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  • Writer's pictureRobert P. Fitton

Requiem for a Sucker

The reason a sucker is a sucker is because he doesn’t think he’s a sucker. In fact, he may think just the opposite. The sucker has a need for something-something he desires at an intense level. There’s one born every minute according to showman P.T. Barnum.

Believing what you want to believe.

P.T. Barnum

Gordon Butts thinks he’s cool. Gordon Butts thinks he’s bright. Gordon Butts thinks he’s the best salesman-ever. And the world’s most dynamic lover. Does the word mediocre sound familiar? If Gordon Butts is none of the above, he can more than likely be maneuvered if he meets the right (or wrong) person. And there must be something in it for the manipulator and in the end the sucker is just a sucker.

Believing what you want to believe.

In Maureen Garrity’s mind Gordon Butts who has beat the rap on two murders should not be sending a video file to her office. As the investigator on Butts’s first homicide and someone following the details of Butt’s second homicide, Garrity is stunned that Butts has surfaced.

Plumbing Supply Warehouse

Where did it all begin, Gordon Butts? More than likely when you entered Walter Thornton’s office. Your friend Tom Cowles heard about the Thornton job. Thornton owned a plumbing supply company and you were ready for a change. You wanted to make more money. You crafted your story for Walter Thornton. And I quote.  “You don’t get sent to job for lying in job interview.” You said you took Walter Thornton all the way in just a half an hour.”

Here’s the deal. Guys like Butts miss the important components of the con because 1) Butts is full of himself and his abilities. 2) Butts thinks he is smarter and crafter than everyone else. 3) Butts is needy in the sense he needs money and recognition. 4) His ego demands pampering.

Believing what you want to believe.

Says Walter Thornton. “I want you to work for me. You’re the type of man I could use in my organization.” Butts doesn’t question why he got the job so quickly. Rather he pats himself on the back as he plays hard to get and dreams of living at Tanglewood where Walter Thornton lives. (Butts has already checked out Tanglewood) “I wanted to break out of that dump where I’d been living.” Butts had also checked out Walter Thornton’s young wife when he was at Tanglewood as she lingered by the pool without her top. Add lust to Butt’s vulnerabilities.

Butts knows what to say and when to say it with a straight face. He senses people’s weaknesses. He’s a bully, a liar and a bullshitter. And Gordon Butts runs a mini con on Walter Thornton, putting himself on a pedestal. He could convince everyone he knew everything about anything.

Believing what you want to believe.

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly; “‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy. The way into my parlor is up a winding stair, And I have many curious things to show when you are there.” “Oh no, no,” said the little fly; “to ask me is in vain, For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

-From the Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt

By the time Butts leaves a dingy bar in Southern New Jersey, he has become the victim in an elaborate plot. Three people by this time and a fourth by accident are already a part of that plot. And he had added another vulnerability that he may have had all along. Gordon Butts loves power, wielding, it and abusing it.

Believing what you want to believe.

Robert P. Fitton

A long time after I wrote Framed, I posited the question that bothered me. Didn’t Butts, just once sense that there was more going on other than just the billboard displaying his massive ego? It could be argued he had Band-Aids pulled over any doubts. Or maybe he was just plain stupid.


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