I have sustained some of the most appalling trials of this century.
Over me I have felt distress, bleakness, sorrow. However none of
them were as smashing as Annie\'s. Have you ever heard about
Annie? Oh yes Annie Laird, one of the most kind jurors I have ever
met. In George Dawes Greens The Juror, He sumarized the events
and, thoroughly explained the pain and anguish Annie had to go
through. The woe in which her life revolved after mentioning those
lousy words ¨I need a little excitement in my life ¨1, well, if Annie
needed to add a touch of excitement to her life she should have tried
Disneyland not jury duty. What I am about to air is what happened in
our little run with the mob. Truly that has a bit of foul humor because I
can\'t run. If you keep on reading you will understand the risks of
serving for jury duty ¨Who will protect you?¨2
Before I met her, Annie was an unadorned artiste who had just
transferred out of Manhattan and into the country. To a small cottage
by a lake. Her child, Oliver, who loved to ride his bike, moved in as
well. I have to say that when I met Annie for the first time it was as
Juror N° 224. She was a sparkling maid. Who would have thought a
rotten soul such as the teacher would try to harm her? I confess that
her recoil in the following days impressed me. This time the trial was
against Louie Boffano. He was the head of the mob. He and his right
hand The Teacher were as bad as they come. The case was the
murders of Salvadore Riggio and his grandson. Mr. Boffano was
being accused of ordering them. By this time Annie and I already
knew the teacher, but we acknowledged him as Zach Lyde. He had a
very piquant approach toward Annie; he bought three of her artworks
for twelve thousand dollars each. Nevertheless, how were we to
imagine that he was part of the mob? By the time that night had
come, Zach Lyde was having dinner at Annie\'s house. Oliver stayed
at a friend\'s house; Juliet\'s house. Then came those frightful words
from the teacher ¨Annie, listen to me now, you\'re in danger and
your son is in danger¨3 After this, disaster struck Annie\'s life. From
this moment on Annie would feel disquietude and distress. Her
house was bugged, her friend\'s house was bugged, and she could
not tell anyone. All she had to do was to induce the other jurors to say
just two words: ¨not guilty¨4
Annie\'s life was miserable; whomever she told would be put in
grievous peril. The teacher was listening in, on everything they were
saying. During the trial Annie tried everything to drop out of it.
However who could she talk to? Even the judge could be on their
side. The teacher often made his point clear to Annie. He would
usually kill someone to show her she would be next if she slipped.
Annie implemented all her swaying powers to manipulate the jury. At
the end, and I heard it clearly, came these exact words:
¨As to count one in the indictment, murder in the second degree,
do you find the defendant guilty or not Guilty?
Not Guilty ¨5
Well now the trial was over, but Zach wasn\'t altogether ready to
let Annie go. After Slavko Czernyk, the detective engaged in the
follow-up of the teacher, had died, it came to the authorities that
something wrong was going on. This became Annie\'s opportunity.
She spoke to Zach and during their conversation she taped him
saying ¨I might discard old Louie¨6 She subsequently took it to
Boffano, who was bloody mad about the subject and wanted the
teacher killed. Wrong idea Annie; what were you thinking? The
teacher got word of Annie\'s betrayal and blew up Boffano\'s car, killing
him and his associates. He also murdered Juliet and made it look like
suicide. Annie just then understood where he was going next; he was
after Oliver. But how could he get to Oliver if he was in Guatemala,
where she took him for his own safety. Then a call; told her that the
teacher knew her son was in Guatemala; she had to save him. The
chase was on...
It was a long chase involving planes, cars and about ten dead
people. At last the teacher had done it; he had found Oliver. Though
Annie strived to get there first, it was he who had done it. At least that
was what