• Rod Kackley

The Case of the Heroic Bank Guard


Larry Turner was about as high as he had ever been when he put one in the chamber of his Glock 9. Larry stashed the gun inside the back of his Levis as he got out of his mother’s Hyundai Santa Fe.

He walked quickly to the front door of First Community Bank of St. Isidore, turning his back to the security camera, clicking the safety on his 9 off and rolling his ski mask down over his face just before he opened the big glass front door.

It was 9:02 a.m. Not a customer in the place, but Larry was sure the tellers’ drawers were stuffed with cash. This was the score he needed.

Larry had done four robberies in the last six days — a liquor store, a check-chasing place, and two gas stations — none of them much more than smash-and-grabs that yielded little other than pocket change. The real money at all of those places went right into floor safes. He hadn’t counted on that. The cashiers never had more than $100 in their registers. The hold-ups were hardly worth the effort, and certainly not worth the risk.

But First Community Bank should be loaded with cash. Larry was positive this was the job he needed to blow this backwater town, his miserable life, and his nagging mother.

He was confident he could get in and out in less than five minutes, and then Larry’d see nothing but St. Isidore in his rear view.

His smartphone rang.

“Damn, everything but..” Larry muttered as he turned from the door. Ski mask in place, one in the chamber, safety off on the 9, but he forgot to click his phone off.

A phone number popped up on the screen.

“Mom! I am busy,” Larry said.

“What?”

Fuck! Larry had forgotten to roll the ski mask up past his mouth.

“I said, ‘I’m busy!”

“Where’s my car?”

“Your what?”

“You heard me boy.”

Oh for Christ sakes, Larry thought as he slowly walked back to the Hyundai. His back, and the Glock in his jeans was to the bank’s security camera, but his leather jacket should cover the butt of the pistol, Larry reassured himself.

“Mom, I needed the car to apply for that job at Radio Shack I told you about last night.”

“Uh, huh.”

“And I didn't want to wake you up.”

“Just be sure you put gas in it and…”

Larry clicked off. He had no time for this. He had no intention of bringing the car back. The plan was to peel rubber out of the bank’s parking lot, and drive like hell to the old water tower beside the high school. Mary Beth would be waiting for him there in her old man’s ’68 Camaro.

They were going to take off together. Larry had a couple hundred dollars from his other robberies, not much, but enough with the thousands he figured on getting from the back, to start a life together with Mary Beth.

“Maybe it wasn’t perfect,” he told Mary Beth the night before last. “But at least it is a fucking plan. That’s more than we’ve had in the past two years since you graduated and I dropped out.”

He tossed the smartphone on the front seat of his mom’s Hyundai. The last thing Larry needed was to have her call during the stickup.

It was time. This was it. There was no sense waiting. The bank parking lot was empty except for Larry. He had to move now.

This fucking ski mask, Larry thought. It was all bunched up on top of his head. If my fucking mother hadn’t called me, I’d be on the road to Mary Beth by now.

“Ah, fuck it,” Larry said as he pulled the ski mask off his head, wadded it up and tossed it away.

Larry pulled the hood of his sweatshirt down over his head. It would have to do.

“I’ll be in and put so fast, it won’t make any difference,” he muttered.

And fuck the idea of putting the gun in the back of his jeans. Larry pulled it out, made sure the safety was off and there was one in the chamber and marched right up to the bank.

He pulled the first door open so hard Larry as afraid it would fly off its hinges. He kind of skipped the next five or six feet through the foyer to the next door and pulled it open.

“Robbery, motherfuckers,” Larry shouted, hopping as he ran, pointing the Glock at the ceiling and firing off three shots. “Everybody down, now!”

Larry heard one of the tellers, a woman, screaming. That was good. He saw both of their heads ducking below the counter.

Larry did a quick 360-degree turn to make sure no one was behind him and spun around to face the tellers’ windows, firing two more shots just too make sure they knew he was serious.

Both of the tellers were hiding. But Stan Grabowski was not. A retired St. Isidore County deputy who was picking up some part-time money working at the bank had his Glock pointed at Larry’s face.

Out in the Hyundai, Larry’s smartphone was buzzing. It was his mom, again.

Ninety days later, the county prosecutor called Stan to tell him personally the grand jury had found the shooting to be a justifiable case of self-defense.

The bank gave him a medal.

Stan decided he’d rather than stay home than go back to work. He never touched his Glock, again.

One Woman. One Gun. Two Dead Bodies.

Mary Eileen Sullivan’s ex-husband and new boyfriend have disappeared. She is crushed. Or is she?

Two of the St. Isidore Chronicle’s crack reporters — Joy and her protege, Amanda -- think Mary Eileen is lying. So does a state police detective, Sean Patrick Flynn, who decides to go undercover — under Mary Eileen’s covers — to solve the mystery and put his suspicions to rest.

The Coffee Shoppe Killer is a gripping crime and suspense thriller, inspired by a shocking true crime story, with more than enough twists and turns — along with a surprise ending — to enthrall everyone who loves a good crime fiction novel.

The Coffee Shoppe Killer: Inspired by a Shocking True Crime Story. Did she only kill the ones she loved?

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