Author: Brian Lawrence PM
Charles Rinehart killed his wife and the reporter wants to understand the why. This is an experimental story written in all dialog from just one point of view. Two people are interviewed about this murder. We hear only the answers, though, not the questions.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Suspense - Words: 1,666 - Published: 08-11-12 - id: 3049632
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
By Brian Lawrence (1998)
"You cut right to the chase, don't you? Why did I do it? That's what you want to know? Why?
"Have you ever felt trapped in a situation?
"All my life, I've always been good at getting into things, but never any good getting out. I never had the courage to leave.
"Justifies it? No, probably not. Especially not to you or anyone else. But I saw an opportunity and took it.
"Please make sure you get my name right. Yeah, it's Charles, not Charlie or Chuck, but Charles. Charles Rinehart. No 'd' in Rinehart.
"We were married for eight years.
"For the first six years it was a great marriage. But then I started feeling trapped.
"Two. Here, let me show you.
"This one's Elizabeth. She's six. My wife called her Beth, but I always called her Elizabeth. And this one's Brittany. She's four. We both called her Brit.
"Aren't they, though? I miss them very much.
"Elizabeth takes after my wife. The dark curly hair and dark eyes. Brit, she's got more of me in her. The Rinehart curse, straight blonde hair. Can't do anything about it. She'll probably be short and squat like her old man, too.
"Boy you ask tough questions. I'm sorry it came to what it did. You know, my only way out being to kill her."
"I knew he was guilty. We just couldn't prove it.
"How did I know? Well, here's this husband, who should be grieving and all, and he had this nervous energy and light in his eyes. Not at all the reaction I would expect. He was jumpy, nervous, seemed in a hurry, you know. Like he had other things to do. Like we were keeping him from them. You know what I mean?
"Oh, thank you. About six months. It's my first, so both my husband and I are really excited.
"I plan on working up to the eighth month. Then I'll take time off. I've got vacation saved up, plus my maternity leave.
"The heat's been bad. And standing. That's why my hair is pulled up into such a mess, so please no pictures. I just can't stand too long, so curling my hair is out.
"Yeah, some of the guys can be real sexist jerks. But most of them are supportive. I haven't done any heavy duty for the last couple months. But working that Rinehart case, I was three months along and putting in fourteen, fifteen hour days. I wasn't going to stop 'til I nailed that guy.
"I don't think we'd have ever got him on his wife if he hadn't killed his boss later."
"Oh sure. We talked about divorce. And you're right, I should have walked away. I mean, it was all me. Delores loved me. And I loved her. But I felt trapped. Restless.
"Never! I never cheated on her. And I wouldn't. It wasn't that. I wasn't looking for other women.
"Because she would have taken my girls. I...I couldn't let that happen. They're the...the light of my life. Delores started talking about going back home if we split, back to Arizona. That's two thousand miles away! I'd only get to see Elizabeth and Brit once, maybe twice a year. The thought of that...I still get so angry.
"Sorry about that. It won't happen again. Didn't mean to startle you."
"The way we figure it, his wife, Delores Rinehart, she was recently diagnosed as having Diabetes. And she died, you know, of an insulin overdose. So, the way we figure it, was the hubby, Charles as he likes to be called.
"Yeah, imagine that, a janitor who insists on being called Charles. 'Not Charlie or Chuck, ma'am' he said to me as I was cuffing him.
"Oh, yeah. Anyway, we think he altered the prescription and his wife was given a much higher dose than she needed. Her diabetes wasn't that bad, according to her doctor. Easily controlled, you know. So at first, we thought maybe the pharmacy had screwed up. You know, transposed some numbers or something.
"Well, we found the prescription note, and it matched what the pharmacy had given out. So we talked to Mrs. Rinehart's doctor and on her chart was a much lower dosage.
"Yeah, the doctor could have made a mistake writing out the script, but under close examination, we could tell the script had been altered.
"You're right, that was pretty clever for a janitor. I hate to admit it, but Mr. Rinehart's a smart guy. Working way below his capabilities. If you ask me, he's a spook.
"I mean he's a psychopathic son-of-a-buck."
"No, I didn't deal with all my relationships like this. I have friends, friends I've had for a long time, since I was a kid. But with women, it was different. I mean, I've never been a ladies man. Meeting women was always difficult for me.
"Well, thank you. You're very attractive yourself. Maybe when I get out...
"Yeah, I see your point. Keep it professional. Sorry. But you have such a beautiful smile and such happy eyes.
"Sorry, didn't mean to make you blush.
"High school, that's when we met. My senior year. Oh, man, what a painful time. I was so gawky, such a geek. I dated some, but the girl always dumped me. Even when I didn't like the girl, I'd just do things to make her hate me so I didn't have to break up with her.
"No, Delores was different. At least I thought at the time. It was in April of my senior year. I was getting desperate for a date for the senior prom.
"No, I never did work up the nerve. Delores asked me. Said she'd had a crush on me for some time. Imagine that. Imagine that, she asked me. The only woman that ever did that.
"Ouch. You don't mince words do you? But you're right, and I killed her. That's the thanks she gets, huh?
"Sabotage. That's a good word. That's what I did, tried to sabotage our marriage. I started pulling the same crap I did with other girls when I wanted to break up. The last two years of our marriage I treated her bad.
"Never! I never laid a hand on her.
"Oh, sorry. I did it again, didn't I? Believe me, I'm not a violent person. I'd never hurt a fly. Only a table or two.
"Well, I stayed out all night several nights a week, going to the bars with the guys. I played a lot of sports. In the summer I'd golf three, four evenings after work, then on both Saturday and Sunday. When I was home I ignored her, spent all my time with the kids or watching TV
"My kids are important to me! I just told you when I was home I spent my time with them.
"Oh yeah, sorry, I'll try not to do that again.
"But they are my life. They are my life.
"Constantly. When I was around, we fought constantly. But she hung in there.
"Yeah, that's right. So I killed her.
"My boss was a real a-hole. He deserved to die.
"Sure, I've had lousy bosses before and lousy jobs before. And no, I never killed none of my other bosses.
"Let's see, I think I've had five jobs in the last ten years. I dropped out of college after my sophomore year and went to work.
"Yeah, jobs were the same for me as relationships with women. That's a good way of putting it. When I got tired of a job, usually after two, three years, I'd start screwing around and finally get fired, then look for another. It got increasingly difficult to find a job. It got so I had to lie on my resume. Fortunately, my last boss didn't check.
"Yeah, that one.
"No, I liked this job. I didn't feel trapped. I didn't want to move on. The kids were great. They all knew me and I knew them. It's great watching kids grow up.
"I told you, the guy was an a-hole.
"Yeah, I guess if you put it that way. In a way I was trapped. I loved my job and this guy was making things miserable for me, so yeah. Good observation. Besides being attractive, you're also very smart.
"It was a lot easier the second time, you know after Delores.
"No, I wasn't very clever about killing my boss."
"That's where we got him. You see, his boss, Mr. Nelson, the principal, wasn't diabetic. So, when he died of an insulin overdose, we started digging real deep.
"We found a syringe in the trash bin behind the school. The lot number of the syringe matched those that Rinehart's wife had.
"No, we also found one vial more missing than should have been according to when Mrs. Rinehart starting taking the insulin and how many doses she would have taken. Rinehart had no explanation for that. Actually, he offered no comment on anything. Went mute on us.
"You did? Not me, he scared the crap out of me the first time I met him. Yeah, he has those rugged good looks, but his eyes. I mean there's something missing in there, if you ask me."
"Insanity plea? Yeah, my lawyer tried to push for that. Said I had a good chance. You know, do several years in a cushy state hospital then be out.
"Because, I'm not insane. I know what I did was wrong according to society. But I had no choice. Can't you see that? I was trapped. What alternative did I have? Huh, what alternative!?
"Geez, I'm sorry, didn't mean to squeeze your arm that hard.
"Hey, wait! You don't have to leave. I said I'm sorry. It won't happen again. Wait, please. Wait, don't leave me alone.
"I feel so...Oh God, I feel so...trapped."