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By Reason of Insanity

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Table of Contents

BY REASON OF INSANITY

by

RANDY SINGER

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Carol Stream, Illinois

Visit Tyndale's exciting Web site at www.tyndale.com

Visit Randy Singer's Web site at www.randysinger.net

TYNDALE
and Tyndale's quill logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

By Reason of Insanity

Copyright (c) 2008 by Randy Singer. All rights reserved.

Cover photo copyright (c) by Veer. All rights reserved.

Interior inkblot (c) by Cheryl Graham/iStockphoto. All rights reserved.

Author photo copyright (c) 2008 by Don Monteaux. All rights reserved.

Designed by Dean H. Renninger

Some Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible(r), copyright (c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Some Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(r). NIV(r). Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Some Scripture quotations are taken from
The Holy Bible
, King James Version.

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Singer, Randy (Randy D.) By reason of insanity / Randy Singer. p. cm.

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-1633-8 (hc)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-2287-2 (Palm)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-2286-5 (Mobipocket)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-2285-8 (MS Reader)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-2288-9 (Sony)

1. Serial murders--Fiction. 2. Trials (Murder)--Fiction. 3. Insanity defense--Fiction. 4. Traumatic neuroses--Fiction. I. Title.

PS3619.I5725B9 2008 813'.6--dc22 2008005506

Special Copyright Notice

The text of this book is an eBook file intended for one reader only. It may be used by that reader on computers and devices that he or she owns and uses. It may not be transmitted in whole or part to others except as stated above.

Up to 500 words of this work may be quoted without written permission of publisher, provided it is not part of a compilation of works nor more than 5 percent of the book or work in which it is being quoted. The full title, author's name, and copyright line shall be included. No more than 500 words of this work may be posted on a web site or sent electronically to other users. In all uses of quoted material from this book, the full copyright line shall appear in a readable type size where the text appears. The author's name shall not be used in the title of a web site or in the advertising of the site. The author's name may not be used on the cover of any other book in which a portion of this material is quoted without written permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Quotes in excess of 500 words, use of the text as part of a compilation, use of text that is greater than 5 percent of the book in which it will be quoted, or other permission requests shall be directed in writing to Tyndale House Publishers, Permissions Dept. 351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188.

"I'm starting to see my own handwriting on the wall, and it looks mysteriously like a guilty verdict."

Quinn Newberg

1

Quinn Newberg rose to face the jury one last time. The pressure of the case constricted his chest and pounded on his temples. He had to remind himself that he had done this more than eighty times before, with stellar results. "A legal magic act" was how one of the newspapers described him.
Juries love me.

But he couldn't shake Dr. Rosemarie Mancini's words from the prior night, after his spunky expert witness had listened to a dry run of Quinn's closing. "The whole world hates the insanity plea," she said. "Ninety-five percent of these cases result in convictions." She forced a smile. "Including, believe it or not, even a few where I testified."

"Do you have any advice?" Quinn had asked. "Or just doomsday statistics?"

"Take the jury where the pain is," Rosemarie said softly. "Throw away your notes." She must have sensed Quinn's reluctance, noticed his unwillingness to even look at her as he considered this. Notes he could do without, but he had no desire to put Annie through her nightmare again. "It's our only chance," Rosemarie said.

Those words echoed in Quinn's ears as he approached the jury empty-handed, took a deep breath, and closed his eyes to gather his thoughts. He opened them again and looked at the jury--
his
jury. He heard the judge say his name--his honor's voice coming from the end of a long tunnel. Another moment passed, and the stillness of the courtroom became the stillness of that dank house on Bridge Street, over two decades earlier.

He started pacing even before he uttered his first word. Rosemarie was right--a good lawyer would start by describing this scene. But a great lawyer would do more. A great lawyer would
take
them there. . . .

By the time Annie turns thirteen, her father has been visiting her bed for nearly a year. Holidays are always the worst because they give Annie's father an excuse to drink. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Memorial Day--they all end the same. Like this night undoubtedly would: July 4, 1986. Independence Day.

Annie goes to bed early--a holiday custom of her own--hoping she won't see her father come home. She leaves the light on in her room and prays for a miracle. A car accident. A heart attack. A mugger who goes too far.

She prays that tonight her father might die.

The answer to that prayer, the same answer she has received so many times before, arrives a few minutes after midnight. She hears the sound of car tires on the gravel drive. She listens through the thin walls of the small house as the engine stops and the driver's door thuds shut. Her father enters through the laundry room, his heavy footsteps taking him into the kitchen.

Petrified, Annie lies in bed and stares at the ceiling, the covers pulled tight to her chin. She hears the television. The sound of dishes. Murmured curses.

There is silence for an hour, her father probably sleeping in the recliner, but Annie does not sleep. Eventually he stirs and wakes. He trudges up the stairs, his footsteps and labored breathing magnified by the stillness of the house. She smells him. Though she knows it is impossible because the door to her room is closed and her father is only halfway up the steps, she smells him. Stale beer on her father's breath. The putrid odor of a grown man's sweat. The stench of cigarettes and a wisp of aftershave.

Sometimes he comes directly to Annie's room. If he does, Annie will not cry out for her mother. When Annie cried out in the past, her father would violate her mom first. When he returned to Annie, it would be worse.

Tonight he walks past Annie's door and into his own bedroom. Sometimes he will stay there. But sometimes, like tonight, there is muffled shouting. Her mother begs. Annie hears the sound of fist on bone. Annie wants to run to her mother's aid, but she has tried that before too. It only angers her father more. Once he threw Annie to the floor and made her watch as he beat her mother. He called it an obedience lesson. Another time, when Annie called the authorities, her mom defended her father. The bruises were an accident, her mom said. "I fell down the steps."

Tonight there is angry yelling until it abruptly stops. Her mother will be unconscious, oblivious to further pain. The silence hangs like the blade of a guillotine.

Moments later, Annie hears the door to her parents' room creak open. Stumbling footsteps grow closer in the hallway. She hopes that tonight her ten-year-old brother will not try to be the hero. She thinks about the beating he endured the last time he tried to interfere. After subduing the boy, her father made him drop his shorts as the old man took off his belt. He promised to whip Annie's brother until he cried. Her brother, stubborn as the old man, refused to cry.

BOOK: By Reason of Insanity
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