The Cop Who Became a Robber

Randy Adair was a celebrated LAPD detective. In his retirement, he knocked off banks.

Randy Adair was a familiar face in Rancho Santa Margarita. With a shock of white hair and a bushy white mustache, the 70-year-old grandpa was popular among the deep-sea fishermen at the harbor, where he’d pose for photographs holding 30-pound yellowtails. He had coached football players at Dana Hills High School, and he even appeared in court on behalf of boys who found themselves in trouble. Adair was the perfect character witness, having spent two decades in the Los Angeles Police Department as a detective, many of them in the crime-pocked Rampart Division.

Then one day in July 2015, Adair steered his red Dodge SUV into a strip mall two miles from his home. He parked, put on a Panama hat, and walked across the parking lot, studying the rooftops of the KFC drive-thru and the Bowl of Heaven açaí joint. Satisfied that there were no security cameras, Adair headed toward the First Citizens Bank, opened the door, and checked to make sure there weren’t any customers. Then he went to the first teller and flashed a note that read ‘‘Relax, be calm.” Seeing a revolver inside the old man’s waistband, the terrified teller emptied her register.

This wasn’t the first time Adair had robbed a bank. It wasn’t even the first time he’d robbed this branch. Between March and July of 2015, the septuagenarian pulled off five bank heists, all in broad daylight and with little more than a hat for a disguise. Adair knew to hit branches without bulletproof “bandit barriers” to protect their employees and avoided the dye packs that tellers sometimes slip into the money they give to robbers. He left few clues. FBI investigators nicknamed Adair the Snowbird Bandit, after the old folk who migrate to warmer climes for the winter. For a time he seemed unstoppable. When Adair was finally arrested near his home on July 22, 2015, the day after his last robbery, the question was not how a 70-year-old retiree could rob a bank but why a decorated detective would.

“Anyone who worked for the department, is getting his pension and is committing bank robberies, I’m blown away,” Jim Wilke, a retired LAPD detective who knows Adair, told The Orange County Register. After Adair pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison, I sent him a letter, asking for an interview. In slanted capitals he wrote back, saying that if I was “interested in the truth,” then a meeting could be arranged. And so this spring I drove across a short bridge in San Pedro to FCI Terminal Island, a grim federal prison complex surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire. Passing through a maze of corridors that Al Capone and Charles Manson had walked through, I arrived at the visitor’s room. There, in a glass-enclosed space within the room, the Snowbird sat like a museum curiosity. He wore a tan-colored prison uniform and offered a weak gap-toothed smile as he peered at me through spectacles held together by green tape. “Ask what you wanna ask, and I’ll try and answer,” he practically yelled after I sat down, adding that his hearing aid was broken. His robbery method was speed, he said: “Zip. Bam. Boom. In. Gone.” But the forces that led to his downfall had been slowly percolating for decades.

The son of a rodeo-riding dairy farmer, Randolph Adair was born in 1944 and grew up in Artesia. He acquired a taste for detective work during police-science classes in junior college. It was the only schoolwork that ever interested him. In 1965, during the Vietnam War, Adair  was drafted and assigned to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in Panama. As soon as he returned, he enrolled in the LAPD Academy, graduating near the top of his  class. As was normal in those days, he had to buy his own uniform.

Six months later, on June 5, 1968, the 23-year-old cop clocked onto a swing shift that started with a crackling voice on his police radio announcing a shooting at the Ambassador Hotel. Adair and his partner pointed their ’65 Plymouth toward the scene. The victim, shot three times at close range during a campaign rally, was Senator Robert Kennedy. “We got to the pantry, and you could see that Kennedy was down on the floor,” Adair told me as a prison guard stared at us from afar. “He’s lying face up, and I saw fluid, you know, from the head injury—brain matter looks kinda like snot, you know?”

Almost casually Adair remembered arresting the shooter, Sirhan Sirhan, who was still at the scene. “I thought he was, you know, just like crazed,” he recalled. “A little bitty guy. So we handcuffed him, and we took him out the back way.” After delivering the suspect to the station, Adair was in his police car again when he saw a station wagon speed through a stoplight on Alvarado. Adair threw on his red lights and gave chase.

“When we got close, it looked like a government car, and there’s two fan belt inspectors”—a derisive old cop term for FBI agents—“in the front,” he said. In back sat Kennedy’s wife, Ethel, and the astronaut John Glenn. They were lost, so Adair led the way to the Central Receiving Hospital on 6th Street. Inside, as Ethel Kennedy argued with a doctor, Adair walked to a small treatment room and pulled back the curtain. “There was Kennedy on the gurney,” he told me, “nobody around him; he wasn’t hooked up or anything. My opinion was he was graveyard dead.”

Photo courtesy of the Herald-Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

Adair would remember 1968 for another big reason: It was the year he met his future wife, Susan Hackworth. Talking about their romance was the only time he smiled in the prison visitor’s room. A striking blond Italian who worked in data processing for Bank of America, she lived in the apartment next door to Adair and his academy buddies. One night she knocked on his door to borrow some ice trays for a party. “So we had to listen against the wall all night long while the music’s going on,” Adair said. “The girls are giggling and all that…. They didn’t bring our ice trays back.”

Adair went into action: He grilled steaks outside the apartments one night, waiting for her to walk past. Eventually he persuaded her to have dinner with him, and on September 7, 1968, they wedded in La Puente. Susan knew LAPD marriages usually didn’t last and that life as a cop’s wife was full of worry. “The only thing I won’t agree to is having you work vice,” she told him. “I think you can give me that much. Because vice is so horrible.”

Instead Adair was promoted to detective with LAPD’s Metropolitan Division, an elite mobile crime-fighting unit. One of its primary occupations: catching bank robbers. There were a lot back then. “At one time I was involved in seven bank robbery arrests,” Adair told me.

His first was on the afternoon of March 24, 1969, when a silent alarm inside the United California Bank in Mid City signaled a robbery in progress. Exiting the bank with the cash and a loaded revolver when Adair and company arrived, the thief turned and ran back into the building. They found him in a second-floor restroom, where Robert Lee White surrendered. He’d eventually confess to being the Wilshire Bandit, who’d hit nine banks in the area, and to being the Blue Blazer Bandit of Fort Worth, Texas. Adair’s career was in full swing.

As the arrests mounted, the detective earned praise from superiors for his “initiative, his alertness, and his imagination.” He felt proud to wear the badge and enjoyed the perks: Half-price chili burgers at Tommy’s on Beverly and free smokes at Sam’s Corner Liquor Store on 6th left him with enough cash to play the ponies and buy bottles of Jim Beam.

If there’s a point when Randy Adair began edging toward the day that he, too, would begin robbing banks, it’s probably here. The gambling and booze would figure prominently in his life, as would the health problems that he traces back to a January night in 1971. That’s when Adair, cruising through Westlake in an unmarked car, spotted smoke billowing from a fire in the  basement of a rundown apartment building. With no sign of the fire department, Adair dashed into the building. “The place started really filling up with smoke bad,” he said. “They had paint and loads of cables covered in grease and oil. Highly toxic fumes.” He could barely see or breathe as he began to carry residents—some too drunk or disabled to move—over his shoulders to safety.

Adair told me he saved “25 to 30” victims that night. He received a “Class A” commendation for bravery, but there was a cost. “We didn’t know about smoke inhalation,” Adair said, referring to the long-term damage it can wreak. He just squirted water onto his face and went about his business. Days later he was in riot gear at an antiwar march when he collapsed. The doctor diagnosed him with bronchial pneumonia and directed him to take time off.

Free from the structure of shift work, Adair drank all day. Returning to duty helped slow the drinking, but he was an alcoholic. “I started sneak drinking…. I wouldn’t drink on the job,” he said. “I didn’t go out and party with the guys. I wasn’t a bar drinker.”

Adding to the strain: Adair’s son, Andrew, had been born in 1971 with hearing loss and speech problems, requiring frequent medical visits, and it was a battle to get his son the appropriate education. But Adair told me he had joined Alcoholics Anonymous and was sober by the time his daughter, Kateri, was born in 1975. When he was promoted to homicide detective at the Rampart Division—the same one that would be engulfed in a corruption scandal in the late 1990s— he moved his young family from Walnut to Dana Point, wanting to get as far away from the madness of the city as possible.

Working on homicides wore on him. One of his cases, in 1979, was William George Bonin, aka the Freeway Killer, who raped, tortured, and murdered at least 21 boys. Another was Richard Ramirez, the rapist and serial killer known as the Night Stalker. The worst memory for Adair, though, was the case of Johanna Nevarez, who went missing one August near MacArthur Park in Westlake. “She  was a beautiful little girl. Four years old,” Adair recalled. The police searched much of the area before noticing that a nearby apartment had two refrigerators. “We opened the door, and there she was,” he said. “She was stuffed inside the refrigerator on a rack, nude.” As he detailed her gruesome injuries, Adair sounded like he was dictating a police report. “She was dead, of course,” he added.

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It was around the time of Nevarez’s autopsy that Adair grew distant at home, his wife would later tell me. “He couldn’t sleep,” Susan said. “He’d wake up in the middle of the night, and he’d be standing in the hallway, staring at Kateri.”

The killer, Manuel Gomez Gonzalez, a 31-year-old drifter, fled to Mexico, where Federales apprehended him. Adair went to pick him up. “The return trip sitting next to this suspect was one of the longest drives I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “My desire was for him to attempt to escape…. I would have killed him in a heartbeat.”

Randy Adair

Photo courtesy of the Adair family

Life was exacting its toll on Adair. He struggled with repeated bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis. Susan’s health began to decline, too, so her husband put work aside to care for her. “Then for no reason in the world other than stupidity, I took a drink,” he said. It was 1980, and his relapse had begun.

Susan Adair lives in a small Rancho Santa Margarita home with Kateri and her husband, Matt Fogleman, and their two young children. Everyone shouts, especially if they’re talking to Adair on the phone from prison. “When you grow up with a deaf brother,” Kateri explained, “you forget you’re shouting all the time.” She had inherited her mother’s Italian looks and talked animatedly, often finishing Susan’s sentences and bickering with her over details.

Many of their stories about Adair began with “he had been drinking.” Susan, who described her husband as a “sad drunk,” recalled how he phoned her from Santa Monica once and informed her that he was holding a loaded gun. “He was just saying goodbye to me and telling me ‘I’m ending it because I can’t handle it anymore, things are too horrible,’ ” she said. Susan talked him down: “There’s too many people that love you…we can handle anything as long as we’re together. You have children that love you very, very much and a wife that loves you. And you’re throwing away a love that most people don’t get to have.” When he fell silent, Susan said, “I hope you’ll be home soon.” And he was.

In 1988, Adair retired from the LAPD. He was 53. Equipped with a P.I. license, he worked as an insurance investigator. Then in 1991, Susan was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and their lives began to unravel. “She was going to the shrink,” Adair recalled. “They had her on all kinds of medication…. I was doing everything—washing, cleaning, chauffeuring her around.” Kateri told me that her father was “beyond depressed” once his sex life evaporated. “Not having intimacy, that can wear on a man,” she said when Susan was out of earshot.

The couple was socked with money troubles, too, owing to all of their medical expenses. Despite Adair’s police pension, they had to unload their house in a short sale in 1990. By then the housing market had cratered, and they walked away with nothing. The IRS got involved, pursuing them for $60,000, and marshals arrived to evict the family from the rental home they’d moved into.

Adair added construction work to his résumé, but sobriety proved elusive. He was drunk at his son’s first varsity football game. When he got a DUI, Susan, who was in a 12-step group for families of alcoholics, had had enough. Soon he was sleeping in an abandoned car at the beach. Finally, on December 21, 1996, Adair walked back into AA and quit drinking again. Sobriety saved his marriage but did little to improve his finances.

Bank robbery is a tough way to make a living. Given the risks, the takes are notoriously small—$7,500 on average, according to the last figure released by the FBI. About a fifth of robbers get caught, and many are shot in the process. Randy Adair must have known some of this, just as he must have known about the notoriety surrounding cops who get caught running afoul of the law.

So his decision seems to defy logic, or at least to underscore his desperation. Adair pointed to his money troubles, but much of what he and his family actually described was equal parts despair—over his illnesses, over Susan’s declining health, over his frayed marriage, over his struggles with addiction.

Adair liked to bet mostly on horse racing, but one time in 2009 he fed $20 into a slot machine in an Indian casino and watched all three symbols align with a ding, ding, ding. The $50,000 windfall covered some bills, he said, and paid off a couple of cars. The gambling continued.

Kateri suspected brain damage was a factor in her father’s downward spiral, citing the nine-hour surgery Adair underwent in  2010, at age 65, after suffering an aneurysm. He suffered another blow in 2012, when he developed a serious bacterial infection. “They gave me a 5 percent chance to live,” he said. In 2013, Adair survived five heart attacks. At least once Kateri’s father-in-law, a pastor, performed last rites.

For a little while Kateri put her parents up in a tiny spare bedroom in her house, but she eventually found them a studio apartment with just enough room for two recliners and a bed. But the rent kept increasing. Adair had given up on P.I. work, and he was no longer able to do construction. With only his pension for income, he struggled with his gambling losses. “I started playing video slot machines on the iPad,” he told me. “It only cost five or ten bucks to buy a million points or something like that.” He was losing $20, $40, then $60 at a time. Susan felt alone. “I was missing that key component that I could lean on to get through another crisis because he was the crisis,” she recalled.

In 2014, Adair was back in the hospital—stomach pain this time. Doctors discovered he had only one working kidney, and it was blocked. Bypass surgery left Adair with a huge hernia, and he temporarily lost the use of his legs. He and Susan moved into the tiny spare bedroom in Kateri and Matt’s house. Susan’s health was also sliding. “Her teeth started falling out. She was this beautiful woman; she’s gorgeous, right? She got heavy, she can’t lose weight, started losing her hair,” Adair said softly. “Nine root canals, over and above my dental insurance, at 900 bucks a pop…. I was being just completely wiped out and drained.”

Her father became increasingly forgetful around Kateri; she would tell him the same information over and over. “No, you never told me that,” he would protest. If she argued with him, he would explode: “Kateri, damn it!” When he collapsed in an armchair at her house in 2014, Adair begged the paramedics, “Just let me die.”

Adair sought refuge at a bar called Sammy’s in nearby Lake Forest. Rather than drink, he joined dozens of other seniors beneath a wall of 30 giant TV screens for off-track betting. He studied Today’s Racing Digest, betting on exactas, trifectas, and superfectas with money he didn’t have, trying to win back what he’d already lost.

One afternoon in February 2015, Adair drove to his daughter’s house and asked her husband to loan him money for rent. Matt checked with his wife. When she angrily confronted her father, urging him to get help, Adair lowered the boom: “If you don’t loan me the money, I’ll have to blow my brains out.”

Kateri began to sob, but he got his way.

The shocked couple loaned him $2,000. Days later Kateri noticed her father pick up the Panama hat she had just bought for a summer cruise. Matt’s parents were funding the trip, which sent galloping a stable’s worth of insecurities in Adair. She still wonders whether this was the moment when her dad decided to rob banks.

Not long after Adair hit his first bank, four elderly gentlemen in London were mapping out their own heist. Their plan: to use a diamond-bit drill to break into the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit vault. On April 5 the foursome pulled in an estimated $300 million but were caught after their electronic bus passes and cell phones linked them to the crime scene.

Adair had overlooked the advances of modern technology, too. “I knew inside the bank they were gonna have some fairly poor, grainy pictures,” he explained as his fingers nervously drummed on the table. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but Adair wasn’t too reflective about much of anything with me. Clearly the man’s mind wasn’t healthy; he misremembered dates and got the name of his favorite bar wrong during his account. He said he decided, “I’m just gonna go and make a withdrawal, you know, without an account.” Mainly he was concerned with paying his bills and financing his low-roller gambling habit. “In my mind, which wasn’t working real well then,” he said, “I thought that if they thought I had a weapon, they would not look at me.”

The first heist was a Friday afternoon, March 20, at 1:45 p.m. at the California Bank & Trust in Dana Point. Adair wore his bifocal sunglasses and a navy blue baseball cap. With his Smith & Wesson revolver in his waistband, he produced his note. Moments later he emerged from the bank with $1,731 in cash in his hands, walking as fast as he could (“You don’t wanna lollygag,” he told me) to his SUV. His vehicle had license plate frames that read “KMA-367”—the call sign of the L.A. police radio transmitter. The whole thing was so quiet, he thought. There was nobody screaming or yelling, “not any bells and whistles.”

At that moment an alert chimed on the smartphone of FBI Special Agent Chris Gicking. A tall, muscular 51-year-old with a goatee and a surfer’s tan, Gicking has worked on more than 500 bank robberies. Stationed in the FBI’s Westwood office before transferring to Orange County in 2007, he often surfs at Dana Point, just a mile from Adair’s first bank heist. “I got the photos minutes after,” Gicking told me, and drove straight to the bank. Even he was surprised at the bandit’s age. “I always tell people, ‘Everybody robs banks—young, old, fat, short, green, purple, male, female.’… I mean, we arrested two transgender bank robbers just in the last couple of years…. But this guy, you know—pretty unusual.”

For a time Adair hid in plain sight, blending into the retirement community and pretending to himself that the robbery had never happened. But his gambling continued, and eight weeks later Adair found himself short again. So on May 22, 2015, at 1:31 p.m., he walked into the First Citizens Bank in Rancho Santa Margarita, wearing a baseball cap and a purple-and-black windbreaker, his Smith & Wesson protruding from his waistband. This time he snatched $1,190. Adair drove straight to Pick Up Stix and bought Chinese noodles. Bringing them to Kateri and Matt’s, he handed them the food and shuffled off. “It was those little things,” she told me, describing her father’s declining mental state. “He was missing.”

That June the family had planned a big party to celebrate Kateri’s 40th birthday, but when she invited her father, he said, “This isn’t a good time. That’s a lot of stress on me and your mom.” The whole thing was a bad idea, he said. He offered to help Kateri call her guests, and they canceled the party. In truth he was worried: If he attended, would her guests recognize him from the wanted posters circulating on Facebook?

The day after her birthday, June 11, Adair walked into a Wells Fargo Bank in Mission Viejo and committed his third robbery, getting just $944. At a nearby park he tossed his black baseball cap and yellow shirt in the trash; up to now his basic disguise had been enough to pass for any old white guy on camera. This bank’s camera’s were higher resolution, providing the FBI with clearer photos of the Snowbird Bandit to send to the news media. However, that week another senior citizen—a reality TV star in New York—was dominating headlines after announcing that he would run for president. “The only thing I can say is not enough people saw the article,” said Gicking.

At 3:09 p.m. on Monday, July 6, almost a month after Adair’s third robbery, the ex-cop walked into a U.S. Bank in Ladera Ranch. This time he wore the Panama hat that he’d borrowed from Kateri and a pair of his wife’s reading glasses. As he sped away from the Ladera Ranch robbery, Adair saw flashing red lights zooming past him. He told them, “Have a nice day, guys!”

The haul was his largest yet: about $3,600. But the money seemed to slip through his fingers. “I’ll get over this  hump—it’s over, it’s done, nobody will ever know,” he told himself. “And then right back in the soup again, you know. Another month or so later, when you get right down to the wire, they’re gonna start saying, ‘Where’s the rent?’ and you’re gonna have to tell the family, ‘I lost this bet over here.’… I had a lot pouring down on me like that. [Robbery] was the quick, fast way to solve the problem.”

On July 21, 2015, just before 5 p.m. he decided to hit the First Citizens Bank—the branch by the KFC—a second time because it was “so easy.” “The distance between the front door and where the girl sat was probably from here to the window,” he said, pointing at the birdless sky beyond the prison. He brought home $1,658.

The morning after the Snowbird’s fifth robbery, Matt Fogleman woke up at 5:30. He padded downstairs, settled into his favorite armchair, and opened The Orange County Register’s app on his smartphone. A headline about a bank robbery caught his eye. Then Matt saw the latest, clearest security images. “Oooh, gosh, this can’t be right,” he said aloud. Matt leaped up the stairs and shook Kateri awake. “I think you might know who this is,” he said, showing her the phone. “We might have a problem.”

Kateri fell out of the bed and dropped to her knees. They turned on the television, and the Snowbird Bandit seemed to be on every channel. Matt handed his wife a towel, and she screamed into it so the kids couldn’t hear. She went through a rainbow of emotions: denial, fear, anger. “I’m thinking the whole world’s gonna know. It won’t take long for people to recognize him,” she told me.

At 6:40 a.m. Kateri called her brother. Andrew could barely understand her. “Take a breath,” he said. She paced into the soundproof garage where Matt plays guitar and yelled into the phone, “Dad’s robbed five fucking banks!” The couple drove to Adair’s condo, where they found Susan alone. Even after looking at the picture, she didn’t believe them. “It’s him, Mom,” Kateri kept repeating. “It’s him. It’s him.”

They had a decision to make. “We have to do the right thing,” Kateri finally said as she dialed the local police station. It was 12:30 p.m.

In nearby Del Mar a bell rang, followed by a crash. Adair gripped a small slip of paper, his eyes fixed on the giant TV at Sammy’s, as eight horses exploded from the gate. The 2:37 p.m. race was under way, and Sir Macho led from the outside, his rider in white and gold, followed by a horse named Doyouknowsomething. Adair tracked his horses, Venetian Mask and Whiskey Wild, as they faded from the pack, and the announcer cried, “Karma King has won it!” Deflated, Adair tucked his losing ticket into his carry case, next to his revolver and police badge.

At that moment his wife, daughter, and son-in-law were in an interview room at a Rancho Santa Margarita police station. Sitting opposite them, Gicking arranged three security-camera photographs on the table. Kateri broke down in tears and said, “Yes, it’s him.” Her father was “not in his right mind,” she said, telling the agent about Adair’s history in the LAPD. “I know exactly how you feel,” Gicking said. “My dad’s ex-LAPD— same year, same time frame.” He told Kateri that they needed to bring her father in safely and asked, “Are you comfortable with calling and saying you’re having car trouble?”

Kateri refused. Her father was sick and needed help, she insisted. She went into the parking lot with Matt for some fresh air, and Gicking tried to join them. “I’m really sorry for you,” he told her. “Ex-LAPD, they hold so much pride and trust, respect and honor.” Kateri didn’t want to hear it. She tried to get into her car but passed out. When she came round, EMTs were loading her into an ambulance. “You can’t take me from here!” she gasped as Matt pulled one of them to the side. “Her dad’s being arrested,” he whispered. “He’s the Snowbird Bandit.”

After a time, Kateri was able to walk unsteadily back into the interview room. If she wouldn’t help bring her father in, who would? “I know how to do it,” her mother said suddenly. “I know how to work this man. I’ve been with him for 48 years. We’ll be married 49 years this year.” She called Adair on her cell phone. “I wanna go home; it’s been a long day,” she told him, asking that he pick her up at BJ’s restaurant, which happened to be next door to the police station. She put down the phone and glared at Gicking. “You guys are clueless. There’s a reason they call you fan belt inspectors,” she said. “Got him in a heartbeat.”

Just after five o’clock Randy Adair parked in a disabled spot at the restaurant. In the police station yards away, Gicking had summoned the Orange County Bank Robbery Apprehension Team. “I know in TV and movies I always see, FBI comes in and it’s, Who’s in charge? You are? Well, not anymore because now I’m here,” Gicking told me. “I’ve never done that, never will.” The moment Adair stepped out of his SUV, four plainclothes officers grabbed him. In his vehicle they found $1,120 in betting slips and his Smith & Wesson. “I’m supposed to meet my wife there,” Adair protested as they bundled him into a car. When Gicking finally sat down opposite Adair at the station, he slid the security photographs across the table.

“We’re just gonna lay our cards out if that’s OK with you,” Gicking said. The Snowbird took one look and said, “I’m cooked.”

As the morning ebbed away on Terminal Island, a guard appeared in the window holding up ten fingers. “I’m here because of what I did,” prisoner 693954-112 was telling me. “My family turned me in.” Living in the facility’s general population, the former cop is an outcast. White supremacists have blackballed him from the TV room, and he avoids the addiction group meetings for fear of sharing personal information about his family. Because he brought a gun into the banks, Adair is categorized as a violent felon, which means he can’t earn time off for good behavior. “These guys are dirty birds,” he said as he nodded toward a group of inmates watching a presentation. It was as if Adair considered himself on a higher moral plane, even though addiction had led to a lot of the bad decisions that put some of those men in jail, too. He summed up his life this way: “Seventy-one years of goodness and four months of idiot.” If Adair had any deeper insight, he wasn’t letting on.

Kateri is furious that a man in his condition could be convicted of anything, and Susan is sticking by him. “I don’t know that person I saw on the news,” she wrote to the judge. “It deeply saddens me to see what is to come of this man I have loved and felt such pride for, as a husband, father, and policeman.”

When our time is up, Adair stands slowly and limps back to his cell. There he will strap on the face mask attached to a medical device that pumps pressurized air into his lungs, which never recovered from that Westlake fire. Adair doesn’t count the days until his scheduled release in August 2021. He is waiting for September 2018, to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary. He just hopes he can hang on that long.

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