Emerging Writers. One Dark Night, by Mary Ann DiLorenzo
One Dark Night. Part 2.
After a sleepless night, Mandy and Taylor tried to come to terms with that period in their lives they had tucked away out of sight for so many years. “Do you think he really did it?” Mandy asked Taylor. “Why would Thomas have killed his best friend?”
“I don’t know, it’s never made sense to me over the years. It was so dark, how could Granddad have been so sure? And they never did find the gun.”
Granddad Anderson was tough as nails, an old World War II vet, still alive when the ambulance pulled up to the hospital with his son David, Mandy and Taylor’s father, alongside him. The police questioned Granddad and without hesitation he said it was Thomas who shot him. They didn’t get much else out of the old man before he died, but he had said enough. Thomas was arrested for murder.
Thomas would be convicted and sentenced to execution. It was an open and shut case, but too simple it seemed, way too simple. Mickey Stanton, Allegan’s sheriff at the time, believed Thomas when he said he was the one shot at that night, but Thomas couldn’t provide a single detail even as to whether it was a man or a woman who had fired, the rural night was so dark, and it wouldn’t matter anyway. The deceased had said it was Thomas and the jury was not going to side with a gentleman with a German accent no matter how many times he said he didn’t do it. Many on the jury were old enough to remember the Germans and World War II and they had no sympathy for Thomas.
Thomas Goetzmann had been a World War II German POW from the North African campaign brought to the United States to assist farmers during the 1944 harvest as most of the men were away fighting the war in Europe and the Pacific. Granddad Anderson was the Colonel in charge of the German POW camp in Allegan where Goetzmann was stationed.