Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darren O'Neall

A Murdered Friend

Two months later, however, Trish called Robin. Robin, of course, was ecstatic to hear from her. But there was something about the fact that Trish had called that troubled her. Robin asked her what was wrong, not really expecting Trish to tell her but nonetheless hoping that she would. Everything was fine, said Trish. She had a job, she was happy, and she said she liked living in California. But she somehow didn't sound normal to Robin, and Robin continued to sense that something was wrong.

"Are you sure that you're not on drugs or involved in prostitution?" Robin asked. "If you are, I'll kick your butt because I don't want you doing things like that. Come home if things are going wrong for you."  Still Trish insisted that everything was fine.

Two days later, while watching television, Robin saw a news report about a girl who had been murdered at an apartment complex down on the Sea-Tac Strip, a busy boulevard of hotels, motels, and restau­rants so named because of its close proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Some of the establishments were classy, but for every classy hotel or motel there were two that were seedy.  Hookers, young and over-the-hill alike, commonly walked the Strip at all hours of the day and night, looking to turn a trick and make a few bucks for their next fix of heroin, speed, or whatever. Some of the girls worked independently, and others had pimps. But it didn't matter. They were always there, rain or shine, and many of them often fell victim to a sex criminal of one kind or another while working in the world's oldest profession. Most were either released or escaped with only minimal physical harm after having been forced to engage in any number of acts of sexual fetishism, some violent. But one such sex criminal, however, showed them no mercy.  He would eventually be dubbed the Green River Killer, a vicious psychopathic murderer who wanted more out of the prostitutes, much more, than they were willing to sell to him. The Strip would become the focal point of the police, from where so many of that serial killer's street-walking victims were plucked off the boulevard and driven to their violent, horrible deaths.

Naturally, when the girl was found dead at the apartment complex, most people never thought much about it at the time. By then the murders attributed to the Green River Killer had become more or less commonplace, and the public at first just chalked up the murder of this latest young female as another of the elusive serial killer's victims, just another prostitute who had met an unpleasant end. But the police knew right away that the girl wasn't a Green River Killer victim. Although the girl was indeed quickly labeled a hooker by the police, her murder simply did not fit that serial killer's modus operandi, his method of operation. And when Robin saw the news reports of the murdered girl, her thoughts turned to Trish. But she soon convinced herself that the girl couldn't have been Trish. She was in California.

The police couldn't immediately identify the young girl. The news reports said that she had been raped and murdered in an upstairs apartment unit, stabbed to death, and her nude body had been tossed off one of the balconies. Soon, however, the police had a photo taken of the dead girl, just of her face, and had it published under the Crime Stoppers heading in the local newspapers. One of the victim's former classmates recognized her, and positively identified her for the police. It was Trish, all right, and when Robin learned that one of her closest friends had been brutally raped and murdered, it was almost more than she could take.

Robin literally came unglued, as did her friend Julie, the sister of close family friend Jim Chaney.  Despite warnings from her family and friends, Robin went down to the apartment complex where the murder occurred and started knocking on doors, asking questions of the tenants in an attempt to find out who had done such a horrible thing to her girlfriend. Fearing that Robin might roust the killer out during one of her irrational outbursts, Edna called a police friend and asked him to speak to her. Although Robin at first resisted the police officer's efforts to talk some sense into her, he eventually was able to convince her to let the police do their job. Even after the case was eventually cleared, Robin and Julie would find it difficult to return their lives to normal.

Following Trish's murder, Robin's nightmares resumed and actually intensified. No longer did she merely dream that something horrible was going to happen to her. Her dreams became more specific than that and intensified to the point where she frequently dreamed of dying at the hands of another, horribly, just like Trish. Although everyone tried to console her and attempted to pump positive thoughts into her mind, the nightmares only grew worse. Concerned for her safety after Trish's murder, and seeing how adversely the murder had affected her, Robin's brothers and sisters began cautioning her about the many dangers lurking on the city's streets. If anyone ever tried to rape her, they told her, just give it up if it otherwise meant losing her life. But Robin always remained steadfast.

"Never. Over my dead body I'll fight. I'll go down with a fight," she told them. Although she never fully got over Trish's brutal and untimely death, she tried hard to get on with her life. It wasn't easy, but the fact that she and Julie were there for each other to lean on helped them both to eventually accept what had happened to Trish.


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