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3:53 p.m. - October 24, 2003
Murder in the parking lot; or, Calling Unsolved Mysteries
Today I was briefly questioned by the San Jose police in their attempt to glean information about the probable homicide that occurred behind the electrical training school this morning, around 10:00 a.m. Yes, that’s right, there is a dead man and this is still a probable homicide though in my mind when there are multiple stab wounds, the man is wrapped in a blanket, placed in a vehicle, and then the vehicle is set on fire, probable seems more like duh!.

It has been a strange day since then.

Did I mention the car – the stabbing – the fire – the dead man – the mise en scene took place 20 feet away from my own vehicle in the parking lot? And as such, I am considered a possible “material witness” simply because I own that car?

Training was disrupted though nobody could leave until the police took names, contact info, and statements, and then the director decided classes should resume and how futile, to tell redneck electricians to focus on their labs (today was over my head; something to do with amperage and elevators and maintaining that essential equilibrium so as to avoid an unfortunate accident) after everybody had run outside to view the burning car with an unpleasant stench wafting, which will be filed away under Fire – Engine and Fire – Human body. Maybe I should amend that to Fire – Remains and cross-reference, because by the time I arrived the flames were out.

I didn’t watch and then the mobile forensics van parked between the crime scene and us. Instead, I watched the guys and their excitement, manifested the same way my freshmen students did in their awkward 14-year-old-manner: A lot of cussing, hand pumping, a cheer or whoa or two. The only thing missing was the beer and you’d think I was watching a football game. My team interpreter – a woman – turned away in disgust and said I’m glad you’re not that way. You’re polite and smart and for a while I wished I was just like them, another face in the crowd.

I wonder how the man – the victim – felt about dying.


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