The Psychopath Across the Street — Fifth Installment

This is the final installment of the rough draft of the novel I am writing, The Psychopath Across the Street, a fictionalized version of real incidents with names and locations changed to protect the identities of the people involved. If you’ve just discovered this blog, scroll down to read the earlier installments before you read this one.

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Just as a psychologist had analyzed her years earlier, Brigitte was very creative but this time her creativity had let her down. She should have considered her plan more thoroughly. Now that she was in Billy’s small apartment, where could she go from here? If they had been living in isolation, Billy might have been willing to house and feed her for some time and even give her a few dollars in exchange for sex, but they were living in a major metropolitan area with mass communications. On her first day alone in the apartment, she switched on the TV to watch the midday newscast and was startled to see her picture on the screen. A mini-skirted young female newscaster wearing far too much makeup then appeared on the screen, looked into the camera, and asked, “Have you seen this young woman? Sixteen-year-old Brigitte O’Hara left her parents’ house yesterday morning on her way to school and hasn’t been seen since. A reward is offered to anyone with information concerning her whereabouts. If you’ve seen Brigitte O’Hara, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at the telephone number that appears your screen.”

“Christ! That’s all I need!” Brigitte yelled at the TV screen. Now she couldn’t risk even going outside for fear that someone would recognize her and call the cops. How was she going to get out of Miami? She didn’t have a credit card to buy a plane ticket, and even if she had one, there was too much chance of being recognized at the airport.

The decision was taken out of her hands when Billy came charging through the apartment’s door three hours later. “Damn, Brigitte! I saw your picture in the paper. You told me you were 18, not 16. What have you got me into?”

“Calm, down, Billy. I just need time to think of how to get out of this situation.”

“Calm down? Listen, Brigitte, I had sex with a 16-year-old girl, and the police are searching for you all over Miami. If they find you here, I’m in deep shit!”

“Nobody’s in deep shit, Billy. I’ve just got to come up with a plan to get out of Miami. Just give me a few more days, and I’ll be out of your hair.”

“A few more days? Not one moment longer. I want you out of here right now before anyone comes looking for you. Right now! Do you understand me, Brigitte? Right now!”

“Come on, Billy, let’s talk this over.”

Brigitte grabbed Billy’s right hand and attempted to guide it to her breast, but Billy yanked his hand back. “Get out of my apartment this instant! Do I make myself clear?”

“OK, Shithead! If that’s the way you want it. You’ll pay for this!” Brigitte reached for her neckline, ripped the front of her blouse so that her bra showed, and walked out of the apartment door, leaving all of her belongings behind. When she reached the street, she stopped the first person she ran into, a middle-aged man, and did her best to adopt a desperate-looking expression. “Help, please! My name’s Brigitte O’Hara, and I was kidnapped. I just got away. Call the police, please. Please!” she sobbed.

“You’re that girl who was on the news, aren’t you?” the man asked.

“I don’t know if I was on the news or not,” Brigitte stammered tearfully. “All I know is that I was kidnapped yesterday, and horrible things have happened to me. Call the police, quick! He may come looking for me at any moment.”

“Who? Who’s going to come looking for you?”

“The man who kidnapped me. He lives right there,” Brigitte sobbed, pointing to the apartment complex.

“There’s a payphone on the corner. Come with me, and I’ll call 911.”

The first squad car arrived within minutes. Then another, then another came down the street with sirens screaming. Before Brigitte had time to grasp what was happening, the entire area was closed off by police cars. Every police officer in the vicinity who wasn’t tied up with something more serious was sent to the scene where the missing girl had been found. Brigitte put on an amazing performance.

“I was planning to run away, I was, but I didn’t. I was sitting in a McDonald’s trying to figure out where to go when I decided that I was making a mistake and was going to go back to my parents, but when I was leaving, this man offered me a ride. I didn’t know he was going to kidnap me. He took me to his apartment, and he did terrible things.”

“Did he rape you?” one of the officers asked.

Brigitte hung her head as if in shame, sobbed again, and then nodded yes. “And I was a virgin. I never thought something like this could happen to me. Oh God, I feel so terrible.”

The officer got the apartment number from Brigitte, and two other officers went to Billy’s apartment. The officer asked Brigitte, “Where’s your clothes? The report said you took most of your things with you when you left your parents’ house.”

“They’re still in that man’s apartment. He went into the bathroom, and while he wasn’t looking, I just ran out the door and into the street. I didn’t have time to take anything with me. It’s still all in that man’s apartment.”

The two police officers returned with Billy handcuffed between them. “Is this the man?” one of them asked Brigitte.

“Yes! That’s him! Oh, please, get him away. Just seeing him terrifies me.”

“Brigitte!” Billy yelled over his shoulder as he was being led away. “What’s going on? What did you tell the police? Brigitte! Tell them I didn’t do anything.”

“Do you feel well enough to ride in a squad car, or should I call an ambulance. We need to get you to the hospital to do a rape kit. Did you wash yourself after he raped you?”

“He raped me several times, but yes, I took a shower after he raped me this morning.”

“Let’s do it nonetheless. It might show something.”

The police called John and Katrina and told them to pick Brigitte up at the hospital. Her parents were not at all happy to have her back, but once they learned what she had been through, they were very sympathetic and caring.

Two days later, they were asked to bring her to the police station for some additional questioning. Detective Lieutenant Eddie Acosta was in charge of the case again. “I’ve seen far too much of this girl,” he thought to himself as he walked into the hallway where Brigitte and her parents were waiting.

“I’d like to interview Brigitte alone,” Detective Acosta told John and Katrina. I think she may be more open with me if her parents aren’t in the room.”

“We want to be there when you talk to our daughter,” John objected. “I think it’s our right, isn’t it? She’s underage.”

“OK, as you wish,” the detective replied.

Once they were seated in the interview room, the detective opened with the question, “Brigitte, do you know the name of the man who kidnapped you?”

“No, he never told me his name.”

“His name is Guillermo Camacho, but he goes by Billy. You didn’t know that?

“No, I didn’t really talk to him. I never asked him his name.”

“Had you ever seen him before?”

“No, never.”

“And you say he kept you in the apartment the whole time and raped you repeatedly?”

“Oh,” Brigitte sobbed, “I really don’t want to think about that.”

“But, he was there the whole time with you?”

“Yes, the whole time.”

“We’ve talked to Mr. Camacho’s employer, and he says that Mr. Camacho was at work all day until about an hour before you escaped and called the police.”

“Yeah, he was gone part of the day, but he tied me up before he left.”

“How did he tie you?”

“He tied my wrists and ankles with a rope, and he tied me to the bed. I tried to break free, but I couldn’t.”

“I don’t see any rope marks on your wrists.”

“Ah, it was a soft rope. I guess it didn’t leave marks or they’ve healed already.”

“We didn’t find any rope in the apartment.”

“I don’t know, it was there.”

“Brigitte,” the detective continued, “we’ve also spoken to some of your friends. They say you met Billy Camacho a few weeks ago in Bayfront Park and that you left willingly with him.

“They’re lying, those bitches!” Brigitte spat out.

“Brigitte, why did you take almost all of your clothes with you when you came back to your parents’ house after telling your mom you were leaving for school?”

“Things were so terrible at home. I wanted to leave. My dad beats me. Then I met this man, and he promised to help me. I didn’t know he’d lock me up in his apartment and rape me.”

Two days later Detective Lieutenant Eddie Acosta met with Detectives Joshua Wilson and Magdalena Osorio to discuss the case. “Magda, what do you make of the girl’s story?” he asked.

“It’s hard to know if there’s any truth at all to what she says,” Magda replied. “She’s obviously lying about being kidnapped by a strange man. The stories told by Brigitte’s friends and by Billy himself jibe. He was not a stranger to her. She knew him.”

“Josh, what about the Billy’s story? How does it fit in?” Eddie asked.

“He says her knew her before and that she had been to his apartment willingly. He says she called him to say she needed a place to stay, and he was reluctant to take her in. He also says that she told him she was 18. He claims he had no idea that she was a minor. The rape kit shows that Brigitte had sex. It shows traces of semen, but Billy claims it was voluntary. In fact, he claims it was Brigitte’s idea. He said he didn’t really want Brigitte in his apartment.”

Eddie summed it up. “Given the contradicting stories and Brigitte’s prior police record, I think we can be pretty sure that her story about being kidnapped is false. I also think that Billy is telling the truth about believing that Brigitte was 18. Nevertheless, he did have sex with an underage girl, even if she lied to him about her age. It’s up to the DA which charges to file, but I hope he goes easy on Billy. He’s a victim. As to Brigitte, I wish they’d lock her up and throw away the key. I’m getting tired of dealing with that little lunatic.”

Both Billy and Brigitte were lucky. If Billy had been 24 years old, he could have been sent to prison for up to 15 years under Florida law for having sex with a minor. The district attorney didn’t believe Brigitte’s version of events and didn’t file forcible rape and kidnapping charges against Billy. Brigitte was convicted of having filed a false police report and sentenced to probation in the custody of her parents until she reached 18 years of age.

Given his youth and the fact that Brigitte had deceived him, Billy was let off with probation and community service. However, he had to register as a sex offender, and that blemish would make his life difficult for decades to come.

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This is the end of Chapter One