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Jeanne L. Drouillard

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Sinister Thoughts Kill: A Sammi Evans Mystery -- First Chapter
By Jeanne L. Drouillard
Friday, February 18, 2011

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Randy Baker discovers his wife murdered in the living room of their home, shot through the back of her head. His gun, usually kept in a locked cabinet, is missing. He takes his young son to a neighbor and calls police from a pay phone as he has unfinished details that need to be taken care of before he'll succumb to an arrest that seemed imminent. Can Sammi Evans turn up evidence when others find dead ends?

 SINISTER THOUGHTS KILL

Chapter One

    Sammi Evans Patterson couldn’t believe it wasn’t snowing yet. It was the middle of December and although the weather was cold and messy, it hadn’t yet provided any snow that was necessary for the holiday season to be in full bloom. She felt a little disappointed as she looked out the front window hoping to see a blanket of snow covering their front lawn. Snow was needed, she thought, when would it come?

Her husband Dave had wandered into the room quietly and noticed her looking out the window. As she turned and noticed him, she knew he was in tune with her.

“You want some snow, right?”

“Absolutely. This is so unusual. It’s already December 10th and no snow yet. What’s going on in Pennsylvania this year?”

“I’m sure we’ll get some. It’s certainly cold enough. God, yesterday that chilly wind went right through my coat and got me chilled to the bone.”

“Good thing we’re finally going on vacation. What day do we leave?”

He smiled as he thought that although they were close to a year into their marriage, they hadn’t yet been on a honeymoon. However, the trip was now planned and getting closer.

“We leave on the 27th and fly directly to Aruba to spend at least seven days in the sun. I can hardly wait.”

“I want to look refreshed and relaxed when I get home,” she added eagerly.

“But before then we’ve got to get our tree up and decorated, as well as the house. This weekend is my deadline. I want everything done by then.”

“What type of tree do you want?”

I want a …”

The telephone rang. Dave immediately looked up at the clock. It was nine thirty on Friday night. He couldn’t imagine.

“Yeah, Tom, what’s up?”

Tom Harrington was one of his police buddies and important in his inner circle. Sammi noticed that he listened intently for more than five minutes; he didn’t utter one word. That was unusual. When he did speak, he seemed somber yet focused. Later, as he put the phone down, he turned to her and took one particularly deep breath in an effort to clear his head.

His expression told her volumes, but she waited until he spoke. “God, Sammi, this one’s tough.” He stopped again before he could continue. Then he began in earnest.

 “I don’t think you know Randy Baker, do you?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“He and Tom have been friends for years. They went to high school together and their lives have intermingled frequently since then. Anyway, his wife’s been found dead in their home. She was shot through the back of the head and the police think it was Randy’s gun that did it.”

Sammi sat up to attention. This would be an emotional situation under any circumstances, but having the husband accused, well ... she waited for Dave to continue.

“Tom doesn’t buy it for a minute. He’s beside himself right now. But he’s asking to be involved in this case and wants us there, too.”

“Of course. What does he want us to do?”

“Nothing right now. It’s out of our jurisdiction. The murder happened over in Kingston so we’ll have to get permission to help out. That’ll be up to the sarge.”

“Wow! Do they have any clues?”

“Tom doesn’t know. He got a courtesy call from a mutual friend so the information is rather sketchy right now. It seems they have one child, a ten year old. Don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, but the child has already gone to foster care. Tom and Jill have made a request to social services that the child be allowed to stay with them. Honestly, Sammi, Tom sounded in tears.”

“With Jill being a teacher, she could get that child into her school and be around when needed. Gees, that kid must be so devastated.”

“I’m going to meet Tom at the station tomorrow. He wants to talk with Jim, the sarge and me alone and go over some of the evidence against his friend. He didn’t see them all the time, but they did keep in touch and Tom says he was happy with his family; he’d never have done this.”

Sammi sat quietly. Anyone could snap under stress and she knew Dave realized it, too. They had to wait and see the evidence. The fact that she had been shot with Randy’s gun didn’t help the situation.

Dave came over and sat down beside her. He put his arm around her and relaxed his body. She felt he knew that he wouldn’t be getting too much relaxation in the near future.

He said, “I know that Tom’s positive Randy didn’t do this. Yet friendship can cloud your judgment. I want you to listen in when we question him. I’m sure Tom will want you there as well. You can listen to his thoughts and then we can all be on the same page.”

“Of course I will. I wish with all my heart that he didn’t do this,” she said.

“So do I, for everyone’s sake. So do I.”

There was a considerable pause before Dave spoke again. “The thing is that he hasn’t been arrested yet. It might be too soon for that, but it seems that no one knows where he’s at. That’s the bad part. It appears that he took off.”

That was the last word spoken. It always looked bad when someone ran off, especially since he left his ten-year-old child. They both sat in their own bewildered thoughts, miffed at the turn of events. They’d have to be patient and wait for the evidence. The evidence always had a story of its own to tell.

* * *

 

 The next morning found Dave uncommonly quiet as he ate breakfast and prepared to meet Tom. He had tossed and turned some during the night, but caught enough sleep to set his mind in gear early on. It was one of those times when a person didn’t know what to say, but the policeman in him would take over and talk would center on the evidence like in any other case. Someone had to be objective and Dave knew that Tom would have a hard time doing it himself. Also, the sarge had to be on board with this one.

The phone rang. It was Jim Mucci, their other partner.

“Hi, Jim, did Tom call you?”

“He’s beside himself. I guess they haven’t located Randy yet. That wasn’t a good move on his part. What could have possessed him to take off like that?”

“Don’t know. Probably wasn’t thinking straight under the circumstances.”

“True, but he left his kid I hear. Why would he do that?”

“Can’t imagine. I wonder where he went and better yet, I wonder if he plans to get back here today. That would certainly help.”

“It sure would. I’ll be down at the station about one o’clock. See ya then.”

Dave paced the kitchen without saying another word. Sammi knew that he was thinking in many directions right now. This case already seemed strange and it would be dreadfully emotional, more so than usual.

“This sure puts a damper on the holiday season,” he said.

“I know but remember that you won’t be alone working this. And part of your job will be to keep Tom rational. From what you said, he was a basket case.”

“I haven’t heard him that upset in a long time, but I can understand it. His friend’s wife is found murdered and right now, all the evidence points to the husband. That alone is tough. I’ll have to wait until I talk to Tom and try not to form any conclusions myself yet. I think I met Randy once about a year ago, so I don’t even know him, not really.”

“Like you always tell me, follow the evidence. See what the clues say.”

“And if he turns up soon, which I hope he does, I want you in on the questioning. It’ll go a long way to know where his mind is at. I’m sure that’s why Tom wants us on this case.”

“I’ll call Jill later today and see how she’s doing.”

“Good idea. Call you later.”

He gave her a quick kiss and then he was gone. After he left, Sammi took a few minutes and an extra cup of coffee to think over the situation. Whenever children were involved, it heightened the emotional side and the situation automatically became increasingly delicate. How could a little child handle this? And who had found the body? That wasn’t even clear right now. She hoped it wasn’t the child coming home from school and finding his mother shot and lying dead on the floor. That would be hard for an adult to handle, but devastating for a little child. She’d have to wait to find out the details. She’d call Jill later, but in the meantime she decided to go pick out a Christmas tree for them. She was sure Dave wouldn’t have much time for a while and she wanted to get her mind on other things. There was an entire world out there with its own private business going on. This city was full of powerful stories, some incredibly touching, some unbelievably bizarre.

Sammi thought about how she could help in this case. She had a special talent – she could hear other people’s thoughts and the few that knew about her gift would make sure she was in strategic positions for optimum benefit. Yet this was different from being excited about catching criminals at their own game. That gave her pleasure. She didn’t think there would be much about this case that would give her peace of mind.

* * *

 

She found a delightful White Pine tree about six feet tall with a wonderful shape and personality. It called out to her about the effects of the Christmas spirit on a household and shamelessly neglected any sadness around her. This tree had its own life and Sammi decided it was meant for them. She was able to get it set up in their living room, but wanted Dave to help her decorate it. She waited for a while and as the dinner hour came and went, she decided to call Jill and get the latest update.

“Sammi, this is so devastating. I knew Beth quite well. She was as delightful as you could imagine; such a tragedy.”

“I understand you’ve volunteered to care for the child.”

“Yes, they have a little boy named Denver. He’s ten years old and quite bright I understand. We’re waiting for social services to make up their mind, and it does seem they’re leaning in our direction. After all, we know him a little and we’re friends with his parents. Better us than complete strangers, I would think. Also, we have a history of taking in children occasionally so our record stands on its own.”

“I think you’d be a great choice. Has Randy shown up yet?”

“I don’t know. Honestly, I haven’t heard from Tom since he left this morning. I’m sure the three referees are sifting through everything they have right now. And, of course, they have to wait and see what Sergeant Brady decides to do. God, this is so awful.”

Despite the devastating situation, Sammi found one note of amusement. Dave, Tom and Jim referred to themselves as the three referees and now their wives and friends thought of them the same way as well.

 “Yeah, I wonder what happened.”

“Well, one thing’s for sure,” said Jill. “Randy didn’t do this. He loved his wife and kid. He was a real family man. To me, this seems like a major frame up. That’s the only explanation I can think of.”

Sammi kept quiet. She couldn’t imagine being in Jill’s shoes.

“I’m glad you’ll be around. You can help them sort out the answers and put things in perspective. At times like this, your talent is awesome.”

“I’ll be glad to help any way I can. Do you want me to come over for a while?”

“No, thanks, I’m okay. Tom should be getting home soon. I hope the news is good.”

“Later,” said Sammi as she hung up.

The waiting was the worst part of it. Her mind was going in every conceivable direction. What possible explanation could there be for this killing? And, if Randy didn’t do it, then who? And why? This was not a random shooting. This had been well-thought out and deliberately carried out. Why would anyone want Beth dead? And then the frightening thought crossed her mind; who, except her husband?

* * *

 

When Dave arrived at the station around 1:00 P.M., the group was already there. Sergeant Brady had arrived to discuss having his three referees available for the Kingston police. He knew the sergeant over there, had been a friend of his for years, but it would still be Kingston’s call. Did they want these extra police officers involved?

When the sarge put down the telephone after talking to Detective Statton, he nodded his head. They were aware of Tom’s friendship with Randy Baker and felt that could give them another perspective on this case. The extra help would be welcomed.

“Great,” said Tom. “I’m not sure how I would have handled sitting on the sidelines.”

“Well, okay then, luckily Kingston is close enough that you can be available for both places, but I’ll allow you priority on this case, for a while at least.”

“Tyrone and LeBron are both up to speed here and we’ve got Amilio, too, so we feel that we can give Kingston some help without creating a shortage. Besides, we’ll be around if you need us,” said Tom.

“Good enough,” replied the sarge, “what do we know so far?”

“Very little,” said Tom. “Randy hasn’t surfaced yet. That’s so strange that he would take off like that. It’s not like him. So we’re not sure who found his wife; we hope it wasn’t the child. I’ve personally talked to Detective Statton myelf. He’s to be the lead detective I hear, and that’s a lucky break. He’s a twenty year veteran and has tons of experience. I know him and he’s good. He told me within a few days they’ll know a lot more.”

“But what do they know right now?” asked Dave.

“Let’s see, she was found in the living room, shot through the head from behind. It looks like Randy’s gun was used in the murder, but ballistics aren’t back yet. But there was a lot of disturbance all over the house … drawers were all opened and dumped, furniture was overturned and it was obvious that someone was looking for something.”

Everyone looked at each other in confusion.

“What on earth…?” said Jim, but found it difficult to finish his thought.

Tom simply shook his head. He didn’t have any answers.

Jim said, “That definitely points away from Randy. He wouldn’t ransack his own home.”

Tom said, “Unless he was trying to make it look like a robbery. You know someone’s going to use that line.”

“Let’s meet with these guys early next week, Monday or Tuesday and see what they’ve got. This looks very strange to me,” said Jim.

They sat quietly for a few minutes realizing that it was hard to discuss anything. There weren’t many facts or clues or evidence to discuss. Finally, Dave asked for some background information.

“Tom, tell us what you know about Randy and his wife. We should know something about them before we dive into this thing.”

“Okay, well, Randy’s a great guy. I went to high school with him and we played football together for four years. We’ve always kept in touch. He met his wife Beth in college. Randy is some type of account executive for ASAC Globe Ventures, Inc.”

Jim whistled. “You mean that big company that has a lot of international dealings and offices all over the country? What’s their main product anyway?”

“They have their fingers in a lot of things, but I understand computers, both here and abroad, is their main focus and advance technology as well as numerous international dealings are also in the picture. I’m not sure what all they do, honestly.”

“Okay, we’ll have to check out this company. Go on,” said Dave.

“Well, that’s what Randy does, but his wife Beth is … was a real brain. She ended up becoming a teacher and then getting a Master’s Degree and teaching math and philosophy at the college level. She also studied a lot of philosophy on her own and seems to have been a sought after independent thinker and speaker. I know she’s received plaques for different presentations; don’t remember the specifics, but Randy was quite proud of her. And their son Denver is quite bright. He could have gone to a gifted school, but they decided to keep him mainstreamed. Besides, with his parents around he had all of the expertise near him that was needed.”

“Quite a family,” said Jim.

“That’s right. I’m telling you guys that Randy adored the ground Beth walked on. He loved his kid and he loved his wife. He didn’t do this.”

“Would seem that way,” said Dave, more to offer Tom support than anything else.

“They married right out of college; Jill and I went to their wedding, and I’ve never heard that they had any problems. The last time we got together with them was probably six months ago. They seemed as happy as ever. Really guys, this has all the markings of a set up to me.”

“But why would he run?”

“He must have had a real good reason,” said Tom. “I’m sure he’ll be back. He’d never leave that kid.”

“Do you know where the kid was found?” asked the sarge.

“No, I don’t.”

“Okay, well I don’t think we can do anymore today. This is too new and we don’t know anything. We’ll start in next week. I expect you three will be spending most of your time in Kingston.”

“No doubt we’ll be going back and forth,” offered Dave. “We’ll have to play it by ear.”

“Just keep in touch. I need to know what’s going on. And Dave, I’m sure you’ll bring Sammi in on this one.”

“For sure.”

“Yeah,” said Tom. “We’re certainly gonna need her talent.”

* * *

 

When Dave walked through the door, Sammi was eagerly awaiting him. She was anxious for any new information. But Dave spotted their Christmas tree and turned to Sammi.

“So you went out and got one by yourself?”

“I thought you’d be too busy for a while, and when you do get time we can decorate it together.”

“That was thoughtful. Thanks.”

She smiled and waited.

“You go sit in the living room and I’ll get us some coffee. Then I want to hear everything … bring me up-to-date.”

Dave welcomed sitting on the large brown sofa that they both loved. It was comfortable and beckoning when his body was tired and weary. It even seemed to understand when he was confused and gloomy and adapted to his form in a special way. He took a deep breath and waited. Sammi was back in a moment. He told her everything he’d heard thus far.

“That certainly isn’t very much, is it?”

“No, there aren’t many details yet, but we did get permission to join the case down in Kingston. All three of us will be working both stations for a while.”

“So they don’t know who found the body, or they’re not saying?”

“Actually, we haven’t talked to anyone yet. We’ll most likely all head down there on Monday morning for a meeting. We have to get up to speed on this one fast.”

“What about Randy? Anyone hear from him yet?”

Dave slowly shook his head as an expression of disgust crossed his face. “Nope, no one’s heard from him. That makes him look so bad. God, I wish he’d turn up. Where could he have gone?”

They sat quietly on the couch thinking of possible scenarios as to why Randy would run. It didn’t make sense. He was a levelheaded guy, and although this was a desperate situation, he knew what running would look like. Why would he run?

Sammi spoke first. “If all is as it seems and they were a loving couple and Randy is innocent, he must have had a darn good reason for taking off like that. Maybe he thinks he can solve this himself and couldn’t do it from a jail cell.”

“But they’ll find him soon enough and then what? His reputation is tarnished for running and he’s not going to solve this in a day or two, that’s for sure. No, there’s got to be another reason.”

Sammi asked. “So he works for ASAC Globe Ventures, Inc. What’s that all about?”

“We don’t know. We’ve got some people researching that already. I think Julie might be in on that part of it. We know they deal with a lot of international stuff, but I don’t think Randy had much to do with that part, at least Tom said he hardly ever traveled.”

“What was his job at this company?”

“No one knows for sure. Tom thinks his degree was in corporate business and he has an executive-type position there, but we’re all guessing right now. I’ve had about all I can take of this right now. Tonight and tomorrow will probably be the last completely peaceful days for a while. What would you like to do?”

“I’d like to decorate the tree tonight and tomorrow we can go Christmas shopping together and get everything we need. Then that’ll be one thing off our minds.”

“I thought you were finished. You’re always ahead of the game.”

“I’m finished, but if I know you, you haven’t even started, right?”

He nodded. “But I’m lucky because you do most of the shopping for both of us and I only have to shop for you. Now, how can I do that if we’re together?”

“I plan to make myself scarce for a while, and I do have a few last minute things. Let’s try to finish up everything tomorrow. You don’t need anything distracting you starting Monday.”

“Good idea.”

With that, they both got out their boxes of decorations. This was their first Christmas together in their home since they got married and both had their own special decorations. Sammi was quite sentimental about some of the special ornaments she had gathered as a child and Dave was equally pleased with some of his. The tree wouldn’t hold all of them so some were placed in different areas around the house making every room a gala event.

“This looks great,” said Dave. “It puts me in a festive mood.”

“Right and I got a Christmas card today from my brother Raymond. It’s nice that we connect around the holidays at least.”

“It‘s the same way with my brother Karl. The rest of the year, he doesn’t seem to exist. What about your other brother Neal?”

 “Well, he disappeared from our lives over twenty years ago. I think that’s what he wanted to do even before that,” said Sammi without feeling. Emotions had disappeared years ago.

Dave nodded. Many families grew distant and disappeared from each other. Sometimes that was best.

By Sunday night, their shopping was finished. They’d had a grand day, stopping for dinner at their favorite restaurant and returning home in time for a restful, uneventful evening of relaxation and togetherness. They both knew this would be the last casual and ordinary day for a while.

* * *

 

Tom hadn’t been able to settle down. He was considerably agitated and paced the floor of his living room unable to get in control of his emotions. This had been going on for a few days now, in truth since he’d heard about his friend Randy’s situation. What could have possessed him to run off like that, he thought. Now he’s in worse trouble than before. Running always signals guilt to a lot of people. But I know that he must have had a darn good reason. He’s a smart guy and I know that he’d never run away and leave his kid--he’s doing something that he thinks needs to be done. God, I need to know.

“Honey, you’ve got to settle down,” said Jill. “Have a glass of wine; that should help you relax.”

He nodded; his wife was right. He had to get in control. What was happening to him? He had to keep his wits about him or he wouldn’t be of any help to anybody. He was so glad to be on the case. And with Dave and Sammi, Jim and Julie, he felt he had a powerful team of workers with him.

Jill brought him his glass of wine and in about ten minutes, his body did start to relax. He stretched out on the couch as his mind was still mulling over the facts that he knew. And they were scarce at best. Then he thought, I’ve got to stop doing this. I have to wait until I learn more. There isn’t anything more I can do tonight. Then he took a deep breath, slowly let it out and forced his body into relaxation.

Jill came and sat down beside him. “I’m thinking of Denver right now. He’s with Social Services, right? I hope he isn’t too scared.”

Tom nodded. “Poor little guy. His entire world has been torn apart. Can’t imagine how he’s been handling it?”

Just then, the phone rang. It was Social Services. They had decided to let Tom and Jill care for Denver for the foreseeable future. She could get him into school right away and be there for him. That turned out to be a plus. Also, because Tom was a good friend of his father they felt he would feel comfortable with them. They hoped to turn him over to them by the early part of the week. He’d need more clothes which they would provide as the crime scene wouldn’t be opened up to them for a while yet.

“I’m so glad. Now, we can clearly be a part of the process that helps Randy and Beth’s situation. I feel relieved.”

Tom was quiet until he said. “For some reason, this does help me to relax some. Taking care of Denver will go a long way to help us solve the case.”

“And I can get time off whenever I need it,” said Jill. “I’ve saved so many vacation and sick days in the last two years that I know this situation will work out. I wonder how he’s doing.”

“That’s a hard one to guess,” said Tom. “He’s one of those intelligent little guys. Randy used to say that he kept a lot of things to himself, he was a real thinker, so I imagine that will be true even more right now.”

“I hope we can get him to talk a little, for his own sake. But then we’ve got Sammi and she could tell us what’s on his mind.”

“That’s another reason I wanted to get him. He might have some valuable information, whether he knows it or not. And I sure wouldn’t want him repeating it to anyone else.”

“Things are working out. We’ll have to wait and see what happens…”

The phone rang again. It was almost ten o’clock on Sunday night.

“Tom, this is Randy.”

“My God, where are you?”

“Look, I’ve only got a few minutes, so please, just listen. There’s so much going on that won’t be brought out for a while that I had to take control of a few things so evidence wouldn’t get lost.”

“But you left Denver.”

“No, I didn’t. I took him over to one of our neighbors. They’ve been good friends of ours for a while and Denver is comfortable with them. They said they’d keep him until the police took over.”

Tom let out a big sigh of relief. “Okay.”

Randy’s voice revealed exasperation. “You didn’t think I’d leave my son in a vulnerable position; my God, Tom.”

“I know … but everything happened so fast.”

“And you didn’t ask me, Tom.”

“Ask you what?”

“If I did it. You didn’t ask me if I killed Beth.”

“Randy, I don’t have to ask. I know you didn’t do this. What the hell is going on?”

“I wish I had time to tell you, but I’m still on the move, at least until tomorrow; that’s when I’ll be turning myself in. Then I don’t think I’ll have any freedom for a while. But I had to run at this time, remember that. I wanted to make sure I could get in touch with you. I’m going to need your help.”

“Hell, Randy, I’ve got myself and two of my best buddies assigned to this case.”

“But it’s in Kingston.”

“I requested to be on it and they’ve already accepted us.”

“Thank God. But my biggest concern is Denver. Could you guys possibly take care of him?”

“We put in the request as soon as we heard and got a call from Social Services about an hour ago. They’ll bring him to us possibly Tuesday or Wednesday.”

It was obvious even over the phone that Randy was crying a little.

Tom said, “I’ll be there with you all the way, buddy. You’re not alone.”

“God bless you both. Beth was caught up in something and actually so was I ... I’m not sure if they meant to get her or me. Either way they wanted to eliminate me. And I think Denver may know a few things, but he’d stopped talking so I think he’ll clam up for a while. Be gentle with him. Gees, he’s just a little boy. I’ve got to run. Bless you both.”

And the line went dead. Tom stood there looking at the phone realizing that Jill heard most of the conversation. He filled her in on the rest.

“I knew it, Tom. Randy’s a good person. But what in the world did they get caught up in?”

He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. “After tomorrow we’ll be able to see him and I hope to get more of the story. I’ve got a feeling that he won’t tell all of it immediately and when he does it will almost certainly be exclusively to our group.”

Jill nodded, knowing Randy had to be cautious.

“I can’t even imagine what this is all about,” said Tom trying to understand an impossible situation. His mind still felt numb.

* * *

 

Tom put in a conference call to Dave and Jim.

“Thank God,” said Dave. “At least he’ll turn himself in before he gets caught. That’ll help a little.”

“But he didn’t say what this was all about?” asked Jim.

“No, simply what I’ve told you. He seemed very edgy as if he was looking around and being careful not to be trapped by someone. He wasn’t ready to get caught yet.”

“I think we’ve got a real bad situation on our hands here. Can we get to him tomorrow after he turns himself in? He didn’t say where or what time?” asked Dave.

“No, he didn’t. He seemed so rushed and wanted to get a few things settled; but he told me that he didn’t do it.” He paused for a moment. “But I knew that already. I know that you guys don’t know him …”

“But you do,” Dave said. “And that’s good enough for me.”

Tom added. “Don’t forget that we’ll have Sammi in on some questioning and that should convince the rest of you. It’s easier for me; I know him personally. But I’ll be glad when Sammi can let you guys know what she hears.”

“Okay,” said Dave. “I think we should meet in Scranton tomorrow morning. We need to put in a call to Kingston right away. As soon as they know or hear anything, I want them to contact us. They need to know that we’re first string on this one.”

“I’m sure Detective Statton will be our main contact and we’re lucky there. We’ll all be working like one team.” Tom added, “I think this one is going to need all of the talent and luck that we’ve got.”

* * *

 

Sammi was happy when she heard the news. Once Randy turned himself in and cooperated, it would go a long way in getting him in good standing with the law.

“Is there any chance that they won’t arrest him? Could they keep him as a person of interest and warn him not to leave town, or something like that?”

“It’s always possible. With him running though, it doesn’t help, but if there’s no real hard evidence against him they may keep him under surveillance for now.”

“And he’ll have to get himself a lawyer right away. Then maybe he can post bail.”

“He’ll need to get a good, experienced one. From what I’ve heard so far, this case will have a lot of sneaky turns and surprises. Randy hinted at that.”

“I know you’ve talked about his gun being used, but that isn’t proven yet. Let’s say that it was his gun that killed Beth and his fingerprints are on the gun. That still doesn’t prove that he was the one who pulled the trigger. You’d expect his fingerprints to be on the gun if he owned it.”

Dave smiled. He knew that she was trying to put the best possible scenario on the circumstances.

“Some have been arrested on far less than that, but it’ll depend on a lot of details that we don’t even know right now. Kingston police will have to tread lightly. If there’s no history of any problems between them, that should help. And since it happened sometime in the afternoon, possibly a neighbor or someone saw or heard something.”

Sammi had to think about that one for a minute. She sat in deep thought before she ventured to say, “You know, committing this murder in daylight, in the middle of the day seems so brazen to me. That doesn’t make much sense.”

“That’s a tough one. Under the cover of night is usually more common, but of course it depends what these killers wanted to accomplish. They no doubt had to have watched this area for a while and knew the pattern of behavior of the Baker family. Why Beth? Why did they kill her? How could she have been a threat to anyone?”

“I agree. It seems to me,” she said, “that Randy would have been the more logical target.”

“Unless they needed to get both of them out of the way and decided to kill Beth and frame Randy for the killing. Now whatever he says for his defense will be under heavy scrutiny and probably less believable. But who’s behind this? That’s going to be a hard thing to prove?”

Sammi said, “It sounded like Randy had a pretty good idea who was behind it. It sounds like proving it will be somewhat difficult.”

“And except for our group, will anyone else believe him?”

 

 

 

 

       Web Site: Sammi Evans Books

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