Biographical Non-Fiction posted January 28, 2023

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I have known 3 who were murdered.

They were murdered!

by Mary Vigasin

They were murdered!

Although it has been decades since their murders, I am often reminded that they were murder victims.

I recently saw the movie "Black Mass," which was about the Whitey Bulger years. During the movie, I could not help thinking about Deacon.

I do not know his real name. He was just "The Deacon." My sister Rose went to his senior prom as his date. Although she never really dated him, he was just one of the boys in the crowd she ran around with. He, according to Rose, was or never would be a rocket scientist but just a nice guy. He was tall, handsome, and gullible and would never intentionally do anyone harm.
Given where he was at the time, he may have been a numbers runner, but know that his death was quick. He was sitting in a car with another man when the car was riddled with bullets.
It was a time when there were warring factions between mobs for control of illegal gambling, drugs, and prostitution. Word on the street was that Deacon was not the target, but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And then there was Cathy.

She was my sister Rose's friend. I remember she was 23. Having no one to help me shop for a prom gown, Cathy took the time to shop with me and sit through the fittings.
Rose told me that more than once, Cathy showed up with bruises from her boyfriend. Each time, she asked Cathy to dump the jerk, and each time Cathy made excuses for the crud. She was alone and with no family; he was all she had.

Then Cathy was gone. Her friends assumed she had finally left town to get away from him.
But then months passed without any word from her, and Rose and her friends started to ask questions of him. One night Rose and four of her friends confronted him in a bar; he had more than a few drinks. He admitted that he beat Cathy to death and:

"What are you going to do about it?
You tell anybody, I'll kill your kids!"

They went to the police. But it wasn't easy to prove after so many months and with no corpse.
As they investigated, the boyfriend was killed in a bar fight. The case was then closed.

Cathy is out there somewhere, still alone.

And then there was the office manager. Sadly, I do not remember her name. I do remember her as tall, attractive, and always impeccably dressed.
Our large insurance branch office had a good reputation, high morale, and an enjoyable work atmosphere. We had pride both in our office and company.
It changed with the new General Manager, Mr. Johnson. He wanted control over all underwriting and claim decisions, even though we were known to be a highly successful and profitable office. Morale quickly deteriorated.

What made matters worse was the Office Manager; she came in ambitious and determined to eventually become the general manager when Mr. Johnson retired. For her, this meant she aligned herself with his policies.

Truthfully, we immediately disliked her; she reported all our movements. It was challenging to work with her hovering around our desks. She would report us if we took a more extended lunch hour by a few minutes. She would fail to mention that the time was made up by our working uncompensated overtime nearly every night.
It was well-known, but never discussed, that our popular, successful department head often had a liquid lunch at a bar called "The Red Hat." She informed Mr. Johnson, and our department head was put on probation.

One Monday morning, the office manager failed to show up for work. We were advised that she was found strangled to death in her bedroom sometime over the weekend.
For all our dislike of her, there was no good riddance talk but just shock at the news.
The whole day, the only sound heard in the office was that of the typewriters in the typing pool. If we had to speak, it was only in whispers. It was as if any loud talk would be disrespectful.
We never heard if they had caught her killer. We just moved on with our business.

It has been decades since their murders, but since all of Rose's friends and some in our office group have passed on, I believe I am one of the few people who think of or even remember them when I see or hear sad reminders that they lived.

For Deacon, it is when organized crime is mentioned in a movie.
For Cathy, when battered women are in the news or on a TV show.
For the office manager, I often pass the area where she lived.

It is Cathy who haunts me the most.



This is Rose and Deacon at his senior prom. Looking at this picture, Rose was only 15, and Deacon had to be around 18. I can't help thinking that my mother had she been alive, would not have allowed Rose to go to the prom. Dad was a pushover, but Ma was the disciplinarian. My mother, I understand, gave Rose many opportunities to clean her mouth with Ivory soap.
A number runner would collect illegal bets from bars and turn them over to a frontman for the mob.
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