Well, it was pretty terrible. When I got to Janet’s house, Donny was there, holding her in his arms, comforting her. The police were there, too. A young cop questioning her. Two others in the garage. I hadn’t eaten all day and suddenly felt sick to my stomach. Here’s what had happened. Janet came home from visiting a friend and let herself in the front door. She’d gone shopping for dinner and brought the groceries in with her. While she was putting the food away, she thought she heard a noise. To her knowledge, Roy had driven to Enfield to talk to Alicia and Emil about their daughter’s kidnapping. She didn’t think he was home yet. They’d had plans for a quiet dinner and a movie on Netflix. “Like old folks,” Janet said, swatting at the tears rolling down her cheeks. The noise she heard sounded like the purr of an engine. She looked at her dog, Scout, who’d greeted her at the door with a lot of barking and scrambling around in circles as if he was chasing his tail. Now he lay by the door to the garage, staring at her and whining. She pushed him out of the way and threw open the door.
The Volvo was in the garage where it always was, only its engine was running. In the front seat Roy lay with his head lolled against the headrest as if he were taking a nap. Only he wasn’t taking a nap. He was dead. Janet knew that instantly. Already lightheaded from the fumes, she punched the switch to open the garage door and ran to the car, screaming Roy’s name. Somehow she got the car door open and threw herself on him, slapping his cheeks, thrusting her hands on his heart. Nothing. He looked incredibly peaceful, but his body was already stiff, cool to the touch. Screaming her head off, she ran back into the house and called the police.
“It wasn’t suicide,” she blubbered now. “It couldn’t have been. I know that.” The police sealed off the garage with yellow crime tape. They took millions of pictures of the car before removing Roy’s body and wheeling it out on a gurney. The car itself would be sent to a forensic lab where every little hair and fingerprint and fiber would be examined. Same with the body, which would be autopsied with particular attention paid to the contents of Roy’s stomach and to possible prick marks on his skin, the suspicion percolating that he’d been drugged before being left in the car with the engine running. If the death wasn’t suicide, it had been staged as one. But here’s what got me: Roy’s brown leather briefcase that I’d seen him with at Alicia’s house was missing. And held tight in Roy’s stiff hand was a note that said: “Sixty-two, tired of hiding, can’t stand it anymore.”
Had the killer mistaken Roy in his light-colored suit and white Volvo for Victor who would’ve just turned sixty-two? I don’t know, but it’s a good question.
To be continued! Season 2 begins weekly publication right here on ArtProfiler.com on September 12, 2017!