Self is reading Patrick Radden Keefe’s New Yorker article “The Avenger,” about the brother of a man killed in Lockerbie.
Self read in the Stanford Alumni Magazine, not too long ago, that the father of yet another victim, a lawyer, had died of cancer. The man was tireless in aiding the hunt for his daughter’s killers, even putting up reward money. As self would do too, if she were in his shoes.
Three years ago, self was in Hawthornden Writers Retreat, only 40 minutes by bus from Edinburgh. Every time she took the bus back, she saw the sign for Lockerbie.
The New Yorker article is about Ken Dorstein, a sophomore at Brown whose brother David had been on the plane.
This is what he did:
He traveled to Scotland and spent several weeks in Lockerbie interviewing investigators and walking through the pastures where the plane had gone down. He read the transcript of the Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry, which exceeded fifteen-thousand pages, and he located the patch of grass where David’s body had landed.
Dorstein tells The New Yorker: “I had found a less painful way to miss my brother, by not missing him at all, just trying to document what happened to his body.”
He also married his brother’s ex-girlfriend. When he told his wife that he wanted to go to Libya to confront the “culprits who were still alive,” he invoked what they call in their marriage “the Lockerbie dispensation.” She could not refuse him.
Dorstein showed the New Yorker reporter a large map of Lockerbie, “with hundreds of colored pushpins indicating where the bodies had fallen.” In death, as in life, there were divisions: first-class passengers clustered in one place, economy passengers in another (But isn’t it interesting that they all ended up in the same place anyway: which is to say, dead)
Self has to finish reading the article.