the kid who lived in austin, it turns out, practically did move around town incognito as ron says almost no one ever saw him except as he was driving his dad and mom to the post office on a daily basis. "the only thing you ever got out of that kid was 'good morning' and 'hello' and 'sir.' seemed like a fine kid if a little lonely. but boy, the local kids saw a whole different side to him." [my mistake, too, on mentioning his assertion he was a crip on his facebook page; I was going by memory and as you can see on the link he very much identifies as blood. both are, of course, fantasy.]
as to the kid who is accused of having pulled the trigger: he, it turns out, is the nephew of a woman whose bed-and-breakfast my wife and I stayed at some years back. the boy's father and he moved out from salt lake city where, the father told him, "he had a run with some bad associates." the kid was almost immediately in trouble with the local law and had to put in some community service. ron took him on at the museum. "he was a pretty okay kid, I mean he did the stuff he was supposed to do and he did a good job, mowing the lawn and painting the porch. but you couldn't tell him he did something good. he'd do something and I'd say, 'great, that's a great job,' and he'd just look right through you or look at you like you'd kicked him. he just finally stopped coming by a few months ago and I had to tell his probation officer, 'I just don't know where he is, he hasn't been coming here.'"
and as to the 15 year old girl: her mom was a physician's assistant and doing pretty well until she started using the drugs she was supposed to be prescribing, and then she lost her license and did time and nothing's been the same since. ron had much to say about that story too as it turns out he's related, like almost everyone around here is, to that family. "I feel for her grandmother, but her grandfather, her father, they've been in and out of prison for molesting their own kids, and her brother, when he got out, he was making to do it again and this guy whose son he'd molested just came up and put a gun to his head and now he's due to get out in a couple years. there's just nothing but bad news for that family, and it's not even the whole family just the family in that 1 house. all of them, just makes the whole family hurt."
"it is just 1 big mess," ron says, "and it hurts whenenver something like this happens. it just hurts the kids and it hurts the people around here and makes it harder to grow up here. it's just bad news all around. no one escapes it."