Tag Archives: murder

I Once Knew a Man From Cornwall . . .

I once knew a man from Cornwall,

He managed a famous fish stall.

Then late there one night

Was something not right

And Syd was not seen there at all.

 

Now another man known as Ned,

Had always wanted Syd dead.

A stab in the back

A horrid attack

And now that stall’s full of bread.

 

I’ve heard that Ned had wife.

And evil were his skills with a knife.

The killing he’s done

But he’s not on the run

Because now he’s doing 20 to life!

I once knew a man from Cornwall . . .

I once knew a man from Cornwall

He managed a famous fish stall

Then late there one night

Was something not right

And Syd was not seen there at all

 

Now another man known as Ned

Had always wanted Syd dead

A stab in the back

A horrid attack

And now that stall’s full of bread

 

I’ve heard that Ned had wife

And evil were his skills with a knife

the killing he’s done

but he’s not on the run

Because now he’s doing 20 to life

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Murder From Afar

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She sat back with a sigh. It had been an exhausting day. She stretched her cold, tingling toes closer to the fire for warmth. England’s weather perfectly matched her mood: dismal. But there was joy on the horizon. In a few hours there was going to be an announcement about a mysterious death.

Maddy smiled to herself and silently raised her glass of wine in a toast. “Bye, bye lover.”

*******************************************************

“Hon, have you got my passport?”

Jeremy was frantic. He was always doing this, losing things. But his long-suffering wife always found what he was missing. Or so she kept saying.

“Here is your passport and your phone and your headphones. All right where I told you they were: in your carry-on luggage.” As she listed each item Melanie held them up so her absent-minded husband could see them.

“You’ve got a text coming in Jeremy…”

Jeremy didn’t answer. He was busy organizing their luggage. This was going to be a wonderful trip to Belize. It was going to be a chance for them to relax together and get to know one another again. It’d been a rough few months and they both needed a break.

“Jeremy?”

Melanie looked at the text again. She glanced at Jeremy but he was distracted. So she opened the text. He didn’t believe in passwords. It simply read: Soon my love, Soon!

For several seconds Melanie stared at the words. Her mind was churning! It was time. She needed to act, immediately! She slipped the items in her hand back into Jeremy’s carry-on luggage. And then . . .

“Jeremy!” The tone of her voice make him turn around quickly only to see her arms flailing as if in a seizure. He quickly grabbed her arms so she couldn’t hurt herself or anyone else. The seizure didn’t stop.

“Help me! Please, somebody! He’s trying to kill me!”

Jeremy was stunned. For several seconds he didn’t know what to do. His wife was having a seizure but now she seemed to be fighting him. It was so confusing! Just then two burly men grab his arms and pulled him away from his wife. This was not happening!

Everything was pandemonium! People were yelling at him and possibly at each other.   The two men who had grabbed him refused to let go. Jeremy looked desperately for his wife, for an explanation. Neither was apparent. Finally two police officers showed up. Things calmed down somewhat.

“Where is my wife?” Jerry’s confusion was starting to sound like fear.

“Mr. Bentley?” The two policemen had escorted Jeremy away from the maddening crowds and things were calmer but still equally confused.

“Your name is Jeremy Bentley?” The office had his passport and ticket in his hand.

“Yes, yes and my wife is Melanie Bentley! What happened? Where is she? She was having a seizure and two men . . .”

“Mr. Bentley your wife was overheard to say that she feared for her life.”

“I don’t understand. She started having mild seizures a few months ago . . . we thought a trip, a vacation in Belize . . . We thought it was stress . . .where’s my wife?”

“Please sit here for a few moments Mr. Bentley.”

With that one of the police officers left the room. Jeremy hoped it was to find his wife. He put his head in his hands, overwhelmed.

It seemed as if hours had passed before anyone spoke to Jeremy again.

“Mr. Bentley your wife has disappeared. But it seems as if it was done of her own volition. I have spoken to witnesses and most concur that you appeared to be restraining your wife not attacking her. One witness is a nurse and explained that some seizures can cause vocal outbursts as well. We have no record of any violence by you against anyone so we are going to allow you to continue on your trip if that is what you wish.”

Jeremy raised his head, “My wife?”

The police officers look at each other, their eyes spoke volumes. Too many times they had witnessed people and they’re strange antics. Reason didn’t always come into it.

“You still have time to catch your plane.”   One officer said as he escorted the man back to the waiting area. Jeremy looked at the ticket in his hand and almost without thinking joined the queue to board the plane.

******************************************************************

When asked what she believed to be her strongest attribute, Melanie never hesitated: planning she always responded. When she had slipped away from Jeremy she went directly to a washroom a fair distance from the disturbance. Once inside she made sure no one else was in the room and quickly made a few vital changes. A long blonde wig came out of her carry-on bag to cover her short red hair. Next a large pair of dark glasses and a dark brown jacket several sizes too large. It helped hide her clothes and her posture.

Next was a change of lipstick and a little smudging of her eye makeup. She didn’t want to appear too noticeable or too forgettable. The plan was in motion. She had timed everything. It only took a few moments and then part two was put into play.

She delved once more into her carry on bag and produced a plane ticket, one way to London England leaving in 33 minutes. With time to spare she reached the check-in counter and boarded the plane. She was using an assumed name: Maddy Brown.

When the plane was airborne Maddy started to relax. Once upon a time she had loved Jeremy. They had had 10 good years. Well maybe 9 ½. But Maddy had become bored and Jeremy had become absent-minded. Which is funny because she was the scientist. Jeremy was a dusty old English professor who was more at home fondling his dusty books than her. She wanted excitement! She wanted danger! She wanted somebody other than Jeremy.

So with the precision of a scientist she started to make plans. Divorce was out of the question. Her family had money and she was keeping it. Murder was such an ugly word. Maddy was a scientist. She worked as a herpetologist at a research facility. She had access to so many noxious, toxic substances. It wasn’t just snakes that were poisonous. Some frogs secreted poison through their skin. Even touching them could cause your extremities to tingle as the first sign of the poison working through your blood. Slowly the muscles would contract as if in a grand mal seizure and then heart failure, death, freedom.

Maddy allowed a small smile to crease her lips. It had been hard work but definitely worth it. Or rather it would be. She envisioned Jeremy distraught at the airport returning home and fortifying himself with a swig from that horrid whiskey flask. She wasn’t sure how long it would take the poison to actually do it’s job, it was tough to experiment on life-size volunteers. It could be hours. She was pretty sure she had put enough of the poison into the flask to make in a relatively quick death. She didn’t want him to suffer too much.

The gentle rush of the air over the wings of the plane was soothing to Maddy. Soon she slept.

Several hours later she was awoken by a bell that announced their arrival in London. When they came to a full stop Maddy stretched briefly and joined the passengers leaving the plane. Once on the ground she took a moment to refresh herself in a handy washroom and also to shed her wig and dark glasses.

Then she ventured outside the airport to look for a cab and she found the weather to be exactly as advertised. It was cold, it was wet and it was foggy. It fit her mood perfectly. The next step was an out-of-the-way Hotel where she could hide for a couple of weeks. Then she would re-emerge in the world and continue her life, her way. She had tucked several thousand dollars into a belt on her waist so she would live by cash for the next several weeks. Everything was properly planned.

She became sleepy as she was resting in her chair in her out-of-the-way hotel. She hadn’t realized how tense she had become as her muscles started to ache. They really started to hurt. Maddy’s eyes flew open. It wasn’t possible!

********************************************************

“How did you do it?”

Jeremy stretched his long arms around the beautiful blonde beside him and rolled onto his back. Amelia cuddled close into his body, her long nails gliding effortlessly down his chest. She still had her hospital badge hanging down between her breasts.

“I saw what she was doing and turned the table.” Jeremy arched his back like a satisfied cat and smiled.

“I cleaned my flask thoroughly. I’ll never use it again. It really only took a drop of that toxin of hers on my phone to do the job. I got rid of it on the boat ride here. I wonder how long it will take them to find her body.”

 

The end

The Back Alley Strangler

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Oh God I’ve got to stop working a double shift! ‘ Janey can you do this, Janey can you do that?’ I am too easy going and too broke to say no. I hate my life! I am too tired to think and I stink of cheap beer. EWWWWW! I can still smell vomit! Eddy you have got to get a better class of drunk in this run down bar. Damn! Did I collect my tips? How could I forget my tips? I’m swear I am going to sleep for . . . “What the . . . oh geez, sorry you scared me! I don’t mean to be rude but it’s late, I’m tired and I’ll not really in the mood for any . . . look I’ll see you around . . . . .what the . . . . hey stop that, OWWW! AHHHH! You’re hurting me! Oh my God, my God it’s you!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH . . .

 

……………………………………………….

 

“Mr. Leibowitz you are going to give your self another heart attack and your wife is going to kill you!”

One man was shifting heavy boxes of fruit from a truck parked outside his grocery store. As the second man approached, the first stopped, wiped his brow and smiled. The second man took over and finished the job in only minutes. The two men stood back to admire their handiwork and shared a good nature chuckle. One was a small man with a back bowed by old age and arthritis the other was a large man with a straight back.

“Officer Patrick are you arresting my husband?” This new voice belonged to the small man’s wife. She was formidable and she was angry. “You should arrest this lump of coal! He is no good. He disobeys his son the doctor and he is determined to make me a widow. Me a young woman in my prime, I say!”

Both men had refrained from moving and each knew better than to attempt any kind of conversation while Mrs. Leibowitz was in full rant. She would either run out of steam or out of room for her formidable figure. With luck she would just go back inside to continuing ranting without an audience. And the luck had it. With barely a pause in her rant, she returned to more comfortable surroundings.

Retired Officer Patrick O’Halleran was a twenty-one year veteran of the local police department. Before he had retired Patrick walked this beat for almost 10 years. People knew him and had a difficult time accepting the fact that he no longer wore the uniform. In fact they still treated him as if he did. The days when police officers walked the beat no longer existed and they all missed that. So Patrick strolled the streets every day as he had done for all those years. It gave him a chance to think and it was great exercise.

So here he stood talking to a man who just three weeks ago had suffered a mild heart attack. Tobias Leibowitz knew he shouldn’t be moving these grocery boxes, but he also knew that Patrick was due to come by any moment. Patrick had a reputation for helping. Everybody knew that. And everybody expected it.

When Patrick finally left the Leibowitz grocery store he was tired. He was tired of walking this endless beat but he didn’t know how to stop. He was tired of everybody expecting him to do the right thing. Everybody wanted something from him. People expected him to fix their problems, even his family. No one asked Patrick what Patrick wanted.

“Officer Patrick, Officer Patrick, please I think she’s dead! She no breathing! She no breathing! Come!

His years of training allowed him to react immediately. As he was running after the stranger he was already preparing for whatever lay around the corner.

Patrick followed closely behind the agitated man; he was not one of the regulars. As he came around the corner of the alley he saw in front of him a large crowd made up of mostly children. They were hovering over something that seemed to be quite small, another child perhaps? Patrick quickly pushed his way to the center of the crowd, his expertise was needed. When he reached the centre he realized he probably shouldn’t have hurried.

“You didn’t tell me it was a cat.”

“No my cat, my boy’s cat, make better yes? She no breath!”

Patrick knew he was never going to live this down but he couldn’t make things any worse. So he reached down to this ratty feline and put his mouth over it’s and breathed, once, twice, three times . . . The stinky old fur ball had the unmitigated gall to spit up in his mouth and then run away. DAMN cat!

“Thank you, thank you Officer Patrick, you good man.”

Patrick did chuckle. Yes he could see the funny side of things. His life saving efforts had been wasted on a mangy and ungrateful cat. Well the kids were entertained.

He stood up and looked around the back alley. When the cat had run off so had all the children. It seems there was no more excitement here. He could see clear to the end of the alley. There’s Mr. Grant, he used to be an executive in some bank but lost it all because of a sordid liaison with a secretary and now he is the local drunk. He could see two of the resident hookers coming home from what must have been a successful night as they were laughing. A lot went on in this alley. It was great place to catch a glimpse of the dredges of life. It was also a great place to hide from the rest of the world. Patrick looked up at the windows that overlooked the alley. Blinds were drawn and windows were closed tight. No one wanted to see or be seen.

With a last look around the alley Patrick returned to the main street. He could see Anna Winslow through the glass of her flower shop. She was a timid woman who had been beaten by a drunken husband until he had managed to cut his own throat with his pocket knife while drinking in the alley a few months ago. No one had seen a thing. Ms. Winslow was doing much better on her own. She even smiled occasionally.

Patrick continued his endless patrol. When he had retired he was left with too much time on his hands. So he continued to do in his spare time what he did on the job: he patrolled the neighbourhood.   He remembered that he had promised Mr. Olson that he would look in on his son. Mr. and Mrs. Olson were traveling in Mexico; their twenty something-year-old son was taking care of their bookshop. The kid had a head for selling books. He knew his stock better than his father. Of course his father was too proud to admit that. Still he’d stop in on the kid and maybe get a cup of coffee.

As Patrick continued down the street occasionally crossing to the other side, his eyes were always on the move. He was watching for kids up to no good, he was watching for telltale signs of shoplifting, and people who just looked guilty. Patrick had been good at his job. He was so good at his job that any time he had asked for a transfer to a different branch of policing it was denied. He was always told that his job as a front-line officer was more important than any other position in the police force. He was the face of policing to the common folk. That and the fact that he was very good-looking, and well loved by the people on his beat, made changing assignments very difficult.

“Hey Officer Patrick when are you going to catch that guy? Us girls shouldna have to worry when we walk the streets. We’s got rights you know.”

The young woman chiding Patrick was another of the streetwalkers coming home from a late/early meeting. They always kidded him. He was single, attractive and polite. Fodder for their warped sense of humour.

“Don’t you worry Betty they will catch him. It just takes time, and good police work.”

“Hey Officer, I read in the paper that this strangler has killed four women in the last six months. This is happening very close to our street. Are we in danger?”

This time Patrick did grin although he did it surreptitiously.

“Well Miss Montague I think you will be just fine. So far the only women that have been strangled have been young women. While you are indeed a fine figure of a woman, I think you have a few decades on the victims. But I must say Miss Montague if I was only a few years older…”

Abigail Montague was indeed a fine figure of a woman. Forty years earlier she had been a dance hall girl. She sang and she danced with all the greats of the time. She enjoyed a good joke: preferably dirty, rich men, and Scotch, not necessarily in that order. She also loved to flirt with Patrick because he gave as good as he got. As Patrick moved past her perch she admired his backside and shook her head. If she was only a few decades younger.

As Patrick continued along his self imposed beat, more and more people came out to ask him about the Back Alley Strangler. That is what the newspapers had started calling the man who was randomly strangling young women in back alleys. Patrick didn’t have much to add to what information people already had but he did his best to calm their fears. This strangler was preying on young women, many of them prostitutes, all of them poor if not destitute. Unfortunately it wasn’t a segment of society that registered high in the Homicide Bureau. Of course he wasn’t about to admit that to people who were already concerned. It never does well to admit to one’s faults especially if everyone is looking to you to fix the problem.

Eventually the day came to an end. His day had been jammed packed with requests. He had been asked to change a light bulb for Edna Smith, Mr. Fitzwilliam had wanted him to chastise his grandson for spitting, then there were the two dogs that were fighting: they had to be separated, and warnings to a couple of young boys who were fighting over a girl, and people wanted information on the Back Alley Strangler. They all wanted a piece of him.

By the end of the day Patrick always felt as if he’d been pulled in a hundred different directions. He was tired and his feet hurt. He knew he was well-liked by these people but they only liked him because he offered them a symbol. They still saw him as The Police, he made them feel safe, and they felt that he belonged to them. Patrick wanted to help. He wanted to help them all. They needed him. He was the only one who knew the right way. Eventually he would help them all.

……………………………………………

And now another is saved! I feel such relief, such pleasure, such strength. This is what I was meant to do, to release another’s demons, to help them find their path to salvation. I do not understand why they fight me, why they resist me. They are miserable and I am giving them passage to paradise. Only I know how many I have helped and I will be damned for my good work but I am not important, only them, only their souls. Janey is in a better place now.

As he stood up and straightened his coat he knew that what he was doing was for the greater good. He looked around the back alley. People needed him to help them relieve themselves of their burdens. Patrick heaved a sigh; there were so many souls to save.

 

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Psychologists and psychiatrists speak long and hard about psychopaths. But even they don’t know why one is created or if are they born. What they do know is that they can function in society their entire lives with no one knowing about their dark side. Patrick was good at his job.

 

The end