J is for Justice

This is a short work of fiction that I started writing awhile back after publicity of an animal cruelty case was in the news. It’s a fictional revenge story, inspired by a true legal case involving cruelty to a greyhound and the man behind it. I finally finished it; it’s graphic and fairly violent. And not that I would do any of these things and not that I condone vigilante retribution, but you know how you hear about someone doing something horrible to an animal and you say, “Oh if I could just get ahold of this person I would do the same or something worse to him”?? Well, this is that kind of story. The beginning part is the actual newspaper report (that which is in quotation marks) about the case and at the end of the story you will get to see what actually happened to the perpetrator, his photo and what justice was doled out to him in a court of law.

The story is titled, “FOR OTIS”

HEADLINE: “Dog Found Burned, Maimed, Sexually Assaulted”

According to the article, 38-year old Wayne Allen Dean was charged with four counts of cruel mistreatment of an animal, a felony, and seven counts of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor. Immediately she whispered to herself, “What kind of justice system treats animal cruelty as a MISDEMEANOR??”

She continued reading: “Responding to a tip, authorities arrived at the suspect’s home and found Otis, a tan greyhound mix, in bad shape. The dog had fresh and old cigarette burns on his face and body, his left ear had been injured by a human bite and his tail had been cut off, exposing bone. Veterinarians also told detectives that the dog was a victim of sexual abuse. According to an affidavit filed in the Pima County Superior Court (Tucson, AZ), witnesses told detectives that Dean had been seen wearing a dog’s tail on his belt. Otis later had to be euthanized because of his injuries.”

She could feel the anger rising inside her, making her face hot. She immediately did what she always did when she heard about animal cruelty cases: she called the D.A. who would be handling the case, expressing her anger and requesting that this man be punished to the fullest extent of the law. She emailed the judge assigned to the case, urging the same.

But she feared how this would turn out. Much like most other animal cruelty cases: the felony charges would be plea-bargained down to misdemeanors and essentially the monster would get a walk. As it was, he was walking a free man, out on bail.

She could no longer stand for it. Justice for Otis had to be carried out. And so she plotted to avenge his suffering, if only in her head.

Her savings account had a little over four hundred dollars in it. She had vowed never to touch her savings but for emergencies. She considered this to be important enough to qualify as one. Tucson was over 800 miles from Austin. The money would be enough to cover a car rental, gas and a cheap hotel.

The morning of her trip, she called in sick to work, claiming a stomach flu, and said she’d be out for the week. Enterprise Rent-A-Car delivered her a gorgeous Chrysler Sebring, a hunter green convertible with charcoal interior. She loved the idea of road-tripping in a convertible, although this particular trip wouldn’t be for sight-seeing.

She planned and packed carefully: not too much but just enough. She hoisted the heavy toolbox into the trunk, positioning it to make room for her small tapestry suitcase. She tossed in a sweater because she heard the nights in Tucson could be quite cool. On the passenger floorboard sat a cooler full of iced Arizona Green Tea and a few Diet Cokes. She placed the AAA road map with her route highlighted in yellow on the seat next to her. Under that lay the map to Wayne Allen Dean’s house that she had downloaded from petabuse.com. God Bless the internet! Finally, she pushed the Smith & Wesson .357 underneath the driver’s seat and put the box of jacketed hollow-point bullets in the glovebox. Although the gun was legally registered to her, she knew carrying it across state lines was risky but she had been informed on previous inquiries that so long as the gun was unloaded and the bullets kept separate from the gun, she’d be within the law. If she got pulled over, she’d simply tell the officer that she was moving and this was how the state police had instructed her to transport her firearm. She never traveled without her gun.

Her trip across I-10 was uneventful. The miles flew past as she was driven by her burning fury. She didn’t really know what she was going to do once she faced the abuser, but she knew she had all the tools to appease her outrage.

It was early afternoon when she finally arrived in Tucson. The street map led her to West Ajo, just off South Sasabe Road in Three Points. Wayne Allen Dean’s place wasn’t hard to spot – it looked like what she imagined it would: typical white trash. The front yard looked like a junkyard: overgrown with weeds, there were a couple of old cars up on blocks, rusting power tools scattered around, rotting and ripped cardboard boxes strewn about and even an old banged-up rusty washer. She drove past twice, slowly…but not too slowly. She didn’t want to be noticed. But she did want to scan the area and be somewhat cognizant of her options once she returned in the dead of the night.

Using an assumed name, she checked into a sleazy little no-tell motel a few miles down the road. As she had figured, they took cash, didn’t ask for a credit card and didn’t ask for a license. She unloaded the car and trudged to the door of her room. Once in the dingy room, she set the toolbox inside the door, tossed the suitcase on the bed and immediately hit the shower. Nothing felt as good as a hot shower after driving for fourteen hours. She knew she’d sleep for hours but that was okay. She had time.

She awoke to the wailing of sirens. It was just past 11:00pm. The street lights shone in through the threadbare fabric of the drapes. She lay there and put her two fingers to her neck, feeling her pulse. Its beat was strong and although a little nervous, it was steady. She took her time waking up, splashing cold water on her face and staring at herself in the mirror. She remembered from her shower earlier that the water here got very hot and for that she was thankful. She grabbed the instant coffee that she had brought with her and made herself a cup. Even though she wasn’t hungry, she knew she needed to eat to keep her blood sugar up so she forced a package of Lance’s cheese crackers and a PopTart down.

She dressed for comfort: shorts and a t-shirt and her faithful Skechers. She packed her backpack with the tools she needed and attached the stun gun she had managed to acquire for the occasion to her waistband and she was off.

Parking around the corner from Wayne Allen Dean’s house, she slinked silently along the edges of the backyards of the neighborhood toward Dean’s house. The backpack was heavy but she was strong. She bench-pressed 85 pounds as her regular workout weight and it was paying off now. Arriving at the location, she saw that his backyard was no prettier than the front and she had to side-step all kinds of unknown objects. It was dark in the house but she could see the flicker of a television through the open blinds. In the muted shadows, she saw him sitting there in a broken down armchair: grungy, unshaven, dirty and slobby. No shirt and boxer shorts. She watched him for a few minutes: he seemed to be nodded out. She counted eight beer cans on the end table next to him. “Figures he’s a drunk,” she thought.

She put on the latex gloves. She got out the lock-picking kit she had ordered and had rushed-shipped from SpySite.com. With the instruction book and a few hours of practicing at home, she felt confident that she could successfully gain entry. But this guy wasn’t concerned about security as the idiot left the door wide open. All she needed to do was to get through the screen door without making any noise. And that she did.

She let her eyes adjust to the dimly lit room. The TV was loud. She was grateful for that. She reached into her backpack and quietly pulled out the long strands of rope and placed them around her neck. She moved through the house and toward the living room. She stood in the doorway watching him, her heart racing. Her hands were shaking. “Breathe,” she silently said to herself. “Remember why you’re here.” And she took two deep breaths and suddenly a calm washed over her.

She walked up behind him and swiftly hit him in the neck with 50,000 volts from her stun gun. She loved the sound of that pulsating electricity. He slumped over, paralyzed momentarily and she knew she had to move fast. She hurried and closed the blinds. She wound the rope around his wrists and then criss-crossed the rope around ankles, then pulled on the rope weaving a figure eight though his arms and finally tightened it securely behind his back. She took another long piece of rope and wrapped it around his legs, strung a figure eight around his torso, coming around the front to secure his biceps then yanked it hard to anchor him and tied the ends around the back legs of the chair. He was certainly bound. For the gag, she had brought a dirty rag from her garage which she shoved into his mouth.

His temporary paralysis subsided and he began to wriggle violently, trying to yell. But she smacked him upside his head; she engaged the stun gun and told him to shut up or she hit him again. His eyes got wide when he heard the crackle and he stopped moving.

“Got any beer left?” she asked him. She could only imagine what was going through his mind. She assumed he was probably more pissed off at getting subdued by a girl over being bound and gagged in his own living room. She felt in control now…and she liked it. She went into the kitchen, opened the fridge, which was empty save for the 12-pack of Busch, and pulled out a can. Looking at the can she mumbled to herself, “He’s the poster child for redneck, this one.” She cracked open the can and took a good long swig. It was muggy in his house and it didn’t seem like he had an air conditioner. She wiped some sweat from her brow and pulled up a chair from the kitchen table and sat down in front of him, facing him.

“You’re probably wondering who I am and why I’m here.” He just glared at her. “Well, I’m not much of a talker either, so I’ll just show you.” With that, she reached into her bag and pulled out a pack of unopened Marlboro Lights.

“Ya know, I haven’t smoked since August of 1996. I quit. Cold turkey. Not one drag since then. I swore I’d never smoke again. But I’m making an exception for you, Wayne.” She pulled a cigarette out, passed it under her nostril, smelling the pungent raw tobacco. She put it in her mouth, flicked the lighter and touched the flame to the end. She watched as the tip fired up and she inhaled, taking a long draw. She took another smooth drag and blew the smoke in his face. His glare hadn’t changed and he held a look of defiance. Still, he hadn’t try to say anything.

“Do you know why I’m here, Wayne?” she asked. His cold eyes simply stared. And they chilled her. Continuing, she said, “Remember Otis?”

She saw the recognition in his face. Maybe it was starting to sink in. “I’m here for Otis.”

She pulled the chair up close to him, waving the cigarette slowly in front of his face. She took it between her thumb and forefinger and held it up to his cheek. He started to squirm and moan. “Can you feel the heat, Wayne?” She inched the burning tip closer and he kept pushing his head harder into the back of the chair, trying to pull away. But he was trapped. Just then she touched the smoldering tip to his cheek. He screamed through the gag as his skin singed.

“Did Otis scream when you did this to him?” She saw a change in his eyes. They were less hard and she thought fright had start to set in. She singed again. And again. And again. Over and over. His cheeks, forehead, chin. Then his lower lip, his neck, chest. Her final blow was dead center in the middle of his nipple. The smell of burnt flesh nauseated her but her feeling of satisfaction kept her from getting sick.

She stepped back and looked down at him. “What else did you do to poor sweet Otis? Oh, that’s right. You BIT. HIS. EAR. OFF! But don’t worry, Wayne, I’m not going to bite your ear off.” With that, she pulled out her Rambo knife. She looked at her knife, and kinda chuckled to herself, remembering when she ordered it from the magazine. “I’ve had this knife for years. I ordered it out of a magazine years ago. It’s pretty cool. Check it out: it’s a real survival knife, complete with a compass on the end that screws off. Inside here there are water-proof matches and an 18-inch cable saw…’capable of cutting down small trees’, the ad said. I’ve never used this knife before now. I hope it’s sharp enough.”

Wayne was really writhing now. And groaning. “Did you want to say something, Wayne?” He shook his head yes. “I’ll remove the gag, but if you yell or scream or make any kind of noise, I’ll gut you, you got that?” she asked. He nodded. “I mean it, I’ll carve your insides out.” He nodded again, indicating that he understood.

She slipped the gag down over his chin. “What do you want?” he said.

“Simple,” she said. “I want you to suffer like you made Otis suffer.”

“You’re nuts, Lady” he said, trying to mask a wee whimper in his voice. But she paid no attention. She pushed the gag back in. “I have to gag you again, Wayne. This one is going to make you scream.” And she stood over him, and hesitantly slit the skin between his shoulder and his clavicle. He winced. Blood bubbled to the surface, oozed and dribbled down, mixing with the dank sweat on his chest.

“Yep, I think this will work.” With her right hand, she pulled on the outer fold of his ear. With her left, she positioned the knife at the top of the groove where his ear attached to his head and with a few seesawing motions she sliced it off and tossed it in his lap. “Where did you put Otis’ ear when you bit it off?”

His guttural screams were smothered, thankfully. But she almost wanted to hear the full anguish and pain he was experiencing. Still, she was getting the satisfaction she came for. She watched his face contort. She spotted the movement of his bound hands: his fingers were digging into his flesh as he made fists with his hands in reaction to the pain.

Those hands had inflicted so much torture. They shouldn’t be able to torture ever again, she thought. She reached for her revenge kit and dug around. Metals clinked and clanged as she rummaged through the tools she had brought. She pulled out a pair of pliers, tree branch trimmers and a hammer and laid them neatly on the end table, knocking aside his empty beer cans and the overflowing ashtray. Wayne started to freak, but she picked up the knife and held it to his throat. “Settle down, Wayne. I’m just having a little fun here. Isn’t that what you told Otis when you were raping him?” He moaned but it sounded more like a muffled scream.

She began to examine his hands more closely. “You bite your nails, don’t you? Damn nasty habit. I considered pulling your fingernails out with these pliers but you’ve made that a bit difficult. What then?” She surveyed her tools. She thought about him cutting off Otis’ tail and wondered what he had used. She stood over him, looking down at him, then over to her tools and back to him. Suddenly Lorena Bobbit popped into her head. Should she pull a ‘Bobbit’? She thought about how nicknames get assigned to various acts of violence: ‘Wilding’ after the attack by a gang of teenagers on a woman in Central Park; ‘Pulling a Tyson’ is the act of ear biting, the term made famous during the Mike Tyson Evander Holyfield boxing match; and the ‘Bobbit’ as the act of cutting off a man’s penis came to be called after enraged wife Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s dick.

“You wore Otis’ tail on your belt after you cut it off, didn’t you Wayne? I think I’ll just have to take something with me to wear on my belt…or maybe to hang from my review mirror.” She picked up the pruning shears.

Wayne’s face was filled with terror. He knew by now she was more than capable of it. His hands instantly moved to cover his crotch. He shook his head back and forth, moaning “No. No. No no no.” She put the pruning shears to his lap. The way his hands were protecting his pathetic member left his thumbs protruding and she took full advantage. Although she had considered pulling a Bobbit, she opted to lop off his thumb. And in a move that surprised even she in this moment, she very quickly and adeptly lopped off his other thumb. Blood squirted then bled all over his boxers and soon his crotch was soaked with his blood. Sickening as it was, she was doing this for Otis. His memory drove her.

Wayne’s moans turned into crying now. Almost sobbing. The gag in his mouth was soaked with saliva, sweat and tears. And instead of evoking mercy, it just made her think of how Otis must have cried at the hands of this beast before her.

She returned the loppers to her bag and picked up the hammer. She walked around the living room and peeked out the front window to check her security. It was getting late and she needed to leave before daylight. She stood in front of the TV, her silhouette dark against the flickering of scenes as Cops reruns turned late-night infomercial. She started to swing the hammer, slowly and steadily, hitting the palm of her hand while she deliberated.

Wayne had wriggled and twisted so much that the gag had worked its way loose. “Lady, please. Please stop. You’ve punished me enough already” He whispered through a whimper. His eyes were pleading for mercy. She began to pace the living room, thinking about the morality of what she was doing. She moved behind the chair where he was tied, looking at the punishment she had doled out. The morality question conflicted with her eye-for-an-eye view of justice. Suddenly she found herself afraid. Had she gone too far? What had she just done here? Was she now as much of a monster as he was?

Breaking into her racing thoughts, Wayne spoke. “Lady. C’mon. Enough. It’s not like I hurt one of your family members. It was just a dog!”

She took a deep breath and contemplated what he had just said. Just a dog. Huh. With that, she showed just how much mercy she had as she brought the claw of the hammer down into his skull.

And in that moment, her alarm went off, waking her from this wild dream. She looked at the clock. She had to shake the dream off, get up and get moving. She had only an hour to get to the courthouse before the indictment of Wayne Allen Dean started. She had driven hundreds of miles because she wanted to see this man up close, to look into the eyes of evil, to hear the charges levied against him. She needed to be there. Someone had to be there for Otis.

*******

ACTUAL NEWS UPDATE ON THE CASE AGAINST WAYNE ALLEN DEAN:

Dog found burned, maimed, sexually assaulted
Tucson, AZ (US)

Incident Date: Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006
County: Pima

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Defendant/Suspect: Wayne Allen Dean

As printed in the Arizona Daily Star March 27, 2007  by Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star:

It finally got to be too much for Bonnie Lilley. The veterinarian was matter-of-fact when she spoke about how the dog’s tail was sawed off, how his left ear was bitten and how his face was burned with cigarettes. She was even able to speak calmly about how the dog’s legs showed signs of having been tied up, possibly with barbed wire, and how his ribs and hipbones stuck out too far.

It was only when Lilley had to describe the worst act perpetrated on Otis, the greyhound mix, that she had to pause a moment. Wiping her eyes and taking a breath, Lilley gave Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell details too graphic for most.

Lilley was in Fell’s courtroom Monday for the sentencing of Three Points resident Wayne Allen Dean, 39. Dean was indicted last year on nearly a dozen felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty counts pertaining to both Otis and Cissy, a German shepherd mix.

The dogs were seized by the county after a concerned neighbor reported suspected neglect. The indictment accused Dean of physically abusing Otis and leaving Cissy improperly tied up without food or water. Dean pleaded guilty last month.

Fell could have sentenced Dean to probation or up to five years in prison.

The judge gave him two years after listening to Deputy Pima County Attorney Kathleen Mayer, a string of witnesses she brought in, defense attorney Barry Baker Sipe and Dean himself.

He also may have been influenced by the nearly 4,000 e-mails, letters, cards and petition signatures Mayer handed him.

Among those who testified against Dean was former jail employee Cheryl Haase, who testified Dean told her he shouldn’t be in jail because what he did with his dogs was his business.

C.A. Mayer told Fell she didn’t think Dean would be an appropriate candidate for probation, given the acts he committed and his unrepentant attitude.

Defense Attorney Baker Sipe, however, said Dean could get the psychiatric and substance abuse help he needs if he were placed on probation. He noted Dean has no prior felony convictions.

In addition, Baker Sipe said two young men who admitted repeatedly shooting a pit-bull mix named “Bullet” in a high-profile media case didn’t go to prison — to which Judge Fell replied, “I didn’t sentence them.”

Dean said he didn’t have money to take Otis to a vet and feared that if he did, the dog would be euthanized. He said he tried treating the wound where the dog’s tail used to be with salt water and fed him moldy bread as a “cheap substitute for penicillin.”

According to testimony, Dean, who does odd jobs, lives in a recreational vehicle without running water, electricity or toilet facilities.

While he didn’t address many of the dog’s injuries, Dean did say he asked his lawyer for DNA and bite comparisons but was unsuccessful.

“I wouldn’t sodomize that dog,” Dean insisted. “That’s insane.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Fell ordered Dean to pay $5,250 to the Pima County Animal Care Center.

Baker Sipe objected, saying the dogs had a “fair market value” of only $180 and Dean was never given the option of having them euthanized prior to their treatment.

Both dogs — and the puppies Cissy gave birth to afterward — did end up being euthanized weeks after their rescue.

* * * * *

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

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