Charles had given us maps and a police report when we visited him in Oklahoma City. He pulled out one map, of Hardheim and its surroundings, and pointed. “This is where Jennifer was…uh…murdered,” he told us. At the time, I wondered if his hesitancy over the word indicated uncertainty. But later I found that I, too, was reluctant to say it: murder. Not an easy word.
We had this itinerary we’d been given: Jennifer’s last stops on this earth. Did we think visiting them would make sense of things? I tried to tell myself we were on a kind of pilgrimage, which made it sound okay, even more than okay: important. Dignified. There were stations we had to visit. The first was Münchingen—the place where a truck driver had let Jenny off before first light on a cold November morning. The place where she drank a cup of coffee.