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Linda LeBrane did not come alone to our interview about the terrible crime she endured back in the summer of 2000; she brought reinforcements. She laid them out carefully on tables just outside camera range: her poems (she's written a book of them), articles about her case, objects that have meaning for her, a collection of dolls. And so on. And no, it did not seem odd, but rather as clear a sign as we could be given of how difficult it has been to be Linda LeBrane. Or any victim of such a brutal, near-fatal, attack.
If there's one thing this job teaches - again and again - it's that violent crime doesn't just end when the bad guys flee...or when they're caught..or even when they're tried, sentenced and sent off to prison. It can prowl around in a victim's brain for life. Especially when appeals bring it all up again...and when, after the whole thing has finally been settled... an innocence project gets involved.
And then we sat in another room, and trained our cameras on a second tormented woman. Who believes to the deepest place in her heart that one of those 'bad guys' isn't guilty, didn't do it, is an innocent in prison: her precious daughter. As we say, violent crime lives on. Reaches out to touch all kinds of people, good and bad, guilty and innocent.
So what do you do, when the wounded victim insists she is right, and the wounded mother insists the opposite?
You empathize with both of them, is what you do. And...sit back and watch...as the most amazing story unfolds right in front of your eyes.