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In the revolver forum there was a question about the service life of the Colt Detective Special.

I spoke of a Colt DS that has gone at least 60,000 rounds and was once used for it's ultimate purpose.

Long story, names changed to protect a family who doesn't deserve having their good name dragged out any farther than necessary.

Locally there's a family who owned a neighborhood grocery store.
These people were extremely well-thought of as decent, NICE people.

Unfortunately, they had one son named Richard AKA "Rocky", AKA "Dick".
There is no explanation for Rocky.
Words like "black sheep" or "bad seed" don't explain how the son of a good family could be so rotten.

The entire family were good people, and Rocky had an excellent up-bringing.
For some reason unknown, Rocky was just BAD from the get-go, in ways that gave new meaning to bad.

He started off stealing and vandalizing as a child, and worked his way up to armed robbery, rape, arson, and probably murder as an adult.

The general joke locally, was the State prison had a brass plate with his name on it on "his" cell at the prison.

Rocky was a particular type of criminal that's HATED by both cops AND crooks.
A nominal coward, Rocky NEVER faced anyone unless they were much smaller and weaker than him.
THEN he was really a tough guy.

Rocky's "Specialty" was in getting younger and not too bright punks to do the actual dirty work, while Rocky supervised.
This also allowed Rocky to cut and run at the first sign of trouble, leaving the kid to get caught while Rocky made his getaway.

Richard preferred to be called "Rocky", but he was so hated by all concerned, everyone called him "Dick", with the current popular meaning of that word.

As a classic example of his character, Rocky once robbed, at gun point, his OWN family's store, taking time to pistol-whip the high school kid working as a stock boy.

Meanwhile, on the North side of the county was what used to be a small country store.

The store had been started in the early 1930's by a husband and wife team who were also well thought of.
During the Depression, they had given credit, and often free food to people in need.
In the mid-1930's the husband had bought a new, Colt Detective Special as a store gun.

Being a reloader, he reloaded light "plinking" ammo for the gun, and he and his wife shot turtles and cans in the pond behind the store.

When he died, the wife ran the store for years before retiring, when she closed the store, converted it into a home, and lived there.

She continued to plink with the Colt, her sons keeping her supplied with reloads.

Enter Rocky.
Looking for an easy mark, Rocky decided to burgle the house one fall night, and unusual for him, couldn't find some stupid kid to come along.

Hearing Rocky breaking in, the lady got her Colt Detective Special and went to investigate.

Opening her bedroom door, she saw Rocky at the other end of the hall.
Rocky took a look at the old woman, and stupidly actually TOLD her, quote, "I'm feeling a little mean tonight, I think I'll rape you".

The old lady DID NOT hesitate.
Rocky found out that that hallway reached all the way to the Promised Land.

She brought the Colt up and pumped three rounds of 158 grain semi-wad cutters into Rocky's chest.

It was quite a scene at the store in the early pre-dawn hours of the morning.
The gravel lot was JAMMED with cars from the police of at least four towns, the State Police, several Sheriff's departments, prosecutors from counties in TWO states, and federal agents from two agencies.

I was told that even some retired law enforcement people made the trip.

All gathered to take a look at what was left of the despised Rocky.
Being professionals, they all at least TRIED to keep the grins off their faces, in respect for Rocky's innocent family, if nothing else.

There was somewhat of a dispute among the law enforcement people: Some of them wanted to give her a medal, others wanted to give her a medal AND buy her a good meal.
They compromised by have regular patrols past her home every night from then on.

After the Coroner's Inquest slam-dunked the case in record time and things calmed down, the Sheriff's Department had me do a complete check and clean of the Detective Special.

I found a Colt with most of the blue gone on the grip area and trigger, and the remaining fading into a silvery blue-brown from years of use.

Mechanically it was in 100% condition, and one of the owners sons told me it had been regularly sent in to Colt for check-ups.

The family told me that they figured their Dad and Mom had fired an average of 1000 rounds a year out of the Colt, starting in the mid-1930's when they bought it.

There was a "time out" of shooting during WWII due to the lack of reloading components, but this still put the probable round count somewhere in the 60,000 round area.

After I serviced the Colt, it was returned to the owner, along with several thousand rounds of .38 ammo collected from various law enforcement personnel in the area, in gratitude for removing a blight on society.

According to one son, she continued to be the scourge of pond turtles with the Colt right up until the end,

The old lady died some years ago, and the Colt passed on to one of the sons.
I'm told that when the family gathers for holidays and picnics, the Colt is brought out and shot as a remembrance of their Mom and Dad.

The younger children all get their first shots with a real gun from the old Colt DS.

The last time I heard, it had been back to Colt again for a checkup, and was still in 100% shooting condition.

She's remembered by many people who she helped over the years.

Rocky's family is still well thought of as hard working, good people.
I think they blame themselves for somehow "failing" Richard, and I think they'd just as soon try to forget him.

Otherwise, Rocky is only remembered by a few law enforcement people, like a foul smell that won't quite go away.
 

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Great story,dfariswheel. It is nice to know that "nice people' sometimes win. Thankfully,this happened in an area where there are still some "sane" law enforcement folks that recognize that there are "justifiable shootings". Bud
 

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True story.

Also, among the local law enforcement and more than a few citizens, there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd.....They were all laughing so hard they were in tears at Richard-Rocky-Dick finally getting what he so richly deserved.
The fact that an honest citizen dusted him off just added to the pleasure.

Ordinarily, nobody sane takes pleasure in someone else's death, and the fact that most people did in this case is a clear indication of just what Rocky was.

People still wonder how a mutoid like this came from such a good family.
My best guess is, there really is such a thing as being born bad.

And it wasn't just a case of Rocky being rotten.
Strangely, on the few times I was around Rocky, I started having thoughts of how I could get Rocky into a situation where I could kill him.

I've talked to any number of people who admitted having the same strange thoughts.
One man had it best: Rocky gave off the same vibes a roach does.
 

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Thank you for sharing the real life story of two good families, and yes there are apples that make their own decision to be bad.

------------------
John
Northern CA

"Life brings us joys and sorrows alike, it is what a man does with them- not what they do to him- that is the true measure of his mettle." T. Roosevelt
 

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Appreciate the story! It's one of the reasons that I believe there is a God. God gives to grace even to those who do not appreciate it. Ultimately, it seems, that enough horrendous behavior brings about a removal of grace and justice is served.

Seen this happen more than once in 30+years of wearing a badge. Nice to know that someone is keepin score, and that eventually for some of these creeps it is "Game Over".
 

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Even though this story was revived after being posted 7+ years ago it was a great read.. New respect for my b/u nightstand DS...
 

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Great story and a testament to Colt handguns. Thanks
 

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The general joke locally, was the State prison had a brass plate with his name on it on "his" cell at the prison.
I would imagine the booking sergeant down at the friendly local lock-up finally got so tired of filling out the paper work for the lad, he spent some of his own money to have a rubber stamp made up containing all the relevant information but the most recent charge.
 

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I don't believe it.

Not even 3 rounds of 158 grain .38 Special can bring down a full grown man, especially not from a snub nose revolver.

You'd need at least 14 rounds of .40 S&W or bigger. ;) ;) ;)
 
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There was another similar case locally about 10 years ago.

A local thug, who the British papers would say "was well known to the police", was burgling an 80 year old womans home one night.
She walked into the living room and he grabbed her from the rear and started choking her.

He never noticed that she had an old RG .38 her grandson had given her.
She stuck it over her shoulder and put one into his mouth that came out the back of his skull.
The sheriff's deputies were all broken up over it. They were seen behind the house grinning.
 
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