Murder in a small town

Posted on February 24, 2012

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“rain slowly slides down the glass as if the night is crying.”

— Patricia Cornwell, Trace

 

By Feb. 7, I’d already covered a fire that destroyed businesses, three fatal car crashes and a  pit bull attacking a police officer during a drug raid. I thought I’d seen the worse that the crime beat had to offer. On Feb. 8, all that changed. Feb. 8 was the day I started covering a homicide.

At 5:22 pm, the call went out over the scanner. My photographer and I were at the scene within minutes. What I saw while I was there will haunt me for quite a while.

Before you even ask — no, I did not see a body. What I saw was the hysteria that surrounded the house on 617 Bartram St. Family members walking up, crying and shrieking. A suspect being taken into custody after strolling right up to the family of the victim. People crying, people vomiting. The weight of the entire scene felt like it was going to cause me to collapse.

I stood in 27 degree weather wearing only a blouse, dress pants and a hooded jacket for two hours. As I shivered, observing the scene, the story started to unfold around me: Amy Aldrich, 30-year-old mother of three, was shot to death in her cousin’s home. That alone was enough to make my stomach turn. A woman my age — a mother, sister and daughter, along with many other titles — killed at such a young age.

More details came out as the sun sank below the horizon: She’d had issues with her ex and their violent relationship had allegedly drove her out of her hometown of Marion and into Latty, Ohio to live with her mother.

Her aunt said that she started to put her life back together then. She started to attend college, she wanted to do right by her kids. She met a man, and she really liked him. Then, on Feb. 8, she came back to Marion for a 10 am child support hearing. Her ex never showed. She was waiting for a ride at her cousin’s house on Bartram Street when someone broke into the house and shot her.

Her ex, Bo Cook, was taken into custody on Feb. 8 and held on other charges. He received a $25000 bond and bonded out of jail on Feb. 9.

Feb. 10 led to new information from police about a silver SUV that was seen fleeing the scene.

On Feb. 15, police searched houses on Plymouth Street and found weapons. They arrested Bo Cook on a charge of complicity to aggravated murder and Raymond Bertuzzi on a charge of aggravated murder.

Allegedly, Cook hired or obtained Bertuzzi to kill Aldrich.

Aldrich was buried on Feb. 17 — just another plunge in her family’s 10-day roller coaster ride.

The two were set to have preliminary hearings on Feb. 23, but the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor so the cases could move directly to grand jury for indictment.

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That’s the story, in a nutshell — well, a really big nutshell. And you wonder why I haven’t written a post since Feb. 1?

This is the kind of story that gets under your skin and slithers around. It was hard to put it down when I went home at night. It is still hard. It’s ingrained at this point. Everything I wrote, dates and all, came from memory. I just spoke to her family members again yesterday. This will stay with me until the day the gavel sounds and the sentence for those who killed her is in the books. But, for me, this will get easier. The nightmares of what I saw, and what I am dealing with will begin to fade. I know that her family is dealing with so much more.

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As a side note:

I’m currently trying to figure out a way to generate content for my blog without long blog posts. I may be adding pictures and video as well.

If you have any input on new content development ideas, please feel free to email me or leave a comment!

 

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