7th Generation part 5

Diabo walked into the Carnegie the next morning, it was a huge building on the downtown east side. A community center, it had become a beacon for those in the area trying to get by. Shelly worked in the sexual assault center and the woman Brenda Fergie Ferguson was her boss.“ “Everybody is still in shock, Shelly was a remarkable woman with a huge heart.” I Need to ask you some additional questions. Was she having any problems with anyone, boyfriends, coworkers, regulars?” “No not at all, she loved her job and she was single as far as I know. The only thing she cared about was her job. Why would anyone do this, she was so young and bright and full of life, all she wanted to do was help her people?” Why? The answer stuck in Diabo’s throat, he knew why, it was a question many Indigenous families had been asking for years. “I don’t know but I am going to find out. Leads are slim right now but could you tell me when you last saw her, what was her mood?” “The night she disappeared, she headed out around 7pm, said she was going to grab some food and then head home.” “There’s an Asian place on Keefer St that she likes to go to, it’s a couple of blocks away.” “Thank you, here’s my card, if you think of anything please call day or night.

The next stop for Diabo was the Chinese dragon, the restaurant that Fergie mentioned. The place looked liked it was well kept and he noticed that there were cameras. As the hostess approached he flashed the badge. “Det. Thomas Diabo Vancouver PD, can I speak to the manager.” “I’m the manger Valery Cheung what can I do for you?” I’m here investigating a homicide, do you remember seeing this woman (Showing a picture of Shelly) coming in here a few nights ago Yes I do, she came in here a lot, loved the food. She’s dead, what happened!?” “We’re still investigating, do you know if she talked with anyone while she was in here.?” “It was really busy that night, but I do know that she stayed for a bit, picked up her order and left.” “ The cameras do they work ?” “Sure come to the back office, I can show you the recordings.” As they headed to the back office I could tell that Valery was visibly upset, it seemed that Shelly like many times before had left mark and that her presence would be missed.

As Valery took Diabo through the footage of two nights prior, he couldn’t help but think about Shelly’s last moments. An Indigenous woman who loved her job, loved helping people going about her day not knowing that it would end tragically. “There she is!” As Valery broke through his thoughts. There she was, on the screen like a ghost coming back to remind us that she was not to be forgotten. Everything on the screen seemed normal except for the man in the corner who was seated almost out the cameras range. “Who is that, do you know him?” “That’s Fred, he’s another regular, not very chatty.” Fred seemed to be looking intently at Shelly and sure enough he followed her out about a minute after she left. “Valery, has Fred ever been in here when Shelly was here, did he ever try and talk to her?” “Once, but she shot him down which was weird because he didn’t normally talk to anyone at all. She him told she wasn’t interested in getting involved with anyone and he seemed to back off.” “Does he come in here often?” “Yes, at least three times a week, as matter of fact he should be in here tomorrow night, he likes our Monday night specials.” Finally Diabo thought, a lead and in a few hours he could have a suspect in custody.

7th Generation part 4

“7?” Bertrand sat down at his desk, sweat starting form on his brow. Bertrand was part of the old guard of VCPD, a large man who made it a habit not to rock the boat and now because of this case the boat began to shake. “Yes sir, 7 victims so far and those are the ones we know of.” “And you want this case don’t you?” “Yes sir I do, we have a potential serial killer on our hands and he needs to be stopped before he takes any more lives.” “How’s your case load right now?” “What does that have to do with anything, this is a stone cold killer!” “I just don’t want us chasing our tales on this, that’s all and I can’t spare any extra man power.” Not surprising Diabo thought. “I can handle this!” “Then it’s yours, find out what you can and report back to me when you have something more concrete.” “Will do Captain, I may use Dr Palmer to help get through some red tape if that’s okay?” “Fine just get the job done!” When Det. Diabo left the office, he felt cautiously optimistic that his boss may have finally had his back. The case was his now and no matter how he felt at that moment he knew that he was about to walk into hell.

Thanks to calls made by Dr Palmer, Diabo had the personal effects of the other 6 victims within a week. They had all gone cold, the killer was a ghost. No prints, no evidence to speak of. All he had to go on were lists of the their personal effects which where he began. Each list had pretty much the same items, house/ car keys, wallet, credit cards, money but something was missing and just couldn’t put his finger on it. And then it hit him, he ripped open the box with Shelly’s personal effects until he found what he was looking for…car keys but where was her car and also where was her driver’s licence? He went through the other victims found that everyone one of them was missing their licence. Why, does he collect them? Souvenirs maybe? No matter what Diabo had his first lead, a slim lead but a lead nonetheless. Diabo got on the phone and called downstairs. “Sargent Dawes please.” “Dawes here.” “Dawes did you locate the victims car?” “Yea we did, we found it on Powell just off Main St.” “Where is it now?” “We towed it to the police impound and we’re waiting on forensics to finish going over it” “Good’ I need the report asap.” After getting off the phone with Dawes, Diabo now had a better idea of what happened to Shelly. Her body had been found in an alley just off east Pender st which was in the opposite direction of where her car was. Which means she had to have been snatched right near where she worked and that was the next place Diabo had to go.

7th Generation part 3

In the days following Shelly’s death, Diabo had met with her parents, her place of work but nothing panned out. Back at the station, Det. Diabo once again looked through Shelly’s personal effects trying to understand why she was targeted, wallet with money intact, house keys, car keys, student ID. Something’s missing he thought, but what? An Indigenous woman going missing or being murdered on Vancouver’s downtown east side wasn’t a new phenomenon, it’d been happening for years, decades even but nothing was ever looked into and Diabo’s boss Captain Bertrand wasn’t much help. Call it apathy, ignorance whatever but Diabo knew better…racism and it was systemic. The racism on the force permeated throughout Vancouver and through the rest of Canada like a cancer. The residential schools, 60’s scoop, colonialism all of it had a part in how the country treated it’s Indigenous peoples. Diabo himself had been a survivor, to this day he didn’t like to talk about what went on in those schools but he did know what saved him and they were the elders in his home community of Kahnawake. Now Det. Diabo looked down at Shelly another sister who had fallen because of who she was…an Indigenous woman. Shelly’s only hope now was Dr Palmer, the coroner which is where he headed next. “Did you know her?” said the coroner looking up as Diabo walk into the office. “No I didn’t.” “So young, what a waste.” Dr Palmer the coroner had been on the job for 30 years and had seen too many Indigenous people visit his table. “So what’s the verdict?” “Death by strangulation but what I found is that he took quite a bit of pleasure from it, he took his time with her. I did find something peculiar though, a mark, done postmortem.” “He marked her, why?” “I don’t know exactly but I think he is trying to tell us something, that perhaps she isn’t the first.” “Did you run a check on other unsolved murders involving Indigenous women with a similar mark?” “Yes I did and I even expanded my search to include all of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.” “Find anything?” “7 women all with the same M.O and all of which were students from various universities. I believe that we have a serial killer on our hands Det. Diabo.” For a moment the room began to spin.

7th Generation Vol 1 part 2

Vancouver, Canada
Present day

Detective Thomas Diabo had been with Vancouver police dept for 20 years, a Mohawk from the community of Kahnawake he had moved out here to try to “do some good”. The city was different though, much more segregated than Montreal where he got his start as a police officer. Unfortunately it didn’t go the way he’d wanted and the proof of that was the body of another Indigenous woman lying dead in front him. This scene had become all too common on the city’s downtown east side where many Indigenous people tried and fought to make a living. It was an ugly part of town which was just blocks away from Vancouver’s million dollar condos where the rich hung their hats. Her name was Shelly Dawson, she was a student who volunteered as an out reach worker at the Carnegie, a center which serviced many Indigenous residents. “Hey Chief, looks like another squaw bit it.” Squaw, just another term used by police officers to describe Indigenous women, just another prick in blue. “Don’t call me chief. She was a human being and someones daughter….and if I hear you say Squaw again I’ll make sure you walk the beat for the rest of your career!” He hated the term, to him the title of chief was one of honor but nowadays not so much. “Witnesses?” “None so far.” “Okay, assign two units, I want this alley searched and I don’t care if it takes all night.” “Get her down to the coroners I need the results asap. Any next of kin?” “Yea her parents are on their way down from Port Alberni. They’ll be here tomorrow.”

7th Generation Vol 1 chapter 1

As many of you know I’m am working on a graphic novel and starting today I will be sharing chapters, every Tuesday I will release a chapter. I’m hoping that this will help to motivate me to write more so I can get this thing done. So here it is, feel free to share.

7th Generation Vol 1

600 years ago

In the deep woods of the wilderness 6 elders sit by a fire warming themselves. They come from different parts of Turtle Island, speak different languages, belong to different nations but on this night they all speak the same language…the language of peace and of wisdom. They have been coming to this place for nearly 400 years to share their wisdom but this year is different, this year there is an urgency for they have all foreseen the coming darkness, a darkness that will bring many tears and a lot of blood. They are the protectors of the land, chosen by the earth mother herself to protect her children. They know that this darkness cannot be stopped so this is why this meeting is so important? Because preparations are needed, an enemy who wears many masks is coming.

“How much time do we have?” “A generation maybe two.” “Creator help us!” “ What do we need to do?” “ What we have always done, teach, teach as many as we can.” “Let them know that the darkness is coming, that our warriors must be prepared, that our healers must protect the children and share the teachings. This enemy is violent, greedy and has no respect for the land.” “And what of our duty to the earth mother?” “ He is still trapped in his prison where he rots.” “But what of the darkness, what if it is able to break him out?” “Our Strongest medicine makes up his prison, he cannot escape.” “But what if he does, the destruction he did the last time he was free cost many warriors their lives.” “If he does escape then we will put him back.” “If he does escape then the upcoming darkness will only get worse and turtle Island will suffer because of it.” “That will not happen, we will help the coming generations become strong, to stand up to the darkness where ever it may lie. That is after all why she chose us.”