Yesterday marked the second anniversary of my parents’ murders, which took place between eleven and midnight on 12 June 09. I was awakened at 3:30 on the morning of the thirteenth by a phone call from a friend in Northern Kentucky, telling me that she thought something terrible may have happened at their house, and that she thought my brother was in the hospital. I guess it says something about these times that my first move after waking Mrs. M, trying to call the house, and getting no answer was to turn on my computer and check the websites of various TV stations in the area.
I had joked for years that you knew it would be a bad day when you got up, turned on CNN, and saw your house. I don’t make that joke very often anymore — it wasn’t on CNN, but even in the darkness of the photos on the web pages, I recognized the house and car. The story said that two people were dead and one wounded — but no one had been identified at that point. I called the trauma center in Cincinnati, and asked if my brother was there. They gave me a bureaucratic non-answer to the effect that victims of violent crime were admitted into a secure wing as John Does, and that if even if I had a relative in such circumstances, they couldn’t answer me but I would be notified eventually. My wife continued to search the web for information.
I called a neighbor of my parents, and I asked her if my parents were dead. She said she thought so, because she had heard my brother as he was being carried out on a stretcher, and that two body bags were removed from the house, and that someone had gone in to get my parents’ dog.
I asked her if the police were still at the house. She said yes, and went outside and handed the phone to a deputy. He couldn’t answer my questions directly either, because of policy, but he took my address and phone and told me the Mondoville police would probably be by shortly. I thanked him and hung up.
I stood there and put the handset back on the charger, turned to Mrs. M, and said, “My mom and dad are dead.” Then I went to the living room and waited for the police, and began to make phone calls.
Last night, or more accurately this morning, I awoke suddenly, snapped out of sleep. I glanced at the clock — it was 3:07 a.m.
I woke Mrs. M. “Did a phone just ring?” I asked. She said no, and we went back to sleep.