bsd spoilers for the new chapter but………look at the armed detective agency, look at this beautiful family of people who truly care for each other, have you ever seen something so wonderful in all your life
Workhouses didn’t vanish because someone abolished poverty or something.
In countries where workhouses no longer exist (or exist in only highly disguised and mutated forms), they no longer exist because the people in these countries decided workhouses were horrible and not an acceptable response to poverty.
I’m sure that in the heyday of workhouses, they felt as inevitable as institutions for disabled people feel to lots of people today. Lots of people probably even thought they were a good thing – and the only possible way to do certain good things.
A lot of people think the solution to institutions is to cure disabled people.
Disability will always exist and has always existed.
Institutions did not always exist and will not always exist. They are not necessary. There is not a single good thing done inside of them that can’t be done outside of them, and better.
Nursing homes, developmental centers, mental institutions, group homes, orphanages, all these things and more do not have to exist. (This includes the worst of the “home care” agencies – only “home care” by name – that are basically institutions where the inmates live in separate places scattered all over town. And other forms of what I call “community institutionalization”. It’s possible to provide care without an institutional power structure. Really.)
Literally do not have to exist.
All we frigging have to do is understand that not living in a hellhole (and even a painted-up hellhole with lots of perks that doesn’t feel to some people like as much of a hellhole, is a hellhole, also Stockholm syndrome is a thing) is a basic human right.
And if it’s a basic human right for everyone to live outside institutions. And if it takes a certain kind of assistance for certain people to live outside institutions. Then that assistance is a human right. Assistance should never, ever be offered in a way where you can only get it if you agree to be institutionalized. Just like food should never, ever be offered in a way where you can only get it if you agree to live in a workhouse (or join a religion, or etc.).
TL;DR: THERE IS NOTHING NECESSARY OR INEVITABLE ABOUT INSTITUTIONS SO EVERYONE PLEASE QUIT ACTING LIKE THERE IS.
“Well, don’t keep us in suspense, my statuesque God of Chocolate Thunder,” Garcia said, “Who did Boy Wonder go out with?”
“Y/N,” Morgan replied with a smile. “So much for her being obnoxious and annoying.”
When Morgan looked around the room, everyone was in varying states of surprise and anything but surprised. Garcia was stunned. Emily wore a knowing smile. Hotch and Rossi, of course, weren’t fazed at all. “It’s about damn time he asked her out,” Rossi exclaimed, raising his eyebrows as Spencer walked back into the room to stunned silence.
“Why is everyone so quiet?” Spencer asked, sitting down at the table with the god-given elixir that was his cup of coffee. “Were you waiting for me to start?”
“No,” Hotch said, surprising everyone else by being the first one to talk. “It’s just that when you left the room, you left your phone on the table.” It was so rare for Hotch to be smiling at work, no less in the conference room, where such grotesque, demented crimes were discussed, but there he was, teasing Spencer. “You got a text.”
Immediately, the confused look on Spencer’s face turned to a busted one. He still tried to play it off though. “I’ll answer it later. No big deal.”
“No big deal!” Garcia asked, eliciting laughter from the rest of their friends. “No big deal? You’re going out with Y/N!”
Spencer slapped his hands over his face, burying his head to try and contain his embarrassment. Not that she was embarrassing, he just didn’t know how to handle talking about his romantic life (or more often, his lack of one) in front of his friends. “We went on one date,” he said quietly, trying as hard as he could to downplay the situation.
Of course, that didn’t work.
“You’ve only gone on one date so far,” Morgan replied with a sly smile. “She said, ‘I had a great time last night. Looking forward to the next one.’”
“I thought you said she was obnoxious,” Emily laughed. She couldn’t count the amount of times Spencer had complained about having to work with her. It was hysterical every time because he was the only one that didn’t seem to get that the reason they butted heads so much was because they were all too similar.
“She is obnoxious!” Spencer exclaimed, remembering the way she called him stubborn. He wasn’t stubborn, she was. “She said I was stubborn.”
“You are stubborn!” everyone said simultaneously, laughing at Spencer’s expression of indignation. “You’re being stubborn about being stubborn.” Morgan couldn’t contain his laughter - this is what he had been saying for years.
Spencer scrunched his mouth shut. He wasn’t going to get anywhere with his friends today. He just had to resign himself to being ragged on for the remainder of the day. “I am not stubborn. Can we just get to the case please?” he asked, desperate to turn the attention away from himself.
“Sure thing, lover boy,” JJ laughed.
Their case out in California was different to say the least. While their normal victims tended to be children, teenagers or adults, their three victims so far were a minimum of 60 years old.
“So all three of these victims had in-home care after a surgery and died suddenly of the flu, all within a 15 block radius?” Reid asked Garcia over the connection on the jet.
Despite the distance between the BAU and the airborne jet, the furious sound of typing could be heard throughout the jet. “All three of the victims, Geraldine Walters, Harvey Burns, and George Johnson were all relatively healthy, but needed help with daily activities after surgery. Geraldine had a knee replaced, Harvey had a hip replaced and George had a stent put in his heart. Other than that, no one had any issues, except that they all came down with the flu after their surgeries. Geraldine and Harvey have unfortunately already been cremated, so we aren’t going to be able to get anything from them, but after George died, his daughter contacted the police. She knew the other two victims in passing and claimed she found it odd that three relatively healthy people died within such a short time and with no actual cause of death,” she continued. “She claimed that her father had never had the flu in his life; he never got sick.”
“It is odd,” Emily said, looking between the files of all three victims. “The likelihood of having that many healthy individuals come down with the flu during a time when the flu isn’t common and die suddenly in such a concentrated area is unlikely, but it could just be a coincidence, and with two of three already having been cremated, we’re going to have a difficult time proving that anything nefarious happened.”
Everyone agreed, wondering if this trip was going to turn out to be a waste. But better safe than sorry. “Well, working under the assumption that something nefarious is going down, what kind of person are we looking for?” Rossi asked.
“If they were actually sick, it would be considered an angel of mercy style killing,” Spencer started, “but given that they were relatively healthy, we are looking for someone sadistic, and although serial killers of this kind tend to be male, we definitely can’t rule out a female killer either. As a matter of fact, when it comes to this type of killer, a female is even more likely than the typical serial killer.”
JJ rolled her eyes. “Typical serial killer. We have such wonderful jobs, don’t we?”
“Alright,” Hotch started, “When we touch down, Emily, you go interview Geraldine’s son and daughter. JJ, take Harvey’s son. Reid, you and Morgan take George’s daughter and the in-home nurse he had, and Rossi, you and I will go to the funeral home that took care of all three funerals. Morgan and Reid, ask George’s daughter if she objects to her father being exhumed for an autopsy.”
As the plane started to descend, they all hoped that this was a false alarm, because if they did have some kind of angel of mercy, sadistic or otherwise, on their hands, they were going to be extremely difficult to catch - at least without another victim.
With JJ, Emily, Hotch and Rossi off to pursue other avenues, Morgan and Reid headed off to interview George’s daughter and his at-home nurse. “Hello,” Morgan said as a young woman about 30 years old opened the door. “I’m Agent Morgan, this is Dr. Reid, are you Helena, George’s daughter?”
“Yes, come in,” she said, inviting the two agents inside. “Thank you for coming. Everyone says I’m overreacting, but I really feel like something is wrong.”
“It could be nothing,” Reid said, “But in cases like this where many people die in a short period of time in a concentrated area, we do what’s called an equivocal death investigation to determine the cause of death. Can you tell us about your father? How was his health beforehand?”
As the three sat down in the middle of the living room, alongside George’s at-home nurse, Fiona, Helena did her best to describe her father through the tears. “Besides his heart problems, which were genetic and he was ready for as he got older, he was unbelievably healthy. Heart problems run in our family. He had a 90% blockage in one of his arteries, despite the fact that he was healthier than I was, so he had a stent put in. That’s when I called Fiona to help him with his daily routine while I was at work.”
“I can’t believe he’s gone,” Fiona stuttered, “He was such a sweet man.”
“Fiona,” Morgan asked, “How long had you been taking care of Mr. Johnson?”
She took a deep breath, linking her arm into Helena’s. The two had been friends since college. “A little over two weeks,” she said, “depending on how he was feeling, it could’ve been another two to four weeks.”
“And how long had he been sick?” Reid asked.
“About four days.”
“Last two questions,” Morgan said, “Was there anyone but the two of you with him in the past four days? And is it okay if we exhume your father? There is a chance that something will show up on the autopsy.”
Fiona pulled out a card with the name and number of her in-home care agency on it. “I had a family emergency of my own to deal with earlier in the week, so I couldn’t make it here until the afternoon. I was told that the agency sent two different nurses to cover those mornings.”
“If exhuming my father proves that he was actually murdered, like I think he was, then you do whatever you need to.”
“Ok, thank you. Please let us know if you can think of anything else that might help,” Reid said as the two stood up to leave.
Morgan and Reid walked outside, immediately contacting the agency to see who else treated Mr. Johnson. Spencer pulled out his phone to see a list of missed texts from the rest of the team. Emily and JJ both said that the first two victims’ children also said that their parents were ridiculously healthy, so coming down with the flu was out of the ordinary, while Hotch and Rossi said that the funeral home claimed there was nothing out of the ordinary. “Rossi purposely asked if anyone had any skin discoloration or if they could detect the scent of bitter almonds, but there was nothing out of the ordinary,” Reid said.
“What would that indicate?” Morgan asked as he pulled out into the street and toward the agency.
“Cyanide poisoning,” he replied. “But there was nothing.” As the two made their way to the agency, Spencer texted Y/N to let her know that he probably wouldn’t be back in time for their next tentative date. Thankfully, being in the same field, she was well aware of the difficulties and just extended her expertise if necessary.
“You got another date set up?” Morgan asked, trying to talk about anything but the case for a moment.
“We did,” he replied, “But I have a feeling this case is going to have us here for a while.”
Before heading back to the station, where the rest of the team had already convened, Reid and Morgan headed to the agency, where the head of the facility referred them to Mr. Johnson’s other nurses, Sam Meyers and Maryann Trotta.
“I don’t know,” Morgan said, leaving the agency and finally heading toward the station. “The way Maryann was talking about his symptoms, it was almost as if she hadn’t been treating him. She claimed he’d only been coughing slightly, while Fiona insists that he was violently ill.”
Spencer didn’t have a good feeling about her either. “She’s definitely hiding something. We just have to figure out what and why.”
And they needed to find out quickly. Minutes after they returned to the station, the local authorities got a call indicating there was another victim. “Jennifer Valesky died of flu-like symptoms about five blocks from George Johnson’s house. She was apparently healthy,” he said.
If they weren’t already feeling as though there was a killer on the loose, that cemented it. Four victims within a week and a half and in a now-17 block radius. “We have an angel of death in the area,” Hotch said.