Last year there occurred on the San Antonio Riverwalk a series of unforgettable, horrific crimes that rocked our city to its foundations. None of us who experienced those events will ever forget the shock and horror suffered by so many during those terrible days of winter.
Today, we find ourselves in a continuing battle against the perpetrators of child abuse, testing the commitment of our citizenry and the resources of local – as well as international – law enforcement.
Tomorrow, as you know, many will be participating in a great gesture of remembrance: the public dedication of the Riverwalk’s Lost Children Memorial. We will, through this dedication, preserve the memory of those whose lives were taken along these very banks; at the same time, we must nevertheless be mindful of the great task which remains before us.
We must not forget what happened here, on the Riverwalk, or those whose lives were snuffed out by the brutal, unspeakable acts of a deranged monster. It is rather for us to remain vigilant and, with firm resolve, stand ready to defend against any form of evil, disguised or in plain sight, which might represent a threat to our most vulnerable and defenseless citizens, our beloved children. Meanwhile, we must also hold close and recognize those among us who have already held their own bar high, as leaders and as decent men.
Brother Bob, you carry your own peculiar collection of scars, some on skin’s surface, others far more deep and painful. But while those close to you chose the path of darkness and shame, you – to your everlasting credit – chose to step into the light of God’s forgiveness and give of yourself in a way that brought honor to your name. Your actions of last year speak for themselves. That you are able to carry on in your usual, unassuming manner is a testament to your remarkable character, as well as to your unshakable faith. Throughout your life, you have answered arrogance with humility; violence with peace; evil with unbounded love. Now, Brother Bob, because of you, the city of San Antonio has become a safer place for children.
Therefore, on behalf of the people of San Antonio and their children, allow me to extend to you our best wishes and eternal gratitude for a life well-lived and a job well-done.
We will never forget you.
About Bud Bradshaw
Bud Bradshaw’s fictional work, “RIVERWALKER,” is his second work, the first being “BRANDISHING,” the true-crime story of the California Highway Patrol’s worst tragedy. His previous formal writing experience consisted of med-legal report writing – chiefly as a Qualified Medical Evaluator and Disability Evaluator – and Intelligence report writing while he served as a Special Agent with the Army’s 109th MI Group from 1969-71.
As an artist, Bradshaw’s work focuses on military history and the American West. Many of his paintings, prints, and Giclees appear in private collections and museums in theU.S.,Canada,England, Europe, Hong Kong, andAustralia. He is a member of the Western Artists of America.
Along the way, Bradshaw worked as a professional musician while earning his B.S. and D.C. degrees. You may view his web site and blog at www.budbradshaw.com/blog or contact him on Facebook or via Twitter @budbradshaw1. Purchase the e-book at Amazon
RIVERWALKER features the character debut of San Antonio PD veteran detective Gifford Holloway, a former Special Agent with Army Intelligence. Holloway is in pursuit of the most despicable of criminals, a savage murderer who victimizes children and dumps their remains in the water and along the banks of San Antonio’s beautiful and world-renowned Riverwalk attraction.
Frustrated at the lack of progress on the case and spurred on by an encounter with the mysterious Madame Candelaria, a local psychic, Holloway contemplates calling upon his special gift of “seeing”, though officially off-limits within the SAPD, to help solve the case and end the terror. Along the way, Holloway finds an ally in the capable and sensuous newspaper reporter, Salma Veramendi, who carries her own history of abuse.
On the bend of the river looms Adler’s Antiques, a historical landmark owned and operated by Wolff Adler, a drug-pumping psychopath descended from a familial line of predators dating back to post-World War I Germany. Himself a victim of horrendous child abuse, Adler is the offspring of a Nazi father and a Mexican bruja, a witch who practiced the “old” religion. Operating from deep within his secret lair beneath the Alamo, San Antonio’s most recognizable and sacred shrine, Adler assumes the guise of Tlaloc, Aztec god of storm, thunder, and … child sacrifice. Adler’s demonic reign of terror, acting upon a distorted internal belief system – a synthesis of Norse mythology and ancient Aztec practices – has a stranglehold on the residents of San Antonio. Wolff Adler has become the RiverWalker.
When his own daughter is suddenly abducted, Holloway pulls out all the stops and, with Salma by his side, closes in on the killer in a gripping climax.