Carrie’s body was found at 5:30 AM by a milkman. Imagine. Brooklyn still had milkmen in 1973. A tenant reported hearing something at about the time of Carrie’s murder. It wasn’t a scream or a scuffle, just a “something.” There were reports of suspicious cars seen in the area but the cops checked and dismissed that angle. Remember Carrie’s street was a Dead-End so a getaway car was unlikely. No. Carrie had been followed from the subway. The cops were sure. They questioned people who’d been on her train, “See anything strange?”
No. No one had. The murderer had probably been lurking near the subway station in Brooklyn Heights. A crime of opportunity. Of impulse.
Committed in a minute.
Carried out in a frenzy.
That was the headline.
Tell me I’m dreaming. This is a movie, right?
The Daily News and New York Post ran the story big. For a few days. Carrie’s smiley 8×10 photo filled their front pages. For a few days. A pretty someone I knew was a tabloid headline. A pretty someone whose death I foresaw. A pretty someone from Indiana. Slain. The streets of New York became a B-movie nightmare-montage in which I saw Carrie’s face everywhere. She smiled at me from every newsstand I passed and from every TV screen in every bar. I found her smile abandoned on subway seats. Discarded in trashcans. Thrown in the gutter.
Mayor Lindsay took a big interest in the case. For a few days. Crime and New York had become synonymous under his libtard administration. He appointed extra cops to the hunt and invited Carrie’s parents to stay in the Mayor’s mansion. I could give him the benefit of a doubt but I won’t. He felt guilty and obligated.
“Dear God,” Handsome John Lindsay whined to his campaign manager “not another Kitty Genovese, not on my watch, not in ‘Fun City’.”
Then the faces of other murdered girls pushed Carrie’s smile from the front pages and from memory.
The cops ask anyone who knew Carrie to get in touch. So, I get in touch and they offer to send a squad car to pick me up in Manhattan. But, I tell them, “You don’t have to do that. I’m from Brooklyn. I know how to get there. I’ll save you some time.” This is when I become a suspect. Figures. I know Brooklyn. I knew Carrie. I get to the stationhouse and it is right out of Kojak.
Who chose this vomit-green paint for all municipal buildings in New York?
The cops put me in an interrogation room and leave me there for thirty minutes.
A long, sweaty thirty minutes.
A that’s a two-way mirror and they’re watching me right now, thirty minutes.
A hold-on, I’m-a-suspect, thirty minutes.
Whoa. Wait a minute. Did I kill Carrie? I’ve never killed anyone as far as I know but maybe this is what it’s like to be a killer – you blank the crime out. Missing time. Wait a minute. Where was I last night? Was that dream I had about Carrie’s death a few nights ago the way my homicidal-maniac brain filtered reality? Did I kill Carrie?
I’ll let you in on another secret; the cops tell me that whoever stabbed Carrie thirty-eight times could have done it in a minute – their arms a blur. Bruce Lee dies on the same day Carrie is murdered. You ever see Bruce in his Kung-Fu prime, his arms a wind-milling blur? Picture Bruce with blades attached to his flying hands punching Carrie thirty-eight times. People who have been knifed say it feels like a punch. You feel the fist of the attacker hitting your body as the blade goes in up to the hilt, not the blade slicing into your flesh.
That’s a big number. That’s more than three-dozen stab wounds. And, it takes the murderer only a minute to do that. He has to be in a frenzy to accomplish the task. You think it’s easy to stab someone thirty-eight times in a minute? Try it. Try stabbing a pillow thirty-eight times that quickly or a watermelon or a piece of meat. See if you can do it without breaking the blade or cutting your fingers off.
I’ve mentioned Guardian Angels several times so, for you latecomers, I better explain who they are. I have to remind myself that not every boy had hanging over his bed a painting of a Guardian Angel escorting a little boy through a dark wood while the horned, hoofed Devil lurked behind a tree. Not every boy prayed at bedtime –
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide.
Here’s the straight skinny, straight out of the catechism: Catholics believe that we are all assigned a Guardian Angel at birth. These invisible, winged creatures are not dimple-buttocked cherubs but flaming-sword waving bruisers who have our backs from “Womb to Tomb.” It’s their mission to keep us out of trouble and out of live sexxx shows. But, they don’t always do a good job. I don’t know if mine was sitting next to me watching Babysitters In Bondage with his head in his hands or if he waited outside smoking a cigarette. But, supposedly, where I go, he goes.
Some Catholics find having an angelic shadow comforting. It makes my flesh crawl. Always has. And, what perplexes me no end is why these heavenly bodyguards let so many kids get hit by cars and fall off fire escapes. Why didn’t Carrie’s Guardian Angel tell her not to go into that vestibule? And, if my murdered friend Carrie wasn’t a Catholic maybe her murderer was and why didn’t his Guardian Angel warn her? You expect me to believe that Carrie didn’t pass a single Guardian Angel the night she was slaughtered?