Beheading On Mt. Baldy

story by Paul Ciotti
A tough story to write. I had trouble finding good people to interview. Marcia, the murderer, who was in prison, wouldn't talk on the advice of her attorney. Debra, the woman she confessed to, would only talk a little (she didn't want to ruin her chances of becoming a psychologist). Judy, Marcia's erstwhile wife, didn't want to have anything to do with reporters. The DA, despite having an entire wall lined with boxes of research, claimed he couldn't show me anything more than what was already in the public record.
     The best people to talk to turned out to be friends of Jack, of which he had quite a few up on Mt. Baldy, the detectives involved in the case, and most of all the intimate and extensive medical records (including an autobiography) from Marcia's ill-conceived malpractice lawsuit against Debra filed years before in another court.
     Surprisingly, many years after Marcia was sentenced to prison for life and Judy was sentenced to jail on weekends, Judy was still trying to claim the remainder of Jack's fortune on the grounds that he put it in a trust for her and thus she was entitled to it as a matter of law. So far no judge has agreed.


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