Threat Level

The first time someone threatens to kill you – it gets your attention. The second and third times it does, but not as much.   In my other life, I dealt with bad people.  Bad crime.  Pretty intense stuff.  A few of the bad guys I dealt with took the enthusiasm I showed for my job personally.  When that happened, they were likely to lash out. 

Threats were rare.  But they happened.  The first time for me was Robert A.  A North Shore white scumbag punk who had a string of armed robberies.  He had cases all over.  So, I followed him.  From courthouse to courthouse.  Courtroom to courtroom.  Informing the judges of all the other cases.  And what a bad guy he was.  So Robert A. remained in custody – ultimately going down for the count.  After perhaps half a dozen of these expeditions, as he was being led away – he screamed at me.  Lunging.  Held back by court bailiffs.  He described in detail what he planned to do to me – and my family – when he got out. 

Our usual protocol was to report such threats to the Chief of the Criminal Division.  He would ask us to fill out a 3″ x 5″ card detailing the case, the parties and the threat.  That way – if one morning I was found floating in the Sag Canal, investigators could thumb through the file cards and have a heads up on where to start (“Lemme see. . . . Petersen . . . here he is . . . . Petersen was threatened by . . . . . . “).    

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