Scoundrel Time

How It Ends: #ThemToo

In the video—because there are cameras in every room of that house—he’s walking ahead of her down the stairs and then, perhaps sensing she isn’t following, reaches behind him for her hand. He does it without turning and so he doesn’t see that she’s still standing at the top of the stairs, watching him with the mask-of-Nefertiti impassiveness that has become her trademark; if she were more popular, which would presuppose him being more popular, you can imagine more women getting Botox injections—men, too—not so much to erase wrinkles as in imitation of the exquisite immobility of her face. She doesn’t give him her hand, doesn’t even raise it. Only then does he turn peevishly and grab it before turning once more and taking another step or two. The expression captured by the camera is one of irritable puzzlement. Why isn’t she coming? He pulls, she pulls back, and the next instant something causes him to let go and then he is falling with flailing arms and a loud “huh!” that doesn’t rise to the level of a yell. It’s the last sound he makes unless you count the thud of his body on the bottom step and the soft crack of his neck.

“Is accident,” she says afterward, to the body-man and the White House physician and all the questioners who follow. “Is old man. Bones break easy.” In obedience to her childhood training, she crosses herself.

At almost the same time in the kitchen of their residence at One Observatory Circle, Karen Pence shoots her husband in the face after he asks her to pass him the sugar, using a Ruger LC9s–the same gun she carried back in the governor’s mansion in Indianapolis– whose compact size makes it a popular choice for ladies. When questioned, she’s more straightforward than the First Lady, telling investigators that the tampon-headed sonofabitch called her ‘Mother’ one time too many.