Suicide or Intentional Homicide?
Marci lay on her bed staring at the dull gray color of her ceiling. Wind streamed in through the open window, filling her room with the sweet scents of summer. There was a soft knock at her door and Allan walked in without waiting for an invitation.
“Can I please have Valerie’s present for when she returns home?” Allan glanced at the notebook that he had gotten for Valerie, which was strewn on the floor.
He went to pick it up but Marci leaped off her bed snatching it up, “I don’t think she is coming home. I’ll put it in her room.”
“Why are you so quick to say she’s dead?” Allan asked, his voice tainted with suspicion. Marci ignored him, striding to Valerie’s vacant room, throwing the journal on her bed.
Then she faced Allan and snapped, “I’ve got a question for you? Why did you give Liam a pocketknife? You know he already has one. And why may I ask did it have blood on it?”
Allan paled stammering, “U-uh, I must have forgotten to clean it after I gutted that d-d-deer. I also f-forgot he has one.”
“I suppose you really don’t care. Liam and Valerie are right to dislike you! I tried to give you a chance but you quickly ruined it!” Marci said crossly, folding her arms.
“Listen to me you ungrateful little brat! I got you presents!” Allan roared.
“Presents! Is that the only thing that you think will make us happy? What if we want our loving father back? Or you could at least be nice to us for once!”
“When I am I not nice to you?”
“Whenever mom leaves the house! While she is here you play a pathetic charade!”
A ding-dong interrupted their heated argument causing Allan to jump. Pressing her lips together Marci stalked out of the room to answer the door.
“Hell-oh no.” Marci instantly saddened when she opened the door to Sergeant Kenny.
Lines of grief appeared on his face as he spoke, “Hello, Marci. Can I have a word with your father?”
“He’s dead.” She said flatly, her face expressionless.
“My apologies, I meant your step-father.” Kenny peered into the house.
“Whatever.” Marci said, then shouted, “Allan! The police would like a word with you!”
Allan was at the door in seconds. Shooing Marci away he asked, “What is it? Did you find Valerie?”
“We found a body, but we need you to identify it to ensure that it is your stepdaughter. Is Kelly home? She should be here too.” Kenny sniffed pulling out a handkerchief and absently wiping his nose.
Allan nodded, calling for his wife. Tears streaked Mrs. Carter’s face when she materialized in the doorframe. (Add in description of how they get back to woods?...or add that they would view the body at the police station or morgue)
“Follow me. I suggest you cover your noses, the stench is wretched.” Kenny walked to the edge of the road where a police car was parked and beside it lay a body bag. The Carter’s pinched their noses hoping that the person that was decomposing in the body bag wasn’t their daughter.
Kenny held his breath, opening the large bag. The stench was the first thing to hit them. Even though they had blocked their sense of smell they could still feel the nasty odor creep around their legs slithering up their bodies. The Carter’s peeked into the bag and gasped. Mrs. Carter nearly fainted when she recognized the soft blonde curls of hair that framed the girls pale face. Valerie’s hazel eyes were still open but they no longer carried the dull shine that they did when her heart was still beating.
“No…not Val.” Mrs. Carter broke down, dropping to her knees.
“So this is Valerie Carter?” Kenny tried to ask delicately.
“Yes.” Allan said his voice lacking any emotion.
“What happened to her?” Mrs. Carter sobbed, noticing a slit embedded deep into Valerie’s throat.
“Well, I was walking and a short ways into the forest I saw a shoe sticking out of some bushes and then I found her holding a knife into her neck. She was long since dead but in her other hand she clutched a note.” Kenny handed them a slip of paper.
After a long silence Kenny said, “It appears she committed suicide.”
Mrs. Carter unfolded the dirt smeared note and read, her hands shaking as she clutched the paper.
do not Blame anyone otHer than me For What i did. nothing that i didn’t want Happened To Me. i will soon be safe in the arms of my angel. She will take me to heaven. don’t worry nobody Murdered Me. She Is coming for me. i am Making Me choice. i felt like i needed to Write This Note so you would understand better. She Is here to take me away, goodbye! M.L.C.
“This isn’t right!” Mrs. Carter exclaimed. “First of all why does she have so many capitalization mistakes and ‘I am making me choice.’? This is absurd! Val would never do this too herself! The entire letter doesn’t make sense! And why are Marci’s initials at the end?”
“M.L.C.?” Kenny asked.
“Marci Lynn Carter.” Mrs. Carter was baffled at the note. Her daughter would never capitalize random words in a sentence. Just because she had OCD (You might add more about the OCD earlier in the story because it’s not clear that she has any issues) didn’t mean she was stupid.
“Well, I thought you might want to see the weapon that took your daughter’s life.” Kenny reached into the open window of the police car and pulled out the long curved knife that Valerie had found in her washer.
“That’s the knife Marci said Valerie found!” Mrs. Carter cried. “I just can’t believe that Val would do such a thing to herself. Allan, could you please handle the paperwork and whatever else needs to be done. I’ll be inside.” Keeping the note, Mrs. Carter went back to the house.
Marci stood by the table drumming her fingers on its smooth marble surface. “Valerie is dead, isn’t she?” Mrs. Carter nodded her face wet with tears as she sat down.
“What happened?” Marci tried to stay strong but her voice cracked and tears began to form in the creases of her eyes. Her mother held out the note, her hand trembling.
Marci plucked it, her eyes scanning over the words. Immediately after she finished she muttered, “She couldn’t have written this note. Val wouldn’t have made so many mistakes. And what does M.L.C. stand for?”
Mrs. Carter raised her eyebrows and Marci instantly knew, “Marci Lynn Carter.”
“Why would she randomly write my initials?” Marci pursed her lips. “If you want my opinion I would say that it was not suicide that claimed Valerie’s life. It was intentional homicide.” Marci turned to leave.
“Wait, you don’t know the whole story! She was found pressing a knife, the knife, into her throat.”
“The knife she found in her washing machine?”
“She would never…” Marci paused. “I’ll go tell Liam.” Once she had disappeared up the stairs, Mrs. Carter looked closer at the note. This is definitely Valerie’s handwriting, but it almost seemed as if she was forced to write it, she thought. Mrs. Carter realized that only specific words were capitalized. The words that were supposed to be were not except for the word ‘she’. Why was the “H” in “other” capitalized though, she wondered.
An idea hit her. What if Valerie was writing like that on purpose? What if it was some sort of code? What if…Mrs. Carter stopped thinking and started writing. Taking a pen she wrote down every capitalized word, spacing them with a slant at the bottom of the note.
Mrs. Carter’s eyes bulged. Quickly she swept up the paper, finding her way back to the police car and Sergeant Kenny.
“Sergeant Kenny!” She puffed out of breath from running. Rapidly she explained what she had unearthed from the note.
“Do you think Marci did it?” Kenny asked when she was finished.
“I don’t know, Marci was the last one to be with her and she could have easily changed the story. But I am not going to blame my daughter until there is evidence other than this note, well, and the footprints.” Marci does have big feet, Mrs. Carter recollected.
“She could take a polygraph test.” Kenny suggested.
“A lie detector.” Kenny answered before she could finish her question.
“What if she doesn’t want to?” Allan spoke for the first time.
“If she didn’t kill her sister then she has nothing to fear.” Kenny said casually.
“When?” Allan asked.
“Tomorrow morning, ten o’clock sharp.” Kenny said.
“I’ll go inform her, but I’m not sure how happy she’ll be that she is a possible suspect.” Mrs. Carter shook her head. Her own daughter couldn’t be a killer, could she?
“Tell her that she was the last one to see Valerie so by law she must take a polygraph, innocent or guilty. Don’t tell her this but while she is there we will be taking some DNA samples to look for evidence.”
“Alright,” Mrs. Carter groaned.