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The detective who worked with John on the Bradford case – a hard-working, diligent, bachelor –finally found the girl of his dreams, decided to get married and needed a best man. Who else but John St. John? John didn’t do tuxes or shined shoes, bow ties, or cuff links....
What grabbed me wasn’t a photo. It was a rumpled green fishing license I’d saved. Next to the license was a scrap of yellow paper that had my writing – almost illegible – hurried, jumbled, messy. I leaned in closer to see what I’d written and what the connection was between a fishing license and a yellow piece of paper that had suddenly caught my attention. Why now?…Then I remembered.
The chaos and clutter of Christmas filled my house, my brain and my life with unreachable deadlines. My original plan for this blog was not to focus on Detective St. John’s crime-solving expertise but to write about St. John – the person behind the Badge. Where to start?
I pulled the article closer and wondered how a hunch (which Websters defines as “a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts) led to the series of breakthroughs responsible for the COVID vaccine.
While I waited for our lively, energetic, and resourceful professor to arrive in her usual flurry of cheerful observations about anything from the latest movie, thoughts about a book she’d just read or a new and delicious recipe, I reviewed her comments on a paper I’d written titled: How a Conversation on the Back Porch Led to Passages.” She wrote: “This is fascinating. Did you work with your client Bob to see if this would be a viable plan?”
The reason may seem far-fetched at first, but the more I thought about those thirteen years I spent working alongside and writing about the Los Angeles Police Department’s legendary homicide detective, John “Jigsaw” St. John – bearer of the LAPD’s Badge Number One – I found myself amazed at how those brutal, bloodthirsty killers he hunted, arrested and brought to justice in his beloved city often had the same friendly habits and relationships I did.
I realized my sweet coffee sanctuary had turned into an empty room half the size of a gymnasium that on this Friday morning had ten customers (I counted them) staring into or tapping on their laptops not far from four men lounging on couches staring at their cell phones.
Bonin was convicted of often of the murders linked to the “Freeway Killer” in two separate trials in 1982 and 1983. He spent fourteen years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin Prison 1996. He was the first inmate in California to die by this method. (California’s ‘Freeway Killer’ Executed.” February 23, 1996. Retrieved November 27, 2018.)
All of my guests had left but one – a friend I treasured because after our weekly doubles match, we’d find a shady spot under a tree and put down our rackets. Mary would fluff her sensible short haircut and light a cigarette. I’d take a sip of lukewarm coffee as we enjoyed the quiet space. The topics could range wild and free from books we were reading, the political scene, our goofy dogs or what our kids were up to.
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