Detective Strong and the Trent case.
I was back home enjoying my day off when the phone rang. “Mr. Horn, this is detective Strong. I wonder if I could pass by today and ask you some more questions.”
“Well I told you everything that I knew about that girl, you know. I really cannot think of something that I forgot to mention to you.” I didn’t understand his persistence in asking me more questions. I was afraid that eventually through more questioning he would see how much I hated my ex-girlfriend.
“Mr. Horn, this is not about your ex-girlfriend, its about your ex-boss, Andrew Trent.”
“Well what about him. I left him a good 10 years ago.” I was amazed that the detective wanted to talk about my ex-boss.
“I know Mr. Horn. The problem is that he was found dead a few nights ago in his warehouse. It was in the papers you know. Did you not read that?
“No, not at all. I must have gone over it and missed it.” It wasn’t true. I rarely bought newspapers anymore and generally most local news bore me to death and I generally skipped them.
“This is why I want to ask you some more questions. Can I come now, or do you prefer to come to my office?
I didn’t like the sound of his voice. There was a hint of a threat against me, as if he believed that I was probably implicated in this murder. I had to play it cool. “You can come right now if you want, Detective Strong. I am not working today, my day off.”
“Alright then, I’ll arrive shortly, good-bye.”
“Okay then.” I hung up the phone and began thinking, how was it that first my ex-girlfriend gets killed and then my ex-boss? Isn’t it kind of amazing that coincidence? I mean, what are the odds that two murders in the city are connected to me through my past. I sat and wondered. And if I am asking myself these questions then I bet that the detective is asking himself the same questions. But I have no answers. I’m probably a suspect in the eyes of the police. The buzzer rang and I knew that the detective was here.
“Hello detective, good to see you again.” In fact I wasn’t happy that I had to answer questions again, but I had to be civil and polite. I had no choice.
“Thanks for seeing me on such short notice.” he said.
“Well its quite alright. I am ready to answer any questions that you might have. Please take a seat,” I said as I walked towards my kitchen. “A coffee perhaps?” I asked.
“No, thanks. I must be frank with you, I am troubled by this association between these murders and you. First your ex-girlfriend and now your ex-boss. What a coincidence isn’t it?”
“Well, I can’t explain it. How can I? But there must be a rational explanation for these murders and the connection with me.”
“I would like you to tell me, in both cases, where were you when they happened. In other words Mr. Horn, is there someone that can vouch for you? Someone that can say positively that you were with them?” asked the detective.
I was not surprised when the detective said these words. He was practically accusing me of murder. He knew I had no alibi for the first murder and I had none for the second as well. My anger was rising with these false accusations. I decided to confront him and to bring it all in the open.
“Are you accusing me of murder detective? Is that it?” I asked.
“Not at all, Mr.Horn. It is normal procedure to ask people where they were in cases where the murder victim was in some way related to…”
“The suspects right? So you are suspecting that I might be involved in those murders!” I was indignant now and I was feeling the anger rising in me. I was being unjustly accused and I felt slighted by it.
“Mr. Horn, calm down. No one is accusing you of anything. If that were the case, you would be interrogated at the police station. As we are in your home, rest assured that I am simply trying to understand the causal relationship between the victims and you, that’s all. You must admit that it is strange.”
He was right after all. If they really believed that I was behind these murders I would be at the station, perhaps even held behind bars. I went overboard in my anger and indignation and I knew I had to re-compose myself. I was losing it and now was not the time to do so. I had to play it cool. “Alright, fine. As far as an alibi, the answer is that I have none. As both murders occurred in the evening, and I was home alone on both cases, no one can vouch for me.”
“That is a pity. My only concern was to be able to rule you out completely as a possible suspect. Now I can’t. I can still rule you out as a suspect simply on the basis that your relationship with the murder victims was in the distant past and you had no real motive for murder.” he said.
“Well thank-you very much for ruling me out at least partially.” I said in a mocking way. “I would point out to you that while you are asking me questions the real murderer is out there, perhaps even planning another murder.” I countered.
“What makes you think that there will be another murder?” The detective said as he frowned at me. That was probably one sentence too much that I had uttered.
“I was just assuming that as the two victims had nothing in common, a third victim was a possibility. Why should he stop at two?” I replied.
“It is interesting Mr. Horn that you believe that the murderer is a male and that he would go on killing. Frankly, it is possible that all this is simply a coincidence. Strange but possible. But I can assure that if we have a third victim and it turns out that the victim is again related to you in some way, I will have to seriously consider that either someone is trying to frame you or that you are the murderer!” said the detective.
I squirmed on my seat. I was about to let my temper get the better of me again but I held it back and smiled to the detective. “Let’s hope then that it stops at two.”
“Well Mr. Horn I will leave you now.” the detective said as he left the kitchen. We shook hands and he left me alone with my thoughts. I had a lot to think about. What if my shadow was involved in some way? And should I tell the detective about this?