Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A blind hawg inquest of a burning Cadillac on the Brazos

Take me to the river, drop me in the water...
Federal inquest follows horror of car fire

“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing.” - ¿Quien sabe?

Tokio Store – Here on the east bank of the Aquilla Creek draining to the Brazos, the view from Al's front porch is sunny and sublime, the official record of hoi polloi an unknown, and the courthouses of the blacklands sealed to the inquiring mind as if they are the tombs of the Pharaohs.

It's as good a starting point as any, this beer joint parking lot with the comfortable porch swing. Welcome to my office.

Pick a story, any story. They all come out the same. Information is as tightly controlled as the money in the banks controlled by that proverbial committee of humorless little old men Brother Sinclair Lewis described as running Century City like a tight, dry, polite, cruel smile as evangelical Christian revival minister Elmer Gantry swept through that midwestern city.

Near the river's flood-managed meander through Six Shooter Junction, point of origin of the Branch Davidian send-off a la stand off, a blazing Cadillac lit the coming full-moon weekend's night sky hard by the site of a fraternal bacchanal held for pledges near a favored clubhouse, the body stuffed in the little sport model's tiny back seat burned beyond recognition, the fire's origin such a mysterious happening that the local county mounties hath called in the dreaded U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to conduct an arson investigation into the point of origin of the blaze.

When elements of the Robinson and Downsville fire departments arrived shortly after a woman spotted the fire at 6:55 a.m. on Thursday, February 9, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames that, when extinguished, left the car so badly charred, it hardly resembled the tres chic new Cadillac semi-coupe hot rod for lead-footed afficianados of the ride of a two ton buttlerfly.

Other witnesses reportedly said it appeared the person inside had been attempting to escape the blazing car before death claimed him.

No one is really so sure if another person or persons had shared the ride with the victim, then escaped in the moments before the blaze blossomed.

Worked by the uniformed patrol deputies of the McLennan County Sheriff's Department, the case has been tentatively termed an accidental death by none other than the victim's parents.

One wonders how the body of a wealthy freshman Baylor student driving a brand new Cadillac ST could have become burned beyond recognition in the back seat of his own car, but therein the speculation is to be examined by wiser heads with access to more complete laboratories.

The truth is, the true identity of the human remains had to be positively identified by comparison with dental records at a Dallas forensics lab. It was impossible otherwise to determine age, gender and race of the victim.

Only examination of dental records and DNA samples would tell the true tale of the victim of this macabre event.

The parents of Will Patterson told San Antonio newsmen they were pretty sure their son had perished in the blaze because the vehicle identification number and dealer plates on the car matched the records of those of their son's. They are research physicians, doctors who travel extensively and publish prolifically regarding their findings. The bereaved couple laid their son to rest on Monday, February 13, following a memorial service at their church in a San Antonio suburb.

The truth is, the neighborhood where the nation's largest and wealthiest private religious university is located is a dangerous place where strong arm robberies, burglaries of homes and vehicles, rape and armed confrontations occur every minute on the minute, and the politics and economy of hard drugs rules the lives of both the haves and the have nots from both sides of the river, east and west.

Students jog, shop, drive and boogie back and forth to classes with one eye over their shoulders. Merchants live in fear of the thug with the gun, and drug-crazed addicts cruise the streets looking for targets of opportunity in the form of anything of value, including the life's blood flowing through the veins of their intended victims. T'is a lovely neighborhood down by the river banks.

Let's see what The Legendary can turn up in the form of an official report on this matter. If nothing can be obtained from the authorities, then we shall travel east under no particular portfolio, for ever was it so for outlaw Grub Street journalists.

That is, good morning Messrs. Gissing and Orwell. They call me The Legendary Jim Parks.

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