There was no answer after knocking on the door, but I knew he was in there. Maybe in a drug stupor or just standing on the other side of the door with a gun in his hand. The rural section eight apartment, where he now lived outside the old mining town on the mountain, was within a couple hundred yards of where his uncle Malcolm’s body was found. Talk about returning to the scene of the crime, perhaps keeping watch, waiting to see what fate would bring him.
It had been a year since I found his arrest record in the Grundy county Herald archives. The former Sheriff had removed all traces of the assault as it didn’t fit in with his frame job on Braseel – but I found it – it cost eight bucks to get it. And it matched what I was told by a former deputy. That Kirk Braden had been arrested for beating her – and it was heard: “I will see you in hell mother.”
And then — shortly after, within a couple months and before he would go to court for this, Becky did indeed die. And if that meant Kirk knew they were both co-conspirators of laying uncle Malcolm’s murder on someone from the valley, and he thought their souls were doomed anyway – it made sense. Maybe his mother Becky threatened to go to the Sheriff and tell the truth after all, that she knew it was her own son who beat her of course, but was talked into saying it was the man pointed out to her in court because she was told they had the man who murdered Malcolm, they just had to make sure they got him.
But told by who?
After a couple of years went by she realized a terrible thing had been done. That her sister Wanda and the Sherriff and DA had “suggested” to her someone to testify against that was simply wrong.
How did she die and what she knew? no one knows perhaps — well someone does.
I knocked again.
There were others who were dead too. And perhaps it was foolish to be standing outside this doorway, but even if he was a serial killer, I had the feeling that whatever drove him to these things were of a more thought-out nature, something personal. Not having to do with me. And whatever drove him to this point of framing people was probably as bog of a drug induced a nightmare for him as it was for the victims. In his mind that is.
I knew he was there. Could hear something moving inside.
Perhaps I had just run out of patience. It seemed inconceivable to me this thing was dragging on after the arrest record was found. Did the Braseel lawyer or their other investigator have some sort of stroke – or some ego trip that made them so obtuse.
Adam Braseel was convicted of murder because he was convicted of assaulting Kirk’s mother Becky. Now with the arrest record uncovered for assaulting his mother, there is one and only one person known to beat Becky Burrows – and that is Kirk Braden, her son.
But somehow, not to the defense lawyer of Braseel. Who had his assistant prepare the appeal from reading the transcript. And that was it. The entirely of the investigation into what really happened. I wish I could get sixty grand for spending an afternoon reading a few thin documents. If the film hadn’t come along, he never would have had to even drive to Grundy county as his appeal just sat without the required signature for years at the judge’s office. Later telling the family his strategy was to wait for one of the judges to die! Did this waiting cost another 30k? Watch out for the lawyers too — is all I can say.
Every other law enforcement person and even the prior defense attorney has told me they agree it’s a complete game changer. Just ask the obvious – why was Kirk Braden not a suspect. And pay the eight bucks to find the record. Or ask a few questions.
The lack of investigative work to find the simplest of truths. The age old ones. The family quarrel. And all parties here either being Burrows, or those with common purposes – the former Sheriff’s office and the DA, all those benefitting from the same operation or outcome.
I mean, who beats up an old feeble woman, unless they have a long troubled history living together. And if it were someone who had murder Malcolm, they surely would have finished her and both of them off. Not wanting to leave witnesses. Anyone who could kill Malcom could have done that easily enough.
Or maybe it’s not that easy to kill your own mother.
I knock again, he will come out.
The door opens.
I was wondering if you could help me out, help me find where Malcolm’s house was supposed to be.
It’ just over there down Mellissa rock.
Do you mind walking me down there?
Well my foots a little bad, but I guess I can.
Kirk came out – and maybe he has a pistol or something in his coat. I don’t know. I had the tape recorder going as I wanted to make sure this thing is wrapped up tonight one way or another. I cant bear to watch this nonsense go on any longer. — It’s time.
(Have to go to work – will finish later – in part 2.)