Scarsdale’s disgust with snuff-dipping came from my experience in college. I had a good-natured college roommate who dipped. He made the mistake of leaving his snuff can lying around until one day when I laced it with a hefty amount of black pepper (I wanted to add a dose of jalapeno juice but figured the juice would make the snuff too gooey). I lay up on the top bunk when he dipped from that can. What happened next made up for all those days I had to endure the stench of that minty-smelling snuff. I wished I had a video camera back then. He danced around the room like a headless chicken, cursing, before he was able to spit out all the snuff he had packed between his lower lip and teeth. He didn’t stop dipping after that incident but he sure didn’t leave cans of snuff laying around anymore.
On to other characters in Price of Justice: Scarsdale’s division manager, Commander Acker Robertson, was an amalgamation of three individuals—a former district judge who presided over a trial In which I was involved as one of the attorneys, a former police supervisor I was familiar with, and a female prosecutor I knew who switched to criminal defense. Scarsdale’s other nemesis, Internal Affairs Commander Dorian Winters, was created from officers I either knew or read about in various news media. Winters and Robertson were fleshed out using artistic license.
Scarsdale’s daughter, Shannon, was modeled not after any case I worked but rather from an amalgamation of the personalities and actions of my twin nieces when they were Shannon’s age. They loved to dress up like an adult as Shannon did in Chapter Three. One day, their father, mother and I took them to a seafood buffet. I never thought two little girls could eat so much. The two of them gobbled up shrimp as fast as their parents could shuck the shells off. I believe the restaurant manager must have breathed a sigh of relief when we left.
By Alan Brenham