Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Re: Pop Bach | Savage + Dave Zabriskie = Tain... »

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Extended Family Issues

Posted by on July 6 at 8:00 AM

This past weekend I travelled to a family reunion in Lucinda, Pennsylvania, a tiny town a hundred miles north of Pittsburgh where there’s still no sewer system, just a really stinky creek and an unprecedented density of people named Schmader. The most prominent attraction of Lucinda’s main street: the large, multi-colored sign for local lumber company Schmader Hardwoods. (Insert single entendre here.)

My family time was fineGermans make good pie and like to drink, and I have lots of lovely aunts and uncles and cousins and brothers and nieces and nephews. Plus, a number of relatives who’d Googled themselves expressed gratitude for my Stranger-&-Showgirls-enabled installation of the Schmader name on the world wide web.

Due to work obligations and a natural bias against boring weekends, my fella Jake stayed home in Seattle. When I called from the airport, I learned he’d been wrangling with some extended family issues of his own. Specifically, the DNA-driven arrest of his aunt’s ex-husband (Jake’s ex-uncle) on charges of capital murder.

The details of the story are freakish and horrifying: According to prosecutors, Glenn Griffinwith whom Jake and I once shot an array of guns in the Utah desert, a leisure activity I now realize must have been in violation of the vastly troubled Uncle Glenn's parolehas been linked through DNA evidence to the 1984 slaying of Bradley Perry, a 22-year-old Brigham City man who'd recently returned from his Mormon mission and was working in an all-night gas station when the man who would be ex-Uncle Glenn allegedly stabbed him to death.

It gets worse, by which I mean stupider: The allegedly incriminating DNA evidence was retrieved from a bloody $1 bill, which police believe was given by Glenn as change to a customer who stopped in for cigarettes not long after the slaying. In addition to selling cigarettes, police also believe Glenn filled a couple customers' cars with gas, with one of the customers calling the cops after noticing blood on the would-be station attendant's arm.

With the capital murder charge, the state of Utah opens up the possibility of the death penalty should Glenn be convicted.

Obviously, this is horrible, and probably the closest I'll ever get to an (alleged) murderer. (At least until Megan snaps.)

I'll keep you posted.