Category: Book

Social Target – Chapter 3

Jack Nolan was proud of his career. He was responsible for cracking tough cases and putting many criminals behind bars throughout his career. He felt his effort was always 100+ percent and it bothered him that the psychiatrist was implying otherwise on the Anna Hanson case. It was a pretty cut and dry case he thought. A girl made up a story, received a lot of negative attention for it, refused to back down, and therefore ended up in a psychiatrist’s office to get help.

I have had one visit with Anna and read her file, and I feel like there is more missing to the story. This is a very odd story  for an adult female to make up.

Her words burned through him and wouldn’t stop. Did I do a half-ass job on this case? Was I too important to investigate it thoroughly? Did I miss something obvious? Jack knew he didn’t want the case to begin with, but he took every case seriously, and this case was investigated thoroughly. He just couldn’t get the questions to stop in his head after talking to the doctor, and he knew what that meant. This closed case was not over.

“James! Come in here.” Jack commanded out of frustration.

“What’s eating you?” James Hagston replied as he walked into Jack’s office.

“The Anna Hanson case. I..”

“I thought we closed that one?” James interrupted.

“We may have closed it too soon. Did you ever get answers back from the people at Facebook? Can we get Anna’s history for the past year, and confirm what we found is correct on her account? That she has had no activity since 2014?”

“We were told that providing that information was an invasion of privacy.”

“Did you ask if there was a way for Anna to sign a release so we would have access to her account?”

“No. I didn’t. You were ready to close the case, and we didn’t have any information to argue that decision.” James offered defensively.

“Well, I think we need to find out. The psychiatrist believes there is more to this story, and that we blew this one. I am starting to think the same. I have this nagging feeling we didn’t take this far enough, and that we wasted time in the 80+ hours dedicated to this one. Find out if Anna can sign a release ASAP. The ability to confirm her activity may give us all the answers we need.” Jack offered while rubbing his forehead and grimacing about what might happen.

James went online to find the answers about Facebook. Facebook offered users can download their own history on Facebook, but that was done already, and no activity was reported since 2014. Next he found an online submission form for law enforcement. James filled out the form and then decided it best to call Anna and advise her of the inquiry. No need for her to distrust the force more than she already did. At the same time, he remembered his interactions with Anna well, and he would rather someone else make the call.

“Detective Nolan?” James asked in a deep but playful tone when standing just outside his office.

“What? Was the assignment too tough to handle?” He barked humorously.

“I submitted an online form for the information. We should have a response within 72 hours. I was thinking it may be best to let Ms. Hanson know what we are doing. You know, since she has already concluded we are simply out to make her look crazy.”

“Fair idea. Let me know if there are any problems.” He said dismissively.

” I was thinking you might want to make that call to her.” He offered not knowing which he dreaded more – his response or hers.

“Why the hell do you need me to make that phone call?”

“The case is technically closed. If you are re-opening it – it might be best to tell her that. She might respect the decision more from someone who calls the shots. And – I got married so that I am only verbally abused by one woman.” James winked to soften his attempt to deflect the call.

“Fine. I will call the princess. Out!”

Detective Nolan was praying he wasn’t going to regret his decision, and that this doctor hadn’t created doubt in his mind unnecessarily. The seeds of doubt were already planted and so he had no choice but to follow through and find the answers. Picking up the phone he made the dreaded call.

“Hello.”

“Hello. May I speak with Anna Hanson, please? This is detective Nolan.”

“Yes, Mr. Nolan. I remember your voice. To what do I owe this pleasure?” Her sarcasm unchanged from months ago.

“Ms. Hanson we have made another inquiry into your Facebook account. I appreciate that you allowed us to see your history voluntarily before, but we wanted to take a different look. Your doctor believes there is a missing piece to this case, and I believe that may be possible too.”

“You are kidding me right? I am crazy, remember? Your team made sure a judge agreed with you!”

“Yes, I remember that all the facts we could find did not back up your claims. However, I am willing to take one more leap to make sure we haven’t missed something. Our thinking is that maybe there is some quirk in your account, and the history the company can provide on your account may conflict with the history you were able to provide when accessing it yourself.”

“So why are you telling me this? Did you already make the request?” Annoyed didn’t begin to cover what she was feeling.

“We did. But, given how this case ended, I wanted to give you a courtesy call. We are not trying to find more information to prove you made up a story. This is a closed case. If Facebook cannot provide any new information then there will be no change in the case. The company will reach out to you, and I am hoping you will not block our request. Your doctor is trying to understand your case. I am trying to make sure we didn’t make a mistake. Will you work with us?” He asked fearing her answer.

After what seemed like an hour of silence she finally answered.

“Yes detective. I will work with you. I am working with you because I didn’t make this up. Clearing my name is important and I would never block the opportunity to do that. I have one request though. As soon as you have the results I want a copy of them sent to Dr. Jefferies.” She offered rationally.

“That was already the plan, Ms. Hanson. Thank you for taking my call. We will be in touch.” With that he disconnected the call.

Just then James walked back into his office as the curiosity was killing him.

“So… how did it go?” James asked while fidgeting with his feet along the door jam.

“If you wanted to know you should have made the damn call!” Jack offered trying to sound more angry than he was.

“That still doesn’t answer my question, Sir. How did it go.” James smiled waiting for the next reply.

“It went fine. She won’t cause any problems with the request. She asked for a copy of what we get back be sent to the doctor, and that would have happened regardless. Now we wait and see what happens next.”

“It’s always the simple cases.” James offered.

“Or the quiet ones.” Jack replied.

Social Target – Chapter 2

Susan’s visit with Anna left her feeling lost. Mental breakdowns can happen at any age, but this story was just strange to her. Anna’s outlook on life seemed to be negative in general, but not in a way that was intent to harm others. She wasn’t the type to seek attention for the sake of attention either. Responding to a post on Facebook doesn’t seem like a lie any adult would tell, but according to the police file, the comments didn’t exist from Anna on news articles. Why would she make up a name of someone who responded to an article? It just didn’t make sense.

Feeling frustrated Susan felt the best way to move forward was to meet with the lead detective, and find out why he was so sure Anna was making the whole story up. She had to be missing something obvious because so far this case file didn’t make sense.

The chief detective was Jack Nolan, and her research offered he had been with the police force for 31 years, and was a top detective for 19 of those years.  Susan wondered how a man with so much experience could produce such an incomplete case file. Dialing his number, she decided it was time to find out.

“Detective Nolan speaking.” His voice was low and commanding.

“Detective. My name is Dr. Susan Jefferies. I am the psychiatrist assigned to the case of Anna Nolan. Her case was handled by you and I was hoping you could answer some questions.”

Speaking in person would be much better than talking on the phone, but delaying answers for that opportunity didn’t seem like a good idea.

“Yes. The Facebook case. That was a weird one, but luckily not one that took much time. Simple case of a young girl looking for attention. Apparently life wasn’t giving her enough of it.” He said in an uninterested tone.

“I have had one visit with Anna, read her file, reviewed the bible she was given, and I can’t help but feel like there is more to the story than what the case file offers as evidence. This is a very odd story for an adult female to make up. A person’s imagination would have to be limited to come up with this story for attention. Why are you so sure she made it up?”

“Because there was no evidence.” He said forcefully. “Not only could we not find a comment left by John Sammock – we also could not find any comment left by her. According to her Facebook activity the last time Anna did anything on Facebook was in 2014! She said she commented and replied to comments on a regular basis, but her account activity said otherwise.”

“I am not sure how I missed the activity detail in the report, but I am not sure that is enough to say she is lying.”

“Well, I am sure it is in there. Look! I don’t know why she made up such a boring story. I don’t know why she mailed herself a bible. But there was no evidence to suggest someone else had done it. I welcome you to find evidence to the contrary, but I don’t think you will find it.”

“Thank you for your time detective. If I have any more questions I will give you a call.”

“Dr Jefferies, be careful. I know her history suggests she is a girl who never causes any trouble, but she cost my team 82 hours of time chasing ghosts and stories. Maybe she had a dream? I don’t know. But the girl is in your office for a reason. Good luck.”

“Thank you.”

The call ended and Susan was frustrated. The story didn’t make sense, and what does her favorite judge say? Judge Judy would say that if it doesn’t make sense then it isn’t true.  If this is a case of a pathological liar she will be amazed. Liars are often seeking attention but she has no history of lying for attention. Often pathological liars tell tales that are hard to believe, but the story was very believable and unimpressive. Liars often paint themselves as a victim and Anna is definitely the victim in this story, but that doesn’t prove anything. Susan would have to continue to dive into her history and psychological state. She didn’t want to make assumptions too early, and the courts would hardly tolerate it if she did.  Maybe she will find a detail that was missed by the 82 hours worked by the detective and his team. Only time will tell.

Social Target – Chapter 1

I opened the door and felt unimpressed. The walls of the small room were painted in a soft eggshell tone left unaided by a medium brown colored trim. Four pictures hung in a straight line on only one wall. The pictures were all similar in their detail of open spaces and unimpressive landscaping. The pictures were not exactly the kind of art I would pick to lift a person’s mood. Maybe their purpose was more to not agitate a person’s state of mind?

The waiting area was small and rectangular in shape. The wall opposite of the door provided the light switches assigned to each doctor for patients to use to announce their arrival. A total of ten chairs were in the waiting room with five perfectly spaced on each side of the room. I suppose the fine doctors had their reasons for deciding only patients sitting on the right side of the room should have pictures to stare at when looking at the wall across from them. Patients choosing to sit in the left side of the room were simply left with a blank wall and no distraction to its lack of color.

I really do not know why I am here. I am not clinically depressed or insane. The darkness in my life is man-made and lacks a psychosis treatable by a doctor. I feel the darkness in my life and I can see it. How do I get to the light I am searching for? What should I use as a compass? Are the answers I am seeking wrapped up in a white coat making $400 an hour? I highly doubt it. Here I am though. Following court orders.

What is my problem? Simple! People over-react. That is the problem with this world we live in, and the catalyst of my problems now. People over-react to their ideas of power, morals, God and who really has the “right” answers. Wars are fought, children beaten, and schools influenced by over-reaction. Liberal agendas are to blame for our world today, and conservative agendas will hold the blame tomorrow. Life is one vicious cycle and people refuse to stop it. If you try to stop the cycle, the insanity, you end up in a psychiatrist’s office who only holds a high-priced degree in quack science!

I am not an idiot. I am not the product of the insanity that life continues to cycle through. I am different and Dr. Jefferies is about to learn a lot about the world from me! Maybe we will need to switch places at the end of this thing? I will gladly make $400 an hour rendering my opinion to others about their problems and life!

Finally I hear footsteps by the door next to the light switches, and as the door opens a middle-aged, tall and slender woman appears.

“Ms. Hanson?”

“Yes.”

“This way please.”

Anna Hanson was not what Susan was expecting at all. Her bad girl profile hardly fit her physical profile. Her hair was blonde, but of a natural tone, and her makeup reasonable for her fair skin. Her eyes, however; managed to highlight the hatred described in her file. Anna’s posture offered a condescending tone that clearly stated she did not believe she needed to be here. The file from the police department and her silent attitude made me believe she would be an interesting patient. She is 29 years old but appears to have the attitude and personality of a 13 year old. Here goes nothing.

“Ms. Hanson, I know you are not here by choice or identified personal need. The courts have requirements for me to help you complete, and I hope you will work with me so that this can as be easy as possible for both of us.”

“Dr. Jefferies, how long have you been a doctor?”

“I have been in practice for 18 years, and I have seen and heard most everything in those years.” I offered with all the confidence I felt.

“How nice. I have practiced life for 29 years, and I learn and see something new every day. It is because there is always more to see and learn that I ended up here, in your office. I guarantee you have a lot more to see and hear, and I look forward to teaching you something new.” Anna offered with a confidence in her voice that matched mine.

“Anna, your goal should only be to work with me, and therapy will be shorter, and the experience healthy for both of us as a result.”

“I have no plans of making this difficult. I have no interest in being here, but I know there are requirements for me, us, to fill. That being said I am not sure how to make this form of “science” easy.” Her fingers providing the sarcastic emphasis she felt was needed with her response.

Smiling I knew it was time to move forward. “Where did you grow up, Anna?”

“I grew up in Englewood Colorado with a mom and dad who love me to this very day. I am an only child, but only because my older brother died when I was seven. I am only here, sitting with you, because I made the mistake of not being as dumb and ignorant as so many people out there.”

Anna’s anger spiked quickly in her voice as she finished her statement.

“Wonderful. You were right. This will be a new experience for me. Normally I only get to counsel the dumb and ignorant.”

After a moment of silence it was time to move forward.

“Anna. I have read your police file, but I would like you to act as though I have not. I would like you to start from the beginning as though I know nothing about you or your story. I will simply listen until you are done talking.”

“Okay, where would you like me to begin?” Anna offered with a little more patience to her voice.

“Wherever you would like. How about with your parents and we can move on from there.”

With an inhaled breath Anna began to tell her story….

My parents were always supportive of me, and I have few complaints about them. If I could “fix” anything about my parents it would their ignorance about God and the bible. Their influences are too human-related to truly rely on God as much as they claim. My parents have always gone to prayer groups as well as church. They make sure to tell me their group prays for me every Thursday. Despite my parent’s weekly effort God has failed to fix me in a way they have requested.

I don’t believe in marriage or relationships outside of family. I believe all relationships are temporary, and I treat my relationships carefully as to not get too attached. Getting too attached to people causes over-reaction, and I work hard to not be a part of that cycle. My parents have been married for 35 years and I believe commitment to marriage died in their generation. My generation seems to fail more than succeed in marriage, and I have consciously chosen to avoid that failure in my life. I have enjoyed relationships with a few different men, but they have all messed the relationship up my asking a question I will never say yes to.

I have enjoyed a pretty good and peaceful life, but social media sent my life into a chaotic cycle that won’t end. My life wasn’t ruined by a bad relationship, sex tape, or dating website like has plagued so many other people’s lives. I like to be different so I found a new way to ruin my life with social media, but I really wasn’t trying to be different here. I ruined my life by simply posting a comment, to a comment, on an article posted on Facebook and it ruined my peaceful life. My parent’s began praying for me a week after my posting, but the chaos continues anyway. I thought a person publicly speaking their opinion could only ruin the lives of famous people like the Dixie Chicks, and I was wrong.

My world began to unravel on November 15, 2015. Two days prior the world was shaken by an attack in Paris by an extremist group called ISIS. Stories about the attack continued for days and I read many of them on Facebook. I have found that comments after the article are just as informative and entertaining as the articles themselves. The comments highlight the stupidity of our culture often, but sometimes they offer educated thoughts of the readers. One comment to an article I was reading about Paris offered the opinion that this was just another act of biblical warnings happening, and then he said Ezekiel scriptures 38-39 were unfolding. Naturally I rolled my eyes at the biblical reference, but then curiosity set in and I decided to see what he was talking about. Using Google I found the Ezekiel scriptures he referenced, and I had to admit I could understand the reader’s correlation.

Ezekiel is a book in the old testament. Chapter 38 talks about the battle of Gog and its significance to ushering the Second Coming of Christ. Chapter 39 discusses the result of the battle, the continued significance of the number seven, and the gathering of Israel. The summaries of the chapters do not highlight the relationship to the reader’s comments appropriately, but the individual scriptures within the books do.

Ezekiel 38:11
“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars or gates,”

Ezekiel 38:12
“To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.”

Ezekiel 38:15
“And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:”

Ezekiel 38:21
“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.”

Ezekiel 38:23
“Thus I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 39:8
“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.”

Ezekiel 39:9
“And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them seven years.”

I understand the reference and it is often said that history repeats itself. My generation largely ignores and refuses to learn history, so what better way to teach the dumb and ignorant history, than to have them experience that very history? For the record, I do believe in God but I often doubt the messages of man received by God. I believe the bible has valuable teachings and messages, but the regular publishing and theories of man have muddied many of the stories, and the value I take from them includes that understanding.

What if the messages in the bible are repeating in present day? What if history is repeating itself? What if history is repeating itself but people are looking at the wrong history? There are more questions than answers when looking into this man’s logic, and so it is really hard to take the potential warning seriously. I felt a response to his opinion was needed.

After reading the scriptures, and thinking until my head hurt, I realized I was more annoyed than enlightened. What a waste of time this research was, so I replied to the reader’s comment in kind:
“John Sammock – I read the scriptures you referenced. While I can see the correlation, I do not believe this is an answer to what we have to look forward to in the future. You see… our vision is only 20/20 when we look backwards. God made us blind in the present and future by design, and as a result we never really know what is happening until after it happens.”

Simple enough response, right? I didn’t put him or anyone else down. I didn’t cry foul over anyone’s religious choices or liberties. I didn’t lace my comment with profanity or disrespect. I was simply pointing out the facts as I saw them just as he had done. Well, like I said in my response to him – by design we don’t know what is happening until after it happens. I feel like my life will never be the same.

“Do you still have the bible you received?” Dr. Jefferies asked.

“I do. They gave it back to me when they closed the investigation and the lovely judge sent me here. I don’t know what I am going to do with it. It seems wrong to throw away a bible.” Anna offered with concern in her voice.

“Would you be willing to bring it when we have your next session? I would appreciate reviewing the markings that were left for you.”

“Why? So you can play detective and decide I am nuts too? I really do not need another person thinking that. To tell me that.” she said with frustration.

“Anna. I am not your enemy. I am not looking to be your enemy. I am asking for all of this information to determine the best way to help you move forward. If you could bring it by this week, or to your next session, that would be wonderful. I plan to review all that you have told me, and your case file again, so that our appointments are as productive as possible.”

“Okay. I will drop it off tomorrow. Will we meet at the same time next week?”

“Yes. Lets plan a two-hour session. I am sure I will have more questions, and we will need the extra time.”

“Alright. Two long hours it is. Are we done for today?”

“Yes. You are free to go and thank you in advance for dropping the bible off tomorrow.”

With that she exited the office quickly, and Susan had to make her understand the goal was to help her, and not help the police and detectives prove she was nuts. Luckily this was a productive appointment, and we should only move forward from here.