All the Lies (Page 2)
She has to stop when she gags, and she turns her head.
Donny is white, and his fists are tighter. My entire body is rigid right now.
“How many?” Donny asks quietly.
“Thirteen in all,” she says, still sobbing. “Only…Dev didn’t…couldn’t go through with it. He stood there, though. And he told me the story after it was over. The boy was so twisted up in the head he was sent to therapy for over a year. Then he joined a church ministry group that travels over the country spreading the word of God. He’s how I know.”
“So twelve of them took turns raping them,” Donny states, his calm tone betraying the simmering rage that matches mine.
“Over. And over. And over,” she growls, her tears falling angrily. “They didn’t stop. Those babies laid on that street for hours, bleeding and screaming for help. And no one came. But that’s not even the worst of it.”
I don’t know how much worse it can get.
“Lawrence, Morgan, and Kyle were the worst offenders; the darkest souls around. After they’d grown bored with raping them, Kyle walked inside someone’s house and borrowed a full length mirror. The Whisenants just handed the mirror over like they didn’t know what was going on right in front of their home. Kyle returned, handed the mirror to Morgan, and Lawrence jerked Marcus up to his feet.”
My phone rings again, but I silence it once more, not even glancing at the screen.
“Kyle pulled out a knife, and had Morgan hold the mirror behind Victoria. He wanted Marcus to be able to see what was coming next. Then Kyle told Marcus to ‘fuck’ his sister. To rape his own flesh and blood. Or he’d cut off his dick so he could never use it again.”
My stomach roils, and Donny chokes back a strangled sound.
“Marcus refused, told them all to burn in hell and take whatever. Kyle slid the knife over Marcus’s waist, cutting him, and told him it was his last chance. Said if he was pervert enough to like it in the ass, then he was pervert enough to fuck his sister. Marcus spit in his face. And Kyle made true to his threat. Castrated him there in the middle of the street.”
It’s all I can do not to walk out. I don’t want to hear anymore. Hell, I’m not sure if I can ever look at anyone in this town without hating them for helping hide this.
Why did Diana not come forward sooner?
When Diana recovers again, she goes on. “The mirror fell and shattered. Victoria had already been beaten to a pulp, her face unrecognizable. They’d pounded her face into the ground, hit her with their fists, and so much more. When the glass shattered, they dragged her through it, then Kyle sliced her at the waist with the knife. After that, he grabbed a piece of the mirror, showed her what she looked like, and he slammed the piece of mirror into her. His parting words to her were that she’d die a monster and a whore. They left them to bleed out in the streets.”
“Then Marcus drove them out of the county to give them a chance to survive,” I say on a quiet breath. “Because the sheriff owns everything in Delaney County.”
She nods slowly, then shakes her head. “Marcus never once thought he’d survive. He just wanted to save his sister’s life. Neither one of them made it out of the hospital. And this town lost its soul. We all became hollow shells of who we were, because fear ruled us.”
“Why not tell someone sooner?” Donny asks, trying not to sound accusatory.
She gives us a grim, solemn look. “The ones who tried ended up missing or dead. Lindy May Wheeler tried to stop them that night. She ran up, but Dev hauled her back off, tossing her into a car and locking her in it until they were done. She was married. Next thing I know, Kyle is telling her husband he slept with his wife…that she seduced him. Antonio left her, and no one believed her when she said she’d been raped repeatedly by Kyle. Her daddy had to get her out of town because he worried she’d be killed.”
My blood freezes, and Donny’s eyes meet mine. Lindy May Wheeler. The woman our unsub chose to care for a broken child he took the time to save from a true monster.
Diana doesn’t notice our look.
“They threatened my boy. He was on his way to college in less than a year. They told me he’d never even graduate high school if I stirred up problems. I believed them. Still do. That’s why I sent him to his girlfriend’s place. That girl makes a lot of money, and she has the best security in New York.”
“Most of these unsubs left town,” Donny tells me.
“They had to,” Diana interjects. “The only way the sheriff could keep people afraid, but still living here, was to banish everyone but his boy from this town. His boy is the worst of all of them, but he ain’t getting banished. But don’t you worry. He paid them boys off real nice.”
“Kyle Davenport is the sheriff’s son. It’s no wonder he covered this up,” Donny says on a pained breath.
“Covered this up?” she asks in disbelief. “The sheriff orchestrated it. He had his deputies go to each and every house and said if they heard something, to stay inside. If they failed to comply, there’d be consequences. He even sent out a broadcast to our TVs telling us there was an immediate curfew—no one out past sunset until told otherwise. He helped his son plan this out, then let him do what he couldn’t stomach to do himself.”
“Why?” Donny asks.
But I know why without hearing the answer.
“His daughter was raped, tortured, debased, and shamed even after her death. As far as the sheriff was concerned, Robert Evans was the man who did it. Killing the man wasn’t enough for him. He had to go and shatter his kids before killing them too. Said the world needed to be cleansed of the devils it bore. Yet he never sees the evil in his own son’s eyes. Even that boy’s momma knew he was no good.”
Again my phone goes off, but I’m not finished here, so I ignore it once more.
“Kyle was a monster just waiting to be unleashed. Once that sort of evil escapes from a box, it doesn’t go back in.”
I agree with her whole-heartedly on that. He’s raped at least three people that we know of, and one of them was even a male.
“You boys want to stop a killer from hurting this town. But I just want those babies to finally have a voice. People are dying from holding in these secrets for so long.”
“Who is Dev?”
“Devin Thomas. He’s the judge’s son,” she says on autopilot.
As I stand, I look at her and recite the names we know, two of which are an uncertainty. “Tim Hoover. Chuck Cosby. Nathan Malone. Jeremy Hoyt. Ben Harris. Tyler Shane. Lawrence Martin. Anthony Smith. Kevin Taylor. Morgan Jones. Kyle Davenport.”
She meets my gaze. “Jason Martin. He’s Lawrence’s cousin. He lives in South Carolina these days. Works as a real estate developer there. He was the twelfth.”
“Thank you for sharing this.”
“Just tell me you’ll do more than hear it.”
“I plan to,” I tell her honestly.
Donny follows me to the door, and I turn around to face her one last time. “How’d Victoria and Marcus’s mother die?”
“Car crash,” she says on a sigh. “A rich couple from a few towns over collided with her after they got drunk at a party. Their last name was Carlyle, I believe. They orphaned their own daughter with that wreck, and killed a damn good woman who was just trying to get home to her kids after a long day at the hospital.”
It’s like this family couldn’t catch a break.
“Nurse?” I ask, though I don’t know why I want to know.
“No. She was actually a coroner for the same hospital where the kids died. I figured that’s one reason they also chose that one. Their mom was a loved woman with a lot of friends from there.”
I nod in understanding, and we turn to leave.
“They worked in a pack mentality that night,” Donny whispers as we step outside and shut the door.
“With Kyle as their most dominant alpha. It was more prison pack mentality, joining together so as not to be the odd one out.”
“As young as fifteen, some of them,” Donny growls.
“Adolescents are easier to manipulate and control. They looked up to the three—Lawrence, Morgan, and Kyle. But Kyle mostly called the shots. Someone that night would have butted heads, with their being so many alphas.”
“Not that we’ll know. Morgan and Lawrence are already dead.”
“Devin. We need to find him.”
“He left part of the way through it to lock up Lindy May. What if he came back and watched? How else would Diana have known the rest of the story?”
I purse my lips. I noted that too. But Diana never explained.
“Were we ever able to interview the ones on duty in the hospital the night the kids came in?” I ask Donny.
“No. It’s been over ten years ago. We were lucky they were able to give us what they had.”
“Why not tell someone there they were hurt?” I ask him.
He shrugs, every ounce of energy suddenly gone from him. I feel like I’ve been through the same emotional vacuum.
“I don’t know, but I do know Johnson knew about this. Kyle was put into protective custody.”
“We need more than one woman’s word this all happened. She wasn’t even an eye witness. And if we’re taking on Johnson, then we’re also taking on Director McEvoy. We’re going to need solid evidence. In the meantime, we need to find out who else is a target and what really killed Robert Evans.”