16 | Point of View

Point of view: the perspective from which a scene is written, which character’s eyes and minds are witnessing the event. Sol Stein, Stein on Writing

This is a very disturbed individual. He is a child whose emotional disposition is far beyond his physical age. He would not think like a child of [thirteen] and would resent being treated like one. This person has a morbid curiosity and he would be capable of erotic, irrational acts. This child needs help and he is headed for trouble, if not already in trouble. Handwriting Analysis of Gregory Frye by Andrew J. Bradley, Document Examiner, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, 1973

Maybe he was eating, he was down in the living room, but he wasn’t showing the emotion I expected of him either. He was sitting in the living room eating something. There was something awkward about it, it didn’t make sense. Bob Sendle, 2014

Greg was a skinny kid with sandy hair, sloping shoulders and a shy grin. The morning his mother was killed, he’d come to Boulder to take his first karate class from his big brother Doug. When Doug and I arrived at the Frye house late that afternoon, Greg was standing on the lawn crying. Greg gave the cops a written statement. In eight lines of neat cursive, with no corrections or cross-outs, he recounts his day and refers to Betty as “her”.

Greg’s statement starts with rising at 9:15 a.m. and having breakfast and ends with returning from Boulder and seeing the gate open and drawers upstairs disturbed. At the Sheriff’s Office three days later, he said his dad sent him upstairs to check out his room before telling him to go get the neighbors. After the funeral, Duane put Greg on a plane to Betty’s sister Lucene in California. Lu’s kids behaved. Greg was so out of control she thought he was on drugs. Greg finally told Lu he saw Betty’s body on the garage floor. Years later he thanked Lu for saving his life.

The Greg I knew had a piggybank and hid candy under his bed. Did good penmanship spell trouble to document examiner Bradley, as Greg’s acting out did with Lu? Lead cop Sendle’s more nuanced reaction to Greg at the crime scene may come from his own upbringing. Having lost his mom when he was nine and been sent to an orphanage, Sendle knew something about boys and how they reacted to a mother’s death.

Cold case DA Tomsic has a son. Her perspective on Greg is an indictment of Duane. What parent sends his thirteen-year-old boy upstairs to check his room if he thinks his house was burglarized? Because Greg was with Duane when Betty’s body was found, Tomsic thinks he knows more about that day than he told.

Should points of view add up?

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