These creatures are among us, although morphologically they do not differ from us; we must not posit a difference of essence, but a difference of behavior.
Author, Philip K. Dick
Phil Dick was absolutely correct. There are things out there that look perfectly human, that eat the same things humans do, that sleep the same way humans do. However there is something missing in them, some great black void that separates them from humanity, that makes them, despite all appearances, utterly alien to humans.
The ghastly headline in the July 11th edition of The Oklahoman couldn't have illustrated it more. To quote directly, "Video of Carina Saunders' killing may exist, police say."
Apparently Bethany police have been chasing down rumors of the existence of such a tape for months. Finally last week they felt they had come across someone who actually had a copy. However the woman, after agreeing to an interview, was a no show. The story in The Oklahoman, written by Tim Willert, with assistance by Nolan Clay and Andrew Knittle, identified her as Mindy Cottier.
Cottier is a pro and proud of it. According to The Oklahoman she posted on Facebook that, "I'm a stripper/escort and I love my job. I make more than 90% of the college grads out there." Yes, well a lot could be said about that, mainly about how long a dancer/hooker can maintain her clientele after the age of thirty as opposed to say a CPA. Not to mention that most college grads don't have to swallow the penises of complete strangers five or six nights a week to earn a buck.
Bethany police tracked her down to a south side motel where she was staying with a guy named Christopher Banschbach. Banschbach is a convicted felon. Police found a gun sitting on a bed, wads of cash in Banschach's pockets, and, of course, meth and what is always called drug paraphernalia. They also seized a lap top, two zip drives, two cameras, and four cell phones.
The warrant application mentioned Saunders' name and the possibility of a tape documenting her murder. However, it was not among the actual list of items that Bethany police said they were searching for. The warrant application and warrant itself focused on drugs, money, paraphernalia, and records of drug transactions. One can only speculate that is because, at this point, the cops have to focus on the drug angle. The video, until it is actually found, remains nothing more than a rumor. It is, at this moment, a sort of urban legend circulating in the dark nether world of gangs, drugs, and women who, for a half a decade or so, make more than 90% of college grads.
The story went on to say that Bethany police chief Phil Cole declined to answer when asked if the video was found. Police are also unclear on what, if any, connections Cottier and Banschbach might have with Saunders, Luis Ruiz who has been charged with her death, or the others who are "persons of interest."
I am assuming the video, if it does exist, is meant to motivate other women into cooperating with these monsters. As twisted and horrifying as that is, to think it was made for entertainment purposes is worse. That thought makes the stomach knot and fills the mouth with the coppery taste of old pennies.
There are no circumstances that can explain away the actions of these beasts. There is no amount of psycho babble, child hood trauma, chemical imbalance, brain damage, or drug dependency that can mitigate the torture and dismemberment of Carina Saunders.
The complete lack of humanity and conscience, the terrible absence of empathy that infested those who perpetrated this crime and possibly filmed it has one name and one name only. That is evil. There is no other way to put it, no other explanation.
It is not us, but it walks among us.
When we do identify it let us exorcise it as quickly and completely as possible. It simply does not deserve a presence in this world.