JAN: On Saturday, as I caught up on the newspapers, I sifted through the crime reports, as we ghoulish fiction writers tend to do. There were stories about a mom, whose son allegedly killed her AFTER first digging her grave, and stories about the discovery of baby skeletal remains in the closet of a woman who apparently killed five babies at birth. Perhaps this is fodder for Stephen King, but for me, it was all too sad, too dark. I don't want to think about sons killing mothers or mothers killing their babies. But I kept reading and finally found:
NEWS I COULD USE: Much like the way, I secretly admire bank robberers, when deep in my heart I KNOW THEY are bad guys I should spurn, I found myself smiling, against all my good judgment, when I read about the high spiritedness of William Monopoli. This twenty-six year old clearly has watched too many movies. When cops tried to stop his 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck on Route 93, headed for Milton, he put the pedal to the metal.
Right in the middle of the afternoon, he sped down the Southeast Expressway to Route 24, at speeds "exceeding 80 mph" with cop cars chasing him all the way to West Bridgewater. For those of you who live outside of Massachusetts, that's about twenty miles. At one point he struck a Toyota sedan, although luckily no one was hurt, and kept going, even attempting to ram "several cruisers."
The chase only ended when he lost control of his truck, crossed the median strip and crashed into a guard rail. But he's one plucky dude. He jumped out of the truck and fled on foot, and state police had to sick the dogs on him. He was bitten, caught, and finally put under arrest. (There were outstanding warrants on charges of armed robbery and probation violation, hence the chase. But you've got to wonder, did he actually think he'd outrun the state police?)
The amazing part, was that just like in the movies, no one was seriously injured.
I don't know about you, but I find chase scenes tricky to write. Not only because I don't like cars or speed - which certainly doesn't help - but also because I've SEEN so many of them on television and in movies. So the details of this car chase are incredibly useful to me, in part because I know the terrain, I can imagine the specifics. And what I can't imagine, I can record by driving the same route myself. So with apologies to the state police, and the driver of the Toyota sedan, who had to live this nightmare, I thank William Monopoly and The Boston Globe.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!! Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy prequel, called The Amersham Rubies, comes out as a freebie on Kindle, starting today. Go straight to Amazon and check it out!
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Congratulations to Hank on her Anthony award nomination for Drive Time!!
Come back tomorrow when I interview former Attorney General and Mob expert Arlene Violet about her new musical crime play "The Family" debuting at the Tony-award winning Trinity Rep. Theater in Providence next month.
And Thursday, Ellen Byerrum guest-blogs for us about the future of the great American road trip.