Monday, August 25, 2003


I drove home from work a few moments ago and was briefly followed on the highway by someone driving a Hummer.

From the perspective of my rear view mirror it looked large and somewhat menacing and my thought was, "Please don't squish me." I have no problem with folks who drive big SUV's, but I do admit to feeling a bit less inclined to linger in the fast lane when they're behind me.

Especially today.

I reported on a murder this morning in which a jealous wife killed her husband by running him over with her SUV. It was your sadly typical tale of violence. The wife saw her husband come out of a bar at 2 a.m. with another woman. By the way, for future reference, if you leave a bar before closing time your chance of dying violently diminishes significantly. Anyway, the wife, laying in wait, rammed her SUV head-on into her husband's car once he and the other woman got inside of it. The husband then made another mistake. He got out to survey the damage to his car. Police say his enraged wife then ran him over, dragging him some 30 feet along a fence line. He died on route to the hospital.

It was tragic. It was stupid. I talked to the cops, a TV photographer I know, and the medical examiner before I wrote the story. I've written lots of tragic, stupid stories like this over the years. The weapons differ, but the ingredients of these demented cocktails are for the most part the same. One part jealousy, two jiggers of rage, a dash of opportunity and nine or ten too may drinks consumed by all the participants.

Right before I left the office, the police department faxed me the official report on the incident. I read it to make sure I had not made any errors in the story I had reported. My facts were correct, but there was one bit of new information. The wife had been caught close to the scene and as she was being questioned at police headquarters she was informed that her husband had died. She was in the middle of giving police a statement about the incident, but then abruptly halted. She told the interrogating officer that her husband had always told her that if she got into trouble and was asked to make a statement to police, she should refuse. She decided she should follow her husband's advice.

The advice of the man she ran over and killed about an hour earlier.

I couldn't help but wonder how this story might have been different if her husband had been more specific. If only he had prefaced his advice with, "First off honey, DON'T KILL ME!!!! Second, if you're ever questioned by police.... etc..."

I have loved. I have hated. I have been drunk. I have been jealous. I have been angry and I have been stupid.

In many ways, this is a world so close to mine, yet it is so foreign.

Thank God.