Artis L. White
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A woman is killed with a high-powered rifle while walking with her daughter and friends at a crowded public zoo Michigan. Her husband, a detective with the state police,is a suspect in the murder as the couple's pending divorce is the only motive.
Murder has an affect on everyone. It's the most heinous crime with the most extensive history, and the penalty for committing it is capital punishment. So, it follows that murder has more impact on society than any other crime. Eighty percent of murders are domestics: husband-wife, girlfriend-boyfriend. Most murders are spontaneous and not premeditated. A large percentage of the time, murder is the result of a mistake. The majority of homicides are committed by a perpetrator who knows the victim and, in a time of anger, does something unexpected and irrational.
Statistics do not show the unnecessary painful suffering to the families of the victims. There is no way to gauge the amount of trauma that follows a murder. People feel powerless, helpless especially when they have no voice or when there is no immediate resolution of justice. When the police are free to commit investigative errors, there is no appeal process. It--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s simply too late. What could have been resolved is now a cold case and the family of the victim lives a continuous nightmare.
Solved or unsolved, murder in any form still has an affect. If you know the victim, you will experience a lifetime of pain. If you do not know the victim, your 20 seconds of curiosity will be recycled with the morning newspaper. What is the difference between the murder of a rich person and a poor person, an unknown and a celebrity? What causes a police department to spend more man-hours to find the truth and less time convincing the public they are doing the best they can?
Take a moment to review the Chandra Levy case. The case is indeed a very awful, horrible, and senseless crime. I feel for the family. Looking at the case, at least from a media perspective, there is a sense of popularity. How much time did that police department spend investigating the other, very similar murders with the same motive? How many investigative hours were spent on Alison Thresher, Dean Raley, Joyce Chiang, Christine Mirzayan, and Susan Sexton? All of these women were murdered or have been missing since 1989 from the same area where Chandra--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s body was found. Is it the pressure from the Levy family (And you best believe they are putting the pressure on!) to solve the case, or is it the celebrity status of Congressman Gary Condit who was indicated as a possible suspect? We live in a world where the wheels of justice can turn so slowly that nothing happens and justice is held at bay until the wheels rust and freeze up. I believe that all the wheels rusted to a stand still in Bernita White--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s investigation. I am not the only one who feels this case is not getting the proper attention it needs. Whether it is the lack of celebrity status or public pressure, the interest in solving this case died one year after Bernita did.
There she was, on that table in front of me. Motionless. Neglected. Like a balloon. A dreadful, dreadful, balloon. Swollen but wrinkled. A motionless balloon, like the kind you see the day after your kid--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s birthday party, rolling around on the floor. Dejected. My heart is nothing like a balloon for it is heavy. That heavy sensation that beats in your neck and makes your underarms tingle and your nose run. Now I look back at the times we shared as husband and wife, Father and Mother, Boop and Ambros. I never knew why she called me Ambros. I think that was her favorite name, or was she ribbing on me for something from the past?
What am I going to tell my daughters? When it all boils down to it, this room, this hospital room is my safe haven. For when I walk out that door I have some explaining to do to my seven and five year-old daughters.
How do you tell your kids their mother is dead? Of course, she is dead. She has to be. I was told it was a shot from a high-powered rifle. Of course, she is dead. Nobody gets wounded from those things. What do I tell the kids?
I don't know how to handle this. Heck, when our pet rabbit died, we bought a dog. When all of our plants in the garden died, we made a new garden. You can't replace a mother like you do a dog or a garden. Who's going to do their hair? I don't know anything about little girls--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ hair. I'm a "hands on" dad for sure. I bathe them when they are dirty, feed them when they are hungry, bandage them when they are hurt, and stay home with them when they are sick. I do all of the cooking, cleaning and washing clothes if only to set a good example for my daughters. The fact remains. I can't do hair. I'm handicapped, a nothing, no good father and it's going to show when they walk out of the house looking like a combination of Bozo the Clown and Pippi Longstockings.
"Mr. White, Mr. White, sir. Over here. We need you to identify the body," one of the doctors said.
You can think about dogs, gardens and how to do hair all you want. But nothing, I mean, nothing, brings you back to the present like those words.Oh sure, I've seen dead people. As a Detective Sergeant for the Michigan State Police, I have seen many things that other people have not seen.
You learn how to separate your emotions from the job, but you can't pull yourself away from this. It's no writing a report and on to the next adventure, Mr. Super Cop. No sir, Mr. Hotshot Detective. You are in the safety of this room for now, but you will soon have to face those children of yours.
"Yes. It's her. It's Bernita White. I'm her husband,"
Who Killed My Wife? is not your typical true crime story. Your typical author did not write this story. The typical true crime story is about a crime in the distant past, which is reported to the reader through the eyes of an author who had an interest in the details of the crime. This story, in fact, is written by the prime suspect in this unsolved murder case.
The crime--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦takes place on June 23, 2001. It involves an innocent woman who was walking in Potter Park Zoo (Lansing, Michigan), during broad daylight, with her 5-year old daughter and friends. This woman, Bernita White, was shot presumably by a high-powered rifle. The bullet entered Bernita--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s body through her shoulder, traveled into her heart, and exited the other side. The community cannot relax knowing it is unsafe walking in the zoo during a sunny, Saturday afternoon.
The author--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦is the prime suspect. As late as January 13, 2003, The Lansing State Journal quotes Capt. Raymond Hall as saying, --†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚“White--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¾--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢s husband, Artis White, remains a suspect.--†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬? To add to this venture, the author is not only the suspect but he is also a Michigan State Police trooper. As a trained investigator, White sees the mistakes made by the police officers and realizes their failure to admit their mistakes and seek other suspects may render this a cold case frozen in the depths of time. Ultimately, White is a victim. He tells his story through the eyes of a husband and heart of a father, who has seen how in a matter a seconds his daughters lost their beloved mother.
Reading this story will at times have your eyes swelling with tears and at other moments you will be chuckling out loud. This book should be at the top of your list of --†â€™Ãƒâ€ Ã¢â‚¬â„¢--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢--†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚Â¡--¢â‚'ƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬--†â€™ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦'‚'‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚“must read stories.
Library of Congress: 2002093137
Book Publisher: Artistic Expressions
No. of Pages: 124
Paper Weight (lb): .5
Illustrations (B&W): 10
Acid Free Paper: Yes
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