Ever watch a movie or read in the intro of a book where the author says, “Based on actual events?”
That is “Dance with the Devils.”
From time to time, readers ask me if I knew a Nate Burns or even if Nate is a part of me. The answer to that, in the largest sense, is no. Of course, a small part of me is in him as he was first imagined in my mind. I worked for several years in law enforcement and knew several great cops. In that regard, Nate is a little bit of many of those I knew.
This story, however, is based on a crime my partner and I were assigned during my second stationing in Germany. It was a brutal crime committed against one American soldier by many American soldiers and it happened over Labor Day Holiday. The investigation consisted of some forty hours of interviews, evidence gathering, forensic testing and fingerprinting. The victim was transported out of the area as the local US Army hospital didn’t have the facilities for treatment.
And then, it was over. In fact, it never happened. Every piece of evidence gathered was done away with. Every “Rights Waiver” document, every photo, every page of notes was destroyed.
They say every cop takes a case with them they can’t forget. I think that is true. The one case, or investigation they wished they had done better, or at least different. This one is mine and I thank Nate and Jack for helping me purge it from my soul.