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Repeat Offender

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#1

Prudholm's crimes echoed through many lives.

Officer Dan Tinker's widow had kept a photo of him next to their son's bed. Every night for years they'd 'kiss daddy goodnight', until Danny refused, declaring it “Stupid”.

Soon, in spite of her efforts, Danny was doing his best to be the epitome of everything his absent father had fought against. His arrest at 13 for selling drugs on school property put him into a spiraling cycle, until his life sentence for robbery/manslaughter at 20.

The night after Danny's sentencing was the first time Mrs. Tinker didn't stop herself at one drink, a pattern she soon embraced with relief. The neighbors weren't surprised when she T-boned the VW bug, killing a young student along with herself.

Tinker's partner wondered why Tinker and not himself. Each new rookie partnered with him seemed to be a clone of the one before, all moving on as soon as possible. Away from his stonewall personality and overly cautious behavior. He was no longer seen as promotable. His wife and kids stopped trying and found a better man. Even after retirement, he accepted the role of embittered burnout as his just reward for failure to protect his partner.

#2

Prudholm's crimes echoed through many lives.

The bomb that killed Officer Jack Forest meant his wife never got a farewell kiss. This was one of the many tiny regrets Beth Forest had to deal with as she struggled to create a new, unwanted normality for her family. Sad moments were perennials. A too large bed. Birthdays. Holidays. A father/daughter dance at school. They tried to stay strong for each other and move forward. Life became a routine again, and the bad days got further apart.

Beth was driving their youngest to dance class when the radio gave the report of Terry Robert's death. “He did it again! Mom, he did it again! Someone else feels like we do!” She pulled the car over to comfort her sobbing child, “They should have killed him! Why didn't they kill him?”

“Your father didn't believe in 'an eye for an eye'.” she tried to explain, “No good police officer lets the need for revenge consume them. It keeps them from being as bad as the criminals.”

“Then I guess I'd make a better criminal than a cop.” the girl whispered.

Beth took a shaky breath and admitted, “Yeah, me too, Honey. Me, too.”