Thursday, July 07, 2011

CHAPTER 48: Kitty Pole Cooks Up a Pardon for the Nun, But will GOVERNOR STONEMAN SWALLOW IT?

Local Woman Needs Anyone With a Pen and A Bleeding Heart!!

By John Dimson
Crime Reporter

We all know Kitty Pole. She's our one and only cafe lady. At one time or another, Kitty's made her famous chestnut-flavored coffee for each and every one of us here in town.

And yes, she fixes a mighty tasty breakfast at that tiny cafe tucked beneath her sky blue house. Her sweet potato homefries are famous. Her ham and pepper omelettes are divine.

Oh, and she whips up a fierce plum cobbler too. (Ask anybody who's tried it!)

But what's got into Kitty now? She's trying to cook up a stew that is altogether new for her. She's meddling in the court system, and it's not clear what she's up to or what she expects to get out of doing it.

For the last few weeks, Kitty's been going door to door -- even promising free cafe meals -- to anybody who pens a letter to our good Governor Stoneman. Kitty's turned organizer, asking that all of her neighbors team up to request a pardon for our notorious Sister Renata, the nun convicted of slicing her cousin Antonie's throat!

Dear Kitty, with all due respect, what goes on here? Maybe the cafe business is too slow?

According to the Examiner story, published right after the murder last fall, Señor Quiero de Lopez' jugular vein was sliced with a straight razor. And in a particularly gory detail, the poor man's Adam's apple was cored out of his neck!

The very same day that Sister Renata was arrested, a sheriff's deputy found the nun's discarded black habit, coated in blood, buried in the vegetable garden behind the convent!

During the trial, a dozen of Sister Renata's fellow nuns traveled to Gallejo to testify on her behalf. Each of the Dominican nuns went into great detail about Renata's character. Not a blemish, they claimed.

I wish I could believe them!

After all was said and done, Renata was convicted last month of first-degree murder. She is scheduled to die by hanging on January 6th, a mere three weeks from now.

But now, along comes our own Kitty Pole -- who by the way is housing the convicted nun right there in her blue house (by arrangement of the court, I should point out!) Something's come over Kitty, because now the good cafe lady is trying to stop the whole criminal justice system in its tracks!

What qualifies Kitty -- a splendid cook to be sure -- to think she can stir up sympathy for a convicted killer? And how does she expect to gather enough letters here in our small village? So far she's collected a total of only 17 letters, so it looks like she has her work cut out for her!

When she came by my office recently to chat, this is what she said: "We will be making a bad mistake if we send that poor nun to the gallows. I've read the nun's journal, and if you would do the same thing Mr. Dimson then you'd see she can't possibly be guilty of her cousin's murder!"

Just for the record, I read the court transcripts, and I've seen the nun's diary. But what makes Kitty so convinced that it exonerates the nun?

Kitty claims that the nun was framed by her clever cousin. Perhaps.

But what about that bloody corpse that the authorities found? And the nun's habit, coated in blood, buried in the garden? That's the kind of evidence that's hard to ignore.

Kitty flushes to her roots, and her cheeks turn cherry pink, when she discusses the trial. She turns even more passionate when she asks folks to write letters.

"Well of course I am passionate," she said. "It is a human life at stake here. Think about that! The point, Mr. Dimson, sir, is that we have to convince him, the Governor. We must! The whole town must take her side, writing letters, calling for her pardon. If we show him that we are sympathetic, perhaps then he will be convinced!"

Perhaps, Miss Kitty.

But perhaps not. The question is, will Governor Stoneman listen?

And by the way, Kitty Pole, you might take a few moments to think about that other human life -- the one that was cut short by his own straight razor! Poor man, that Antonie!

Miss Kitty, you've got some serious cooking ahead of you! And the whole town's watching too, to see if you really do succeed in setting a convicted killer free!

Why should our good Governor swallow this story?

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