Who Is Anthony Stephens?

The Life and Death of a College Grad


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Excerpt from Anthony Stephens’ Mood Journal

September 28 2004,

Morning: 6 out of 10

Afternoon: 7 out of 10

Night: 8 out of 10

Aced General Psych this past semester and been thinking about psychology ever since.

I got the hang of the theory and all that, I think. It’s interesting stuff when you get down to it, the human mind and how it operates, how it views itself.

The class ended up being a broader version of everything I’ve been talking to Doc Silver about for the past couple of months. It all makes a lot more sense to me now. More sense than the things I’m learning about in my other classes. More interesting than “Macroeconomics” or “Pre-1900 British Literature” or “Research and Study Tactics.”

When you look into people’s heads—when you can see how they tick, you start to realize that all the things people do every day really are just things. Whether the person’s out slitting people’s throats or building space rockets, doesn’t really matter.

I mean, it matters to society, but what really is society? Nothing. Society’s existence is just as crazy a belief as people who think they’re the second coming of Christ and everybody should down cyanide-laced Kool-Aid with them.

What’s the difference?

In those people’s minds, they’re doing exactly what they should and want to be doing at that moment. Just like society does. Which, honestly, makes it pretty hard to distinguish between what’s legitimately evil or just plain fucking insane. Maybe there is no difference. Maybe “evil” isn’t really as evil as we think…


Interview with Catherine D’Amico: Part 9

26 June 2011

– Things went as best as they could have, I guess.

– Tony found himself in a weird situation afterwards. He had transportation and a little bit of money, but nowhere to go. Just driving around aimlessly, staring at signs on the highway and wondering which exit he should take to start his new life.

– He thought about all the places he’d visited as a child, searching his memory for a place that felt safe. But everything kept coming back to his hometown, Miami. The place he’d been trying to escape ever since he moved to Tallahassee. And he couldn’t go back there anyways, for obvious reasons.

– It would’ve been idiotic to go back to the place he came from when he was supposed to be dead. So he chose Boca, here, similar to Miami in location and overall atmosphere. A quiet city where he could hide and still get a semblance of the feeling of home that he had when he lived with his mom. [Cathy nods with conviction] He settled in Boca because it reminded him of the last safe place he’d ever lived.


Interview with James Bennett: Part 1

who is anthony stephens?

[James Bennett is a detective with the Leon County Police Department and was the arresting officer in the case against Earl Bishop, though he was subsequently suspended due to extenuating circumstances. He sits in a local Waffle House near the FSU campus in Tallahassee, where he orders a plate of pancakes and bacon. Outside the skies have opened up and it is pouring rain. Detective Bennett claims this is normal for the area, that it’s been raining for days, and that he hasn’t seen the sun in two weeks]

5 July 2011; 10:28:

– Conflict between me and Bishop? [Detective Bennett chuckles and sucks his teeth, glancing out the window] You could say that.

– Bishop was smart, that’s what happened. A right smart ass. You see, I knew.

– Everything. Moment Bishop opened the door to his apartment, I just knew he had something to do with all this. It was in everything about him, the way he moved, the way he backed up and put his hands in the air just a little, real slow-like when we showed our badges, the way he just sighed and looked at the ground. He twitched a lot when he spoke, said some things that didn’t make any sense. And he wouldn’t make eye contact with me or Officer Harold the whole time we were questioning him. All signs of guilt, in my opinion.

– Harold retired last year. Wouldn’t bet on him speaking to you, he moved over to Daytona practically the moment he dropped his badge and gun off.

– No reason to stay around here longer than you’ve got to. That’s what pisses me off so much about the whole Bishop situation. You see—ok. I know it’s partly on me. We’re supposed to stay objective in our line of work and I gotta admit, I was happy as hell to have that warrant when we got there. Don’t know how we managed to get it on such short notice but I don’t think we would have had a chance to come back and get the kid if we hadn’t got him that day.

– He was a runner, for sure. Just had that vibe. I wanted him down at the precinct for questioning right then and there, didn’t even want to drive him, just wanted to teleport his ass over to county. It was one of those gut feelings you get after you’ve been working in the division for a couple of years. [Mr. Bennett sighs] Closed so many cases before that kid came around, chief didn’t even question me anymore about my progress. He knew I was good for it. Granted, Tallahassee didn’t really give us much of anything to make urgent. Every once in a while you’d have your raped sorority girl, suicidal dorm student, but mostly things were quiet. Like they say around the precinct sometimes, been a long time since Bundy was here.[1]

– You gotta understand the circumstances. 1-8-7 comes over the wire and I’m automatically buzzing. That’s how you get in situations like these. A John Doe case to boot? Hell, harder it is to crack, the better you look when you do.

– Only one of the bodies had anything hinting at ID: a wallet found half melted in the guy’s pockets. Would’ve been a great help, but when we looked through it there was nothing but a half-charred gas station receipt and a warped condom. Didn’t even know people still carried condoms in their wallets. Granted, turned out it had all been planted, but it was my instinct that got me at first.

– I was going off my gut. And hope.

– [Detective Bennett sighs and begins poking a leftover piece of bacon around on his plate] I used to think Tallahassee would be my stepping stone. I never really was much for school. Came up here for FSU but ended up at TCC, AA in Criminology and just stopped there. Joined the precinct a few months later, told everybody I was doing it to serve and protect. But what I really wanted was a chance at a higher precinct, ultimately. The F-B-I. [Detective Bennett chuckles nervously] Sounds like a stretch, I know, but that’s the best way to become an agent, I’ve heard. It’s a process, with a whole list of steps like [Detective Bennett counts off on his fingers]:

– 1) Enroll in a low level precinct, somewhere that doesn’t have much of a caseload.

– 2) Start building up your resume with the little things, the easy cases: muggings, car-jackings, bar-fights, domestic violence, drunk driving. And every once in a while you’ll get a big one, 1-8-7, and everybody gets so damn excited to see some action you’ll get all the help you need. Case closed in under a week. Record setting times.

– 3) Apply to another precinct when you got your rep built up enough, the New-York’s or the Los-Angeles’s or the Miami’s. By then, you got a wall behind you holding you up, and you can smile and waltz into that new precinct with confidence.

– 4) Get a couple more cases under your belt and use your credentials to get a higher ranking position.

– Get all that done by your thirties. Then when it comes down to the real big time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, you’re all but ushered in on a red carpet with a bottle of Jack as a welcome present. [Detective Bennett shrugs] Or so I’ve heard.


Interview with Samuel Silverstein: Part 1

who is anthony stephens?

[Samuel Silverstein is currently a partner at the Manhattan, New York law firm Morton, Schuster, and Silverstein. He was formerly a public service attorney in Leon County, and was the defense lawyer in Earl Bishop’s trial. He meets out of his office in New York which overlooks Manhattan’s Central Park]

11 July 2011

– Thank you. It is comfortable in here.

– Yes. Earl Bishop.

– Not very much to tell, sir. I can speculate and conceive of scenarios, but the fact is that I’m still under lawyer-client privilege jurisdiction until Mr. Bishop gives me permission to speak with you, or turns up dead.

– [Mr. Silverstein shrugs] Nothing wrong with a little innocent speculation.

– In my honest opinion? I wouldn’t be surprised if Bishop was definitely more than just an innocent bystander.

– There was no need for me to tell him that. You see, you have to understand. Earl was one hell of a struggle from a legal standpoint.

– The evidence against him was overwhelming. Unidentified bodies, eyewitnesses, a complete written accessory confession. Later, he claimed his missing friend set the fire by accident while they were snooping in the house, just messing around. Then he recanted that admission. Then he brought it back and claimed they had set the fire, but they hadn’t known there were any bodies in the place, that it was dark in the house and they didn’t see anything. Then he claimed he knew the bodies were there, but they’d already set the fire by time they saw them. Then he finally claimed that he and his friend had stolen the bodies from the school’s science department as a prank, and that he didn’t know where his friend was at the time of his arrest.

– He claimed and claimed and claimed and—from a strictly speculative viewpoint—it was all bullshit bullshit bullshit. The kid was trying hard to get one over on us all, and I admire his resolve. But our legal system would have twisted him into a pretzel if I hadn’t stepped in. [Mr. Silverstein leans back in his chair and smirks] All considering, he’s lucky all he got was two years, what with him not knowing how to just keep his mouth shut.

– And—again, purely speculation—it was all bullshit. Pure bullshit, all of it. That, I tell you, that was obvious to me. [Mr. Silverstein places his hands flat on his desk, spreading his fingers] But, you see, my job isn’t to sniff out the bullshit. It’s to manufacture it, sell it to a jury of your peers. You look at my bus stop bench ads, they aren’t pictures of me pointing a finger, no. They’re pictures of me with my arms open [Mr. Silverstein opens his arms to demonstrate] Welcoming you into my world. The world of freedom.


Interview with Rose Flagler: Part 1

who is anthony stephens?

[Rose Flagler is the owner of Flagler Bed and Breakfast in St. Augustine, FL, where Anthony Stephens is said to have stayed for the night on his way down to Boca Raton.  Mrs. Flagler is a stereotypical grandmotherly type, with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk perpetually present on her dining table. Outside, Mr. Flagler is mowing the lawn and Mrs. Flagler stares at him with obvious affection in her eyes.]

14 July 2011

– Frank and I don’t ask very much of our visitors.

– Frank’s retired from IBM a few years ago, so the bed and breakfast is my business venture mostly. And the way I see it, business is business, can’t be too picky. Most people that stop by are respectable enough anyhow. Every once in a while we’ll get a crazy or two, but it happens so rarely that it’s worth more in entertainment value than stress. Lord knows we don’t need to stress about anything. It’s bad for your nerves, you know, stress is. Gets deep in your back and you can’t even sleep at night until it’s gone. But you should hear the stories, my Lord. We have stories people would never believe.

– Yes, the man you described on the phone, I remember him. Unusual boy.

– Not bad. Just unusual. Not a problem, just…memorable.

– There’s not very much that can rile us up at this point. I can’t tell the last time we’ve had to kick somebody out, been so long. And like I said, most people are respectable, don’t damage the furniture or anything like that. Nothing some bleach and a wash cloth can’t fix at least. And Mr. Stephens, he was one of the more calm ones. Didn’t break anything or cause any trouble.

– Very sullen though, that’s what I remember. He came by himself, wouldn’t give us a first name, just his last. Just…Stephens. He had a bag with him and a notebook that he clutched at his side as if it were his life, like he’d murder anybody that tried to take it from him.

– That’s the feeling I got, like he was a caged animal or something. Dark fellow. Clothes, skin, personality, all of it.

– [Mrs. Flagler nods then gives a small grimace] I don’t want to seem like I’m coming down on him though. I’m being a little too harsh, now that I think about it.

– It’s just, I know how this generation is, with all the magazines and Music Television telling you all to be this way and that.

– Long ago came to the conclusion that it’s not immaturity that makes you all like this either, it’s just your generation. My generation hasn’t had to accept the same things yours has.

– If I were to sit and watch Music Television all day and see all the things you’ve got to see I’d be depressed too.

– It’s not inexperience either, it’s…you’re all saturated. That’s why I stick with Food Network myself, leave the rest of that stuff alone. The only time food’s depressing is when you don’t have any. [Mrs. Flagler chuckles and puts a hand to her mouth] Lord, that’s a clever one. The only depressing thing about food is when there’s none left. That’s a plan to live your life by if I ever heard one.


Interview with Wayne “Classic” Price: Part 10

11 July 2011

– Earl got got, son.

– Pinched. Snatched up.

– Arrested, son. Damn.

– Yeah, bruh. By that bitch ass detective. Shoulda sued the shit out his ass.

– Goddamn poh-leece, bruh. Been sayin’ that shit since way back, and people keep talkin’ like it don’t be happenin’ no more. Like Rodney King’s old news, bruh, like muhfuckas don’t still got a itchy trigga finga for niggas comin’ out the hood.

– But Earl told me, son. Them cops fucked him up when they arrested him. Tossed his ass, like a toy, bruh.

– Slammed him up into the front door, pullin’ they guns and puttin’ ‘em to the nigga’s head, tellin’ him he better be glad they ain’t some yippy-yi-yay mufuckas in this bitch, ‘cause if it was up to them they’d cap his ass right there and sit his dead ass out front so everybody’d know not to fuck with ’em.

– Yeah they said that shit. That’s straight up what Earl told me.

– I’m sayin’, them cops was on some other shit, son. Got my cuz lookin’ guilty ‘fore he even had a trial. Let me see them niggas in the streets too, bruh. Don’t give a damn if they poh-leece or not, I’m fuckin’ ‘em up on sight. Just like I’d do Tony Stephens bitch ass. For real.

Click for Parts 63-67

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Written by patrickandersonjr

May 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Mrs Flagler does not talk like any IBMer, or wife of any retired IBMer, i ever knew, and I spent some time at IBM in Boca.

    James Hamilton

    July 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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