CHAPTER 43 The End Game
On a cold February day in Deer Park, WA, a petty thief/burglar, Virgil Fusner in an unplanned opportunistic act of violence shot and killed an Irish/Native American Marine veteran. The victim was the grandson of an Irish Immigrant and a Cherokee woman from Oklahoma. The body was discovered by two teenage boys in the derelict apple orchard located on the outskirts of this suburban town.
The suspected motive for the killing was obscured by the fact that the victim was wearing a commemorative publicity T-shirt from a Benny and the Banshees concert. The chest of the T-shirt sported the grunge group’s logo, which was a Native American Mississippi Tribal Peace symbol inside of a red, white and blue circle. It bore a striking resemblance to a backwards swastika. After Virgil Fusner shot O’Brien, he calmly stood over the body and with a pocket knife traced the swastika logo on the victim’s chest as if performing a ritual sacrifice, which in a very real sense he was. When questioned Fusner said he had felt threatened when the victim was reaching in his cargo pants side pocket. Post mortem exam revealed the pocket contained a knife used for carving miniature totem poles for sale to tourists.
In the same time frame, an angry drunk Italian/American, Riago Restorini, son of Italian immigrants, became publicly involved with Edna Running Eagle, a Native American RN. Since she was the mother of Sean O’Brien and Randy Roadkill the two teenage sons with different fathers who discovered the body, she quickly became a very important part of the investigation. Restorini on the other hand, because of his confrontational behaviors and artistic endeavors on behalf of progressive politics and union thugs early on became the prime suspect in this killing. When questioned by the Police, he went into an extensive drunken rant declaring his religious background and his life-long commitment to his Roman Catholic faith. During interrogation, he confessed that he and the victim had engaged in a violent confrontation and a public disturbance about religion but denied that he had killed anybody. His legal ownership of what was determined to be the murder weapon cast serious doubt on his innocence.
Detective Inspector Ben Perrini of the Deer Park Police Department, in a well-intentioned search for the perpetrator runs up several blind alleys. Several dead-end clues, wild goose chases and a desperate search for connections that get him nowhere. With the help of Sean O’Brien and Randy Roadkill and some savvy technology he is able to identify and apprehend the real killer.
A serious review of this case and the facts exposed, point out that people of this century in this country and those who want to be, regardless of their supposed origins, need to understand and admit that the source of their national pride will be a mongrel mixture, at best. In Restorini, O’Brien and Fusner’s case it was an unbalanced mix of Religious dogmatism, Irish rebellious nature, and Native American stoicism.
This story may be regarded as an exploration of the process of Judeo-Christian radicalization and commitment to what the suspected perpetrator considered his fatwa. The author explores how in the first six years of a child’s life; a man born in a foreign country, transplanted in the United States and living a normal adult life, gave up secular clothing, donned a priest’s cassock and yarmulke, continued his use of tobacco, marijuana and alcohol, shaved his head and would have murdered someone if someone else hadn’t beat him to it while he slept off a drunk. He explained to the Police that his faith required him “to kill anyone who insults the Pope.”
As for the actual murder, it appears that this crime can be laid at the foot of what it means to be the product of a dysfunctional American family.