She stopped, looked away. He was staring at the window but Dylan didn’t think she was seeing it. It seemed like she should be crying, but her eyes were dry. She’d just..stopped.
“Do you need a minute?”
“I’m fine. I got the second message about seven months later. It was simple, like they always are. It told me Amanda Carcetti was going to die. I have to tell you, that’s a hell of a thing to find in your newspaper while you’re eating a bagel. I went over to Carcetti’s house, but it was too late. Amanda was dead. He was crying, saying he was sorry. Maybe I should have done something different. Maybe I should have called the ambulance. Maybe I should have just done my and arrested him.”
“But you didn’t.”
“No, I didn’t. I tasered him and stuck one of his own socks in his mouth. There was no helping Amanda. She was still warm when I picked her up, but she was gone. I’d like to tell you that you don’t get used to seeing dead children, but that isn’t true. I’d seen enough dead kids and enough dead people to know that the only thing I could do for her was to offer some measure of justice.”
“You think what you did to Carcetti was justice?”
“Well, I’m interested in what you think?”
“You sound like the psychiatrists they have me talk to in here.”
“Sorry, next time I’ll try to bring a couch in with me.”
Rodgers smiled a real smile, laughed a little. It was a cliché to say she didn’t look like a killer, but it was true. She just looked like a person. Dylan wondered what it was like. He wondered what it took to actually pull the trigger. He realized she was staring at him.
“Do you need a minute?” she said.
“No. Sorry, just got distracted. So, you think killing those people was justice?”
“I did then.”
“You don’t now?”
“I’m not sure that I believe in justice at all. I know I used to. It was why I joined the police, back when I was younger and dumber. They say the job makes you cynical, and I can’t argue with that, but some part of me always believed. That while you couldn’t always make things better, you could still make things right.
Do you know that I talked to Carcetti. Before I did it. I needed to know why he would do something like that. I need to know how. How he could do that to a little girl. You know what he told me? He told me it was because of me.”