Public Service Means Public Scrutiny…

When a public official is accused of misconduct, justice is best served by bringing the details into the light...

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Injuries sustained by Macen, alleged to be caused by Corporal Fyre
Injuries sustained by Macen, alleged to be caused by Corporal Fyre

Happy New Year readers! Apologies for the delay in bringing you the latest Hathian slice of news, but our printing presses fell apart again over Christmas. Our technical department assures us that they have fixed the problem and that any other issues or mistakes must be due to the editorial staff or sub-editors.

Our Observer intern, Daiyu Tang, was approached in early January by a woman who claimed to have news of a possible crime committed by one of the town’s better known police officers, Corporal Fyre. With the agreement of the potential victim, it was agreed that subject to giving Fyre a right of reply that an article would be prepared. In the interests of open justice and with public interest in HPD and potential crimes committed by officers at an all time high, it was felt important enough to elevate an accusation (rather than a court proven conviction) into an article. Where subsequent facts come to light, for example the conclusion of what is surely going to be an explosive court case, the Observer will update our article, or our social media with key news.

Macen’s detailed allegations

After arranging to meet with Macen in the studio and taking a few photos of her injuries the Observer’s reporter Daiyu asked a number of questions in order to understand the potential accusations and why this was important for wider Hathian. This was conducted in the form of an interview.

Our reporter GBTL writes: My impression of Macen was initially influenced by her height, tall… She towered over me like some player from the women’s Olympic basketball team, I guessed approximately 6 foot. I felt perhaps she had some Latino background as the slightly golden hue of her skin stood in sharp contrast to the bruises and marking around her chest, arms and face. The accusations she was about to level against Corporal Fyre were buttressed by her very look, but despite the injuries and obvious tiredness she maintained a demeanour of cool, polite Southern charm, nothing though that the marks around her throat, indicative (she said) of attempted strangulation had rendered what would likely have been a pretty voice; hoarse, croaky and weaker than it would have otherwise been.

“Last night, Landon Fyre tried to kidnap, rape and kill me. I know reporting him will go nowhere, so I’m here. He knows where I live, and I’m not safe.

Macen Renierd as told to the Observer on the 4th January 2023

GBTL: “Coming to the press won’t make you safer if that happens, but I think we’re going to have to rewind a bit. Can you tell me the facts, what exactly happened? I guess firstly how do you know Fyre, how did you come to be in a position where he attacked you and why are you at risk from him? How far did this attack go, can you describe him, distinguishing features that kind of thing?”

Macen: “And who will they blame if I disappear? It’s insurance. If he doesn’t stay away from me then I’ll use whatever weapons I have at my disposal to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Some girls hopefully read the paper, I know I wish I had done it before I ran into him considerin’ the cover story right now ’bout him and Rhys. I maybe wouldn’t have taken a side before but I will now.”

The woman paused, sipped the coffee that I had made her and politely complimented it. She was poised, but it seemed to me eager to get the story out; perhaps even relieved to have someone to talk to. She handed me a business card belonging to Corporal Fyre and continued with her story:

Macen: “I first met Fyre when he came into Lou’s, I was working there at the time, behind the bar. I do that part-time. Big fella, tattoos everywhere, short hair, deep dirty blonde I guess you might call it, big gaged ears. And he gave me his card. He was investigating a report of people fucking in the bar which I found amusing so I teased him about it a little, he didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, but anyway… I didn’t see him again until a couple weeks later, that was just a few days ago… just into the New Year, I was working at Hathian General, which is my real job, I’m a trauma counsellor, I know… ironic, isn’t it, and he came in of course because of all the officers in there who had got hurt in the bombing. We got to talking a bit, he seemed nice, helped me throw out some girl that was stalking a patient there, taking pictures of him while he was unconscious. He seemed southernly, well mannered in spite of the ferocious viking look. So, later that day I texted him, using the number on his card and I asked him if he wanted to have dinner with me.”

GBTL: “So ok, the HPD station is destroyed and you’re drafted in to help deal with some of the fallout. He comes along, does his thing; stops some trouble with a tasers or otherwise applies force against this girl who was bothering you… So far so clear and you ask him to a dinner, then what?”

Macen: “He’s bigger than me. That’s hard to find… y’know? Most fellows I stand pretty much toe to toe with. I thought it’d be fun. We texted. Flirty stuff, I sent a few racy photos, normal things. Then, a few days after the hospital, that is, yesterday 3rd January, that was gonna be our date. A drive along the coast on his motorcycle, then back to his place to make dinner. That was the plan. Never happened.”

I looked at Macen at this point, her warmth had drained away and her eyes appeared cold and far away. Recalling the trauma, or the hate for Fyre, or something deeper?

Macen: “In his yard, he picked me up. Picked me up! He said a southern lady must be carried over the threshold. Well… I was charmed, but he didn’t take me inside. He laid me down on the grass and started kissing me and I was kind of okay with it, but… he was too rough, starting choking me. I wheezed for him to stop but he wouldn’t stop. He was yelling at me, calling me a whore, saying I couldn’t leave now
that I had ‘seen it’. I don’t even know what he was talking about! His house? His scars? His dick? He was strangling me so hard I thought I was going to die, I was ripping at his wrists, I broke some nails right down to the quick. I got about eight pounds of him under my fingernails.”

At this point Macen took a jar from her bag, which she claimed contained nail scrapings she had collected to evidence that she had been with Fyre.

Macen: “Suddenly he stopped, he tried to go down on me but I punched him in the throat and kicked up a fuss like you wouldn’t believe. I just became a tigress and the more I screamed and kicked and yelled the stronger it seemed like I became, the adrenaline I guess.”

“He said he only knew about sex from raping men in prison. He said I was a worthy opponent, due to my size”

Macen Renierd
Macen – photographed in the studio during the interview

Macen: “He shoved his hand down my panties and started molesting me, painfully. But I kicked free and both of us are standing there bloody and bruised and torn up and I remembered how well mannered he could be and I says, I said… Landon, you’re being very rude, this isn’t how you treat a lady. And would you believe it? He stopped. He just asked if I wanted a drink of water. I got my clothes on and ran a few blocks away and called for an uber.”

GBTL: “So, here’s the thing about Fyre. I have no clue what, if any, romantic relationships he has had with women… if any… What I mean is… he’s actually quite complicated… I’m truly sorry for your experience but what do you want me to do with it? I know Fyre somewhat, honestly he’s never seem interested in women other than the blue eyed, blond type with American heritage. You’re not his usual type, but maybe the Southern connection? The size as you said? So ok, how about this, what do you think he’d say if I went to put this to him? Where would the cross-examination find the easiest gap…. sorry, but you know stories need to be prodded and poked. Questions, angles, attempts to anticipate problems to get to the truth; that kind of thing”

She looked tired as I asked the questions, as if she’d expected them. Perhaps others had already asked. It’s a sad reality that even outside of Hathian people don’t always believe… and when a uniform is involved it becomes harder. Hathian makes it even harder, perhaps people believe but they justify it, or they are more likely to blame the victim. How many days does it take reader for you (if you’re female) to get called a slut, or a whore or insulted about your choice of partner or even decision not to have one. The men of this town (and some of their women) are an entitled bunch. It doesn’t mean that all accusations *must* be believed, but I felt there was some credibility here to at least agree to speak to Fyre and find out the other side.

Macen: “He took off his clothes, and I took off mine, we were fooling around willingly until he started strangling me. There wasn’t any call for him to get rough considerin’… I was obviously willing at first. Fucking asshole. His dick was big and ugly, like him. Shouldn’t have given that gargoyle Quasimodo freak the time of day… Truth is, I don’t know why he took me, maybe because he wanted to imprison me in his torture closet and because I’m brown, that would make it okay? But I think it’s because I’m big. I think he was intrigued to do something awful to a woman who could actually provide a challenge. The way he did that…I’d say he’s done it before. Lots. I want you to publish it. I want vulnerable girls all over Hathian to look at my throat and know they shouldn’t trust Landon Fyre. Or the HPD in general. There’s a reason I’m not filing charges and making a stink in the Captain’s office, it’d go nowhere and we both know that. Everyone knows that. So I’m doing what I can. I don’t think he’s complicated, I think he’s dangerous. He’s got a badge and a gun and a temper and mental problems and no smarts to help any of it. He’s going to kill someone, probably already has. He knows where I live so if I’m going to get dragged off by him like demons coming for me in the night, I’m gonna make DAMN sure well everyone knows where to look… and I want him to know I got a gun and if he steps one dirty toe inside my house I will shoot to kill. As for what HE’D say? Probably the same thing men always say. That I came onto him, asked for it. Maybe that’s true but I didn’t ask for him to do THIS. I told him to stop a dozen times. And he didn’t. So far as I’m concerned his any story of his won’t hold any water.”

We chatted a bit more, but there were no further details of particular note.

GBTL: “I am sorry for what happened to you; women should be free to be safe on dates and not worry about who is going to attack them next for no justifiable reason. I’ll do what I can to get to the bottom of this…”

A moment of reflection

A comprehensive set of accusations, with detail and some physical evidence. However, like with everything, these facts and even the details and evidence can be altered or manipulated to suit a purpose. It wasn’t clear to me what Macen’s purpose would be to target Fyre; most didn’t like him, this might change a few more people’s view; but probably not drastically in Hathian. He was already a hugely divisive figure. Was it revenge? Did the date go wrong, did Fyre spurn her? Was Macen someone who couldn’t take being dumped? It didn’t seem that likely… she didn’t come across that way. Finally, was it all perhaps just a big mistake, made worse by Fyre and his approach to problems… fast violence. Was he just losing it? This is all speculation mind, but it’s important for readers to consider the angles; something which our legal friends have to do if this case comes to court.

Noting this, it was time to pay Fyre a visit and see how he reacted to these accusations and what, if any, defence he had.

A robust defence

HPD Detective Fyre on a previous “engagement” in the HCS office

I met Fyre outside the new HPD station a week or so after meeting Macen. The Corporal was in his usual ‘no nonsense’ mood and while he had not for many months shown outwards aggression towards me, I was slightly nervous due to the subject matter. Never-the-less we proceeded to discuss the allegations. My aim was to report his view(s) and then understand where this was subsequently headed.

GBTL: “So… she said that on the 3rd of January you tried to kidnap her, then rape and then kill her. That was the order she gave… You met her at Lous… hit it off together when she teased you about the case you were working on… you then met again at HGH where she was working as a trauma specialist… this was in a professional capacity I understand… because of the bombing… Said you took her on your bike, for a coast tour and then back to your place, out of town… How does that sound so far?”

Fyre: “Murder too? That’s a new one. So far it sounds like some facts muddled with fiction. Did she explain her definition of kidnap, whilst also agreeing that she willingly joined me along a ride to my home?”

GBTL: “She called you well mannered, Southern, found you attractive because you’re bigger than her. You texted each other, flirty texts, that kind of thing. Consensual at this point… A few semi-sexy photos… So, you went together on the bike, then you picked her up, physically… something about being carried over the threshold… Almost like a marriage. Then this is when it gets a bit graphic… you put her in the grass, started to make out… then started to choke her, you didn’t stop when she asked you to. Apparently you called her a whore, told her she couldn’t leave because she had ‘seen it’, she didn’t know if it was the house, the scars… your…. body…”

Fyre: “She randomly sent ‘a’ photo, I neither asked nor encouraged it. And that was all… So I lifted her up to carry her in, but lowered her to the grass? Macen should make up her mind… There’s nothing out there I would have murdered a woman for ‘seeing’, it’s just a house. And were it so, why would I leave her alive… Everyone knows about my scars, it’s in the paper.”

Landon made an interesting point here. A lot of what was talked about *was* already in the paper. It would be easy to mix an altercation with some facts around Landon that had been in the Observer or elsewhere. There wasn’t an obvious reason *why* though – he was marmite. Maybe, just maybe if his name was really dragged into the mud the HPD might fire him? Maybe Macen needed money and thought this was an easy route. But there was no evidence for either of those speculative points. It really was appearing to be a ‘she said’, ‘he said’ kind of thing.

GBTL: “You strangled her, she claims she thought she was going to die. She showed me evidence of broken nails apparently used in self-defence. She also was able to evidence that she had collected nail scrapings, evidence that she was physically with you apparently, although of course DNA under nails doesn’t mean it wasn’t there with a consensual event… She fought back, apparently screaming and punching, while you were trying to explain how you didn’t understand women and how in prison had only been with men… You called her a worthy opponent due to her size and eventually she broke free and you didn’t engage again as she apparently spoke to you politely and told you that you weren’t treating a lady right. You stopped, asked if she wanted water. She apparently then ran. That’s about the gist of what I’d want to print anyway… there’s more, but I think it’d come out in court I guess.”

Fyre paused and showed me under his sleeves, scratches up his forearms. Healing and faded but still there after a week or so.

Fyre: “Here… I have nothing to hide, we did engage with one another, after she asked me to, I’ll present my proof in the court “Again, most the town knows of my past in prison, that was in the paper too. When Macen asked me on a date, I asked her to read that story first so she could understand my issues and why I haven’t been seeing women in a while. So she read it and apparently used the details from that story against me. I would have to be the worst kidnapper in the world, if I allowed my -captive- to run, whilst I went to fetch her water, right? The truth of the matter is, she playfully jumped onto my back and we rolled around in the grass, I did take her by the throat and explained, although she’s a large woman, she needs to learn how to defend herself too, as men would still take advantage of her. So I held her down to prove the point in a safe and controlled environment, And she scratched my arms, then as she asked me to stop, I released her. Macen seemed a little distressed so I offered her a drink, she refused, I offered to call her a ride, but she used her own phone for it, and made her way home. Once she’d received the bruises she wanted from me, she ran back to town to tell her tale.”

GBTL: “I understand you visited her house and she claims assaulted her gardener, one Braham… someone I believe is an actual *proven* rapist… I did let her know this and she said she didn’t know although did appear to say she’d slept with him.”

Fyre: “And as to her gardener, it’s correct that I visited Macen’s house to question her on the allegations, and the man she was shacked up with, happened to be a serial rapist I was searching for. My arrest of the pervert was hampered as Macen had called in another of her boyfriends. One of them arrived outside and vandalized my patrol vehicle, as I went after him, the serial-rapist escaped.”

The number of partners a woman (or man) has should be in no way, in my view, seen as indicative of whether they were assaulted or not.

Fyre: “It’s just occurred to me, Macen arranged her departure ride from my house, the phone will log the locations and it’ll show she was there, and not running away and calling from down the street, as she dramatically claimed. Did Macen tell you how she was dressed, or how she came to lose her clothing? Because all she wore was a blazer, with nothing underneath but her underwear. The blazer was removed, before she pounced near naked onto me at my house.”

We concluded the interview here. It seemed a strong defence from Fyre and my post on Twitter had elicited a generally favourable set of responses on his behalf, which I wasn’t expecting. The obvious exception being Tori, but her views about police were known to most.

Conclusion

The Observer and our journalists are not lawyers, but this is a matter of public interest. A well known police corporal has been accused, with significant detail of a crime, but has mounted a strong defence when queried by our staff. General discussions with citizens and other officers off-the-record paint a more mixed picture than we perhaps believed, with a majority of citizens decrying Fyre’s previous political statements, racism and violence, but no one else (so far) approaching with a similar accusation. This does not mean there isn’t truth in Macen’s claim, but rather that as we outlined at the start of this article, it will require a court or lawyers to settle the details.

If you have stories (or tips about this story) please contact our reporter, Daiyu Tang, ‘Girl Behind the Lens’ at the Observer, or via her e-mail address on our website.

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