Welcome to class! This seminar analyzes the non-supernatural problems confronting the brothers Winchester. My thesis for this session is that Dean was absolutely correct in his succinct summation at the end of Nightshifter: “We are so screwed.”
The most important thing to note is that what could happen someday in court is the least of the brothers’ worries. Far more vital and immediate is that they are the targets of a hunt being conducted by forces with resources that far outstrip their own, and these forces – precisely because they have ample reason to consider the boys to be deadly dangerous – will be more concerned with safeguarding themselves than with either making certain that all the evidence they find makes logical sense or apprehending the boys alive and intact. The nature of the circumstances around them will predispose police and federal agents to shoot first and ask questions later, and that is not unreasonable.
Look at the Winchesters through police eyes and understand how police have to think. “Innocent until proven guilty” is the justice mantra in the U.S., but that’s not where an investigating officer begins. A cop starts with a crime, with the breaking of a law, and with whatever evidence the scene and circumstances of the crime can contribute, including physical evidence, indications of motive or opportunity, and whatever witnesses might have reported. The trail is seldom as neat as television shows would have us believe, however. Physical evidence is usually incomplete. Odd things about a scene or a person often lack explanation, and could be relevant or not. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, especially in high stress situations, because most people are not good observers and every witness colors what he or she sees through the filters of his or her own mind and memory. Most times, we see what we expect to see, and often reject or fail to process things that contravene our expectations. People who don’t act the way we expect them to make us uneasy and attract suspicion, and cops are trained to look for out of pattern behavior as a way to spot someone out of place who might be a criminal.