I’m listening to Detective Morrissey and Karen Lapointe as they spoke on July 4, 1989. On July 18, 2007 I listened to the tape in the court room along with Richard and Karen Lapointe. I first listened to this interaction several years ago. I was in northern Nebraska driving toward Kansas. Detective Morrissey had certain answers in mind. Karen was persistent. Her answers deviated from the Detective’s expectations. Karen was trying to help the Detective. The Detective wasn’t listening. Her answers systematically reconstructed official assumptions. These facts persist on tape.
I was exploring assumptions on my journey. Since childhood I assumed that the Plains were flat. In 1878 Cheyenne Indians departed Indian Territory for home in Montana. If the Plains were flat and there were hundreds out looking for 287 what was the problem? With attention to the unexpected I found the Plains deeply textured. The Cheyenne were out on the flats for less than 100 miles out of 1200. Much of that was just south of the Platte River. The Cheyenne saw the soldiers coming. The soldiers, unprepared to see, stopped for lunch.
In the face of Detective Morrissey’s interrogation Karen Lapointe held to the textures of truth. The law missed her as it insisted on a Richard Lapointe narrative—a fiction detached from fact. Justice remains unaware up on the flats. Perhaps Justice will come to listen.
20 November 2007