Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CSI: My House

The lake is sparkling below me, through the branches of the tall pines next to the deck of the lodge.  Sounds of kids squealing over the latest crawdad catch and release episode mingle with the hiss of sunscreen being applied to the hikers.  I am digesting my made-to-order omelet*.  I am at camp, one of my favorite places on earth.  As the t-shirts say, "Life is good."

I decide to check my email before arts and crafts.  Need to send my sister some embarrassing photos of Disco Bingo.

From: myneighboraroundthecorner@aol.com
To: sharonrelaxingatamp@gmail.com

Are you harboring fugitives on your roof?  Ha ha ha. Seems like there was a lot of drama over there last night!

Hmm.  That's strange.  I email back.

From: sharonnowalittlecuriousatcamp@gmail.com
To: myneighboraroundthecorner@aol.com

Good lord!  I have no idea.  We're up at family camp at Lake Tahoe.  Maybe our cat was up to no good! ;)

A few minutes later, a new message appears.

From: myneighboraroundthecorner@aol.com
To: sharonwhohasalmostforgottenaboutthis@gmail.com

They caught a guy responsible for a double murder in Chatsworth at the corner of your street.   Enjoy the lake!

What??? Wait, I have another mail.

From: myotherneighboraroundthecorner@yahoo.com
To: sharonnowmorealarmedthancurious@gmail.com

Heard all the commotion last night was right near your house. Hope all is well and you're not too freaked out!

Before I can even react, there's a notification of a message from a Facebook friend:


I reply:
Um, I think so?

OK.  I'm kind of freaked out now.

I tell my husband (who is also digesting his omelet) about the emails.  That's pretty exciting, we agree.  We speculate for a while about the whole thing, and I check a link to a local news article about the incident**.  He asks, can you tell which house it was?  No, I say, but there is a video of a news guy standing on the corner by the place the dog always goes poop.

Huh, he says.  Glad we missed it.  He goes back to the paper.  Just then, his phone chimes, indicating he has a voicemail.   Cell service up here is pretty much non-existant, but sometimes you get lucky.  He holds the phone up to his ear, smiling as he eats the last piece of cinnamon roll on the plate.

He stops smiling.  He stands up, holding his other ear to try to hear better.  His brow wrinkles and he mouths at me:

"The police called."

My eyes widen and my heart skips at beat.  I mouth back:

"Holy S*&%!"

After a 7 hour police operation, involving over 100 officers, a perimeter lock down, house to house searches, air support, a news blackout, and the canine unit breaking down a fence in pursuit, the LAPD swat team*** cornered an armed and dangerous fugitive, and shot him in the hip at 4:30 in the morning.

At our house.

The officer my husband spoke to was very sweet, opening the conversation on a friendly note:

"Oh, you're camping?  I love camping.  Whereabouts are you?"

After giving a blow-by-blow account of the night, including the fact that the highly trained officers were unable to read our helpful and well-lit front gate exiting instructions and therefore had to use a battering ram to gain entry, he offered reassurances:

"I'm kind of a boy scout on these things.  Try to leave a place better than I found it.  Your house is in good shape.  No blood or anything.  And I noticed you left the windows down on your vehicle.  Saw some bird droppings on one of the seats, but not anything to worry about."

Well, thank god for that.  And finally:

"You know, you have a very nice house there, sir."

We're sitting there in shock, absorbing the news, when our kids walk up and ask why we look so strange. We explain, briefly.

My daughter's face lights up and she begins jumping up and down, screaming with glee.

"Oh my GOD!!! There was a MURDERER in our HOUSE!!! That's so COOL!!!! Did they kill him?  Is he dead?  Did he hurt my fish?  He better not have hurt my fish.  I have to go tell EVERYBODY!! HEY YOU GUYS!  GUESS WHAT?!"

We don't see her again for a while****.

I'm shaking as I look up at my husband.  He's got a strange expression on his face.  The lake is still shimmering and the peals of laughter echo down below. We're both thinking the same thing:

Oh my god. There was a murderer in our house.

The only thing that got hurt was our fence*****.

Camping?  I love camping.

*  This year's selections included the McOmelet, featuring 2 all beef patties, sauteed with special sauce, pickles and onions, garnished with lettuce and sesame seeds.  Also the kabob-let, which involved skewers.
** I later find another link with a video that clearly shows our backyard and the gun (and a police investigator) on our roof.

*** To add more drama to the story, my daughter's soccer coach is a SWAT officer who was involved in tailing the suspect while he was at large.  If he'd been on duty that night, it's likely Coach would have been the sharp shooter who took the guy out.
**** We also spend the next few days having people walk up to us and say, "Wow. We heard about what happened at your house!  That's amazing!"  She literally told every single person she met.
***** Pretty sure the bird poop incident was unrelated.


  1. Wow, you've had a whirlwind emotional roller coaster weekend. Hugs to you all around.

  2. Thanks, Sabrina. This actually happened about 10 days ago, but I'm still in a state of shock and just got around to writing about it. I seriously want to just go back to making cookies and taking pictures of dough.