Harley Hanson was a loser by all accounts except for maybe his mother. Harley drifted from town to town and job to job. Harley was a scammer, petty thief, and guilty of most other minor offenses. Harley lived a hard live filled with alcohol and illegal drugs. There were not a lot of redeeming qualities in Harley Hanson.
Harley discovered by accident he had one talent that could make his life easier. At first Harley didn’t what to do with it, or how to apply his discovered talent. Harley, from so much time on the road, scamming and lying, found he was becoming very good at manipulating people.
With a little stretch, Harley learned he could manipulate street kids who no real purpose in their life who were looking for something, though they knew not what. Excitement was the key for these adult children, and Harley became their ringleader.
Harley was unsure how to apply his new found skill set. Harley toyed around with his newfound talent, manipulating different types of people, usually street people in their late teens who had pliable personalities and thrived on excitement to temper their otherwise bleak life.
Harley started out by having these street people provide him with food, cigarettes, and drugs. Food eventually graduated to places to stay where Harley could hang out, eating more or less regularly, taking hot showers and wearing clean clothes. Harley was starting to like this change to his circumstances.
As Harley worked on improving his manipulation skills, he found these homeless people wanted an authority figure in their life. Someone who would take control and direct them without being authoritative or to parental. Someone who would direct them without judgement.
Harley worked hard on ‘his’ people. They brought him what he needed and more importantly, wanted. They in turn were receiving something they never had at home. Someone who made them feel good and wanted without the strings attached by their parents.
As Harley continued to exert his influence, Harley found he had to be ever more creative in the excitement he provided for his group. The group was now larger, and the smaller childish pranks he was having them do to provide excitement, was now becoming more of the same to most of the group and they were getting bored and reluctant.
Harley found he had to make some major changes. First Harley had to apply more control and pressure to keep everyone in line, doing what he wanted them to do. Harley did this by elevating his own status, and manipulating the group into believing what Harley wanted was good for the group, even though individual members may question the benefit of good for the group.
Harley needed his core followers to believe in him, so they would provide the stick that kept the rest of the group in line. The crime games, which up to now had been pretty immature, consisting of scaring people, didn’t really give the group the thrill they wanted.
Harley’s group of followers were becoming bored with childish pranks. Harley knew he had to raise the stakes, or watch his little group erupt and disband before him. Harley tweaked and prodded, moving the group towards higher levels of violence that both provided excitement at new levels and cemented the group to him and each other.
Who in Harley’s group after participating in mostly mindless violence along with three or four other group members could break away from the group? Harley was now learning to rule by fear and manipulation.Harley found it wasn’t that hard, and it came with benefits.
Individuals in Harley’s group were scared of what would happen to them if they left the group. Harley was now making unstated threats about what would happen if any of the group’s members tried to leave. They may escape the group, but there remained the fear Harley would send others out to harm their parents or other family members.
In spite of this, Harley’s little group continued to become bored with each uptick in the crimes Harley had them commit. Harley knew he had to pick it up. One afternoon Harley had a flash of insight and a fuzzy plan.
Harley started telling the group that they could commit serious crimes and get away with them. Think of the excitement of committing serious felony level crimes and having the crimes blamed on someone else. Harley was a little fuzzy on who would get the blame for the crimes, but that answer too Harley arrived at in a dream.
Harley’s group started believing they really would commit grizzly murder(s) and leave evidence showing the crime was committed by a group who didn’t yet exist. Who were the perfect group to blame the murders on, Harley wondered as he raised the level of excitement by talking about several grizzly murders and not just one.
Finally, Harley could not contain his followers any longer. The follower’s had talked themselves into how easy it was going to be to commit murder and blame this other group. They wanted to believe that Harley’s planning would protect them from discovery. Harley was now leader of a group of people who with little prodding wanted the excitement of murder in their otherwise pathetic existence.
To make a longer story shorter, Harley sent out his murder crews. Murders were committed, and Harley’s group eventually came under suspicion, were rounded up and arrested, charged with the murders.
Now comes the brilliant part of the story, which is well out of Harley’s control and knowledge. Harley, because he needed the attention so badly, never realized he was being manipulated himself. It never dawned on Harley, it was possible that he would be manipulated as easy as he had manipulated his followers.
The media was fed a fictitious story and they sucked it up without questioning a single detail. They practically fought each other, trying to be the first on the air with the newest turn of morbid events. Wheels of a master plan were set in motion, and the press drank it up and spewed it out without a second thought. So did the jury.
Everything that happened out of the ordinary during the trial was attributed to Harley. Harley could do things using apparently supernatural powers. Harley being in league with the devil was intimated, but never spoken out loud by the mainstream press. Harley being the star of the show, played along. Harley never realized what was going on.
How does a lawyer defend his client(s) who surely would be put to death for murder because the evidence is overwhelming, and the clients all but confessed to the killings? The solution was nothing short of brilliant!
One legal team with one defendant made it very clear to their client, that if they wanted to live, rather than being put to death, there was a way to do it. The legal defense team knew they couldn’t do it alone. The rest of the band of cold blooded killers had to agree to and help carry out the plan to sell it to the jury.
What choice did they have really? Either face a quick trial and the death penalty, or join the team and play roles that just might save their lives? Given the brutal reality of their choice, it did not take a lot of convincing for all the accused to play along as a team.
The fundamental idea was, it had to be a team effort and it had to be convincing. The defendants appeared to protect and then turned on Harley as a group, playing their parts to perfection. The play acting the group accomplished did not take a lot of new skills, as they were accomplished play actors in their own right, calling on their life skills of acting for the roles they were about to play.
It went without saying, it was Harley – who was drifter, lowlife, and human scum who would be the fall guy. It was not a hard sell. Brilliant choreography supported by solid acting was carried out. Each member of the murder team were consummate professionals, their lives depended on their selling this story.
The group under the direction of a superb legal team sold their story, which of course was never seriously questioned. Sensationalism in the press reigned supreme, and other voices were drowned out.
Harley enjoyed being portrayed by the press as all powerful, with the ability to control the minds of innocent adult children, stemming on the supernatural, enjoyed playing his part. Harley expected to be found guilty as he was already tried in the public eye, spoon fed by the press. Harley had been kicked around his whole life, nothing had changed, really. Harley decided he would play his role with enthusiasm and gusto.
To help make a long story shorter, Harley was thrown under the bus, made into a monster just short of being Satan himself. Harley was sentenced to the most severe penalties the State was able to inflict.
It went better for the group of murderer’s. By placing all the blame squarely on Harley, they managed to escape with their lives. The fate of a few of the group was much better than could have been hoped for.
The only remaining condition was silence. Harley Hanson was a nobody, and would be thrown away. Harley was so in love with his imagined prestige, he kept playing the part. The rest of the convicted had to be forever silent. Living by the pretext they were wayward adult child innocents who were manipulated against their will by the fiendish monster Harley. They have done it, and so it is.