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Reporter’s Notebook: Keith Morrison on “The Charleston Affair”

Charleston, S.C.

It’s all there on one street in Charleston, South Carolina - the whole privileged, rich, envied, struggling, pitied, pathetic, dangerous first-to-third-world tour on one arrow-straight road. And get this: its name is America Street.

At one end of America Street, on Charleston’s famous Battery, are great solid mansions housing families that count back eight and more generations. At the other end, among the ruined and abandoned hulks of 19th century houses, addicts troll for the cheapest fix that’ll get them through the night.

There’s always a story on America Street.

This one? This one was a little hard to believe at first. The idea that a person would, apparently, agree to kill a perfect stranger in cold blood in exchange for a few thousand dollars? Takes a minute to get your head around that. Of course it happens, and more often than one likes to think. But what kind of monster does that? And perhaps worse, the one who orders it, plans it, pays for it..

Here, the hired would-be-killer was the sort of person drawn to one end of America street, while the targeted victim lived a life centered on the other end. The good, squeaky clean, wealthy end.

And, frankly, if the plot went ahead and succeeded, it’s quite possible we wouldn’t be telling the story.

But… of all the bumps in the road a homicidal plan can encounter, perhaps the biggest is… a conscience.

And because of that, the evil plan, so cleverly arranged, produced an unintended and quite shocking result.

Along the way, we meet the banker, the blonde, the broker, the thug, the addict…and Rusty the dog. Not to mention the lads from the ATF.

Ah, Charleston. Never disappoints.

PREVIEW: The Charleston Affair 0:43