While on the stand in Day 4 of the Sabrina Limon trial, admitted murderer Jonathan Hearn referenced stories he wrote for a website back in October of 2012.
He said he dedicated the website to Sabrina Limon.
Two stories on the site called "FireFighterstory.com" have comments by someone who signs only as "Sabrina L".
The first story, published October 10, 2012, called "Silver Lakes" has a comment from "Sabrina L" simply saying, "SO FUNNY!"
The first comment on another story, titled "The Valley of the Shadow of Death" has a comment from "Sabrina L" saying, "YOU ARE SO AMAZING AND I AM SO LUCKY TO KNOW YOU!".
Neither of the stories has a byline. However, in the "Meet the Authors" section, Jonathan Hearn is featured.
The following are the two stories with comments from "Sabrina L":
Working in a large Fire department, sometimes meant venturing beyond the bounds of the metro downtown areas, and covering for a fellow firefighter in one of the more removed stations. Tonight was one of those nights, working in a quiet little station that sat perched along the one and only avenue in and out of Silver Lakes. Silver Lakes was a small bedroom community with lavish houses, a nice lake, and a resort-town feel; a sort of oasis in the middle of the godforsaken desert. Picture Mayberry meets Hills Have Eyes. Conveniently enough for this City Fireman, this Fire Station protected both the sweet little town, and… the hills that surrounded it.
I wandered out of the station after dinner, to watch the sun set and welcome the cool desert breezes from across the lake. I loved this post, because it had a way of cleansing the soul. Here, we were away from distractions, away from the incessant grind of working beats in the ghetto. I had figured out how to get cell phone reception here finally, but it involved climbing on top of the trash dumpster and then scrambling halfway up the roof of the tool shed; an inconvenience only worth experiencing maybe once a day.
“32 New Messages”. My phone screen read, as I cautiously slid back down off the roof. Must be that crazy girl, Jen, I mused. Firefighter’s wives and girlfriends are by nature, strong women whose dedication, courage, and poise often goes unnoticed in the wake of the heroics of their husbands and lovers. It isn’t fair to them though, because they are without a doubt the visceral undercarriage of every accomplishment and the inspiration behind every act of selflessness, by those in uniform. Jen was neither my support nor inspiration, just a girl who interpreted every pause in my communication as indefinite abandonment.
The sudden harsh ringing of the Station tones visibly jolted me, as I almost expected the ringing of the alarms to be as peaceful as the little neighborhood itself.
“Medic Squad 4, Engine 4, Public service, 12 West Bushencat Lane. No map page. Cross of Wild Road.” I hustled to the squad and offered the Engine crew to take the call solo.
“We can handle it on the squad, it’s just a public service.” I volunteered, not knowing where on earth I was going, or what it would be for.
My partner who was a long-timer at this rural station, looked puzzled while reading the dispatch information. According to all premises of Murphy’s Law, it was now dark, my driver had no clue where this was, and I had volunteered to take the call solo. Perfect. I began cross referencing map pages as my partner got us closer to Wild Road.
“I have heard of Bushencat… I think it’s like, way… north. Or maybe south.” He mused with confidence.
“Um, I’m not seeing that on this map at all. Like, nowhere brother.” I said, staring blankly at the map.
“Ok. Well, let me just head North a little bit. I’m almost sure… it’s like, right here.” He said, and we continued on into the creepy wilderness. We passed an occasional dim cluster of lights; ranches, removed far from the surface road. There was hardly anything I hated more than not knowing where we were going. It gave us a bad name not knowing.
“Comm Center, Medic squad 4. We are in the area of Wild Road. Do you have any further information on location?” I radioed in to dispatch.
“Medic Squad 4, Comm. Center, I copy.” Then there was a long pause, as they re-contacted the reporting party.
“Ok, Medic Squad 4. RP states… he can see you. You are North west of his location.”
I felt a shiver run down my spine. The last set of lights we had passed, was about two minutes ago, and now we were in the middle of perfect dark nowhere.
“GAH!” my partner jerked the wheel, and I reacted by kicking my shin against the dash “Ah!” I hissed, looking up from the map, “what… happened?” I asked confused.
“Donkey. It was… sorry, there was a Donkey in the road.”
I was starting to feel uneasy, knowing that this is how every good horror movie starts. The next few minutes, involved us getting directions –second-hand- through our dispatcher, who awkwardly provided the directions as given by the slowly drawling hillbilly.
“Medic squad 4, uh, turn…right at the… large Christmas tree. Ok, now an immediate left at that… that third fence post. Ok, now head south, but not before the big tree… right after. And then, ok, something about some dogs. And, right after you pass the gravel patch, just stay right the whole time. Do you copy?”
“We copy.” I said, trying to picture what this place looked like in the daylight.
Just when I thought the setting couldn’t get creepier. We pulled up in front of the address. It was a mobile home at one time, but had, more or less settled into place. Rather, portions of it had settled, and it now leaned awkwardly, supported and surrounded by various piles of cinder block, tires, and lumber. The whole estate illuminated so beautifully by a single moth-swarmed light bulb on the front porch. The door was slowly opening. I reached for my flashlight.
“Heydy gentlemans” He droned, conjugating multiple forms of salutations.
“Sir! I’m sorry for the delay, what can we do for you?” I said, hoping to display friendliness, so as to not be consumed by his large dog – undoubtedly a descendant of the alpine wolf.
“I called yous. Because,” He stopped and spat, though it didn’t clear his mouth, and landed on his bare chest and chin. “I need yous to take care of a little problem fur me. Come on in. Back room. The little devil has been trying to bite me all afernun.”
“What exactly is it?” I hesitated.
“Well, you’ll see.”
We cautiously entered his room, and were surprised to find it in utter disarray. So unusual for such a straight laced guy.
“Right there,” he pointed, “under my bed”.
To make a very long story short, around noon, the man had began a 9 hour standoff with a black widow spider. During this time, there were numerous attempts reportedly made by the dime sized insect, to bite, or otherwise attack the victim. Our Victim, Gregory, stated that at one point, things really “came to a head”, and he struck the black widow, which apparently side-stepped, and jumped back at him, “Which is when I knew that things were out of my hands. So I dun called ya’ll.”
“Yeah, no problem” I said, reaching under the bed and delivering a fatal blow to the spider, “He’s… all done.”
Greg sighed, visibly relieved, and finally in the release of so much tension, confessed, “I’m sorry gents, but… I’m allergic to black widow spiders, so thank you. Thanks much.”
“Yeah Greg, just so happens that, everyone is allergic to black widows, believe it or not. They’re pretty poisonous” My partner said smoothly, temping me to chuckle.
“Anything else we can do for you, I said, gingerly stepping around a large hole in the floor and wall, which doubled as a doggy door.
“That just about covers it,” he remarked, “Wait. Did you flush it down the toilet?” He suddenly urged, obviously not content with leaving the spider for dead.
“Oh, uh, no.” I motioned back towards the remains, “I… yeah, let me take care of that for you. Do you have a tissue, or toilet paper or something to make sure it sinks?” I inquired, taking my mission as seriously as possible. After the carcass was laid to rest, and after the dust had settled again on Bushencat road (of course, named by Greg) my partner maturely reflected, “That’s what we’re here for. Emergencies. That… was his emergency.”
Before heading back to the station, we delivered an aerosol can of generic insect repellant to an extremely overjoyed Greg.
“You’re welcome Greg,” I ventured, plagiarizing my partner’s wisdom, “that’s what we’re here for.”
"The Valley of the Shadow of Death"
I first saw the towering column of smoke rising in the distance as I stepped onto the back porch to fire up the barbeque. The busy morning, and stifling hot summer afternoon had brought the whole crew to agree on a quick and simple dinner menu; homemade jalapeno burgers, chips and a green salad. We still had paperwork to catch up on from the day’s medical calls, and there were chores still to be done after dinner, and after the Southern California heat had subsided a bit.
“Hey Cap,” I called out to my Captain, walking back inside, “have you heard anything about a fire burning to the East? I see a header going up right now.”
“No, but if there is, it’ll be good,” he said, referencing the hot dry weather that was often the prelude to legendary California wildfires; “let’s knock out dinner before we have to go.”
The idea was good, but the timing was too late. I hadn’t even set the first burger patty on the grill before I heard the call coming in. They were calling for our “Brush Engine”, an all-terrain type fire engine that was specially equipped for fighting wildfires; we would be part of a group of five engines that were dispatched as an “immediate need” for initial fire attack.
Barbeque off.Gas shut off. Lights off. Oh, and I ran back to hastily throw the salad and meat into the refrigerator; checklist complete. I began dressing in my protective clothing, and transferring all my gear over to the brush engine.
“I’ll program the radios,” my partner volunteered, “did anyone hear what the tactical frequency was supposed to be?” I was always glad when Steve volunteered for the more technical intricacies; he was good at every aspect of the job, and was the kind of partner everyone longed for in this line of work.
“V-Fire-22” our Captain shouted over the knocking diesel engine, coming to life.
I stepped into the cab, stuffing my helmet and gear beneath my seat, and reaching for the map book. “Alright guys, looks like it’s about 15 minutes east of us. The rendezvous point will be at Wilson and Barclay.”
“ That’s right below those hills that have been drying out all summer.” My Captain pointed out, referencing the steep and austere mountains that had survived yet another season without burning over, now boasting thick, dry chaparral. “Fire behavior is going to be pretty gnarly.”
The moment we arrived at the scene, we were surrounded by howling, churning, yellowish grey smoke that raced up and through the complex maze of valleys and knolls that the thundering fire was galloped up. It was a thrilling symphony of crackling flames and rumbling echoes, chorusing from the juggernaut of distant fire fronts that consumed its plentiful diet of vegetation like a grizzly bear rousing from hibernation. Onlookers and media were starting to gather, and silently waved goodbye to our passing engines as we rounded the corner beyond where they dared venture, onto the unpaved trail, and into the playground of the inferno. The adrenaline of a good firefight, had a way of captivating your attention; long forgotten was the dinner that in various stages of preparation across the kitchen table; and no attention was paid to the extremely rugged terrain that passed swiftly beneath our boots as we bounded uphill in pursuit of the flames.
We had put in nearly five thousand feet of hose before I even noticed the stiffness developing in my legs. The three of us who had arrived on the fire first, maintained possession of the nozzle, and pressed forward, our progress fueled by the many other engines which had arrived and were hiking after us to attach more “lines”. The flames crackled on up the steep hills in front of us, standing taller that three of us on each other’s shoulders; yet we continued on in hot pursuit, slowly pinching moving up the shoulders to pinch off the head of the fire. We had been told that another team would be moving up the opposite flank, and that anytime now, we should come around a bend, and meet up with them for the grand finale of pinching off the forward progress of the blaze.
As we made the turn, those of us spearheading the “hose-lay” were the first to sigh in disappointment. There was an empty valley, absent of any other team coming to lend us aid; instead, there were only waves of flames, moving steadily in all directions up and out of the vast gorge. It was a feeling of hollow disappointment. Hours had passed quickly unbeknownst to us, and now through the opacity of the smoke, the night sky was moving its constellations into their midnight pose.
“Alright guys, stop and get a drink, and let’s keep moving forward,” A Captain shouted out to the team, trying to muster us for the long work ahead.
“Windshift.” The radio in my chest harness chirped, and I looked up to the top of the hill above to see our lookout, pointing down-canyon. My eyes followed the evident wave of breeze that was now pushing the smoke and flames back uphill towards us, and towards thousands of acres of unburned fuel around us.
“Ok, nevermind about the break guys, we need to catch this thing.” The Captain quickly followed up, “if you need a break, fall out, and someone else bump up!”
Steve was holding the nozzle and looked back over his shoulder, “You good man?” He asked, voice muffled through the shroud around his face. I winked back through dirty goggles that danced with reflections of the flames that towered before us, “I’m good.”
Just as the heat was becoming nearly unbearable, Steve pulled the nozzle open again, “Let’s go,” he said, gesturing out over a valley full of flames that seemed to focus all their heat directly into the air that I sipped into my burning lungs, “Alright!”
Then things happened so fast that I can hardly relive it, even when I try. In one moment, Steve was losing his footing, and I felt the hose begin to slide through my hands, as he tumbled down a steep cliff, and into the firey valley. The next snapshot that I remember is seeing my hand grasp for anything, as I raced down the soft sand after him. Those behind us, had been wise enough to let go of the hose when we began to fall, but now Steve and I sat huddled against one another in the crux of the gorge, both still gripping the hose like a lifeline.
“Aaahh” Steve hissed, wincing at the heat, and fumbling with the nozzle.
I uttered a similarly painful groan, and used my gloved hands to cover my face. I tried to laugh a little, “Man, this is uh, pretty hot down here.” I mused, needlessly.
There was instantaneous relief the moment Steve opened up the nozzle. The fog pattern of water that extinguished the burning bushes around us also provided a cooling blanket of protection for our huddled bodies. That is, until our water shut off. I heard our Captain screaming through his radio, “Broken hose, broken hose! Let’s fix it quick guys!” Looking up, I could see a large audience of our brothers in uniform, some down on hands and knees, silently watching in dismay, at our defenseless demise.
“Windshift!” I heard the dreaded words again, almost tearfully uttered by our lookout who still stood posted up on the hilltop. Within moments I felt the truth of the announcement. The heat and smoke was pushed down on us by a new wind event; the temperature becoming so sweltering that for the first time in my life, I felt like I was drawing near the threshold. I was going to die here. These were the moments that I remember with such vivid detail that I feel forever branded by their slow passing. The hose with no water, lying limply in my left hand. The steam rising from Steve’s glove on my shoulder. The sharply mounting pain over my body, as the flames grew closer and closer. The thought of running through the flames to find safety that likely didn’t exist.
The thoughts that ran through my mind were each so complete and resolved, it was as if the cliché phrase was entirely true; life flashing before my eyes. In those moments I felt the sorrow of unresolved conflict, of not telling those I loved how much they meant to me, the guilt of facing a God who I’d crossed so many times before, and the desire to make everything right. A merciful God, allowed me to bask in the gravity of the dismay and hopelessness, for every last possible moment to build the truest resolve and character in my heart, then snatch me from the clutches of death.
I jerked with tension and relief as I felt a surge of water knock against the nozzle, as Steve fumbled with the bale, finally bringing hope of escape from the fire that licked at us from all sides. That night we would go on to put in hose-lines for another few hours before completely extinguishing the fire. Once the flames had subsided, we were allowed to break away to patrol the lines and get some rest under the stars that winked down through the smoky sky like light shining through cracks in heaven’s floor.
I hiked back up that canyon, pausing beneath the looming hills to breathe in the somberness of the aftermath. A golden, flickering haze hung low over the black ashes, illuminated from beneath by hundreds of thousands of smoldering stumps that clung to the face of the towering hillsides; silent, smoky reminders of the blaze that had just ravaged the landscape. I was surrounded by a vast, desolate cathedral of innumerable torches like city lights, fading into the distant darkness. I stood quietly, with headlamp turned off, watching the silky smoke waft around me, in that moment feeling small and vulnerable, yet strangely safe and cared for, in this valley of shadows. The shadows of death.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”-Psalm 23:4