Only the Truth is the engaging and harrowing first-person story of Billy Ray Hutchins, an illiterate street cleaner with an innocence and heart as big as the Arkansas mountains where he lives with his dog, Big Dog. One day he finds a delicate-looking young woman standing by the railroad tracks, a small red suitcase at her side. He asks what she is doing there. She doesn't answer, but looks deeply into his eyes and asks if she can come with him. Just that simply, Charlene enters his home and life, bringing him a joy he has never imagined.
Billy Ray takes life pretty much as it comes, so he doesn't question Charlene's unwillingness to leave the house or her reticence about her past. He is her "sweet Billy Ray" and life is good until the strange, unkempt man moves into the vacant house across the road. After the stranger visits with Billy Ray, Charlene becomes silent and withdrawn. When Billy Ray goes out on their second anniversary, he returns home to find his neighbor's house aflame. Police later find his body, shot through the head, in the ruins. The Sheriff finds evidence that Charlene may have shot the man and set the fire.
While she is in jail awaiting trial, new rumors emerge about the mysterious Charlene. Witnesses come forward to claim that she is a prostitute who has robbed a number of her customers. A newspaper story brings attention from a sheriff in Tennessee, who identifies her as a woman believed to have set a fire that burned her parents and her three children to death. Billy Ray hardly knows what to believe. When he is with her, he has complete faith in her decency and love for him. But mounting evidence seems to indicate otherwise.
|Criminal profiler Pat Brown|
|Rockaway, NY neighborhood destroyed by both flood and fire|
|Pres. Obama and Gov. Chris Christie overfly destruction of|
New Jersey shore communities on Marine One
If you can, please send a few dollars to the Red Cross or another disaster relief organization. There are still many thousands of children sleeping without heat tonight in the unseasonable bone-chilling cold that followed the storm. With your help and that of our shared government agencies and aid organizations, we will come back strong. Thank you all, my fellow Americans, for having our backs now.
|Well it was an avenue...|
|Atlantic City, NJ boardwalk gone|
|Flooded parking garage, Manhattan|
* If you are interested in what your state contributes to federal operations vs. what it receives back, The Economist magazine has an interesting article and map here. Curiously, many states that take more than they contribute vote regularly for smaller federal government.