Chapter Fifty

Dennis Kaselak Speaks

    Later that Halloween, I had taken Anguel up to another town near us where a coworker and I and several others had agreed to get our kids together for trick-or-treating. Although Anguel didn’t appreciate this holiday yet (although he certainly wouldn’t mind the candy), I wanted to do one of those mommy-type things with him (hey, I had certainly waited long enough!)

    So, in a reversal of how things usually went, it was Dan who was at home alone at around four in the afternoon when the phone rang. An unfamiliar man’s voice asked for him.

    “This is Daniel Case,” he said. “Who’s this?”

    “This is Dennis Kaselak.”

    Dan was surprised. We’d left a message at his office several weeks before and hadn’t really expected a call back.

    He asked what we had wanted to talk to him about. The issue, naturally, had been the autopsy report. Daniel mentioned that we were of the understanding that he no longer had anything to do with Denise, and that set him into a reflective mood.

    Upon hearing her name, he took on the tone of one remembering someone safely in the past. Dan mentioned how Denise had kept batting us over to Dennis Gornostaev at a time when she had terminated the relationship.

    He recalled the relationship as having had a long, protracted breakdown. He didn’t seem to have any residual animosity to Denise, implying that it had been both her and Dennis’s fault, as well as circumstances beyond either’s control (like, say, Volgograd) that led to its degeneration into mutual acrimony.

    Dan took the occasion to ask if Denise had lied about anything to him or Dennis, as she had to us.

    He wouldn’t quite answer the question directly.

    “The problem with Denise,” he said, “is that I think she’s afraid of hurting people’s feelings by telling them something bad, something they don’t want to hear. So she tells them something just to make them feel good,” regardless of how implausible it was, he suggested.

    It was certainly an accurate, and plausible, take on Denise’s consistent and frustrating cavalierness with the truth. Doubtless he knew from experience.

    But, he added, Denise and Dennis had just been the wrong people to work with each other. Thanks for putting your clients in the middle of that, Dan thought.

    He still worked with Dennis, by the way, who was in Russia trying to set up a program there for the All God’s Children agency (As of late 2001, he was their Russian program director, in fact).

    The most interesting thing from this conversation, however, came next.

    Mr. Kaselak went on to say that his organization, IACS, had refunded to Denise the monies (ours, basically) that she had paid for Cyril’s adoption with the understanding that she and Rick Marco would handle whatever needed to be done on their end.

    Now we knew. All this time we had suffered waiting for Anguel, all the anguish we had had when BBAS dunned us for that last six thousand dollars before we went to Bulgaria ... they had been enjoying on their books the very literal profits from Cyril’s almost-adoption. Down to the last cent.

    What kind of person can possibly feel comfortable accepting one dollar, much less 9,500, from a transaction which involved the death of a child? Wouldn’t the ethical thing to do, the only thing imaginable, have been to apply those otherwise-encumbered funds to Anguel’s adoption?

    But we think you already know the answer to those questions.

    It was late and both of them wanted to get back to other things, so Dan closed the conversation by asking him if he could still be of any assistance in getting the autopsy report and death certificate.

    He didn’t promise anything, but he said he did have a few contacts he could try over there. If he was able to get anything, he suggested, we’d hear from him in a month.

    We didn’t, and haven’t had any contact with him since.

    Whatever else has been said about him in other forums, Mr. Kaselak treated us in this call with more courtesy and respect than Denise Hubbard ever could have.

Back Next