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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

From "Father 27---Murder at the V.A." by James Hays

V.A. Chief of Police Webb, CSI Canton Fish and Deputy U.S. Marshals Peters
and Cornell have just been called to the hospital theater...

  “Excuse me. Let us through. V.A. Police,” Webb led the trio through the
gathering crowd. “Would someone please turn up the lights,” Canton

  “This guy is really screwed up.” Peters whispered.

  “Oh my God,” Cornell said. “Look at that!”
  The elderly black man sat in the back row of the theater staring grotesquely toward the stage. His wide-open eyes dripped blood and his dentures were clenched halfway out of his mouth, giving the appearance of a hideous grin. In his agony, the man had bitten off the tip of his
tongue and it lay like a bloody pen-wipe in his lap. A screwdriver had been hammered into his heart so deep that just the handle showed. The other end extended through the back of the seat. The handle of the tool was wrapped with a white cafeteria-style paper napkin. The dead man's
face contorted like a ghastly Halloween mask. It was his death face.

  Canton reached in the man’s pocket and wrestled out a wallet. He read the I.D. card “August Lee Mitchell. Age sixty-six. United States Marine Corps, Retired.” He unfolded a piece of paper. “Hmm. This letter is addressed to Colonel Mitchell. Full Bird.”

  “Ooh-rah” Peters said.

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