In the court of public opinion there was no doubt in anyone’s mind William Mason was guilty of multiple murders. Jack Starr knew this. Starr had traced the first victim all the way back to 1991 and here it is 2009. It was a little girl holding the promise of a bright and beautiful future. His second victim, a boy, was butchered just eight days after the little girl, the thrill of the kill probably accounting for the lack of time between his victims. Death, Starr supposed, is a potent seductress.
Starr noted his meticulous method of disposing of the bodies, but Jack Starr was just as meticulous in his investigation. He first heard of the doctor back in 2007. Some woman from Wisconsin brought him up in a chat room. Starr was fascinated with how much she knew. From there, through the simple use of a search engine, he collected a rather simple history of the man. For example, he was born in a small Pennsylvania town and adopted by a Jewish family from Canarsie, Brooklyn.
He attended South Shore High School and graduated valedictorian of his class. From there, he went on to Brooklyn College, before being accepted to a medical school in the Bronx. He did his training at Montifiore Hospital before opening a private practice.
Starr figured it was his parent’s abandonment that drove him insane. Starr may not have earned a degree in psychology, but it hardly took a degree to understand his need to take children from their parents and butcher them, as he did. He must have seen all parents as his parents and if his parents wouldn’t have him, then by God, they would not have any other. How many children had he killed? Starr could not even venture a guess. There were thousands upon thousands of missing children reported every year. Mason’s victims had names, places, lives to be lived.
Starr found him rather easily on Facebook, a social network. Starr was always fascinated with the amount of personal information people were willing to divulge on social networks. Mason had married a Prisilla Ryan. She was a beautiful woman ten years younger than Mason, a nurse who accepted employment in his private practice. They were married at St. Anthony’s Church in Staten Island, where they lived. Obviously, Mason cared little for the religious choice of his adoptive parents. Following the chosen path of his wife, instead. However, his new religious choice would hardly keep him from entering the gates of hell.
Starr also found an account for Mason’s wife. He studied it closely paying careful attention to many of her daily posts. She often quoted the bible and appeared to take her faith rather seriously. Starr found this puzzling. Was she clueless about the man she married? It does happen, he supposed. Some people are just blind and stupid about the persons they love. Still, from all Starr could gather, she likely attended church every Sunday and Starr had all the evidence he needed.
Starr picked up the phone and called his office. The mid-west was a piece of cake. Everyone wanted the mid-west. He had worked the mid-west for so long now, he had begun to think the United States had no seaports. The northeast was the most hated of all. No one wanted the northeast. He would have no trouble at all with a change of venue. He could be on his way the following morning, in New York by Friday and face to face with Dr. Mason on Sunday.
On Sunday, Jack Starr, as planned, walked into the church interrupting the service by calling out to William Mason. Few heard him at first, so he cleared his throat and called again.
His voice rang through the church as Dr. Mason and many others, turned to see who called him.
Starr approached him. “In the name of the Father, the Son and-“
He never finished. He merely lifted the rifle from underneath his coat and fired once, hitting Doctor Mason directly in the face, spraying blood and bodily fragments as far as three aisles in either direction. For a moment, he feared he may have hit the wife who, covered in her husbands blood, screamed and fell hitting her head on the bench as she collapsed from the shock of seeing her husbands face disappear. Starr checked to make certain she hadn’t hurt herself and then turned to follow the fleeing crowd out the front doors of the church. He crossed the street and climbed back into the tractor-trailer he left parked and running in front of the church.
Of course, he hadn’t gotten very far although some could argue he had gotten further along in life than he ever dreamed. He was a hero, now. Some of the world’s most famous talking heads were on the radio first thing Monday morning, endlessly going on about the deeds of Dr. Mason. They were calling the doctor a butcher, a murderer, a man without a soul. Dollars were pouring into the Jack Starr defense fund. The District Attorney’s office in Staten Island received several death threats. There was so much news about Dr. Mason, one had to struggle to remember Jack Starr’s name. Jack Starr wrought justice, swift and true. Even the prosecutor was on record as being an anti-abortionist and there is no death penalty in New York.
Jack Starr sat in a cell with a transistor radio. There were hundreds of requests pending for interviews. He supposed there would be a book offer. Maybe, even, the cover of Time. He liked Time. He often read the magazine in truck stops when he needed to eat, or shower, or just plain use the shitter. Hell. The way Jack Starr had it figured, he’d never have to drive a trailer truck again. He leaned back on his cot and called out for a guard.
The guard came and looked in on him.
Jack sat up and looked back at the guard.
“What time they serve dinner, around here?” He asked. “God. I haven’t been this hungry in ages.”
The guard looked at him. “What would you like to eat?”
“You hear them people on the radio?”
The guard didn’t answer.
“You ever serve in the armed forces?”
“No,” the guard said.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down…”
“In green pastures,” the guard continued as he turned and walked away, reciting the psalm with him.
A crowd had gathered on the streets below. Their psalm was different, but they were chanting just the same.
“Free Jack Starr! Free Jack now! Free Jack Starr!”
Jack heard this and he smiled.
He whispered. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”