Mystery and Crime Fiction posted December 30, 2017 Chapters: 2 3 -4- 5... 

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The Berryville Detectives continue to look for clues.

A chapter in the book Bittersweet Revenge

Possible Motives

by Mistydawn

List of Characters. 
Max Webb DA, Rachel, Jessica, and Samatha's dad, Bonnie's husband.
Bonnie Webb Jessica and Samantha's mom, Rachel's stepmom
Rachel Webb Nurse at the hospital. Max and Jeanie's daughter, Jessica's and Samatha's half-sister.
Samantha Webb Max and Bonnie's six-year-old daughter
Jessica Webb Max and Bonnie's 8-year-old daughter.
Jeanie - Rachel's mom
Emma Stone Rachel's cousin.
Joe detective with the Berryville PD
Jerry Detective with the Berryville PD
Kurt forensic analyst with the Berryville PD.

Rachel is sitting on the couch in her small cozy apartment, staring out the window. Seeing a patrol car slowly pass by, she glances at her watch. It was a half an hour on the dot again. I'll wait until the coast is clear, then I'll slip out and take care of business, she concludes, staring into the cold empty darkness. I hope I can remember all the loose floorboards. What if I don't? What if I hit one by mistake? How will I explain my leaving if they catch me? I could say I'm meeting my boyfriend. Would they believe me? I probably wouldn't if I were them. Maybe I should just wait until Bonnie and the girls leave. No, I've planned this for way too long, I've gotten too far to quit now. If I get caught, I'll have to quit for good, and I don't want to do that either. Not after all the time and energy, I've invested in this project. Oh, what should I do? What should I do? Feeling someone tugging on her arm, she turns around. She sees her little sister standing beside her.

"Can you read me a bedtime story?" Samantha asks.

"What book would you like me to read?"

"We could make something up," she suggests.

"Are you sure you'll be alright sleeping on the couch?" Bonnie asks, carrying fresh linen into the front room.

"I sleep on the couch all the time anyhow."

"Why, Rachel?" Sammy questions.

"Rachel is a naughty girl. She falls asleep in front of the TV." Bonnie scolds, shaking her finger at Rachel.

"Maybe you should spank her or take away her TV privileges," the child says, excited to see someone else get into trouble for a change.

"Yeah, maybe I should." Bonnie laughs, imagining how that would go.

"I thought you had my back, Samantha Jane."

"I'm just teasing," she smiles sweetly, batting her long eyelashes at her sister.

"You better be you little monster." Rachel chases the child into the bedroom.

The girl screams as she runs for cover.

"I don't think Rachel will ever grow up." Bonnie laughs, laying linen on the couch.


Jerry is scanning through Frank Walsh's police record at his desk. Joe, his partner is still busy at the scene. Frank had a breaking and entering charge at 18, a drug possession charge at 20 and again at 22. His most recent charges are two DWI's, and a driving on a suspended. Far from a model citizen. He continues his search. According to his finances, he lives paycheck to paycheck, the way most Berryville citizens do. I hope he has life insurance to help pay for the funeral. Life insurance money, that's it. Desperate wives do make reckless decisions.

Digging a little further, he finds a $50,000 life insurance policy on him, but nothing on his wife. Thirty years is a long time to put up with his partying with the town whores. Not to mention all the other shenanigans he pulled. Guess I need to talk to Judy and their kids. He starts to get up when he sees Joe walking towards him.

"Did you find anything, Jerry?" Joe asks, plopping down at his desk.

"He had a few minor convictions as a teenager, two DWI's and a driving on a suspended recently. Financially he was a sinking ship. Here's the interesting part. The couple is deep in debt, but Judy somehow manages to pay his life insurance policy, on time, every month. In fact, she dropped her policy, but kept his up to date."

"That puts a twist on things, now doesn't it?" he says, arranging forensic reports across his desk.

"It sure does. I don't know how she put up with his crap for as long as she did."

"Isn't that the truth? Did you find out anything on Emma?"

"She was placed in Mrs. Brown's care until the aunt and uncle came for her. So I'm thinking, Mrs. Brown might've kept in touch."

"Knowing how much she loves her foster kids, I wouldn't doubt that a bit."

"Here's something fascinating Joe. Frank's former drug arrest was on May 10, 1999, with Jennie Cathay."


"Didn't Max know Jennie too?" Pulling up another tab, he types in a new search. "Here's another interesting fact. Jennie made a plea agreement with the DA, her testimony for a reduced sentence. Two days later, she's found dead in an alley."

"What's the cause of death?"

"The ME ruled it as a drug overdose."

"I remember her death now. I was a rookie back then so I didn't get to investigate, but I always thought someone was trying to keep her quiet. A lot of others did too, but no one could prove it was murder."

"Whoever killed Jennie could be getting revenge on everyone who snitched on him."

"Look up drug arrests made after May 1999, see what you can come up with. I'll talk to Frank's wife and Mrs. Brown."

"Got it, boss."

The captain races out of his office.

"Guys, there's been another killing."

"This is the third one in two days, Captain," Jerry exclaims.

"I'm not so sure it's the same killer."

"Why do you say that, Sir?"

"This one was beheaded."


The hands on the clock seem to move slowly tonight. Looking over, Rachel sees it's only been five minutes since the last time she checked. Will this night ever end? Glancing out her window, she starts thinking about what she's going to do. This gives her a sense of pure joy. The way she feels on Christmas day. Nothing is going to stop me from executing my plan this time. She sees another patrol car drive by. It's only been ten minutes since the last one. Maybe I should wait until things settle down. 

"Rachel, Rachel?" her stepmother repeats.

"Huh, what?" she asks, slowly coming out of her trance-like state.

"You were a thousand miles away."

"Oh, I'm sorry." She turns to face her.

"You've been distracted all night, are you sure you're alright?" Reaching over, she grabs a hold of her hands.

"Yeah, I'm ok, I was just thinking, you know about stuff," she explains, forcing a smile on her face. She knows how her stepmother gets if she thinks something is bothering her.

"What were you thinking about, Honey?" Bonnie quizzes, sitting next to her on the couch.

"Work stuff, mostly."

"Are you having trouble at the hospital?"

"A little. See, they hired a new girl and she's been giving me a lot of grief." Seeing the concerned look on Bonnie's face she continues, "I'm sure things will calm down once she settles in." 

"I hope so."

"It always does." She smiles, hoping to appease her. 

Picking up the newspaper Bonnie starts to read. "Oh my God, Rachel, look." Handing it to her Bonnie continues. "It says they found Frank Walsh dead this afternoon."

"Two victims in twenty-four hours?"

"I'm sure glad Joe agreed to put the extra patrol on your apartment."

"Me too." Their safety wasn't her concern. She's trying to figure out how she'll continue her plans with all the police protection.


Joe and Jerry see Sharon, their ME walking towards her car when they pull into the parking lot.

Joe removes his seatbelt as they pull into the drive. "I didn't think we'd ever get here," he complains, bolting out of the car.

"I got us here in one piece, didn't I?" Jerry maneuvers his rounded body out from behind the wheel.

"An hour later."

Jerry laughs. "It didn't take an hour."

 "It sure felt like it."

"And you say Rachel is a drama queen?" 

 "She is."

"Yeah, and I'm the queen of England." Jerry chuckles.

 "I'm driving back, whether you like it or not."

"You better find another car then, because you're not touching mine."

"You don't trust my driving, Jerr?" He smirks, remembering how Jerry hung on for dear life on their last excursion.

"My niece drives better than you and she's only four."

Laughing, Joe walks towards the ME. "Hey, Sharon."

"Hi Joe, Jerry."

"What can you tell us?"

"The victim was beheaded with a straight edged blade. According to the cut, I'd say your killer is left-handed."

"Are there any other wounds?"

"Just the fatal one across his neck. The good news is the victim didn't suffer."

"How do you figure that?"

"He bled out too quick to feel much of anything." Seeing the inquisitive look on their faces she continues, "The killer severed the carotid, one of the main arteries in the body."

"So the perp would be covered in blood."

"Head to toe I'd imagine."

"When did the death occur?"

"According to body temp, I'd say within the last two hours."

"Thanks, Sharon." Joe walks towards the group.

"Did you find anything, guys?" Joe asks.

"I found a couple of things, Sir. We found a shoe print in the dirt a few feet from the victim, and we found this." Holding up a small plastic bag he continues, "I'm going to take the fiber to the lab, see what I can find."

"Who is our victim?"

"According to his driver's license, his name Is Lenard Kanjorski, He's forty-two, lives in the apartments on Cherry Street."

"You guys don't know him personally?" Being a small town, Joe figures everyone knows everybody. An assumption that usually holds true.

The group shakes their heads.

"Jerry, I want you to contact the family, and find out everything you can on him."

"I'm on it, Sir." Jerry walks away.


Rachel slowly creeps down her dark apartment steps, trying to miss all the squeaky floorboards.
Just a few more steps and I will be home free, she reasons. Her legs feel like jelly as she continues her nerve-wracking journey down the rickety stairs. Gripping the railing, she tiptoes the rest of the way down. Everyone will be so surprised when I share my accomplishments. She smiles, stepping into the brisk night air.

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