03-20-2012, 02:59 PM
"How is she?" JD asked Criss as he quietly closed the bedroom door behind him.
"She's sleeping right now," Criss quietly replied. "I think she's gonna be okay."
JD nodded. It had been a night of terror for the entire family--indeed, for the entire city of Las Vegas, for the news networks had been running minute-by-minute coverage of the Bomber's escape, recapture and suicide by self-detonation. Now, it was all over. Edward Charles Emory was dead, and a besieged city breathed a collective sigh of relief. No mention was made of Dimitra's kidnapping, however, to the family's relief, even though they knew full well that it would come out sooner or later. And when it did, all hell would break loose, especially among the Loyals, even though Emory was dead. At least Dimitra would be spared the ordeal of testifying at trial.
When their beloved mother was wheeled into the hotel suite, she was greeted with tearful embraces and prayers of thanksgiving by her sons and nephews. As much as they wanted to hear the details of her kidnapping, she insisted that she needed rest. A bit of fruit to settle her empty stomach and she was settled into bed, an ice pack on her ankle. She was asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.
"Any word on the Bomber's capture?" Criss asked.
"We'd been watching the local news all night," JD replied. "The Sunhat Lady was in the neighborhood and almost ran him down--personally, I wish she had. But the cops showed up, and were taking him away in the police van when he blew himself up."
"He blew himself up?" Criss repeated, not quite believing what he had just heard.
"Yeah, he had some explosives on him, and when he was in the van, boom! Blew himself up right there in the van. And they had already stripped a few pounds off him before they hauled him off."
"Anyone get hurt?"
"Nah, that police van was reinforced with armor plating. The driver got out okay, and there was some damage to the interior, but no casualties--except Emory, of course."
"So, he took the coward's way out," Criss muttered aloud.
JD nodded again, then sighed wearily. "We've been up all night worrying about Mom. What happened when you delivered the ransom?"
"I went into this old house" Criss related. "It was so dark, I couldn't see, even if I had normal night vision. He was there, taunting me, saying I had two minutes to rescue Mom before the house blew up. I know he took the money and ran, but I couldn't see where he went. I heard Mom upstairs, and broke down the door where she was being held prisoner. We ran so fast down the stairs, Mom tripped and sprained her ankle. We ducked in the Lambo, but nothing happened. Some guy named Brent came by on neighborhood watch and drove us home." Criss smiled at that. "He was a real car buff. I think he said something about working in an auto parts store--I didn't catch which one. Anyway, he didn't want to get out of the car when we got here--I practically had to pry the keys out of his hand!"
JD smiled for the first time that night. "Well, the important thing is that you're both back, safe and sound."
"I don't know about that," Criss said doubtfully. "Safe, yeah, but I don't know about 'sound' in Mom's case. God knows what that (bleeper) did to her. If he wasn't dead already, I'd kill him!"
That very same sentiment was shared by thousands of angry Loyals, seething with wrath when the story of Dimitra's kidnapping by the Vegas Bomber was made public. They practically competed with one another to see who could come up with words strong enough to express their outrage. How dared he do such a thing to their beloved Mother Angel! It was bad enough that he almost killed Criss, but to kidnap and threaten Mother Dimitra was, in their eyes, the ultimate sin. The Web was aflame with the most venemous attacks on a single person since Osama bin Ladin became a household name. Every website dedicated to Criss Angel was inundated with hate mail against the Vegas Bomber. Some of the posts were so vitrolic that the Moderators supervising them were forced to delete them, only to find new flaming threads cropping up like random grass fires during a draught.
After her official police statement the next morning, she accompained Criss to his press conference dealing with the entire affair. Criss held his mother's hand tenderly (a sharp-eyed cameraman took a few seconds' footage of it) as she tearfully but courageously related her horrifying experience and her son's heroic rescue of her from the house on Ubeck Street. When asked about his reaction to his mother's ordeal, Criss simply replied, "How would you have reacted if this happened to your mother?"
Carey Conner packed her bags and called for luggage service to take them down to the lobby, where she would take a cab to the airport. She had all the information she needed for the book; she could write it in the comfort of her home.
Home. The very word was as soothing as a hot bath. Carey was glad to be leaving this city at last. Las Vegas may be the Entertainment Capital of the World to everyone else, but to her, it had been a living nightmare. Some vacation this turned out to be! she thought miserably. From now on, I'm sticking close to home! I should have gone to Mackinac Island or something!
Carey heard a knock on the door of her room. She rose to answer it, thinking it was luggage service to pick up her bags. She opened the door, but instead of a hotel employee, she saw Criss Angel standing there, smiling.
Needless to say, Carey was startled. "Criss! What are you doing here?"
"I heard you were leaving, so I came to say good-bye," he explained. "And to thank you for all your help in capturing the Bomber. You're a real hero, you know."
Carey flustered about nervously. "Well, I...I mean, really...I..."
"Yeah, really," Criss insisted. "If it hadn't been for you, this whole city would have been blown up. You deserve a medal for nailing that guy when you did. My brother said you should have run him over completely."
"He's not worth a murder rap," Carey said.
"Anyway, I wanted to show my appreciation for all you've done." Criss said as he magically produced a small white envelope and handed it to her. "It's two tickets to the premiere to Believe, my new show in October, all expenses paid. And no bomb threats, I promise."
"Oh, well," Carey was flattered at the offer. She knew Loyals would have sold their souls for these tickets--they ran up to a hundred bucks a pop. To be invited to a premire showing of any Las Vegas event was a rare priviege. "Uh, thank you, Criss. Thank you very much."
Criss shook his head. "No," he said, "thank you very much."
With that, he took Carey into his arms and embraced her. Carey smiled to herself. Maybe this vacation wasn't such a total waste after all, she thought.
Officer James Lettrille was promoted to Sergeant with full honors and awarded a medal of valor for his work in the capture of the Vegas Bomber.
Captain Marshall Harding received a commendation for the handling of the Bomber case and the retrieval of explosives. He has written a manual for all law enforcement personnel on how to handle bomb threats and their detection; it is now required for all police cadets to take a course in bomb disposal in the state of Nevada.
The Nevada State Legislature unanimously voted down a bill eliminating the death penalty. Supporters of the bill stated that public opinion was too strong in the wake of the Vegas Bomber.
Carey Conner's book, Avenging Angel, made the New York Times best seller list within two months after its release. She has made numerous public appearances, and had been interviewed on Larry King Live. The reward money she received went into her retirement fund, minus an undisclosed amount donated to the Vegas Victims' Fund. Though she made a name for herself in publishing in later years, she will always be known as the Sunhat Lady to the Loyal, Criss Angel's fanclub.
Rosemary Thorton, the elderly woman who cared for Bethany Silverman after the death of her parents in the Luxor bombing, passed away a month before her nintieth birthday. She bequeathed her treasured Houdini penny to Criss Angel in gratitude for restoring her rosary beads. She was buried beside her husband in Portland, New Hampshire.
Bethany Silverman is currently living with relatives in Bethseda, Maryland. She received her parents' insurance money a month after her arrival; her aunt and uncle have invested it in a college fund for her.
Brent diOrio is now studying law enforcement. He claims his knowledge of automobiles would be useful in preventing future car bombings.
Criss Angel's new show, Believe, met with rave reviews. He says that his night vision is improving, and he will perform the desert valley demonstration again at a future date. He has neither confirmed or denied any rumors concerning a TV movie based on Avenging Angel. His mother, Dimitra, returned safely back to New York after her ankle healed.
Dr. Michael Stone of Columbia University and host of the television series, Most Evil, did a segment on the Vegas Bomber, rating him a fifteen on his Scale of Evil, for psychopathic "cold-blooded" spree or multiple murders.
The autopsy on Edward Emory revealed three pounds of highly volitile explosives strapped to his thighs, hidden in his sweatpants. The enclosed van contained the blast within, creating a sealed chamber which created such heat and force it all but reduced him to ashes. His legs were practically blown off, and his upper torso was charred beyond recognition. It was determined that he died instantly. His remains were cremated, and the ashes are currently stored in the Clark County Mortuary. As of this writing, no one has come forward to claim them.