CriMemoir by John L. Sheppard
I live in Highwood, Illinois, about 30 miles north of Chicago. For about two years after my divorce, I lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago. It was heavily patrolled by the CPD, mostly in uparmored Ford SUV's. Rode the train from there to work. I am an Army veteran, a civil servant who works at Naval Station Great Lakes.
When I was a soldier, I worked for about two years (1990-91) for the public affairs office in the Army's CID Command. CID is the Army's version of the FBI/Secret Service/BATF.
murdered at a Pizza Hut in Brandon, Florida in the early, early morning of my mother's 54th birthday. (Ed. note: for more of John's writing about his sister's murder check out What I Owe at Paragraph Line)
Nancy and her husband had three kids together. Nancy was getting ready to leave him. She was my best friend. We talked a lot on the phone. I’d moved in temporarily with my mother in between stints at grad school. I remember a lot about that day.
I remember answering the door and the uniformed male cop accompanied by a plainclothes female cop who asked to speak to my mother. I remember my mother’s scream. I remember calling my brother Tom up, he was at work, and having to tell him that Nancy was dead.
A jury of my ex-brother-in-law's peers decided that he was not guilty and acquitted him. I have another videotape, somewhere, that is a breakdown of how his attorneys managed to do it as featured on Eye to Eye with Connie Chung. He sued people and won quite a bit of money, from what I understand.
The three kids are now grown, off somewhere in the world and, I hope, doing well. Do I hear from them? No. I don't expect I ever will.
My family slowly disintegrated after that. My grandparents died. My mother survived her first bout with breast cancer, but not her second. My brother almost drank himself to death, but he survived.
Me? I'm fine, I tell myself. Just fine.
at his official website.