It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in the office of Detective Gloria Richards. As she was preparing to leave for the day due to an excruciating headache, her phone started violently buzzing. With a dreadful sigh, she answered the phone and roared, “It’s a Sunday, for crying out loud!”
“Sorry, Detective Richards,” her partner, Officer Liam Anderson, apologized, “but we have a situation. A lady called saying she found her husband dead in their house.”
She assured she’d be over as soon as she could, and then hung up the phone.
Detective Richards then grabbed her purse and immediately ran to her vehicle.
When she arrived at the location the officer gave her, she saw it was flooded with many concerned individuals. She spotted the tall officer that called to report the situation, and they stepped through the large white doorway to enter the home. They turned to the right and found young Mrs. Riley Higgins sitting on her fancy red couch, sobbing violently.
“Mrs. Higgins,” Officer Anderson caught her attention, “this is Detective Gloria Richards, and she will be assigned to your case.”
Mrs. Higgins softly nodded and her blue eyes stared down at the floor.
“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Higgins. Can you tell me exactly what happened?” Detective Richards asked.
“Well,” Mrs. Higgins replied, “I was grocery shopping for the week, since Bob and I always meal plan on Sunday, and when I called his name, he didn’t answer. I then searched the house and noticed that the bathroom light was on. I glared inside the room only to find that my husband was lying on the floor with his head bashed open!” She replied while blowing her petite nose into a tissue.
“Do you have any reason to believe it could've been murder?” Gloria questioned her as she wrote in her pocket book what was being said.
“Not that I can think of! Nobody would ever mess with him; he had no enemies. Bob was always so loving and he wouldn't hurt a fly! How could this happen? We just got married three months ago! ” Mrs. Higgins was in more tears than before.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Ma’am. I will do everything I can to find out what actually happened.”
Gloria exited the living room and climbed up the stairs to enter the small bathroom. Glancing over the crime scene, she observed that the victim was on lying his back, and the right side of his head was bashed into.
“This was definitely a murder!” Gloria finally announced.
“Why do you say that, Detective? How do you know the man didn’t slip?” Officer Anderson asked.
“The sink and the toilet are on the left side of the room, and the tub is opposite the door. If he were to slip and fall forward, hitting his head on the sink, which you can tell that he did based on the blood on the corner of the countertop, his head would be somewhere near the corner. His head right now is by the door, and his feet are where the tub is. He could've fallen back after hitting his head and landed by the door, but the wound would be on the right side of his head. Tell me, Officer Anderson, if someone slipped while facing forward and hit their head on the corner of the sink to the left, how come the wound is on the right side of their head? True, he could've slipped while facing the door and fell while his body rotated to his back, but why wouldn’t the rug he is laying on be twisted up as well? The rug is perfectly parallel to the sink. On another note, there is no water on the ground, and the man is fully clothed, which rules out the possibility of him getting out of the shower, so why is it that the man is in the position that he’s in? Someone must’ve smashed his head into the corner and moved him to look like he just slipped.” The detective intelligently responded.
“That makes complete sense, Detective!” Anderson exclaimed, “But why would someone try to hurt this man?”
“That’s why we are going to interview some people outside. Duh!” Gloria shouted as she rushed down the stairs.
Once the two of them stepped foot outside on the stone pathway, Detective Richards noticed a fashionably dressed girl with blonde hair running frantically towards her.
“Excuse me, person,” the winded teenager whined, “I am Debbie O’Conner, Riley Higgins’ sister. She called and told me what happened, so I, like, rushed over here to comfort her. Why do you think this happened? Was it, like, a murder or something?”
“I’m sorry, Ms. O’Conner, but I cannot release that information yet. I would like to ask you some questions though. Are you willing to answer some?”
“I guess,” Debbie sighed, “anything to, like, help my sister out!”
Debbie then showed the way to some patio chairs in the backyard of her sister’s home.
“Starting off with an easy question,” Detective Richards uttered as she sat down in the green-cushioned chair, “did you think your sister and her husband got along well?”
“Oh! Of course! She loved him with all her heart… In fact, she, like, even broke up with her ex-boyfriend to be with him. Bob always treated her like a queen. He gave her gifts, and played with her hair, and sang to her…” Debbie sobbed as she glanced at the ground. “To be honest, Detective, I had a huge crush on Bob. He was so perfect. I was going to, like, ask him out, but instead that jerk married my freaking sister! The worst part is, she knew that I liked him!”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Ms. O’Conner. If we’re going to be honest though, I’m not here to talk about your love life, we are here to merely discuss the death of your brother-in-law, Mr. Higgins.” Detective Richards pointed out. “Can you tell us about your sister’s ex-boyfriend?”
“Colin? He was okay, I guess. He got so mad when my sister dumped him for my future boyfriend. Yeah, he didn’t really treat her right, and he cheated on her, but she should’ve stayed with him so that I could get with Bob.” Debbie blowed her petite nose as she glared annoyingly at the squirrel dangling from the tiny bird feeder.
Detective Richards thanked the young girl for her cooperation, and Debbie trotted inside the home to comfort her older sister.
“Do you think her sister did it? She had a big motive.” Officer Anderson asked.
“I highly doubt it was her. Debbie is a fairly petite girl, and she’s only about five feet tall. Our victim was six foot two, so how could Debbie slam his head with that much force with that much of a height difference?” Gloria observed. “Plus, she was in love with Mr. Higgins. On the other hand, she could’ve murdered him with the intent of revenge for marrying her sister, but it is highly unlikely Debbie is the killer.”
“You’re right.” Officer Anderson agreed. “Would you like me to try and get ahold of the ex-boyfriend?”
“That would be extremely helpful. While you’re working on that, I’ll interview some more people.” Gloria announced.
Detective Richards and Officer Anderson walked around to the front yard. Just as she was about to get in Anderson’s patrol car, she spotted a mailman looking at the house. She walked up to the middle-aged man and asked, “Excuse me, sir, could I ask you a few questions?”
“Of course!” replied the brown-haired man. “What can I help you with?”
“I was wondering if you’ve seen any suspicious activity today while making your rounds,” the Detective inquired.
“Well, I was delivering some mail to this house. When I knocked on the door around 11am, Mr. Higgins opened it slowly. I have to say though, he looked really nervous. I didn’t know if the poor guy was hiding from someone, or if he was doing something wrong, but I told him to have a great day. He thanked me and shut the front door in a hurry. I then walked back to my mail truck, when I spotted a man with a black hoodie running behind his house! I thought it was just my eyes playing tricks on me, but I guess I was wrong!” The mailman wailed. “I just wish I would’ve reported it, because I could’ve saved that man’s life! Anyway, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
He then handed a piece of paper to the detective with his address and phone number on it.
“Thank you for your time, sir, I’ll let you know if we need any aid in solving the case.”
After the mailman paced away, Detective Richards decided to pay a visit to the neighbor across the street. She left Anderson behind in his car and proceeded to stroll up to the brown door. She knocked boisterously, and was suddenly met with a symphony of barking dogs. When the old lady opened the door, Detective Richards glanced over her head and saw a trio of German Shepherds.
“Sorry,” the gray-haired woman retorted as she stepped outside and closed the door behind her. “My big puppies are also my big protectors. My name is Velma Winston.”
“No worries, Mrs. Winston. My name is Detective Gloria Richards. May I ask you a few questions about your neighbors across the street?” She asked the old woman.
“Of course! I heard about what happened from my neighbor, Patty. What a shame! Although I’m not too surprised…”
“Why you do you say that, Ma’am?” Detective Richards queried as she sat down alongside the old woman on an outdated floral couch.
“Well, I’m a very watchful neighbor. About two months ago on a Friday, I glanced out my window, and I noticed that sitting on the couple’s patio was a huge vase of roses. I thought to myself, ‘If I were Mr. Higgins, why would I leave flowers for my wife outside on my porch?’ That’s when I suspected Mrs. Higgins had an admirer. When I saw the couple walk out onto the patio and see the flowers, Mrs. Higgins picked them up and thanked her husband, but Mr. Higgins looked shocked! I saw him exchange some concerned words with her, and then Mrs. Higgins had a confused look on her face as well. Two Fridays later, I noticed a box on the porch. When I saw Mrs. Higgins pick up the box, I noticed that it was shaped like a heart. She then made a panicked facial expression, and ran back inside; slapping the door shut as quickly as she could. Ever since then, flowers and chocolates arrive at their door every other Friday!” Mrs. Winston leaned in closer to the detective. “If you ask me, Detective, I think that Mrs. Higgins’ secret admirer has something to do with the death of her husband.”
“Thank you for your cooperation, Mrs. Winston. One more thing, did you see a man in a black hoodie running around the neighborhood today?”
“Not that I’ve seen, Detective.” Mrs. Winston replied.
Detective Richards thanked the woman for her time and walked back to the patrol car that Officer Anderson sat in.
“I got Mrs. Higgins’ ex-boyfriend’s address. Are you ready to go pay him a visit?” Anderson asked.
“There’s no need. He didn’t do it.” Gloria declared.
“What do you mean?” Anderson glared at her with a confused expression.
“Anderson,” Gloria announced, “we need to pay the mailman a visit.”
“Why in the world would we pay the mailman a visit, Detective?”
“Well, you see, Anderson, the mail isn't delivered on Sundays.”
Officer Anderson immediately turned on his vehicle and sped swiftly to the address that the mailman gave Detective Richards.
When they arrived at the small house, they arrested the middle-aged man.
They took him back to the police headquarters, and placed him in an interview room. An hour later, Detective Richards walked into the small room and sat down in the chair across from the suspect.
“Do you know why you’re here, Mr. Ross?” She interrogated the crooked mailman.
“I murdered Mr. Higgins.” He replied.
“Why did you do such a thing, Mr Ross?”
“I’m in love with Riley Higgins. Ever since I saw her auburn hair twirling in the wind on a sunny spring morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I started leaving a vase of roses and chocolate on her patio every other Friday, and I hoped that it would please her. One day, I saw her idiotic husband holding the box of chocolates, and he threw them in the dumpster! From that moment on, I wanted to kill him.”
“How did you kill him, Mr. Ross?” The Detective asked.
“I chose a Sunday because from my observations of Riley, I knew that she went shopping at the same time every Sunday. A few minutes after she left, I walked up to the front door and knocked on it. Mr. Higgins cheerfully answered, and welcomed me inside. I first told him I wanted to talk about his business, and then asked if he’d show me where his bathroom was. The reason I chose to kill him in a bathroom was because I read a story online that a woman slipped in her bathroom, hit her head, and died, so I thought I could replicate that. When he brought me into the bathroom, I stood by the toilet and thanked him. As he walked out, I grabbed his head and smashed it on the corner of the countertop; killing him instantly. I then moved his body to make it look like he slipped while walking into the bathroom,” the mailman narrated.
“Well, you were caught. Have fun in jail, Mr. Ross!” Detective Ross sarcastically congratulated him as she stood up. She walked out of the room, and was met with the presence of Officer Anderson.
“Good work today, Detective Richards.” Officer Anderson applauded.
“Please, Anderson, call me Gloria. Thank you! Good work to you as well.”
“Is there anything I can do for you, Gloria?” Asked Anderson.
“Well, I have a terrible headache, so you could totally get me some aspirin!” Gloria replied.
The two laughed as they walked out of the dimly lit office.