Who Is Anthony Stephens?

The Life and Death of a College Grad


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Interview with James Bennett: Part 3

5 July 2011

– I’m telling you, if Silverstein hadn’t walked in with his fucking expensive briefcase and suit and haircut and started babbling on with his greaseball bullshit, I’d have closed in two days, max.

– Two days! [Mr. Bennett takes a moment to collect himself]

– It was eight years I’d been in Tallahassee back then, eight years I’d been living in this hellhole of a city, with its bratty college students and grumpy fucking retirees. Five of those years spent with the precinct. I wanted out, and Bishop would have been my way if it weren’t for Mr. Self-Righteous.

– So—I don’t know, I just snapped.

– Something burst inside and then I blanked out, can’t really explain it any other way than that. I tried, to the shrinks at the precinct. They just told me to stop drinking, get another psych eval and maybe I’d get detective again.

– Yeah, I guess, I was drinking a lot at that time, sure, but it had nothing to do with that. Shrinks say it did, chief said it did, but, [Mr. Bennett gives me a wry smile and opens his palms, shrugging] you know I didn’t want to hear that.

– Either way, when I came to, my hands were around the lawyer’s neck and his face looked like a huge, swollen zit. People were yanking me off of him and he sat there gagging and I stood there yelling and I looked up, and I’ll be damned if the Bishop kid wasn’t smiling in his fucking chair.

– Fucking smiling. I swear to God he was.

– Before I could even recognize the situation for what it was I was suspended for two weeks without pay. Before I even got back to my desk, actually. The chief was standing there when I walked in, just shook his head and made me hand over my badge and my piece.

– Finished my bottle of Jack that night. Wasn’t the celebration I expected it to be.

– I could just see the agents in D.C., shaking their heads in disgust. And that damn Bishop kid, in his cell that night, laughing his ass off. I bet on it. He laughed. At least once, at me particularly. I’m telling you, I got fucked on that case.


Interview with Wayne “Classic” Price: Part 12

11 July 2011

– Earl’s lawyer?

– Jewish muhfucka—Silverstein.

– Them Jews, bruh, get one a ‘em in a courtroom and they can get a nigga outta any type a shit, know what I’m sayin’?

– Good muhfucka, Silverstein. Helped my fam out, and I ‘preciate that shit.

– You ever see that muhfucka, tell him Classic Price got his back. He need anything from my neck a the woods, let a nigga know. I take care a people that take care a me and mine’s, you know what I’m sayin’?

– If Earl ain’t turn bitch on them faggot ass cops and start runnin’ his goddamn mouth, Silverstein probably’d a got his ass off with no time in the pen.

– Still, bruh, two years ain’t shit compared to what them niggas was tryin’ to pin him with.

– Earl got lucky, bruh. Lucky he had Silverstein helpin’ his ass out, you know what I’m sayin’?


Interview with Samuel Silverstein: Part 3

11 July 2011

– I found my little loopholes in Bishop’s case.

– “A serial killer’s eye for detail” is how my mentor used to describe me. Turned out one of Bishop’s renditions of his confession—the one where he said they stole the bodies—coupled with the medical examiner’s autopsy report were the break we needed.

– M.E.’s testimony that the bodies were dead weeks before the fire threw a huge hole in the case, the D.A. wasn’t expecting that. No motive. No ID. No evidence to show where they had actually been killed.

– In cases like this, the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a defense attorney’s best friend. His lover. His bitch.

– Honestly, I think I could have gotten Bishop off with nothing but probation, if he had just kept his damn mouth shut. But I figured two years prison time with two dropped first degree murder charges was enough to catapult my resume to the forefront of Morton & Stanley’s stack.

– I’d been scouted by them for a while by then. The partners had sent numerous representatives down for every one of my trials for about a year.

– But I hadn’t had any real challenges in that time. A few robbery cases, couple of rape defenses. A perfect record throughout, but nothing that’d make somebody charter a plane on my behalf. Nothing that would have anybody saying “we’ve got to have this guy.” Until I get the call that this Bishop kid has no lawyer. Murder-arson.

– It was like a godsend.

– No matter to me. Honestly, I don’t give a damn if Bishop set that fire and murdered those people.

– But, honestly, if he did, I’m damn glad it worked out the way it did. [Mr. Silverstein glances out the window] Manhattan is absolutely lovely this time of year.


Interview with Rose Flagler: Part 3

14 July 2011

– Anyways, Stephens wasn’t as young as my granddaughter. He was fully grown and looked healthy enough.

– I mean, he was still a boy compared to my husband and I.

– He came in to stay with us for the night and he smelled like the Greyhound station. I’ve grown accustomed to the smells of guests, look forward to the variety actually. I can tell certain things with a handshake. Guess whether they came to St. Augustine by plane, bus or car before they say anything concerning the subject. If they came by way of car, I can tell whether it was new or old, if they ate at a rest stop or out of crumpled bags in the backseat on their way to our home; whether or not there were children in there, even if the little ones are waiting in the car when I first see the parents.

– Stephens was a bus rider for sure, I didn’t even have to shake his hand to know that. I just took a look at his belongings, the large swollen duffel bag, the notebook, the jacket he wore.

– He never said more than two words to confirm it though. Just walked in, paid, and locked himself in the room.

– That’s the reason he stands out in my memory so much, actually. I was a little offended that first night, I admit.

– I always assumed people came to Bed and Breakfasts for the experience. It’s why Frank and I started this business, to provide an experience.

– I have this recipe for blueberry pancakes that is award-winning, literally. I entered it on the Food Network’s annual breakfast show a few years ago when they came around to Jacksonville, placed second in the finals. Entered some other recipes too and got a few honorable mentions, great eatings if I do say so myself.

– I’ve got my patented Heavenly Angel Food cake, a barbecue rib recipe with a secret sauce that even Frank doesn’t know how to make, and a corned beef and cabbage dish with diced red potatoes, seasoned specially with ingredients I got from my own Irish mother. It’s all on the brochure and website for our home. We cook meals three times a day, every day. Our kitchen appliances are stainless steel and my Costco membership card has seen much use over the past few years.

– What all that means is I’m accustomed to a certain mannerism from visitors. They come to us for a more personal atmosphere than all the big name hotels. We don’t ask questions unless they bring us closer to our guests. But Stephens didn’t even eat with us, talk with us, or anything.

– I sweated in the kitchen that night, spent extra time steaming the cabbage so it would be extra soft—I was trying to impress the fellow, I still don’t know why.

– I guess—he was just so awfully lonely and sad looking, I felt he needed some cheering up. I set the table and Frank came out and sat and waited patiently and I went to Stephens’ room and knocked and he never even had the decency to open the door. He just called out and told us he wouldn’t be joining us. He had work to do, he said.

– And, you know, sounds drift in our house, as if the walls gossip with each other sometimes. We hear everything and I like to keep it that way.

– That night, after clearing the dining table and throwing away most of that fine meal I made, I lay in bed listening for any sounds from Stephens. I lay there for hours, waiting for the next new snores or sleep moans or gasps when he woke up.

– Anyways, late, after a while, I finally began to drift off. I was almost asleep when the sound from downstairs changed, a different sound altogether than normal sleep. It took me a while to recognize it as someone crying.

– I lay there awake for the rest of the night then, listening to him. Got up at one point to put my ear to his door. It was like a cycle. Snore, moan, gasp, cry, repeat.

– And standing at his door I heard another sound too, in between the gasping himself awake and the crying there was a ten minute interval where I could hear—very faint—the sound of paper rubbing on paper coming from under the door, the way a thick-paged bible sounds when you flip the pages.

– I assume he was looking through that notebook of his. But why would somebody keep reading something that makes them cry every time they look at it?

Parts 72-75

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Written by patrickandersonjr

May 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

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