Chapter 41 - Reversed Times Two
Lieutenant Todd Henry had made it a point to make and keep as many friends and contacts as possible over his last twenty or so years. He had realized early on that you just never know who you may meet in your lifetime that may be someone that can make a difference in your life or really help you when you are in need of help. Todd was in need of some serious help for sure.
One of his old childhood friends was now a man named Ryan Hanes. Ryan had been in the Navy for a little over eleven years and ever since Ryan was a kid, he would talk about how he was going to make the military his career, and especially how he was going to be in the Navy. It was his life’s passion and he had worked hard to prepare for the military asvab test in high school to ensure he scored high enough to get a good specialty. He scored well and enlisted in the Navy at age eighteen, right out of high school, and he loved every second of serving in the Navy. Ryan had his plan all laid out on his 20 plus years for a Navy career right up until the terrible accident that took place one day while on duty. The injury was career ending that led to Ryan getting kicked out of the Navy on a medical.
The injury was to his left hand. Ryan had unfortunately gotten his left hand closed in one of those sealable ship doors (hatches) when they were out on a float. A float is when those assigned to their ship go out and stay anywhere from a month, to six months or even a year or longer on their ship. Sometimes they are just off the shore, other times in the middle of the ocean.
The day Ryan’s career in the Navy ended, they were running one of their numerous emergency exercises (drills). The Navy, as all the armed forces, loved to conduct full blown exercises (drills) to ensure all are ready and fit if they ever were attacked or involved in some war type incident anywhere on the planet. To hear the story from Ryan, in all of its detail; it was just a really, really horrible day for him that changed his course in life forever.
I remember when Ryan told me about his accident for the first time from his hospital room like it was yesterday. He started by telling me the emergency drill they had just begun that day...
“You know,” Ryan says, “the type of drill where everyone on the ship has to quickly get to their assigned battle positions in under so many seconds or minutes?”
“Yea, I think I have heard of those, maybe.” I said not really knowing what the hell he was talking about as I had never shown much interest in the military nor did I ever have any plans of ever being on a ship somewhere out in the ocean.
Ryan continued, “Well I was on the shitter when the emergency siren went out over the ship. My stomach had been messed up for at least two days straight and I just had the worst shits and couldn’t get over them. So picture this, me, sitting there in the head, that’s the bathroom Todd, on the shitter, with the worst diarrhea and the Goddamn siren goes off! I remember thinking to myself that this is not freaking happening, but it was.”
I immediately asked if his bosses on the ship would understand that you had the shits and your stomach was upset and all and let you not participate on this one drill they were running.
Ryan started shaking his head looking at me and chuckled and replied, “Todd, you probably won’t understand this, but when that fucking siren goes off, if you don’t get to your position in under the time that has been previously set for you, people may die during a wartime situation. Also, during these drills, if you fail to get to where you are supposed to be, you lose privileges such as a shore pass, days off, etc., because that means you’re dead in the real world. Man, we all lived for getting off that fucking ship and getting our shore passes, so everyone, and I mean everyone, did whatever it took to get to their assigned post fast! I think at that time we had been on our float for seventy-two days without any privileges of going on shore so we all wanted things to go perfectly and until that moment, they all had gone perfectly for me.”
“Sounds like a lot of fun Ryan.” I said sarcastically as I rolled my eyes.
“Yea, I know why you think that way, but understand this Todd. If we were under attack or needed to attack someone or something quickly, everyone has a specific job to do and they fucking can’t do their job unless there are where they are supposed to be, you know?” Ryan asked hoping I would understand.
Still the forever Navy man even after all that happened to him I thought…
“Yes, Ryan, I didn’t look at it that way. I see your point!” I said inside thinking that is crazy.
Ryan then went into detail about that day and how he was in the very back of everyone running to their assigned positions due to coming out of the head late. Everyone was running as everyone only had so much time to get into their sealed, waterproof areas. The areas on a ship are sealed down during a real attack, and during a drill, to ensure all areas won’t flood in case of a breach by a torpedo or other type of explosion.
Ryan went on to say that he was in the very back and the kid in front of him obviously didn’t know he was a few feet behind him and pulled the hatch closed at the exact moment Ryan had put his left hand to grip the frame before going through the opening. Ryan said he started yelling “NO, DON’T!!” and tried to grab the hatch to stop it from closing but it was too late.
The hatch slammed shut crushing every bone in poor Andrew’s left hand. The kid that had just shut the hatch spins the wheel located on the center of the hatch sealing it as he had been trained without ever looking back through the small port hole, never knowing he had just crushed Ryan’s hand, sealing it in the frame of the hatch.
I remember thinking to myself that this was a pretty harsh story but it actually got a lot worse.
Ryan continues and tells me that he now has no way to open the hatch (door) from his side. There is no one around as they are all on the other side of the door where they all are supposed to be during this training exercise. Every bone in his left hand was now crushed, the pain is excruciating and well now, poor Ryan starts throwing up from the extreme pain he is experiencing and at the same time, he starts shitting everywhere. It was as though his entire body was giving up.
“That Todd is what we call an ending to your career in the Navy! I knew at that moment, my Navy career was over. I was in that position for two and a half hours Todd. That’s one hundred fifty minutes of pain I can’t express how bad it was. It was the longest two and a half hours of my life.”
Nine operations later and poor Ryan still has no use out of his left hand. His hand just hangs there by his side. He is unable to use that hand or arm in anyway. The injury led to him being medically discharged and kicked out of his Navy. He has been working at Home Depot ever since.
What do you say to your friend that had that happen to him? Saying you’re sorry just doesn’t seem enough.
“So, how can I help you my good friend Detective Henry? How long has it been now, a year, two years?”
“Well, let’s see, it has been five years since your accident but about a year since we saw each other last, and I know you will be shocked, but I am Lieutenant Henry now.”
“What??? No freaking way. That is great man!! Congratulations!! I’m proud of you Lieutenant!” Ryan said it and meant it.
“Thanks Ryan, that really mean a lot hearing you say that. I really appreciate it. It was kind of a shock to me how quickly I got promoted so I am very grateful. The question is though, how the hell have you been doing? You still Home Depoting?” Todd asked.
“Yea, unfortunately I am still Home Depoting. They are a good company and they have always been pretty good to me. Ha, it pays the bills. With my military disability pay, and Home Depot paycheck, I haven’t missed a meal yet,” as he patted his very large belly.
Ryan used to be in the best shape while in his Navy and I remember that I wished at one time, that I could be so dedicated to taking care of myself like he did. Ever since the accident, that motivation obviously went away for Ryan which I could understand why.
“I really need your help Ryan. I have something I want you to look at and I hope you can give me some of your expert knowledge on what you see.”
“Man, of course Todd but I don’t know if I have much expert knowledge to share but anything for you my friend. Show me!” Ryan was now excited.
I pulled out my file on Bryan and flipped to five 8 by 11 color pictures from the crime scene and close ups of the knots that were tied on Bryan Morrissey’s wrists that held them to his handlebars.
“Man, is that a skeleton bone the rope is tied too?” Ryan asked.
“Yes, it is.”
“Well it must have been a kid because that forearm bone is small.” Ryan stated correctly.
“Yes, it was.” Todd said quickly.
“Dang, why would someone go to the trouble of tying a kids hands to the handlebars of a bike?”
Todd replied, “Not sure yet but hoping to figure that out eventually and when I do, I will let you hear the entire story. What I hope you can help me with is this crazy knot that was used on his wrists to hold them to his handlebars.”
“Well let’s see now…” Ryan says analyzing the photos.
“Humm, uh huh,, yea, that’s interesting” Ryan mumbles out loud.
“What’s interesting???” I asked “What do you see?”
Ryan look a few more seconds and then said, “Well, what I see Todd is that whoever tied these knots wanted to really make sure that whoever was tied to these handlebars couldn’t get out. What we are looking at here Lieutenant is what we called in the Navy, a freaking double reverse constrictor knot!”
Ryan continued, “See right here?” As he pointed to the close up of one of the knots. “This is called a riding turn and there are only maybe a handful of people that know how to tie a reverse constrictor knot. But look right here, right next to the first riding turn. That’s an additional riding turn making this a double reversed constrictor knot. Only one group of people I know tie that knot and that’s the BUD/S.”
“What’s buds? Budweiser?” Todd asked confused.
“Really Todd? Come on man, everyone knows that BUD/S is ‘Basic Underwater Demolition/Seals.’ The Navy Seals use this knot when they want to make sure someone never, ever gets out if tied with this knot. It is absolutely impossible to untie this knot if it is tied on you. The only way out of this fucking knort is to cut your way out. That’s why they use it and why it is pretty much unknown in the civilian world.”
Todd was excited. “See, I knew you could help me Ryan!”
“Man, do you understand what this means?” Ryan quickly chimed in.
“Yes I do. We now know the type of knot used?” Todd said happily and a little confused.
“No man, what you now know is the fact you may have an ex Navy guy out there killing kids. How fucked up is that?” Ryan said very concerned.
“Shit, I didn’t think of it like that. Yea, that is pretty fucked up.” Todd said with his mind racing.
“It doesn’t make sense Todd. Why would a Navy BUD/S guy want to fuck with kids?”
Todd answered, “I don’t know man, but guess what? I plan to find out and find out fast.”
“Yea, Todd, you need to and you need to as soon as fucking possible!”