The Cul-de-sac Killing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A dead body disappears from a Cops house. What is going on? Find out in this long-sided short story.

Submitted: May 05, 2016

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Submitted: May 05, 2016

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Chapter I

"Where did the body go?"

 

As we come upon the crime scene we see a shallow three house cul-de-sac on a suburban street.

There are two cop cars blocking the entrance to the cul-de-sac; their lights are still flashing. And last but not least, crime-scene tap has been strung all around the front of the center house.

The neighbors from the cross streets and corner houses have gathered and a few cops are doing crowed control, and taking interviews with anyone who believes that they know something.

Now, shall we go inside, to the alleged crime scene?

***

Ray walked into the front room with a big smile on his face. Then he asked another man that was standing in the same room, “OK Malone, what did you do with the body?” 

Ray's partner, Malone, smiled and then replied, “Don't know where it went, Ray, it was here and then it was gone, (POOF!). It kind of reminds me of the Falcon Case that the old timers are always talking about; they never did find that body and someone got away with murder.”

 

While Ray wandered around the front room of this 1940's Craftsman's house, Malone raffled through his notes, then stated, “The first officer on the scene found the front door opened and the lights on when he arrived.

At that time he noted that there was a body, white, male, about 35 years of age, laying on the front room floor.

That officer, Sergeant Murphy, said that he checked the body and found it had no pulse. He noted that there was a small caliber bullet wound to the forehead and a possible second wound, or wounds, to the chest.

The Sergeant called for back-up and checked the house; he found the house to be empty.”

“So, where's the body now?” Ray questioned, while still looking around.

Malone was still flipping through his notes, licking his fingers, and checking more notes. After the flipping, licking, and looking had stopped, he said, “That's just it, after clearing the house, Murphy said that he went out to check the grounds and that is when back-up arrived.

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

And 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.

“Hold on, Malone, three cops on the scene and not one of them saw anyone carrying a body out the door?”

Malone replied with, "Hay, I wasn't here! So all I can tell you is that one officer 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.

It was about that time that two more officers arrived to help out.

Ray removed his Dick Tracy style hat, scratched his somewhat balding head, and then stated, "I think you're right, Malone, this does resemble the Falcon Case.

But you got to admit, circumstances are different this time; there are people and houses all around. I just don't see how anyone could have hauled a body out of here without being seen."

Malone just shook his head in agreement, and then replied, "So true."

 

Ray began examining the floor, and then asked, "Where are the blood stains.” 

Malone quickly replied, “That's another odd situation; there are none.

Sergeant Murphy said that the victim's head wound looked as if it had been wiped clean. The only blood he noticed was on the chest of the victim and that seemed to be soaked into the fabric of his shirt. But, still, you'd think some stains would be around here, somewhere.” 

Ray looked at Malone with one of his (Ah Ha!) looks, and replied, “Maybe the victim was killed elsewhere and the body was brought in here. What do you think?”

“Yah, maybe so," Malone stated, "but without a body we may never know.”

 

Ray was still roaming around the front room, stomping on the flooring with one foot and listening to the echoes.

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

Malone checked his notes again, and then said, “Just the front room is empty, all the front-room furniture has been moved to the den; what little there is of it.”

Ray looked surprised and then he wandered over and stuck his head into the doorway of the Den. And as he looked around he stated, "Maybe they had something done to the floors, like waxed or something. That would explain moving the furniture.

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

“Really, Ray, Barn-ie?” Malone inquired with a laugh.

Ray just shrugged his shoulders, and then he continued by saying, “That's odd, all the front room furniture is Modern European, but the house is 1940's Craftsman.

And look at the floors, Malone; the kitchen and bath have old school Linoleum, and the den and hallway look to be original hardwoods; nothing unusual there. Yet, in the front-room there is this thick, heavy, distressed wood, right out of the late 1990's.

I've got that gut feeling, Malone. The reason for the floor change is a clue!”

Malone chuckled, and then replied, "Yah, well, what good is a clue if it doesn't take you to the answer. I'll check and see if I can find out who redid the floor in here. Maybe they can shed some light on the subject."

 

Malone made a notation about checking the floor redo, and then asked, “Can we get back to the subject of the empty room, Ray?”

“Sure thing," Ray replied.

Malone began, “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.”

As Malone talked, Ray studied the room a bit more, stomped on the floors again, and then said, “All right, let's have forensics do a 100% in this room and check for fingerprints on everything, including the furniture in the den.

If someone cleaned the floors to get rid of evidence, then they may have wiped down the furniture too.

But hay, maybe they missed something! You just never can tell until Forensics tells their story."

 

At that moment someone stepped up to the front doorway and said, “Lieutenant Peters?”

“Yeah, that's me! What can I do you for officer?”

“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 strange occurrences going on in the neighborhood. You know, like Twilight Zone stuff.”

Ray rolled his eyes and stated in a questioning manner, “Oh Geez, one of those?”

Sergeant Murphy smiled, and then replied, “Well, maybe. She's right out there by that tree, the lady in the pink robe and bunny slippers.”

 

Lieutenant Ray Peters left Sergeant Murphy standing on the front porch with Malone, and then he walked out to talk to the agitated woman.

 

Chapter II

""What Does Bunny Slippers Know?"

 

“Hello Mrs. Thompson, I'm Lieutenant Ray Peters, I'm the detective that has been assigned to lead this investigation.

Sergeant Murphy tells me that you have heard strange sounds coming from this house. Is that right?”

Mrs. Thompson frowned a bit, and then started yelling, “Yes sir, like I told the other officer, men come and go, in and out of this house at all hours!”

The woman was pretty upset, so Ray said, “O.K., O.K., just settle down, Mrs. Thompson. I'm here to help, and I assure you that we will get to the bottom of this.

Now, how many men would you say are coming and going?”

Mrs. Thompson took a sip of whatever was in her coffee cup, and after a deep breath she said, “Oh, I guess that there are about a dozen a week, (or was it a month?). Well, whatever the number, it's a lot, and they always come after dark!

Oh, and every time the men come, they take boxes in and out of that house.”

Ray asked, “Were they delivery type boxes, Mam?”

Mrs. Thompson took another sip, and then said, “Sure, cardboard boxes, all sizes.

But I don't think that they are regular delivery men, they don't have uniforms; just street clothes.”

Ray tried not to smile when he said, “Yes Mam, street clothes.

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

Mrs. Thompson thought for a moment, and then replied, “Some boxes are fairly small to medium sizes. But other times, I've seen boxes the size of refrigerators.”

Ray suddenly looked concerned, and far less skeptical about his potential witness, so he asked her, “How long has this been going on, Mam?”

“Oh, for years now," Mrs. Thompson stated rather mater-ah-factually.

Then she continued by saying, "I used to report all the comings and goings, but the nice Sergeant that took my calls said that there was nothing they could do about people making delivers after dark.

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

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

Ray removed his hat and scratched his head, once again, and then he asked, “Weren't your other neighbors bothered by the men coming so late, Mrs. Thompson?”

Mrs. Thompson smiled and then replied, “Oh, all the other neighbors live around the corners, on Sycamore Street, I don't think they hear stuff going on over here, 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 the drug store.

Mel's real nice, he brings me my medications so I don't have bother anyone to go out for them."

Ray was writing Mrs. Thompson's info down in his note pad by then, so he asked, “I see, and this guy Mel, does he have a last name?”

Mrs. Thompson took another sip from her cup and then replied, “Oh sure, Weiseman, Mel Weiseman. He's real nice.”

Ray was still writing when he asked, "Can you think of anything else?”

“Well yes, like I told the other officer, strange sounds come out of that house whenever they are moving boxes, Mrs. Thompson stated. ”

Ray was intrigued, so he asked, “The men make strange sounds?”

Mrs. Thompson chuckled, then said, “Oh heavens no, silly, men don't make sounds like that.

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

Ray and his curious mind were in full gear by now, so the next question was, "You mean, a crashing sound?”

 

Mrs. Thompson chuckled again, and then replied, “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?” Ray inquired.

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

“Yes Mama," Ray replied, “Transformers."

Ray thought for a moment, and then told Mrs. Thompson, "Ah, tell you what; it is too 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.”

Mrs. Thompson frowned and then she replied, “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.”

 

Ray turned and called out, “Hay Murphy!"

When he got no response he called to another officer, "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 escort Mrs. Thompson back to her house so she can get out of the night air?”

“Sure thing Lieutenant.”

Mrs. Thompson smiled and said, “Thank you Officer Peters.”

“No problem Mrs. Thompson, sleep well,” Ray replied.

 

Malone came out of the front door of the house chuckling, and then he walked over to meet Ray. And as he did he asked, “Well Ray, what did Bunny Slippers have to say?"

“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.”

“Transformers?”

“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 movies!”

“Oh Really?” Malone stated, then he took his Serious Thinking Stance; crossing his arms against his chest, his head cocks to one side, while biting his bottom lip.

He stood that way for a couple of minutes, and then as he snapped out of it, saying, “We may have our first solid clue, come on, Ray, let's go robot hunting.”

Ray was flabbergasted, and he asked, “What, --- where the hell are you going Malone?”

“I want to have a look-see in the house again.”

Malone entered the front doorway and started looking around 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, Ray, just give me a minute.”

Malone was searching everywhere, then he called out, "Hay Ray, lend me your Pin-Light.”

Then Malone stepped into the den, and in a second or two he called out again, “Here It Is! Come into the den closet, Ray, and have a look-see.”

Ray looked into the closet and replied, “Yah, so, it looks like a fuse box, all houses have fuse boxes!”

Malone laughed and replied, “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 updated, 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.

Look, it has a large fuses inside, like air conditioners use, and I'd bet they mounted it in this closet to hide it.

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

Ray responded by asking, “So what's the button on the side of the box for Malone?”

“Let's push it and find out," Malone said with a smile.”

 

Well, 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 an “A__A” 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! Ray exclaimed. No wonder we couldn't find it! The way it is laying, it looks like the body fell 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?”

 

Malone replied, “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, can we have a word with you?

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.”

Ray stopped the officer and said, “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 back, there wasn't.

At that point we heard noises coming from the front of the house, it was the neighbors gathering, so 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.”

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

Officer Brewster stated, “He was securing the inside of the house, I guess, although he was making a lot of noise doing it.”

“How do you mean?” Ray inquired.

 

“He must have been doing whatever you and Detective Malone just did in there, because the same kind of sounds came from the house, then and now," Officer Brewster replied. Then he stated, "After the sounds stopped, the Sergeant came outside.

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

The Sergeant said everything was fine; he just didn't like the rumble of Freight-trains. A pretty long train had just passed while he was in the house.

Ray wrinkled his nose, and then said, “Really, I had no idea there was train tracks around here.”

Officer Brewster replied, "Yes sir, there's 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. I guess it was a good thing that the listing was pulled right after I made an offer,” Ray stated.

Then he asked, "Do you know where Sergeant Murphy is now?”

“Gee Lieutenant, I don't know. The last time I saw 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. Whoever Sergeant Murphy really is, he got away.”

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

“Search me?

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

 

“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 V.W. 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 and directly across the street from Mrs. Thompson.

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.”

Ray looked at Malone and said, “So, it's beginning to look like the murder was done elsewhere, after all.”

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

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

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

 

Chapter III

"Evidence Verses Theory"

 

(The next day, and in the squad room.)

 

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

Malone made a half-hearted effort to reply by saying, “Nah, it was my day to take the kids to school.”

“Ah, a Daddy morning,” Ray said as he smiled. Then he asked, "Did Forensics finish with the preliminaries yet, Malone?”

Malone chuckled and then replied, “Well it looks like we were wrong, and it turns out that the Victim was shot in the house after all.”

“Really?”

“Yes Sir, Ray, 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 boxes were stacked in there at the time of the shooting.

Evidence shows that 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 the house when the first responders arrived for the Shots Fired call.”

Ray scratched his head and then stated, “Well, at least we know who did the shooting, now all we have to do is find out his real name.”

Malone replied, “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 seated on a box or something. And because we believe there was nothing in the room at the time, then that is unlikely.”

“So Malone, the pretend Cop was an accomplice, not the shooter.”

Malone replied, “There is a strong possibility of that. 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.”

Ray laughed and said, "True enough, lifting dead weight is a bitch! Remember the bachelor party for Calvin last year?"

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

Poor Calvin, late to his own wedding.

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

Malone just smiled.”

 

After a moment, Ray asked, “Is there anything else?”

Malone laughed and replied, “Yes, drug residue was found all over the basement, it was mostly cocaine; but very little was found anywhere in the house.

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

Ray put on his, (Ah Hah!), look again, and then replied, “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. Besides, we doubt that there were boxes down there. Remember?

I'm thinking that the killer caught the dead guy sticking his nose in where it didn't belong. And after he knew what he shouldn't know, he had to go Joe, (Pop, Pop, Pop!).”

 

Ray thought about that for a few seconds, then changed subjects, so he asked, “What about the house, who does it belong to?”

Malone began sifting through a printed report, then he stated, “Let's see, Ah! --- SURVEY SAYS!

Donald Murphy???”

Ray looked shocked, and asked, “The retied Sergeant Murphy?”

Malone was confused too, so he begins searching for information on his desk-top.

“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 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.”

Ray scratched his head again, and then said, “Well what about the basement set-up? It's pretty high tech. I doubt Murphy would have had anything like that installed.

So I'm thinking that we should find out who installed the folding floor and staircase.”

Malone stated hitting the keys on his computer, again, that is when he said, “Our people already checked permits on file and found that this house had basement renovations done about, searching, searching, five years ago.”

Ray went into his rundown mode by saying, “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 house.

For all intense and purposes, it looks as though an imposter leased Murphy's former home, and using the good Sergeant's name he 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.”

Malone piped in and stated, “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 heart!”

 

Laughter was heard as both cops 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?”

“Well, yes, we've got that.”

It looks like his name was Henry Knot, and he had several aliases. All the aliases were 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.”

"Well Holy-Mollie! Ray, I think I've got it.”

“Holy-Mollie, really, Holy-Mollie?”

“Hay, I'm trying to cut-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, I know.”

 

Now, what is it that you think you have?

 

“O.K., Ray, Try this on for size," Malone said after a sip of coffee.

"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 are 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!”

Ray begins laughing, and then he asked, “Are you saying --- (“Waste Knot, want Knot.”)?

“Nice pun, 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 even detain him.”

Ray chimes in with, "Sounds good so far, Malone."

Then Malone continues the theory by saying, "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.

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, Ray, 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?”

 

Chapter IV

"House Testing"

 

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," Ray replied.

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 pretty slowly, 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.”

Ray looked worried, and then he asked, “O.K., but what is causing the vibration?”

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

So both men went outside and Ray asked Mrs. Thompson if she heard anything.

"Just some Transformer sounds and then the train went by," Mrs. Thompson replied.

 

Malone remembered that on the night of the "Shots Fired" call, they were told that 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, that Murphy looked Bewildered?

The floor must have opened up when the train passed and the victim slipped off and into the basement, then the floor closed, just like it just did.

Murphy didn't dare open it again to haul the body back upstairs. 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.”

“That sounds about right, Malone.”

 

Suddenly, an unidentified voice is heard at the front door. “HELLO, is anyone in there?”

Ray stepped to the opened doorway and asked, “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.

Did Mr. Murphy call you?”

 

Dickey replied, “Yes, he called a few days ago. He said that he was having problems with a motor control switch.

I was tied up with an emergency and told him 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 call first, and I did, but he never answered. I just happened to be driving past and saw the lights on. And when I saw the door opened, I thought I might talk to him and do the job today.”

Malone asked, “Have you done business with Mr Murphy before?”

Dickey stated, "Yes, well not with him, his wife called me approximately ten years ago.

I converted their old fuse box to circuit breakers and added a new one in the laundry room. I upgraded their wiring at the same time.” 

“Did you do the wiring on the floor installation?”Ray asked.

 

“Sure, approximately five years ago a contractor called, he said he saw my name on an electrical panel in the house. He needed a motor installed, and wired. --- He was an odd duck.”

“What do you mean by an odd duck, 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," Dickey replied.

Then he went on to say, "You always place circuit breaker panels where they are easily found.

And motor controls should always be placed where you can see the devise that you are operating.

Anyway, I looked up the codes and it was OK as long as there was a pressure sensor added, so I did what he wanted, and I did it 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; it probably needs switching to a digital type.”

Malone was taking notes, so Ray asked, “You referred to a pressure censor, Richard, what does that do?”

Dickey thought for a moment, then replied, “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, then close again?” Ray asked.

“No sir, not right away," Dickey said, "if the button is pushed to Close the panels and there is something preventing the panels from closing, then the panels 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 activate and the panels will stop functioning, usually in the full open position.”

“Was that the last time you did any work here, at this residence?”Malone asked.

“Yes. Did you want me to check the motor controls while I'm here? I give special rates to the city.

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

Oh, and 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, Malone?”

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?”

 

Chapter V

"The Clues Keep Coming"

 

Well, the electrician had left and the two detectives were about to depart when a rather flamboyantly dressed man approached wearing a ten-gallon cowboy hat.

“Howdy fell-as, I'm Melvin Cudweiler, Cudweiler Auto Sales! “Buying a Cudweiler's Car Will Make You A Star!”, that's my motto!

Are you the Homicide detectives?”

Malone replied, “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 guy.

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!”

Ray replied, "Oh really, and when did this happen?”

Cudweiler said, “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 used; I know that 'cause that is my bank too.

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. I found that out just today!”

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

“Old records," Cudweiler stated, "I sold Murphy a car some time back, and so I had my copies from his financing papers. Just had to dig them out of storage 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.”

Malone shook the man's hand, and then said, “We appreciate the heads-up Mr. Cudweiler, and 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 handed the detectives a large envelope, with a big smile on his face. Then he said, “There-yah-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," Ray said, "And thanks again Mr. Cudweiler!”

Cudweiler laughed with the laugh befitting a good old boy car salesman, and then said, “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, Yah 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 guys finger prints all over it.”

Ray laughed and stated, “You’re a clever man, Mr. Cudweiler!”

To which the car salesman replied, “Hay, I don't watch CSI for noth-in!”

 

With that said, Mr. Cudweiler got in his Candy-Red BMW, and the detectives got into their dirty Chevy Impala, with the dent in the quarter-panel, and then everyone drove away.

 

Malone walked into an office area of the police building and handed a woman something, then he said, “Hi Mable! Would you have the lab run this cup for prints and ask them to get back to us right away if they come up with a match?”

Mable replied, “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.”

Mable smiled and replied, See, prayers help! Give her my best, Sweetie!

 

Meanwhile back in the office, Ray's phone rang and he didn't look happy when he hung up.

And at about that same time, Malone walked in and said, “Why so glum, chum?”

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

So Malone stated, “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 formed a big smile on his face and said, “Is there no originality in the world today? Where are the Rembrandt’s and the Picasso of the dammed?!? Do the Mozart's have no darker cousins? Alas Horace, is it not in the mind’s eye that vanity is conceived?”

 

Suddenly, someone from the back of the squad room yelled, “Hay, 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.

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

He had, what, in his car?

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

When Ray got off the phone he looked at Malone and said, “Well Malone, as you say, Holly-Molly!

A squad Car stopped some guy to give him a fix-it ticket.  As they talked to him he became more and more nervous, that's when the patrolmen 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.”

Malone shrugged his shoulders and replied, “So, what is that got to do with us, Ray? They got lucky.”

Ray chuckled, just a little, and then stated, “Well, it just so happens that the guy they stopped lives next door to, Wait for It, Wait for It, to the Murphy House!”

Malone stopped what he was doing and dropped his papers on his desk, the he asked, “You mean Mel Weiseman, the guy with the V.W. 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 some rat willing to talk.

So, what do you say, Malone, shall we go see what this guy, Weiseman, has to say?”

 

Chapter VI

"Finally, A Witness! --- Not!"

 

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. 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. Too bad too, Mrs. Thompson says he's a nice guy.

That's Bull-Shit, I’m not taking the fall for those idiots! I told her it was a bad idea to try to deliver that order in my V.W. She could have told the customer what happened. Shit happens, they know that.

She never listens to anybody; she thinks she's always right, little miss chairman of the board.

They needed me to cut the coke, somebody who knew what they were doing with the stuff. Somebody close by, and I had to take the bait.

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 like mine were, out of the cut, not up front! But no, all of them are so trustworthy.”

 

Malone leaned over the table and looks Weiseman dead in the eyes, then he said, “Look Weiseman, why don't you start from the beginning, so we can follow along with what the hell you’re talking about, 'cause right now, you’re not making a lot of sense.”

Weiseman shot back, "Listen, just know this, I know who, what, when, where and how, but I had nothing to do with the murders. I'm not that kind of guy!

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 a.m., to do the transcription.

Even 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, Ray would ask most of the questions. An assistant D.A. would be there too, 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; too much stress all at once.

It was just bad timing for the home team, that's all.

 

The following morning, at 10:55 a.m. 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 differently.”

 

“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 trustworthy”)

 

“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”)

 

“AND” (“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.

 

"All 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."

"OK 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.

I’ll bet Murphy's kids were so grateful not to have to take off work, you know, to come all the way out here to sort things out. I’ll bet 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.

Murphy didn’t have his service weapon, which 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.” 

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

Hay, maybe they pissed off Murphy the ghost, who knows?

 

They were right about a lot of things on this case, for instance, 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.

Malone 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 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!!!

 

 

JE Falcon

May 26, 2015

2020


© Copyright 2020 JE Falcon. All rights reserved.

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