I’ve been so busy yapping about Book Four, I’ve all but forgotten that Book Two is weeks away from being released. As I write this, I’ve been doing some last minute editing, cleaning up a few things that missed me, several friends, the program Hemingway, and Grammerly.
So, let’s talk a little about Book Two, Against Flesh and Blood.
Book Two continues setting us up for the later books, but in this one, it’s almost a straight Police Investigation. In it, a young woman is sexually assaulted while the perpetrator holds a gun to her head. Will and RJ have their hands full figuring this one out.
The perpetrator in this story is man who runs by the nickname of “El Perrito,” or “The Little Dog.” Since this was based on a case I worked, I will say the perpetrator was a waste of human skin. Will and RJ aren’t shy on thinking the same about him. Truth be told, Will would be moderately in favor of the death penalty for what the man did but is too much of a pro to let his emotion get in the way.
So, what did El Perrito do?
In not so nice terms, he raped a girl.
Rape is one of the most misunderstood crimes on the book. Back in the old days (pre-1970s), it was often times assumed the female did something to entice or provoke the male into assaulting her. Among old cops, rape was sometimes referred to as “Assault with a friendly weapon.” Law enforcement did nothing to understand that rape was a crime that had little if anything to do with sex.
So pre-1960s, a lot of sexual assaults went unreported. It was automatically the girl’s fault, or so the thinking went. A lot of parents of girls who were assaulted would ask the question, “What did you do to lead him on?” If it was reported to the police, and if the matter went to court, it was often the girl who felt she was the one on trial, not the guy. The defense could drag anything in they wanted, to include her old boyfriends, and so on.
Many times, to spare their daughters the embarrassment of what had happened, the matter was simply swept under the rug and never discussed again. I do know of few instances where men from the community confronted the rapist and he’d be asked to leave town via the highway or the cemetery.
Slowly this began to change. It began to be recognized that there was more to rape than sex. I really credit the brave women who got up on the stand and went through the cross examination to explain to the world they did nothing wrong. They were the brave souls that testified this individual perpetrated a crime against them as real and as certain as if he’d hit them with a board.
Slowly the law began to change. It began to recognize that rape is the forcing of sexual relations on another WITHOUT their consent. This puts whoever is sexually assaulted into the proper context, not as a participant, but as some one who was assaulted. They became a victim.
Psychologists also explored the topic, and they began to show that rape was the ultimate forcing of someone to the will of the person perpetrating the crime. That made it not about sex at all, and it isn’t.
Rape is about having power over someone and forcing them to do what you want.
I also credit women in law enforcement for helping to change the stigma of what used to be a taboo subject. Ideally, a female officer is the one who assists trained medical experts with the collecting of evidence from the woman’s body. It’s the woman, not the man, who should conduct the interview. A female officer or detective becomes an invaluable asset in the investigation.
In the book, Pam Harmon teams up with Will to handle this. Will never once wants to know the details of what happened, though he does put together a very graphical picture of what occurred by reading the crime scene. To him, the term sexual assault is all he needs to know, the rest is for the courts.
Incidentally, men can be raped as well, and in that case it should be a male officer who does the interview and collecting of evidence. Interestingly, especially with gay men, they are often more comfortable with a female officer than a male doing this. I can’t blame them.
I recall an incident that was spoken about in hushed terms when I was younger concerning a guy in town (early ’60s). I never knew his real name, but everyone called him “Roberta.” Roberta was by definition, a trans-sexual, and as Roberta, made a very striking woman. Needless to say, things went south. Roberta met a guy in a bar, and they went to a hotel. Discovering that Roberta was really Robert, the guy proceeded to beat her almost to the point of death. Roberta was then sexually assaulted.
The Sheriff was called and Roberta was told, “We can’t do anything because you got what you wanted.”
I hope Roberta’s case would have been handled better today. I’m sure she didn’t ask to be beaten to a pulp and then have it forced on her anymore than a woman would have.
So, in the book, it’s pointed out time and time again, that the victim didn’t ask for what happened to her.
I’m thankful that times have changed. But still, for every assault that’s reported, there’s at least two dozen that aren’t. The stigma is still there, and as a Law Enforcement Officer I found myself often times dealing with parents who wanted to sweep it under the rug for the exact reasons we used to see.
So that’s what El Perrito does. He forces people to his will, and in his case, he used a gun to do it.
No wonder Will and RJ have little use for him.
Good news, like the man I based him on, justice is served. In his case, very cold.