On Closure

closureNobody who’s lost someone close to them will say that there is such a thing as closure. Perhaps the only thing close that anyone will ever get is closure to the story. A resolution if you will. That looks different to everyone. Maybe, as in my case, someone has lost someone to a violent crime. Closure might mean that the perpetrator is caught and convicted.

I watched an episode of “Shattered” last night on Investigation Discovery, and a mother who’d lost her teenage son talked about what closure meant to her. And in the spirit of full disclosure, she was the one who said that you can never have actual closure, but you can have closure to the story. For her, closure meant that she was able to take all of her son’s photographs that she’d hidden in her drawers for years and hang them on the walls or prop them on a dresser once again. That happened to coincide with her son’s murderer coming forward after twenty years (he couldn’t live with the guilt any longer).

I wanted the closure of my narrative to be a nice, neat, tied-up-with-a blow ending. SFPD catches the man who killed Patty Vance, and he is sent away for life. I’m staunchly anti-death penalty, so I don’t wish for him to be killed himself. But just like about everything in life, the way I imagine it’s going to go and how it really goes never quite match up. I actually possess a strange optimism that leads me to believe that good things are going to come my way, things I’ve wished for, things I think I deserve somehow. And one of those things is definitely getting Patty’s case solved. I mean weirder things have happened that having a thirty-eight-year-old cold case solved.

I wish I knew how hard to push. There is so much that is still unclear about the case. I know I’ve written about it before, but it won’t stop nagging at me. Why is the DNA of no use whatsoever. OK, even if because she was a sex worker there were many samples of DNA collected from her body, does that mean that a good detective couldn’t sort out what samples are irrelevant and which are not? They can construct a very close resemblance to a person by using their DNA. What if one of those samples when reconstructed resembles the prime suspect? Okay, maybe just because this is bugging me doesn’t necessarily give me carte blanche to write about it in every blog. Sorry one reader out there!

I’m just so frustrated. I don’t know why, but I have this scratching feeling that there is a way for this case to be solved if only there was stronger motivation on the part of the detective. And yet said detective is acquainted with Harold, Patty’s brother. Detective projects that he is trying his best, but is that true. When everyone who’s interviewed the prime suspect unanimously agrees that the guy is 100% guilty, why can’t he get convicted? I know, I’ve written about this before too. The case against the guy is circumstantial. And a weak circumstantial case at that. I believe in the justice system; I realize it is imperfect as well. It is just seemingly better than many justice systems in other countries work. Still, the U.S. justice system has seriously failed my friend.

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