What We Don’t See

First off, my love to Beverly Cory and to those who loved her. I didn’t know Beverly but she could have been my friend or my financial advisor. The financial advisor Jody and I work with is also our dear friend and aunt to our children.

While volunteering for Richfield Police Reserves, near the 8-mile mark of the Woodlake half marathon, I positioned the police car to block the street. I turned on the squad lights, indicating that the intersection was closed. Half marathon runners could run safely up 71st St E.  Many would shout out some thanks as they went by. I’d wave in acknowledgement.

With the police car doing most of my work, my mind was on what I was hearing on the police radio.

The speed of information and the rapid coordination of agencies astounded me.


A person had been robbed at gunpoint. Police chase ensued. Car crashed into swamp. Man fled into nursing home. Perimeter set up. Command post opened. Swat team deployed. Help requested from nearby agencies. Police dog on scene. Request for another police dog. Photo of suspect received. Witness identified suspect. Snipers placed on roof tops. Squad cars, armoured vehicles, and helicopters surrounded the area. Area on lockdown. Evacuation of White Pine Living Center begun. A methodical door-to-door search of the center. Buses on site for residents and staff.

Though it was peaceful at my post, with runners yelling their appreciation, my heart rate increased, my blood pressure rose, and my breathing quickened.

In Mendota Heights, attention had turned to the office building.

Dispatch continuously fed the command center with information: persons who could possibly still be in the office building, the vehicles they drove, and their physical description.

Intensity continued at the senior center and at the same time increased at the office building.

A door-by-door search of the office building begun. A robot deployed. Beverly Cory found. My heart sank.

Long after I took off my Police Reserve officer uniform, I couldn’t stop thinking of Beverly and what might have transpired in her office. I don’t know what did. When I change into civilian clothes, I become a member of the public. I receive news the same as you.

One thing that I knew for sure, is that the police would work 24/7, and use all the resources that they had available to catch the murder suspect. I felt safer knowing that. I also knew that the police were doing a job that I could not possibly do.

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About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.