Dusty - Silicon Snow

Catanich returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the first of seven side stories from the infamous Gopal affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged series of novels of theft, conspiracy and espionage.

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Dusty - Silicon Snow

Chapter 3

Sean Steven Jackson was 26, 5'6" 143 lbs with just 2 years junior college in mechanical drafting. His wife, Keron, 34, was 5'5," 134 lbs and had one kid from her first husband who was in jail for 18 years on drug and weapon charges.

As with many unhappy women in Santa Clara, Keron smoked pot, lots of pot and it was the only way she could sleep with Sean. Sean's small size was not limited to his height and she kept telling herself she was just spoiled by her first husband. However, after the first affair, she no longer would lie to herself; Sean would never amount to anything.

For some time, Sean knew that Keron didn't want to have sex with him and with her continued bitching about everything, neither did he. As the weeks turned into months, he started looking elsewhere and didn't have to look very far. Keron's 13-year-old daughter, Shannon was first and then came her friends. It was simple, drugs for sex, they were easy.

Shannon was 7 when her dad came into her room for the first time and after he left, Sean move in and he was allowed as well. There was so many times when her mom had passed out, that Sean became the only adult she could talk to. Her first period, birth control, the talk, and any 'girl help' came from him. It wasn't a big deal when they walked in on each other in the bathroom. Many time, neighbors saw them just sitting on the roof talking and drinking a beer before bed. Sean was very strict on schoolwork and grades. She wasn't going to turnout like him.

It was the day of finals and Keron had left for work 2 hours earlier. Sean was in the bathroom shaving when Shannon opened the door and asked him to go over the questions for the day test.

However, the day had turned out to be a bad one for Keron as she pulled up in front of her house trying to think of how to explain being fired for failing a drug test. Everyone on the floor smoked pot, why didn't they get fired. She told herself "I should have slept with my boss like everyone else. But he's such a pig".

Her house had a large living room that fed into the hall. At the end of the hall was the bathroom. Now, it is one thing to get fired; but to walk into the house and find Sean and her daughter in the bathroom brushing their teeth in their underwear, well that was it.

"What the [email protected]#" Keron screamed. "I'll kill you, you God damn mother [email protected]#er" and she reached into the hall closet for the 12 gauge.

Stunned, Shannon screamed "Mom, it's not what you think!"

In shock, Sean grabbed his pants and headed out the bedroom door that led to the patio and the neighbor's back fence when the first shot hit his right arm and spun him around. His eyes widen as he saw the second round explode from the end of the gun and the small tree in front of him vanish as the buck shot registered the hit. The impact, as expected, knocked him down but it was the searing, burning that he first felt. Then came the pain...

Somewhere between Shannon screaming and Keron yelling caused a neighbor to call the 911 "shots fired". Within minutes, Sherriff Officers arrived on the scene. Keron had already dropped the 12 gauge and was just standing there when the Sheriffs entered the house, so handcuffing her was easy. As they moved outside, they saw for the first time what the results were of this bad start of a morning. Sean was just lying there, right shoulder opened up like ground hamburger. But it was the face. It was a face of missing parts. There was missing hair. Where was the ear? Oh God where is the eye.

As other officers and finally supervisors arrived, the preliminary investigation found that the small tree divided the buck shot in half. Most went low and hit the shoulder area. However, the other half took tree-parts with it. The lead investigator was heard to say, "This guy really had a bad day. Even the tree fell on him".

As the house was search, 11 ounces of high-grade pot was found and Shannon told one of the officers that it was her mom's. Child Services was then called and Shannon went with them. Two days later, she was sent to her grandmothers to live.

Sean spent 14 hours on the operating table as surgeons attempted to put the right side of his face and eye back together. Although the ear was shredded, the surgeons were able to piece it back together, but the scars on the face would never be reversed. There was no luck on the eye; the damage was just too extensive. As for the shoulder, it was 3 hours of tweezers and 162 stitches to put him back to normal. With that much bark and tree parts in him, they joked "Do you think he will grow leaves now?"

As for Keron, she didn't follow her public defender's advice to plead "guilty" and accept a sentence of 3-5 years in jail. Instead, there was a fast trial, less than a 1-hour jury deliberation and finally a conviction for attempted murder, drug possession, and child endangerment. The Judge sentenced her 17 - 25 years. This was the harshest sentence for a woman in 30 years in California.

It was fall, 1975 and Judge Warren Benjamin Werner wanted everyone to know that he was a Republican and "tough on crime".




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