Chapter One: Deed of the Seed
There it was again, that neighbor’s door down the hall, slamming. The old woman huffed as she looked out the peep-hole. A hard looking man was striding along the passage. As he passed, her peep-hole went dark, just before the silenced bullet went through her eye, into her brain, and out the back of her skull.
At the other end of the hall, apartment #423, where the door had slammed, sat a corpse. The elderly man had three bullet holes in him, groin, heart, and right between the eyes.
Another resident, coming home slightly inebriated, slipped and fell in front of the old woman’s door, where her blood had flowed underneath into the passage. He screamed, scrambled to get out of the blood, and totally freaked out, completely wasting his good buzz. Someone called the police. It would be another two weeks before the body in #423, would be found by the super collecting for rent. He screamed too.
Detective Fred Thompson, was assigned the old woman’s homicide. He had already spent four days knocking on doors, asking questions, investigating every aspect of her life, and had absolutely nothing.
Miriam Joanne Radcliff (Henderson), 67 years old, widowed, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, had no enemies, and pretty much no friends (she’d outlived most of them). She lived on Social Security, and a small pension from her husband of 43 years.
Nothing she possessed had any value worth stealing, and nothing in the apartment had been touched, so robbery was not the motive. Her insurance policy would barely cover her funeral, so wealth wasn’t a motive either. It appeared to be a random killing, and that always led to fears of a serial killer, but there were no similar reported cases in the five state area.
“Fred, how’s the Radcliff, case going?”
“Well Captain,it looks like another dust catcher. I can’t find a single reason why someone would kill her, and forensics has nothing either, a 38 caliber bullet
with no striation matches in our system”
Captain Parks looked tired, and hung his head a second before answering: “Give it a couple more days, then turn in your report Fred. God, I hate dead end cases,
makes us all look incompetent.”
“Yes sir, will do.” But Fred had no idea where to go next, he’d be spinning his wheels the next three days.
It had been eight days since he turned in his report, and was still in a sour mood over it. Captain Parks, came bounding out of his office heading straight for his desk. “The superintendent at the building where the Radcliff murder happened, just found a body a few doors down from hers. Get over there, the coroner approximates the death about two weeks ago, they may be related.”
Fred was almost glad to hear of another murder, one that might lead to answers. “On my way Captain, as fast as traffic will let me.”
Chapter Two: Ants at a Picnic
The C.S.U. (crime scene unit), was scrambling over everything like ants at a picnic when he arrived. Finger print dust hanging in the air, vacuum cleaners sucking up every particle of dirt. Cameras flashing like a strobe light show. Evidence gathering in the modern world of science. He looked at the nearest tech and asked: “What do we know so far?” The tech looked at him, shrugged, and went back to his scrambling. Guess he would have to wait for the official findings, but he would take his own look around.
Dave Merre, the coroner, walked up to him: “Hey Fred, you draw this one?”
“Yeah, it might be tied in with the one down the hall, Dave”
“That would make sense, they seem to be about the same day, I’ll know more later, when I run lab tests. The caliber of bullet looks to be a 38 also. But this one looks to be personal. After all, who shoots a man in his jewels if they’re not pissed at him?”
Fred felt a little queasy at the thought of getting shot there, what man wouldn’t. “Yeah, as personal as it gets Dave, as personal as it gets!”
Okay, who had this guy screwed over bad enough to warrant dying like this? Was it a professional hit, and old Miriam, just collateral damage? How do you tell her loved ones that; “sorry, but she should have minded her own business”. Glad he didn’t have that duty, the P.R. department had one hell of a suck ass job.
“Okay, someone give me the background, who the hell is this guy?”
The first officer on the scene came up to him to give all he had garnered so far. “Yes sir detective, Officer Hansen, responding unit. The victims name is James Trenton, according to the super. He has lived here six years, always paid his rent on time, and lives a quiet life. Never had any complaints by other neighbors, or any problems with the building super. We’re running a background check on him now.”
“Alright Hansen, have everything you’ve got on my desk ASAP, and good work.” Hopefully the background would offer some clue, because right now it looked like they had as little as the murder down the hall.
Looking at the body, there was a strange sense that the victim was smiling. How could you smile when you just got shot in the jewels? He looked around the room, searching for things out of place, something missing. Nothing, it wasn’t robbery, wasn’t something that someone was searching for. The only thing made sense is it had to be something personal, a cold, calculated, killing. He would wait for morning, to get started looking at this guy’s life, and had a feeling it wasn’t a good one.
Chapter Three: Trenton’s Story
As Fred walked towards his desk, he saw that everyone else had been busy overnight. Looked like Officer Hansen, had dropped off his written report, and the background information that was in the system, and it had been organized already. He liked Hansen even more for doing that, saved him some time. There was also the coroner’s preliminary report. Time, and cause of death, bullet calibre (38), and ballistic match to the Radcliff, homicide. So there it was, the two murders were linked, but the coroner couldn’t be certain which was shot first of the two, margin of error on times of death. Flipping through the CSU report, it came as no surprise that there were no fingerprints, and nothing else which could be considered evidence of the killer’s identity.
Now let’s find out who Mr. Trenton is.
D.O.B. 10/12/1943, that would make him 70 years old.
Couple of speeding tickets, couple of parking tickets,
One DUI arrest, 1978. One in 2010, lost his car, and drivers license.
Married twice, both ended in divorce. A few domestic disturbance calls. Not a very nice guy apparently.
Here’s something interesting. Was considered a suspect in a rape case, in 1961, of a 15 year old girl. Was released without charges on lack of evidence.
No children from either marriage, and no relatives listed. Guess I’ll have the records department look to see if he has any brothers and/or sisters.
Arrested seven months ago for assault. He slapped a waitress on the ass at a bar down-town after he had a few. DNA recorded, and 1 year suspended probation.
Credit score of 620, no loans for him.
I guess I’ll have a couple of the flatfoots find out if his ex-wives are still alive, and interview them if they are still around. But I doubt either one of them even think of him anymore, but you never know with women, they can carry grudges a long time.
That evening found Fred, down-town, at the Bare Bones Beer Bar, otherwise known as the 4B’s. He wanted to check on the assault of the waitress, and see if she had a jealous boyfriend. As he entered the drinkery, he noticed it was as low class as one could find in the city, heading towards the bar, he motioned to the keep. “Hello, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to talk to a waitress working here named Julie Madson. Is she here, or do you have her address if she isn’t?”
The bar-keep looked at his badge, then answered: “Bo Michaels detective, and yeah, she’s right over there.” As he pointed to a dumpy mid thirties brunette serving a table near the corner.
“Ugh, thanks Bo, I’ll try not to tie her up to long, just have a few questions about an incident a while back.”
Bo grunted something as he went to tend to a customer. Fred headed to intercept Ms. Madson.
“Hello Ms. Madson, I’m detective Fred Thompson, 4th Precinct, homicide. I’d like to ask you a few questions about an assault on you by James Trenton, about seven months ago. Do you mind answering?”
“Not at all, what did that old fart do now?” she asked with a hint of disdain in her voice.
“I’ll get to that in a bit Ms. Madson. Are you married, engaged, or currently attached Ms. Madson?”
Laughing, she smiled at him and answered: “No. Why, are you interested detective? I don’t have time or energy for a social life, hell, this job, even with tips, barely keeps a roof over my head, and food in my gut.”
“Sorry, but I don’t have time for a social life either, so I commiserate with you. One more question. Do you have any family who might want to avenge you, for being assaulted by Mr. Trenton?” This time she didn’t laugh, but looked stricken.
“Detective, the last of my family, my brother, died two years ago in Afghanistan.”, as she broke down in tears. This interview was over.
I suppose I’ll pull that old rape case, and see if there’s any more there than I have been able to find so far, this is turning out to be another dust collector.
The next morning , Fred, was sitting in front of Captain Parks, desk, as the captain arrived for work. Captain parks didn’t break stride, but walked straight to his chair and sat.
“Captain, why didn’t you tell me you know Mr. Trenton?”
“Because Fred, I wanted you to come to me at the end of your investigation, so I could answer your questions. So ask away.”
“Why Captain? After all these years, and why Mrs. Radcliff?”
“James Trenton, brutally raped Agness Miller, in 1961, when she was 15 years old. She gave birth to a son in early 1962, and was shunned in her town as a slut for having a baby out of wedlock. Five years later she found a good man who loved her, and married Jason Parks, ten years older than her. She tried to be a good wife, and mother, but she suffered psychological issues that kept her withdrawn into herself. She became an alcoholic at 28, and committed suicide at 30. Jason Parks raised me as his own, and made sure I was loved, but I never stopped missing my mother. When I joined the police department, I read about my mother’s rape, and found the only witness, had recounted her story, and disappeared, one Miriam Joanne Henderson, 15 years old. I found out later, through years of investigation, she was in love with James Trenton, and had been having sex with him at that time. That is why she refused to testify.”
“Now, as to why, after all these years. I had no proof, until seven months ago, when he got arrested and we got his DNA. I had it checked against mine, and it proved he was the man who raped my mother. So I went and confronted him, and he laughed. So I shot him in the balls for the rape, the heart for destroying hers, and the head, so the last thing he would see, would be justice being served, by the seed of his own injustice. Then I shot Miriam for letting him get away with the rape of my mother.”
“Captain Parks, I’m placing you under arrest for the murder of James Trenton, and Miriam Joanne Radcliff. You have the right to remain……”