Angels & Demons
STILL STANDING: On a chilly February evening, Hal Rogers watches the sun setting over his farm. In the years since the trial, Hal has come to believe that his wife and daughters live on inside him.
On the day he was to cross-examine Oba Chandler, Doug Crow was up before dawn, pacing his bedroom floor. His wife woke to find him moving in the darkness, back and forth, back and forth. Barbara Crow was not surprised. She knew he had been waiting for this moment, almost counting the hours until he got to grill Chandler face to face. Doug was always tightly wound when he was deep into a case. But this trial was different. Barbara had seldom seen him so consumed, so driven to not make a mistake, to do everything possible to secure a conviction.
Doug had been at the dock on that Sunday five years ago when the bodies were recovered from the water. He had seen for himself what remained of Jo Rogers and her daughters, had seen the ropes tied around their hands and feet, the concrete blocks hanging from the lines around their necks.
For Doug, as for the others working the case, there was no luxury of distance. This was not some drama on TV. If they failed to put Chandler away, a hole would open inside them and stay there for the rest of their lives.
So on this morning, Doug woke before the sun and walked his bedroom, talking aloud to himself. He had to be ready for Chandler, had to know what to ask and how to ask it, had to make sure there was nothing he had forgotten.
Barbara sat up in bed and watched him. She would have said something to him, would have tried to reassure him. But she knew he couldn't hear her anymore.
He was already in the courtroom.
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