Murders at Midnight

The morning had a slight chill in the air, the sun began to ascend over the horizon, and the fog ran in terror. A black Volvo drove along the dirt path, he parked on the side of the dirt path then walked over to the police officers. Two slim officers were closing off the crime scene while the other seemed to be waiting for someone. Most likely the detective so he approached the heavy-set officer.

"Good morning," the detective said, as he shook the officer's hand. "I'm Detective Edgar Hart."

"Good morning to you, I'm Officer Patterson. I've been expecting you; no one has disturbed the area since we've arrived. Would you like to see the crime scene?" He gestured toward the body.

"Well, how long has the victim been decease for?" Edgar asked.

"It seems the body has been dead for eight and half to nine hours. Though, that's just my assumption we won't know anything until we get the body down to the morgue." Patterson said.

"Okay, I'll give the place a look around then you may take the body. But before I do I have a few questions. First, where have you and your men been walking? Second, has either one of you gone near the body, if so how close? Lastly, would you mind leaving the area momentarily?" Edgar put on a pair of latex gloves, and put his headphones in his ear.

"Umm… Just from the path straight back other than that, nowhere. I don't know how close we got to the body and if you don't mind me asking, why is that important? And I suppose I don't mind leaving for a bit… I could use a break." Patterson found his questions to be absurd.

"I guess I can work without that bit of information, however it could be of help. So if you remember please let me know. Now, if you could call your men to the path." He wasn't asking or saying, he was commanding them.

"Would you like me to explain the situation of the body before I go?" Patterson asked.

"That won't be necessary. I'll examine the body then I'll explore the area to see if the killer left anything behind." Edgar sounded a little agitated that they didn't obey him when he told them to leave. "Don't you have any more questions to ask me, Officer Patterson? Or will that be all?"

"No, no. I'd say that's good," he answered.

He nodded and shrugged them off and headed towards the victim. He turned his iPod on and stared listening to Disturbed. He came across the victim and it wasn't a sight that most could look upon, and keep the knots in their stomach from turning. He stood beside the body and knelt down for a closer examination. All the skin on the fingers and toes were peeled off, deep lacerations along both front and back of the torso, and it seemed that the victim was tortured before the killer beaten to death. Edgar could tell that the killer was overly frustrated when he or she killed the victim because of the deep stab wounds to the torso. But was the killer stupid enough to leave something behind? No the killer wasn't Edgar knew it. It would take deep investigation to find the one responsible. He examined the body further and was disgusted to see that a human being could do this to another human being.

The grass around the body was bathed in crimson rain; there was a set of footprints that didn't match the shoes the police officers wore. The person who made those footprints had a terrible gimp in their right leg because of the patterns in the grass. He pulled out a small tape recorder from his pocket. "Someone had a malicious endeavor against the victim. The face has been almost completely mutilated and there's barely an expression, but nevertheless there is an expression, which signifies the victim experience horrific pain before they die. The victim is female, probably in her mid twenties." He turned off the recorder and slipped it back into his pocket.

He went back to examined the dirt path and found that the same gimp-leg patters were here as well. These ones were different the person was pacing here. It was apparent that the killer put all their weight in their left foot as he or she spun in the opposite direction. Edgar knew that the tracks were made a couple of hours ago. He walked back to the officers.

"I'm done with my examination of the body you may do as you wish with it, now. Do you know the identity of the victim?" Edgar asked Patterson?

"No, we do not. Were still working on finding the victim's personal belongings. As you've seen the victim's clothes and purse is missing. We'll spread our search and I let you know if we find anything." Patterson assured him.

"I know you will." With that he walked away still trying to decipher what else he could at the crime scene. He stopped and covered his forehead with his hand; this would be a complicated case.

I need to understand why the killer chose this specific victim. I wonder if someone close to her has a gimp in he or she's right leg. I wouldn't assume that an immediate relation did this to her, but I won't disclose it as a possibility. Whoever did this had a grudge against her… I wonder if she was dating someone? Well, there's no sense in pondering this and making a hypothesis I have to get back downtown, he thought.

He went back to his car he turned the ignition as the engine purred to life, even though he couldn't stop thinking about the pacing tracks on the path. Shaking his he drove off. He pulled into the parking lot he shut off the car and got out. He was hoping they had found the identity of the victim so that he could solve the case. He half-ran up the stairs opening two large oak doors before he slowed into a walk.

He walked up to the officer at the desk. "I just got done investigating the McKenna Woods' case and I was wondering if Officer Patterson found the identity for the victim?"

"No, I haven't received anything from him yet, but when I do you'll be the first to know."

"Naturally. Just make sure he accelerates his search I don't want the killer on the loose for much longer." Edgar's was slightly venomous.

"Of course, what is your name?" the officer asked.

"Detective Edgar Hart," he answered, now agitation started to set in.

Before the officer could say something else he walked away. He found the police department incompetent and irresponsible, but he needed their resources in order to catch the killer. The local police department's stupidity and how one little piece of evidence manage to escape them astounded him. Was it the police's insufferable incompetence or was the killer extremely careful in making sure he or she wasn't caught? He realized he had some time to kill so he got a cup of coffee, and headed to the chief's office.

The chief was a short, heavy-set man with hair. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm Detective Edgar Hart, I thought while your men are out looking for the evidence to my case that I would come in here to relax."

The chief's blue eyes were stunned by the Edgar's rudeness. "I'm Chief Mathew Boulder, please take a sit." He was kind as he gestured him to his seat.

Edgar sat down then took a sit of his coffee. "So how long does it your men to recover evidence? Please do not tell a couple of days." His tone was sharper than knifes.

"I don't know, as long as it takes them." Again, he was shocked by his incredible incomprehensible Obnoxious. There was a brief silence before the phone rang Mathew answered it. He talked with the person on the other line for a moment before he hung up. Mathew looked down at his desk before looking up at Edgar.

"They found the personal belongings to the victim in your case. Her name is Samantha Treebank, she twenty-four years of age, her family lives nearby. You go talk to her parents and we'll start looking for suspects, sound good?" Mathew waited for his answer.

"Well, of course. Here is my cell phone number when you get a list of suspects call me." Edgar handed him a sheet of paper with his number. "Give me the address to Samantha's house." His tone was still rude.

Mathew wrote down the address and handed it to him.

"Remember to call me if you find anyone," he said, as he walked away and closed the door behind him.

Went to his car and drove to the address that Chief Mathew Boulder gave him. He pulled up to a white house, the paint has been chipped from the weather and time, and there's a small stone walkway up to the front door. He got out of his car he could smell that the lawn had just been mowed. As he walked to the house he instantly consider Samantha Treebank's parent as suspects. He knocked once he reached the door. A woman of forty years of age answered the door.

"Are you Mrs. Treebank?" Edgar asked.

"Yes," she answered in a low but gentle voice.

"Your daughter Samantha was murdered late last night. The killer remains on the loose and I'm doing everything in my power catch the murderer." He showed no compassion for her lost. The only thing he cared about was catching the killer.

She was dazed then she fell to her knees crying, wailing, how could he be so inconsiderate of her feelings. Because it was his job and in his line of work there're no room for emotions. He observe her closely he tried to determine whether or not that this was all an act. However, she was a grieving mother for the lost of her child, but could this all be a ruse to throw off his suspicion of her.

"Mrs. Treebank, may I come in?" he asked.

She barely made in to her feet. "Yes, you may," she said.

He followed her into the house. They walked into the living room were they sat on the couch. The floors were hard wood finish, the walls were a pearl white, and the fireplace was outlined with marble. Edgar knew that these people were not poor.

"Is Mr. Treebank home today?" He looked into her blue eyes; they were bloodshot and teary.

"No, I'm afraid he is not. And he won't be home until later on tonight." As a tear fell down her cheek she still trembled. "Would you like me to call him and have him come home?"

"No, no. There's no need to bother him right this minute; I'll come back another time to question him. But for now I have a few questions for you. Did you know if anyone wanted to harm your daughter?" He kept a close eye on her.

"No… I don't. I couldn't see why anyone would want to harm her she was such a sweet girl," she said.

"How close have you and your daughter been, lately?"

"We're not as close as we use to be. We have been since she moved into her dorm at college." Her tears started flowing again, she leaned her head her golden blonde hair covered her face.

"So there's a possibility that someone wanted to harm her. Maybe she made an enemy that sort of thing is not uncommon in college killings. When was the last time you saw Samantha? And what was her behavior like, was it normal?"

"Two days ago, and she was acting a little off I thought she might have come down with something. So I didn't pay any attention to it…." Her voice cracked.

"You didn't bother to ask if something was wrong with your own daughter?" He sounded irritated.

"No," she snapped. "She probably would have lied to me anyway."

"That doesn't mean you shouldn't have asked. So basically what you're saying is that you're no help to me. Well, that will be all for the questioning." He stood up and went to his car disappointed that no clues were found. His phone rung and he quickly dug into his pocket to retrieve it.

He flipped in open. "Detective Edgar Hart."

"Edgar, it's me. We have some suspects here if you would like to investigate them." It was Chief Mathew Boulder on the other line.

"I might as well. Since I'm getting nowhere here, could you do me a favor?"

"Well, of course, what is it?" Mathew was surprised that he was capable of being nice.

"Send someone to keep an eye on Mrs. Treebank, something tells me that she's withholding information. I just want a man here until I can come back to question Mr. Treebank that you may remove your man from the case." Edgar stared at the living room window, and notice Mrs. Treebank watching him.

There it was again, that not needed rudeness. "Can do, is there anything else I can do for you?"

"No," he said, as he hung up the phone. He turned the ignition and drove off. Something didn't fit he knew she was lying to him, however, he didn't think that her grieving was a ruse. What could she be concealing from him? He wondered whom the suspects were, and if they were capable of the murder? Because he wished not to waste time on dead ends, but of course every case has dead ends he knew it. There was no place wishing there wasn't any when in fact there would be.

He arrived at the parking lot a little past three o'clock. He switched off the ignition and walked into the building to the interrogation room. There was two police officers standing in front of the door.

"Who is the suspect being held in this room?" Edgar asked the officer to his right.

"Terry White, she is a friend of the victim. Would you like to talk to her?"

"Yes, and when I'm finish I'll be talking to the other suspect. Make sure no one but their talks to them, is that understood?"

The officer nodded.

Edgar walked into the room. He saw Terry sitting with her hands on the green table. She has brown curly hair that falls pass her shoulders. "Miss White, do you know why you're here today?"

"Yes, the officer that brought me here said I was being investigated for the murder of Samantha." Her voice calm she looked at him with her dark eyes.

He found her behavior a little strange for her to just lose her best friend, and not shed a tear about the whole thing. "Miss White, where were you between midnight and eight o'clock this morning?"

"In my dorm room studying for a test tomorrow. Why you think I killed her?" She slipped her hands off the table and onto her lap. "'Cause I didn't. I loved her she was like my sister I could never do anything to harm her."

Edgar smiled; of course he heard this sort of thing before. "Do you have anyone that could verify that? And was there anyone who wanted to harm, Samantha?"

"Yes, my roommate. She was dating this guy Lance for a while, but they broke up a month ago. Am I going to need a lawyer?" She was still too calm about the matter.

"No, no. You're free to go when you want. But I must insist that you incline me for just a couple more questions, would fine with you?" Edgar asked.

"Fine… just a couple more," She said, sighing.

"Thank you. When was the last time you saw Samantha? And how was her behavior?"

"A week ago. She was acting a little weird that day I asked what was wrong. She told me that it seemed like someone was following her. I thought maybe it was Lance because he didn't take it too well when they broke up," she explained.

"Is that everything?" He knew she was trying to throw the blame toward Lance, which meant she had something to hide.

She nodded.

"You're free to go. But don't try to leave town just in case you're needed, again." He walked out of the room. "She's free to go. Where is the other suspect? And what's their name?" Edgar asked the officer to his right.

"The next room over. His name is Lance Johnson."

Edgar walked off without a word. He opened the door and there sat Lance with his spiked, bleach blonde hair, and quivering light blue eyes.

"Mr. Johnson, do you know why you are here?"

"Yeah, umm… my ex-girlfriend Samantha Treebank was murdered this morning." He was shaking slightly. He tried not to make eye contact.

"Where were you between midnight and eight o'clock this morning?"

"I was at a party until ten then I left after that I was with no one." He was nervous.

"You wanted her dead for breaking up with you, didn't you?"

"It's no more than the fucking bitch deserved!" He slammed his fists on the table.

"Well, Mr. Johnson, until I collect further evidence I'm placing you under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be use against you in court of law. You have the right to attorney if you cannot afford one, one will appointed to you. Do you understand your rights?" Edgar walked around the table, and had Lance stand as he cuffed him.

"I want my phone call," he said.

"And you have that right." Edgar walked him out of the room and gave him to the officers standing out the door. He noticed that Lance didn't have a gimp in his right leg. He explained to them why arrested him. Then he went to the Chief Boulder's office.

"Is there anyone else that committed the murderer?"

"Why?" He was stunned be the question.

"Well, I placed Lance Johnson under arrest, but something doesn't fit. He doesn't have a gimp in his right leg and causes a dilemma." Edgar rubbed his hands over his face.

"How so?" Mathew was puzzled.

"Well, at the crime scene there were foot tracks of someone who had a gimp in their leg. So either Lance has accomplice or he isn't the killer, which mean that the real killer is still out there." Frustration overwhelmed him.

"What do you expect me to do?"

"Keep you men searching, and try to make sure Lance isn't let go. I'm heading back to the Treebank's house maybe there's some information still left unsaid. Call me if you get anything new." He walked back out to his car.

As he started the car he looked at the clock it was a quarter past eight o'clock. He was exhausted and he ready for sleep. Drove back to the Treebank's house hoping Mr. Treebank had come back from work. As he pulled into the driveway he notice that a jeep was parked there now, maybe that was Mr. Treebank's jeep. He got out of his car and walked up the stone walkway to the front door. He knocked on the door and waited a moment for someone to answer. The door opened and there was a man in his early fifties, with hazel eyes, and white hair standing before him. He was holding a baseball bat.

"Are you, Mr. Treebank?" Edgar asked him.

"Yes, I am. May I ask who you are?" He tried to hide the bat behind him.

"Certainly, I am Detective Edgar Hart. Your wife may have told you that I came by earlier to inform her that your daughter, Samantha was murdered early this morning. I was wondering if I could talk to you, would that be okay?" Edgar didn't fail to make a mental note of the baseball bat he was holding.

"Please, come in." He seemed like a man trying to defend his family from a hungry bear. Fear was obvious in his eyes.

Edgar waited for Mr. Treebank to gesture him in. He walked into the house so Edgar followed him they went to the living room. "Mr. Treebank, when was the last time you saw your daughter? And was there anything weird about her behavior?"

"About two weeks ago is the last time I remember seeing her. And no, she seemed normal like always laughing and being very talkative. We went out for lunch then she said she had a test to study for, and that was the last time I saw her."

"Did you know anybody that wanted to harm her?"

"No. We were really that close when she moved to college. Have you caught the one responsible for killing my baby?"

"I'm afraid I cannot discuss the case with you. Where were you two days ago?"

"I was home," he said.

"All day?" Edgar asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"That's very strange." Edgar smiled.

"What?" Mr. Treebank's hand started to get clammy.

"If I recall correctly, your wife told me that she saw your daughter two days ago. And one would think that if she was in town that she would come by here to visit. So, be honest, did you see Samantha that day?" He caught him on his lie, which only made him think that Mrs. Treebank had been lying to as well.

"Yes… I did see Samantha that day," he said shamefully.

"Then why did you lie to me? I mean if you had nothing to do with the murder, then why lie to me? Unless you know something you're not telling me, something that could put you and your wife in danger. Furthermore, it's probably something that you can't risk if it was released to the public, would I be correct, sir?"

"I plead the Fifth." Mr. Treebank threw the bat on the floor, and he saw that his wife had walked into the room. "Honey, don't say anything to this man."

Edgar walked up to him. "If I find anything that proofs you had something to do with the murder, and you refuse to help me. I'll make sure your ass goes away for a very, very long time." Edgar smirked at him.

"Get the hell out of my house!" Mr. Treebank yelled.

He tipped his hat to them and went to his car. He got his cell phone out of his pocket and called Chief Mathew Boulder.

"Hello," Mathew said.

"It's me, Edgar. I just got done talking to Mr. Treebank and he pleaded the fifth. I want someone watching him because the moment he does something wrong I'm going to be there. And he'll never see the light of day again. But it's getting late so I'm going home."

"All right, I'll see you then."

Edgar hung up the phone and headed to his house. He staggered into his house he didn't bother turning on any lights. He went to his room and lay down on his bed and fell asleep. He awoke to his phone ringing he grabbed his phone and answered it. "Hello."

"Edgar, it's me, Chief Mathew Boulder. There was another murder this morning."

"So? Why are you telling me? I'm working on another case."

"Well, I thought I would tell you since it was Mrs. Treebank who was killed."

He sat up fully aware. "What about Mr. Treebank, is he still alive?"

"Yes, he is. Are you heading over there?"

"Indeed, I am. Send over Officer Patterson until I arrive."

"Will do," he said.

Edgar hung up the phone and got out of bed and dressed. He wore a gray suit with a gray overcoat and a gray hat. He rushed to his car and turned the ignition then whipped out of his driveway. He pulled into Mr. Treebank's driveway and just he requested Officer Patterson was there. Edgar got out of his car and walked up to Officer Patterson.

"Where was the murder committed at?"

"Upstairs in their bedroom. The murder was committed in the same way the last one was, except the face was bashed in with a baseball bat."

"Where is he?"

"Living room," he said.

Edgar rushed into the house and straight into the living room. "Mr. Treebank, we meet again. Are you still pleading the Fifth? Or are you ready to tell what you know?" Edgar asked.

"I plead the Fifth," he said, as he lowered his head.

"This is pointless and you know it. Your daughter and wife was just murdered, the weapon used to kill your wife was a baseball bat. Where is the baseball bat you were holding last night, Mr. Treebank?" He believed that Mr. Treebank was the killer.

"I don't have it…." He kept his head down.

"Everything points to you. Why can't you stop this foolishness and tell me what I want to know?" There was no sense in being nice.

"Because I don't want to admit we made a mistake." He looked at Edgar with a shameful expression and sorrow-filled eyes. "You don't know what it's like!"

"What do you mean that 'we' made a mistake? Did you and someone else kill them?" Now he was getting somewhere.

"I can't…." He started crying.

"Did you do it?!" Edgar grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him.

"No, I did not. But I know who did," he said, crying.

"Who goddamn it?! Who killed them if not you than who?"

"It… was my… my son…." His voice he was unable to speak because he was crying so hard.

"What do you mean your son? We checked your record there's no list of you having a son."

He tried to calm himself. "No, there wouldn't be. My wife and I had his name removed from the system to ensure that no one would ever know our mistake. Carl Treebank, my son, was deformed at birth and he had some behavior disorders since he was very young. He liked to kill animals in the wood and he would mangle them beyond recognition." He grabbed a tissue from the stand next to him. "We had him locked away in a insane asylum we thought it would be best for him. We got a call a couple weeks ago informing us that he had escaped, and since he resented us for locking him away. We were told he might come after us.

"See Samantha didn't know she had a brother and we tried our hardest to keep that from her. We didn't know that he was going find her or even kill her. So to answer your question detective, my baseball bat was taken by my son. He used it to kill my wife and since I wasn't here he left. Leaving a little message that I would be next. My family is dead and so should I too."

"Not if I have anything to do about it. Do you know where he might be headed? And is there anyone else he wants to kill? Don't worry you'll have twenty-four protection and if one of the police officers see him they'll arrest him on the spot. This is very important so I must insist that you do not plead the Fifth, again. You say your son was born with a birth deformity, does he have a gimp in his right leg?"

"Yes," he said. "I don't know where he is heading, but I do know that he'll come back for me."

"Then he is the killer." Edgar clapped his hands together. "I'll be leaving you in the care of Officer Patterson. I'll be back in a few hours and I'll send a corner to get your wife out of here. Do you know what Carl looks like? Or where were some of his favorite places to go?"

"I don't know what he looks like, but I do know that he like to McKenna Woods."

With that he left. He walked over to Patterson and explained the situation to him, and he also told him to call the chief and have Lance Johnson released. Then he went to his car and started the ignition and drove off to McKenna Woods. Edgar drove to where this case began since most murderers always return to the scene of the crime. And sure enough there stood Carl Treebank right in the same exact spot where he killed his sister. He turned the car off and he got out as quickly as he could.

"Carl Treebank, hold it right there. You're under arrest for the murder of Samantha and Mrs. Treebank. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be use against you in court of law. You have the right to attorney if you cannot afford one, one will appointed to you. Do you understand your rights?"

Carl looked at him with a crooked smile and a baseball bat in hand. "They hated me because of who I am, and because I don't look normal. Do you know what it's like to be unwanted? Of course you don't because you had a loving family." He raised his bat above his head.

"No, don't do it!" Edgar yelled, as he drew his gun.

Carl kept running Edgar pointed his at him and pulled the trigger. He shot Carl right between the eyes he fell a foot from Edgar's feet. He put his gun back into its holster.

Pulled his phone out of his pocket. "Chief Mathew Boulder, I found Carl Treebank, but unfortunately he threatened my life and I force to take aggressive action."

"What do you mean 'aggressive action', Edgar?"

"I had to shoot him. His body is at McKenna Woods send a corner to come claim the body."

"All right, I'm sorry you had to shoot him, Edgar."

"Just get the corner here." He flipped his phone shut and put it back in his pocket. Edgar knew this was just another day on the job, and he knew what must be done and what was done was for the well being of others. He went to sit in his car and he awaited the arrival of the police and corner. When he was in his car his phone rang it was Chief Mathew Boulder informing him that Mr. Treebank had taken his own life. And he also included that there was another case that needed his area of expertise. He turned the ignition and drove back to the police department to start his next case muttering the words: "the wicked never sleep."