Carmela grew up on a small farm three miles outside of the city. She had two younger brothers.
Everyone had their assigned chores to do each day and most of them done before they went to school. After the chores had been completed everyone sat at the table for breakfast and there was a lot of conversation and laughter. Every meal was joyful and there was a feeling of security and peace.
One morning Carmela had taken care of her chores and was returning to the house when she saw a van leaving and turning toward town. As she entered the house, she felt fearful. Her mother was not in the kitchen cooking, her father was sitting in a chair slumped over to one side and there was total silence in the house.
She frantically ran from room to room and found her mother gagged and tied up. Her brothers were laying on the floor and had been severely beaten. They were barely alive!
Her mother was in a state of shock. Carmela took the gag out of her mouth, untied her and had her lie on the bed. Then, she raced to the phone, stumbling along the way and called the hospital for an ambulance and then placed a call to the police station.
The ambulance and policemen arrived at the same time. Her mother was treated for shock and the rest of her family taken to the hospital.
The policemen questioned Carmela, but she was unable to give them much information. They told her a detective would be coming the next day.
The following days were complete agony for Carmela. She and her mother sat in a dry silence as they ate their meals.
She recalled her father having said that laughter is therapeutic and amiability lengthens the life span. Laughter and relaxation had left their house.
Detective Adam Colton had spoken with Carmela several times. She had given him the description of the van, the direction it was going, and the approximate time it pulled away from the house. She saw three men in the van and they had hats on that looked alike.
Fingerprints were taken at the scene of the crime and they matched the fingerprints of three men that had recently been released from prison. They worked at a factory in a county thirty miles away.
The men were arrested and charged with battery, theft, and violating their parole.
Carmela’s family was slowly recovering from their injuries.
Laughter and relaxation had returned to their house.