cled. He read it quickly. “Well, well, well. Can’t say I’m surprised.” He grinned up at his partner. “He should have pleaded not guilty. He’d have lasted longeron death row.”“Nah, saved the state a lot of trouble,” said Hodges, perching on the corner ofJackson’s desk. “Saved the taxpayer’s money.” Ironically, Bodie had been sodomized and beaten to death by other inmates housed in the general population at SanQuentin State Prison. He’d died the same way he’d killed Cameron, thanks to hislawyer’s advice. “Ironic, huh?” Hodges took back his paper.“Certainly is. Good to know there’s still some justice out there.”“Think the Croft’s know about it yet?”“I don’t know.” Even if they did, Jackson doubted it would bring them any comfort. Nothing would bring back their beloved son.* * *“He’s dead. He’ll never hurt anyone else.” Her father’s blunt words echoed in her head, but Jessica Croft didn’t feel safe. What did he know? He didn’t know about the bad man who came to her at night, terrorized her in the dark, an arm likea tree branch around her dead brother’s neck. The vicious, snarling brute thatmade her wake up in the dead of night in sopping wet sheets.She couldn’t tell him. After Cameron died, no one spoke about the murder. No onespoke about anything to do with the murder, or the trial. Instead, the fractured family withdrew into themselves, withdrew from life, the parents dragging their scared, confused children into a bizarre existence that rarely strayed past the walls of their small, two-story home.* * *One chilly evening in late November, twelve months after Cameron’s death, Jackson got another call that horrified him. “You’re kidding me?” he said to the dispatcher when she gave him the address.“I’m afraid not. The neighbor reported hearing a gunshot. You better get over there.”Did Bodie have someone on the outside who’d gone back to the Croft’s to settle ascore? Had someone murdered the rest of the family? Hurt the other children? “Jeez, I hope not,” he muttered, gunning the engine of his black and white.* * *The twins had been in bed for hours. Sometime earlier, Jessica had woken, hair stuck flat against her sweaty forehead, nightdress stuck fast to her clammy legs.Only babies wet their beds. At eight-years-old, she felt like a baby. The moon’s illumination cut a sliver of light through the blackness of her room, and sheused it to chase shadows while her eyes focused. Out of her sodden bed, she pulled the wet nightdress over her head and felt around in her dresser for another.Once she’d put it on, she closed the creaky drawer slowly, and did what she didalmost every night.With Bear, her beloved, scruffy, brown teddy, under her arm, she made her way out of her own cream-colored room, that never seemed so terrifying in the daylight, and inched along the hall toward her brother’s room, and his dry bed. His bedwould be safe. The bad man never ventured into Judd’s room. The evil in her nightmares had no face, yet she knew it well. Always at the core, she saw her dead brother, a massive, tattooed arm tight around his neck, his chest muscles open, mouth drawn back, teeth exposed. He made no noise as the scream originating in his diaphragm lost its tone in his throat, and died on his lips. Trapped forever in the inky darkness of her dead brother’s eyes and the horror that filled her nights, she wondered how, if Bodie was dead, he could still get to her in the night?Judd barely moved when she slipped into the bed beside him, so familiar had theritual become. Gradually, Jessica slipped into a fretful sleep.The ominous boom jolted them awake. A deep, loud crack bounced off the walls, creating a rumbling, evil echo. Terrified, Jessica clung to Judd. “What was that?”she whispered.Before he could answer, a chilling scream filled the night air, and then a strange sound came, a kind of wailing; the sound of insanity.“Come on,” Judd urged, sliding out from under the sheets.