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by Lisa Landolt

The Airport
I wonder how many people’s lives have been changed at the airport.  It
happened to me at LAX, on the other side of the scanning machines.  Sitting
down to put back on my white Reebok tennis shoes, I remember thinking
these tennis shoes are supposed to be safe—the kind you won’t have to
take off to be scanned.  At that moment, I realized that we can never be sure
our actions are safe anymore.

"Excuse me," an airline employee—security it looks like—says to me.  "Ms.
Sandra Greene?"

"Yes?"  I look up at the two security guards wearing black shirts and black
pants, making them clash in the sea of brightly-dressed tourists.

"Can you come with us, please?"  The shorter one gestures for me to stand

"What's the problem?"  I tie my left shoe a little too tightly.

"Security matter."

My mind races.  Was there something in my purse the screeners didn't like?  
But I have my purse; wouldn't they have taken it?  Maybe they didn't like
something in my checked bag?

"If you would just come with us," the first one says again.  I stand up and pick
up my purse, glancing over to the other side of the screening machines and
then at the people on this side.  People are staring, and that makes me as
nervous as the security guards do.  Flashes of Senator Kennedy and how he
wasn't able to board a plane because his name was on some terrorist list
go through my mind.  I wonder if my name is on that list, too.  

"In here, please."  The first officer leads me into a small office that has the
typical desk set up and two guest chairs.  "Have a seat."  I sit down in one of
the government-issue brown chairs.  The security guards leave just as
another man walks in.  

"Sandra Greene."  A balding man, with several file folders under his arm,
shuts the door.  I can't tell if he's asking if I'm Sandra Greene or telling me
that I am.  He looks pretty harmless:  short-sleeved button-down shirt, thin
black tie, black pants, and multiple pens in a pocket protector.  He sits down
behind the desk, and I'm suddenly feeling better.  This little guy obviously
has an administrative error or something he needs to address.

My opinion changes, however, when another man enters.  He's wearing a
heavy dark blue suit when it’s ninety-something degrees and humid

"Ms. Greene, I'm Senior Agent McFarland with the FBI," he introduces himself
and pulls the extra guest chair around to the other side of the desk next to the
little guy.  

FBI?  Okay, something is really wrong, I tell myself.  A million cop-show
reruns go through my mind, and I'm reminded how you're not supposed to
say anything at all except your name until an attorney shows up.  You just
know the FBI hates all the crime shows, letting the simple folk like me know
we have rights.

"Do you know why you’re here?"

"Yes.  To catch a flight back to Dallas."  I play the dumb-blonde card without
even thinking and hug my purse in my lap.  I wonder if my checked bags are
still on their way to Dallas.

"No.  Do you know why the FBI wants to speak with you?"  He looks exactly
like you would expect an FBI guy to look like, so if he's an undercover agent,
he’s not a very good one.

"No, and, um, I'm sure there must be some mistake."  In the twenty-one
years I've been alive, I've never been in serious trouble; I've never even gotten
a speeding ticket.  People like me just do not have meetings with the FBI.

"There’s been no mistake.  We've been investigating you for some time now,
and if you will cooperate with us, you will find the consequences will be less
severe.  We've been working on a series of murders that we believe you can
help us with."

"Murders?" I repeat it as if I've never heard the word before.  "I don't know
anything about murders."  My mind goes over the events of the past week.  
Was there anything out of the ordinary with the passengers on the boat in
Hawaii?  No one got pushed over or anything.  I did think that Dick guy was
kind of weird.  But not a murderer.  Did I miss something?  Chris Rock was
right; police officials can make you wonder if you've stolen your own car.  
Have I done something wrong that I don’t realize?

"The murders involve women between the ages of twenty and thirty-seven,"
he continues.  "The last victim may be someone you know.  A wealthy
Supermodel."  He slides a black-and-white photo across the desk toward
me, and I don’t even want to look at it.  This really can't be happening to me.  

"I'm sorry, I can't help you.  Would it be possible for me to, you know, go
now?  I'd like to catch my flight."  I feel my fingers trembling.

"It's okay if you want to go, since you’re not under arrest.  Yet.  We were just
hoping you'd be willing to help us so such an arrest could be avoided."

"Why would y'all want to arrest me?"  My heart sinks.  I would never be
involved in killing; I don’t even kill spiders in my apartment.  Everything in my
life is going so great now... I don't want anything to interfere with it, especially
something like a murder investigation.  I feel like I'm about to break down
and do the “ugly cry,” but then I remember my mom always said that crying
makes you look guilty.

"Let's put it this way...," he pauses for effect.  "If you refuse to help us, it will
appear you are hiding something.  You might then be considered a

"I, of course, want to help you any way I can.  It's just I don't think there's
anything I can do."  I wish he could understand that I don't want to be involved
in any of this.  Like, it's just not a good time right now for me to help the FBI
with a murder investigation.        

"Do you belong to a group called the Hunt Club?"  He asks, opening another
file that the little guy brought in with him.  I'm tempted to say no, or it's none of
his business, or that I want my attorney, not that I have one.  But I'm guessing
he may know I'm a member.  I mean, it's not a secret or anything.  I have tons
of stuff with the Hunt Club name on it and the number

"Yes, I am a member.  I joined a few months ago.  What does that have to do
with anything?"

"We believe you can help connect the dots between the murders and the
Hunt Club members," he says matter-of-factly, flipping through the file folder
until he finds the page he's looking for.

"That is ridiculous.  The ladies in the Hunt Club would never hurt anyone."  I
shake my head.  "I've never met more compassionate, kind women in my

"Okay, great.  If you're so sure they haven't done anything wrong, then you
won't have a problem talking to us about them."

"I'll tell you anything you want to know."  I nod, feeling determined that I can
clear this whole thing up. "Because I know they aren't involved with murder or
anything else."

"Give us all the details you can about the Hunt Club," he says, reaching for
his pen.  "How did you first get involved with them?"

"I first learned about the Hunt Club through a friend of mine.  When she sent
me an invitation to her wedding."  I relive the events for Agent McFarland as
he takes notes on his yellow legal pad.
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(c) 2008 Lisa Landolt
Published by Avon A
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The foregoing is excerpted from Good Man Hunting by Lisa Landolt.  
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