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Gonna Smother You With My Love

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May 21, 1995
Not Guilty! Alleged hitman walks
Richard Greason, Staff Writer

After two days of deliberation, the jury found Jim Dewey not guilty of the murder of Alan Timm. Timm, 32-year-old community activist, was killed in his home by a gunman his nine-year-old daughter identified as Dewey. In the weeks leading up to his murder, he had become increasingly outspoken against the slow police response to reports of drug activity in the area and increasingly agitated by police refusal to take anonymous threats leveled against him and his family seriously. The verdict sparked outrage among Timm's family and supporters. Timm's widow was escorted out after --

Our analysts had crunched the numbers on your mother -- 73.84% chance of retaliating against Jim Dewey without our influence, 92.89% chance with an agent crooning sweet, sweet songs of revenge in her mind, margin of error of 3.12% -- but we'd neglected you. A mistake. Oh, baby, your eyes! So full of hate and patience and the promise of revenge.

And even better? You stare at the jury. You mother, her hate is focused on Dewey. He's the man who killed her husband. He's the man who gave you nightmares. He's the man who oh so calmly tells reporters that he's very sorry for your family's loss and is sympathetic to the the mental trauma you suffered, but you're mistaking; another man forced his way into your house that night. He's lying -- you're not mistaking about what you saw -- but he's a well-connected man, and his benefactors, the men who wanted your daddy dead, can afford slick attorneys.

"You're guilty!" Your mother finally spares some attention to the jury. "He's guilty! How can you sit there and say --"

"Mrs. Timm!" The judge has been fair throughout the trial, but he has limits and does not appreciate emotional outbursts, even if the majority of his sympathy is with you and your mother. You'll realize how fair he was when you're older, when you're reviewing the trial transcripts and your mother's journal, and spare him from your revenge. The verdict, after all, is the jury's responsibility. You've gotten that far in the civics portion of your history class.

"He's guilty!" Your mother's on her feet, almost makes it to Dewey, but the bailiffs get to her first, drag her from the courtroom on the judge's orders. She's repeating her litany -- "He's guilty! He's guilty!" -- and your aunt's fingers are tight on your shoulders, and you're glaring at the jury, so angry you can't even shake.

None of them meet your eyes. That makes you remember this moment, makes revenge a need. Dewey is guilty, and they know it, but...

But you know what the jury sees when they look at you and your mother and your extended family. The hem of your mother's dress is beginning to fray, and the scuffs on her shoes, sensible no-nonsense black flats from Goodwill, are filled in with marker. You're in a hand-me-down from your cousin, a navy blue dress with a wide white collar and cuffs that you won't fully grow into until next summer. It almost works in your favor -- you look small and lost in it -- but taken in context, it's clear that your family is stretched thin, and the defense found sneaky, subtle ways to slide in the idea that Dewey is worth more than your father.

And the defense made reasonable doubt an easy out. "The strongest piece of 'evidence' the prosecution has is the eyewitness testimony of a nine-year-old girl who, according to her own mother, still has nightmares that the devil is after her daddy." Oh, yes, you remember that gem from the closing arguments. Ballistics from the gun police recovered from a dumpster along South Tacoma Way? Well, yes, they matched the slugs recovered from the scene, and yes, it was Dewey's, but he had reported it stolen three days before the murder. What happened to Alan Timm, to you, was a tragedy, but the police had been pressured to close the case too fast. If they didn't make an arrest, it would look like they were punishing Timm for being so critical of them, especially since the media had jumped on the chance to champion Timm and smear our hardworking boys in blue. And now look where we are. "A guilty verdict would just extend this tragedy, not give it closure." Oh yes, the defense attorney is slick. He's taken other measures in case he's not slick enough, but you don't know that. You don't need to.

I watch the memory set in your beautiful, beautiful eyes and take the moment back to my boss. You're the one we should follow. One look at your eyes, and the boss agrees, assigns me to you.

You're going to do amazing things, baby. Hopefully on your own -- few things are more satisfying than a soul I don't need to touch -- but I have a lovely voice if you need encouragement.


Lakewood: Woman kills man once accused of murdering her husband; turns self in
NATALIE P. CLARKE; STAFF WRITER

Published 07/15/2007 12:15 pm

Regina Timm turned herself into Lakewood police and confessed to killing Jim Dewey, who was tried for her husband's 1994 murder. A jury found Dewey not guilty.

According to eyewitnesses, Timm confronted Dewey outside Whistlestop Espresso at --

You get your patience from your mother. You do Running Start, earn a full scholarship to college. She waits until you've graduated before acting against Dewey. You think she should have plotted a near-perfect murder. Who's going to remember a courtroom outburst from twelve years ago? Especially since Dewey has made new enemies since his trial for your father's murder, including his former benefactors.

You know quite a bit about Jim Dewey. The only people you know more about are your mother and the seven men and five women who sat on Dewey's jury. You sit through your mother's sentencing, head bowed, so nobody sees your hard little smile. You wish your mother had handled it differently, but you can't fault her for following through on her desire to see Dewey dead.

You understand that she still loves your father, that it's deep and powerful and has become something she uses to define herself. And you know that your understanding is intellectual, based on observation and deduction. You love your mother, and you loved your father, but you tell yourself you don't know what soul-consuming passion feels like.

Oh, baby, you don't even know you're lying to yourself.

Body of man found in dumpster on South Tacoma Way
TINA L. GROHL; STAFF WRITER

Published 05/28/2010 2:36 pm

Police are investigating the murder of a 54-year-old man found in a dumpster this morning at his business on South Tacoma Way. The man, whose name will not be released until his family is notified, was stabbed multiple times and had his throat slit. Police have no leads at --

You save the jury foreman for last. Thomas Li. He remembers you, baby. He remembers your eyes. Of course, you make that easy for him. The look in them hasn't changed. You've learned so much in your careful, careful research, throwaway things like his preferred brand of toothpaste -- Crest Pro-Health Sensitive Shield, smooth mint flavor -- and important things, like the fact he financed the start-up costs for his grocery store with the money he received for his not guilty vote.

Unraveling his finances had been a particularly beautiful string of research, baby. I'd say you're wasted in your job as a court clerk, but you don't want to draw attention to the true depth of your skills. Still, you'd make a good investigator. You will make a good agent if our analysts don't out-politic me and snap you up when you join us. I know a lot of things, can see the heart and mind of every person we encounter, but the only thing I know about your future beyond your inevitable death is that, at this moment, you have a 91.34% chance of joining us with a 4.87% margin of error.

Li sees me standing over your shoulder as you hunch over the whetstone, sharpening your knife. The scrape of the blade on its surface is comforting...to you, at least. Li shudders with each stroke, and he looks from me, to your knife, back to me.

I step back, grinning. This is all you, baby. I've never needed to sing one word of encouragement in your mind. Too many assignments like you, and my voice will get rusty, but there aren't many assignments like you. I'm going to make it last, see how far you'll go on your own. It would be nice to up that 91.34% probability, close that margin of error to something in the 3% range.

"Please," Li pleads, but there's not much hope in it. He sees me, after all. There has to be at least a 99.02% probability of death with less than a 1.00% margin of error for that. Our analysts love their statistics.

You test the edge of the blade. "Were you convinced of his innocence?" You wipe the knife clean. When you started your revenge, you debated about using your father's hunting knife. It would be fitting, but you couldn't remember enough about your father to know if he'd approve or not. Your mother would.

So you're using her knife. Hunting had been a family activity.

Li closes his eyes, shakes his head.

You rise. "None of you were."

Body of man found in dumpster on South Tacoma Way
TINA L. GROHL; STAFF WRITER

Published 05/28/2010 2:36 pm | Updated 05/28/2010 06:24 pm

UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Thomas Li. Police ask that anyone with information contact them at --

It's overstepping my bounds, but I clean up after you. The boss knows, but since I'm sneaky about it, she lets it slide. Once I'm done, there is nothing linking you, specifically, to the crime. Not that you left me much to clean up. You'd worn gloves, taken the knife with you, and stripped Li down, so there are no fingerprints at the scene, no murder weapon, no carpet fibers from your car.

I take care of the fibers in his hair. He hadn't struggled when you bound his hands behind him, so there's nothing under his fingernails.

Still, your methodical MO is unique. I can't stop the detective assigned to Li's case from making the connection between him and eleven other similar murders. She's newly promoted, anxious to prove herself, and she's determined.

I hope you like having a nemesis, baby. She does.

Fife: New lead in home invasion robbery-murder
TINA L. GROHL; STAFF WRITER

Published 11/15/2012 06:07 am

Police believe the death of Mildred F. Smith is linked to ten other murders in the greater Tacoma area. Smith was strangled in her apartment in July. An anonymous source close to the investigation also reveals that investigators believe these deaths are linked to a series of twelve murders that took place between June 2009 and May 2010 in --

The articles never mention the details of the "series of twelve murders" the anonymous source mentions, but you know they're the Dewey jurors'.

You do some digging. You're subtle in person, nothing that can't be taken as water cooler talk, more aggressive with your hacking. It's your first exposure to Detective Amanda Chow. She's smart, baby, maybe as smart as you, but she's not one of our projects, and she hasn't come to anyone else's attention yet. There's a 64.29% chance she will, margin of error, 5.10%. Our analysts shouldn't have crunched those numbers for me, but I'm charming and in good favor with the boss, so as long as we're all sly, we can bend the rules so they're nearly doubled back on themselves. It's expected, after all.

Chow hasn't figured out your motive. There's a moment where you think you should stop. You achieved your initial objective, but you see too many cases like Dewey's. You have no connection to your current project, the Brody trial, except one similarity: the only eyewitness to the crime, the beating death of a 16-year-old boy, was his eight-year-old sister.

Right now, Chow has a 4.96% chance of discovering the connection. The analyst I charmed refuses to give me the margin of error since I've pushed my luck a smidgen too far. Fair enough. I'm more interested in the probability, anyway.

And I'm interested in your little pause. Do I need to sing to you, baby?

No. You've deemed this your purpose. You'll keep looking for illogical not guilty murder verdicts. You'll keep analyzing the evidence, cross-referencing it against trial transcripts, researching the jurors to determine if they willfully made the wrong decision.

That's the beauty of your mind, baby. Your natural conclusion must be the natural conclusion.

Tacoma: Local detective heads up serial murder task force
PAUL R. GRAYSON; STAFF WRITER

Published 03/14/2017 06:02 am

Amanda Chow has been selected to head up a regional task force to investigate a string of serial murders dating back to 2009. Chow attended the FBI National Academy in 2014 and was the first to connect what were believed to be three distinct serial cases together. "The first twelve victims were stabbed, the second twelve strangled, and the third set of victims, we've identified nine so far, were shot," Chow said. Chow declined to comment on the forensic evidence that linked all 33 cases but said it was "very compelling" and that the regional task force, an effort between Pierce and King County law enforcement and the FBI, is --

You're casual acquaintances with Amanda Chow. It's a friend of a friend of a friend deal, and you're careful to leave it at that. One of your fellow court clerks knows someone in the prosecutor's office, who knows Chow's partner, so you occasionally cross paths with her at birthday parties and barbecues. Of course, you know much more about her than you let on. Have to keep tabs on the person trying to track you down.

You know she is determined to catch you. Your murders are the only ones she hasn't solved. She's spent years making the connections, and she's close, so close, to figuring it out. I know how close. You only suspect. She doesn't keep her deepest thoughts in a format you can access, and while her case notes are thorough, she keeps her speculations to herself. She doesn't enter theories into her official files until she has a plan of attack to prove or disprove them.

She knows there's something special about the fact you change your MO after twelve victims. She suspects you have a background in law enforcement. The magical connection, twelve members on a jury, is within her reach. You could throw her by switching things up mid-stride, but you've set your rules and can't bring yourself to change them.

It's a race now, baby. Our analysts keep running the probabilities. It's the boss's orders now. She's taken a keen interest in you, almost as keen as mine. You're a catch, baby. We're going to make sure you don't slip away from us.

Chow's a catch too, just not right for us. She hasn't come to anyone else's attention yet, and there are times I'm tempted to slip a little intel across the aisle, but the boss wouldn't let that one slide. Not yet. Maybe in a couple of years if the chances of Chow catching you level out below 55%.

You bump into her at a St. Paddy's Day celebration. She's still high on getting her task force, and being three beers past drunk makes her chatty. "It's fascinating," she says. "Whoever it is, he's smart. Only one little slip." She's close enough that you can smell the beer on her breath, count twenty-two freckles across her cheeks and over the bridge of her nose.

You allow yourself a private thrill at "he". Most serial killers are men, and Chow and her team haven't thought past the default. "What's that?"

She frowns, scrunching up her entire face. "It's...not something I should share in public."

You make a show of looking around. "I don't see any reporters. Or any known 'anonymous sources' they're so fond of."

Chow giggles. She is, in fact, an anonymous source. You only know that because you keep illegal tabs on the local crime reporters, and you know not to play your hand.

She's not going to tell. Even drunk, she knows the value of secret information. "Sorry. You'll just have to find out when we arrest the bastard."

"Fair enough." You raise your glass of Guinness in a toast. "To closing your case."

"To the case!" Chow clinks her bottle against your glass, and you both take long pulls.

And then you go home to find your one little slip. It's the rope. You've switched up types and brands, but you store it all at the same place, so they pick up the same mold spores.

Sorry, baby. You don't own the site where you store your kit, so I can't bend the rules enough to wipe the rope clean. I'm not even sure I would. It's fun watching you rise to a challenge.

Firefighters fighting blaze in Sumner Industrial Park
JENNIFER TANNER; STAFF WRITER

Published 06/24/2025 05:59 am

Local firefighters continue to battle a three alarm blaze at the South Sound Transport warehouse in Sumner Industrial Park. The fire was reported at 2:16 am, and fire officials report the fire is mostly contained. An anonymous source revealed that officials are baffled by a section that continues to burn despite attempts to extinguish it. "It's a circular patch, roughly six feet in diameter, and the flames burn white hot. Nothing we've tried touches it," the source --

You had a good run, baby, but earthly things aren't eternal. This target shoots you when you try to take him, three in the chest. You're not going to live. I don't need our analysts to crunch the numbers based on the way you're bleeding out.

Besides, you can see me. "Daddy?"

"No, baby, just borrowing the face."

"Good."

Ah, so you can tell what I am. You are a clever one. "Once they find your body here, Amanda Chow will piece everything together."

You smile. "She's good."

Yes. Even without your body, Chow still might figure you out. She's determined to find the connection between your victims. The probability that she will is over 90%, and if she does, she'll trace everything back to you.

I kneel. "So you're fine with her victory?"

"Nothing I can do about it now."

"I can." Summoning the fire is easy. It dances on my fingertips, flame white.

You nod.

Good choice, baby. It ups the probability that you'll join us to amazing levels: 98.20%, margin of error, 3.14%. Best odds I've achieved.

Tacoma: Police seek information on 40-year-old woman missing since June
JENNIFER TANNER; STAFF WRITER

Published 09/22/2025 12:42 pm

Tacoma police are investigating the disappearance of 40-year-old Kristy Timm. She was reported missing on June 27th of this year by her cousin when she missed a family function and could not be reached in person or by phone. She was living in Tacoma, but her last known location was Olympia according to --

I had to promise the boss great things to snag you as my probie. I know you'll deliver, baby. You don't have a sweet voice yet, but you know enough about hate and revenge to develop one.

We're going to do glorious things, baby. Such glorious things.