Sometimes life snatches away the people you love the most and there is nothing that you can do but mourn their passing away. But sometimes there are people whom you meet who remind you of those dear ones that have passed away only they are an entirely different individual. It was a winter morning in November 2001 that my dear wife passed away from cancer. I had buried her with tears in my eyes. And I had been unable to get over her death for a long time. I slipped in and out of depression and life suddenly felt so awful without my dear Melissa who had been my wife for a decade. It was a time when I felt that nature could be so cruel. Why? Why did she have to die so young? She had been only thirty four years old. And she had left behind a young daughter named Sarah who turned three in November of 2001. Of course, it was my mother who now looked after her.
It was during a session of group therapy for my depression that I ran into a young woman named Mandy who strangely resembled my dead wife a lot. Infact it was so weird that her voice and mannerisms were exactly like Melissas. The way she walked, talked and spoke were so much like that of my late wife. She had noticed me staring at her and one day after the psychotherapy was over she introduced herself to me.
She too suffered from intense anxiety and depression. However she had some chemical imbalance that had triggered her problems. I had told her about my late wife and how she resembled her. She felt sorry for my loss. At twenty six, she was still unmarried and looking for someone. So we started dating one another. By strange coincidence her date of birth was the same as that of Melissas except she had been born in 1975. Her parents had passed away in an accident over three years ago and she was living with her elder brother who was a successful banker. Before she had fell ill, she had completed her Bachelors in Business Administration from University of California, Irvine.
During the course of our dating one another, I found her to be someone who was quite loving. Though she did have mood swings but I had fallen in love with her. Was it because she reminded me of my late wife? Perhaps so ! However I knew very little about her past and I was not prepared to marry at the moment.
I received a call from my psychotherapist one day and she wanted to meet me in person at my place. It was a strange request but I agreed. At about three in the evening on the 3rd of January 2002, she reached my house situated in Newport Beach. I opened the front gate and let her in.
Dr. Susan John was a pleasant looking woman. I asked her to make herself at home. She soon sat in a leather recliner placed in the drawing room and stared hard at me pausing for a while perhaps before speaking to me. What I heard from her left me in a deep state of shock. Mandys brother had reported her to be missing for the past two days. So far there had been no trace of her whereabouts. And the police were looking to question anyone and everyone who knew her. Of course I was not worried about the police interviewing me but about what had happened to Mandy.
That night I tossed and turned in my bed thinking about what had happened to her. Had she runaway? But if she had why had she done so? What if someone had murdered her? I had to take a sleeping pill to fall asleep. And during the course of sleep I had a nightmare that involved finding Mandy dead and people mourning her passing away. It was a dream so very vivid and clear. When I woke up, I felt quite upset and anxious. I had turned on the television to hear the morning news and I was sipping a cup of tea when there was a breaking news segment. According to the news anchor, a body of a young woman who had been identified as Mandy had washed up at the Laguna Beach.
When I saw, a footage of the dead person, my eyes filled up with tears. What had happened to Mandy? It couldnt be, no it couldnt be ! The coroner had found lacerations and cuts all over her body. He had ruled her death as possible homicide.
For a while, I could not believe what had happened. I was shocked. It was a day later that I attended her funeral along with the psychotherapist. A number of patients in the same group as I, showed up to pay their respects. I looked around and my eyes fell upon her brother Justin Hillman who was a banker by profession and still unmarried. A number of relatives of Mandy were also present; people I had never seen before.
After the funeral, I had drove over to the Los Angeles Police Department because Chief police detective James Franklin wanted to have an interview with me regarding my relationship with the deceased. I walked into a plush room located on the second floor. A sharp looking individual sat behind the desk. He rose up and pointed me in the direction of a chair place opposite his.
“ So Mr. Samuel Burns” he said “ What was the nature of your relationship with the deceased?”.
I told him all about my wifes death and how I had been attracted to Mandy because she had resembled my wife a lot. By the time, I had finished I was nearly in tears. However I managed to control myself. I looked at the detective and asked them if they had found the murder weopan and he replied in the negative. According to him, the forensic team had been down at the beach and they had not been able to find much. However Mandys body had been exhumed and the forensic team had found over seventy different cuts over her body. She had been brutally murdered. And guessing from the depth of the wounds and the multiple stab wounds, whoever had committed the murder seemed to be a madman.
During the next month, chief detective James Franklin set a reward of over 10,000 dollars for the men or women who had any information that may help in the arrest of those who had murdered Mandy. An interview was done with each living relation and friend of Mandy. The detective learnt that Mandy had been eighteen when her parents had passed away in a road accident. However her elder brother Justin, who was fifteen years her elder and a banker had become her guardian. It was also established that the relatives of Mandy and Justin were not very close to them.
Then Mandy had fallen in love with the son of a rich businessman but he had been unfortunately murdered by someone. His murderer had never been found and neither was the reason why he had been murdered in the first place. Mandy had then fallen victim to anxiety and depression. But why had she been murdered so brutally and by who?
James Hoffman, a rich and powerful magnate, had discovered that his son was in love with a commoner named Mandy. He had wanted him to marry the daughter of a rich businessman to further his business but alas his son Henry had been headstrong and had refused to do what James had wanted. But Adolf Smith, the person James wanted to do business with had said that the business parnership would only happen if her daughter would marry Henry. James Hoffman was quite bad tempered when he was angry and on a Saturday night he had been quite drunk and in a bad mood when Henry walked in. They had had a heated argument over Henrys refusal to marry Adolf Smiths' son. And James Hoffman had shot his son dead in a fit of anger. Because James was divorced, he lived alone. He had always been a loner.
There had been no one home that night. And no one had heard the shots fired. James Hoffman was paralyzed with fear when he had realized what he had done. He had then used a razor shaped knife to chop the body into little pieces before he placed them in a garbage bag and he had then gone to the backyard where he had dug a deep hole before placing the garbage bag in that hole and covering it. He had also placed the murder weopan, a Baretta Nano 9mm in that hole. James could not believe what he had done. He had then lodged a report with the LAPD and told them that his son had not returned home that night. The detectives at LAPD headed by James Franklin tried to find the whereabouts of James Hoffman but they found none. Deep in his heart, James Hoffman had bore a deep grudge against Mandy. Had it not been for her, his son might still be alive and well.
Mandy had been worried when she had not been able to get through to Henry. He had told her about how his dad had been hounding him to marry someone else. When three days passed by without being able to get through to Henry she had been very worried. She had drove over to his house. It was a Saturday evening when she pulled into the driveway of the Hoffman Estate.
She had been met at the entrance by James Hoffman. He had never met her before and it was only when she introduced herself as Mandy that he realized who she was. He had called her inside and made her at home. As he poured her a glass of wine, he told her how Henry had been missing and how he had contacted the police and lodged a complaint. Three days had passed by and the LAPD had no leads what had happened to him. Mandy could not believe what she heard. Her sixth sense told her that something bad had happened to Henry and that James was to blame but she could substantiate nothing. As three months passed by and there had been no sign and news about Henry, Mandy had become increasingly anxious and depressed. She had slipped in a deep depression and had been undergoing therapy for her anxiety and depression. And she had even visited the LAPD where she had met detectives James Franklin and Steve Wilson. She told them about her relationship with Henry and how her his father had been pressurizing him to marry someone elses daughter in order for them to merge their businesses and form a partnership.
The detectives didnt have any leads or clues to go on as yet. So they paid a visit to Adolf Smith one day to verify Mandys story and Adolf Smith told them that what they heard had been true. Later on they had interviewed various employees working for James Hoffman. And what they had learnt was that we was an ambitious person, someone with an anger problem, someone quite secretive and an introvert. The management would not deny or confirm, the news about James Hoffman wanting to merge the business with another one.
James Hoffman had been suffering from bouts of insomnia and an increased guilty consciousness. He would see himself shooting his son in his dreams every night or burying him in the backyard. Why? Why had he done it. And one day sitting in his leather recliner he had taken the pistol and shot himself in the mouth. He never woke up. A maid who came to clean the place found the dead body. The death of James Hoffman had spread like a brush fire throughout the country.
It had been during this time that I had first learnt that Mandy seemed to be attached with a young rich man by the name of Henry Hoffman. Mandy had disclosed the affair to me. And I had been secretly jealous of her. I had not disclosed to anyone that I suffered from a multiple personality disorder. There were two sides to me. One was the caring and conscientious me full of love and charm. And the other one that sometimes emerged was a very evil person that would go to any lengths to get what he wanted. It was only after Melissas death that I had developed this malady. I knew not when this other part of me would take hold of me. And there was so little that I knew about this other side of me. Mandy had come over to my apartment and disclosed to me about her affair with Henry Hofman. I felt shocked. How could she have kept all of this from me? I suddenly felt that I would be losing her. And I tried pleading with her telling her that I loved her more than any other person but she was not listening. I knew not when the other side of me took a possession of my mind and thoughts. But when I recovered I was holding a butchers knife dripping with blood. Melissa lay infront of me, her eyes staring upwards and lifeless. She lay naked with multiple cuts and lacerations all across her body. Infact there were so many stab wounds that it was hard to count.
I vomited twice or thrice afterwards and I was not sure of how this had happened and why it had happened. But there lay my Melissa, lifeless and stabbed so many times by me. Oh God ! What had I done? The tiled Kitchen floor had to be washed. I had to dispose of this body as soon as possible. Using a strong detergent and mop, I had spent the next thirty minutes washing the floor.
I had sprayed a deoderant many times before putting the body in a garbage bag and placing it in the rear of my Ford Mustang. It was about ten at night that I had driven down to the deserted beach and dumped the body near the sea. What I hadnot noticed was a hobo watching me from a distance. He had taken down my car plate number and called the police. I had driven away thinking I was safe.
When I reached home, I saw the murder weopan, the butcher knife lying there. And I had washed it thoroughly before putting it back. It had been six in the morning when I got the shock of my life. About seven police cars pulled into the driveway and detective James Franklin walked out. The game was over. A hobo at the beach had witnessed what I had done and reported my license plate number.
The defense team built a case about my Multiple Personality Disorder but I was sentenced to psychiatric care and forty years behind bars.
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