Another tidbit

As I’ve said, I’m reading Ultimate Punishment right now, and I tried to dig into it here. In that post I promised that I would title my posts after song lyrics, but I’m breaking that promise here because this post is so short.

I just wanted to share this small anecdote I just read, because it impelled me to get up out of my blanket (it’s like 20 right now on its way down, supposedly, to 5 or so) and record this for my own sake and possibly for your interest as well.

Apparently, in the 1980s, a Chicago are Violent Crime Station run by one Jon Burge was investigated for startlingly Guantanamo-like interrogation techniques. The officers there extracted confessions by using beatings, burnings, electric shocks to genitals, and FORCED GAMES OF RUSSIAN ROULETTE. O MY GOD!

That much is breathtaking in itself, but it’s not even the part that caught my eye. A drug leader named Aaron Patterson alleged, at his trial, that the police abused him. He wasn’t believed for a while, but he claimed that during the abuse, he grabbed a loose paper clip and etched a message into the bench where he was sitting along with a date. The message read:

I lied about murders [as in, he confessed to them when he didn’t actually commit them] / Police threatened me with / violence, slapped and / suffocated me with plastic.

These words were later found on the bench. What an unbelievable story, and what unbelievable presence of mind to think to write that down where it could be recovered later. I mean, he might have been lying then too (the etching could have been a ruse), but if it was, it was damn smart. Also, the language feels very authentic.



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