Dear readers, today's blog post is by a guest blogger. Debbie @myrandommusings wrote a fictional piece for my crime fiction month in July. However, as we all know, that didn't quite go to plan due to other commitments so she kindly agreed to let me post her story today. Debbie has guest posted on this blog and several others before, and I am pleased to be able to feature an experienced blogger and I have been involved in guest blogging on her blog and I have also been involved in her #Linkys.
Please visit www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com to find out more about Debbie - and give her blog a read too!
The Perfect Murder
‘Sarge, you’ve got to see this,’ exclaims the young PC, bursting rudely into my office, waving a couple of sheets of paper like an excited child who just got his response from Santa Clause.
‘Excuse me one moment,’ I say into the telephone receiver. Covering it with one hand I look up at the young PC, searching my mind for his name, but I can’t grasp it.
‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’ I bark at him.
‘Just go. Leave it on my desk.’
He looks so dejected, but he does as I tell him, slinking out of my office like a dog who’s just been caught peeing on the carpet.
‘Sorry about the interruption,’ I say, resuming my call. My wife. She originally called to check I am ok. I have just returned from the funeral of a very good friend. Pete and I go back years. We did our basic training together then I came over to homicide and he went over to vice. Our paths have crossed professionally a few times over the years, but we remained good friends outside of work.
As my wife drones on in my ear, pulling me back to the present, I pick up the papers what’s-his-name left, having a quick glance over them. I am immediately on high alert as I try to take in all the document encompasses.
‘Honey, I gotta go,’ I say, cutting the wife off mid-sentence. Not waiting for her response I hang up the phone. She’ll get over it.
I re-read the document. Once. Twice. Again. I can’t believe what I am reading, but it all makes a horrible kind of sense.
I push the intercom button on my desk. ‘Martha,’ I say, ‘organise a press conference for 3pm.’
‘Yes sir,’ she responds.
That gives me two hours to fact check. Two hours I don’t need. This case has been ongoing for 8 months. We were no closer to solving it now than we were at the time. Until now. Every detail of it has been etched into my brain. Still it would be irresponsible to not even make a show of checking the facts before I announce it to the press.
* * *
3pm rolls around. Every detail has been checked. The arrest has been made and the family of the victim has been informed. We are good to go. The press conference will be a simple one. I will read the confession I received today. There will be no questions.
I enter the conference room and move behind the desk. The room is full and the air is filled with the excited buzz of conversation. Flash bulbs go off left right and centre, and people make a few quick last minute adjustments to their equipment.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ I say, ‘thank you for attending on such short notice. As you will no doubt have heard by now, the Jenkins case was solved earlier today. We received a full confession from the perpetrator and he is now behind bars. I will read the confession. There will be no questions.’
I pick up the paper I am about to read from. The atmosphere in the room is electric, tense but excited. The journalists aim their microphones at me. They are ready for this story. It will be front page news for days. Then again, they have had front page news about it for eight months.
I begin to read and the room goes silent.
‘They say there is no such thing as the perfect murder. There will always be a witness, a skin or hair cell, a tyre print. Something.
‘I agree that is the case, so I planned this one down to the last detail.
‘You spent the first six months looking for a blonde haired woman, then you eventually discovered this hair came from a wig made from real human hair. My first red herring, a particularly clever one, even if I do say so myself. After all I couldn’t leave behind a real hair when it was covered by a wig.
‘The two witnesses you managed to find remembered seeing only a school girl in the area at the time of the murder. Who looks closely enough to establish the “school girl” is a grown man!
‘No one thinks there’s anything weird about seeing people buying school clothes. A few alterations and I was good to go. Costume sorted!
‘With the school uniform came a blazer, covering my full arms, and tights covering my full legs. No skin cells from those, and it was cold enough that the scarf drawn around my face and the gloves I was wearing would raise no suspicions. Of course the shoes left footprints but I had jammed my feet into shoes two sizes too small and school style shoe prints would hardly be likely to lead you in my direction.
‘The murder weapon was never going to be a problem. That’s the beauty of smothering someone with cling film. I rolled it into a little ball, popped it in my pocket and melted it away with a lighter once I got home.
‘I pulled it off, I know I did. After eight months with not even a hint of it being me, any trails I had left would now be colder than the victim.
‘You would never catch me on motive, after all my only motive was proving I was cleverer than you. Poor Mrs Jenkins was just an accessory, I had no particular reason to choose her.
‘So why the confession? Because it’s true what they say after all. There is no such thing as a perfect murder, because how could I resist telling you how much cleverer than you I am? How I led you on a merry dance? How I am superior to you even though you run the department?
‘Well obviously I couldn’t, so there you have it. I have committed the perfect murder and then solved it for you!’
I finish reading and instantly the room comes to life, with everyone shouting questions, and edging closer. I stand and leave the room, going straight back to my office and pouring myself a whiskey.
I take a drink and swirl the rest around the glass. Listening to the ice cubes clinking together, I re-read the last paragraph. The paragraph I held back from the press.
Maybe now Sergeant, you will remember my name.
PC David Richards