The Year We Disappeared (32 page)

BOOK: The Year We Disappeared
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“Asshole!” I heard someone yell. I lifted my head just in time to see the other car race off down the road. I sat in my car by the side of the road until I calmed down enough to hold the wheel without shaking. I looked at my face in the mirror and wiped away the tear streaks. Then I sat there a few minutes more for good measure. I heard another car come up over the rise and down the hill behind me, but I wasn’t worried. I could see in the rearview that it was just the Jacksons’ mint green Ford pickup.
They lived a few miles down the road from us, and I knew their two boys from school.

The truck slowed as it neared me, and I saw Jimmy, who was seventeen, inside. He leaned over to talk to me through the open passenger-side window. “This that new car your brothers were talking about?” he asked. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and looked like he had been doing some work outside.

I nodded. “What do you think?”

“I didn’t figure it would be so small!” Jimmy laughed. “That car’s just right for you, though.”

“I guess.” I shrugged, looking at his pickup truck. People around here didn’t drive foreign.

“Well,” he paused awkwardly, “reckon I’ll see you at school, huh?”

“Sure,” I told him.

He gave me a nod, then put the truck back into gear and drove off. I didn’t realize until after I watched his truck disappear over the next rise that he hadn’t bothered to ask me what I was doing pulled over on the side of the road. But that was pretty typical of our neighbors—they all minded their own business, and nobody asked anyone else much of anything. That’s why we lived here. Nobody knew anything about us, and that was how we wanted it.

I took a deep breath and checked my mirrors like Dad had taught me to do. When I was sure there was no traffic coming in either direction, I turned the car around and headed home.

where they are now

In 2003, James Meyer confessed to Falmouth police detectives that he was involved in the attempted murder of John Busby. He told detectives he had been driving the car that night, while his brother, Raymond Meyer, leveled a shotgun at Busby’s head from the backseat. Also in the car with them was Raymond’s wife, Laverne. The shotgun had been borrowed from a friend and returned shortly after the shooting. The car had recently been purchased from a Falmouth police officer, Ahmed Mustafa, and had no plates; it was later destroyed at a junkyard.

Meyer’s confession also included information about two unsolved murders and a disappearance, all linked to Raymond Meyer. The police report of his confession is unavailable to the public as it is currently part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of Laverne Meyer.


John and Polly Busby:
Married for over forty years, John and Polly are now retired. They have three grandchildren.


Craig Clarkson:
Retired from the Falmouth Police Department, currently lives with his family in Falmouth, Massachusetts.


John Ferreira:
Retired as chief of police, Falmouth Police Department, December 1979. Currently lives with his family in Falmouth.


Michael “Mickey” Mangum:
Resigned from the Falmouth Police Department, 1977. Currently resides in Massachusetts.


Tony Mello:
Retired from the Falmouth Police Department in 2007, currently lives with his wife, Kathy, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.


James Meyer:
Confessed to police detectives in 2003 that he drove the car on the night of John Busby’s shooting. Implicated his brother, Raymond Meyer, in the shooting, and also Raymond’s wife, Laverne Meyer. As of March 2008, he is facing charges of malicious destruction of property in an unrelated case.


Laverne Meyer:
Her body was found early on the morning of May 10, 2005, at her home; she had been shot once in the head and once in the chest at close range. Her murder remains unsolved.


Raymond Meyer:
Charged by Massachusetts State Police in a bid-rigging scheme in 1984, acquitted in 1985 (his business partner Charles Cacciola was found guilty). In an unrelated case, Meyer was charged with assault, two counts of threatening to commit a crime, and malicious destruction of property in 2001;
he was found unfit to stand trial and diagnosed with dementia. He has been incarcerated in the Taunton State Hospital since 2001.


Larry Mitchell:
Former Falmouth police officer who refused in 1979 to take a polygraph test. In 1980, he submitted to a polygraph and failed. In 2003, James Meyer exonerated Mitchell by revealing that it was actually fellow officer Arthur Monteiro who gave Raymond Meyer the police department work schedule, something that Busby and others wrongly suspected Mitchell of for years.


Arthur Monteiro:
Former Falmouth police officer, died in 1990. Implicated by James Meyer in the Busby shooting. James Meyer told police detectives that Monteiro was the inside source for information about Busby’s work schedule.


Arthur “the Bear” Pina:
Died suddenly of heart failure in 2007; he is survived by his wife and two daughters.


Don Price:
Retired Falmouth police captain, currently resides in Arizona.


Rick Smith:
Retired Falmouth police officer, 2008. Lives with his wife, Terry, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.


John would like to thank:


Albert and Jean Santiago and family, who called for the ambulance

The EMTs and paramedics of the Falmouth Fire Department and the ambulance driver

Emergency room physicians and nurses at Falmouth Hospital, especially Dr. Gibbons

Massachusetts State Police escort to Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. David Keith and the doctors and nurses at MGH who took care of me

The police officers who guarded me during hospital stays

Jim Alward and his wife, Carol

Bernadette and Dale Collier and my extraordinary niece, Kelly, for all they did to support us

Winny Woods

Businesses on Cape Cod that donated to our relocation fund

Jim McGuire and Phyllis Evendon, who formed the John Busby Road Race

My brother officers on the Cape for their contributions

Rick Smith, fellow officer and good friend, for keeping it alive

Newspaper reporters who kept digging for the truth:

Amanda Lehmert,
Cape Cod Times

George Brennan,
Cape Cod Times

Mark Sullivan,
Cape Cod Times

Laura Reckford,
Falmouth Enterprise

And last but not least—the guy who shot me, for opening my eyes to what is truly important in life, and what follows life

Cylin would like to thank:



Thank you:

Damon, my love

August, our love


My brother Eric and his wife, Julie

My brother Shawn and his wife, Amber

My nephews Felix and Tabor (especially Felix for giving up his room so I had somewhere to sleep during my research trip)


My amazing editor, Melanie Cecka, for saying yes

My fabulous agent, Barry Goldblatt, for not saying no


My early readers:

Nanci Katz-Ellis


Erin Zimring

Jean Ross and Betty David-Ross

Eddie Gamarra


My friends:

Eve, Shane, and Mary in Tennessee, for taking a chance on the new weird girl

Melanie, Blue, Pamela, Cecil; Jenny and Rick, Jennie and Ken, Israel and Dane


Falmouth police officers—especially Rick Smith, Craig Clark-son, Don Price, Mickey Mangum, Tony Mello, and Tom Mountford—for their protection, research help, and everything else. Terry, for the apple pie and a place to stay. Arthur, you are missed. Thank you for making me feel safe


James Alward and his family

Dr. Lisa Garber


The teachers of the SIJCC and Ruthie Shavit for giving my son a wonderful place to spend his days while I was writing this book


And Sister Celine Martin, for my name and for all the prayers. Thank you.


CYLIN BUSBY is the author of several fiction and nonaction books for young readers. She is the former senior editor of
magazine and the author of numerous magazine articles. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and young son.

JOHN BUSBY is retired and lives with his wife of over forty years, Polly Busby. He continues to fight for the extension of the statute of limitations on assault of a police officer.

Copyright © 2008 by Busby Ross, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief
quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

First published in the United States of America in September 2008
by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers
E-book edition published in April 2011

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to
Permissions, Bloomsbury BFYR, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010

The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:
Busby, Cylin.
The year we disappeared : a father-daughter memoir / by Cylin Busby & John Busby.—
1st U.S. ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN-13: 978-1-59990-141-1 • ISBN-10: 1-59990-141-2 (hardcover)
1. Busby, Cylin. 2. Busby, John, 1942- 3. Police—Violence against—Massachusetts—
Falmouth—Case studies. 4. Fathers and daughters—Massachusetts—Falmouth. I. Busby,
John, 1942– II. Title.
HV8145.M42F343 2008         363.2092—dc22 [B]          2008017215

ISBN 978-1-59990-807-6 (e-book)

BOOK: The Year We Disappeared
2.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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