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Too horrible for words 

I guess we just want to know what happened. You can’t really call it morbid curiosity, or even plain curiosity. When the world is rocked by an unspeakably horrific event like the one that led to 15-year-old Dystiny Myers’ death, we need to know why. Maybe it’s to understand what could drive such despicable evil. Or because somehow combing through the details can keep us from forgetting or tricking ourselves into thinking these types of things don’t actually happen.

Not that anyone could truly empathize, or even approach the degree of pain Myers’ family has experienced, but we all need to get hit in the face with every detail and make it as painful as possible.

That’s why we poke around. Why we ask questions. Why we read the paper or listen to the first-hand accounts in court.

Maybe out of embarrassment, or a megalomaniacal drive for control, the goal of this case’s handlers—and, in an impressive show of teamwork, the cops and courts appear to be sharing the burden of this particular endeavor—seems to be to shut everyone out. And with our limited glimpse into these proceedings, we already know that on at least one occasion, they outright lied.

Way back when, almost six months ago now, there was this rumor of a videotape. Dan Blackburn even reported about it on his website. Rumor had it that a gas station security camera caught footage of a truck containing Myers and her murderers (allegedly). The tape, if it existed, documented Myers being beaten in the covered bed of the truck, struck repeatedly to keep her quiet. It was controversial because outside, not far away, two cops were standing by, sipping coffee, oblivious to what was happening—as the rumor went.

It would have been easy to blame the cops for letting the bad guys get away. Call them names, embellish the facts. But it was dark, hard to see what was going on. In fact, it was probably almost impossible to see what was happening in that truck.

New Times asked around—the Sheriff’s Department, the Pismo Beach Police Department, the gas station manager. Everyone said there was no tape and the rumor was just that: a rumor. There was no tape, or, if there was, there was no way it captured anything like two cops standing by as Myers was beaten. In effect, the official response was that the content of the tape—which didn’t exist—was untrue.

That all turned out to be Grade A horseshit. As the preliminary hearing unfolds, witnesses have taken the stand and confirmed every … single … detail of that rumor. But there wasn’t much room for questioning back then. The top “official” sources—folks like Sheriff’s Department spokesman Rob Bryn—were lying through their teeth, happily puckering their lips after a court-issued gag order cinched up every piece of information from escaping. Apparently, these guys aren’t such big Shakespeare fans, as it was the bard who first wrote, “the truth will out.” Incidentally, the same passage also waggishly warns that “murder cannot be hid long.” I just never thought the “good guys” would be the ones wetting themselves while the truth was primping for its big debut.

Now they want to do it again. Despite the immensity of the case, the court is allowing only one camera in at a time. And the District Attorney’s Office wants to bar the public, lock out the media, and effectively keep every detail tucked away behind closed doors.

I have trouble understanding why. After all, they can always just keep lying—that seemed to work out last time.

Maybe I’m jumping on them too early over this case, but I’m already confused. Case in point: Cops found bats, shovels, samurai swords, and brass knuckles in the home they believe Myers was beaten in. All those weapons were caked in blood, which investigators assume to be Myers’ blood. I’m saying “assume” because they haven’t tested the blood yet.

    This all came out in court—right out in the open—while it still was open to the public. Investigators said they found blood and were convinced it either belonged to Myers or Cody Lane Miller, who got a shovel in the face when everyone started turning on each other (allegedly). But they haven’t tested it—yet. I don’t know, maybe they will later. Since the Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have its own DNA lab, it has to send out samples for testing to a special contractor, which costs big bucks.

I’m no crime scene investigator—Nancy Drew is sometimes beyond my deduction prowess—but I always thought you tested blood found on a suspected murder weapon. Screw the cost, especially in a case like this. They might test it later, or maybe, with the speed at which the defendants turned on one another, they’re counting on sufficient narrative to surface to convince a jury. Who knows? But then again, I’d say this is a case you don’t want to blow.

If there’s a question of cost, then I might point out that this department blew $6,283 to upgrade and buy a spiffy new hardtop for a Dodge Viper to teach kids the dangers of dealing drugs (did I mention the car was seized in a drug raid?) But no, I agree, testing blood in a murder investigation is the type of expense you can put off for a few months. If it’s too pricey, I’m sure you can find some extravagances to sell.

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