Tony Rehagen: It was a bright weekday in mid-September and the Cormier boys—thirty-one years old, identical twins, best friends, incorrigible malcontents—were coming home. Their sixty-two-year-old father looked out his living room window as a U-Haul rumbled into the gravel drive. Bill Cormier did a double take. A U-Haul?
Bill had never known what to expect from his boys, William and Chris. Before they’d turned five, the brothers had burned down Bill’s house in New Orleans after taking turns playing with a cigarette lighter. William, older by five minutes, sounded the alarm: “One of the beds is on fire. And I didn’t do it!”
But if they had not been model sons, neither was Bill an exemplary father. After the fire, he had opened an escort service, the continuation of a career path that often put Bill on the shady side of the law. Even after he divorced his wife and won sole custody of the twins, the family was always on the move, Bill chasing a new job—hotel manager, computer technician, salesman. By the time William and Chris were sixteen, they’d gone to eighteen different schools and lived in eight states.
Raised in an atmosphere of impermanence, the two had come to rely on the one constant: each other. William was the dominant one, protecting Chris. As the boys grew into adulthood, so did their resentment against their father, resulting in the occasional fistfight.