the old man qrehabilitatesq another dangerous pedophile at his own home. This little escapade becomes more complicated and results in solidifying a case against the old man. His lawyer has other plans, however. Her client tells her about his old friend with the justice department whose 5-year-old daughter was abducted and murdered in 1998. The friend's wife was now in a mental hospital, and the friend's health was slowly ebbing away, since there had never been any arrest or any kind of closure. The friend volunteered to work with the old man's lawyer and make a proposal to his life-long friend, a judge in the Court of Queen's Bench. The proposal suggests that, if this matter were to get into court, the young lawyer would call every police officer, jail guard, prison psychiatrist, victim, and the families of every victim of all six pedophiles. These witnesses would describe the impact of the intrusion of each pedophile since and including his first conviction. A hearing is arranged in front of the judge, much to the chagrin of a Member of Parliament and an associate of the legislature. This is because they haven't yet qfigured it out.q A seventh murder is discovered early in the morning on the day of the hearing. As if things wereYou could get the odd whiff of the laundry room downstairs and some street traffic noise filtered in occasionally. When Troy ... Two were in a building across the street from Williea#39;s new home; the other was in an older-model Chevrolet Cavalier.

Title:Steps of the Plowman
Author:Dale Miettinen
Publisher:Trafford Publishing - 2004


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