02-29-2012, 04:50 PM
As soon as the attack on Criss Angel was made public, the celebrity rumor mill shifted into overdrive, fueled by the fear already gripping a terrorized Las Vegas. Criss was dead, someone said. Criss was paralyzed for life and his career was over, said another. Criss was reported DOA as soon as he arrived at the hospital, yet another reported. Criss was alive but not for long because his injuries were too severe, went still another rumor.
Whatever Criss' condition, official or not, everyone knew who was responsible for this crime yet did not know the identity of the criminal. The mysterious Bomber who had been terrorizing Las Vegas had been among them, biding his time before striking, and they never knew. They had been so focused on Criss Angel they had failed to see the bomb thrown in his path, or who had thrown it. The Loyals who had witnessed the attack seethed with wrath. The Las Vegas Bomber had struck again, and this time it was personal.
In the space of an hour the scene had shifted from Criss Angel MindFreak to CSI: Las Vegas. The scene of the attack was cordoned off with yellow CRIME SCENE tape. Forensics experts combed the valley for clues, sifting through the rocky desert soil for bits and pieces of the bomb. Police investigators listened patiently as hysterically weeping fans blubbered their side of what they had just seen. The LVPD K-9 unit sent their best tracking dogs to sniff out any bomb residue around the perimeter of the demonstration site.
Investgating Officer James Lettrille knelt over the charred soil where the bomb had exploded. From the direction of the shallow crater it left, it had to have come from those rocky cliffs west from where he was right at that moment. Whoever threw it must have had one helluva outfielder's arm, he thought.
He stood upright, stretching his legs. The LVPD had put him in charge of this case as soon as the call was received. Lettrille had a suspect before he started investigating--that psycho Bomber going around Vegas and blowing the hell out of the Strip. Problem was, he didn't know who was the Bomber. Was it one person or more than one? Was it a private hit? Was it even the Bomber, for that matter? It could have been a copycat crime caused by a deranged fan; it was possible, considering Criss' fame. Still, the evidence led to the Bomber. The few fragments found were definatly a pipe bomb, fitting with his MO. He hoped the K-9 unit went up by those rocks and found something.
Lettrille made his way up the rocky incline from the valley. As he approached the CSI lab van, he noticed a middle-aged woman wearing a big straw sunhat standing beside it, looking around anxiously. As soon as she spotted him, she trotted forward. "Are you a police officer?" she asked him eagerly.
"Yes, ma'am," he answered. "Officer Jim Lettrille, LVPD. What can I do for you?" he extended his hand in greeting.
"Carey Conner. It's rather what I can hopefully do for you, Officer," she said, returning the handshake. "I think I have some clue as to whom the Bomber is. It's not much to go on, but..."
Officer Lettrille opened the door of the van. "Step inside, please," he requested.
Carey climbed inside, gingerly tiptoeing around the crime lab equipment for fear of damaging anything. She found a seat at the front of the van and sat down. Lettrille sat beside her in the driver's seat. "So, what information do you have?" Lettrille asked.
Carey drew a deep breath, collecting her thoughts. "I was on my way after the explosion when I heard someone running behind me; he was actually cheering like a fan at a football game!"
"You sure it was a man?"
"Yes, definatly. I heard him say, 'I did it! I did it! No more Criss effing Angel!' It was a younger man's voice--not a teenager, but someone maybe twentysomething or early thirty, somewhere around there. I looked around to see who it was, but I could not find him. I did see a huge Lincoln towncar, those big jobs from back in the Seventies. He peeled out of there so fast, all I could see was a big diagonal dent in the fender and the letters BAC on the license plate."
"Do you know what state?"
"I think it was Nevada, I'm not sure. It had to be. I've seen Arizona license plates, and it definatly wasn't it. It wasn't as colorful as that."
"Can you tell me anything else? Did you get a glimpse of the driver in the car as he drove off?"
"No, he kicked up too much dust to see anything. As I said, he peeled out of there so fast I was lucky to have seen what little I saw. I know it's not much to go on, but--"
"It's all right, Ms. Connor. It's the best lead we got so far. It's gonna take a lot of wading through the DMV lists, but we'll find him. We've busted a lot of criminals with less than that." Lettrille took out his note pad. "I want you to write down your address and phone number where we can contact you. I'll give you my extension number should you remember anything else."
"I'm from Michigan, and I'm staying at the Luxor," she informed him. "I was there when the Bomber struck the first time. It was barely an hour after I arrived. And I was leaving the Magic Club when it blew. I'm beginning to wonder if this guy is after me or something."
"Where were you when the car bomb went off in the Luxor?"
"In my room. We were forced to evacuate down the stairs."
"And you were outside the Magic Castle when it went off?"
"Yes. I was leaving to do some more shopping."
"Do you know of anyone who has anything against you?"
"To the best of my knowledge, no."
"It could be just a coincidence," Letrille said, "but all the same, I'd like to be able to contact you, just in case."
He pushed his notepad to Carey. She scribbled down her cell phone number and hotel room. "That's where you can reach me."
"Anything else you can tell us?" Lettrille prompted. "Any questions?"
"Just one," she replied. "Who the hell is doing this?"
Huge Klieg lights illuminated the crime scene as night fell, allowing the CSI investigators more time to work. Beyond the yellow tape, grieving Loyals huddled in the dimly lit valley, with only candles for light. They were holding vigil for their fallen idol, embracing, weeping upon each other's shoulders, uttering prayers, individually and in groups, asking each other why? Why did he do it? Why did this maniac injure Criss, their beloved Angel, who had harmed no one?
Some watched the CSI team as they hunched over the site where Criss had fallen, straining to hear of any new discovery, any new piece of evidence that would bring the killer to justice. Others grouped around radios tuned to news stations for the latest word on Criss' condition like underground freedom fighters listening to Radio Free Europe. The very mention of Criss' name sent everyone shushing everyone else so they could hear the newscast. No one moved, no one even dared breathe for fear of missing out on the smallest detail.
Our top story: Famous illusionist Criss Angel is reported to be in critical condition in L--- Hospital after a pipe bomb attack during taping of his series. Criss is reported to be in a coma since the attack, and has suffered flash burns on parts of his face and hands, as well as severe eye injuries. The attack is reputed to be caused by the so-called Las Vegas Bomber who has been terrorizing the city this past week. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow morning at ten AM at the Luxor Hotel and Casino concerning Criss Angel and the investgation of the attack. Anyone with any information regarding the attack is encouraged to contact the police as soon as possible.
"In a coma?" a fan cried. "That means he's still alive!"
"How long was he in a coma? The longer he's out, the more likely he'll suffer brain damage."
"Oh, God! Please don't let Criss die!"
"God damn the mother(bleeper) who did this! I hope he rots in the lowest, foulest, most fetid depths of Hell for this!"
Thousands of Loyals shared those very sentiments around the world, on line, in text, and in person, in private homes, in parks, in the Nevada desert, or wherever they could congregate, the Loyals banded together in sorrowing solidarity. Fans of all faiths stormed Heaven for Criss' miraculous recovery: rosaries, litanies, prayer chains, shimas (the Jewish prayer for those facing death), and simple pleas for deliverance from the jaws of death rose from grieving hearts to whatever Deity they believed in. Thousands more encircled the Luxor, waiting for word of Criss' condition, and to share their sorrow with his family, who were now at the hospital, keeping a tearful vigil of their own by Criss' bedside, with only their faith in God to sustain them.
Dimitra Sarantakos, beloved mother of Criss Angel, endeared to his fans as Mother Angel, sat numbly next to her comatose son, his head swathed in gauze with only his nose and mouth visible, blinded and maimed from the flash and flames of the pipe bomb thrown at him. How many times, she wondered, how many times had she worried about him when he did such dangerous stunts, that it would be his last, only to see him walk away unscathed? True, he did end up in the emergency room at times, but he always walked out the next day at the latest. Now, her worst nightmare had come true, only this time it wasn't even his fault. Someone else had caused this. But who? And why?
Dear Lord, she prayed silently, be with my Christopher tonight. Bless him and heal him of his injuries. Restore his sight to him, that he may look upon Your world again. Take my life, not his, dear Lord! A mother should not have to outlive her children! Take my life for his, dear God! Take me, and spare my son, Christopher!