And (his brother) said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob?” For he hath supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright and behold now he has taken away my blessing…
~ Genesis 27:36
Lucinda Reed is a teacher at Woodland Park Middle School. She has variously been described as a family friend of the Jordans and/or as a friend of Charles, who was one of her forensics students. Jacob describes Reed, who has been teaching at Woodland Park for a quarter century, as being “on the bad side of middle age.” A more objective description would be that Lucinda is of average height and weight with short, stylelessly cut black hair and large, expressive eyes. Reed’s gestures and manner of speaking tend toward the theatrical, which is hardly surprising considering that she is a drama teacher. (When one of Gabrial’s defense attorneys couldn’t remember Lucinda’s name, he referred to her as Miss Drama.) Reed is one of those people who seems to consider herself, no matter in what capacity, as “The Star Attraction.” Watching her performances on the stand throughout two trials and a suppression of evidence hearing, witnesses often commented on her overblown behavior—the throbbing voice, rolling eyes, and dramatic gestures. Spectators in both Jacob’s and Gabrial’s trials questioned how jurors could take her seriously. But obviously, given the verdicts in both cases, they did.
Lucinda Reed had taught both Charles and Jacob, but she was far closer to the elder Ind brother. (During Jacob’s trial she testified that she was initially closer to Jacob, which he dismisses as another of her lies.) According to Lucinda, she originally knew Charles through her daughter, who had been his friend for several years. She and Charles did not become good friends until after the tragic events of December 17, 1992. Charles and “Reed,” as he calls her, initially began spending time together because of forensics, a shared love. At WPHS, forensics begins in October and runs through April 15. Training is intense. Charles had participated in forensics since Junior High and he credits the poise and various acting techniques he learned with helping him through the difficult months following his parents’ deaths. Reed’s students will tell you that she is not only concerned with them academically, but personally, and over time Charles opened up to her. Reed was kind to him, and he grew to regard her as a surrogate mother. He even kept a photograph of her, a birthday present from “Mom,” in his cabin, atop his television set. Charles has credited Lucinda with saving his life.
By Charles’s junior year he was having trouble functioning. He played football, maintained his grades and participated in forensics, but his thoughts careened from violent to suicidal. He could no longer handle his home life, the times when Kermode dragged him out of bed at two a.m. to castigate him for some real or imagined infraction, or the endless fighting. Charles coped by turning to alcohol. Lucinda, who has also struggled with a drinking problem, recognized what was happening and tried to help.
“I was tough on Charles,” recalls Reed. “I warned him that unless he quit drinking he would be kicked off the forensics team.”
But Reed also provided a sympathetic ear. With her quick intelligence and her ability to spice up a story, Lucinda reminded Charles of his own mother—at least when Pam was being “Mom” and not “Pam.” Reed listened to his problems, offered suggestions and seemed genuinely concerned with his welfare. As Reed tells it, around noon on the day of the murders, Barb Waas, a fellow teacher and member of Woodland Park High School’s Crisis Committee, pulled Reed out of class to inform her that the Jordans might be dead. Waas singled Lucinda out, “because she knew Pamela had been my friend.” After asking team teacher Jerry Parent to take over her class, Reed hurried through the commons, which connected the middle and high school, to the office. Once there, she discovered that Jacob had indeed confessed. Moments later she spotted Charles, who was headed for the principal’s office. Charles had already been in to see Jacob. Reed rushed out to meet him and put her arms around him. Charles began sobbing.
Lucinda said, “I cannot take the pain away, but maybe I can help.”
Reed and Charles retreated to the counseling room where principals Hanna and Taylor, Superintendent Fred Wall, Athletic Director Stan Dodds and Counselor David Greathouse were gathered. Although Charles wanted to leave the school, reporters had already lined up outside. Charles was in no condition to talk to the press, but he couldn’t possibly exit without being seen. Woodland Park High School is located on a rise. Patches of grass are interspersed with concrete walks and two long stairways which ascend from the road and student/teacher parking. The entire area is open. Charles would have had to brave a gauntlet of reporters. Everyone was concerned with how best to get him safely out of the building. The males debated whether to order the press to leave, but Lucinda pointed out an obvious flaw.
“If we tell reporters to back off, they’ll still be watching the entrance. They’ll be able to figure out that the next person out the door will most likely be Charlie.”
Apparently, neither Reed nor her companions remembered that there are several exits in the back of the building through which she and Charles could have discreetly exited. According to Reed, she decided that the best thing to do was to brazen it out.
“I told Charlie to put on his sunglasses, turn his hat around and we walked out as if nothing had happened.”
Nobody challenged them.
While at Charles’s tiny cabin, located a few blocks from the school, Reed made a list of things that must be done.
“Number one, it is imperative that you get into some kind of grief counseling. Secondly, you must contact an attorney for your brother. Third, funeral arrangements must be made.”
Charles agreed, but attorneys, counseling and funeral arrangements were not uppermost on his mind.
“I have one other thing I need to take care of. I want to see Jacob.”
Around three p.m. Lucinda went home. Her residence is located in the heart of the town of Woodland Park, less than a mile from Charles’s cabin. Charles asked Reed to call his real father, who had recently moved from California to Illinois. Reed said that Charles didn’t want to call his dad, but Jacob says Charles had a block on his phone and was unable to call long distance. Anyway, Lucinda called the Ind residence several times, only to get the answering machine. Finally, around 4:15 p.m., she reached Frank Ind with the grisly news. It took several long moments of dramatic posturing before Lucinda told Jacob’s father what had happened. By that time Frank must have wondered whether everyone in his family had been wiped out. The final knowledge that his children, at least, were alive came as something of a relief. At least until reality sank in. Then Frank hung up the phone and made reservations for the earliest available flight to Colorado.
While Charles remained in hiding from the media which had gathered outside his cabin, the police sent word to Officer Bud Bright, who had joined Officer Jardin with Jacob, that Pamela and Kermode’s bodies had been discovered. Officer Bright immediately bagged Jacob’s hands with paper bags and rubber bands to preserve evidence of gunshot residue, cuffed him and led him out the front door of WPHS. Because it was lunch hour a lot of kids were standing around. Jacob recognized some of them, looking shocked, nudging each other and pointing as if he were some sort of mutant to be studied and dissected. Jacob didn’t mind. In fact, he found his situation more interesting than anything else—and actually, more familiar. A part of him had always figured that he’d end up this way, being some sort of criminal, being part a public display of curiosity and derision. All of his life Jacob had received attention for the bad things he’d done. Positive reinforcement was so rare as to seem like some exotic fruit or an elaborate game with byzantine rules beyond his comprehension. Yet he did know how to respond to negative attention. And negative attention was better than no attention at all.
The Woodland Park Police Department is situated across the street from the post office in a quiet, largely residential area of Woodland Park, less than a mile from the high school. It’s located in the back of the Municipal Building—a flat roofed, sprawling expanse of concrete block which houses everything from the water department to Park and Rec to the fire department.
Jacob was placed in a room adjoining the dispatcher’s. Officer Bud Bright instructed him only to give his name and date of birth, but over the course of several hours, Jacob made several curious statements.
“Do you think they’ll let me and my brother decide what to do with the bodies? I want them turned into fertilizer and to plant a tree over it.”
Jacob had always desired that for himself, as well. Then over the years his children and grandchildren could come and play on his branches, so that he and his progeny would always share a connection. In essence such an act ensured Jacob that he would never die and he found that idea comforting.
Jacob also asked, “Do you think they’ll let me have a lock of my parents’ hair?”
He wanted something physical of theirs, a memento that he could touch, that would remind him of them and of the good times they’d shared. He certainly didn’t hate them now, though he felt relieved that his nightmare was finally over. He didn’t really believe yet that he was in trouble. Because how could he be in bigger trouble than he’d been with his parents?
Even though the door was closed Jacob could hear the other officers discussing the whereabouts of Gabrial Adams. Major hadn’t yet been picked up. Police were familiar with Adams. They often saw him wandering around Woodland Park in his long trench coat and had been called to the Adams’s home several times on various complaints about Major’s behavior. All were leery of the seventeen-year-old.
Major was actually arrested with very little problem. When officers arrived at 790C Columbine Village Drive, Gabrial asked if they had a search warrant. Even after one was produced, he refused to open the door. Officer Curtis Rictor had to place Major on the ground and handcuff him. Inside the small townhouse the police found Gabrial’s trench coat, a glove and other clothes he had been wearing the previous evening drying in the dryer. Hidden amid a pile of clothing on a plastic chair in Gabrial’s bedroom, Officer Rictor found the .22, a knife, a black nylon holster and ammo carrier containing eight live rounds. He noted blood on the surface and grill of the .22, and that the weapon smelled of blood. In addition, the handle and blade of the knife contained blood stains. Rictor continued digging. Inside a pair of black jeans he located a .357 magnum, which also carried the blood smell.
After Gabrial arrived at the police station, one of the officers said, “Make sure you get photos of his hands.” Major had several cuts in the webbing between his thumb and finger, some of which later required stitches.
Jacob wondered whether Gabrial might still have blood on his hands. Jacob certainly had Pamela and Kermode’s blood on HIS. But Jacob was beginning to understand that no amount of water or even the passage of a thousand years could rid him of his particular stains.
Back to Lucinda Reed and her version of The Night of the Arrests. While ensconced in his cabin Charles continued to insist that he must visit Jacob. “I have to see my brother.” Lucinda was concerned for Charles’s well being, so she called the Woodland Park Police Department and demanded to speak with Officer Mike Rulo, a personal friend. Rulo wasn’t in.
Undeterred, Lucinda informed the dispatcher, “It is imperative that Charles sees his brother.”
She left a message for Rulo to call back, but when he didn’t, she kept calling.
Finally, around 7:45, the dispatcher told Reed that Mike Rulo and District Attorney John Suthers, who had driven up from Colorado Springs, had discussed the matter. Suthers himself came on the line. Lucinda repeated her concern for Charles, and Suthers was “compassionate.” He asked how old Charles was, and agreed that “for Charles this (seeing Jacob) was a necessity.” Jacob was presently at Langstaff-Brown, Woodland Park’s emergency medical center, having tests done for gun powder residue, and hair samples and fingernail scrapings taken. He was due back at the police station around 8:15. Suthers agreed to allow Charles a visit before Jacob would be transported to Zeb Pike, a juvenile detention facility.
Here is where events become murky or unbelievable, depending on your point of view. At the suppression of evidence hearing held a year after the murders, Jacob’s defense dismissed as ludicrous the idea that John Suthers—an aloof, law and order prosecutor—would act out of compassion. Suthers is particularly tough on juvenile crime, and Jacob’s attorneys couldn’t conceive of Suthers, who later commented that the crime scene was one of the most gruesome he’d ever seen, being sympathetic toward a confessed murderer.
Defense attorney Shaun Kaufman argued unsuccessfully that Lucinda Reed was allowed to see Jacob so that whatever information she gathered could later be turned over to authorities. Prior to being processed, a murder suspect is never allowed visitors, and certainly not someone who is a casual acquaintance. It just isn’t done. Period. Even the law enforcement officials who testified at the hearing agreed that such an event was highly irregular. Lucinda insisted that she, Suthers and Rulo acted totally out of humanitarian reasons.
Whatever the truth, Lucinda and Charles12 arrived at the police station around 8:10 p.m. They waited in the anteroom for nearly thirty minutes until Jacob returned. Detective Mike Rulo then led the pair to a room in back of his office. Upon opening the door, Rulo said, “This is not being tape recorded or video taped.” Jacob doesn’t remember Rulo’s remark, but recalls being comforted by the knowledge that whatever occurred between him and his brother would be private—an ironic statement in light of Lucinda Reed’s subsequent actions.
Reed and Charles entered a small room, no more than 10′x10.’ It contained a counter with equipment on it, a metal desk and three chairs. Jacob was seated in one of the chairs. He rose. He was handcuffed and shackled and trembling, and when Charles hugged him he started crying.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Jacob kept saying.
Lucinda also hugged Jacob. All three sat at the metal table.
“Why are they doing this to me?” Jacob asked, referring to the handcuffs. “Where the hell am I going to go?”
Charles responded, “It’s the law.”
Lucinda started questioning Jacob about the murders. As she explained in court, “We needed to know. Charles needed to know.” Which is a curious assertion, considering the fact that several people, including Jacob himself, had already given Charles the pertinent information.
Ever obliging to his elders, Jacob recounted the murders. Throughout, he cried and shook. The night was bitter cold, there was no heat in the room, and Jacob was only wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Lucinda recalled for the court that nobody had any Kleenex so she leaned over and brushed the tears from his cheeks. Jacob dismisses that as another example of her “story-telling,” but everyone agrees on one point. Jacob was in shock. Many people suspect that he had suffered a psychotic break. That, at the time of the murders and during the subsequent hours, Jacob was no longer fifteen years old and a freshman at Woodland Park High School. That he was once again five years old and facing the terror of coming home on quiet afternoons to be greeted by a giant who forced him into a white-tiled bathroom where unspeakable acts were performed upon his defenseless body. That Jacob was a tiny child crying out to a mother who never wanted him and never loved him and who answered his pleas for protection with beatings and taunts of “You’re a liar,” and who performed unspeakable acts of her own.
No one ran any psychological tests on Jacob until much later so we’ll never know whether a psychotic break actually occurred. Initially, Jacob’s attorneys speculated that they might plead “not guilty due to impaired mental condition.” Jacob agrees with that assessment, but, perhaps because they didn’t lay the proper groundwork, the defense ultimately decided on “self defense.”
Even Lucinda Reed, no champion of Jacob’s, realized that something was definitely wrong with him that night. As she put it, Jacob “did not realize the consequences of his acts.” At one point he asked whether his absences from school would be excused. He also wanted to know where he was going to live now that his parents were gone. Lucinda said, “Your real father has custody.”
Jacob scooted back his chair and declared emphatically, “I can’t do that. I can’t live with him.”
Jacob continued to recount, in disjointed sentences and non sequiturs, the murder night—including the fact that “he had gotten the belt.”
Lucinda asked, “Were there any marks?”
“I don’t know.”
One of the last things Jacob supposedly remembered seeing was Major’s bloody knife and bloody glove. In other testimony, Lucinda recalled that the glove was actually dripping blood. Jacob doesn’t remember any of this, and logically, the idea of a glove so drenched in blood that droplets can be seen falling onto the floor in a darkened room, is ludicrous. Another example, according to him, of Reed’s “dramatics.”
Finally, after forty minutes—Jacob insists it was closer to fifteen or twenty—Mike Rulo poked his head inside. “We need to transport him now. Please say your goodbyes.”
Jacob said, “I’m very cold.”
Charles started to remove his letter jacket. Lucinda countered, “Why don’t you give him your sweater?” Charles stripped off his sweater and handed it to his brother. Jacob then asked for a few minutes alone with Charles. His thoughts had centered on a stash of marijuana in his room that he hoped Charles could remove.
“I didn’t want to get in trouble for having illegal drugs in my possession. Silly me! So once we were together I explained to Charles what should be done with the pot. I wasn’t even worried about anything else.”
Reed returned Charles to his cabin around 9:40 and stayed through the ten o’clock news. The murders and the arrests were the lead story though details remained sketchy. After a final hug and kiss for Charles, Reed went home to bed.
Upon awakening the following morning, Lucinda realized that her recollection of Jacob’s “confession” was a little hazy. For example, she couldn’t remember the exact time Jacob had said he’d heard the gunshots. This concerned Reed, who ordinarily “has an excellent memory.”
Early in the morning of December 18, 1992, Lucinda called her friend, Athletic Director Stan Dodds, and asked him to act as a witness for what she was about to do. Realizing the importance of Jacob’s statements, Reed decided to tape her recollections of their meeting. Afterward, she turned the tape over—not to Jacob’s defense attorneys or to a neutral party for safekeeping—but to the police. This recording, which can only be described as hearsay, would later form the major basis for Jacob’s confession.
Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.
Chapter 9(click to entire chapter)