Rick Hardin is a persona created by literature professor John Dykstra as a pseudonym under which to write crime fiction about a hitman named The Dog.

After one of his bi-weekly meetings of fellow suspense writers in Jacksonville, while heading home to Sarasota, Dykstra pulled into a Turnpike rest stop for a bathroom break. There, he encountered a case of domestic abuse when he witnessed a man beating on his pregnant wife. After fighting off panic and the urge to flee the scene, Dykstra instead channeled Hardin, who set off the car alarm of Dykstra's Jaguar to lure the man into the open. Hardin then clubbed the man with a tire iron to subdue him, ordering the woman to leave in the couple's PT Cruiser. With the woman gone, Hardin shattered the man's glasses and kicked him numerous times, finding a sadistic pleasure in serving the man a beating of his own. Hardin left the man on the pavement with the warning that he knew his address and license number.

Fifteen minutes down the road, Dykstra reasserted himself, pulling onto the shoulder to vomit out the cardoor.


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