Location: Newark, Ohio
Subject: DS (alias: the best man)
Accomplices: The Nephews
Principal witnesses: AS (brother of perpetrator, alias: the groom), VHS (alias: the bride)
August–Wedding notification reported in local papers. Agent was assigned to monitor best man to determine if he posed a credible threat to wedding day operational success. Stivers (Orlando agent) reported seeing DS muttering and waving hands while taking daily walks in his neighborhood. Overheard phrases indicated that suspect was practicing wedding speech. Content of speech marked inappropriate. Warrant given to trawl DS computer searches, and nothing suspicious discovered except repeated visits to GoogleTranslate. German phrases researched by suspect. Red flag warning was given to the case after the word “chicken” was translated by DS into German on three occasions.
September—Suspect flew to Columbus, Ohio on the day before the wedding, rented car and drove to brother’s home in Newark. Suspect and brother went to tuxedo rental store for final fitting. They returned to house, and bride seemed nervous. VHS’s anxiety rated normal for a bride W-day minus one, and she addressed suspect in friendly manner.
Morning of the wedding–DS helped AS get food for the reception and to decorate reception hall. DS and AS left the hall and drove to a condo complex on the outskirts of Newark. Suspect was seen helping brother transport the wedding cake from condo to car. Cake dropped accidentally (?). Newark agent Schumacher called in back up. DS communicated with two men known as The Nephews (designated Dark One, Blond Two) before the ceremony at the wedding site. Long distance mikes could not pick up every word, but it appeared that the suspect invited the two to join in the wedding speech. Agent Schumacher noted that The Nephews were pleased by the suspect’s proposal.
Wedding–Wedding went off mostly as planned and DS did not lose ring or raise objections to the wedding. But suspect was heard responding to the bride with the following after VHS told him that he couldn’t keep her out of the family any more: “It’s not over yet.” Agents moved in to apprehend DS, but NE Ohio director called them off just before team arrived at wedding site.
Reception–Suspect ate hamburger, hot dog and potato salad, drank water and a double whiskey (Jameson’s). Left hall and went outside to make a phone call. Rainfall on the roof of an awning drowned out audio of the call, but Schumacher suspected that DS was setting plan into motion. Agents disguised as bride’s family members began to form a perimeter. They entered the building and took up positions at strategic spots throughout the hall when suspect returned inside. Matron of honor gave her speech. Tears, hugging, bride and matron appeared to be overwhelmed with emotion. DS handed the mike. Agents powered up tasers. DS cleared throat and appeared nervous, and then gave speech.
Suspect’s speech (Item of Evidence: 2C)
Hello. I’m Dennis Schmalstig, Tony’s brother…I’ve been married for 30 plus years, and I’ve learned to follow my wife’s advice, especially when the evidence can be recorded.
(Suspect scanned crowd searching for recording devices. Agents hid behind larger guests. Crowd laughed nervously, and bride squeezed husband’s hand for comfort.)
And she told me whenever I mentioned this speech that I should be nice.
And I found this confusing as I am always nice.
(Crowd laughed harder. They appeared to disbelieve DS’s claim.)
So I’m going to be nice and say to Tony and Victoria that I wish you many happy years together, and may the hard times bring you closer together than you already are, and may the good times give you memories that you will cherish…Wasn’t that nice?
(Bride and groom smiled, and bride appeared to relax slightly. DS turned to the couple and smiled.)
And now for the second part.
(Agents began to converge on DS but were held back by Schumacher.)
I have to let you know, Victoria, that you’ve married into an illustrious family. Our ancestors were aristocrats in Germany and had castles on Rhine. They served with Frederick the Great and Otto the Okay, and they perfected the military maneuver known as the Blitzen schplotz im pantz, also known as the lightning retreat. They successfully led that maneuver on a number of occasions.
Before we let new members into the family we used to require that they go through initiation rituals involving lederhosen, pig tossing and yodel fests.
(Bride turned bright red and covered her face. Agents checked tasers to see whether they were ready to fire.)
But we don’t do that anymore.
(Agents stood down to Alert Level Alpha Baker Zed.)
But we do ask new family members to learn the family motto and sing it in German.
(Agents returned to Alert Level Alpha and targeted weapons on DS.)
Here it is: Auch Huhner verkrampfen wenn sie den Tango zu tanzen. Lovely, isn’t it?
(Phonetic: Owk hooner ver craahmp fen ven zee den taahn go zoo taahn zen. Schumacher immediately determined that the motto had a negative two loveliness rating on the Princess Grace Scale.)
It means: even chickens cramp when they dance the tango…Words to live by…beautiful words to live by…And now here’s the music. It was written by Mozart at the court…of one of our castles…on the Rhine.
(Suspect hummed a catchy tune that sounded like “Hakuna Mitata” from “The Lion King”.)
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
(Bride nodded apprehensively.)
Here’s how it sounds all together.
(Suspect began to sing. Schumacher approved use of deadly force to stop the offensive noise, and agents moved slowly forward.)
Auch huhner verkrampfen, wenn sie den Tango zu tanzen, Auch huhner verkrampfen…
(Agent Schumacher moved in for kill shot but was surprised when the Dark One Nephew sprang into the middle of the floor. The Dark One sang:
“Ain’t no passing phrase…”
(The Blond Two Nephew joined DS and Dark One Nephew, and the three sang:
“It’s our philosophy, straight from Germany, Auch huhner verkrampfen!”
(Agents pulled back and discussed strategy. DS could not be safely neutralized when his accomplices were present and near to the action zone. Schumacher continued to observe at close range and reported that he was surprised when the bride and groom bent over laughing. DS, AS, and VHS hugged, and DS was overheard saying, “I love you, Victoria.” Schumacher attributed that statement as a false positive produced by faulty surveillance equipment. DS retired from the floor.)
Reception post-speechmaking—DS maintained low profile and agents stood down to Alert Level Beta. Schumacher made initial report to regional office and got approval to remove DS with extreme prejudice if he attempted to make a second speech.
Morning after the wedding—Suspect left hotel at 3:00 a.m. Schumacher followed and reported that he believed that DS was aware of surveillance and was attempting to slip away. Agents near the newlyweds’ hotel room were put on alert, but the suspect drove to the Columbus Airport. Stivers (Orlando) reported that DS returned home at noon.
DS will be monitored weekly over the next two years. His official status will remain Wedding Offender Level 3 (causing undue stress to the bride) for five years. The alert level will be raised once more if one of DS’ children gets engaged. The Nephews will be put on the watch list and will be monitored every three months over the next year for their role as accomplices. Agent Schumacher has applied for a leave of absence.