2 years ago

JUNE 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 6

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JUNE 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 6 • The History of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol • Beach Safety Tips • It's Island Time - Where to Stay, Eat & Play on the Island • The Texas School District Police Chiefs Conference • State & National Law Enforcement News • Warstory - What Happened to Susan Miller? • President Biden Receives Light Bulb Award • Open Road - The End of the HEMI? • Fishing with Rusty Barron • Dr. Tina speaks with David Edwards - Humanizing the Badge

While I was confident

While I was confident that I knew exactly what happened to Susan Miller, the IA detectives on the scene weren’t so convinced. They said without a witness to alleged wrongdoings by this officer, they had nothing to go on. Ok if that’s the case, fuck you and get off my crime scene. “Excuse me Officer Barrett.” You heard me, get the fuck off my crime scene. I’m calling my supervisor and you’re not needed here. Well, that call didn’t go well but my sergeant did show up… along with the dayshift Lieutenant. I convinced them the complainant was missing and possibly abducted and we needed a crime scene unit to process the apartment. After a lot of back and forth they agreed, and I secured the scene until they arrived. Luckily one of the Crime Scene officers was a friend of mine and they swept that apartment with a fine-tooth comb. Later that day I was called into the Captain’s office and was told that detectives from Missing Persons was taking over the case and I was to give them everything I had and not to get involved from that day forward. Well, anyone who knows me, knows that wasn’t going to happen. I promised this woman I would keep her safe and now she was missing. No fucking way I wasn’t staying on the case. But I learned early on that bringing up Officer Joe Asshole wasn’t the way to go. No one wanted to acknowledge that someone in our department would be involved in something as heinous as this. But the fact remained this woman was missing, and it was our job to find out how and why. For the next few days, I called everyone she knew in the area. I went to the nursing school where she was enrolled, and they said she just stopped showing up. No way someone works their ass off to pay for nursing school and then stops coming. No way! What I did know was, her keys, purse, wallet and phone were still in the apartment. Her car was still parked in the parking lot. And now two weeks had gone by and no one, including her parents had heard from her. I heard that IA had brought Joe in for questioning, but no one would tell me what he said or what IA learned from it. And why WORDS BY OFFICER BARRETT should they because I wasn’t ON the case. But I flat out asked my sergeant if he was a suspect or not. His reply, “As of now, NO HE IS NOT!” I was so pissed, angry and hurt. I felt like it was my job to protect her, and I failed. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was now going on three weeks since Susan’s disappearance/ abduction and I knew chances of finding her alive were slim to none. It was about this time I stated having the same dream over and over again. I guess some would say nightmare. I was on patrol. Dispatched to a body found in a field and it was Susan. The image of her lying there in a muddy field, with her blond hair all matted with dirt and mud. I started to kneel, and someone grabbed me, and I woke up. The same dream, over and over again. The same field, the same mud, the same everything. I became obsessed with finding that field. I drove everywhere in my district. On my days off, I drove everywhere looking for something that looked familiar from the dream. What the fuck was I doing? It was just a fucking dream. But I couldn’t stop thinking about her or that field. After 3 months of this I finally went and saw the department shrink. She said I was experiencing PTSD and that I had to come to terms with fact this was just another case and NOTHING was my fault. I agreed to join a PTSD therapy group that was located in another city. The last thing I wanted was to run into someone I knew. And I admit, it helped. The dreams/nightmare eventually stopped. But to be honest, I’ve never stopped looking for Susan. Maybe she decided to run away, change her name and never look back. Maybe she didn’t think she could trust me and that she’d be killed if she stuck around. So, she just disappeared, and she is living somewhere else safe and sound. Or asshole Joe, used his master key to unlock her apartment, broke the safety chain and took her. Did he kill her and dump her body? Did he bury her somewhere? What did he tell IA and what if any evidence did the Crime Scene guys find in the apartment linking Joe to Susan? Did they even collect a DNA sample from Joe for future comparison? I knew I would probably be fired, but I tried to access the report on more than one occasion and each time the case said: “File blocked, you do not have access.” I DON’T HAVE ACCESS OR NO ONE HAS ACCESS? It’s been over 30 years since Susan went missing. Her body was never found, and her parents never heard from her again. Officially she is just a missing person. If she was murdered, her killer got away with it. If Joe killed her, a bad cop got away with murder. Either way, I think about her every single day. Even in my retirement, I sometimes see an empty field, pull over, get out of my car and just stare. I know she’s out there somewhere – dead or alive. Have a unique story you’d like to share with the BLUES readers? Send it to: bluespdmag@ Please change all the names to protect the innocent and to avoid prosecution in the event that the statute of limitations hasn’t expired. 44 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 45

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