The Trial of Roy Dadio
Tina and I are attending the trial of accused murderer and pedophile Roy Dadio. I have no idea how we were able to get seats for this thing as it is the biggest trial that’s been held in California for many years. Dadio stands charged with 17 murders and an even larger number of child sexual assaults. The details of the case, elaborated daily in the local newspaper, have been lurid and disgusting, with Dadio slaughtering entire families so he could kidnap a child he has targeted. He then imprisoned the children and raped them repeatedly over a number of years before he was finally caught.
It is my understanding that this trial is a fait accompli. Dadio has not confessed yet to the crimes he is accused of, but the children were found chained in the basement of his house in the Palmdale area and several of the children are expected to testify to the unending abuse they suffered at his hands. Those of us in attendance in the viewing area are here to see a monster like Dadio get what is coming for him.
Dadio is a strangely imposing figure. He is a tiny, weaselly man in his fifties with a greasy scalp almost entirely empty of hair. A few wayward sprigs branch out here and there, but they are disquieting in such a way that they make you wish there were no hairs at all. He’s wearing an orange jumpsuit now, but when he was arrested, and in all the now famous photographs of him, he was dressed in his signature filthy blue jean overalls without a shirt, his pasty white flesh and bulbous stomach protruding and plainly visible.
Today’s testimony was by a young boy of 11 or 12 named Carl. I know they mentioned his age but neither Tina nor I can remember what it was. It seems like a weird thing to block out but neither of us can remember it for the life of us. Carl is a very withdrawn child and the prosecuting attorneys have been having a very hard time getting him to speak up so that the jury can hear him. Those of us watching have had to strain mightily to hear his words ourselves. The story he tells, however, is outrageous. He claims to have watched Dadio murder his parents and sister with a pick axe and a bone saw and then spent the next several years chained in Dadio’s basement, where he was fed nothing but stale bread and maggoty canned meat and was regularly raped and beaten by Dadio at alternating intervals. Carl has spent the entire day relating these details in a shallow, whispered voice with tears streaming down his face. It is simply impossible to watch him and not be moved to tears yourself, and both Tina and I have been crying our eyes out all day, so that when we walk out of the courtroom at the end of the day, our faces are red, and our eyes burn from rubbing them with our fingers.
So, Tina and I are now standing outside the courtroom discussing the case and today’s testimony when, to the shock of us both, Dadio walks out of the courtroom completely unencumbered by handcuff or police escort of any kind. He is a completely free man, at least for this moment. This makes absolutely zero sense, of course, for a lot of reasons, least of which is that his trial has barely begun, and to the understanding of Tina and I, was supposed to be being held without bail because of the horrible nature of his accused crimes.
Nevertheless, there he is, striding out of the courtroom with a shit-eating-grin on his face like he owns the fucking place. Dadio stops for a second just outside the courtroom door to cast his glance around the area looking for all the world like a man observing the length and breadth of his kingdom. Both Tina and I are just watching him with our mouths wide open but nobody else seems to even notice, just going about their business as if nothing remarkable is transpiring in front of them.
After scanning the entire area outside the courtroom, Dadio’s gaze falls, to my dismay, on my wife and me. His smile widens with a sort of oily, festering recognition as he fixes us inexorably with his vicious stare and begins to saunter across the room directly toward us. As he gets closer I see that his interest is entirely on Tina. He doesn’t notice me at all. It is as if I am not even there. Every bit of his attention is focused on my wife. You can feel the lust and desire coming off of him in waves as he walks straight up to her. Hell, you can fucking smell his lust like he’s releasing a cloud of it into the air.
He stops right in front of Tina, and without saying a word, winks luridly at her. I am frozen in place. I know I should do something, say something, but I am frozen in place. It isn’t fear that is paralyzing me but shock. This should not be happening. Why is it happening? Where are the police to take this scumbag and put him back in his cell where he belongs?
Suddenly, he reaches out to grab Tina by the waist and pulls her body hard against his. As he does this he lets out a cacophonous cackle that has a similar effect to nails being scraped across a chalkboard. I glance at Tina and aside from the look of incomprehensible horror on her face, I can see that she is experiencing the same atrophy of her limbs and body that I am. Luckily, at that very moment, my frozen muscles are freed from their impotence, and I am able to leap across the room at Dadio, ripping him away from Tina and pummeling his now rigid and strangely pulsating body into the ground.
I punch him repeatedly in the face. Over and over again I hit him until my fists are bloody and I start to see pieces of tooth flying wildly though the air in reverse trajectory form the arc of my punches. At the same time, I am screaming at him, “You will not touch my wife. You will not fucking touch my wife.”
I have no idea where this level of rage is coming from. It seems to have appeared from nowhere. I can’t remember feeling even mildly angry before I attacked this scumbag. At the same time, I am thoroughly enjoying the feeling of releasing my rage upon this eminently deserving subject.
I continue punching the bastard for what feels like an eternity. How long have I been punching him? Have I always been punching him and only just noticed it now?
At some point, over the sound of my screaming and his screaming and his bones crunching under my fists and of the wet, oily sound that I assume is his flesh, I notice Tina’s screaming voice too. What is she saying, I wonder? It takes me several minutes to realize that she is begging me to stop. Only then do I really notice the damage I have done to Dadio. He is a person no more but a writhing, twitching, wheezing lump of bloody tissue, that is not only covering the floor but also staining my hands and clothes. I am covered in him. I am drenched in Dadio.
Suddenly, I stop punching what is left of Roy Dadio and rise slowly, with no small amount of discomfort, to my feet. I turn towards Tina, bits and pieces of my victim still falling off of me and onto the floor, to see that tears are streaming down her face and she is looking at me with abject horror in her eyes.
I try to take her in my arms, but she pushes me away. I reach out for her again and she slaps my hand down, screeching “Stay away from me. Stay the fuck away.” Then she turns and runs, as fast as she can, grunting madly and jerkily waving her arms in the air. I watch her disappear in the distance.
“What brought that on?” I wonder, wiping a few remnants of Dadio from my shirt sleeve, “I was only trying to help.”