Friday, July 3, 2009

The Lonesome Death of George Tiller- Preface and Excerpt

I've started a short story project, and that project has since expanded into a novella. It's nowhere near complete, and could become a novel by the time I'm all the way through.

The name of the project is "The Lonesome Death of George Tiller," and is based upon true events that have been documented in various media outlets. You may recognize the name; George Tiller was the Kansas abortion doctor who was shot to death in his church by a man named Scott Roeder.

I didn't fully realize the significance of both Tiller's death, the subsequent closing of his clinic, and the actual shooting until I did my own research on the case. I've found that Tiller was at the literal end of the line for women all over the world seeking late-term abortions. I've also learned that Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer, was reportedly involved in several extreme anti-government, anti-minority, violent groups like the Montana Freemen and the Army of God. He was also a tax protester, and once proudly declared himself a sovereign citizen on his license plate.

More than that, it's been speculated via some very fishy behavior that Roeder was also a member of Operation Rescue. The reason this is so significant is because Operation Rescue's leadership split int two groups; one group, Operation Save America, maintained Rescue's original location in California, and Operation Rescue kept their original name and moved to Kansas. You may ask yourself at this point why they chose to do this.

Because Dr. George Tiller practiced out of Wichita. Essentially, Operation Rescue split because they wanted to go after George Tiller specifically. They wanted him out of commission. And from what it looks like so far, it's very possible Operation Rescue recruited a wild man liked Scott Roeder as a pawn to do the actual dirty deed, then leave him for the sharks (law system, media) described as a "lone gunman."

Operation Rescue's president, Troy Newman, then put on the halo for the papers after the killing and talked about what a sad day it was. And how he hopes Tiller's family will eventually come to Jesus to help cope with their loss. This is after he wrote a book with Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger about how not just abortion doctors deserve to be executed, along with all women who get abortions.

Above all, he made sure to tell the media that he had never heard of Scott Roeder, and that he was never a part of their organization. This is obviously false, as a member of their forums named "Scott Roeder" had been posting there for years about how the organization should infiltrate Tiller's church to confront him about abortion. And it looks even fishier, since Google cache has shown that Operation Rescue has been scrubbing the organization's forums of Scott Roeder and anything mentioning him.

The fishier part of Operation Rescue's involvement in the Tiller murder, as I believe they were Roeder's key financial supporters, was particularly the aid given to Roeder by Cheryl Sullenger. When her number was found in Roeder's car, she initially told police her number is freely available online, and that she had never talked to Roeder or had been contacted. Then she suddenly changed her story. Roeder had called her, but it was only to ask her when George Tiller's trial dates were.

Essentially, there are signs all over that point to Operation Rescue being complicit in the recruiting and financing of Scott Roeder to murder George Tiller. And my book aims to both point out and condemn the tactics of the extreme right-wing movement- provoking desperate terrorist attacks, and then not being held accountable for their unbridled hatred by the media and law enforcement.

Here is the preface and the first chapter for the book. I'll also preview the first chapter here.

The Lonesome Death of George Tiller
a novelette by Carl Gibson, in memory of Dr. George Tiller

What you’re about to read is based on true events. The actual names of people involved are used, and extensive research has been done on each and every person, place, event, and organization described. Additionally, all of the research I’ve conducted has been the result of other research gathered by a great deal of curious journalists, bloggers, and other investigators to whom I will give full credit in the appendix and acknowledgements section in the back.

All that being said, I should note that this is told through imagined first-person perspectives of George Tiller, Scott Roeder, (pronounced ROW-der) and Operation Rescue leaders Randall Terry and Troy Newman. While my depiction of the actual shooting comes first, the rest of this book is a timeline of the events that shaped the lives and careers of both the alleged murderer and the victim, dating back several decades. I never personally met George Tiller or Scott Roeder firsthand, so while I’d hope this would be classified as True Crime, Historical Fiction could also serve as an adequate classification. As such, I imagine quite a few people will take offense at the depictions of the radical right in this story.

While I originally undertook this project in memory of Dr. Tiller, this is also an expose of the hostile, brutal actions and extreme rhetoric that has mostly gone unchecked throughout the years by the press and by the more moderate members of the right-wing base. By the time you’re through reading this story, I hope I have incited enough animosity against the radical religious right’s ideology of hatred and violence that readers will be moved to take action.

For much too long now, law enforcement and the media has dismissed actions of the far right as isolated acts of random violence, perpetrated by lone wolves with their own personal ideologies and convictions. The mainstream media has chosen their language too carefully; violent people of color and foreign religion are called terrorists, while equally violent Christians and whites are politely deemed “gunmen.”

Most news organizations have failed to investigate beyond the surface; to find the motives for the countless acts of domestic terrorism perpetrated by natural-born Americans, or to seek their financial backers. They have failed to take the heroes of the far right to task on their encouragement and praise of these cowardly acts of violence. As such, this story is just as much about finally exposing the fanatical religious right-wing terror cells in America for what they really are, as it is telling the story of a man who was senselessly murdered in cold blood, simply for doing his job.

At the beginning of each chapter, you will find another purveyor of extreme right ideology giving one of countless quotes that support or condone acts of violence and hatred in the name of the Christian religion or neoconservative politics. These quotes come from prominent voices in media, government, education, and religion alike. All these quotes speak not of the true Christian values of love, tolerance, and equality, nor do they speak of the core American values of unity, democracy, and individual freedom. Their words reek of closed-mindedness, anti-intellectualism, elitism, chauvinism, racism, and unadulterated, vicious hate. The more these voices are allowed to freely broadcast such repugnant and divisive words to the masses, the more we can expect sad cases like George Tiller’s to repeat themselves over and over again throughout the nation. This book is a memorial to a brave man who did what he believed was right in spite of fierce adversity, but it is also a testament to the brash and disgusting encouragement of zealous violence. I hope you, the reader, will be aware of both of the goals I had in mind while writing this book.

Chapter 1- Sunday, May 31, 2009, 7:32 AM
"We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe."
-Gary Bauer, American Values

The ringing alarm stops in the distance. In the cloudy realm between the land of dreams and wakefulness, George Tiller feels a hand grab his foot and shake it gently. Then he feels the wet sensation of lips on his forehead. He wakes.

“You getting up, George?” She pokes him playfully.
“Mm. Morning, Jeanne.” George Tiller yawns and sits up. As consciousness slowly returns, George’s 67 year-old back reminds him that today is Sunday. Today is his day to spend with his family, and this is also his week to hand out bulletins and collect the plates at the Reformist Lutheran Church.

Tiller liked Sundays. They were meant to enjoy one more day of leisure before returning to another grind. Truth be told, Tiller missed the hours of his Sunday afternoons that were otherwise dedicated to football in the wintertime. Major League Baseball and Golf were poor substitutes, he felt. Unlike football, they failed to quiet the foreboding that surfaces in everyone’s mind on Sunday afternoons; that of the inevitable return to the office the following morning. The kids didn’t have to worry, though. They all got to take a long vacation until late August.

Sunday was George’s day off, along with most other Americans. George was a doctor. And that was all. The nature of his medical expertise was perfectly within Kansas law, despite all of the hatred, the protests, the death threats, the bombings, and the shootings. Work was becoming more and more like a war zone, and he had hired Mike, the bodyguard, to accompany him everywhere he went. His medical profession was more stressful than most, simply for the work environment that came with it. And that went double for red states. Tiller smiled at the thought of the quiet career in dermatology he nearly chose.

George was a longtime doctor, but he was also a faithful Christian, which usually surprised most people he told. He loved sleeping in on Sundays every now and then, but he loved going to church just as much. The people there provided a warm, peaceful atmosphere that Tiller never got to truly experience in his career. And every Sunday, it revived his faith that plenty of true Christians still existed in this country. True Christians were these very people he saw most every week. True Christians regarded you as a brother in Christ. And of course, they loved their neighbor, regardless of their occupation, or how their political beliefs told them to look at certain things. Tiller was thankful for his church and their support.

George Tiller knew that true Christians didn’t detonate bombs at medical facilities that were full of innocent people; average working stiffs just trying to scrape by like everyone else. And they didn’t line up before sunrise each morning to shout curses and death threats at 15 year-old girls. True Christians most certainly wouldn’t dream of driving trucks around with blown-up pictures of bloody abortion procedures for all the world to see. Dr. Tiller couldn’t fathom why people with so much hate in their heart could call themselves Christians.

But Tiller had been practicing his field of medicine for quite a long time. He knew true Christians were hard to find these days, most especially in the endless plains of the Middle American Bible Belt. George chuckled to himself at the irony.

Then, as he approached his dresser to put on his Sunday best, George stopped chuckling when he looked at the flak jacket. It really was a silly old thing. The FBI told him he needed to wear it eleven years ago. As George knew firsthand, there were people out to kill him who didn’t like what he did. George balked at putting on the bulky vest under his clothes, but he did it every morning, because you never know.

He never liked having to put on that ridiculous, heavy thing. Maybe today, just for church, he’d leave it at home. He was ushering this morning. He wanted to look good in a suit, standing by and cracking jokes with the other ushers before the service, and feel like a normal American churchgoer just this once.

Then George looked down at his arms, and he saw the scars on each one. He remembered back when the crazy bitch shot him while he was in his car. George hated that woman, and was glad to know she was rotting in prison, where she belonged. And strangely, part of him felt the smallest bit of empathy, because nobody could be born that wicked. Tiller figured the woman had been brainwashed by one of those fanatical pro-life groups, and convinced that an act of senseless violence was what God wanted to be done. The bitch was crazy, but she was also just a victim of sad circumstance. His field of work attracted horrible people like that to his door on a daily basis.

George remembered that poor girl who worked at the abortion clinic, the Wiccan with the cat. The girl didn’t do anything wrong to anybody. And those monstrous, cowardly people went after her pet, while waving the Christian religion around as their flag. They held the poor cat down while they slit the animal’s throat, ear to ear. Then they nailed the cat to the young girl’s front door, by its paws. Just because the girl happened to worship a different god and work at an abortion clinic. Some people give Christianity a bad name. Some people are just cruel bastards. That’s the way of the world.

George Tiller sighed, and put on his flak jacket. You never know.

7:59 AM
A baby was kicking deep inside his mother’s belly, praise the Lord. Just a couple more months of feeding, and the little tyke would be kicking his way into a glorious, bright new world.

But something wasn’t right.

The little tyke felt his young mother’s legs open. A little sliver of light bathed him in an unfriendly glow. There were intruders in the womb; two massive, pointed metal things. They enveloped him completely. His tiny little beating heart wouldn’t stop pounding away. His cute little toes curled away in fear. He wanted to scream, to cry out. But nobody would hear him.

Then it was bright. It was too bright. The little tyke felt his legs get pulled through the light. Then his belly. Then his arms. He continued to be pulled outside of his mother by the pointed tools. They pulled him all the way to his neck.

Now the little tyke, the unique, precious, special little gift of life was suddenly was ripped away from his mother. He had no way to feed, to keep warm, to grow into a healthy little baby boy like the good Lord intended him to, can we say glory. The Lord might have intended the little angel to be a brave soldier, or an airline pilot, or a deacon. Maybe even the President.

But a demon in a lab coat and a treacherous little Jezebel had intended him to go in the incinerator. And the little tyke’s arms and legs kicked out in fear. He had no way to see what was happening with his head was still in his mother’s belly. With a sharp, cold piercing sensation, a drill ripped through the flesh in the back of his neck. A vacuum tube was attached to the oozing hole at the top of his spine, and the little tyke’s brains were sucked away, just like that. In one instant, the baby went from a healthy growing little boy to a bloody bundle of flesh. Tossed aside carelessly into a never-ending heap of other bloody bundles of flesh in a furnace.

The little tyke was crying out his last moments. Never given a chance to be loved by a good mother. Or the chance to know Jesus and be saved. All the little tyke knew was the pain, and the blood, and the light. He died scared, alone, and unclean.

The incinerator kicked on, the fire consumed the flesh, and all that remained of the little tyke turned into ash.

The clock changed to 8:00 and screamed its greeting into Scott Roeder’s ear as he woke in a cold sweat. He then promptly scrambled to the toilet and threw up. He wiped the tears from his face as he dry-heaved over the commode. Another one of those awful dreams. Roeder had been having more and more of those lately. And he always cried each time, say amen. Those poor, helpless little children.

How would the Good Lord, in all His infinite glory and power, allow such atrocities to happen? How could this country, a country blessed by God (say hallelujah) that Roeder had been told time and again had been founded by men filled with the Holy Spirit, not take action against such injustices?

Scott Roeder knew that wasn’t the way of the world today.

Today’s world was entangled in war; it was the holiest and most pertinent of all of the almighty campaigns of the Israelites, gimme amen. The few good people left on this planet, the true people of God, were being persecuted and oppressed by a tyrannical government and its sheep citizens. A government fully conscious of its countless injustices and crimes against humanity. Men and women today were trained, licensed, and paid to murder God’s children before they even had a chance to survive in this cold world. Roeder could never fully stomach that people had made a career out of babykilling.

Then there were the government’s institutions of manipulation and treachery which indoctrinated unholy beliefs into the minds of young adults. These places were quite literally breeding grounds for alcoholism, rampant drug abuse, and premarital sex. The government liked to call these places public universities; institutions of higher learning. These were demonic places full of Satan’s spawn that encouraged children to leave their families and hometowns to embrace a life of sin. Public schools daily taught liberal lies like socialism, global warming, and evolution to susceptible children who had yet to experience the real world on their own. And thanks to these institutions, there were, God help them, people with the audacity to stand up for these oppressors and murderers!

How did things get this bad? Where did the good old USA go wrong? Why didn’t the Lord choose righteous judges to overturn Roe v. Wade? Why didn’t the Lord stop a commie Muslim nigger from putting his hand on the Good Book and swearing the highest oath? What else was to happen, if things kept getting worse and the people chose not to repent? Judgment Day was coming swiftly to Sodom; Scott Roeder could feel it deep in his gut.

The Lord punishes sinners, say amen. The book of Revelations will be realized, and the imminent apocalypse was upon the Earth. God’s Wrath will come again for the Sodomites as it did thousands of years ago. Scott Roeder will gleefully watch the sinners suffer after his own glorious rapture. The rest were damned.

And all praise be to the Father, for today was finally the day of reckoning for this Christian soldier. God indeed had a plan for Scott Roeder, as he did for all of His children. He was going to be a martyr, just like the Lord Jesus, say glory. Except Roeder wasn’t praying for this cup to be taken from his lips. The Good Lord was giving him the ultimate chance to prove his mettle on the battlefield, on this very day, in the very House of God himself, gimme hallelujah. Scott Roeder was going to witness the worst babykiller of them all get sent to hell this morning. And he had been hand-picked by the Holy Spirit to be the man to do it. He had been waiting for this day to come for far too long now. How lucky he was to be God’s Chosen, to be a holy crusader of justice! A champion of God’s Will!

Scott Roeder grabbed his car keys, picked up his piece, stuffed it in his waistband, and headed on out the door. Glory to the Father, to the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

8:33 AM
Leaning back in his chair, the doctor sipped on his morning joe. His wife always made the best coffee every morning, bless the woman. George watered his plants as NPR chattered along in the background. Jeanne was humming to herself as she heaped two pancakes on her husband’s plate.

“It’s real sunny out today, hon. We should go on a picnic after church. Just us.”
“Perfect weather for one. Radio said it’s gonna be 78 and sunny all day.”
“So how about it?”
“Picnic? You bet.” Tiller smiled at his wife. She kissed his cheek.

George Tiller loved his home in Kansas, and he loved his wife. He especially loved her voice. She sang like a robin in Spring. A picnic sounded pretty good. He could run by the Wal-Mart and pick up some lunchmeat and some bread. Maybe a bottle of wine. Maybe he could call the kids too, see how they were doing. Tiller especially loved to dote on his grandchildren, even though the kids scolded Tiller for being too much of a spoiling grandpa at times. No matter, they would understand once they were grandparents. Doting on the youngest of the family is a part of life when you’re old.

Just a lazy Sunday in May. No big plans. A day off with his wife. Today was George’s to do as he pleased. And according to the local announcer on the radio, today was just about as good as it could get. George smiled and sat down to his pancakes and coffee. It was going to be a real good day.

9:51 AM
In a powder blue 1993 Ford Taurus with the Jesus fish on the back, Scott Roeder waits. The anticipation grows unbearably heavy, and a deep sense of willful duty sets in his stomach, say hallelujah. His senses are acutely aware, tense to release as soon as he gets the signal from inside. A Wichita police car has driven by once already, and Roeder was starting to feel as if he was attracting too much attention.

Roeder has been here before. This is where the doctor goes to church. A babykilling man's church. Funny how that works out. Can we say amen.

Scott Roeder has cased The Reformation Lutheran Church enough to know that the brick building is much too large, the sanctuary is too open, and those pews and all those people hid George Tiller too well. He’s seen pictures, has watched Tiller enough to know the man by sight, but it's too risky, firing into a crowd. The mole from the organization told Roeder that the old man is ushering today, by God, which means he'll be back in the vestibule in just a few minutes. Just beyond the front door. As soon as he gets that signal, Roeder will open the door, find Tiller alone, and open fire. This was his one shot. Error was an option that Scott Roeder couldn’t bear to live down this time.

The past few weeks have been agonizing. Minimum wage at KFC isn't enough to keep driving to Wichita all the way from the Kansas City area, say amen. Nor is it enough to keep gas in the Taurus. Or for all those drive-thru burgers or sub sandwiches he’s been living on the past few months. The seats were getting crammed to the brim with sandwich wrappers. If Scott Roeder didn't have this job, he'd starve. $10 in your wallet and a 1993 Ford Taurus don't go very far, gimme hallelujah. Certainly not the 400 miles to Wichita from Kansas City and back all those times for the trial and the proper recon.

The mole agreed helped him out, after Scott Roeder threw out the idea on the forums a couple of years ago that somebody could maybe infiltrate the church, or at least get him alone. If somebody got in Tiller’s face and questioned him and his actions, he would have no choice but to answer for his sins. It wouldn’t hurt. Roeder wasn’t convinced that enough people were fully aware of the scope of the doctor’s actions, and the potential harm of the consequences if he were allowed to continue. Roeder had warned the organization several years ago on their message boards about the doctor’s nefarious practice; if somebody didn’t stop Tiller’s hands soon, judgment day was coming for all of us.

Roeder’s trigger finger itched. He was starting to get anxious for that signal.

Church services can vary when they start; maybe it's ten minutes early, maybe later. And there's only a two minute slot where Roeder can get to the doctor before he’s gone again. If you go in too early, it's too crowded. If you go in too late, the old man's gone and you've missed your shot. He might not even be ushering next week, or maybe for the rest of the month. That's at least another month of babykilling. 30 days of babykilling that Scott Roeder can't stop. Piles and piles of more dead children, torched by the flames of the incinerator.

The resemblance between Dr. George Tiller and Dr. Joseph Mengele was too eerily similar in Roeder’s eyes. Tiller was to babies what Mengele was to the Jews. And like Tiller, Mengele went after the children. He had recalled the stories of how Mengele would line the little boys and girls up against the wall, and if they didn’t meet a certain height, they were shot dead, right there. 6 million Jews were killed at the hands of Hitler. 60,000 unborn children of God were destroyed by George Tiller. But this wasn’t Nazi Germany; this was 2009, in the American Midwest. Roeder couldn’t go back to the concentration camp and shoot Mengele for his crimes against humanity, but he was here now, in front of Dr. Tiller’s church. And he had a gun. Just how many young lives would be spared with the death of George Tiller, the babykiller? If Scott Roeder pulled this off, he’d be a national hero for decades to come.

Scott Roeder fumbles his piece around in his hands, and wipes the beading sweat from his bald head. His bowels are heavy with uncertainty. Nausea is starting to overwhelm him. He feels his adrenal gland standing by, waiting to start flowing with power as he pumps the trigger. He waits for his signal. Not much longer, by God’s glory.

9:55 AM
The sun illuminates the stained glass on the wall. It’s a beautifully warm late spring morning, still before noon. George Tiller has just collected the last of the offering plates and walks back to the vestibule to stand quietly with the other ushers. The organ and the choir finish the offertory. Dr. Tiller remembers at the last moment, and pitches a five from his wallet into the plate. The usher next to him gives a pat on the shoulder. He looks at Jeanne in the choir loft. She sings sweetly,

Father, who the light this day
Out of darkness didst create,
Shine upon us now, we pray,
While within Thy courts we wait.
Wean us from the works of night,
Make us children of the light.

That woman always had the grandest voice. Maybe they’d just skip the picnic today and make love. Tiller grinned at the thought, and then felt his face grow red, at thinking about such things during a church service. The hairs on the back of his neck began to stand on end. George Tiller has the weirdest feeling all of a sudden. Standing there in front of the vestibule door, he shivers all the way down his spine, like when his grandmother told him when somebody was walking on his grave. It was probably just the draft from the air conditioning vent above him.

9:56 AM
Roeder's heart is beating wildly inside his chest. He feels himself radiate with the Holy Spirit. The holy moment is almost within grasp. Roeder knows to shoot the babykiller in the face. Partly because of the flak jacket, and partly because he doesn’t want the babykilling bastard to have an innocent-looking face at the funeral. Shoot Tiller in the face, drive away as fast as you can. It was almost time, praise be to God.

He'll be caught, sure, but he'll have done God's will; and Roeder will surely see his reward in heaven. He knows the drill well. Under no circumstances is he to mention Troy or Cheryl, and especially not the organization. He'll request a public defender so the organization doesn't have to risk their money and their image to get him a good trial. Roeder knows bail will be set pretty high, but Cheryl assured him that his work will be rewarded, and he won’t have to sit in the Man’s cell for a moment longer than necessary. Everything will go seamlessly, and babykillers like Tiller will all get their judgment in the end, if the organization continues to work as effectively as it has in recent years.

Scott Roeder is doing holy work. In the Lord’s own home. A church. Maybe that’s why something’s nagging at him in the back of his mind. Roeder puts that thought away. Sending a man to hell in the House of God isn’t proper, sure, but there’s just no other way to do this one. Tiller’s been on the list for too long. Roeder has been in this too long to turn around now, say amen. It’s almost time. Just a few more minutes before the signal comes. It can’t be much longer. Maybe two minutes. Roeder hopes it’s just two minutes. He doesn’t know if he can keep sitting here with his piece for much longer. The enormity and importance of the task is starting to get to him. Scott Roeder sends a silent prayer up above, thanking God for letting him be His warrior.

Right before the sense of foreboding becomes too much to bear, give glory and praise, the signal comes. Scott Roeder takes the gun out of his waistband, steps out, and shuts the door, say amen. No looking back.

Tiller is alone and unguarded. It's time to move.

9:58 AM
As Dr. George Tiller stands there, one of the only places where he isn't surrounded by a throng of people in pews, or federal marshals, or the gated community, or an armored car, or bullet-proof windows, or even Mike the bodyguard, the song in the Sanctuary ends with the sound of quiet applause.

Tiller starts to walk forward to open the vestibule door into the church when he hears the sudden sound of a door sliding open. The blow of wind from the breezeway as it tosses the tails of his jacket comes immediately afterward. The morning sun peeks through a slit coming from behind him. Tiller turns around, and sees the door is standing open. Light is coming through. There is a warm draft of May air, but Tiller feels his spine shiver again. Suddenly, a bald man whom Tiller has not seen before enters the vestibule. His face is sporting a look of determination, mixed with fear.

George Tiller has seen that face before; it was the same expression worn by the woman who shot him 16 years ago. But Tiller doesn’t have a car to protect him. The other ushers have already walked back inside. The bald man is holding a handgun.

Plans for the beautiful day have now been turned upside down, and all feelings Tiller had of peace and serenity are gone and replaced with a gut-wrenching sensation of absolute terror. Time slows nearly to a standstill. As the seconds tick by, George Tiller becomes more frightened. He isn’t even safe in church. Nothing seems to be sacred anymore. George Tiller realizes that the next four seconds of his life are about to be his last. He thinks of his grandchildren, and the impending anguish that will be felt by his family and his colleagues at the clinic. This is how it will end.

Adrenaline rushes staggeringly through Tiller’s bloodstream as he helplessly watches in slow motion; the gun in the man's hand has a barrel that's rising ever upward, until it stops in line with Tiller’s head. The flak jacket only protects his torso. As this thought crosses Tiller’s mind, his brain also processes a muzzle flash. Before the deafening boom, Tiller hears a hot thump as his head is thrown backward by an unbelievable unseen force. Searing pain has now consumed all of Tiller’s senses. His vision is going. Blood is streaking into his eyes. His heart pumps rapidly to replace the steadily ebbing flow of blood from his head. He hears a .25 caliber shell casing land softly on the carpeted vestibule floor. As George Tiller ekes out his last bleeding moments, he hears his wife scream. God hope Jeanne doesn't see him like this.

George Tiller dies alone, in a spreading puddle of hot blood on the floor of the vestibule in the Reformist Lutheran Church.

9:59 AM
The doctor slumps to the floor. Smoke rises from the barrel of the gun in Scott Roeder’s trembling hands. It is finished. A great burden rises from his shoulders. The world is now free of the babykilling hands and the ruthless, prying forceps of Dr. George Tiller

Was that really him? It had to be. The signal told him when Tiller would be alone in the vestibule. Scott Roeder's been here enough to know the man by sight. Was it that easy? He didn't even run or duck or cry out. Scott Roeder briefly wondered if Hitler’s death was as quick and anticlimactic as Tiller’s.

Damnit, there’s no time to lose. Get out of here before all those people see you.

Roeder’s blood is running hot. His adrenal gland is still pumping away. He feels his legs float to the Taurus. He watches his shaky hands put the keys in the ignition, feels his hands pull the wheel to the right, his foot now on the gas. Now it’s time for the ride home, which Roeder senses he may never see again. It’s time for the cruel world to mire him deep in its oppressive, demonic, bureaucratic system. But he is satisfied. The babykiller is dead. He’s going to be a hero to the world for the rest of time, praise God. He’ll be forever remembered as a crusader, ever true to the cause of Life. The world is safe from judgment for another day.

Thy will be done. Amen.

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