Decedent as perpetrator, killer as victim
Later, she’d describe it as a cop’s worst nightmare. But on that rainy October afternoon, it started out as a routine call for Chicago Police Officer Mary Westphal. “Disturbance with the man” is as frequent an assignment as domestic disturbances or traffic accidents, and just as deceptive. It’s the kind of call that can escalate into something much more dangerous and, in this case, deadly.
“The call was updated twice before I got to the location,” Officer Westphal recalled. “It went from ‘disturbance with the man’ to ‘weapons involved’ to ‘woman stabbed.’ And when I pulled up to the address, there was a screaming woman on the porch, bleeding from the gash inflicted by the man who watched me from the sidewalk. At that point, there was no visible weapon in his hand, and he only smiled when I ordered him to put his hands up. A smile that got bigger when faced with the barrel of my gun. His eyes had that glazed, fixed stare — the kind I’d seen before from mental patients.”...