THIS IS FICTION! NOT TRUE. A STORY. NOT A REAL EVENT.
Homage to MidSomer Murders from Garry Armstrong, the show’s current number one fan. And with a nod and a wink to Sunset Boulevard and Philip Marlowe. On the occasion of our granddaughter’s 20th birthday, a lovely little murder.
Photographs (mostly) by Marilyn Armstrong, except for a couple by Garry, aka “The first Victim.”
THE THIRD VICTIM: Looking for Connections!
Some of the usual suspects were released on ROR four days ago. A bluff move to flush out perps higher up the chain. But then another twist. A third body. The Third Man.
The corpse was found less than an hour after the suspects’ release…. which was before any media update. The cops were keeping a tight lid on information. All the released suspects were being closely tailed.
The third victim was found in a field adjoining the site of the original crimes. All doubts vanished. For the newshounds, it was clear. A serial killer at work!! Police refused comment. Of course. Unnamed sources close to the investigation admit that motivation for the three murders remains murky.
Which has only heightened media speculation.
Is there a drug connection? Money laundering? Has the Mob invaded this sleepy New England village?
An Interpol agent was spotted at the latest crime scene. A handout statement offered no insight why international law enforcement was now involved.
Then, a break from a trusted, veteran reporter — retired but he sometimes helps when police need answers.
A connection was spotted between two of the three victims. Similar tattoos. The veteran reporter noticed the familiar inks and huddled with Interpol to see if there’s a link to the Russian mob. No confirmation from the reporter or Interpol, but chatter with gangland tattoo experts has been confirmed.
Some of the police are trying to remain under cover. This group from Dodge City are keeping a low profile.
Meanwhile, the now four-pronged investigation is advancing on multiple fronts. State troopers and local detectives are looking for connections between the three victims.
Was the first victim an anomaly or grisly diversion in the serial killings? Or, were the later killings an attempt to befog the first murder? Was this a hate crime? If so, what do the haters hate?
So many questions, so few answers.
Network news outlets have set up staging areas, each trying to scoop the other as they slaver over every new bit of gossip and try to spin it into the story. The FBI’s BAU (Behavior Analyst Unit) is on the case and their current thinking is that the killer is a pro. A stone cold killer.
They’re working backwards, trying to connect the three murders. Fresh eyes are looking at murders number one and two.
Background Review: THE SECOND VICTIM: Murder most foul!
(There will be a short quiz following the conclusion of this story.)
Local, state and federal investigators are offering minimal information about the latest victim. CSU photos show he was white, middle-aged, and apparently healthy. There’s no word on how or when the victim was killed. A local resident confirmed the body was found in the same area, the same farm land where the first murder occurred more than two weeks ago.
Some wonder if this is a worse case scenario. It’s top buzz on talk shows.
A SERIAL killer running amok…. on the heels of the late summer birthday party murder!!
Victim Number Two
Shock waves continue to reverberate. It’s the ultimate loss of innocence for a small town where typically, the top news item is roadwork tying up traffic on main street. Burglaries or car break-ins are the high-priority items on the police blotter. No one worries about big city violence. Everyone knows everybody. It’s that kind of town.
THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY – The First Victim
My granddaughter’s birthday party murder was the game changer!
State police are still sifting through the testimony of party guests. Records are being checked for previous criminal activity. Cold cases are being unwrapped, searching for clues or patterns.
Reviewing party guests, no one stands out as an obvious suspect. Everyone seems pleasant, amiable. Perhaps not overly friendly, but polite and civil. No blatant hostility was evident. No obvious suspects stand out from the crowd.
Eyes – very dry!
Profilers are looking at the gathering, breaking them down into age groups and backgrounds. Motive is the big question. Everyone is so vague in their answers. This case calls for someone with expertise.
And, that would be me. The victim. This is my case, my story. I will tell it best because it revolves around me. It always did, in life and now, in death.
A retired, award-winning TV News reporter, I was checking out suspicious things before my demise that warm summer’s day. Now I know it was no coincidence, but at the time, I was bemused by the variety of possible weapons I found in the shed. All so readily available to anyone with a grudge and an opportunity to commit murder.
I’d covered so many murders in my forty plus years on the job, I knew something was amiss. Something was strange, wrong. Creepy. Unfortunately, I was right. Pity I didn’t realize the object was … me.
I didn’t say anything to anyone. It was pleasant party. I hoped we could avoid family squabbles and enjoy the festivities and go home with nothing more than mild indigestion to deal with. Everyone was focused on food. Hot dogs, burgers, salad, coke and beer. Good stuff. Classic American cuisine.
I was on my third or fourth hot dog. Feeling pretty good. I discreetly eyed the other guests, trying to put those weapons I’d seen out of my mind. Conversation was light. Restrained. Most guests kept their distance. Something was amiss, but I couldn’t put my finger on precisely what.
It fell on me to make some toasts, I suppose because of my professional background. I looked at the faces as I offered some light banter. No one seemed offended — but no one really laughed. I must’ve touched someone’s hot button — but who?
I turned around to get some water. I felt a whack on the back of my head. The world went blank.
The FIRST victim!
On the ground unable to move, I could still hear the people gathered around me. I hoped someone was calling for help, but it seemed everyone was taking pictures — of me — or selfies with my body as background.
I heard giggles and laughter. Then nothing. Nothing but The Big Sleep.
What’s the motive? Where are the connections? Is it a stone-cold killer or a killer made of actual stone? Tune in next week for another episode of MidSummer Murder!
Part I – LATE MIDSUMMER MURDER MYSTERY BY GARRY ARMSTRONG
Part II – A SERIAL KILLER? LATE SUMMER MURDER MYSTERY BY GARRY ARMSTRONG (PART 2)