Murder on the Bunny Trail 3

Episode III: The Trial

The swishing of a large black robe reverberates throughout the silent courtroom. “All rise. The Court of Second Judicial Circuit, Homicide Division, is now in session. The Honorable Judge Cottontail now presiding on the case of Jack Hoplin v. Easter Village”. Jack’s mother begins to cry as the prosecutors lay out the cold hard facts of Rabbit DeNiro’s gruesome murder.

“Jack,” the prosecution starts, “was upset at the loss of his father and, as a way of acting out, has been mixed up with mobsters since he was a child. Jack’s life with his mother turned turbulent after the absence of his father left Ms. Hoplin to support him alone. He had no choice but to join the very same gang his father was involved in, to support him and his mother from the early age of fifteen. After years of being in the gang himself, Jack learned that DeNiro betrayed his father on a job they had set to work together more than twenty years ago. It has later been discovered that Mr. Hoplin had not been paying his dues to the boss of the syndicate and DeNiro was ordered to make an example out of him. While Mr. Hoplin’s death was officially ruled a suicide, it was learned much later that DeNiro poisoned him. Even with overwhelming evidence supporting this theory, law enforcement was unable to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt to a judge and jury. Since his father’s murder could not be solved due to a mishandling of evidence, Jack decided to take justice into his own hands and avenge the father that was taken from him.”

The courtroom begins to stir at the admission that police had botched Jack’s father’s case. As the jury hears of Jack’s checkered past, the prosecution is concerned that the jury may now think of Jack as a “poor misguided child” who had some strokes of misfortune. Inspector Hasselhop begins to sweat thinking the jury might empathize with Jack’s hard life. The prosecutor continues, “Jack spent his years in the gang getting older, bigger. As he planned his revenge on DeNiro, he naturally continued to excel in his gang-associated tasks, earning the nickname, Jack “The Ripper” Rabbit, among his associates. However, Jack continued the façade of a well-mannered and dutiful son in the public eye. While it would be hard to believe that such a well-known member of the community could be involved in such a heinous crime, we must lay out the most incriminating evidence.”

The prosecutor starts to pull bags of evidence. The first piece of damning evidence is an envelope with a bloody carrot. “Exhibit A: the murder weapon found hidden under Jack Hoplin’s bed. Blood samples match those of the victim and paw prints on the murder weapon are an exact match for the defendant.” The prosecutor then proceeds to pull reports from his file, “Exhibit B: footprints found at the crime scene. Minerals in the dirt match samples found on Jack Hoplin’s feet as well as in the Hoplin residence”. The facts are clear and the case, undeniable.

The jury deliberates and although Hasselhop was concerned that the evidence wasn’t enough to sway the jury, the verdict is delivered in his favor. The judge announces, “Jack, you could have been better than your father, but you threw that away and abandoned your family for a moment of being judge and executioner. If you wanted to create change, you should have done it properly as a decent, law-abiding citizen.” The gavel comes down. Jack is found guilty for the murder of Rabbit DeNiro and sentenced to death by melting.




***No bunnies were harmed in the making of this story. All names of characters are purely for enjoyment and convenience’s sake and in no way affiliated with the associated celebrity.


Written and edited by Hannah Kim & Erica Cortez


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