I remember seeing the report on television when it happened: they actually displayed the car with "something" burning in the opened trunk. Then they said it was a body. Then, they showed a photograph of her. Sheryl Lynn Laird looked so happy in that picture. The victim's killer/ex-husband meanwhile, was on the railing of the bridge getting ready to jump- it was all caught by a passerby. The picture here, does absolutely no justice to the horrific scene I viewed that morning.
When I write, I give a lot of thought to human feelings and emotions. For me, it's these fragments of joy, anger, jealousy and fear, that truly make the story relatable. Even so, it's difficult to imagine what this poor woman went through before and during her experience. Also, we'll never truly know and can never honestly relate to Sheryl on that desperate level, in that desperate moment. I've tried to do just that and failed. Miserably. To an extent, this would also carry over to the afflicted man who committed the crime; somewhere along his life's journey, Robert Laird's wires got crossed. Brainwaves shorted and sparked. The results, of course, were beyond terrible and affected many lives in the process.
Sadly, this is yet further proof, that real life is in fact stranger and more disturbing, than the fiction we write.
I can always go back and look at that picture of Sheryl. I can see her smile. I can wish the best, for her young daughter now growing up without a mother. Unfortunately, it's the burning car on the Skyway bridge that will stick in my memory. I'll never need to see another picture, to remember that.