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Lew Duffey

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Murder, Romance and Salvation (Part 1)
By Lew Duffey
Saturday, December 09, 2006

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Recent stories by Lew Duffey
· Murder, Romance and Salvation Part 2
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           >> View all 33

A Murder Mystery that takes a strange twist!

It was a beautiful spring day when a beautiful strawberry blonde and a man in a business suit walked out of a hotel on the west side of New York City. “When are you going to tell Joe that you’re in love with me?” asked Lyn. Sarah let out a sigh. She wasn’t looking forward to this. She couldn’t help the fact that her love for Joe had all but died. She did love him, but she couldn’t think of spending the rest of her life with him. Joe was to demanding. Everything had to be his way and she could live her whole life as if everything that she was had to conform to his way of thinking. “I will tell him today,” she promised. “I’ll tell him this evening.” She kissed Lyn, who flagged down a cab. “Call me when you get a chance,” he said as he got into the cab. She turned and walked toward a delicatessen to get a cup of coffee. It was about fifteen minutes past nine in the morning when Detective Jack McCausty was called to the crime scene. With lights flashing, he pulled up behind another police car which was already on the scene. “What do we have?” he asked. The officer took him around the corner into the alley. They had not removed the body from the garbage dump, yet. They were waiting for him. “Have you dusted for fingerprints?” Jack asked. The officer affirmed that they had done so and there were fingerprints all over the place. “I don’t know if that will help you, though,” he added. “We haven’t found anything in the data base yet. God alone knows how many people come up and down this alley. You’re gonna have fun trying to check every one of these. That is, of course, if we do find any of them in our data base. “Who found the body?” enquired Jack. “Those two over there,” answered the officer pointing to two young boys standing wide-eyed by the corner. Jack walked over toward them. “What you fella’s doing here?” he asked. The smaller boy shrank away from the detective. The other one explained that they were just looking for treasure. “Treasure in a dumpster?” Jack asked in disbelief. “You must be hard up for treasure. Tell me this,” he asked. “Did you see anyone coming into this alley?” “No sir,” the boy answered. “Honest, sir, we would never hurt that lady. We just found her,” He said more loudly now. He was really stressed out and Jack could tell. “Hold on, Son,” he soothed. “Nobody thinks you did anything wrong. What time did you find her here?” “I don’t know,” the boy answered. “I don’t have a watch. It was about a half hour ago, though. Jack thanked the boys and went back to the officers and medical people who were now pulling the body out of the dumpster. “Do you think she was on drugs?” he asked. “We won’t know until the M.E. does an exam,” answered the officer. “It doesn’t look like it, though. There are no bruise marks or needle punctures on the body. Of course we have not had a chance to really examine it.” Jack’s next stop was the delicatessen. Nobody there could tell him anything. He then went up and down the street, asking if anyone had seen anything. He even went into a bar across the street. The officers had taken a picture of the girl after dragging her out of the dumpster. Jack showed the picture, asking everyone if they had seen anything. Everyone said they had not noticed anything out of the ordinary. There was something in the back of his mind that kept nagging at Jack, although he didn’t know why. He found a picture of Joe Morton in the girl’s wallet. He also found her driver’s license. Jack went to the address on the license. There was no answer when he knocked so Jack knocked louder. A neighbor came to the door and looked down the hall to where Jack was standing. “There won’t be anybody there until this evening,” the neighbor offered. “They are both at work.” “One of them may be,” Jack answered. He walked over to the neighbor. “This girl was murdered this morning. Do you know where her husband works?” “You mean her boyfriend?” corrected the neighbor. “These kids these days don’t bother with getting married anymore.” “I get your point,” Jack said. “Do you know where her boyfriend works?” “Down on 51st. street. He works in a pizza joint down there. I can’t remember the name. He works at a place called Papa Jowls or something like that.” “What’s His name?” asked the detective. The next stop for Jack was 51st. Street. Papa Jowls was a family-owned pizza parlor. The owner was a round sort of fella. Somehow, that did not surprise Jack. The man looked like he might have eaten as many pizzas as he sold. “What can I do for you?” he enquired of Jack. “I’m Detective Jack McCausty,” he said by way of introduction while showing his badge. “Do you have a Joe Morton working for you?” The man was a little taken by surprise. He swallowed hard and requested what the detective wanted with the man. Jack simply asked the question again. “Yes,” answered the parlor owner after about a half minute. “He’s not in some kind of trouble is he?” “We need to talk to him,” Jack stated flatly. The man turned over his shoulder and shouted for Joe to come to the front. “Coming,” Joe answered and he came out to the front. Jack held his badge. He couldn’t be sure, but he swore he could see fear in the man’s eyes; when the police come looking for anybody, they get a little apprehensive. “What is it?” asked Joe. Jack’s answer was that the man might want to sit down. Then he explained the fact that they found Sarah’s body downtown. “We will need you to identify her body for us,” he explained. Also, we need to know if she had any family here.” “Her folks live in Chicago,” Joe answered and he gave Jack their phone number. Jack had been in homicide for quite a few years. One thing he never relished was the chore of telling a mother and father that they had lost a child. Somehow, it wasn’t easy whether the child was six or thirty-six. “Where were you this morning between eight and nine?” he asked Joe. “Stuck in traffic, on my way to work,” Joe answered. Jack asked all the usual questions. What route did he take? How bad was the traffic? Did anyone see him? Somehow something told Jack that this man was hiding something. The problem was that he could not prove anything. Stuck in traffic in New York City was not hard to prove. Jack himself hated the early morning rush-hour traffic. “When did you see Sarah last?” he asked. Joe’s answer was that she didn’t come home the night before. When asked why he had not reported her missing, Joe answered that she often would stay at a friend’s house. He thought she simply forgot to call. “Why wouldn’t she call and tell you she was staying over?” asked Jack. “She might have been drinking,” Joe replied. Jack asked for this friend’s name. Joe tried to duck the question by stating that she had several girlfriends that she often partied with. “Listen,” he finally sighed. “We have an open relationship. We both agreed that we would give each other free time. When she doesn’t come home I take it for granted she’s partying with someone.” “Names!” Jack spoke in a way that demanded an answer. So he walked away with about eight girls’ names and addresses. Joe pointed them out, though that he had no idea which if any of these girls had seen her the night before. “This guy is making it up as he goes,” Jack muttered to himself as he walked back to his car. Now he had eight visits to make, but first he had to stop by the M.E.’s office and see what, if anything he may have found.   

       Web Site: Price Immaculate Smoke

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Reviewed by Marguerite Lemoine 12/9/2006
Sounds interesting so far; but presume it is Joe's wife who did a job on her. Marguerite

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