There was this guy, in his 40’s? His girlfriend was a little older and had a daughter and son I think. Yep. The girl was teenage and they were all good mates, I don’t remember the boy really. They all got on. An ordinary crew in a bog ordinary crappy suburb, but mostly harmless enough, muddling through. Mum was agoraphobic, quite obese and slept and lived pretty well in the lounge room. Her mattress had been set up in there. Glenn, the boyfriend, was one of those wiry, fast moving people, funny, vain, needy… but not a lot of these things. Just a bit of a dick.
So one day the missus, the girlfriend I mean, buys an ounce of pot… oh and they’re poor. She’s on a pension and rent assistance. Glenn comes around but he’s bought an ounce of pot and he starts at her, you fucking idiot I told you I was buying it… now we’ve got no money, you’re always fucking doing stupid shit, useless… and he’s in a state. We only know what she said because of him so who knows really. I don’t remember. But he grabs a knife at some point and stabs her in a rage, down through the Plender gap, between the collar bone and the neck. The tip of the knife breaks, it must have hit a bone rib. Come to think of it, it did.
Not funny at all. She’s not doing well, unconscious and he’s not either because it’s just something that happened and so he sets fire to the bed.
But he’d taken a call from the daughter before. I think she worked with him or something, or worked near his place? Anyway, she’s left her mobile at home, could he bring it over later. Sure. And he does.
He’s remembered the phone, maybe before he’s killed her mum, (or thinks he has, but she had smoke in her lungs so it was a combo) or maybe he grabs it before the place goes up.
He leaves. Glenn’s got an old EJ Holden or was it an old Ford? Red. Green? One of those. He gets in and drives a few doors away, watching the house start to go up. He waits until the fire brigade’s nearly there then takes off like Mod Squad. Seriously, he takes off with a screech.
Which a local notices because he’s thinking, oh hey, cool old EJ! Or Ford. Cool green EJ. Screeching off when the fire brigade turns up… huh.
Glenn drops off the phone to his formerly step daughter, poor love just lost her mum and he’s a great mate in times of need. Stuck by the family. Solid.
My guess is he grabbed the pot before he left too.
So on and on. The police know she’s been stabbed and so the fact that she otherwise may have accidentally set fire to her bed is mute. A piece of knife is there, left in her body. They set up an under cover operation which dribbles by for months. Six months. A chance meet up at the pub, a bit of chit chat over a beer… they coax him into thinking he’s a bit murky and it appeals to him. They do a small ‘deal’ with a uniformed officer, Glenn’s not supposed to have seen it of course. Shit! Don’t you fucking say anything. No, no, no way! He’s excited. They get him to drop something off… it’s nothing, never mind, you’re going that way anyway, you’ll like this guy… just keep quiet. Glenn will.
A bit here and a bit there and Glenn thinks he’s the dude he always felt he was.
Next step is to join up for some serious dealing but they want to be sure he’s clean. We can make things disappear so just tell us, we couldn’t give a shit, just can’t risk bringing the police’s eye on our operations. Tell us, we’ll deal with it, end of.
So Glenn goes into an office for what anyone with any familiarity with police interviews, even just from television, will recognise as a full, formal, police interview.
So tell us the facts (as the officer/ scary, big time drug dealer who has police on the payroll indifferently does something else at the desk, because he doesn’t give a shit. He’s done worse). We’ll… Glenn is very nervous to tell this massive, massive secret that’s been burning inside him. He wants to tell. I killed my girlfriend. He’s fidgeting, a bit shaky. Quiet. What’s that, say it louder for the camera and microphone will you Glenn? I can’t remember but the copper managed to de a bit dismissive without appearing odd. Fuck, what happened, mate? Shit! It was stupid, we just had a fight about some pot…
So, you argued, yes. You say you stabbed her, yes. Where? Here. What kind of knife? This kind. Where is it now? I buried it. We’ll have to move it can you show us? Yes. You say it broke off, how much? The tip. Then you set fire to the mattress? What else…
On it went.
So they drive to the location of the knife (not the big-wig dealer, just the minions) but dig around and can’t find it. Though it was found it later.
Meanwhile, naturally, in the normal police world, Glenn’s been interviewed, but says he hadn’t seen her since the night before. But, shit!, he took a call at the house, he gave the girl her phone, he screeched off.
So he goes to trial (wiener, his massive testicles are selective in their manning up). Obviously it’s not going well, but he’s cheerful enough. It’s been awhile and compiling a case takes it away from emotion a bit. He loves the fun of it all, the high court is beautiful and important. And it’s all about him. True. But then you’re at the cold face of it when the kids are there and they’re talking about her.
I’m with my mate and colleague Paul Constance, Connie. He’s so funny, relaxed, always matey with everyone, easy company. He draws cartoons all of the time and I’ve used one to make a rug, but, later about the cartoons…
We’re in the Supreme Court dock, which is elevated for a sense of solemnity as they did when it was built, waiting for it all to begin so still people milling about. Glenn says to us, You get the feeling you’re not so much being ‘Defended’ as being ‘Represented‘ by your lawyers. I laugh and say Well, you’re not giving him much to go on, Glenn. Paul and I laugh and Glenn’s smiling too. He knows he’s funny.
Later, upstairs at the cells, Glenn’s barrister comes up to talk to him. There’s no privacy, it’s an old building and client confidentiality wasn’t a factor in the building. Glenn’s behind a barred window and his barrister is in the corridor. So Paul and I can hear when glenn asks his barrister (now a county court judge) How do you think I’m going? The barrister says, laconically, Well G., considering you gave the police a full confession and led them to the murder weapon, I think you’re doing ok.
Paul and I cracked up. Quietly because we’re not meant to be listening, though nobody would care. We completely lost it and couldn’t draw breath. Hysterical giggles that make you almost sick. And Paul’s milking it, glancing at me and setting us off again. I’ll have just pulled it back in when he shows me a cartoon he did of the whole thing and it’s off again, out of control, it’s so funny.
But we have to go back down to court. I won’t look at Paul but he’s trying to catch my eye. Stop it I say, laughing. Paul! Bugger has brought the cartoon and slightly opens his folder to show me. Stop It! We cuff young G., the small, murdering, vain, wanna be, and head down.
Next up is the pathologist, going through what the length of the knife would have been, or how far it penetrated, the fact that she wasn’t dead when the fire took off, the marks on the rib, the size of the cut, across, and how that changes with stretching as the knife goes in and how the fire damaged the body but only, in this case, on the surface. The children are there, the extended family, listening to how their mother, sister, friend died, having already heard Why. And Paul and I cannot dare to look even in each other’s vicinity. I can’t even see him out of the corner of my eye or I’ll break out into uncontrollable laughter and probably wet my pants.