This 31 Day Writing challenge is a lot harder than I anticipated. I think what I actually have ended up doing is researching more about what I know, and less “random” than I originally intended. Regardless, today is the day I tell you the story about the wrong man.
The official story (that I was told at age 17) is that my uncle and his bodyguard had taken a car out of Tbilisi into the country to visit some archeological ruins. On their return to the city, 3 drunk guys that looked like soldiers tried to stop them, get their vehicle, and rob them of everything else as well. The bodyguard did not stop, and in fact sped up. One of the three shot his gun into the air, and the bullet traveled through the rubber gasket around the window, hit the ceiling of the vehicle and killed my uncle. Oh, and the gun was fired as they were driving away from the drunk soldiers, and yet, the bullet hit my uncle in the forehead and exited through the back.
The man that was arrested and eventually convicted is named Anzor Sharmaidze. According to this article, Mr. Sharmaidze actually confessed and then recanted, saying he had been tortured into confession. He was still sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
According to this article, an attorney named Michael Pullera was asking for the case to be reopened. There are some interesting facts in the article, such as the fact that at 9 pm, the sun wouldn’t have set yet, so there wasn’t a need for headlights. Also, and this one is hard to type out or even think about, but Freddie’s body was not delivered to a hospital until after 10 pm, and was in an advanced stage of rigor mortis, and that’s not supposed to happen that quickly.
This is also an interesting blog post to read, but the one that gets me is how quiet Mr. Sharmaidze’s release from prison was. I’m going to have to start bookmarking websites as I research, because I’ve read a whole bunch more than this, but I’ve forgotten which search terms I used in order to get those articles.
(Growing older and forgetful is not for wimps, let me tell ya. I think I would honestly lose my head if it wasn’t attached. Or at least an arm.)
One last interesting article. This one, near the end, connects the Boston Marathon bombings and my uncle’s murder, but only in that the perpetrators were both from the Chechen area.
So, was the wrong man arrested? Was he a fall guy for the actual killers? How do the KGB and Eldar Gogoladze link to this? Mr. Gogoladze was driving the vehicle, but does he have a connection to the former KGB?
And most importantly, why was there such a rush to arrest and convict and possibly cover up? We may never know all the details for certain, and most of the time, I feel like I have more questions than answers.
But if Anzor Sharmaidze was indeed framed, then I am glad he is out of prison now. Let’s see if we can find the right man now.