Tammy returned in five minutes to announce the identity of the murderer and to give an explanation of how they murdered both Alesha and Anna.
"First of all", started Tammy, "before I tell you all who the murderer is, I would like to go through the events of the night, from what other witnesses seen or heard".
The audience remained silent. The murderer sat there, thinking about their next move.
"About ten minutes before the murder", said Tammy, "Craig, the servant, witnessed a person, dressed in Rupert's clothes, looking into the house. Five minutes before the murder, Danny heard a glass smashing. When I asked just there, nobody admitted to breaking it. Two minutes before the murder, the Gardiners heard a person running around the outside of the house. And finally, just before the murder, Rupert Christen was seen shouting at somebody, presumably Alesha".
"We know all this", said Imelda, "could you just tell us who the killer is?"
"All in good time", replied Tammy, "but first, I need to help you to understand where I'm coming from".
Tammy then turned back to everybody else to speak, "all of these events are connected to the murder in some way. Now, let me go through all of the suspects, and how likely I thought they were of
commiting the murder. Firstly, the Strattons. On the night of the murder, I heard both of them planning something. Could this have been murder?"
"No, it wasn't!" cried Oliver.
"Then, what exactly were you planning?"
"If you must know", replied Imelda, "we were planning to put Rupert Christen back behind bars a different way, by staging a theft".
"And that's all I wanted to hear".
Tammy moved on.
"Next was the servant, Craig. How likely was he to commit a murder?"
Craig shook his head.
"Well", said Tammy, "I struggled to judge his character, so I really couldn't tell you. So, what about Vera?"
"What about me?"
"You've been acting very suspiscious lately, haven't you?"
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Ever since Alesha's murder, you've been covering things up!"
"Alright. I have covered things up, but I've explained all that to you already!"
"Finally, there was Rupert. How likely was he to kill again? That seemed to be the big question round here - did Rupert Christen actually murder his second wife?"
"Yes!" cried almost everybody there.
"Well, you're about to find out, aren't you?" said Tammy, looking rather excited, "it's the moment of truth!"
Everybody sat comfortably in their seats, waiting to hear the name of the murderer. They were staring at her.
"The murderer of Alesha Christen and Anna Barclay is..."
The atmosphere was so tense that it could have been cut with a knife. Hinbrid Valley was so silent at that point you could hear a pin drop. Then the name was announced.
"I knew it!" cried Vera, Imelda and Oliver, all at once.
"I think you all knew it!" cried Tammy.
"That's absurd and you know it is!" yelled a frustrated Rupert.
"Is it, Rupert? Is it? Let me explain everything".
"Go on then. I fail to see how you can prove I killed my own wife".
"Well, if everybody listened to me, I can explain everything. Let's go back to the night of Alesha's murder, in the pub before it happened. I noticed the Christens having a conversation with the
Gardiners about Pure Evil, the play that they wanted Alesha to star in. Then Alesha turned it down. Why? I'll tell you why - because she had all of the money, so she didn't need to act any more. If
Alesha enjoyed acting, why did she turn the job down?"
"Because she had the money, so she didn't need to work for us", replied John.
"Precisely", replied Tammy, "so, if you are one of the Strattons, or Vera, you will know fine well that Rupert Christen murdered his first wife, Dawn, because she apparently married him only for his money. So, when Alesha turned down the job, Rupert automatically assumed that Alesha married him for the money, so that she would never have to work again. This made Rupert extremely vexed".
"How come I didn't think of that?" said Vera, "it's so obvious!"
"Which is why people did not bother to think about it. Rupert now had the motive. So, he developed this elaborate plan in his mind to kill Alesha, but it needed to be set up properly. Later, as they returned home, he gave the Gardiners a bottle of champagne. I'll come back to that later once I have explained the next part. However, he knew that he wasn't going to get away with murdering Alesha, because everybody would point the finger at him, and he certainly didn't want to back inside".
"So, what did he do?" asked Imelda.
"He made it out to look like somebody had deliberately tried to implicate him. I'll explain further why later. But for now, he had to get rid of Craig, so he fast-forwarded the clock in the kitchen where Craig was working, so that Craig felt like he could go home early. Then, after Craig left the house, he ran outside, with the only witness to this been Alesha, and appeared to be a perfect stranger, suspisciously looking into the window. This was planned out to make Craig think that it was Rupert, so that when Harry Gardiner found the suit later, I would think that somebody had tried to frame Rupert".
"Then what did he do?" asked a happy Vera.
"Next, he murdered his wife".
"What? That can't be! That was ten mintues later, and you said..."
"I know what I said, but I have now figured out what has happened to your headscarf".
"The only explanation that I can think of, Vera, is that Rupert took your headscarf from the garden and used it as a silencer. This is why the edges were cut off, so that if anybody were to find it, they would not see the hole in the bottom of it, because that would make them think that a silencer had been used, and Rupert would be caught out. However, it did not block the sound off completely. It would have sounded a little bit like a cork popping out of a bottle...so, now do you understand why he gave the Gardiners a bottle of champagne?"
"Because if somebody heard it, they would think it was the us opening the champagne!" cried John.
"Yes. A gun used with a silencer does not sound exactly like a cork popping off a bottle, so it may have aroused suspiscion".
"What did he do after that?" asked Vera, loving the fact that Rupert had been caught out.
"Well, after he killed Alesha, he smashed a glass, making it look like she had just been killed. He also opened the back window to make us think that the killer had escaped that way. By killing Alesha before the shot was fired, this also gave him the opportunity of putting on her high heels and running around the outside of number 6, making it look like the gun had been taken from their house and that the murderer was a woman".
"Why would he go to that length to do that?"
"Because he knew that I had to think that the murder weapon came from number 6, because if I thought that the gun came from his house, he would be caught out".
"So, he pretended to enter our house, so that he could turn himself away from the investigation".
"Yes. Then, finally, after entering the house, he locked the door so that later when I came to interview him, I would think that he had changed into an honest, descent man after been in prison, where in reality he was still the same scheming, evil psycho. He also locked the door to prevent people from coming in so fast. This gave him time to do his next task. When he saw me at the window, he staged an argument with Alesha, to make it appear that she was still alive. When he saw me leave the window, he quickly picked up his gun, opened his living room window, and fired the gun into the air. This made sure that everybody on the circle heard. Immediately, he shut the window, ran into the bedroom and hid his gun in the wardrobe. He still had plenty of time to go up to Alesha's body and play the part of a traumatised husband".
"And what about Anna's murder?" asked Craig.
"Well, the sad truth is, I think that Rupert killed Anna for no reason. He just picked her because she was the quiet one and she looked like she was hiding something. She wasn't - she had no idea. The only reason Rupert killed Anna is because he needed to make it seem like the gun used to kill Alesha came from the Gardiners' house. This would also make it seem like one of the Gardiners had killed Alesha. Unbeknownst to Rupert, the Gardiners were away at the time of Anna's murder, so they were in the clear. However, Rupert still managed to take Vera's rope to strangle Anna. He also placed his hat, with his initials in, in the room, making sure that I would find it later. This would make me think that somebody was desperate to frame Rupert".
"So, why did he want to frame us and Vera at the same time?" asked Eva.
"Because he wanted to add as many other suspects into the equation as possible. This would create more distraction from himself if he did this, and he certainly succeeded!"
"So, what happens now?" asked Vera.
"Well, Rupert", said Tammy, "you haven't said a word in that explanation, have you?"
Rupert clapped his hands slowly, implying sarcasm.
"Well, well, well, Miss Williams", said Rupert, "I have to say, you have quite a complex mind, but you are wrong this time".
"I'm not wrong, Rupert", replied Tammy, "because it is the only explanation that fits all of the facts".
"There has to be another explanation", said Rupert, "because I'm not stupid enough to kill again".
"But you were stupid enough the first time?"
"I admit I was, but can you show me one bit of evidence that suggests I killed Alesha or Anna?"
"Well..." said Tammy. All eyes were on her now. If she had no proof, Rupert would walk.
"So, we've been dragged out here for nothing?" said one policeman.
"I thought so", said Rupert, "well. It's been nice knowing you people, but I'd best be off home. I don't want to spend another second here".
"Wait right there, Christen!" Tammy cried.
"What?" he asked her.
"What about Vera's headscarf?"
"What about it?"
"If your fingerprints are on that scarf, that is the proof I need, since if you were an innocent person, the fingerprints would not be there".
"I think we need to arrest him", said the other investigator, "and we'll keep you in until the results of that dusting come out. Vera, where's your headscarf?"
"I'll go and get it now", said Vera.
Rupert knew that he had been caught out. He just ran for it. He ran behind his house, and the police were quite far behind him. After a long chase, he tripped over, and the police grabbed him.
Whilst he was taken away in the car, the Strattons looked at him, gave him the evil eye and waved. Rupert stared at them, knowing that they had won. Vera, on the other hand, did not look smug or evil towards him. She just stared. As Rupert was driven away, Tammy talked to Vera.
"He'll never see daylight again. I promise".
"That's not the point", replied Vera, "I'm glad he's gone forever now, but two more women are dead because of the British justice system".
"No. It's his fault!"
"Christen is a lunatic. The government had the chance to stop him and keep him locked away forever, but no, they had to let him out, and look at the devastating results!"
"I'm not saying I disagree with you", said Tammy, "but some murderers do genuinely change".
"Once a criminal, always a criminal", said Vera, walking into her house.
Tammy then went back into her house.
"I'm glad that's over", she said.
"Tammy", said Danny, "I have to talk to you about something".
"What is it?"
"I think you should move out".
"What!?" cried a stunned Tammy.
"You get too involved in these cases, and frankly, I don't want this life. I don't think I can cope with this lifestyle".
"And that's it, is it?"
"I'm sorry, but one day, you'll find someone who deserves you more than I do".
It took two days of talking to each other, but Tammy finally decided to leave. Deep down, she knew that this was not the life she wanted to live, either, surrounded by rich people, so she left, back to her home village of Lewbury, where all of her family were waiting for her. She never spoke to Danny again, but she had high hopes for the future, and she applied for a new job as part of an investigation team...
© Copyright 2016 declan mckimm. All rights reserved.