The Thing I Like About …

Forensic Files: the Death of Helle Crafts: that they caught the guy.

Helle Crafts was killed in 1986 by her husband; he rented a wood chipper, chopped her up in it, and sprayed her miniscule remains into a segment of the woods by a creek. Whatever was left of her looked like cedar shavings from a hamster cage. No one had seen him. No one knew anything about it. There was, technically, no body – no-body-no-crime. He had committed what promised to be the perfect crime, and gotten away with murder.

But investigators buckled down.

They searched for days and weeks at the place where Helle’s husband had parked his woodchipper; they searched through every millimeter of the ground for any sign of Helle. They found pieces of bone so small that they looked like gravel. They found a tooth-crown. They ultimately found a tooth. The typed the bone, and it came back O+ – Helle’s blood-type. The tooth matched a tooth from her dental records. And the bones had marks on them from blood vessels found only in human skulls. Some of the bones were from the side of the skull – investigators didn’t know if Helle was dead or alive before those bones came out of her head, but they knew she was dead after.

And they knew who had made her that way, and they put him in jail.

It isn’t just about the value of dedication and perseverance, although that’s certainly very important in our struggle against the evil element among us.

It’s about our tendency to be daunted by the things in our lives – we worry about that meeting, or what’s for dinner, or whether we can write that book. We don’t believe in our ability to face confrontation or conflict or obstacles; we let ourselves feel discouraged and disappointed at every turn about things little to big. We’re afraid of a lot of things – but more to the point, we just don’t feel up to a lot of things. We just don’t think a lot of things are possible, and we don’t let ourselves entertain “silly” notions of stuff that “can’t be done.”

We don’t even want other people to entertain those notions; we go out of our way to put people “in their place,” and to make sure they’re “practical” and “realistic.”

But if they can find Helle Crafts in a pile of tiny cedar shavings, if they can take things that look more like gravel than parts of a person, then anybody can do anything.

Anything is possible.

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