From:     Snwdemon

Subject:  Who will catch my fall?

Chapter 4:    (M/b, abusive situations, no sex)

WARNING:  This story contains descriptions of abusive acts, both physical and sexual in nature, involving MINOR boys.  I wish to explain that this story is not true!  Further, it is not intended to promote illegal acts against minors, but to educate people as to what a minor child has to do in order to survive in a severely abusive environment they are trapped in.  One of the most famous examples of this was Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped at age 7 and severely abused for 7 years that included physical, sexual, and mental abuse.  I have had the privilege of working with a number of boys like him, and I consider all of them to be extremely brave.  Many people still believe that children who stay with an abuser/captor do so because they want to.  This is utterly untrue, and is proven through numerous interviews, behavioral, and psychological studies conducted with these victims.  A young child does not have the same ability to cope with stressful situations as an adult would because they have not had the privilege of time and experience that an adult has.  Therefore, they rely more on their basic instincts, and learn quickly what they need to do in order to survive.  Thus, when they are removed from that abusive situation they also have an extremely hard time adjusting to their new environment because they are not familiar with trust, caring, and compassion.  These are the emotions the child has to learn once they are put into a new non-abusive environment.  People assume that these emotions are natural.  Many do not realize that all of our human emotions are learned.

The following story is a work of fiction; however, it does incorporate actual events that I learned from various victims I counseled over the years.  I also do not encourage others to perform any kind of abusive or sexual act with minors.  If the subject of Man/boy sex, child abuse, and/or rape of minors offends you, or this material is illegal to possess material of this nature in your place of residence, or if you are under the legal age to possess such material, do not read further!

By downloading this story:  "You implicitly declare and affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to material intended for mature, responsible members of society capable of making decisions about the content of documents they wish to read."  The story is copyrighted under my pseudonym, Snwdemon.  A copy has been placed in these archives for your enjoyment.  The story cannot be used to derive monetary gain.  However, if you want to place a copy of this story in your free access archives please email me for my permission.  The story cannot be placed in archives that require payment for access, or be printed and distributed in any form that requires payment either directly or indirectly.  Any similarity to individuals, living, or dead, is completely accidental.  Reference is also made in context to some locations, businesses, characters, and people to define the story line.  No other implication about the true sexuality or actions of the people, businesses, or places mentioned is intended.


Author's note:  (I decided to leave this Author's note as is instead of moving it to the end of the story.)  I want to start out by addressing some comments from the many I have received so far about this story.  First off, I realize that the dosage for the pain medication was wrong.  If a child actually received that dosage, then they would have died from an overdose.  The correct dosage should have been only 10 mgs of morphine every 8 hours, and only 25 mgs of Demerol with 10 mgs of Visteril every 3 to 6 hours as needed for break through pain.  I also want to stress that this story takes place in late 1995, so today's medical advances were not available back then.  In 1995, the most common procedure for circumcising a boy above the age of four was exactly as I described and not cauterization.  In addition, in 1995 MAST pants were just beginning to be used in large urban cities emergency services and only consisted of pressure cuffs that covered the legs and feet only and not the hips or waist.  Cell phones were not as prevalent and only a few large police departments employed limited use of them, which is why I have the characters using "land" phones to contact each other.  There will be some limited use of them in this story, but back in 1995, they were still big and bulky while car phones were hard wired into the vehicles.  The same goes for computers, databases, and medical procedures.  Many of the medical procedures today have changed from the routine procedures in 1995.  The medical industry had just started to come under the scrutiny of the government in 1995.

With this said, I can only stress that in order to get details this exact, costs me much more time and effort than I have when I write a story.  I cannot even begin to hope I will get every single detail correct for a story without many months of research on my part.  Therefore, I glean most of the details from the periodical archives at the Library of Congress from that time period, including the National Enquirer, which I have read religiously since 1990, but I know that in most circumstances many details are not correct.  I strive to give details like this to set the mood of the story only, not to be accurate in every single detail or aspect.  I write fiction, so not everything in each story will be the same as in real life.  I do have to insert an occasional lie now and then in order to make the story work.  I do appreciate when my mistakes are pointed out because it allows me to correct them for the rest of the story as well as for future stories.

Now this next chapter starts out with a poem I wrote several years ago (I never have claimed to be a poet by the way).  As some of you may realize, I am a gay man, although technically I am bi since I was married for 16 years.  After the deaths of my wife and son, my foster son Corrin (he is my adopted son Eric today.  He requested that his first and middle names be switched when I adopted him) led me out of the darkness I was in after losing Lori and my son.  While I was recovering from my injuries, he was removed from my care and placed in a group home.  While at the group home, he was both physically abused, and sexually abused again.  I ended up having to sue CPS for child abuse and neglect in order to regain custody of Eric once I was released from the rehabilitation hospital.  I wrote this poem for him, to help stop his nightmares, and fears of being taken away again once he came home.  Before her death, my wife Lori would read to him when he first came to live with us a story titled "When angels fall."  After she died, and they removed him from our home, he was falling, and I caught him once I brought him back home.  It took a while to heal the wounds they caused him, so I wrote this poem for him as a reminder.  It is his special poem to remind him that no matter what happens in his life; that I will always be there to catch him when he falls.  I decided to include it in this story so someone else may be able to use it to catch their own angel when he or she falls.


Recap from Chapter 3:


"Well at least we will know who he really is, and I guess we can figure out where to place him after that since his mother is too ill to make the arraignments for him herself.  He is a survivor though, he somehow managed to get through the surgery, but he has months or maybe even years of therapy ahead of him.  Only I don't know if he will be well enough to see her before she dies, but we will have to deal with that problem later after his identity is confirmed."  John explained to them.

"Poor kid," was all the others could say in response.

"Do you happen to know if he has any other relatives if he is Joshua?"  John asked Juan.

"I think he has an aunt in Florida, but from what I understand, she has a drug dependency problem.  Both of Joshua's maternal and paternal grandparents are deceased.  That is why I said that if this boy is Joshua, then he will be an orphan."  Juan told everyone at the table.

"Well, for the time being we don't know who he is.  We will decide what to do once we confirm his identity as Joshua Keating.  Until then, let us keep this information between us.  We don't need the press saying he is the long lost Keating kid only for us to discover that he isn't later."  The Mayor said to them all, and they nodded in agreement.  The meeting ended with that, and the Mayor left the room with the Captain followed by Juan Rivera and then John.  Juan stopped in the hallway and looked at John.

"I appreciate your efforts to help this boy.  I understand that you lost your daughter and wife a few years ago.  So take this from one father to another who has lost their child.  I see children who have been abducted, then reunited with their families' years later or put into foster care only to end up dead or in prison shortly after that.  Do not let Joshua, if that is who he really is, do not let him slip through the cracks or be swallowed up by the system.  You can help him because you understand what it is like to lose something as precious as a child."  Juan told him, and John understood completely.  Like himself, John knew that a part of Juan had died when his son Alex was taken and later found dead.

"I won't let that happen to him.  I promise you that Juan.  Devon has suffered enough pain and loss for 10 lifetimes.  I will make sure that he doesn't have to suffer anymore."  John said seriously, as he looked into Juan Rivera's eyes.  They each saw understanding in the other's eyes, and Juan gave a slight nod and patted John on the shoulder.  They both then followed the Captain and Mayor, but once they got downstairs John said goodbye and headed for his desk.  When he got there, he took the bag with the bullet fragments and put it on his partner's desk.  He then took the evidence bags left by O'Malley and put them on his partner's desk too.  He then wrote a note to his partner regarding the evidence, and attached it to the evidence bags.  As an afterthought, John picked up the hard half eaten bagel and tossed it into the garbage.  He laughed when he saw that it was holding down some notes he had written that morning.

John then went to his locker where he had a fresh change of clothes.  When he looked into the mirror, he was surprised to see his shirt speckled with small bloodstains.  When he stripped off his shirt, he could see smears of dried blood on his arms.

"I look like an axe murderer," John mused as he shucked off his clothes before grabbing a towel and stepping into the shower.  He quickly showered then wrapped the towel around his waist before stepping out and heading to his locker.  He dried himself and put on the clean clothes before running a brush through his short hair.  He finished dressing then went back to his desk and grabbed his wallet and watch.  He stopped by the armory and collected his gun before leaving to go back to the hospital.

End of Chapter 3


My thanks to Miguel Sanchez for his assistance in proof reading this chapter.


Chapter 4:


Who will catch my fall?

The sky is bright with the moonlight,

The air is chilled like cold steel tonight.

Warmed within while tucked in bed you sleep,

After praying to the Lord your soul to keep.

Something's wrong, something's scary, something's definitely not right,

And evil invades your dreams as you grip the pillow tight.

While the clock hands go round and round,

You struggle within the binds that your soul is bound.

The stormy wind howls outside,

While you do your best not to cry.

When your fears begin to encompass all,

You plead, "Who will catch my fall?"

A single star shines its light,

Like a beacon to you in the night.

As wind tries to drown out your cries,

You can feel my healing hands shield you from its lies.

Keep the faith in the trust you gave,

As my comforting presence lights your way.

You hear my voice say, "Hush now my little one,

I will keep you free from the darkness my son."

The stormy wind howls outside,

While you do your best not to cry.

When your fears begin to encompass all,

You plead, "Who will catch my fall?"

I will, my son.

I will.





November 21, 1995

Devon struggled against the dark surrounding him in his dream.  He had no sense of time or awareness in the darkness, and it frightened him.  As the darkness threatened to surround and enclose him, he heard the young boy's voice again.  He followed the boy's voice in his dream as it led him towards the growing light.  He became aware of the man's presence as he came into the light.  He realized that he must have cried out during the dream because the man leaned over him and placed his hand on his forehead.  Devon almost started awake when the man did this but his instinct suppressed this action.  `Do not move.  Be good and do not make a sound' he thought as his body stiffened under the man's touch.  Then Devon heard the man leave the room, and he relaxed a bit.  He remembered so many nights when Pop would come into his room, `No!  He was never my Pop', he thought angrily to himself.  He remembered that Pop would always whisper to him, "Don't make a sound.  Be good Devon, and do not cry out.  Do not struggle, just lie still like a good boy."  Devon still could feel it as Bill lay next to him and the warmth of his body as it made contact with his bare skin.  "Be a good boy, and don't make a sound Devon," was all he heard as Bill embraced him, hugging his trembling and naked body to him before turning Devon's face into the pillow.  Devon missed that warmth as their bare bodies made contact, while fearing the pain that came with that warmth.  He almost wished that the man would do the same with him as he lay there in the bed in pain.  He felt his body stiffen once again by instinct when he heard the man approaching again, then he heard the kind woman's voice too.

"I don't know Sara; I think he was having a nightmare or something.  Maybe he was in pain when he cried out.  That is why I asked if it was time for his pain medicine."  John said to the plump nurse Sara as they entered Devon's room.

"Is he awake?"  Sara asked John.

"I don't know," John said to her as he placed his hand on Devon's left arm.  Devon's eyes shot open as he sucked in a deep breathe while cringing away from John's touch out of instinct and reflex.  This movement caused white-hot pain to shoot through his left hip, leg, right shoulder, and right arm causing his tears to roll down his cheeks as the pain made his world spin.  Then he heard the man's voice call him son, Devon latched on to his voice to keep from passing out again from the pain, and sinking back into the darkness.

"Devon, I am sorry son.  I did not mean to frighten you.  Did I hurt you?"  John asked him as he watched Devon flinch away from his touch before grimacing in pain while his tears flowed from his brown eyes.  John was now kneeling next to him gently wiping his tears away and caressing his face as genuine worry filled his voice.  He had spent the last three days by Devon's side when he was not working at the department.  After a few moments, Devon managed to open his eyes and look at John.  He shook his head slightly in answer to John's question while his tears welled up in his eyes blurring his vision, and he let out a gasp before sucking in another breath.  John gently wiped away his tears again as he sat down next to Devon's bed.  He took Devon's left hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Are you in a lot of pain son?"  John asked him as he wiped another tear from Devon's face.  Devon just nodded his head as he clinched his teeth while trying not to cry although not succeeding.  He saw John motion to the nurse who came along the other side of his bed before lifting the covers and exposing his bandaged right leg.  She then wiped an area of exposed skin with an alcohol pad before telling him that he would feel a sting, then pain before giving him the shot of Demerol.  Devon whimpered and winced as she did this, and then he felt the burning pain as she injected the medicine.  Then his pain began slowly easing off as the medicine spread through out him making him feel warm, and then hot all over.  After a few minutes he was able to relax again as the pain in his body retreated to a dull ache again.  He was finally able to look over at John while sniffling.  John got him a tissue and had him blow his nose before wiping his face with another tissue.

"Better now son?"  John asked Devon.  He watched as Devon sniffled once more before nodding his head.  Other than very short periods when Devon was in pain, this was the first time that Devon was able to communicate with John.

"You cried out in your sleep, and I was worried about you," John told him as he gently brushed Devon's hair out of his eyes.  "Did you have a bad dream son?"

"Yes sir," Devon said softly in a hoarse high-pitched voice as he looked away from John.  John reached over and gently turned Devon's face back towards him.

"I promised you Devon, that I would not hurt you ever.  I will never hit you, or harm you in any way, so do not be afraid of me.  You do not need to call me 'sir' all of the time, or look away when you speak to me.  I am not Bill Jefferies, Devon, and I will not hurt you.  Bill is dead and gone, and he can never hurt you again, understand?"  John said gently to him.  Devon searched John's face for any trace of deception while wanting, no; needing to believe what he told him.  Then he remembered when he saw John's eyes, of how he thought they were sad, but caring eyes before he fell into the darkness.  After studying John's face for a few long moments, and seeing his genuine caring and kindness in his eyes, Devon took his first step in his recovery by agreeing to trust John.

"Ok Mister," Devon said in the same quiet voice, but he forced himself not to look away this time.  John thought for a moment, and realized that Devon did not remember his name.

"I am Detective John Roberts, but you can call me John, ok Devon," he said with a soft, warm smile on his face.  John knew that he had just gained Devon's trust, and he planned to keep it.

"Hi John," Devon said softly while managing a weak smile as John squeezed his left hand and he squeezed back.

"Hi there son, I know that you are in pain from your injuries, but are you feeling better now than you did when we met?"  John asked him while he held Devon's small hand.  Devon thought for a moment before answering him.

"Yeah, I do feel better now," Devon told him.  He then looked directly into John's eyes and asked him, "How long have I been here?"

"You have been asleep for almost four days son.  You were hurt very bad, and you lost a lot of blood.  Do you remember how you got hurt?"  John asked him.  He watched as Devon's eyes clouded up again while his tears welled up once more in his brown eyes.

"Yeah, I think so.  Pop, I mean Bill said that he was going to kill me like the others `cause I was bad like them.  The truck stalled and I got my hands free and ran.  I remember him shooting at me over, and over, but I kept running even though everything hurt.  Once I got away and hid, I saw the blood.  I waited all night, but it kept hurting worse and worse, so I came to the police station.  Am I going to go to jail now that I am better?"  Devon asked John in a soft quivering voice.

"No son, you are not going to jail.  You have done nothing wrong, Devon, and we just want to find where your home really is at is all.  So you quit worrying about going to jail because you have done nothing wrong."  John told him reassuringly.  He then saw Devon wince again and became worried once more.

"What's wrong Devon, what hurts?"  John asked him in a worried tone.  Devon first looked at him then over to Sara before looking back at John with a worried expression.  John understood Devon's reluctance to speak with Sara so near so John quietly asked her to leave, and to close the door behind her, which she did.  "Ok, she is gone so you can talk to me now Devon."

"My hoppie hurts," Devon said softly to John while managing to blush crimson as he said that.  John looked confused at first before he realized what Devon meant.

"Oh that!  Well, I will try and explain what happened to your hoppie, and why it hurts ok," John said with a serious face.  He had never heard a young boy refer to his penis as a "hoppie" before, but he knew that if he laughed, it would only hurt Devon's already severely damaged self-esteem while also damaging the trust between them.  John got up and pulled the privacy curtain around the bed closed before sitting down beside Devon again.

"Ok Devon, I am going to tell you some things, and then show you so you can understand?"  John said to Devon once he resumed his seat.  Devon looked at him and nodded his small head, but he could not help being afraid of what John would do to him.

"When the doctors do surgery on someone who is hurt like you were, they need to put a tube into that person's bladder because that person most likely will be unable to get up and go to the bathroom.  Just as you cannot get up and go to the bathroom, and pee by yourself right now either.  Now I know that what I am about to tell you is embarrassing, and that you feel ashamed about it too.  I just want you to know that I know the truth, and that it was not your fault.  You could not stop Bill from doing it, and you did not make him to do those bad things to you either.  What he did to you is called child sex abuse, and in no way are you to blame for it.  Bill is to blame because he made you do it even though you did not want to do it, so it is his fault only, not yours.  When a man abuses a young boy sexually, as Bill did to you, it causes injuries to that boy and leaves scars on their privates as you have.  You have many scars on your hoppie, to the rest of your privates, and to your bottom.  I know what he did to you Devon, and I know it was not your fault."  John said carefully, while choosing his words with extreme care also.  As he said this, Devon's eyes filled and his tears spilled down his face as he burned with shame.  `He knew,' Devon thought to himself as the shame burned inside him; this man knew about the bad things Pop had made him do.

"Pop said that this was how fathers loved their sons.  He told me to lie still and not to cry, but it always hurt so bad that I still cried even though I tried hard not to.  He always made my hiney bleed making me cry, and then he would hurt my hoppie for crying.  He would kiss it until it got big, and then he would bite it until it bled.  It hurt so bad, and my hoppie would swell up until it hurt when I would pee."  Devon said softly as he hiccupped from his shame while his tears flowed hot and fast down his face.  John leaned over and gently embraced Devon as he said this.  Devon was surprised when he felt John's tears on his face as his own mixed with them.  He could not understand his feelings at that moment, but he felt safe as John hugged and cried with him.  Eventually John lifted his head on started wiping away Devon's tears while kissing his forehead and nose.

"I know it hurt honey, but you could not stop him.  You are just a young boy, and he was a grown man, so you could not have stopped him.  Bill Jefferies was evil, and he tried to erase the goodness he saw in you.  That is why he hurt you like that, because he could see all of the goodness and innocence inside you.  It made him jealous and envious of you since he could never have the same goodness and innocence you had, and that is why he did those bad things to you.  So do not be ashamed about what he did to you because you could not have stopped him, and if you tried, then he would have hurt you more.  Just remember that it was never your fault, and you could not have stopped him without risking your own life.  I know it hurt son, more than just the physical pain from what he did to you.  He told you to never cry because when you cry it washes away the hurt inside you.  So you go ahead and cry as much as you need to so it can wash away all of that hurt inside, ok son."  John told him as his own tears slipped down his face.  Devon nodded slightly and continued to cry softly for almost 10 minutes while John continued to embrace him gently as he wiped away Devon's tears and kissed them away.  Once Devon had stopped, he took the tissue from John with his left hand and gently wiped John's tears away.  Devon had never had someone cry for him before, at least from as much as he could remember.  Now, he felt drawn to this man who had cried for him, and who was truly concerned about how he felt inside.  This was something Devon had never experienced before, and he did not understand the feelings inside him that he had for this man, and those feelings grew stronger with each act of caring and kindness too.

"You ok now son?"  John asked Devon once his tears and sniffles were finished.  Devon tried to smile, and nodded his head when John asked him before he let go of Devon and sat up.

"Ok, now I know what Bill did to you and the scars that he caused to your hoppie made it impossible for the doctor to put the tube into your bladder without hurting you."  John explained to him while showing Devon the small tube that went to the urine bottle on the side of his bed while the other end disappeared under the covers.

"See, the doctor needed to put this tube in your bladder, and the tube has to go into your hoppie first until it reaches the bladder inside you.  He also knew that in a couple of years that the scars on your hoppie would make your hoppie hurt very bad all of the time.  Therefore, he did a procedure that is call a circumcision on your hoppie to remove the scar tissue, and all of the extra skin around the tip of your hoppie.  A circumcision removes the extra skin from your hoppie so he could put the tube into your bladder, and make it so that your hoppie will not cause you pain in the future.  Do you understand now, and want to see what he did to your hoppie?"  John asked Devon while waiting for him to absorb this information.  After a moment of thought, Devon looked at John and nodded his head.  John then pulled the covers down until Devon's penis was exposed.  It was still swollen a little, and the small head of his penis was slightly purple in color from the bruising.  Devon looked down at his small exposed penis and testicles that were lying in his small flaccid sac.  His small nub of a penis lay on its side with the small Foley tube extending from the red swollen tip.  The skin that used to cover his hoppie was gone now, and he could see the small exposed head completely along with the rubber ring around the base of it.  Devon had seen other boys whose hoppies looked like his now.  Only he did not know that the doctors had to cut the skin away to make it look like that.  He reached down and gingerly touched the head and rubber ring with his left hand before looking back at John.

"This is why my hoppie hurts?  Cause the doctor cut the skin off?"  Devon asked John innocently.

"Yes it is honey, but its healing good and should stop hurting soon, just don't play with it and cause the ring to come off all right.  All of us boys play with our hoppies now and then, but you can't do that until it gets better."  John told him while winking at him and making him giggle before he covered up his naked body again.  "Aren't you cold right now?"

"Not really.  Why?"  Devon asked him as John covered him and tucked the sides in gently.

"Well I thought that you would be cold with no clothes on was all," John said to him.  Devon got a sad expression on his small face before looking down at his left hand.

"Pop never allowed me to wear clothes to sleep in.  I never had a blanket either, just a sheet."  Devon said softly.  John again reached over and gently lifted Devon's face until their eyes met.

"It's ok; it is nothing to be sad or ashamed about, remember?"  John said to him gently.  "I am asking because if you want some pajamas or underwear, I can get some for you from the nurse.  I can help you put them on after you have had a bath."  John told him.

"A bath?  How can I take a bath like this?"  Devon asked with a confused look on his face.  His face had lit up when John mentioned a bath because he felt sticky and itchy all over his body.  Then he looked at his leg and arm in their casts and realized that he could not take a bath or even a shower.

"There is a special bath for someone who is hurt like you are Devon.  It is called a sponge bath, and it is done here in the bed.  If you want, I can have the nurse Sara come and give you one."  John told him.  When John said Sara could give him one, Devon's eyes widened with fear and embarrassment and he quickly shook his head no while biting his lower lip.

"Ok, I won't ask Sara to do it.  Do you want me to bathe you instead?"  John asked him, and Devon's face lit up again, while he nodded as he clutched the covers to his chest with his left hand.  John smiled at him after seeing this.

"All right son, let me go get the things I need from the nurse and then we can see about getting you cleaned up and dressed."  John told him.

"Ok John," Devon said in a quiet voice with a small smile on his face.  John left the room to find Sara.  He knew that he would have to find a way for Devon to trust her.  This was because he still had a lot of work to do if he was to discover who Devon truly was.  He also had to investigate Jefferies, and from the look of things now, he had to find out how they had missed a serial killer of children living in their city for so long.  However, that could wait until later because right now he just needed to tend to DevonDevon had given him his trust, and John would not let him down by breaking that trust.



November 30, 1995:

John was disappointed as he sat once more in the conference room with his Captain, the Mayor, and Juan Rivera, as well as several others.  Just when it seemed like they had discovered who Devon was, their hopes were proven wrong.  Devon was not Joshua Keating as all of them had suspected he was.  His toe prints did not match Joshua's birth records, and his blood type was different from Joshua's too.  However, they had located Joshua's body though; his remains were recovered from Jefferies storage building along with the remains of 12 more children's bodies.  They had made a positive match to his dental records, and it appeared that he had not lived very long after Jefferies had abducted him.  They found the remains of four more bodies in the crawl space under Jefferies home.  They had not identified most of the bodies, but they had found clippings that Jefferies kept from 17 child abductions.  They were trying to match up the bodies to the boys listed in the clippings.  It had become painfully obvious to them all that Jefferies had been killing kids for almost a decade under their noses.  However, they knew where Devon fit into all of this, and this discovery gave John another clue about what kind of boy Devon truly was.  They would not complete the identification process of all of the bodies for several more weeks at least.  However, the investigation into Bill Jefferies was pretty much completed.

What they did know was that Seattle was now the national feeding ground for every news organization in the country as well as many foreign countries too.  The Mayor had to set up a special joint-taskforce to investigate Jefferies, and identify all of his victims including Devon.  They also had to field thousands of calls from people all over the US, Canada, and Mexico asking if their missing child was among the victims.  John was a little overwhelmed when the calls had first started coming in.  Then Juan returned and offered his organization's assistance in handling these calls as well as help with the investigation.  The Captain and Mayor quickly accepted his offer.  When John asked him how many children were abducted each year, the numbers that Juan quoted staggered him.

"Jesus Christ!  Why isn't this national news?  How can tens of thousands of children be abducted and nobody cover it Juan?"  John had asked him in an exasperated tone earlier as they were having dinner.  Juan and John had become fast friends.  They had both lost their wives and only child to tragic circumstances, and managed to change their grief and sorrow into something useful.  Determination!

"I don't know John, I just don't know.  When a child goes missing, and the police cannot find any clues or traces of the child, the first thing they do is put the parents as the prime suspects in the child's disappearance.  You know how they accused my wife and me of kidnapping our son Alex.  They even accused her of murdering him because we were legally separated at the time.  It was more than she could deal with, and pushed her over the edge.  That is why I am now fighting to change the laws, and to set up a National missing children's database and call center.  Kids are our most vulnerable members of society, but the government assumes that the child's parents are responsible for them.  When something happens to that child, the government naturally assumes that it is the parents fault.  To the government's point of view, who in their right mind would want to kidnap a child for any other reason than to ransom them back to the parents?  Even though the statistics prove that child abductions by strangers are on the rise, the government chooses to ignore the problem by putting the responsibility on the parents' shoulders.  One of these days, this attitude will backfire on them and it will force them to take action.  Something so tragic will happen that will leave the government no other choice in the matter."  Juan told John as they talked over various aspects of the investigation.

"Well not as long as they can go on TV and pledge some money after making a pretty speech over how outraged they are.  Once the press conference is over, they promptly forget about Devon or any other child."  John said to his friend.  John was referring to the incident that started five days ago with Channel 3's sneak attack on Devon.  John had been put in charge of the Jefferies investigation on the taskforce, which should have been an honor.  It was John's job to dig up every shred of information on Jefferies that he could find to help the taskforce identify the remaining bodies.  The investigation would also find other possible undiscovered victims as well as Devon's identity.  However, it was an honor that he wished he could pass off because it now kept him away from Devon for longer periods of time.  Although he called and spoke with Devon four to five times a day, it still was not the same as being there with him.  Just the mention of Devon's name now would cause him to lose all focus on what he was doing, and bring his mind back to the little boy that was recovering now in a private facility just outside of Seattle on the Pacific coastline.  John had talked Devon into trusting Sara that evening as he bathed him.  He needed to roll Devon without hurting him in order to wash his back and backside but only one of the nurses could help him do that.  John spoke to Devon who refused at first.  Then John dug a little deeper and discovered that besides himself, Devon had no friends, did not go out and play at all, or was allowed to watch TV.  The only thing Devon had been allowed to do if he was good enough, which was rarely with Jefferies, was to occasionally check out some library books and read.  Devon was also very secretive about the scars all over his body, but mostly of the ones on his "hoppie."  This was because Jefferies had drilled into Devon, by beating him severely, that he should never call attention to himself.  He also discovered that Devon was very self conscious of the fact that his physical size as well as the size of his "hoppie" was much smaller than other boys in school even though he was older than most of them.  He said that their hoppie's were all twice as big as his own was, while some even had begun to grow hair around it while he had not.  When John had pointed out to him that he was probably just a "late bloomer" and to the fact that Sara had already seen him naked over a dozen times already, it did not matter to Devon.  His reply to John was, "it didn't count before cause I was sleeping and didn't know, but this time I do know so it's different now."  He said this while his face burned with embarrassment and shame.

John could not refute his logic though, and it was finally Jeanne who had finally came to his rescue.  She told him how painfully embarrassed Jerry Jr. was at age 13 about them seeing him naked.  She suggested that John get a washcloth that would allow Devon to cover himself in front, and explain to him that everyone, boy and girl, looked the same in back.  John was a little dubious when she told him to do this, but he tried it and it worked.  Devon allowed Sara to come in and help move him and wash his back and buttocks while he kept his groin tightly covered with his left hand.  For John, it reminded him of his own childhood.  He realized that he had chosen to forget the painful periods where he was awkward and clumsy, and by having only his daughter once he was married made him even more forgetful.  Now if Devon was embarrassed because he was just noticing that his breasts were beginning to grow, then John could have easily addressed that problem.  However, he was remembering that growing up as a boy was just as troubling, if not more so, as it was for a girl. 

Juan had hit the nail on the head when he told John that there was a perception problem in society.  Society expected boys to be strong, and tough while never showing weakness or emotions.  When in reality, boys had just as many problems and insecurities as girls had, if not more.  This was made even worse when the boy was sexually abused by a man.  In today's society, there was still a vast resentment against homosexuals and the spread of AIDS, and any boy who was sexually abused by a man was immediately labeled by their peers as being a "Fag."  So John sympathized with Devon, and tried his best to protect what little pride and self-esteem he had left.  After Devon became accustomed to Sara and got to know her, he decided to give her his trust while also allowing her to see his hoppie while she cared for him in John's absence, so now when John was not with him, Sara was there for him which relieved a lot of stress for John.

That had all changed five days ago when a news crew from Channel 3 managed to slip into the hospital during the Thanksgiving holiday by posing as part of the hospital staff.  They had rushed into Devon's room with the cameras rolling while the reporter hurled questions at Devon as another crewmember thrust a long boom microphone into his face.  The whole incident had terrified Devon and he had cried for hours afterwards as John and Sara comforted him.  It had also spoiled their attempt to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with Devon.  The only satisfaction John got from that whole evening was when he clocked the reporter, breaking two of his teeth.  However, by doing that, he made the news that evening, with the tape showing him punching out the reporter as he shouted at them to get away from Devon, who was screaming in pain and terror behind him.  The news crew's sudden rush into Devon's room had caused the special dinner Sara had made for them to be dumped all over him and onto the floor.  The news anchorman went on to blast John's actions while saying that the injured reporter and the station were suing him and filing a complaint against him for assault and battery.

John had to make a public appearance the following day along with the Mayor, Juan, and his Captain.  However, he refused to apologize for punching and injuring the reporter.  He went on to voice his heart as to the damage the reporter, camera crew, and news station had inflicted upon a defenseless child lying injured in a hospital bed while ruining his holiday dinner.  John also said that their callus actions had further traumatized the only child who had somehow survived the hell inflicted upon him by the monster Jefferies; only to have what little comfort, security, and brief happiness he had to be shattered for the sake of a TV rating.  John asked the citizens of Seattle if this is what their idea of freedom of speech was, and if their right to privacy was the price to pay for that freedom.  His appearance had worked too, and outcries had rung out against the news station and its parent network.  Two days ago, the news station was forced to fire the reporter and crewmembers after issuing a public apology to Devon and the people of Seattle as well as to their parent network, and the nation after their parent network threatened to drop the station from its network.  The Governors of the 10 states in the Pacific and Mountain time zones as well as the Mayors of all the major cities in those states issued a joint statement on the matter that was being dubbed "Turkeygate" now, while they all pledged money to cover Devon's subsequent medical treatment and counseling.

However, the biggest impact came from Time Magazine, as it published Devon's picture on the cover showing in clear detail his terrified face with the tears running down his cheeks as he pleaded for John to protect him under the banner headline "The face of freedom of speech?"  This catapulted Devon's story onto the front page of every newspaper in the country as well as putting John in the limelight too.  Now John constantly had to fend off the barrage of questions about Devon as well as what the future held for them both.  John steadfastly remained adamant in his statements that he was just a Seattle Cop doing his job of protecting a defenseless witness and victim, and trying to figure out the nightmare caused by Jefferies while trying to identify all of his victims.  Therefore, after the news crew incident, the Mayor, the Captain, Juan, John, and the others on the taskforce all agreed it would be best to transfer Devon into a private care facility with high security.  They ended up choosing the Bayside Rehabilitation Institute, which was a long-term care facility that catered to the extremely wealthy residents of the Pacific Northwest.  The Institute immediately agreed to take over Devon's care, and agreed to accept whatever the state paid them from what was now becoming known as "Devon's Fund" as donations from around the world poured in because of Time's cover story.

There was some good news for them that came from all of this attention.  They had been able to verify Devon's true age, which only verified that he could not be Joshua Keating.  Devon was only 10 or 11 years old.  The other good news was that John now knew that Devon was not related to Jefferies in any way, thus making him one of Jefferies victim's.  He also suspected they had discovered Devon's true identity also, but that raised new concerns too.  The only bad part about this information was that now they knew why Jefferies had kept Devon alive.  Which was why John was here to brief the task force on his recent findings.  Once everyone had settled down, the meeting started.  The various heads of the separate aspects of the taskforce made a brief statement as to their progress to date, but it was soon time for John to address the taskforce.  John stood up as his Captain introduced him, although everyone knew him quite well already from working with him in the past.  John moved to the head of the conference room beside the large white screen used for the overhead transparencies that he would be using.  He handed a stack of report copies to Juan in order for him to pass them out to everyone.

"Hello gentlemen, I am here to brief you tonight on the status of our investigation thus far, and the facts we have uncovered about Devon.  Although this fact was known to a few of us, we chose not to reveal it to anyone until we could verify it.  When I first met Juan, I was thinking that Devon might have been his son who was abducted from the Kissimmee St Cloud area in Florida.  That did not turn out to be the fact though when Juan informed us that his son's body had been recovered a few years ago.  However, he offered us a very good lead to who Devon really was.  Joshua Keating had disappeared several years ago from the same area in Florida, and Juan was able to get his birth records as well as dental and medical records for Joshua from his mother who is currently dying from terminal cancer.  Juan did not tell her that we had located Joshua, only that we had some new leads relating to his disappearance.  Jefferies was also in Kissimmee St. Cloud during the time Joshua was abducted.  That led us to suspect that Devon was Joshua.  However, once we received Joshua's birth and dental records, it was obvious that Devon was not Joshua.  We did locate Joshua though when the forensic anthropologist, Dr. Levine, who is working with us to identify the remains of the victims.  She was able to retrieve a single print from one of the murdered children's bodies we found, and we were able to match it up to Joshua Keating's birth records.  Juan Rivera was kind enough to contact his associates, as well as the local police, and right now they are in the process of informing Mrs. Keating that her son's body has been found."  John said solemnly to those assembled.

"At least she can now die in peace knowing she will be joining her son in heaven," the Mayor said aloud while the others agreed with him.  Most of them there understood the anguish parents of missing children go through in life while not knowing what happened to their child thanks in part to Juan.  In addition, while the Mayor was a politician, he was also a former DA, and Family Court Judge.  Therefore, he got along very well with the members of the police department as well as the other members of the taskforce.  John paused for a few moments while everyone quieted down again before continuing.

"Our doctor here was also able to verify Devon's approximate age after studying all of his x-rays, CT-scans, and MRI's.  This just verified our conclusions that he was not Joshua Keating also.  Based on his medical records, she places his age approximately at 10 or 11 years old, although he is undersized and underweight due to his injuries from the constant physical abuse Jefferies inflicted on him.  She drew this conclusion from his skeletal development while factoring in his physical abuse.  If he had been Joshua, he would have been 16 years old, so her findings only verify our conclusions.  We have also been interviewing the teachers, and students from the school Devon attended as suggested by Juan's staff.  His school records show that he has always been a poor to below average performing student with exceptional attendance and behavior.  He is currently enrolled in the 8th grade this year, although his age is listed as 15 going on 16 with his birth date as January 16, 1980.  Jefferies has convinced Devon and the school system that he had been held back two years because he had trouble in school due to a learning disorder, which was why he was performing so poorly academically.  However, Devon's academic troubles came from him working at a grade level much higher than he was supposed to be at, as our investigation will show.  Devon's school records indicate that he did missed several months of the 3rd grade, and had to repeat it, as well as 5 months of the 1st grade, having to repeat that year also.  A child of Devon's true age should be entering the 4th or 5th grades and not the 8th grade, while a child of 13 to 14 should be in the 8th grade.  The true Devon Jefferies should have been entering the 10th grade this year."  John explained to them all.

"Once we learned this information along with his true age we started researching Jefferies past.  We learned that he did indeed have a son named Devon Seth Jefferies who would be turning 16 this coming January.  However, we also now know that our Devon could not be Jefferies true son, and we went back through the school's pictures of their students in the yearbooks, and obtained pictures of "Devon" for every year of school he attended.  As you can see, the first student picture of Devon was of him in kindergarten and a picture of the same boy the following year in 1st grade before his 5-month absence that Jefferies claimed that he was living with his ex-wife.  His son Devon would have been five years old going on six at this time.  We searched through the city and county records and never found a divorce decree between his wife Lisa and him.  She also disappeared around the end of 1985, and beginning of 1986, which was the same time of "Devon's" first absence from school.  When Devon returned the following fall and started over in the 1st grade, you can see from the photos that this boy was not the same child from the previous year although the boys do closely resemble each other.  This new "Devon's" picture was of the same boy the following school year of '87 & `88 as well as the beginning of the 3rd grade in late `88 where he attended for 3 months before another long absence.  Jefferies gave the same excuse to school officials when he enrolled "Devon" in school to repeat 3rd grade the following Christmas in '89, and as you can see the picture is of our "Devon."  You can also see from the picture that our Devon was six inches to a foot shorter than his 3rd grade classmates were, although he was supposed to be two years older than they all were.  These facts cannot leave this room because I have not had the time to tell Devon of these discoveries yet.  He has already been trampled enough by the press, and he does not need to discover that he is in reality only 10 or 11 years old instead of 15 going on 16.  I have the Captain's, Mayor's, and Mr. Rivera's agreement about this as well."  John told everybody present who also voiced their own agreements.

"Now as you can see from the pictures, that the original "Devon" disappeared in the 1st grade approximately at age 6.  We are assuming that Jefferies killed him while beating him, but enough people already knew about Devon at this time that his disappearance would have raised questions.  He could explain away his wife's disappearance by claiming they separated, but Bill Jefferies was known as a very devoted father, and he would not have let Devon go without a fight.  Therefore, we believe that Jefferies abducted another child who closely resembled Devon to replace him.  However, we now also believe that Jefferies discovered that he enjoyed beating and killing Devon, and from the constant abuse discovered from the remains of the child we believe is the second "Devon," that he eventually killed this boy as well in `88.  This meant he needed to yet again find a replacement for "Devon," once more, and abducted our Devon.  I personally believe that Jefferies had planned to kill our Devon also, but he soon discovered that our Devon was too good of a survivor.  Our Devon's medical exams show that he has been abused for most of his life, and his teachers have seen him limping, on crutches, protecting his sides, or his arms at various times throughout the years.  Some even noted seeing large dark bruises on various places of his body, and they noticed that Devon would wear long sleeved shirts during inappropriate times such as on hot summer days.  Another thing that all of Devon's teachers reported seeing was the fact that he constantly was consuming 3 to 4 aspirins every hour, and always had a bottle of aspirins with him at all time.  They said that they spoke to him a few times, but was evasive in answering them until Bill Jefferies sent a note to the principal.  He stated that Devon was acting on the orders of their doctor to treat a headache disorder, and that he was allergic to Tylenol.  The staff accepted the excuse without requesting a doctor's note confirming this information.  A subsequent exam by the resident Internist at Bayside confirmed that Devon has numerous ulcers in his stomach and esophagus caused by the years of aspirin consumption.  He is now receiving treatment for those ulcers."  John explained to them all.  He then suggested they take a short 15-minute break before finishing his presentation to them.  Once everybody had returned, and was seated once again, John continued with his briefing.

"Now that we know the true age of our Devon is 10 or 11 years of age, we went back through what evidence we have collected and put together this timeline.  We also informed our esteemed doctor here about the ages and general size and appearance of the real Devon, and the first replacement Devon, while Juan's organization searched though the news archives, as well as all of the missing child and child abduction reports nationwide dating back to the time the 2nd Devon appeared.  Juan also sent out notices to all other jurisdictions for any "Jane Doe's" discovered during the same time that the true Devon Jefferies disappeared.  Our esteemed expert here, Dr. Levine, was able to identify two of the bodies we found under Jefferies home that matched our 1st and 2nd Devon's, while one set of remains shown abuse since babyhood, and the 2nd set of remains showed abuse that starting around age 6.  The first child, she was able to match skeletal structures, and dental records proving that he is Devon Seth Jefferies, and his cause of death was a single shot to the head.  While the second child we suspect that he is Aaron Smith abducted in 1986 from Boise, Idaho.  The local police departments as well as Aaron's parents are sending his medical and dental records for comparison so we can match them to the remains, and his cause of death was strangulation.  Of the 17 bodies discovered, we have possible identities on 16 of them.  We are currently waiting for the local police departments to contact the parents and obtain birth, medical, and any dental records to verify their identities.  The 17th body had no news article clipping because it is the remains of Devon Seth Jefferies.  Therefore, that only leaves us with our Devon.  We have searched both crime scenes for possible clues to our Devon's identity, but we have found nothing so far.  We know his true age, as well as the approximate age and the approximate date that he was abducted, but other than that, we have no other information from my investigation of Jefferies activities from 1985 to the present.  However, Juan will brief us on his search efforts at this time."  John told them as he finished his report.  The Mayor and Captain thanked him for his management, thoroughness, diligence, and efforts in the investigation before he resumed his seat.  Juan then stood and moved to the front of the table and greeted everyone.

"Good evening gentlemen; I would like to add my personal thanks to Detective Roberts for his efforts on identifying the remains of the children found.  As a parent of an abducted child myself, I know that all of those children's parents will appreciate his hard work to finally put them at peace.  As for my searches for our Devon's identity and for Jefferies wife, I will start with Mrs. Jefferies first.  I received quite a bit of help along with much of his time from Sgt. O'Malley, who I have asked to join us tonight."  Juan said while pointing to Jerry O'Malley seated next to John.  Jerry half rose out of his seat as he gave a half salute to the others around the table before sitting down again.

"When Det. Roberts discovered that there were actually 3 Devon's, with the first disappearing in the winter of 1985 right before Aaron was abducted in `86, I sent out requests to all jurisdictions within a 1000 mile radius of Seattle proper.  I received one response about a woman's remains discovered in the spring of 1986 near Anchorage, Alaska that fit the general description of Mrs. Lisa Jefferies.  We have faxed them her medical and dental records and are waiting for a reply back from them.  At the same time, I found a missing child report near Edmonton, Canada in the spring of 1988.  The missing child's report was pulled because he was believed dead although no body was ever found.  He and his family had recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World at the time of their murders.  Their names were Jacques and Marie Baker, and had two sons, Marc and Simon ages 14 and 4.  The parents were found bound and killed execution style, as was their eldest son who was 14 at the time.  Their youngest child, Simon was not located so a bulletin was issued for him.  The Edmonton Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered the leg bone of a young child 8 months after the Baker family murders.  It has been assumed that the leg bone belonged to the Missing child Simon although there was no way to confirm this information at the time.  I had the families photographs expressed to me here, and I will let everyone draw their own conclusions."  Juan told them all before passing around pictures of the Baker family; John looked at the three pictures and could see that none even remotely resembled Devon.  Everyone at the table made the same conclusion as John once they saw the pictures.  They all looked back to Juan in confusion once they did this.

"As you all can see there is no family resemblance to our Devon at all.  However, in the case file sent with the pictures, it was noted that the Baker's were in the process of adopting Simon.  He was not their natural child.  He was from Ukraine and his real name is Anatoly Kostov, and I managed to get a picture of him at his third birthday from the orphanage there before his adoption."  Juan told them all as he passed out another picture to them.  John looked at the young boy in the picture, and saw that he was a younger version of their Devon.  The boy in the picture had the same alabaster white skin, same brown hair, small aquiline nose, and large brown eyes, the same as Devon's features.  The others all agreed with John that the boy in the picture was their Devon before returning their attention back to Juan.

"I agree with you all also that Anatoly Kostov AKA Simon Baker is our Devon.  However, if this is the case, then we have a much larger problem now.  The child Anatoly is still a Ukrainian citizen, as well as Canadian since he was in the process of being adopted, but the adoption was never finalized.  The only information I could get from the orphanage was that he was born out of wedlock and his mother died during childbirth.  She was only 14 at the time of her death.  The nuns at the orphanage named him, but they do not have any information about his mother or family in Ukraine.  However, due to the high publicity of this case, I expect the Ukrainian Government to claim him as one of their citizens.  While the Baker family's relatives as well as the Canadian Government to claim him also as a citizen.  In either case, we have to notify the Department of Immigration and Naturalization, and then we have to turn over custody of him to them.  I have some contacts in the State Department, as well as the Senate and Congress that I can see if they will help.  However, I would not expect too much help in this matter due to the treaties the US has with Ukraine and Canada concerning abducted children.  My personal opinion is that I do not want to leave his fate in the hands of the federal government.  Therefore, we have some decisions to make, and some may not be legal, so once they are made, this information cannot ever leave this room."  Juan said to them with a deadly serious expression on his face.

There was no speaking for a few minutes as everyone in the room considered their options.  Then the Mayor asked Juan about what the governments and local authorities knew so far about Devon.  The Captain then asked what they would do themselves if they covered up this information and what would happen to Devon.  Juan had some of the answers but not all of them.

"So far I only made routine inquiries for all missing children in these time periods so that is all the Canadian authorities know.  However, I had to be more specific with the Ukrainian Official I went through in order to get that picture of Devon.  They will not go away so easily, so I still think that we will end up having to deal with the federal government and Dept. of Immigration.  For him to get a green card or visa to stay here, then he has to have some kind of family or relative in this country, which he does not, so that option is out.  Even if he requested political asylum, there is no reason for the government to grant it.  Canada does have partial rights to him as well, because he was granted full Citizenship with their Federal Government.  Their arguments do have a hole in it though.  Since Anatoly was in the process of being adopted, and the Baker's do have family in Canada, although his adoption had never been finalized.  However, all of these various options have led us right back to the State Department as well as you all know the Dept. of Immigrations.  We do have one more single option left to us.  However, I will let John explain this to you."  Juan went around and resumed his seat at the table, while John rose and took his place in front again.  Once he had their attention, John quickly explained how to clear up this mess of jurisdiction and how they could avoid it all together.

"All we would have to do to avoid the mess with the Canadian and Ukrainian governments is to identify the remains of Devon Jefferies as those of Simon's.  This is the easiest way to avoid all of this trouble, and to keep Devon here with us is to say that we were unable to locate the real Devon Jefferies remains, and the second Devon already appears to be resolved.  So when the Ukraine or Canadian Governments lays their claims to Devon.  All we do is release the remains of the real Devon Jefferies to the Canadian Government after we identify the remains as belonging to Simon Baker.  This way we keep Devon here, and let the Canadian and Ukrainian governments slug it out over the true Devon's remains themselves, and no one will look to verify this because of the press coverage.  Our problem then would be to find Devon a home quickly, and with all of the publicity right now, his adoption would fly through the system.  So we just need to find a family for him quickly."  John told everyone at the table.  The Mayor was the first to speak.

"I for one, completely agree with John about to how to avoid this possible 3 country tug-of-war.  However, just whom will we place Devon with once we release our findings to the public and close the case.  I hope that you all were not planning on leaving him to the foster care system."  The Mayor said to all of them.  That was when O'Malley requested to speak to them.  The Mayor resumed his seat, and Sgt. O'Malley moved up to the front.

"Aye Laddies and Lassies, I want you to all to consider something vitally important about this whole subterfuge thing before we do anything we may regret later on.  Was anyone going to reveal any of this to the one person who needs to know about this the most?  Which is Devon himself?"  Jerry asked them, which also shocked all of them sitting at the table.  Here they all were making decisions on how to keep Devon and avoiding the political melee that they all could see coming.  Yet no one had said anything about telling Devon this information.

"One more thing to consider is this; was anyone going to ask Devon himself as to what he wants to do?  If Devon chooses to stay here, then I believe that he has already made his decision abundantly clear as to whom he wishes to adopt him, and I can see that John has also made his decision regarding Devon too.  The last thing we overlooked is what to call him once we do this.  The stigmata of the Jefferies name will hang around his wee neck like a banner made of stone.  I know that it is unethical, but since we have all agreed to do this then why not pick a family that has no surviving relatives, parents, siblings, or extended family members that are gone, or we could have his name changed as soon as possible and have the records sealed.  Now wouldn't that be better?"  O'Malley said to all of them.  John just stood up and spoke to everyone at the table. 

"Jerry is right, we can figure out what to do about the plan after I go speak with Devon.  Therefore, why don't we resume this meeting tomorrow?"  John asked all of them.  They all agreed to his suggestion and John left to head over to be with Devon.

End of chapter 4

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