Cop House Capers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
There was a body in the house. Where did it go?

Submitted: May 06, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 06, 2016



Ray walked into the front room while laughing.

“OK Malone, what did you do with the body?” 


“Don't know where it went, Ray, it was here and then it was gone. POOF! It kind of reminds me of the Caliway case back in 62.”

{Malone raffles through his notes.}

“The first officer on scene found the front door open and the lights were on. At that time there was a body, white, male, about 35, laying in the center of the front room floor.

That officer, Sergeant Murphy, said that he checked the body and found it had no pulse.

There was a small caliber bullet wound to the forehead and a possible second wound, or wounds, to the chest.

He called for back-up and checked the house for the shooter; with no luck.”


“So, where's the body now?”


{Malone was still flipping through his notes, licking his fingers and checking more notes.}

“That's just it, after checking the house, Murphy said that he went out to check the grounds and that is when back-up arrived.

The second two offices arrived and Murphy asked them to do a further search of the grounds, seal off the crime scene, etc., etc., and so on.

According to the Sergeant, he started interviewing the neighbors after that. 

It was from that time period, approximately midnight until the coroner arrived at 12:40 am, that the body disappeared.


“Woo, woo Malone! Three cops on the scene and not one of them saw anyone carrying a full grown man out the door?”


“Well, like I said Ray, one was talking to neighbors in the front of the house and the other two were taking care of crowd control, sealing off the house, and checking the perimeter for clues. At that time, two more officers arrived to help out.

So, there were people in the front and back yards at all times, but no-one saw anyone carrying bodies.”


“Are you saying that no-one could have gotten out of here without being seen, even out in the back or side yards? I mean, after all, there is a body missing.” 


“I'm saying that it is highly improbable anyone could have made it out of here caring a 200 pound male! Not with several people standing on the sidewalk, in front of the house, including officers interviewing them. Not to mention the other officers roaming around the back and sides of the house, with flashlights and looking for clues.

No one knew the body was gone until the coroner arrived.”


“Well, O.K., but I don't see any blood, Malone.” 


“That's another odd situation; there is none visible in this room. Sergeant Murphy said that the victim's head wound looked as if it had been wiped clean of excess blood. The only other blood he noticed was on the chest of the victim and that seemed to be soaked into the fabric of his shirt, or just dried out.” 


“Maybe the victim was killed elsewhere and then the body was brought here.”


“Yes, maybe so, but without a body we'll never know.”


{Ray was roaming around the front room, stamping on the flooring with one foot, and seemed to be listening to the echo in the room.}

“Why is this place so empty, doesn't anyone live here?”


“Just the front room is empty, all the

Front-room furniture has been moved to the den; what little there is of it.”


“Moved into the Den?” {At that point Ray wandered over and stuck his head into the doorway of the Den.}


“Yah, maybe they just had the floors cleaned.

The floors look like old re-purposed woods. I'm not into that stressed look myself, way to Barn-ie for my taste.”


“Really Malone, Barn-ie?”


{Malone shrugged his shoulders and continued.}

“Odd, this place has modern furniture, but the doors, windows, and molding are 1940's Craftsman.

Then there is the floor, the kitchen and both baths have old school Linoleum; fit right in with the 50's, early 60's.

The Den, hallway, and bedrooms are original hardwood floors; it looks like they could have been refinished at some point.

Yet, in the front-room there is this thick, heavy, distressed wood, right out of the late 1990's.

I just have one of those feeling, something isn’t right here!”


“Can we get back to the empty room, Malone?”


“Oh sure, Ray.

Anyways, Murphy said,”




“You know, Murphy, the first responder, Sergeant Murphy.”


“Oh, right, Murphy.”


“Anyway, Murphy said that there was no furniture in the front room when he arrived. What you see is the way it was then, except for a body in the middle of the floor.”


“All right, let's have forensics do a 100% in this room and check for fingerprints on everything, including the furniture in the den.

I doubt that we're going to find much. If they did clean the floors, then they may have done it to get rid of evidence.”


At that moment someone stepped up to the front doorway.

“Lieutenant Peters?”


“Yeah, what can I do you for?”


“I'm Sergeant Murphy and I have a Mrs. Thompson out here. She claims to be the one that called in the Shots Fired and she wants to talk to the guy in charge.

She's pretty agitated and keeps talking about noises coming from the house, and seeing strange occurrences.”


“Oh Geez, one of those?”


“Well, maybe Lieutenant (?). She's right out there by the tree. It’s the lady in the pink robe and bunny slippers.”


{Lieutenant Peters left Sergeant Murphy standing on the front porch and walked out to talk to the agitated woman.}

“Hello Mrs. Thompson, I'm detective Raymond Peters. Sergeant Murphy says you have heard strange sounds coming from this place. Is that right?”


“YES, like I told the other officer, men come and go in and out of this house, at all hours!!!”


“O.K., O.K., just settle down.

How many men would you say?”


“Oh, about a dozen a month and every time the men come, always after dark, they take boxes in and out of the house!”


“Were they like delivery boxes, Mam?”


“Sure, cardboard boxes, (I think?); all sizes.

I don't think that they are regular delivery men though; they don't wear uniforms like UPS people do. They just had on street clothes.”


“Yes Mam, just street clothes.

Ah, can you tell me what size the boxes are, big, little?”


“Some boxes are fairly small to medium sizes. But other times, I've seen boxes the size of a refrigerator.”

“How long has this been going on, Mam?”


“Oh, for years now.

I used to report it, but the police said that there was nothing they could do about people making delivers after dark.

They told me I could file a complaint if they were causing a disturbance, but I didn't want to cause any trouble.

Eventually I started turning my hearing aid down whenever they started making noise; that helped a lot.”


“Weren't your other neighbors bothered by the men coming so late, Mrs. Thompson?”

“Oh, all the other neighbors live around the corners, on Sycamore Street, they don't hear stuff going on over hear in this little cul-de-sac.

Well, except for Mel, he lives right there, next door. But Mel wouldn't know about the men coming and going though, he works the night shift at Sav-On.

Mel's real nice, he bring my medications to me so I don't have to drive to the store.”


“Yes Mam.

This guy Mel, does he have a last name?”


“Oh sure, Weiseman, Mel Weiseman.”


“Anything else?”


“Well yes, like I told the other officer, they make strange sounds in the house whenever they are moving boxes.”


“The men make strange sounds?”


“Oh heavens no, silly! The house makes the noises, like sounds coming from inside the house.

The sounds remind me of the sound that the trash truck makes when it dumps my trash into the truck, only, not as load.”


“The crashing sound?”


“No, not like that. It’s like the machine sound when the truck driver makes the arm come out to pick up my trash-can; kind of a motorized sound. You know, like Transformers?”


“What kind of Transformers, Mam?”


“You know, Transformers, like in the movies.”


“Yes Mama, ------------ Transformers.

Tell you what, it is late tonight but maybe you would be willing to drop by the station tomorrow to look at some mug shots. Maybe you would recognize some of the men that have been coming to the house.”


“Gee, I'd love to Officer Peters. But I couldn't help you much there, you see, I'm legally blind. I can see shapes pretty good, but as far as facial features go, not so much.

I'm sorry.”


“Oh, ah, that's O.K. Mrs. Thompson, you've been a big help already. We'll contact you if we have any more questions.”

“Hay Murphy!

Officer Dillon, where did Sergeant Murphy go?”


“Don't know Lieutenant, maybe in the back of the house. Want me to go look for him?”


“Nah, but you can help me out here. Will you take Mrs. Thompson's info so she can get out of the night air?”


“Sure thing Lieutenant.”

“Thank you Officer Peters.”


“No problem Mrs. Thompson, sleep well.”


{Malone came out of the front door of the house chuckling, then he walked over to met Ray in the yard.}

“Well Ray, what did Bunny Slippers have to say? (“What's Up Doc?”)”


“Funny man Malone. --- She says she sees men coming in and out of this place at night, even though she is nearly blind. And she hears transformer in the house, whenever the men are here.”



“Yes Malone, that's what she said.”


“You mean the humming sound that transformers make, like power transformers, or like the Transformers that are in the movies?”


“The ones in the movie!”



{Malone took his Serious Thinking Stance, crossing his arms against his chest, his head cocks to one side, and he starts biting his bottom lip. He stood that way for about a couple of minutes and then snapped out of it.}

“We may have our first solid clue to follow, Ray.

Come on, let's go robot hunting.”


“What, --- where the hell are you going Malone?”


“I want to have look-see in that front room again.”


Malone started looking around, just inside the house.

“No, it's not behind the front door, and it's not in the coat closet!”


“What are you looking for Malone?”


“You'll see, just give it a minute.”

Hay Ray, lend me your Pin-Light.”


{Malone steps into the den.}

“There It Is! Come into the den closet Ray and have a look-see.”


“Yah, so, it looks like a fuse box, all houses have fuse boxes!”


“True, but most houses only have one, sometimes two if there was a room addition done at a later date, but this place has three.

The others have all been changed-out, using circuit-breakers instead of the old-school fuses.

There is a circuit-breaker box in the hall bathroom, on the same wall as the kitchen, and another in the laundry room. I saw them earlier while I was checking the place out.

This isn't a circuit-breaker box like I had expected to find and it is not imbedded into the wall. It has a large fuse inside, like air conditioners use, and for some reason someone mounted it in this closet.

If not for Bunny Lady and your Pin-light, I would have never known that it was here; weird, huh.”


“What is the button on the side of the box for Malone?”


“Let's push it and find out!”


When Ray pushed the button those Transformer type sounds occurred and at the same time two sections of the front room floor began to move apart in the center. Two six foot by four foot sections lifted, making a “AA” shape, which, in turn, left a space between them to walk down a flight of stairs. 

Malone aimed the Pin-light down the dark staircase and there was THE MISSING BODY.”


“Well, I'll be! --- No wonder we couldn't find it, the body must have sled off the floor and fallen down the stairs. But someone would have had to push the button for that to have happened (?).” 

Who had access to the house prior to the body disappearing?”


“Just the three officers, Sergeant Murphy was the first to arrive, then the new recruit, Dillon, and his trainer, Officer Brewster.”


“No one else came in or out?”


“I don't think so Ray, but let’s double check!”


“Officer Brewster, you and Officer Dillon saw the body in the house when you arrived.”


“That's right Inspector, we responded to the shots fired call at 11:53 pm and when we arrived the front door was open. We identified ourselves and turned on the lights as we entered, that's when we saw the body on the floor.”


“Hold on, are you saying that the lights were off when you arrived?”


“That's right Lieutenant, I turned them on using the switch that is just inside the front door.

After I turned on the lights, we cleared the house and went out the back door to see if anyone was out there, there wasn't.

At that point we heard noises coming from the front of the house, it was the neighbors gathering. We figured we should secure the crime scene.

Sergeant Murphy had arrived by then and he asked us to make sure everyone was kept back along the sidewalk and for us to tape off the front.”


“Where was Sergeant Murphy while you were doing that?”


“Securing the inside of the house, I guess, although he was making a lot of noise doing it.”


“How do you mean?”


“He must have been doing whatever you and Detective Malone just did in there, same kind of sounds, then and now.

Then the Sergeant came outside with us.

I remember asking him if everything was alright, he looked bewildered and a little flush at the time.

The Sergeant said everything was fine; he just didn't like Freight-trains.

A pretty long train had just passed by while he was in the house.


{Ray wrinkled his nose.} “Really, I had no idea there was train tracks around here.”


Yes sir, there is a major freight route about a quarter mile from here.

That line has three bypass lines now; they installed the bypass lanes about four years ago.


“Do tell, and to think that I almost bought a house in this neighborhood, but that was a while back. I guess it was a good thing that the listing was pulled right after I made an offer.”


“Ah, tell me Officer Brewster, do you know where Sergeant Murphy is now?”


“Gee Lieutenant, I don't know. The last I saw of him he was talking to you over by the front door.”


“You mean just before I interviewed Mrs. Thompson.”


“Yah, that sounds about right.”


“O.K. Officer Brewster thanks! Oh, and we'll need copies of both your reports for our records.”


“No problem Lieutenant!”


“Well Malone, I guess we were out-smarted. A killer just slipped away and hid a 200 pound body too.”

“That sucks Ray. Still, I don't understand why the killer would bring the body here; why not leave it where he shot the guy?”


“I know, Right?

And what about the Shots Fired? If the victim was already dead, then who the hell was the killer shooting at?”


“Sorry for interrupting Lieutenant, I couldn't help but overhear you two talking and I think I can answer that question.

Three of the neighbors said that what Mrs. Thompson may have heard was Mel Wiseman’s old VW. Beetle backfiring; he has been having problems with the engine lately.

No one heard any gun-shots tonight, except for Mrs. Thompson.

Wiseman’s garage is right over there, next door to this house.

Anyway, I took a statement from Mr. Wiseman and he stated that his car did backfire when he shut off the engine tonight. Actually, he said that it “back-fired, dieseled, and backfired again. And that happened about the time of the shots fired report.”


“Thanks for that, Officer Dillon.”


“Sure thing Lieutenant. The info is in my report, but I thought you two would want to know now.”

“So, it may be that the murder WAS done elsewhere, after all.”

“Did you put out all-points on Murphy, or whatever his name is?”


“Sure did, and it is for sure he is not a cop. I don't know where he got the uniform, but the only Sergeant Murphy on record was retired; he passed away about five years ago.”


“We better check with family and find out what happened to his uniform, badge, etc.”


(The next day at the squad room.)


“Boy are you an early bird today Malone. Have you been here all night?”


“Nah, it was my day to take the kids to school.”


“Ah, a Daddy morning.”

Did Forensics finish with the preliminaries yet, Malone?”


“Well, it turns out that the Victim was shot in the house after all!”




“Yes SIR, he was shot about 24 hours before the Shots Fired call came in, time of death was approximately mid-night. 

The shooting took place in the basement, which might account for the fact that no-one heard those shots, or whoever shot him used a silencer.

Sometime after the shooting, the killer cleaned up the body and made a stab at cleaning the basement. It wasn't the best cleaning job ever done, which is a good thing for us.

Another thing, there could not have been anything in the basement at the time of the shooting. What was left of blood spatter evidence shows even disbursement, no interruptions. So, no tables, chairs, boxes, or anything else was stacked in there at the time of the shooting.

There were two shots to the chest, 22 calibers, while the victim was still standing; blood spatter traces indicate that it happened at one end of the basement and that the shooter was standing next to, or under, the stairs. Then there was the head shot while he was on the floor; a kill shot.”

Apparently the killer was in the process of moving the body out of, not into, the house when the first responders arrived.”

“Well, at least we know who did the shooting. Now all we have to do is find out his real name.”


“Well, there is a problem with the supposed shooter, Ray. The man we met, posing as Sergeant Murphy, was about six foot. Forensics said they estimate the shooter at five foot, to five foot, five inches; unless the shooter was Murphy seated on something like a bar stool. And because we believe there was no furniture in the room, that's unlikely.”


“So Malone, what you’re saying is that the pretend Cop was an accomplice, not the shooter.”


“There is a strong possibility of that, Ray.

Whoever shot this Guy must have enlisted Murphy to haul the victim up those steep stairs. The victim was two hundred and 12 pounds. It would not have been an easy job for anyone to move that body up such a steep and narrow stairway.”


True enough, lifting dead weight is a bitch; like at that Bachelor party for Calvin last year....

All right, are you ever going to leave that one alone?

I told you Tequila was not a good idea, {but Nooo!!!}, we had to have Panther Shooters lined up on the bar!

Poor Calvin, he was late to his own wedding.

{Ray chuckled under his breath while sporting a very large grin.

Malone just smiled.”}


“Anything else?”


“Yah, drug residue found all over the basement, cocaine, but very little found anywhere in the house.

There were trace elements on the victim, but that may have been from his use.”


“So there is the motive Malone, whoever killed the victim was after the drugs.”


“I don't think so Ray. Why clean up the body and get it ready to move if you are there to take the drugs. Just pop the guy and haul the drugs out; quick and easy.

No, I'm thinking that the killer was cutting drugs in the basement of the house and the dead guy stuck his nose in where it didn't belong; Pop, Pop, and Pop!”


“What about the house, who does it belong to?”


{Malone began sifting through a printed report.}

“Let's see, Ah! --- SURVEY  SAYS! --- Donald Murphy?”


“The retied Sergeant Murphy?”


“Hold on Ray!”

{Malone begins searching for information on his smart-phone.}

“Guess what? This house was owned by Donald Murphy and his wife. She passed away eight years ago, but that's not the interesting part, Donald Murphy, even though he died six years ago, is still living here; according to a lease agreement and utility billing statements.”


“A lease agreement, really, who owns the house now?”


“Lone Star Property Trust, Inc., is the name, however, a local real estate office handles their lease agreements.

The house was sold to the Trust after Murphy's death. Murphy's kids signed off on that.”


“Well what about the basement set-up? It's pretty high tech. I doubt Murphy would have had anything like that installed. --- I'm thinking that we should find out who installed the folding floor and staircase.”


“Our people already checked permits on file and found that this house had basement renovations done about, searching, searching, five years ago.”

“O.K., Sergeant Donald Murphy died six years ago. Someone named D. Murphy has a basement renovation done about five years ago in Murphy's old house.

For all intense and purposes, it looks as though an imposter leased Murphy's former home and using the good Sergeant's name, starts running an illegal drug trafficking operation. And from what Mrs. Thompson said, I'll guess that there is at least twelve people involved.

Then someone stumbles upon the operation, or tries to muscle in on it, and gets a No-Vote, three times. Once the victim is silenced he must be carted off for a variety of reasons, smell being foremost. Yet, just as the victim is about to be hauled away, a new problem arises! The police are knocking at the door.”

“And who do they have to thank for their predicament, a half blind lady that couldn't tell the difference between a gunshot and a car back-firing. --- Bless her hart!”


{Laughter was heard as they headed towards the coffee machine.}

“Are you buying, Malone?”

“Flip you for it Ray!”


With coffee cups in hand, both detectives settle into their chairs and attempt to get some reports completed that have been stacking up on their desks.

Time passes and phones ring, and all the while the smell of the musty old brick building and idle chit-chat peppers the air around them.


“Do we know who the victim was, Malone, or are they still running that?”


“Ah, --- yes, we've got that.”

It looks like his name was Henry Knot, and he had several aliases. All aliases the same name, but each is spelled differently. He worked as a bouncer in a few clubs, and did construction when he wasn't being convicted of petty theft, burglary, drug dealing and possession.”


“Holy-Moley Ray, I think I've got it.”


“Holy-Moley, really,  Holy-Moley?”


“Hay, I'm trying to switch-out the cuss words. My wife says I am being a bad influence on the kids.”


“Sure, sure, it's for the kids. You been going to church again, Right Malone?”


“Well, a couple of Sundays here and there. It makes me feel better about stuff; --- You know.”

“Yeah, I know, buddy.”


“O.K. Ray, Try this on for size!

Henry Knot, somehow, finds out about this house, or maybe he worked for the contractor while he was doing the basement.

Anyway, this Knot guy starts watching the place and he figures out what they are doing in the basement.

So, he decides to burgle the place, you know, to score some free drugs. So he waits until he thinks that no one is at home and breaks in.

Knot goes down into the basement to grab what he can, but there is no drugs down there, {Why? We don't know yet!}.

Anyway, it turns out Knot is wrong, there is someone in the house. Bang, he's dead!”


“Oh, you mean --- “Waste Knot, want Knot.”


“Save it for the next Bachelor Party Ray!

O.K., now listen up! After these drug dealers kill this guy, they have a body they need to get rid of.

They make up a hurried plan of action that has no room for error, or they are just winging it all the while; either way, they go with it.

They don't want to get blood all over themselves, the front-room floor, or their vehicle, so they clean up the body just enough to be able to move it without making a mess; they clean up the basement at the same time.

So, the next evening this guy, Murphy the Imposter, gets into Murphy's uniform so, should he be stopped, the police will be less likely to search his car, or detain him.”


“Yah, I follow, Malone.

Murphy carries Knot upstairs and pushes the button to close the floor.

Just as he gets to the front door of the house he turns out the front-room light, so no-one outside will see him carrying the body out the door. Then he opens the door to go out and here comes the squad car!”

“So he's trapped Ray. There's nowhere he can go carrying that body, so he dumps the body on the floor and heads out the back door. He makes it out just as the two officers identify themselves and enter the front.

Luckily for Murphy, both Cops came in the front, instead of splitting up, one front and one back.

So Murphy the imposter makes his way down the side of the house and into the front yard. And so he doesn't look suspicious to the neighbors, he muddles around, acting like he is looking for clues. Then all he has to do is waits for the two Officers to check the perimeter and return to the front of the house.

When they do see him, they think that he has just arrived.

After that, it was a simple matter to pull rank on them, having them doing stuff in front of the house while he goes back into the house, pushes the button, and dumping the body back down into the basement.”


“It all seems to fit, Malone, but why dump the body back into the basement, why not just leave it on the floor and let the coroner haul it away? After all, the other two cops have already seen the body.”


“I don't know for sure, but I have an idea that will require another trip out to the crime scene. You want to get out of that chair for awhile?”


{Arriving at the house, both men see Mrs. Thompson in her yard, she was tending her Roses.}


“Well, what's your idea, Malone?”


“I want to see if these floor panels function as they should. Will you go in and push the panel button to open them?”


“Sure thing.

Well, did they open as expected, Malone?”


“Yah, fine, now push the button again!”


{This button pushing went on for about five minutes, along with a lot of grumbling from Ray, but Malone found out what he needed to know.}

“You can stop now Ray!”


“Did you find what you were looking for?”


“Sure did, the floor panels worked flawlessly and no jams occurred.  I was thinking that...”

{A little rumbling noise occurred and the floor began to vibrate, suddenly the floor panels opened and then closed again.

It was good things that the panels moved fairly slow, otherwise Malone would have ended up falling down the stairs.}

“What the hell just happened, Malone?”


“Something is causing vibration and it looks like the vibration causes the floor to open and close; probably a short circuit.”


“O.K., but what is causing the vibration?”


“A Train is my guess, but let’s make certain!”

{With that, Malone pulled out his trusty Smart-Phone, did a search for the right App, and then searched for train routes and their run times.

A freight-train had just passed their location and the tracks were not very far from the house.

Malone checked for the night of the Shots Fired call, sure enough, a freight-train had passed by at midnight.”


“Well, doesn't that take the cake, Ray? A Freight-train passed this way at midnight the other night. No wonder Murphy was so bewildered.

That is what Officer Brewster said, right, that Murphy looked Bewildered?

The floor must have opened up when the train passed and the victim fell into the basement. Then the floor closed, just like it just did, and Murphy didn't dare open it again. Murphy was probably afraid that someone would come to see what all the noise was about.

So, our imposter had to leave well enough alone and hope no-one found the basement until he had a chance to sneak back here and remove the body.”


“Sounds about right Malone, but let's see where the leads take us.”

{Suddenly, an unidentified voice is heard at the open front door.}

“HELLO, is anyone in there?”


“Can I help you?”


“Possibly, I'm Richard Dickey, Dickey's Electric. Are you Mr. Murphy?”


“No, I'm Lieutenant Peters and this is Inspector Malone.  We are investigating a homicide that occurred at this house.

Tell us, when did Mr. Murphy call you?”


“He rang me up a few days ago about a problem with a motor control switch.

I was tied up with a emergency and told the old boy that it would be a few days before I could get to it.

He said that he was in no hurry and that a few days would, actually, be better all around.

I told him I would drop by as soon as I could. I was to ring first and I just did, but he didn't answer. I was driving  past this area anyway, so I decided to pop in.”


“Have you done business with Mr Murphy before?”


Yes, well not with him, his wife, approximately ten years ago, Mrs. Murphy rang me up.

I converted their old fuse box to a circuit breaker and added a new one in the laundry room. I upgraded their wiring, as well.” 


“Did you do the wiring on the floor installation?”


“Quit right, approximately five years ago a contractor rang me up, he said he saw my name on an electrical panel in the house. He needed a motor installed and wired.

He was a strange bird, that one.”


“What do you mean, a strange bird, in what way?”


“Well, he insisted that I install the fuse panel box and the motor controls together, in one unit. And he wanted them installed in a closet. That is highly irregular.

One should place the circuit breaker panels where they are most noticeable. And motor controls should always be placed where one can see the devise that one is operating.

Anyway, I looked up the codes and it was permissible as long as there was a pressure sensor added, so I did as he requested and to code.

Closet walls aren't terribly sturdy, you know, and they don't dampen shocks very well; such as from earthquakes and other kinds of land movement. I suspect that is the problem with the motor control right now; probably needs switching out to a digital type.”


“You referred to a pressure censor, Richard, what does that do?”


“Well, should something or someone be in the way of the doors as they closed, the doors, or panels, would open again.”


“Would the panels stay open until the object was removed?”


“No sir, not right away.

If the button is pushed to CLOSE the door and there is something preventing the panel from closing, then the panel will move to the full open position and then it will try to close again. It will continue doing this for three cycles, then the circuit breaker will disengage and the panels will stop functioning, usually in the full open position.”


“Was the Contractor job the last time you did any work here, at this residence?”


“Yes, I'm afraid so.

Did you want me to have a go at the motor controls, see if they have been tampered with, or any such thing?”


“No thanks. I think we'd better leave things as they are until the investigation is over.

Oh, you know, you could leave your card with me encase we need any further information.

You've been a big help.”


“Did you make the connection Ray?”


“You mean the reason the basement was empty?”


Yeah Ray, with an electrician coming over to fix the motor control, these people couldn't leave the basement loaded with drugs, they had to clear it out until the work was done.”


“Just one more part of the puzzle put in place Malone. Now the new question is, where did the drugs go?”

{Well, the electrician had left and the two detectives were locking the front door of the house when a rather flamboyantly dressed man approached.}

“Howdy fell-as, I'm Melvin Cudweiler, Cudweiler Auto Sales! “You Buy Our Car, It'll Make You A Star!”, that's my motto!

You fell-as the Homicide detectives?”


“Yes sir, what can we do you for?”


“Well Son, today might be your lucky day! I got some info I think you might be interested in and it is about that Sergeant Murphy, you know, your PERP.

I knew Murphy and his wife pretty good, be-in neighbors and all. Plus, Old Murphy and I used to hit the bars together, back in the day.

So, when this Sergeant Murphy walked into my dealership I knew that he wasn't the real deal.

I never let him see me at the dealership, I stayed in my office think-in he might recognize me from the neighborhood. I mean, I had seen this guy around on occasion and I thought he'd just rented the Murphy place, but when he gave one of my sales people Murphy's Driver's License with his photo on it, I figured some-thin was up!”

“When did this happen?”


“About four, or maybe five days ago; he came in look-in to buy a van and told my salesman he had a delivery business going. Well, he bought the van with a Cashier’s Check drawn on the same bank that the Murphy's and I use.

After that, I decided to do some dig-in, I didn't want to accuse this guy without some facts. Yah Know? After all, he might have been a relative, or some-thin.

Sure enough, just as I suspected, he was using Murphy's social security number too. I found that out just today!”


“How did you know it was the same number?”


“Old records, I sold Murphy a car some time back, so I had my copies from his financing papers. Just had to dig them out and compare them to the van sales paperwork. I'm kind of old school; I don't throw anything away that I might need at trial. You know what I mean?

Anyway, I was going to give this info to the bank, you know, for their fraud people to check out. But then the murder took place so I thought it best that you were informed.”


“We appreciate the heads-up Mr. Cudweiler, we'll add the information to our records. In fact, I wonder if you could send us copies of both financial transactions so that we can compare them, if that wouldn't be too much trouble.”


{Cudweiler hands the detectives a large envelope, with a big smile on his face.}

“There-YA-go Buck-ah-rue, signed, sealed, and delivered! A good salesman knows what his customers want before they do, that's what I always say!”


“Well, that was fast! Thanks again Mr. Cudweiler!”


“Oh, it gets better, Son! I had my secretary, Emma-May, offer that phony Murphy a cup of Joe.

I had her use one of my brand new, dealership promotional coffee mugs, YA know, while they was fill-in out the paperwork for the van.

Emma-May washed the cup first so it would be nice and clean when he touched it.

So, --- here yeah go, one coffee cup with the PERP's finger prints all over it.”


“You’re a clever man Mr. Cudweiler!”


“Hay, I don't watch CSI for nothin'!”


With that, Cudweiler got in his CANDY-RED BMW SUV, the detectives got into their dirty Chevy Impala, with the dent in the quarter-panel, and everyone drove away.


“Hi Mable!

Would you have the lab run this cup for prints and ask them to get back to right away if they come up with a match?”


“Sure will sweetie.

How's Mrs. Malone doing, did those tests turn out O.K.?”


“Oh, better than O.K., she just had a real bad bug and she's fine now.”


{Just then Ray's phone rang and he didn't look happy when he hung up.}


“What's up Ray?”


“We won't need those prints ran after all. They just found Murphy, two shots to the chest and one to the forehead.”


“It sounds like someone is tying up loose ends.”


“It sure does, Malone, and I'll bet the bullets match from both bodies.”

{Then Ray through his head back and said, “Is there no originality in the world today? Where are the Rembrandt's and the Picasso's of the dammed? Do the Mozart's have no darker cousins, alas Horacio, ti's not in the minds eye that vanity is conceived. ---- A Horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”}

“Hay, who the hell are you, Bob Dillon? Shut the hell up and go home, some of us still have reports to finish!” 

{The next morning Ray was on the phone with the narcotics division and Malone was sorting through some files.}

“Yah, this is Lieutenant Peters. Really, yeah, that's the same street. What was the number? Say that again! Yah, right next door. That's right, two dead, both with the same MO's.

He had --- what --- in his car?

Sure we want to talk to him! We'll be right down there. --- Thanks!”


“Well Malone, as you say, Holly-Molly!

A squad Car stopped some guy to give him a fix-it ticket and he was acting so nervous that the cop decided to do a probable cause search. Come to find out, the guy had a dozen bricks of cocaine in the trunk of his car.”


“So, what is that got to do with us, Ray?”


“Well, it just so happens that the guy they stopped lives next door to, Wait For It, Wait For It, the Murphy House!”

“You mean Mel Weiseman, the guy with the VW. Bug?”


“Yes sir Malone, the one and the same.”


“You think he is connected to the murders Ray, really?”


“Hay, let’s face it, our only suspect is dead and the only forensics evidence we have is tied to that dead suspect.

Ballistics came up empty because the gun was never used in a known crime.

We have no leads, lots of speculation, and no eye witnesses.

We have an empty basement that once had cocaine in it, but doesn't any more, and we don't know where the drugs went, or who took them.

And worst of all, we still don't know who our shooter is!

So, without some sort of luck, or fate, or whatever, we're never going to figure this one out until we get a break. We need a little Karma on our side, or a RAT willing to rat somebody out. So, let’s go see what this guy, Weiseman, has to say, if he's willing to talk!”


{Over at Narcotics Headquarters,  Mel Weiseman sat in an interview room handcuffed to the desk.

Ray and Malone sat across from him and were talking between themselves.}

“How long do you think he'll do, Ray, twenty, thirty years?

Nah, he's going down for more than that, Malone. In fact, if the drugs he had match the drug residue found in the Murphy house, then we can tie him to at least one murder, maybe two. He'll do life, at least. But even if he goes down as an accessory, that is still at least twenty years plus the drugs. I don't think he is going to see daylight before he dies.


“Bull-Shit, I ain't taking the fall for those idiots! I told her it was a bad idea to try to deliver that order in my VW.

She could have told the customer what happened. Shit happens, they know. She never listens to anybody; she thinks she's always right, little miss chairman of the board.

All of them are so trust worthy. Not me, they needed me to cut the coke, somebody who knew what they were doing with the stuff. Somebody close by.

She didn't need to kill that idiot; all she had to do was incorporate him into the group. He could have used the steady work and could have helped with the deliveries. His shares could have been paid for like mine were, out of the cut, not up front!”


{Malone leans over the table and looks Weiseman dead in the eyes.}

“Look Weiseman, why don't you start from the beginning, so we can follow along with what the hell your talking about.”


Listen, just know this, I know who, what, when, where and how, but I had nothing to do with the murders.

My job was to cut drugs and that’s all I signed on for!

If I rat them out I want protection. I want something in writing and I want a lawyer in here before I say anything else."


The next morning, 8:15 am, Weiseman, his lawyer, Ray, Malone, and the D.A.. have an agreement, signed by all.

Weiseman would be brought from Holding and set up in an interrogation room, a Camera would be set to record it all and a stenographer would arrive at 9:00 am., to do the transcription.

The Feds were there, hoping to get some of the glory from the big drug bust that was about to happen.

Ray and Malone were there as well as the Narcotics officer, they would ask most of the questions. And an assistant D.A.., just to make sure no-one screwed anything up.

Weiseman started talking and as soon as he started, he stopped, his face turned bright red and he fell, face first, on to the desk!

There was pandemonium, people running all over the place looking for a shooter that didn't exist.

Weiseman was dead, dead as a door-nail, as Ray likes to say.

It took three days for forensics and the lab to find the culprit. Weiseman was a diabetic, too many years of poor eating habits, lack of exercise, yada, yada, yada, and boom; he just died of congestive heart failure. It was just bad timing for the home team, that's all.


{The following morning, 10:55 am, in the squad room. Ray and Malone are each at their desks re-running the digital from Weiseman's first interview.}

“There has to be something here we can use, Malone. The things he said, they are a confession. What he said, there are clues there for sure, that assortment of underlining phrases, things he wanted to say, but didn't want to give up his ace in the hole.

Maybe it's us; maybe we just need to listen with our minds and our ears.”


“O.K. Ray, let’s start with this one.”

(“little miss chairman of the board)


“Come on Malone, a corporation? This group sounds like small potatoes.”


“How about this.”


(“All of them are so trust worthy”)


“Not connecting the dots yet, keep going.”


“And this?”


(“all she had to do was incorporate him into the group”)

Really? Could it be that simple.


“What about.”

 (“His shares”)




(“His shares could have been paid for like mine were, out of the cut, not up front!”)


“O.K., the list is coming together!

(chairman of the board), (“trust worthy”), (“incorporate him into the group”), (“His shares”).

It's the TRUST that bought the house; everyone involved in this ring must be a trust member, Malone.


Except for Wiseman, Ray. He said he wasn't (Trust Worthy). He didn't buy in at the beginning, I guess. It sounds like he was buying shares with some of his cut, as he went along.


O.K. Malone let’s find out who are principal and shareholders in this Trust. If they are who we think they are going to be, then we have a list to work with.


Seventeen adults and four teenagers were arrested in one fell swoop, all from a three block radius. Four of them turned State’s Evidence. Nine were older than fifty and six of those were retirement age.

It was kind of like a neighborhood barn rising, everyone had something to offer.

They had been operating out of another house just two blocks away, but when Murphy died they decided to expand.

Melvin Cudweiler, one of the original members of the group, knew the Murphy children pretty well. So when Murphy died, he called the kids and offered to help out, including arranging for the Cremation that their father wanted.

He told them that he knew of a Trust that was willing to buy their parents home for a great price. And he was also willing to have everything in the house packed into PODS and shipped to them in Colorado. They could go through the pods when the PODS arrived, or have them stored until they had time to go through them.

Murphy's car was bought, of course, by Cudweiler Auto Sales and a check was sent to the kids too.

Murphy's kids were so grateful not to have to take off work, to come and sort things out, that they never questioned anything that was done.

Everything was shipped to them except for the car, Murphy's uniforms, badge and his personnel weapon, a registered 22 Caliber Smith and Wesson Target Special, his service weapon was turned in when he retired.


Everything had gone well for them over the years and there little venture was keeping everyone happy. Yes sir, staying small kept them under the radar and out of the prying eyes of other players.

It's like Malone always says, “A pebble in the pond makes a ripple, a bolder makes a wave.”, whatever in the hell that means.

Their downfall came when they bought a cops house; it was almost like a Curse or something.

Hay, maybe they pissed off Murphy, who knows?

Malone was right about a lot of things on this case, --- for instance:

He was right about the furniture not matching the house. The furniture was purchased from a thrift store just so the house would look lived in and they bought very light furniture so it was easy to carry and move when the front room needed clearing.

He was right about the Transformer sounds and what might cause them.

He was right about the victim being removed from the house, not being brought into the house.

He was right about an imposter taking up residence in Murphy's home and using the good Sergeant’s name and uniform to run an illegal drug trafficking operation.

He was right about someone stumbling upon the operation and trying to muscle in on it, being killed in the process.

He was right about the body needing to be carted off for a variety of reasons, SMELL being foremost.

He was right about the killer being physically unable to lift the body, so the Imposter Murphy was told to do it.

And he was right about the events that lead up to the body returning to the basement.

However, the dots couldn't connect into a conviction until there was proof.

No, there was no smoking gun for the murders, not until the police served a warrant at the house of Melvin Cudweiler and arrested him for a whole slew of charges involving drugs.

They found the murder weapon there too, Sergeant Murphy's 22 caliber, Smith and Wesson Target Special. The gun was in Cudweiler's wife's jewelry cabinet.

Dixie Cudweiler swore up and down that her husband must have put the gun in there, she was innocent! But hers were the only prints on the weapon.

They arrested her for two murders, among other things.


Malone and Ray had some drinks that night to celebrate. Just a little get together with the rest of the team for a job well done.

Line Um Up! Panther-Shooters all around.

A Toast! --- Here's to that fine lady, Mrs. Thompson, who can't tell the sound of gunfire from back-fire, without her poor hearing and bad eyesight we never would have known that there was a murder at the home of Good Old Sergeant Murphy. --- CHEERS!!!


D. Thurmond / JEF

May 26, 2015


© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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