Homicide detectives in South-Central Los Angeles usually do not wait long for a murder. So on Friday night, during Detective Marcella Winn's first weekend on call, she spends an edgy evening at home, waiting for the call of death. She watches a video of the movie "Tombstone" and munches on popcorn, but she can not keep her mind on the plot. She keeps waiting for the phone to ring. Winn has only been in the homicide bureau two weeks, and this will be her first murder investigation. She would just as soon get started tonight. But this is a rainy spring night, one of the rare Friday nights in South-Central when people are not being battered, bludgeoned, knifed or shot to death.
On Saturday morning, she cancels her pedicure appointment. She is afraid of having to race to a murder scene with wet toenail polish. She spends a few hours watching reruns on television, but it is impossible to relax. Waiting for a homicide call is like waiting for a big sneeze that just won't come.
When the sun goes down, Winn is sure that tonight is the night. After all, this is Saturday night, the most murderous night of the week. And there is a full moon, which usually kicks the pace of mayhem and murder on the streets into another gear. At 9 p.m., she turns in, hoping to catch at least a few hours sleep. She tosses and turns, waking up every hour or two to check her answering machine and her beeper to make sure she has not slept through a call.
By Sunday morning, Winn is a wreck. She buys a paper and discovers that people were murdered all over the city this weekend. Just not in South-Central. All that worry for nothing. She dozes off at about 11.
It seems to Winn that she just closed her eyes when her telephone finally rings. She checks her alarm clock. It is a few minutes before midnight. "This is it," she says to herself. "No one else would call this late."
"You got one," the night supervisor tells her. "Male Hispanic. Shot in the chest. On the street. Two possible witnesses. Forty-ninth and Figueroa."
Winn meets Detective Pete "Raz" Razanskas, who is waiting at the Southeast Division parking lot in an unmarked squad car, engine running. They are partners, but for a while, it will be an unequal partnership. He will play the role of mentor and teach Winn the rudiments of a murder investigation. Razanskas (pronounced ra-ZAN-skus) is a supervising detective at South Bureau Homicide. The bureau is responsible for all murder investigations in Los Angeles' killing fields, a jagged strip of streets that runs from South Los Angeles to the harbor. This is such murderous terrain that if it were a separate city, it would rank among the nation's top 10 for homicides. Winn and Razanskas work a section of South Bureau centered in South-Central.
Winn, a detective trainee, has passed the written detective exam and is waiting to take her orals. As a trainee, she has all the responsibility and authority of a detective. She just has not earned her shield.
Razanskas pulls out of the parking lot and asks Winn if she wrote down what the night supervisor told her about the homicide. No, she says.
"You got to write down the details," Razanskas tells her. "Who told you and at what time."
Winn shakes her head and stares glumly out the window. She is not used to being awakened like this.
Razanskas and Winn are a study in contrasts. Razanskas is a wise-cracking, tobacco-chewing, cowboy boot-wearing cop of the old school. He is 46 years old and has spent almost half his life in the Los Angeles Police Department. He worked his first homicide in 1980, and since then he has investigated more than 350 murders. His strength as a homicide detective is at crime scenes, where he is an expert in tracing leads out of a melange of bloodstains, shell casings and shotgun wadding, and in interviews, where his low-key manner and off-the-wall humor usually put even the most tightly wound witnesses at ease.
Winn is a child of South-Central and grew up in the neighborhood in which she now investigates murders. In her seven years with the department, she has quickly risen through the ranks. She has been promoted quickly and often: from patrol to a gang task force, to vice, to an elite burglary unit, to a detective trainee in bunko forgery, where she investigated a number of complex white-collar crimes. She has proven that she has the toughness and the smarts to succeed in a department that has traditionally been white and male.
Razanskas and Winn pull up at the murder scene, an intersection lined with ramshackle two-story apartments, tiny storefront churches and auto-repair shops. A few palm trees break the weathered monotony of the neighborhood. The area is blocked off with yellow crime-scene tape, and a pair of parked squad cars cut off the ends of the street.
The uniformed officers tell the detectives that three men in a car were shot in what appeared to be a botched robbery. Two of the wounded victims sped away and left the slain man on the sidewalk.
While the murders of O.J. Simpson's former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman have attracted extraordinary attention, murders like this one--anonymous street slayings, far from Brentwood--made up the vast majority of the 836 homicides in the city last year. This is a homicide that attracts no television cameras, no photographers straining behind the crime scene tape, no reporters scrambling for poignant biographical details.
This murder is ignored, lost in a sea of statistics, just another one of 25 homicides in the city for the weekend. The detectives labor in anonymity. The suspects are ignored. The victim is quickly forgotten. One value is bestowed on the lives of Goldman and Simpson. Another value is bestowed on the life of Winn and Razanskas' victim.
"People here grieve just as much as anywhere else," Winn says. "My victim's got a mama who's grieving just as much as the mama of any other victim. Maybe nobody else cares about this killing, but I do. I want the predators who did this off the street. I don't want them walking around this community jacking people I care about."
Razanskas and Winn have little to go on. Was it an attempted carjacking? Or was it a straight robbery? Did the men resist? Or were they shot anyway? How did the victim end up on the street?
This is typical of the homicides detectives are seeing more of today, Razanskas tells Winn. Homicides where there are no solid eye witnesses. Homicides where there are no leads. Homicides that are so tough to investigate that the department's rate of cases solved--or clearance rate--has dropped over the past few decades from about 90% to just over 60% (about the national average).
Razanskas surveys the crime scene and immediately begins cracking jokes. He stands beside the flares and impersonates Robert Duvall playing the whacked-out lieutenant colonel in "Apocalypse Now." "Ah," says Razanskas, breathing deeply through his nose. "I love the smell of flares at a murder scene. It smells like victory."
He tells Winn that they will start with the physical evidence. The body is laid out on the sidewalk under a white sheet. Two shell casings, the victim's glasses and a can of beer he had been drinking are all circled in chalk. The drizzle has stopped and the skies have cleared. Shallow puddles by the curb glisten under the full moon and the white sheet looks as though it is glowing.
Razanskas shows Winn how to diagram the crime scene. He demonstrates how to record the location of evidence with a measuring tool that looks like a golf club with wheels, calling out locations as she jots them down.
"I'm just walking you through this now because it's your first one," he tells her after all the evidence is logged. "But you're not my secretary. You're my partner."
A hooker wanders by and tries to climb underneath the crime-scene tape so she can get to the other side of the street. A uniformed officer berates her, but Razanskas calls him off.
"You hate her," he tells the cop, "but I love her. These girls are my best source of information."
He walks over and says: "How you doing Melinda?"
The hooker, who is wearing a tight black skirt and spike heels, studies him for a moment and then smiles broadly. "Hey Raz. Wassup?"
Razanskas investigated her brother's murder a few years ago and caught the killer. He asks her softly, so other bystanders cannot hear, if she knows what happened. She says she does not but promises to ask around.
Winn, who had wandered off into the darkness searching for bullet slugs, returns with the first break of the case. She has found a witness. A true eyewitness. She is so excited, her hands flutter as the words come rushing out. The witness manages the apartment right above the shooting. He saw the three victims pull over at the curb. One went to the apartment to see a friend, who was not there. As he was walking back to the car three men--"kids . . . youngsters," he called them--emerged from the darkness. Two of them had pistols.
They demanded money from the victims. The gunmen told the other two men to get out of the car. But the three Latino victims did not appear to speak English. They did not resist but appeared momentarily confused. One robber, angered by the delay, shouted: "Kill him." They sprayed the car with bullets, and one of the gunmen shot the victim in the back as he was trying to escape. The witness yelled at the shooters to try to scare them off. One of the robbers began shooting at him while they ran down the street and disappeared into an alley.
Razanskas nods at Winn and says: "Beautiful." They decide to visit the witness in the morning.
The two detectives talk about the senselessness of the crime. Christ, Razanskas says, they shot the guy in the back. He did not present any threat at all. Razanskas tells Winn that this, too, is typical of the kinds of murders she will see all summer. Murders without a motive. Murders in which victims do not resist. Murders that are merely homicidal afterthoughts.
The coroner investigator shows up and empties the victim's pockets. He pulls out the man's wallet, which contains $70, and determines that his name is Felipe Gonzales Angeles. The investigator removes Angeles' shirt, lowers his pants and examines the body. He is only a few inches over 5 feet and chubby, and he appears to be about 16--even though he is 29. Under his right nipple is a red blotch the size of a dime. The coroner determines that this is an exit wound because of the jagged edges. This is the final indignity of death. Angeles is sprawled out on the pavement, his trousers around his ankles, his blue and white striped bikini briefs pulled down to his thighs.
The coroner turns the body over, and Winn flinches when she hears a sudden hissing sound--air escaping from the victim's lungs. There is a neat, perfectly round entry wound just beneath a shoulder blade. The coroner continues to examine the body as the sky fades from black, to gray, to pale blue with streaks of pink on the horizon. As day breaks, the anomalous sound of a rooster crowing in South-Central breaks the early morning calm.
The detectives begin tracing the suspects' route, illuminating their way with flashlights, to a dirt alley littered with old sofas and rusting bedsprings. They spot a trail of fresh shoe imprints. He calls over the crime photographer to take a picture.
Razanskas tromps through the alley in his cowboy boots. He is wearing only slacks and a sports coat and tie, and Winn, who is shivering, is amazed at how he seems unaffected by the early morning chill. She later learns that he is wearing, beneath his clothes, thermal long underwear, his hunting underwear. But Winn, who is wearing rayon slacks, a linen blazer and crocodile Ferragamos with heels, is hugging herself to keep warm. Not knowing how to dress for her first murder, she put on one of her favorite outfits. As she tiptoes past the muddy spots in the alley, Winn vows that she again never will wear heels at a murder scene. And next time she will make a point to bring a wool overcoat.
They leave the alley and spot an old Cadillac with a fresh bullet hole in the windshield and glass fragments on the hood. It is parked on the street about 100 yards from the body. This mystifies them. The errant bullet did not follow the logical path of the suspects' shots. Make a note of this, Razanskas tells Winn, because it could prove significant later on.
As the streets begin to fill up with commuters and the sun breaks through the early morning fog, Razanskas and Winn drive off from the crime scene. Razanskas takes a pinch of Skoal, deposits it in his cheek, grabs a paper cup from the back seat and spits. He places the cup in a wire holder he has rigged up under the police radio. Winn blanches. She worries about the consequences of a sudden stop.
Razanskas tells her it is important for a homicide detective to quickly read people and determine who to trust and who not to trust. He talks about an unreliable witness in one of his cases and sums the man up with his favorite country expression: "Once a chicken-killing dog, always a chicken-killing dog." She counters that she is skeptical about most people until proven otherwise. "I don't trust anyone except my mama," she says, quoting a B. B. King song, "and she may be lyin', too."
They head over to the 77th Street station, where they call the victim's brother and tell him to come to the station. In a tiny, windowless cubicle, Razanskas begins interviewing him--in fluent Spanish. Razanskas, whose family is Lithuanian, learned the language in Venezuela, where he was raised before immigrating to the United States at the age of 15.
The brother's expression never changes, but his eyes fill with tears as he identifies a Polaroid photo of his brother. "Si," he says softly. " Es mi hermano ." Razanskas offers his condolences to the brother, who looks dazed and in shock. He begins mumbling in a slow monotone, as if he is talking in his sleep. His brother had been in the United States for only five months. He sent money home to Mexico every month. He was known by everyone as a good worker. He loved his four daughters.
"Jesus," Razanskas says after he and Winn walk the brother out. "Four kids. That sucks."
The investigation now has been inalterably changed for Winn. The interview with the brother has transformed the victim, in Winn's eyes. He no longer is just a another "vic," one of South Bureau's more than 300 homicide victims for the year. He is Felipe Gonzales Angeles, a hard-working man, a good father who loved his daughters. Winn is angry now. Someone like Angeles did not deserve to be shot in the back and left to die in the street.
The two detectives visit their witness, the apartment manager, who tells them he has something they might be able to use. Mounted at the front door of the building is a video camera that is always on duty. Razanskas and Winn exchange a quick glance.
They pop the tape into the witness's VCR. The flickering black-and-white images show the faint outline of a man ringing the doorbell. Someone comes to the door and tells the man that his friend is not home. The man turns around and leaves. A few seconds later, garbled voices are heard in the background. Then a volley of shots. Then more shots.
Razanskas and Winn jump up at the same time to roll the tape back. They both realize that the man who rang the bell was the victim.
They replay the tape again, which picks up only bits and pieces of the audio. They hear: "All right . . . give me your money . . . a- -hole . . . all your money . . . too slow . . . Kill him! Kill him!"
They hear 14 shots, fired from three different guns, with three distinct popping sounds. Razanskas rolls back the tape and listens to the gunshots again. One thing bothers him about the gunshots. He cannot account for the third weapon.
They head back to the station in the afternoon. They have been up since midnight, and Winn is complaining that this all-nighter is giving her a bad hair day. Razanskas yawns and takes a pinch of Skoal for a nicotine jolt.
They return to the office, Winn finishes up some paperwork, and by early evening she is on the freeway heading home, fighting to keep her eyes open, after her first all-night shift as a homicide detective.
During the next few days Razanskas and Winn attend the autopsy of the victim and follow police technicians as they who are lifting fingerprints off the victim's car. They visit the department's audio lab, where sound experts enhance the quality of the tape. They return to the crime scene and talk to neighbors. They go to the hospital to interview the two badly wounded victims, who have no idea why they were shot. By mid-week, they still cannot identify the suspects. The case is beginning to feel like a loser.
On Thursday, just as the momentum of the investigation begins to stall, they catch a break. The apartment manager, who they had interviewed earlier in the week, finally agrees to come to the station. Razanskas tells Winn that it is important to get the witness in an interview room, away from all the distractions of home.
The witness, who is in his early fifties, appears tense when he enters the room, so Razanskas asks him how long it took for police to arrive at the scene--a softball question to loosen him up. The man says they responded immediately.
Razanskas smiles and quips: "They must have run out of doughnuts." The witness throws his head back and laughs. They chat for a few minutes until Razanskas steers the conversation to the night of the killing.
The witness gives a few rough physical descriptions of the gunmen, who, he says, all appeared to be teen-agers. He takes a sip of coffee and says softly: "You should look into whether one of the suspects got shot."
"Why?" Razanskas asks.
"Just a hunch."
Razanskas and Winn look puzzled. Then they suddenly understand who fired the third gun on the tape. Now they know why the Cadillac took a bullet through the windshield.
"You know," Razanskas tells the man, "we have no problem with this guy firing a few shots."
Razanskas leans forward and says earnestly: "I'm going to be up-front with you. I look at this guy as a . . . hero. I'd like to give him a medal. Let's just call him an 'unknown citizen.' We'll leave it at that."
The witness stares into his coffee cup. He tells Razanskas he trusts him. He knows Melinda, the hooker who tried to crawl under the crime scene tape the night of the murder. He talked to her yesterday, and she told him: "Raz is straight."
"All right," the witness says. "The unknown citizen might have capped off about six rounds."
The unknown citizen, the witness says, fired the shots as the suspects ran down the street toward the alley. One shot hit the suspect, who was wearing the long coat, in the leg. He began limping and his friend helped him escape down the alley.
The witness signs his statement, and the moment he leaves, Razanskas and Winn send out a bulletin to all area hospitals.
It is Friday afternoon now, the end of a very long week, and the two detectives are in the lobby of Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital. They are interviewing an officer from the Los Angeles County Safety Police, who provide security for the hospital. He responded to their bulletin.
Yesterday, the officer tells them, four men pulled in front of the hospital. One limped out, his leg heavily wrapped, with a friend helping him. The officer approached him and asked him what happened. He said he had hurt his leg. But when the receiving nurse began to question him about the wound, the man hurried out the door and rode off with his friends. Officers could not detain them or obtain a license place number because they had to respond to a fight in another part of the hospital.
The officer says the two men were teen-agers. They fit the rough physical description given by the apartment manager.
"Damn," Winn says.
They head back to the office, frustrated that they just missed the two by a day. But, they figure, if one of them has a festering bullet wound, he will show up somewhere for treatment. And when he does, they hope that at least this time the hospital will be ready for him. All they can do now is wait.
Winn waits and waits, but a month after the murder, the trail has grown faint. She is the primary investigator on the case--partners alternate on cases--which means that this one is all hers. She writes the reports, directs the investigation and, ultimately, is responsible for clearing the case.
She has the luxury of devoting all her attention to a single investigation. But Razanskas has dozens of cases that require various levels of attention. At South Bureau Homicide, the longer you have been there, the more onerous your workload. He has to juggle all the old cases while attempting to keep track of an inexorable wave of new ones. As Winn picks up more murders she, too, will have to contend with that. But for now, the Angeles case is her white whale.
Razanskas works the Angeles murder with Winn. But, at the same time, he is chasing leads on the slaying of a travel agent, the murder case of an 11-year-old boy killed during a carjacking, the murder of a Guatamalan immigrant killed during a carjacking, a double homicide after a dope-house rip-off, and another double murder committed by a gang member after a street argument. He also has to contend with a mountain of paperwork that bedevils all LAPD homicide detectives.
Winn has plenty of time to work her case; she just does not have the leads. By late April, she is extremely nervous. Every morning now, when she pores over the case, she says to herself: "Oh my God, I hope this trail hasn't gone cold.
Winn wants to prove she belongs in homicide, that she has what it takes. But at this point, it does not look good.
Then one morning, a month after Angeles was killed, she gets an enormous break--that one golden phone call every detective prays for. A snitch calls the bureau asking which detective worked the killing at 49th and Figueroa. Winn picks up the line.
"You know that Mexican guy who got killed at 49th and Fig?" the snitch asks. "Baby Day-Day, a 5 Deuce Hoover Crip, and some of his partners made the move at 49th and Fig. Everything went wrong."
She asks him if he knows the names of the suspects.
"Just find Baby Day-Day," he says and hangs up.
"Yesss!" she shouts, dragging out the "s" and clenching a fist.
Winn checks the department's computerized moniker file. She finds a Baby Day-Day, a 5 Deuce Hoover Crip, currently in county jail. But she is worried. If he had been arrested before the Angeles killing, he obviously could not have been involved. She checks the arrest dates and is elated; he was arrested three weeks later. He and two partners were picked up for a carjacking.
Winn and Razanskas show the apartment manager several "six-packs"--sheets containing six photographs, one of whom is a suspect. He can not identify Baby Day-Day. But he quickly identifies the other two. One was 18 years old and the other, known as Little Day-Day, was 19. They were from another set of Hoover Crips. But Winn knows that some of the Hoover Crip sets are friendly, so they could have been working together. Winn shows some six-packs to the officer at Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital. He, too, picks out Little Day-Day. Now the case is rolling. All Winn needs is to show the photographs to the two wounded men who had been in the car with Angeles.
A case is considered cleared at South Bureau Homicide when the district attorney files murder charges and a suspect is in custody. Winn does not want to go to the D.A. without locating the two witnesses. But she runs into a problem. The two surviving victims have disappeared. They left the hospital and moved out of their house. No one knows where they are.
A few weeks later, as Winn is finishing up a follow-up report on her double murder, one of the wounded witnesses calls the bureau. The witnesses had moved after the killing and now share a small apartment near MacArthur Park with a few friends. Neither of the witnesses speaks English, so Razanskas explains the six-pack procedure in Spanish.
One witness, a shy 17-year-old boy, was wounded in both legs. He has not been able to return to his job as a bicycle messenger. Razanskas shows him a sheaf of six-packs, but the witness says that too much happened too quickly. He can not identify either suspect.
The other witness, who is 19 years old, was shot in the chest and ankle. He has returned to work at a stereo manufacturing company, where Angeles also had worked. This witness was once was one of the best workers at the company, he says, but now he is frequently in pain and is afraid of losing his job. He inspects a few six-packs but cannot identify the suspect. The detective hands him another, and the witness immediately points to picture No. 1 in the upper left-hand corner: Little Day-Day.
"That's the third I.D. on him," Winn says. She smiles. The chase is coming to a close, and she is excited. Even though she would have liked both witnesses to identify all the suspects, she thinks she has enough. The apartment manager has already identified two of the men. The officer at hospital picked out one. And now this witness has identified the same suspect. Winn can now take the case to the district attorney.
On Monday morning, an assistant district attorney agrees to file murder charges against the two suspects. This is an auspicious beginning for Winn. She has cleared her first case.
She is elated, but her excitement is soon tempered. She thinks about the victim's four daughters and his brother. He is the first person she tries to contact. She wants him to know that someone cared about his brother's death, that justice was done. But she can not locate him. She learns later he has moved back to Mexico.
Winn gets extremely angry when people outside South-Central describe it as a place composed entirely of gangbangers, drug dealers and hookers. "The criminals are only a small part of the people who live here," she says, tapping a pan on her desk for emphasis. "But they get all the attention. Most of the people in South-Central, she says, just want to earn a living and raise their kids in peace."
People in other areas of the city, people who do not care about the carnage in South-Central, people who say, "It's just another ghetto murder," are deluding themselves because, Winn says, the predators are not confined to South-Central. They have cars. They are mobile. And if the problems of South-Central continue to be ignored, she says, the residents in other parts of the city will be exposed to more and more of the anguish that South-Central residents live with every day.
Winn does not have long to savor her success. She needs to buttress her case further, to prepare for the preliminary hearing. At the prelim, a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to hold the suspects over for trial.
The apartment manager had said that an "unknown citizen" wounded one suspect as he was escaping, so Winn and Razanskas want to see if they can spot any recent bullet wounds. The detectives and a police photographer meet at the county jail in Castaic.
They still have no clear theory about which suspect actually shot Felipe Angeles in the back. But with California's "felony murder rule," it does not matter who the triggerman was. If a murder occurs during the commission of a felony--and in this case it was a robbery--everyone involved in the felony is culpable for the murder.
What Winn has determined, from the scenario she pieced together from witnesses, is that Little Day-Day is suspected of shooting into the car. Witnesses said the other suspect grabbed Angeles on the sidewalk, whacked him in the face with a pistol--to intimidate him before the robbery--and, while fleeing, shot at the apartment manager. It is still unclear who actually shot Angeles in the back.
The guards arrive in the interview room escorting Little Day-Day, whose real name is Obie Steven Anthony III. He is baby-faced, with a wispy mustache and a wide-eyed smile. The suspect has an extensive juvenile record, but he tells detectives he never has killed anyone.
Winn leaves the room. He strips to his shorts so Razanskas can check for bullet wounds. Anthony has a number of tattoos, including "Smile Now, Cry Later," on a forearm, and "Day-Day 2" on the other arm.
He has a round scar the size of a nickel below his right knee. Razanskas asks him how he got the scar. He is friendly and cooperative with Razanskas.
"A guy bit me," Anthony says.
"I hope you kicked the snot out of him."
Anthony laughs and says: "I tried."
Razanskas takes a closer look at the scar. He shakes his head. It does not look like a gunshot wound.
The other suspect in the case, Reggie DeShawn Cole, is brought out to the interview room. Standing there in his shorts, shivering, he does not fit the stereotypical image of a murder suspect; he is just a scared, skinny teen-ager with acne on his shoulders. Unlike Anthony, Cole does not have a juvenile record nor any tattoos. But during the past year he has been arrested twice, for evading a police officer and for carrying a concealed weapon.
"What's this all about?" he asks Razanskas.
"It's about a murder."
Cole says he does not know anything about a murder. Razanskas ignores him. He is too busy examining Cole's legs for scars.
"Bingo," Razanskas says. He spots a jagged scar on the side of Cole's left shin. It looks to Razanskas like a gunshot wound. The photographer takes a few pictures of the scar.
Winn is waiting in a hallway, anxiously pacing. "Well?" she says, when she sees Razanskas. He gives her the thumbs up sign.
At the preliminary hearing in mid-September, three witnesses--the wounded friend of the victim, the apartment building manager and the hospital guard--testify against the suspects. All three point to Obie Anthony and Reggie Cole, who are wearing orange jail jumpsuits, and place them at the murder scene.
But the suspects' attorneys stress the inconsistencies of their statements. The hospital guard picked out only Anthony from the six-pack photo display and had identified both Anthony and Cole from a live lineup last month. But he had previously said that Anthony was the one who limped into the hospital. Now he says Cole was actually the one who was limping, and that Anthony accompanied him. (Cole's public defender, Dick Tom Jr., says his client had been shot in the leg, but that it had happened not during the murder but six years ago in Louisiana.)
The apartment manager picked out Anthony and Cole in both the six-pack and the live lineup. But Anthony's attorney, Patrick Thomason of the Alternate Public Defender's Office, points out that his client is facing criminal charges in an unrelated case. The witness denies during the hearing that the prosecutor offered him any special treatment in exchange for testifying in this case. Thomason intends to investigate this issue.
The wounded witness picked Anthony's photograph out of the photo display. But he was unable to identify either suspect in a live lineup last month. And at the lineup, he picked out one man who was not involved in the murder. But at the preliminary hearing, he picks out Cole and Anthony without hesitation.
"As you sit here today in court," Thomason asks, "do you have some doubt that the man next to me was at the (murder) scene?"
"No," he says softly. "I am traumatized by all that happened to us. And even in my dreams, those things come to my mind all the time. They appear. I see the people. I see everything all over that happened. And I recognized him."
The judge determined there is enough evidence against the suspects to hold them over for trial. The trial will begin in the spring.
Winn feels a sense of accomplishment--and relief--as she saunters out of the courthouse and into the morning glare. It is already warm; the day should be a scorcher. One case has been cleared. But it won't be long before Winn picks up another homicide, traces another set of leads and begins the search, all over again, for another killer.