Some of my stories may seem farfetched. So, I ask you to remember two things as I tell you about this part of my life. First, I did not plan on any of this and the second is that I did what I had to. As I tell you this story, I will tell you everything as best as I can remember it, but forgive me if I forgot something. There is one more fact to keep in mind. We were young and fully believed we were above the law. We were trying to make as much money as we could and enjoy our lives. I did what I did because I did not know what other options I had. I am not trying to make anyone look better or worse for what happened; just telling this story from my life. It is easy for a good person to make bad choices as one small choice leads to the next small choice. After a while, you will look back and wonder how you got to where you are. I know most people don't make the same choices I had and I accept that. There is no need to start on day one. After two years of growing my business of selling drugs and other things, I had everything going my way. I ran a small business that was being overseen by a guy named John out of New York City. He was more dangerous than anyone I knew and his guys taught me the tricks of running my business. This brings us to the summer after graduation. I was no longer selling, but had a group of kids doing it for me. That is just a part of who I was. The night before everything started to fall apart was one of my greatest memories. I was with three guys who were close to me and I considered them to be my friends. We were sitting under a bridge that had a large landing where we kept some lawn chairs. It was a humid night, but being a summer night in nineteen-ninety eight, I didn’t expect anything else. We had just graduated and were happy that we didn’t have to deal with school anymore. This brings us to where we are now in the story. My friends were with me under this bridge enjoying a nice early Ohio summer night and each person had a bottle of their favorite whiskey. I was in a good mood, so I brought them to give as gifts to my friends. We sat out of sight and were joking around, as we were only there to hang out before a party that was going on. Adam Byrd, who I called Duke, was a tanned, athletic guy with black hair who loved to wear his cargo shorts, opened a bottle of Jack Daniel and took a swig. Out of nowhere, Duke told everyone that he was going to leave the small town life and see the world. Duke told us about meeting people from areas that he saw in pictures and enjoy women that will bring both joy & pain. I loved when he said that he would wake up on a beach looking at the moon and holding a woman he just met that day. This made me chuckle as everyone in a small town likes to talk about leaving, but most don’t go anywhere. Duke was the biggest dreamer of the group but had the biggest heart of our group too. Duke was the guy you love to know and he would give the shirt off his back for a friend. That is when Jon Rigg, aka Riggs, held his bottle of vodka looking at it. He had a blank look on his face and was thinking about what he wanted for the future. He was a tall skinny brown haired guy that liked to be the life of the party. Riggs tilted the bottle up and told us his hopes for his future. Riggs said that he would find a woman as crazy as himself, and then move to Florida for a life of fun in the sun. Riggs continued to talk of a house on the beach and the parties he would have. After telling us what his future has in store for him, he sat back and went back to his private thoughts. Riggs had a habit of getting lost in his own thoughts. He tends to be full of dreams, just lacked the drive to do anything. Riggs was a good guy, but I personally expected him to die from his liver or kidney giving out. He had a bad drinking issue back then. So that brings me to Dan. Dan had just taken another large swig out of his Jim Beam bottle when he started to laugh. "You guys have it all wrong. The best thing is to own your own business and be the one to make all the rules. “Bearman, you know what I am talking about." Dan kept telling us of how rich he planned to be and what his current business idea was. I found humor in some of his "businesses" that he tried to start. He was simply always looking for an angle to make money. Dan just had an issue of expecting others to do the work for him and make him money. He never thought about doing the work himself. Dan and I were both good looking guys with dark hair and complexions that resembled a year-round tan. He had a scar from his eye to his ear I gave him when we first met. It was not easy for us to get past the fight we had on our first meeting. Dan joined our group with Riggs and over time, Dan and I did not trust each other, but were friends. Now it comes to me. My name is Scott Bearman and I tend to go by my last name. I was a relaxed guy that was full of myself and thought I would run everything from behind the curtain. When it was my turn to say what I had planned, I told them I wanted a simple life. The type of life I wanted was not to be known by most people as I liked my privacy. I explained why I thought being behind the scene held the real money and power. That is when I pulled out a Marlboro Red and my Zippo lighter. We were a good group that mostly came together because of Duke. Duke was a friend to everyone and the four of us hung out the most together. I try not to talk too much because Duke was the only one I really trusted, but I had fun when the four of us got together. We were not the popular kids in our school, but we were liked by almost all the cliques. After I lit up my cigarette, Riggs jumped up and yelled that it’s time for the barn party we were already late for. This party was a special one for me. I was dating a girl named Rose for over a year. Rose and I were making plans for the years to come. At this party I had a surprise for Rose that I planned to change everything for us. It seemed as if we had all forgotten about the party, but we did not want to put the caps on our bottles and get on the road. I forgot who set up that party, but I remember lots of people were planning to come. Riggs climbed into Dan's car and then drove off to the party. Duke and I got into my truck, and he asked me what I really thought my future held. As I pulled my truck on the road, I did not say anything. After a mile, I told Duke that my life may not have the world travels like him, partying like Riggs, or the wealth that Dan believes he will make. My life will be filled with something more than all those things combined. I will have the storybook life of love, passion, and maybe a kid. Now there were only two people who I would talk to about these things to. Duke and Rose were close enough to me, I would tell them anything they asked me. I would never hide anything if they asked. I believed they also knew not to ask certain questions. We reached a rundown barn that was about 10 minutes outside of my hometown. This was an old barn hidden away down a quarter mile driveway in the woods. Once you got into the wooded area, it opened up. The party was already well on its way. People were dancing and talking to each other. There was music blasting from a truck with a bed full of speakers next to a large bonfire, and three kegs. As Duke and I got out of my truck, our girlfriend's came up to us with a beer in hand and a big kiss on their lips. Oh and let me tell you that the kiss I got could be blamed for some of the polar ice melting. To be totally truthful, most of Rose’s kisses would make me feel like I could fly to the moon and back. Duke went off with his girlfriend Jenny and met up with Riggs and Dan. Rose and I sat on the bed of my truck. She asked why we weren’t going to the party, but for the first time in my life, fear had filled me to the point I couldn’t think straight. So, of course, Rose laughed at me and told me to either tell her what is on my mind or we should get to the party. I got up and went into my truck to grab a box out of the center console and returned to where she sat, and I kissed her. While she sat on my tailgate, I got into my truck bed and sat behind her. I put her between my legs and pulled her close to me. Rose began to giggle asking what I was doing. That is when I pulled out a ring and put it in her hand. Then leaned close to her and whispered in her ear, "Will you agree to grow old with me?" The next thing I knew, she had turned around and tackled me so fast that I hit my head on the bed of the truck. She kissed me and repeatedly said yes before running off to tell her friends. I couldn’t see straight as I sat back up. Once I was able to focus my eyes, Duke, Riggs, and Dan were walking my way. I picked up what was left of the beer Rose brought and rubbed the back of my head. My friends were smiling and laughing at me as they walked closer and Rose ran by them. Dan handed me a new beer and asked if hitting my head knocked any sense into me. We all laughed and began giving each other a hard time. Duke gave me a light shove and we walked to join the rest of the party. As we walked, some people congratulated me and others told me I was crazy. I had no clue who most of these people were. After two more beers and a lot of people stopping me, everyone wanted to tell me what they thought about me getting married. I finally found Rose standing in the middle of a group of other girls. As I walked closer to her, I overheard one girl ask Rose why she would want to marry me. This made me smile because people have been asking her why she was with me for a while. Rose saw me and she knew from the look on my face that I heard the question. Rose said loud enough that she knew I could hear, that she knows I love her and she wants to marry me and that is all she needs. Rose then walked up and gave me a big hug and kiss. As the night ended and dawn began, the fire burned out, and most of the people there were passed out all over. I remember seeing people in beds of trucks, hoods of cars, and some were on the ground. Those of us who were still awake; drank water from a milk jug to get the beer and whiskey out of our system. The small group of us sat talking about nothing. There was one guy who to this day I don't know who he was. Riggs was with us, but he was one of the people passed out on the ground. Don't ask me why, but Riggs was asleep next to the door of his girlfriend's car, while she was sleeping in the back seat and Dan's girlfriend was sleeping in the front passenger seat. With the sun starting to glare into my eyes, I got up to go home. After I said my goodbyes to everyone, I got into my truck and found Rose sleeping in my back seat. She wrapped herself in one of my old blankets. With a headache from a mixture of lack of sleep and drinking all night, I leaned into the back and kissed her on the check. Then I started the truck, Duke opens the passenger door and reminded me that his car was at my place. He climbed into my truck and said that Jenny had just driven off to her parent’s house. When I say that I am going to my place, I mean that I am going to an apartment I rented for two hundred a month. The truth is that even with my sweet side, I was an asshole -of -a- son at times to my mom and step-dad. I got upset and moved out; we knew it would be best if I got my own place. I knew my real dad, but he did not want much to do with me and his side of the family did not care much for me. It was OK; they wanted nothing to do with me and the only interest we shared was the family name. Even with me being a bad son to my parents, my mom and step-dad still helped me with filling my place with furniture. I was lucky because my step-dad helped me find a place. I paid for a year’s rent up front and signed the lease. Now before you ask how I paid a year's rent, you need to know that my first place was above a restaurant in the middle of nowhere and they only charged me two hundred dollars a month. What I remember most about that day was not getting my first place. I remember as I got into my step-dad's truck, was that he gave me a pocket knife. I still carry that pocket knife with me and have it everywhere I go. He said that every man should have a knife on him or in his truck. This brings back to the painful drive to my place. Once we arrived, Duke slid out of the truck and went up to my apartment with my key in hand. I woke Rose up or as much as I could and helped her up to my apartment, then put her in my bed. I would have loved to crawl in bed with her, but I had to get some work done and had to meet someone driving through. I got myself cleaned up and really wished that I was not going to wait for long. But as I started down the road, I knew that no matter how long I had to wait, this guy would not show up soon enough. I waited for about an hour or so at this old hotel on route 53 off of the Ohio Turnpike. The guy showed up in a car that looked like it is old and beat up. It was the type of car you try to pass and are afraid that a rusty part would fall off. When you listen to it though, it was easy to tell it was souped up. If I was not tired and wanting to get home for a nap, I would have talked with him about his car. Instead, I handed him two bags full of money. The nice part was that the money was counterfeit. The guy pulled out three duffel bags close to being full with different kinds of drugs. When I went to get in my truck, he stopped me and handed me a cardboard box and said I had to deal with these. After a quick few words were exchanged, everything was done and we both went on our way. This was not the first time John had done this to me. He would have a delivery of drugs and hand off a box of guns that he had to get out of his city. Normally, these were handguns that one of his guys would have used. If it was discovered, it could be used to put his guy in prison. None of us wanted that, so I would take these guns, remove the serial numbers, and then resell them to people who preferred to not let the government know they owned guns. Selling guns was an easy thing for me. I found that I had a few talents that most would not call legal. One of these talents was printing money that was able to pass most all detection. My issue of making counterfeit money was that I would never allow my money to be spent in Ohio. I had a feeling that if the money started to spread in Ohio, it would come back on me. So, I made an agreement with a guy in New York who had operations in New York and a few other major cities. I give him two bags of money for a duffel bag of drugs. I, in turn, have some people sell the product on the street. I was not a fan of most of the types of drugs that I was selling. I realized that I didn't have to like it; I simply liked the money the people were willing to spend on those drugs. From what I understood, the drug run between Chicago and New York was a standard route. I was on the way between. This made things better for my friend in New York as his drivers needed a safe place to stay sometimes. It just happened I had a place that they could stay. Now before I go home, I had to make a stop at an old barn out in the country where I would divide up everything. There were a few places spread around I would do this. I could not rush as I had to make sure each one of my guys got the right product. I had set up a structure where I had Mick as my second and a few others that would take care of certain areas. I would also discuss any problems that he was being told about. I had it set up that I never was around those selling any drugs at any time. By the time I finished dividing up everything and hid it all in compartments on the bottom of my toolbox that was mounted to my truck bed. I was ready to get home and get some rest. I wanted to park my truck and get a nap before I had to meet up with some of my guys. When I got to my apartment, I saw several cars parked in front. This was not what I wanted to see. After getting out of my truck, I walked into my apartment. Duke was the first to rush up to me. I saw Dan's girlfriend and Rigg’s girlfriend sat next to Rose crying. I stood in my doorway asking for someone to explain to me what is going on and why are they there at my place. I was hoping when I got home, we would have great sex then finally sleep. I had given up hope for this when Duke started talking. Duke told me about Dan and Riggs being in the hospital from being badly beaten. I knew that Duke was not telling me everything because the girls were able to hear everything. So I asked everyone to allow me to clean up and I would handle everything I can. You see I told Riggs, Duke, and Dan about what I was doing to a point. On occasions, they would help me out. I have also told them about a meeting I was going to miss because I did not have a good feeling about it. While I was doing other things and avoiding a meeting with the Himlee Brothers, Dan and Riggs decided to go and make a deal themselves. I don't know why Dan and Riggs felt they should go to meet with the Himlees for me. I believed that they were trying to get more into my business and wanted a piece. What I had not told them was that Jay Himlee was very upset with a deal that I declined. He thought that I had to give him what he wanted, but when I told him he is too small for the kind of deal he wanted to do, he got upset. The Himlees ran a smaller operation and it was run by two brothers. I was able to work with the older brother and we were able to make money without stepping on each other. The younger brother was not someone I could even talk to and he was not involved in making agreements. The main agreement I had with the brothers was that I would sell them some of my stock at my cost, as long as they stayed out of my areas. From the rumors I was told, the younger brother thought that they should become the Ohio Mob, but he was getting his product from some guy out of Detroit. What the guys did not know is that I had to deal with the real "Mob". The guys I knew from the "Mob" were not the type of people that let you do something that cuts into their business. They liked to tell me stories about people that disappeared when not doing as they were told. Now after I canceled the meeting with these brothers, Dan and Riggs set up a meeting in my place. I would like to think that they were trying to help me or show me they could do more in my business. I wish that was what they thought. If I knew better, this would be a completely different story. After I got out of the shower, I called Rose and Duke into the bedroom. Once they entered the bedroom, Duke closed the door behind him. As I finished getting dressed, I sat Rose down and told her about where most of my money came from. While I was explaining this all to Rose, I also was asking Duke if he knew who attacked them and why they did. You see, Duke had this way about him to get people to say things they normally would not. They just trusted him. Duke said he would find out, and he left my place. That is when Rose started asking me questions. She wanted to know what all I have done and how long I have been doing these things and are the rumors true about me. I could only tell her "I am not sure how I got into this, but it started with doing a favor for someone and within a years’ time, I had people working through me. Most people would not mess with me because of rumors. I had not done anything too violent myself yet, but I did have others do things for me." Then Rose walked out to join the others in my apartment. I walked out of the bedroom and everyone turned to me. It was funny to me that people came to me to fix problems and assumed that I am always ready to help them. This issue was one I had to handle, but to me, it was because of who was involved. All I knew at that moment was I had a list of things to do; the first thing is to go to the hospital and see those two. I told everyone in my apartment that they could stay in my place for a bit longer. I then walked out of my own apartment and Rose ran out and got into my truck with me. The girlfriends then got into their car to follow us to the hospital. While I drove down the road to find out more about what had happened from Dan or Riggs, Rose asked me what she should expect. Since I did not know what to say, I looked at Rose. I then said, "I hope you have nothing to worry about, but I told you about what I do so you could help keep yourself safe, I want you to be ready for whatever happens and have no surprises." I looked forward and drove.