Dog Number Twelve: The Brothers Most Grim

All cops work cases that stand out above the others. The ones that seem a bit more senseless than others. The crimes that make no sense whatsoever. And these cases, well, they’re typically committed by criminals whose wiring is sometimes wildly cross-connected, or the ends of those wires are attached to wrong terminals inside a damaged mind—positives to negative posts or something of that nature.

Personally, I’ve investigated numerous murders where the killers lived in worlds all their own, including man who believed martians told him to kill. And there was another man who thought he was Jesus, the Son of God, a divine position that gave him license to kill at will.  These folks resided entirely within the confines of their unbalanced imaginations and the illnesses that fueled them.

The Briley brothers of Richmond, Va. were a pair of siblings who  assassinated  people for fun. The two, Linwood and James Briley, were responsible for nearly a dozen homicides during a seven month period.

Linwood, whom I had the “honor” of guarding once he was captured after an escape from death row, was the first of the brothers to kill. In 1971, while still a juvenile, he sat at his bedroom window with a rifle and took aim at his elderly neighbor through her kitchen window as she went about her daily routine. He shot and killed her. Just for fun.

The Brileys were nothing short of walking, talking, and breathing, evil, in every sense of the word.

But one of the most senseless and mind boggling of all murders I’d investigated over the years was perhaps a killing that occurred on a lazy, summertime Saturday morning, near the noon hour. The neighborhood kids were out in force, with a group of boys playing a game of baseball in a street marred by dozens of potholes. The asphalt road was lined with four-room houses of clapboard siding and rusty tin roofs. Front yards were mostly dirt of the southern red-clay variety. One or two gangly weeds clung to life here and there, but that was about it for vegetation.

Old people sat on front porch rockers or battered, old cloth couches, drinking iced tea from Mason jars. They were enjoying watching the children play, perhaps thinking back to the day when they played similar games in the era when the streets were nothing more than dirt paths that connected their area to downtown.

But this Saturday morning was a day I’ll always remember. It was a case that involved two brothers. Twins, they were, and the very much true story goes something like this ….


Dog Number Twelve: The Brothers Most Grim



Charcoal fire.


Blue sky.



Bats, gloves.


A hit.



Manhole cover.


Fire Hydrant.



Wood plank.


Old tire.



Laughing, squealing.


No, safe!



Apron on.


Hot dogs.



Both alike.


Teen boys.



Delicious odors.


Mouths watering.



It’s ready.


Piled high.



At table.


Give thanks.



Dig in.


Chewing, swallowing.



Clanging, clicking.


Eleven gone.



One dog.


On platter.



No, mine!


Said mine!



Be sorry.


Kill you!



Number twelve.


With fork.



Number one.


By Two.



Eyes open.


Grabbed dog.



Lifeless Fingers.


And Swallowed.



No more.


In solitary.



For Life.


For dog number twelve.



1 reply
  1. dianahockley
    dianahockley says:

    Lee, this was awful, over a damn sausage – no thought of cutting the thing in half and sharing. 🙁 I would like to know your opinion on this – What Harmful Ideas Are Being Taught to Children? My answer in Quora (worldwide Q & A site) :

    That it is okay, and great fun, to kill living things.

    Just yesterday on Facebook, I saw a photo of a woman who had shot a treed mountain lion. She was grinning, holding up hands covered in blood and announced that killing felt wonderful, the best moment of her life! And she is teaching her sons what a great feeling it is to kill. Watch out, mummy, you might become a nuisance to them later on…

    The father and son who woke up a mother bear from hibernation shot her and then killed her tiny cubs. They dragged the dead bear out of her den, took her tracking collar off, discarded it and took her body away. What they didn’t realise was that a camera was recording their every move. The father got – I think – six months suspended sentence or it may have been six months for his crime. The son – grinning with triumph – got no punishment at all – and he is an adult.

    Squirrel shoots for children! Competitions where little kids are given real guns and encouraged to win prizes for shooting helpless, harmless animals. So the animal might have babies depending on it for their lives? Too bad. “We” are entitled to our fun and prizes for killing the most! Squirrels are pests after all – so parents, just make sure you don’t refer to the baby brother as a pest sometime in the future…?

    Competitions to see who can kill the most bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes. Never mind that the ecosystem will be disrupted – that’s okay, there will be more elk to kill. Whoopee!

    Trophy hunters all over the world, systematically wiping out wildlife – and enabled by government departments – grinning with triumph, paying thousands of dollars to corrupt officials for the privilege of “the hunt” and a selfie. Did you know that so many giraffes have been shot by trophy hunters that the wildlife conservationists think there might be less giraffe left than lions?

    Yesterday – it was a bad day for wildlife – an Australian child, a little girl of about eight or nine, was photographed sitting on the back of a dead dingo, smiling and holding the poor animal’s head up, so we could see the blood from where it was shot. Children here are taught that killing wildlife in Australia – which has the worst record of all countries for wiping out species – is perfectly okay.

    Canned shooting, where cowardly, vicious psychopaths shoot helpless, hand-raised animals and boast about it. Not quite game enough to shoot humans – there are actually penalties for that – but where innocent animals are concerned, it’s WOW, look at me! Aren’t I the biz?

    People who torture animals – the disgusting piece of shit who put a cat into a cage, doused it with petrol and set it alight while he stood there calmly watching it die in agony. After that, he threw the cat’s body to the pit bulls that he taught to fight for their lives. His penalty? Nothing. The Judge couldn’t have cared less and this killer was allowed to walk free. Would you want to live near him? Pity the Judge didn’t live next door to him.

    Is it any wonder that so many children grow up to be killers, to have no care for human or animal life? Is it any wonder that serial killers feel entitled? And that mass shooters see their victims as nothing more than targets? Part of the hunt? Perhaps when the hunters have killed all the wildlife they can start hunting each other…

    I am so glad that I am at the end of my life, and that I don’t have to watch humans destroy the world. I firmly believe that when the wildlife of the world is, for all practical purposes extinct, then we will go too.

    We, as a species, turn on each other without a thought, and quite frankly if I were an inhabitant of a distant planet, I would shoot us out of the sky rather than allow us to land.

    What I would like to know is your take on this?

    I am an Australian and guns are not something I am comfortable with. I was taught to fire a .22 on the farm when I was about 12 but only at targets, NEVER to kill. I suppose Father thought I might need to put an injured animal down one day or he wanted to make sure that any curiosity about the rifle was satisfied or a bit of both.

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