It was 12:05 a.m., and I was lying alone in bed, heartbroken after a recent divorce. She and I were both cops, she with Detroit Police and I with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. I had worked the scout car all day and then gone out on a date that evening, but I knew she wasn’t the one for me. I had finally dropped off to sleep when the telephone by my bed jangled me awake.

“Hello?” I said, grabbing the phone.

“Bobby! Please help!” It was my mother’s frantic voice.

“What’s wrong, Mom?”

“There’s people breaking in our house!”

It was a beautiful summer day, and I had just spent most of it in the 22nd District Court of Michigan, in the city of Inkster, a notoriously high-crime suburb west of Detroit. I was there because, three months before, on Thursday, March 4, 1976, a drunk ran a stop sign and slammed into my shiny black ’73 Ford LTD on Michigan Avenue in Inkster. I was still in uniform after finishing my shift in the scout car and making six arrests. So Jackie Wayne Giles, 36, became my seventh arrest that day.