Careful what you wish for
Dull, boring, pathetic. These words kept running thru Ginger’s mind when she thought about her life. No one special and nothing special; she just seemed to blend in with her surroundings. It was the same old story every day----sleep, work, eating (too much) and then there were the movies. She could get lost in the movies, dreaming of being the heroine and getting the hunky guy that would lavish her with love and gifts and travel and make her life wonderful and worth living. Oh well, back to reality and this horribly dull job. If she didn’t concentrate on what she was doing, Mr. Beeler would start screaming at her again. Little did Ginger know that her life wasn’t going to be dull and boring for much longer.
The trial of the leader of the Dominic crime family, was about to begin in Moore County in two weeks. Dominic has been charged with extortion, robberies, and murder among other things along with several members of his family. The case had received tremendous media attention and other members of the family had made repeated threats to anybody who might be members of the jury.
Mr. Robert Minchello, lead District Attorney prosecuting the case realized that he needed to get people from neighboring counties that had no ties to Moore County. He started to make several telephone calls to other District Attorneys around the area to get a pool of jurors. One of the telephone calls was to Janine Young, a district attorney in the next county over from Moore County.
“Hello, Ms. Young’s office” answered the receptionist. “Can I please speak with Janine Young?” She answered momentarily, and Robert Minchello proceeded to identify himself. “As you probably know, the trial of the Dominic crime family leader is scheduled in a couple weeks. I’m trying to get some jurors that haven’t been affected by the media attention or the crime family”. “No problem, be glad to help” said Ms. Young. “I’ll look through my files and see who is next for jury duty and I’ll get back to you.” “Thanks, I look forward to talking with you again” said Minchello and hung up.
Janine went to her file cabinet and pulled out the file labeled “JURY DUTY”. She opened the file and took the first name off the list – Ginger Martin. Janine called Ginger to advise her of the news that she had been selected for jury duty. “Hello, Ginger, this is Janine Young, I’m the DA here in the county, and your name has been picked for jury duty”. Excitement bristled and an enthusiastic Ginger said, “Ok, when and where should I report? “ She asked no questions; it was her moment, and she never gave a thought to anything else.
“The trial that you have been picked for is in Moore County, but you will have outstanding hotel accommodations, and I will personally drive you to the courthouse so you don’t have to use your own vehicle. Ginger couldn’t help smiling with her sudden self importance. She’d been singled out to be on this jury----a new experience in a new place. Maybe her life would take a turn for the better. Before she could hang the phone up, her mind was off developing her own movie where she was at the center of the court proceedings.
A couple weeks later, Janine picked Ginger up from her house and drove her to Moore County Courthouse. Ginger was approximately 62 years old, 5’6, pleasantly plump with dull brown eyes she hated and short auburn hair. She’d used the trial as an excuse to make herself shop, something she despised, and actually looked quite nice in her black pants suit and crisp white blouse. Janine and Ginger made general conversation as they drove to Moore County.
Ginger arrived at the courthouse for jury selection and later that afternoon she was picked for the jury. Not realizing the magnitude of the case because she had never heard of the Dominic crime family and did not keep up with the news, she volunteered to be foreperson of the jury. No one else seemed interested in being the foreperson which Ginger still didn’t understand. Of well, she’d be in the spotlight and they’d all have to pay attention to her now. As the jury was being picked, members of the Dominic crime family were inside the courtroom taking notes and plotting their next moves.
Back at the their small house in a deserted area outside of town, the crime boss’ two daughters, Wanda and Jackie, a couple of middle aged women with tattoos all over their bodies, were coming up with a plan to get their father acquitted. Boyfriends, Tony and Johnny, were helping with the plan. “The first part of the plan is going to be kidnapping one of the main witnesses so she won’t be able to testify. I was thinking about the bank’s accountant, Terry Baugh,” stated Tony. “Sounds good to me, and the second part should be taking someone from the jury,” answered Wanda. “Did you notice the foreperson on the jury?” asked Jackie. “Doesn’t Aunt Mary look almost exactly like that woman? We should replace that woman with Aunt Mary!”
Over the next several days, Ginger and her fellow jurors heard opening arguments and evidence from both sides. The state began to present the case against the Dominic crime family by calling some witnesses and showing evidence to the jury. The jury convened for a lunch break, and the main witness was going to be the last one to testify for the day. Then the jury would be able to deliberate.
Terry was 46 years old, very petite, immaculately dressed and quite striking with her shiny brown hair and large green eyes. The weather was beautiful, and she decided to walk to the courthouse which was just a short distance away from her hotel. As she walked down the street, she passed a white panel van. Tony and Johnny were hiding in the van dressed in black outfits with black ski masks. The van door opened, and it took Tony only seconds to step out and grab Terry. She was startled and started to scream but he quickly clamped his right hand over her mouth, and wrapped his left arm around her body, and dragged her back into the van.
With Terry face down on the carpet, Johnny quickly took out a black cloth and forced the cloth between Terry’s lips, then tied the ends behind her head. He took out a black zip-tie and tied her hands behind her back and used another to bind her ankles together.
“Part One is done. We’re en-route to the house” Tony telephoned Wanda.
The van pulled into the garage where Tony carried Terry into the house and placed her on the floor. They cut off Terry’s zip-ties and helped her to the restroom. Once Terry finished with the restroom, she was led over to a straight back wooden chair located in the back bedroom. Terry was seated on the chair with her hands behind the chair. Tony took white nylon rope and tied Terry’s wrists together then looped around the back of the chair which pulled Terry’s hands against the chair. Next, he looped rope above and below her breasts securing her to the chair. He bound her ankles and knees together, then ran a piece of rope from her ankles to a rung of the chair immobilizing her feet. They wouldn’t have to worry about her for quite a while.
Back at the courthouse, everyone was waiting on Terry to show up but she never made it. They called the hotel and her cell phone but received no answer. DA Robert Minchello stood up and told the judge, “My witness has not arrived yet your honor. If she shows at a later time, I reserve the right to call her to testify”. An uneasy feeling washed over DA Minchello, and he whispered to his assistant to send someone to find her.
The judge agreed to the motion and then gave instructions to the jury and sent them to the jury room to deliberate on the evidence they’d heard. Most of the jurors stated that they did not believe the state had proven their case and wanted to acquit the defendant. The only holdout was Ginger, and she kept insisting that he was guilty. At four o’clock, the jury told the judge that they were unable to come to a decision today, so the judge dismissed them with the usual cautions about discussing the case with anyone. They would reconvene tomorrow to continue deliberations.
Wanda received a telephone call from one of the other jurors, “Just wanted to call and tell you that the lone holdout for acquittal is the foreperson – the older looking redhead”.
“Thank you, you’ll be well compensated for that information” answered Wanda then hung up the phone. Wanda called Tony and Johnny and said “Looks like we have to execute part two of the plan. The foreperson is a holdout, and if there is a hung jury, then we’d have to do this all over again”.
Janine had given Ginger a ride back to the hotel. As they walked toward the elevator, the two made plans to meet for dinner and didn’t notice Wanda and Jackie following them to the elevator. Wanda and Jackie, with a bag slung over her shoulder, followed the women up to their rooms and then continued down the hall like they were going to their rooms.
Janine and Ginger exited the hotel elevator to their rooms, and Ginger said “I’m going to lie down for a bit. This day was emotionally draining. I’ll come to your room in a little while so we can head out to dinner”.
“Ok, sounds great” answered Janine.
Wanda and Jackie moved to the alcove at the end of the hallway and began discussing their options to get into Ginger’s room. They heard a racket and looked around the corner to see two hotel maids dressed in uniforms beside a big supply closet a few doors down.
Wanda made a telephone call, “Mary, it’s Wanda, can you get down to the hotel fast, we need to make our move”.
Wanda and Jackie approached the maids at the walk-in closet and started to make small talk with them. Wanda quickly pulled a gun and motioned for them to move into the closet and be quiet. It was tight quarters with all four in the closet, but Wanda and Jackie managed to undress and truss up the maids and tie their hands tied behind their backs, and bind their ankles and knees with black zip-ties and stuff cloth into their mouths. They finished the process by putting strips of gray duct tape over their mouths. “Don’t worry ladies, it won’t be for long” Wanda told her bound and gagged captives. A few minutes later, Wanda and Jackie were finishing putting on the maid’s uniform and shoes and ready to meet Aunt Mary.
They waited only a short time before Mary showed up with her newly red hair. Her makeup matched Ginger’s, and she was dressed in a black pants suit, white blouse and her green eyes were dancing with nervous anticipation.
Wanda and Jackie wheeled the laundry cart down to Ginger’s room and knocked on the door. “Housekeeping, we need to drop off some new towels and tidy up your room,” Wanda said quietly as she opened up the door with her passkey.
Wanda and Jackie tiptoed into the room and saw that Ginger was lying on her back with her hands clasped on her chest, sleeping quietly. Wanda quickly opened the door again and allowed Mary to come into the room. The three women tiptoed over to Ginger’s bed. Wanda went to the top of the bed while Jackie stayed at the bottom, and Mary stood over Ginger with a wadded up cloth. Ginger started to wake up when the women made their move. Wanda grabbed Ginger’s wrists above her head while Jackie grabbed each of her ankles. When Ginger started to realize what was happening, she opened her mouth to scream. As she opened her mouth, Mary stuck the wadded up cloth into her mouth then clamped her hand down on her mouth stifling her screams.
“If you want to live, then shut up and stop struggling” Mary angrily told her. Ginger’s eyes were wide open because she was practically looking at her twin---a twin who had the beautiful green eyes that she had always wanted. Ginger nodded her head, and Mary flipped Ginger onto her back. “Oh, you’re going to make it easy for me” Mary told Ginger as she pulled the scarf from Ginger’s neck, twirled it into a band and used it to keep the gag in place. Wanda and Jackie worked to bind her hands behind her back and tie her at the knees and ankles. Then to finish it off, Mary blindfolded Ginger with a white cloth and started pulling off her few pieces of jewelry.
Janine knocked on Ginger’s door and called to her that she had decided to come to her room instead and asked if she was ready to go and eat. Wanda and Jackie quickly hid in the closet and kept the door slightly ajar. Mary adjusted her voice to sound nasal like Ginger’s and called out for Janine to give her just a minute. Mary quickly put in brown contacts and put on Ginger’s jewelry and opened the door. Janine entered the room and sat down to adjust her shoe complaining it was pinching her toes. She began to speak with the imposter about their dinner choices and what restaurants sounded good. Throughout the conversation, Janine felt there was something different about Ginger, something not quite right. Mary told Janine that her makeup was smudged and she should go to the bathroom to fix it before they went out. As Janine approached the bathroom door, a white cloth with a sweet smell, was clamped over her mouth. Janine began to frantically struggle but Wanda kept the pressure on until Janine finally passed out.
Jackie wheeled the laundry cart over to the bed and all three women hoisted Ginger from the bed into the cart then placed Janine inside the cart beside her. Before placing some sheets over them, Wanda bent down and whispered into Ginger’s ears, “If you make any sounds, we will kill you and your family, do you understand?” Ginger nodded in agreement then the pile of sheets covered them up.
Wanda and Jackie wheeled the laundry cart out of the room and into the elevator. People were going about their daily business inside the hotel as Ginger and Janine were wheeled out back to a waiting van. Wanda and Jackie smiled as they wheeled the cart towards the door knowing that nobody knew they had a mature redheaded woman bound and gagged inside along with a nice looking attorney.
Wanda opened the back door of the van and wheeled the cart up the ramp and into the van. Wanda jumped in the back with them while Jackie jumped in the driver’s seat and sped away towards the house on the outskirts of town. While they were driving, Wanda quickly placed black zip-ties around Janine’s wrists, and ankles then placed a white cloth around her mouth for a gag and blindfolded her.
Once they arrived at the house, Wanda and Jackie wheeled the cart into the garage where they were met by Tony and Johnny who were wearing their black ski masks. They removed the sheets from the cart and lifted Ginger and the semi-conscious Janine from the bin onto a bed inside a bedroom and then untied them and took their blindfolds off. “Now, use the bathroom and cooperate so you won’t get hurt” Tony told a scared Ginger and Janine.
Tony and Johnny marched Ginger into another room where she let out a gasp as she saw Terry sitting in a chair bound and gagged. Ginger was pushed down in a chair next to Terry and placed her hands behind her back. Tony tied her hands together, then to the back of the chair. He wrapped rope above and below Ginger’s chest, then he tied rope around Ginger’s ankles and knees, immobilizing her feet like Terry’s. Next, they brought Janine into the room and made her lie face down on the floor, crossed her legs then tied rope around her ankles. Then they tied her left wrist to her right ankle and her right wrist to her left ankle. Janine was oddly calm at being tied up like this because it was almost like being back in Yoga class, and she was double jointed so the stretch wasn’t painful.
The next day, they jury began to deliberate again, this time with a fake juror. During deliberations, “Ginger” made a complete 180 degree turn from guilty to not guilty. The jury came back into the courtroom, and the foreperson, stood up and stated, “We the jury find the defendant, not guilty of all charges.”
The defendant turned around and made eye contact with Wanda and Jackie then smiled. It took a couple hours for the jail to release Louis Dominic but there were hugs all around once he was released. Wanda called Tony and Johnny at the house and advised them that dear ole Dad had been released and to meet them at the pre-determined location.
Tony and Johnny, still wearing their black ski masks, walked back into the room where their three bound and gagged captives were located. “Our objective has been achieved, so we bid you a fond farewell; sorry for the rope and gag ensemble but we need time to get away,” Tony told the women. Johnny walked over to Terry to make sure every piece of rope and cloth were tight and was going to the others next but Johnny kept yelling for him to come on. He left and the women heard a car start and roar away and then there was nothing but silence and their desperation.
There they were; a valuable witness, the foreperson of the jury and a high-priced attorney all bound and gagged---unable to move a muscle or scream. Ginger and Terry began trying to hop around on the chairs but realized the chairs might tip over causing more harm. The ladies moaned and groaned through their gags but all that came out was muffled sounds. Janine started wriggling around and was able to roll over to Ginger and position herself at the back of Ginger’s chair. Realization hit and Ginger leaned over so her chair fell to the ground and she was back-to-back with Janine. They were able to get their hands together, and over the next couple of hours, Ginger untied one of Janine’s wrists while Terry sat in her chair bound and gagged mewing encouragement. Once Janine’s wrist became free, she was able to move her body around to untie her other wrist which caused her feet to fall free. She pulled the cloth from her mouth and stood up and stretched. Then she went over and untied Terry and Ginger from their respective chairs. As the ropes fell to the floor, Ginger began to untie her ankles and remove the cloth from her mouth while realizing just how good a boring life could be. She said, “I guess the trial is over and Dominic is a free man, but at least nobody got hurt”. “Don’t worry, his time will come” answered Janine. All three women hugged each other then called the authorities to tell them of their ordeal.
Aunt Mary stood at the sink after shampooing the red from her hair, smiling because her brother and nieces were on the way out of the country. Those idiots may never figure this one out she thought as the bathroom door burst open and police came in and pushed her to the wall to be cuffed. The tell-tale bottle of red dye in the trash and the brown contacts in the container on the sink were going to make it really hard to talk her way out of this one.