I did two tours in Iraq and when I was there, I saw all manner of awful you’ve probably heard about on the news. When the other officers told me that when they saw Derek Turner on that day in June, they said it was the worst thing they’d ever seen. I didn’t doubt that it was the worst they’d ever seen, but I had a pretty strong stomach at that time, so when I saw him all covered in his daughter’s blood like that, I could take a second to think, gather my senses, book him, get him all cleaned up and get him prepped for questioning without losing my temper.
When we first saw him there, he looked white as a ghost. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. But he had these blotches of blood on his chest where the blood had seeped through while he was still wearing the garment. Most of it was on his hands and on his face. There was a small smattering, like a spray, along the side of his face and we concluded that was from the blunt-force trauma that killed the girl. The rest of it came from him cradling her after she had died. You see that pretty often: Someone kills someone close to them and then they immediately regret it. They hold the corpse, somehow thinking that if they give it enough love, they can undo the hurt they caused.