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Deputy Down

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In December 2001, St. Lucie County prosecutors charged Wilk with threatening a public official, a felony. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on a law enforcement officer and was sentenced to 90 days. In a motion Wilk himself filed, he told the court that he accepted the plea for financial reasons; he could no longer afford his attorney. He maintained that the government was targeting him unjustly. "The conduct of the government has been so outrageous, it offends the universal sense of justice and fair play," he told the court.

For his part, Jones pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and received a 29-month sentence.

On June 17, 2004, four days after Kelly Ray Jones was released from prison, Detective Spector made another bust -- an unidentified Florida man who was trading child pornography on the Internet and offering his underage daughter for sex. The man agreed to work with authorities and provided Spector with a list of AOL usernames representing people with whom he traded illegal images and videos. One of the usernames was Kelevision2. It was used by a man named Kelly in Broward County, the arrestee told law enforcement.

Spector had a hunch. Using the AOL account of the arrested man, whose username is not specified in reports, he contacted Kelevision2. "Hey," Spector wrote.

"Fuck where u been?" the suspect wrote back, not realizing police were using the account.

Spector told Kelevision2 that he'd recently met with someone who allowed him to have sex with a child. "Hook me up," Kelevision2 replied. Spector responded that he had lost all his child pornography and needed more.

Kelevision2 complied, e-mailing two samples and offering to bring CDs of pornography if he could have sex with the man and his daughter.

When Spector subpoenaed AOL's billing records for the username, he discovered that the account was registered to Wilk. It appeared that Jones -- in a feeble attempt to escape detection -- was using an account registered in his partner's name.

On July 14, 2004, less than a month after being released from prison, Jones was arrested again. That afternoon, police searched Wilk's and Jones' house once more.

Unlike the day that detective Fatta was killed, the BSO SWAT team was deployed. But no one was home. No conflict occurred. Searchers found several CDs containing child pornography.

On July 16, 2004, Jones met Wilk for a series of jailhouse phone calls that were taped by authorities. The pair tried ineffectually to talk in code. They seemed to indicate that during the search, police did not find all of the child pornography. Wilk wanted to destroy the evidence. Jones couldn't bear the thought.

"It's 15 years for every single one of them..." Wilk said, referring to CDs of child pornography.

"Some things can't be replaced, OK?" Jones replied. "Irreplaceable."

Jones then suggested that Wilk buy a cooler, fill it with any pornography and drugs left in the house, and bury it in the backyard. He also proposed spreading coffee grounds on the cooler and surrounding soil to throw off any drug dogs.

Wilk's hostility grew. In a series of letters he wrote to his lover, Wilk provided some clues to what he might do:

August 11, 2004: "I have lost so much respect for people's lives. It's like killing people would be justified and enjoyed."

August 12, 2004: "I know that picking [a] fight with cops is insane, but I need to vent my rage over an injustice... I have several weapon[s] just laying [sic] around in case one of the nutjobs actually show up."

August 16, 2004: "I have become such an angry, bitter person. I just want to hurt something."

Three days later, hunching behind his kitchen counter, Wilk fired his .30-30-caliber Model 94 Winchester rifle at two sheriff's deputies he'd never met.

Todd Fatta saw his family for the last time about three months before August 19, 2004, when he returned to his hometown of West Seneca, New York, near Buffalo, for his high school reunion. Ten years had passed since Todd had left for a career in law enforcement.

He was the youngest of four children in a working-class family. His father was a technician in one of Buffalo's factories, his mother a housekeeper at Macy's. From an early age, his brother Joe remembers, Todd wanted to be a cop. "We'd play cops-and-robbers, and he would never want to be the bad guy." Joe, who was close to his only brother despite being 13 years older, says, "He always had to be the good guy."

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Trevor Aaronson
Contact: Trevor Aaronson

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