Sparking My Own Evolution

One word at a time...


October 31
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Planet Earth
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... *************************************** -Jack Kerouac ***************************************


SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 11:09AM

I Know Where the Body is Buried

Rate: 45 Flag

She seems like any other office person; swift to answer my questions yet reserved to offer information.

"I'm here to see Detective M."  I say in my most confident voice.

"Do you have an appointment?" she asks.

"No."  I reply.

Her irritation is palatable through the Plexiglas that divides our rooms.  I see her shuffling paperwork, sip a cup of a hot beverage, and then exit through a door which leads to a beige hallway.

I wait to see what the hallway holds.


"Sparking, can you hear me?"  My unflappably patient therapist inquires.

"Yes.  Yes, I can hear you."  I have just come out of a seizure and am lying prostrate on her floor.  

"Why do I keep having these seizures?" I inquire.

"It's like an electrical short in your nervous system.  When things become too overwhelming, you short-circuit and begin to seize.  It's part of the shock leaving your body.  I know it feels bad, but, it is a sign of progress that your body is releasing it.

"I know where that house is," I say breathlessly.  "I need to go to the police."

"Sparking, I support you and will corroborate what I can.  But, I want you to be prepared for what you might encounter."

"I don't care.  Nothing can be worse than what I've already lived through."


The beige door opens and two police officers emerge.  One looks friendly and one looks official.  I brace myself.

"Do you have an appointment with Detective M.?" the official one asks.

"No.  He asked me to draw him a map to where a body is buried for a murder I witnessed.  I thought I would come do it in person," I offer.

"I'm Detective T.  Who did you see murdered?"  He asks with a note of hostility in his voice.

"I am not sure what her name was, but I can describe her to you."

"When did this happen?" He squints his eyes and his brow furrows.  I feel as if I am beginning to be interrogated in the lobby of the homicide office.

"About twenty-five years ago."

He snorts.

"Why are you coming forward now?"  He steps forward with both hands on his hips peering down over his brows at me as if I am a suspect. 

I can feel the room shrinking.


"Sparking, the amount of physical evidence alone that is required to prosecute a regular homicide, let alone one that happened a long time ago, is overwhelming," my therapist offers.

"I don't care.  It's the right thing to do.  I have to try."

"On the slim chance they do investigate, you, unfortunately, would make a horrible witness."  She offers truthfully.

This information hits my windpipe and all I can offer is, "I know."

"I know we have gone over this several times, and I believe you have a lot of details to offer the police, but please understand that someone with your trauma and addiction history does not bode well for a jury - if it even gets that far."  She is holding my interlaced hands, bouncing them up and down for effect as we sit across from one another.  She is looking me in the eyes and I am looking at the floor wondering where my dignity is.

My eyes are stinging now as I fight back the tears, "I have to try."

She smiles, "I know.  I know you do."


"I am coming forward now because I have recovered memories in therapy which detail a crime I witnessed.  It is one of many," I say as confidently as I can.

"Who got murdered?"  He shoots at me like a bullet.

"I don't know who it was; but I know who did it and where she is buried."

"Who did it?"  He almost laughs.

"My father."  I reply coolly.

The lobby erupts with his snort-like chuckle.  The other officer, who had been invisible in the conversation, steps forward to offer a few kinder words.  I can tell he is trying to overshadow the other officer's behavior.

"Mam, maybe what you need is to see a counselor.  We have a resource center that offers free counseling to those who financially qualify.  Let me get you the pamphlet."  He crosses the lobby to a wiry rack holding colorful brochures.

I ignore him and wait for the other officer to regain his composure.


"Will you support me in doing this?"  I ask my counselor shakily.

"Of course I will.  I just want you to be prepared for what you are in for.  I've gone through a couple of investigations and they are very stressful, and these investigations were nothing along the lines of the magnitude of what you've been through."  Her smile is warm.

"I understand.  I just have to try.  Do you understand?"  I ask meekly.

"Yes.  Yes I understand."

"Thank you."

"You are very welcome."


"You want us to believe that you saw your father murder someone, oh, yes, a girl, twenty-five years ago?"  Before I can reply he says, "Every one of these cases turns out to be a daughter holding a grudge."

"All I can tell you is this is true.  I have seen the memory over and over again in my mind with excruciating detail.  I can tell you what she looks like, where she is buried, and who did it.  I can tell you anything you want to know."  

He stares at me while his shoulders still bounce up and down amused.  "And why should we believe you over him?  How do we know you're not here just to air old grievances?  Why should we waste our time hunting down your personal vendetta?"

I take a deep breath, draw my shoulders back noticeably, and stand taller than I can ever remember being.  My eyes lock with his in a momentary stand-off.  

"Sir, this is my father.  I can think of nothing more vindicating than to be wrong."

His shoulders deflate and his usual quick wit is stymied.  After a moment, he taps the other officer's arm that is now back at his side and says, "Sgt. H.  Please go get this woman a piece of paper."  He continues to stare.

Sgt. H.  flashes a small smile in my direction as he passes through the door.  He shuffles down the hallway at a brisk pace.

Detective T. just keeps staring.


When Detective M.  finally calls two days later, all he offers me is, "we will not launch a homicide investigation on a memory alone.  I'm sorry."

I hang up the phone.

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Perhaps Bonnie is right, I don't know; you need to look inside yourself for that answer. I do know that this is perfectly written.
They do need facts. Have you tried contacting a local news organ with this story?
I seconf Bonnie's idea. Do the investigation and, no matter how it comes out, you will be relieved of the issue.
Wow, sparking. Believe it or not I have a friend who went through this same thing last year. I had suggested to her what Bonnie just did to you, but she doesn't want to, so her mystery continues. I wish you well on this journey...
Bonnie's right. Go w a detective if you can. rated.
Publicity and public focus have a powerful impact.
Bonnie - Already considered. I've been putting it off for some time - mainly for the funds and to weigh out how to do this safely. As far as the media onslaught, I want to be far, far, far away from that.

Pilgrim - As ever, you always have the perfect thing to say.

Damon - I agree, they do. I was willing to provide them yet they were unwilling to do their part. I played Private I for over 3 months until burnout. Then, I had to turn it over to bigger hands than mine. As far as the news, there are many reasons I stay anonymous. That may change some day.

the traveler - Yes, my hope is some day, that can happen. Even if I do a PI investigation - I would hope to do it anonymously.

caroline marie - once again, the universe delivers a relief to any feelings I might have of being unique. It is a difficult and personal decision how to move forward. My family decided to focus on healing first, that is where we find justice in the present. Who knows what the future may hold...

kateasley - very kind of you to say.

I'm off for the day to more appointments. Will return this afternoon and hopefully catch up with all of you and your posts. All my affection for a bright, cheerful day.
Sparking: I like how you stand taller than you ever remember being.
Jeeze, Sparking, this is serious stuff. Bonni is right; see if you can find a private detective who will help you. It will be expensive; moreover, as your therapist pointed out, it will absolutely be painful. Be ready for both.
Sparking, I feel like anything I say would pale in comparison to what you have gone through with this. You have written of your experience beautifully and directly and I wish you the best on this journey...xox
Jonathan - time, safety, and money will tell. It just hasn't come to the surface as a venture I want to pursue again. Yet.

Catherine - Yes, you're absolutely right. But, my fear is, the tide could turn on me pretty quickly. I hope to pursue it anonymously one day.

Scarlett - thank you my friend.

Nikki - I pray every day for "the wisdom to know the difference." I feel like I will know when to open this wound again, if ever. I have details of so many crimes now it is hard to think I wouldn't be believed. Time will definitely tell. Thank you for your support.

Robin! - how absolutely kind of you. Thank you.

Okay, the husband is nudging me, I really am off now...
The writing is excellent, Sparky. The situation is mind-numbing. It seems to me it will be impossible to keep yourself anonymous if this case progresses anywhere beyond this. Your testimony will be needed to convict, I would think. Mind numbing.

Echoing Bonnie and others here. I believe you will know what to do when the time comes.
That sucks my friend. The only thing to do is go over their heads. The Media. They hear the media is getting involved, I guarantee they will at least take a look, if for no other reason than to tell them they looked into it. I don't know how much money you have, but private detectives cost money. A news reporter just might get the ball rolling. I hope so!
My friend, your safety is paramount, and that of your family. You will know when it's time. Your writing, as always, is spellbinding.
Awful to be able to see so clearly what you see. Trust yourself as you look at what you can and can not or will not do.
What a burden to carry! I agree you need to take things into your own hands if the police won't act on "a memory." I would call it an eyewitness account!
I think you'd make a great witness. Rated.

Wonderfully written. Perfect dialog.

I don't want to tell you what to do. You're doing just fine.

I just want to read you.

unfortunately scanner, this kind of thing happens far more often than you realize. the media will not take it seriously until the officials do.
You continue to be an amazing story. I appreciate you sharing your journey. I look forward to hearing more about this if you go in that direction - or not.

Your prose as always is excellent. Nice tight writing.
Now to what you have written. For that I have no words, other than to say I believe you. And like someone else here said, congrats on standing taller than you ever have. You are an inspiration on many levels.
Stopping in here very little, but your work always draws me.
I think if there is more for you to do, you'll know when the time has arrived.
Holy shit, I wanted to smack the guy!
All media, although owned/controlled by those 6 corporate giants(Gowno), have investigation means... Please don't pay for help, this is a story theyd' kill for... Amazazing courage/spirit Sparking! RRR
These are powerful posts, sparking, and deserve a wider audience.
Powerful and heart wrentching piece. I feel angry. I hope no matter the outcome that you find peace.
I think that the ideas of going to the media and a private detective are good ones. I am glad your therapist is supporting you. R
I have been involved in things like this before.

1. Go to the place where the body is buried, if you haven't already. Make sure that the location hasn't been disturbed or built over.

2. Do not tell anyone else who the alleged murderer is. Start with the body. A body is real. Once found, it argues for you. Telling anyone who you suspect was the culprit adds several layers of complexity to the detective's job, not the least of which is avoid libel, slander and false arrest suits.

3. Private detectives cost money. Most reporters are pretty useless these days. Look for an older reporter, a veteran police beat reporter before you go to a private detective. A reporter for a daily newspaper has resources you don't, including access to homicide detectives.

4. Remember there's a hierarchy among detectives. The most highly regarded detectives are the cold case squad members, and they would be more likely to take you seriously than regular detectives because they don't carry daily case loads to clear.

5. When kicking over a hornet's nest....bring bug spray.
I agree with Bonnie. And you're very brave.
I have no answers. I'm just awed that you allowed us to "hear" this...and bear witness with you. Sometimes just having a place to the most important thing. We're listening. Rapt. And with sincere concern...
Your tag about the legal system says it all. What about a book if you don't want to go to the press?
Sparking-This writing is just beyond description; in fact, this whole story is frightening to think you've been carrying this around all your life!
Rated for bravery.
Wow. What a story. This is true? Yikes!

I like the alternation between therapist and police. Suspense is maintained throughout.

This is true? Yikes!

Well told, Sparking. I'm sorry about the outcome (or lack thereof). I hope you find closure, or something resembling it. Excellent writing.
I'll say this as gently as I can. You should at least consider the possibility that your memory is false. "Retrieved" memories are notoriously unreliable, and research shows that even contemporary eye witness accounts of crimes are only about 50% accurate. They are increasingly being greeted with more and more skepticism by the law enforcement community, because absent actual forensic evidence, eye witness testimony cannot be depended on for convictions.

I'm not saying NOT to believe your memory, and not saying not to take steps to determine the truth, but treat what you remember with some skepticism of your own. Perhaps what you are remembering is symbolic rather than factual. This is something you should work with a therapist on. I was plagued for years with nightmares that I had killed someone, and hidden the body in the basement and filled the hole with cement, but work with a therapist eventually unraveled the truth about my nonsensical nightmares, which was that I felt I had killed off a part of myself and buried it when I got married.

Slate ran a particularly good series on this topic recently, "The Memory Doctor" by William Saletan, which I recommend highly to everyone:
Thanks everyone for commenting while I was out and about today.

A little history - this conversation happened one month shy of 3 years ago. I like writing in the first person present for effect. I almost wish it would've just happened as the burden of carrying this over the past three years has been heavy. I woke up this morning thinking about this, probably because it was one of the hardest and scariest things I'd ever done, and just needed to get it on paper.

I played Private I for about 3 months after this conversation, trying to get the police to do anything, to no avail. At that point, I surrendered it and am still hanging on to what to do next. Trust me, the reception was brutal, and I won't go back unless I am sure I will be listened too. Additionally, in the past three years, many more details have come to light, and it only got worse.

Lezlie - thank you for calling me Sparky. It feels endearing. Your description is perfect - "mind numbing".

mypsyche - thank you for your confidence in me.

Scanner - the Private I is a great idea, and one I have considered over and over. However, we don't have any money for it. We exhausted our savings with the medical bills from the fall out of this and I am now on disability (whew!) which is our only income. Even if I were to go that route, I would do it anonymously. I don't want to be the center of a freak show. Probably why its taken me so long to even write this little peek into what we've gone through.

Owler! - Your absolutely right - safety is paramount. It actually took awhile for that to get through my thick head. My poking at the people involved in this situation, initially, really put us in a lot of danger. It took a lot to learn the value of restraint. I am a very patient woman today.

anna1liese - thank you for that sage advice.

ziozio85 - I appreciate your input - that is exactly how I thought it would be perceived at least initially, an eye witness account. But, I guess in my county, the victims are guilty until proven innocent.

Lois - thank you, thank you. That means a great deal.

Gary - how kind and considerate of my feelings. Thank you for listening.

caroline marie - I will have to take your word on that. I got a lot of advice to avoid the media from professional guidance; people who I trusted with my life. So far, that has not been an option for me. This is as close as I've come.

grif - like my therapist told me, "your bound to get something for your money." At least my "story" is riveting. Got to find the humor somewhere my friend. :)
Wow. Just. Wow. I wish I knew some comforting words to say. I just hope you find some closure somehow.
This was so interesting.. yes get a detective
Rated with hugs
Tim - my dear friend, thank you. Over and over again I thank you.

alsoknownas - thank you for your vote of confidence - it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

Hope - afterwards, I really wanted to, too.

Patrick - I have to wonder if you are right. I remember the times piece on the girl who came out of Juarez, Mexico, which inspired the movie "Traffic". I wonder how trustworthy a person like that might be. I wonder about it a lot, actually.

Kathy - what a heart-filling compliment. Thank you. Thank you very, very much.

Dave - thank you for your outrage and support.

Sheila - I am so thankful for my therapist and her wisdom. I found her at just the right time, after a difficult transition from a former therapist. She has supported me in too many ways to name.

Sage - Sage (wink) advice indeed. #2 especially hits home for me - I really wished they would have at least looked on the property. As it is private property, I am not sure what I could do without putting myself in harms way. But, it doesn't mean I wouldn't. I went half-past crazy trying to track down leads there for awhile, until, the universe in its ever expanding wisdom, showed me how big the network was that I was up against. It was a truly humbling moment. At least here, I have a voice. It might only be a seed to consciousness, but its something. Thank you for listening dear friend.

Deborah - thank you very much you dear and kind lady.

Keka - I swear our hearts exist on the same wavelength. You always say exactly what I'm thinking. I can't tell you the freedom in just being able to voice this, even if it is anonymous. It means a lot to me. Thank you for your sincere words and empathetic listening.

French - hope that's okay. That kind of feels like press to me. But, a fictionalized version of my 'story' has been something I've considered. Thanks for your thoughts!

junk1 - It has been a crazy ride for sure. It is amazing as things began to unfold five years ago, how everything truly began to make sense. It's been a gut-wrenching ride, but I tell you, I don't know if I would know how to have it any other way now. It's odd, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I am thankful for all the lessons I've learned. I appreciate you stopping by.

Steve - Yes, Yikes! It is true and accounted for many times over from my memory. My father is a psychopath in the ranks of Ted Bundy or Gary Leon Ridgeway.

Sometimes the right path to proceed down isn't as obvious as I would have liked it to be. The neat crime dramas are oversimplified at best. How I truly wish it could be that way. Thank you for your kind words about my writing, at least something is working right!

David - thank you for coming by. I appreciate your comment and have no doubt that many people are skeptical of recovered memory (why I avoid the term repressed memory as it seems more loaded).

I've spoken a lot about my trauma recovery on my blog so I forget sometimes that new people may not know I've been in therapy and had great support over a long period of time. Just in the last five years, I have gone to therapy a minimum of twice a week to survive this. I assure you my memories are in tact, that is the one thing I am highly confident of. This was a long process, which required a lot of work. Work I have done begrudgingly at times, I assure you. I have seen the crimes over and over and over again, until they have cleared. EMDR therapy is excellent, as it deals with the conscious mind without hypnosis and is entirely self-directed by the client. I know what happened, it was burned into my retinas and placed a heavy burden on my spirit. Slowly, I have worked to become free.

Thank you for your insight and I am thankful you have found the context for your own memories. I was thankful to find the context of mine as well.

Belle - Closure comes in little packets for me; more around themes than in one grand swell swoop. So, in some ways, I've already found some. Having my say today was one victory along that path.
You can stop and rest at any point in the process. Sounds like you just took a big step. A pause until you are clear about what might come next could be helpful.
Your writing is just beautiful ... perfection, my friend.

But your story ... oh God, it is so distressing. I can't imagine what it is like for you to have lived it ... to be living it.

I wish you so very well on this journey. I wish you strength and courage. I wish you safety. I wish you much love. I wish you peace.

I have no answers. I wish I did. But I am listening, my friend.
Is there any wonder nearly 40% of homocides go unsolved each year? Sheesh! Where's my shovel? Maybe if we dig her up and drop her on the detectives desk they will pay attention. What about closure for the deadgirl's family? Isn't that enough to investigate? Maybe you could bribe them with donuts.
Linda - one day I hope I can.

greenheron - I am all for the *pause* button; it is one of my handiest tools. Glad to find someone else who cherishes this.

Little Kate - and what a great listener you are. Thank you for this kindness and for all your well wishes.

Michael - I think 40% is lowballing it. Trust me, as of today, I feel like trying to dig her up myself and then calling the f'ing cops. Excuse the profanity - just a bit hot under the collar after some more frustrating new. I guess we all have our moments.

And, I'm not above doughnuts.
I read this earlier but was having a hard time commenting (not the OS tech problem, but the ME problem). Your writing mesmerizes. That it is (is it? seems to be) non-fiction is shocking and yet, why should I be shocked? I am the one who claims that nothing (bad that happens) ever surprises me. You shine your beam on past injustice and make it matter NOW. (r)
I know what I would do if it were me... I'd get a shovel and start digging. That's the only way you will get resolution on this. And I don't mean that in a flippant way.

For me, I literally had to go back to the house in my dreams, go down in the basement, and see that no such burial had taken place for my dreams to stop. Then they never returned. I'd actually not thought about that for years until I read this post.
Absolutely riveting. The writing is perfect. I'm glad you have a supportive therapist - I know how important that is. I wish I knew what to say to you to help you on your journey and help you get some closure. But you have proved your wisdom beyond your years by getting to the place to where you are know, so I am confident you will continue to use that wisdom to figure out where to go next. Best wishes for your journey - I'll be thinking of you.
Thank you all for your comments, support, and wisdom. It was truly a breath of relief to share this out loud. If I could articulate the amount of restraint I've lived through these past 3 years, there probably would be a book there. I'm just not sure where to start. Well, I guess I did, here. Thanks for listening and offering your thoughts.
If I had an Adam’s Apple it would be bobbing up and down in a futile effort to swallow dry air in my dry throat. My stomach needs to be calmed and reassured. You are visceral. And your experiences continue to horrify – the brutal indifference of the murder and the brutal indifference of the officers. Yet you stay open. You don’t shut down like them. You bloom. A bloom’n miracle. xoxoxox
Joan, thank you for your comment. I appreciate that you see how I held my ground when being insulted from the get go. To know you are a victim of a horrible crime is one thing (seeing a murder alone is horrible not to mention the rest of it), but to be victimized by the people who I've paid taxes to since I was 13 was gut-wrenching. I almost found that more heinous than anything.

I was never more proud of myself than in that moment. I cried a lot afterward. xoxoxo!
I truly hope that some day, somehow, you will find find the peace you seek. You are fighting an incredibly hard battle, but you are taking good care of yourself and that is the most important thing of all.
Is there any way you can find out who owns the property? A deed or tax office? I would find out who the owners are and leave them a message. Maybe they will be curious enough to dig in the yard. Just a thought.
Dear, dear Sparking. I do not doubt that you will know when the time is right for the next move. You have survived everything you've been through for a reason. It sounds so hollow to say that you are incredibly strong, but I can't NOT say it. Maintain your safety, your sanity and the rest will happen when it happens. You'll know when enough OUTSIDE pieces have fallen into place and then it will be time for your piece of the puzzle.
Stay strong, my dear.
Dear, dear Sparking. I do not doubt that you will know when the time is right for the next move. You have survived everything you've been through for a reason. It sounds so hollow to say that you are incredibly strong, but I can't NOT say it. Maintain your safety, your sanity and the rest will happen when it happens. You'll know when enough OUTSIDE pieces have fallen into place and then it will be time for your piece of the puzzle.
Stay strong, my dear.
Jeez, Sparking. Perhaps Bonnie is right. I don't know what I'd do personally.
Wow--what great writing! I agree with the others the investigation yourself! The story is just so damn compelling.

Rated, 'natch.
I am new to this blogging thing
and am glad to have found you on here.

You are an incredible and amazing ly brave human being
who can also write her pants off
I agree with K. Riordan...
your writing deserves a wider audience!
still I hope you keep posting as
these things come up
1) it can be cathartic and validating as you know
2) A journal of sorts - this may help you if you ever try to push harder with this....
and know you are strong even when you don't feel it...
just because you believe in doing the right thing!
look forward to many more of your writings!
What complete morons. Sometimes I wonder why so many of the certifiably "sane" people have lost their sense of empathy. I don't think they actually realized the importance of what you were trying to tell them. Please stay strong...
You say you can picture what this girl looked like. If it were possible to identify this girl, then it might be possible to contact her family, and maybe they would have the resources to hire a private investigator etc. and get you out of the loop. There are resources online now where you can search missing persons databases, etc. Plus you can just google "missing since 1985" and get some hits, too. Check out those pictures and see if anyone looks familiar. You might want to have an artist friend do a "police sketch" first, just so your memories don't get tainted/changed by what you see on those sites.
Intensely powerful writing. Private detectives are sometimes aware of certain options and resources that judicial 'officials' aren't quite so forthcoming about. Whatever you decide, and whatever your terms and timetable, I hope that you can find some peace within yourself. ~R